Originally published by WGCU News on February 1, 2022

The Florida Department of Health posts advisories at some coastal beaches and “public swimming areas” when fecal bacteria is detected in the water. But, there is no requirement to warn people about waters that have not been designated as public swimming areas.

The “Safe Waterways Act” SB 604 and companion bill “Public Bathing Places” HB 393, proposed by Calusa Waterkeeper, is designed to address this public health risk. Both proposals have yet to be heard in committee.

The Calusa Waterkeeper says that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has verified fecal bacteria impairments in nearly 1 million acres of coastal estuaries and 9,000 miles of rivers and streams.

Learn about how the proposed legislation would require health advisories be issued anywhere humans might interact with a waterbody that has been found to contain fecal bacteria with special guests John Cassani, Calusa Waterkeeper and Howard Simon, Calusa Waterkeeper board member.

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