blue-green algae

PEDRO PORTAL / MIAMI HERALD

Water managers are doubling down efforts to identify pollution hot spots in the northern Everglades with a plan that would increase water testing by more than 40 percent.

The proposal, which is scheduled for discussion Thursday by South Florida Water Management District governing board members, escalates monitoring in watersheds that flow into areas ripe for toxic blue-green algae outbreaks.

In Florida, the Army Corps of Engineers is working to combat a growing environmental menace: blue-green algae. Nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from farms and subdivisions combines with warm summer weather to create massive blooms of algae in rivers and lakes that can be toxic.

Matias J. Ocner / MIAMI HERALD

Could algae, the fish-killing bane of Lake Okeechobee and Florida’s coastal waters, actually become a valuable state product? Think orange juice, except green, slimy and terrible tasting. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and private partners think there is a possibility.

New research just getting underway at Florida Gulf Coast University is exploring a novel approach to possibly someday controlling blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria.

Task Force Seeks Solutions To Fight Algae Blooms

Jul 2, 2019

Jim Turner / News Service of Florida

Experts looking into toxic algae outbreaks that have exploded in state waterways want to know if anyone has a proven, innovative cleanup strategy that can be used.

And they want to know quickly. 

Kirsten Hines

The new executive director of the environmental group Friends of the Everglades is not that impressed with Gov. Ron DeSantis' environmental record thus far. 

Earlier this year, the governor granted $625 million to Everglades restoration and water quality projects as part of a proposed $91.3 billion state budget plan. But according to Alex Gillen, the new director, that's not enough.

"I don't think you should be rewarded for doing kind of what you're supposed to do," he said on Sundial. 

Gillen spoke on the show about environmental concerns across the state. 

MIAMI HERALD ARCHIVES

Reducing harmful nutrients in state waters, through moves such as more monitoring and staffing, is an expected short-term goal of a new task force set up by Gov. Ron DeSantis to look at toxic algae fouling Florida waterways.

But with a brief timeline for the five-member Blue Green Algae Task Force to reach its initial findings, don’t expect proposals for massive state rule changes related to farming practices or moving away from septic systems.

Miami Herald/Pedro Portal

New federal limits for dangerous toxins linked to blue green algae in water where people swim, boat and fish could help Florida fight the dangerous blooms.

The recommended criteria is the first ever set by the Environmental Protection Agency for two common toxins found in algae caused by cyanobacteria and would need to be adopted by Florida. But environmentalists say there's a problem: the limits are double what was originally proposed in 2016.

State lawmakers passed several bills in the wake of last year's scourge of red tide attacking the coastlines and blue-green algae coming out of Lake Okeechobee. But some environmentalists say they didn't address the source of the problem - nutrients flowing into waterways.

Miami Herald/Pedro Portal

In the war over water management, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast is tired of being the loser.

In a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week, Mast, a Republican whose district stretches from Palm Beach to Fort Pierce, called current lake management a "total disaster." Water managers , he said, too often place greater importance on supplying water to the agricultural industry without considering the damage to Florida's coast when high water needs to be flushed from the lake to protect its aging dike.


Next Steps Eyed In Fight Against Water Woes

Jan 23, 2019
STEPHEN SPLANE / WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Local governments have spent $17.3 million the state provided to combat outbreaks of red tide and toxic blue-green algae, which have caused massive fish kills and fouled waters in coastal areas for more than a year.

News Service Of Florida

Following a messy election, a fresh political season is set to begin in Florida. New state leaders will be sworn in Jan. 8, including incoming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Although he still has a few decisions to make on key positions, DeSantis and his team have worked to fill hundreds of jobs in the administration, including for some of the state’s most prominent posts.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers are filing bills for the 2019 Legislative session that begins in March.

USGS via Wikimedia Commons

Environmental groups and state water managers are sparring over land for an Everglades restoration project to help with Florida’s algae blooms, following a controversial vote last week by the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District.

TOM JAMES - WWW.PELICANMEDIA.TV

A South Florida environmental technology company has a plan to fight the state's blue-green algae problems with microscopic plastic beads. 

Green Water Solution is one of four finalists for the George Barley Water Prize, a $10 million award started by the Everglades Foundation to address toxic algae blooms through new technologies. The prize is intended to fund a technology that can be used around the globe to reduce phosphorus contamination in water.

Kate Stein / WLRN

A project intended to help address blue-green algae outbreaks took a major step forward Wednesday as the U.S. Senate passed a bill that includes a proposal for an Everglades water storage reservoir.

Senators approved the bill, which includes many other water-related projects nationwide, by a margin of 99-1.

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