Living in the sunshine state, Floridians are accustomed to seeing beautiful beaches and lakes, some even having them in their very own backyard. On any given day we have the opportunity to wander outside with family and friends and enjoy alluring oasis that most Northerners go to bed dreaming about. Yet a recent lack of protection of our ecosystem is leaving these sensational bodies of water plagued with disaster in the form of a toxic algae bloom.
A non-profit environmental law organization, Earthjustice explains this toxic algae bloom as being a direct result of fertilizer sewage and manure pollution that has gone unregulated by the state. The result of these poor regulation standards is comparable to, “adding miracle grow to the water and it triggers massive algae outbreaks.” This fast acting spread of algae, which has been documented to have forty four confirmed blooms as of a survey done on June 30th is especially alarming because of the toxicity within some of the more blue green algae. These toxins become a risk to the public’s health and if they are touched or even inhaled can cause a variety of illnesses targeting the liver, skin, and gastrointestinal and nervous systems. This green water gunk is no longer just a slimy eyesore but is also now becoming a danger to the public. So far these outbreaks have been found in the following counties Martin, St. Lucie, Palm Beach, and Lee as well as on the southwest coastline.
The Department of Environmental Protection is working hard to monitor and eliminate the amount of this algae currently found in Florida’s waterways. However, there is no quick solution to a problem like this. Right now the state is focusing on controlling water flows to prevent any further spread. However many environmentalists agree that the only way in which to not see a problem like this again is through restoration and the addition of more regulations on our waterways that will keep the pollutants from ever entering in the first place.