A report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Task Force has found that Florida’s algal blooms and red tide could get worse in the coming years. The report recommends more research into determining the causes of such water quality issues.
The task force was appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and found more Floridians could suffer from respiratory illnesses and sea life could die. Algal blooms are increasing amounts of nutrient rich water build-ups found in algae and lead to harmful effects to humans’ breathing and the life of sea animals. Florida’s coastlines and freshwater ecosystems have been enduring intermittent flare ups for years.
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced $114 million for wastewater treatments grants in order to improve water quality across Florida. The Wastewater Grant Program was a part of the Clean Waterways Act intended to reduce nutrient pollution in Florida’s waterways.
A large chunk of the money, $53 million, is going to the Indian River Lagoon to help with connecting approximately 3,000 septic thanks to central sewer and upgrading wastewater treatment facilities.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has selected the next secretary for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). DeSantis picked Shawn Hamilton who oversaw the state park system as deputy secretary. Hamilton was previously a superintendent in the Alabama Air National Guard and also served in the Iraq War who has also worked in environmental conservation.
Hamilton would be the first black man to lead the FDEP and DeSantis said he we would bring “a strong, proven record of environmental stewardship and management of award-winning state parks and conservation lands.”
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) filed a lawsuit against the owner of an old phosphate mining facility in Manatee County formerly known as Piney Point.
The suit is in response to 215 million gallons of contaminated wastewater that was leaked into the Tampa Bay from March 26th to April 9th, 2021.