submitted on August 26, 2021
· Levels of red tide in Tampa Bay began to decline in July, after first being observed in late April following the Piney Point spill.
· A patchy bloom of Karenia Brevis persists at background to high concentrations in and offshore of Sarasota County.
· Red tides are naturally occurring, generally blooming offshore and moves inshore with winds and tides.
· Blooms can be intensified and fueled by nutrient pollution.
· Nutrient pollution sources include agricultural runoff, landscaping fertilizers, leaky septic tanks, aging sewage infrastructure, and storm-water and urban runoff.
· Red Tide Status updates:
Ways to take action on harmful algal blooms:
· Earlier this summer, Lake O was experiencing a harmful blue-green algae bloom. On 8/16, samples collected had no dominant algal taxon with trace levels of microcystins were detected (floridadep.gov/AlgalBloomWeeklyUpdate).
· As of 8/19/21 satellite imagery showed low to moderate bloom potential on ~45%of the lake with no significant bloom potential on visible portions of the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries.
· The Caloosahatchee, Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River and estuary is a human altered, channelized flood control and navigational waterway system linking the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic.
· The dredging, channelization and increased development around these areas has altered the hydrology resulting in substantial ecological consequences including changes in salinity patterns, increases in nutrient loads and pollution runoff, and decreases in the abundance of seagrasses, fishes, and shellfish.
· Releasing of nutrient rich waters from Lake Okeechobee has also caused toxic algal blooms, seagrass die-offs and fish kills.
· Supporting Everglades restoration would help solve some of the water mismanagement issue in Lake O. Ways to take action: https://captainsforcleanwater.org/LOSOM-optimizations-5/
· PFAS are class of more than 9,000 man made chemicals that are environmentally persistent.
· They have been used in a wide variety of industrial and commercial applications including cosmetics, cookware, fire-fighting foams, water and soil resistant fabrics, carpets, clothing, and food packaging.
· The primary exposure pathway for humans is through ingesting contaminated water and food.
· These chemicals have been linked to several health effects, including various cancers (e.g., bladder, kidney, liver, pancreatic, prostate, testicular), thyroid disease, and developmental, reproductive, and immunological impairment.
· Widespread use of PFAS has led to contamination of Florida groundwater resources, including private and public potable supply wells. DEP has investigated and found PFAS at fire training facilities, State Funded Cleanup sites, and Dry-cleaning Solvent Cleanup Program sites. PFAS contamination also has been identified at current or former federal facilities in Florida (FLDEP).
· Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FLDEP) Dynamic Plan for a coordinated approach to assess the complex PFAS related issues.
· FLDEP PFAS Dynamic Plan: https://floridadep.gov/sites/default/files/Draft_Dynamic_Plan_Aug2021_0.pdf
· EPA PFOS and PFOA Drinking Water Health Advisories Fact Sheet: https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2016-06/documents/drinkingwaterhealthadvisories_pfoa_pfos_updated_5.31.16.pdf
1. Conserving natural lands
2. Safeguarding water supply
3. Promoting water conservation
4. Protecting and restoring water quality
5. Managing growth
6. Addressing climate change and community resilience
Trouble in Paradise Report: https://troubleinparadiseflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/FOF-1115-Trouble-in-Paradise-Paper-vFINAL.pdf
1000 Friends of Florida: http://www.1000friendsofflorida.org/upcoming-webinars/
Environment Florida Legislative Agenda 2021: