In Stuart Beach on Florida’s west coast tourism drives the local economy. It is the height of summer ,but they have empty beaches, empty restaurants, and empty hotels. Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in several counties due to the algae bloom that started in Lake Okeechobee and spread to the beaches.
How did this occur? The Army Corps of Engineers released nutrient rich water into the St. Lucie estuary as part of their flood control measures. A massive bloom was already covering the lake and got released, and the algae outbreak eventually reached the beaches.
Why did this occur? Algae outbreaks happen when fertilizer sewage and manure pollution hit the water and in the right conditions we have a bloom. Consider it to be like adding miracle grow to the water..and a massive algae growth occurs. Toxic blooms can effect the liver, nervous system, and skin.
What can be done? Some feel it is not the pollutants , but the water storage limitations that need to be addressed, repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike need to be done. (Federal issue). Others feel that pollution must be looked at(State issue), the water needs to be cleaned up.
Herbert Hoover Dike..
Both State and Federal authorities have to work together. The Engineers look after the water levels in the lake, and with levels at a 10 yr high. The dike is also prone to seepage and erosion. In the interest of public safety they don’t want the water to get to high. Water quality is a state issue. The blame game as to who is responsible is at the heart of the matter. We know what has to be done, until some real leadership is shown, Florida is stuck.
$1billion Security Project.