Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Florida News

The Sunshine State's Dirty Secret?

TALLAHASSEE, FL - Calling Florida's growing toxic algae pollution of rivers and streams "nauseating," Earthjustice, along with the Florida Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club, recently filed a legal challenge against the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Earthjustice Director David Guest claims the DEP regulations were written by lobbyists for corporate polluters, with little regard for the growing waves of green slime choking the state's waterways.

"A massive fish kill is under way in southwest Florida, a major tourist destination. The system we have now favors polluters over people."

Florida Wildlife Federation
Sierra Club
Slime Tour

The Florida Wildlife Federation has created a virtual "Slime Tour" using Google maps. FWF and the Sierra Club invite the public to take the tour.

The Florida DEP has said in the past that the agency is working closely with the federal Environmental Protection Agency to stunt the algae outbreaks. However, St. Johns Riverkeeper member Neil Armingeon is scratching his head over what he describes as a bureaucratic "code of silence."

"What we as the public don't understand is when we have fish kills, why do the agencies never tell us the causes. We're still waiting, a year and a half later, to understand why thousands of fish died in the St. Johns River in the summer of 2010."

One barrier to waterway cleanup is a Florida Capitol head-in-the-sand attitude, Armingeon says. "There's a group of people in this state who don't want to admit we have a problem."


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