Toxic Algae at My House – Again

 

 

 

Here is what we are seeing around the Greater Stuart, Florida area this week. Yes, it’s back – the Toxic Bluegreen Algae.

The last time I wrote about toxic algae was the Summer of 2016. Our beaches were closed over the Fourth of July weekend because the water was polluted by blooming bluegreen algae – cyanobacteria that spawns toxic Microcystin if it blooms. I am not certain the toxic part is well understood, the toxins (among them microcystin) can cause rashes, upset stomach, breathing difficulties and are implicated in causing ALS (Lou Gehrigs disease) and non alcohol related liver disease. Oh, by the way, the area I live in has the largest unexplained cluster of liver disease in the country. Many people drink and bathe in well water. Follow link below for more information.

Liver Disease info

Florida Sows Sewage

How does the algae get to my house, you may wonder.  It comes down the St. Lucie River from Lake Okeechobee where the State of Florida brews a toxic stew in the Lake and the Federal Government’s Corps of Engineers open the floodgates to prevent flooding downstream. Who is responsible – no one entity. The toxic stew is caused partially by poor land development management and storm runoff measures and the continuation by the state of Florida allowing large Agricultural entities to sow partially treated human sewage (Class B Biosolids) as fertilizer on enormous swaths of land. Then the state doesn’t inspect, regulate or oversee any of it. Best Management Practices BMPs, (practices that are developed to prevent nutrient runoff from fertilizers -nutrients feed algae) – Agricultural BMPs are in place in Florida but were rolled back to voluntary by the current gang in power.

Would you get a driver’s license if there were no requirements, meaning voluntary? Think about it.

Class B Biosolids are currently under consideration as the culprit in the impending ruination one of the last pristine lakes in Florida, Blue Cypress Lake. Toxic Bluegreen Algae is keeping everyone out of the water there this summer.  Interestingly, the practice of spreading biosolids was outlawed in two out of three of the nearby watersheds due to problems with phosphorous (nutrient) pollution. Ironically, the sewage polluting Blue Cypress Lake originates in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and is used as fertilizer to grow Bahiagrass to feed cattle 200 miles north.

Blue Cypress Lake

Cattle Produce Manure, a lot of Manure

About one quarter of the land area in Florida is agricultural. In addition to all the fertilizer used to grow grass for grazing and crops, there are 1.6 million head of cattle in the state, producing 67 pounds of manure each daily on average. We are drowning our water resources in sewage. To what end.

The end of tourism – a 67 Billion Dollar Industry?  Tourists really like clean water.

The end of land development – 6 million additional residents are projected by 2030! They are going to have to poop somewhere  and they like clean water, too.

The end of Agriculture – how much sewage can you sow before your nest is fouled? Plants and animals like clean water, too.

As for me, I like clean water and can only opine that something needs to change, soon and drastically. Our experience this year with our government and leaders thus far has been nothing short of tragic.

An email to my County Commissioner (from last week) – unanswered. Really kind of strange, if I had to name the most hated person in Martin County, he would be at the top of nearly everyone’s list I have encountered locally. I have never met the guy.

The State Department of Environmental Protection – answered but is not testing all algae sites reported. Our community has a toxic algae Facebook page. That the DEP admitted to reading. More than strange, they read our social media yet don’t follow upon algae sightings.

The State said the County Commissioners should issue health warnings about the algae, the County said the State Health Department should issue health warnings about the algae. Our Facebook community started a change.org petition to get our county to post signs about the algae.

The scuttlebutt from Martin County was the algae wasn’t toxic enough to issue warnings. It is toxic but not toxic enough.

I would never have imagined the entire chain of command for the State of Florida, charged with protecting our life safety cannot even be bothered to post warning signs near swimming areas.

When Florida sows sewage, algae blooms in our estuary.

Toxic Government?

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12 comments on “Toxic Algae at My House – Again

  1. cyndilenz says:

    greatblog- can you add a link to our #toxic18 page please.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    This is awful – Man is the only creature that knowingly pollutes our only home. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. George Rogers says:

    Maybe it has been done…and maybe it is impossible….but it would be illuminating to see a pie chart of nitrogen and phosphorus contributions from different sources to the blooms. I did not know class B sludge, or class A, was in such heavy use any longer. Would like to learn more on that. Would sure love to know breakdown on ag, vs. sewage and septic, vs. urban and suburban lawn and ornamental fertilization, vs. other. This really ought to cool the rah rah rah for the “environmental wonderfulness” of using reclaimed sewage water for turf irrigation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • George, I have seen several charts relating to this as I have been reading up on it. In one case the soil had 50 years worth of phosphorus already and they kept adding the biosolids. Given the nature of the soils here it is truly mind boggling to me the practice continues. I will email you charts as I run across them. I agree that would be interesting.

      Like

  4. Chloris says:

    Oh my goodness, this sounds scary. You should contact Scott Pruitt, I’ m sure he would be most concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tonytomeo says:

    Every so often, we get drifts of dead jellyfish washed ashore as a result of the red tide. For us, it is mostly natural, and has been happening long before the Spanish arrived. It is unpleasant nonetheless.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yikes. Not again! I have stopped eating beef because I can’t justify the cost to the environment. But with people like me eating so much fish, won’t all the fish be soon gone?

    Liked by 1 person

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