Blue-green algae task force releases first set of recommendations to combat toxic algae

From the Caloosahatchee, to Lake Okeechobee and everywhere in between and beyond.

After a slight delay, the state’s blue-green algae task force has come up with its first set of recommendations to combat toxic algae.

“I think these are solid recommendations. We were communicating with the various state agencies through the whole process. They were basically informing and educating the task force on how they go about their business in terms of nutrients, in terms of septic tanks, so on and so forth,” said Dr. Mike Parsons, a professor at the Water School at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Those recommendations include better septic tank monitoring, taking a closer look at best management practices for agriculture and more transparency when warning the public about health risks related to the algae.

This comes on the same day Governor Ron DeSantis, who formed the blue-green algae task force, proposed new legislation demanding the state speed up water quality improvements.

But how do lawmakers make sure agencies like the Departments of Health and Environmental Protection get it done?

“We’re basically looking at, can they do a better job within the guidelines they have right now, or do we need to change those guidelines,” said Parsons.

Then comes the waiting game to see if these ideas make our water cleaner and safer.

Parsons said the blue-green algae task force will continue to meet even though it’s made its’ first list of recommendations. But they’ve yet to schedule any of those meetings.

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
Writer:Briana Harvath
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