Water contamination review deadline Friday

There are no state laws governing safe levels of exposure to harmful algae blooms, and a critical deadline for residents to speak up about that expires tonight.

It started with a petition filed by the Calusa Waterkeeper, Center of Biological Diversity, and Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, calling on the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to adopt standards for blue-green algae and red tide.

Those activists say the state’s current approach is too hands off.

“I think the message is we need these standards adopted to bring consistency to public health risks, notification and to help us restore impaired water bodies…It’s a critical issue and I don’t think we can wait another three to four years on it,” said John Cassani, of the Calusa Waterkeepers.

In that petition, the water activists outlined some of the health effects. Listed includes liver and kidney disease, and has been known to sicken dogs.

The sight of blue-green algae in canals probably brings back vivid memories for residents of Southwest Florida, and businesses owners know the effect it can have on them as well.

That’s why events like the sand sculpting contest, which kicks off Friday, is even more important for drawing crowds.

Despite the maps showing high levels of red tide, many are still expected to come down to the beach and watch the artists in action.

“You’re dealt usually amazing weather and we’re going to have that here and we encourage everybody to come down… We’re far enough away from the water The winds are blowing the perfect direction the Suns going to be shining we’ve got blue skies,” said Vice President of marketing and advertising, Kevin Rooney.

Many of you are passionate about our water, since it is right in our back yard.

So if you want to voice your opinion with the Department of Environmental Protections, today is your last chance.

Send an email with your concerns to Kaitlyn Sutton at  [email protected] or send a hand written letter to 2600 Blair Stone Road, Mail Station 6511, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400.

You can find more information about the Triennial Review of Florida’a Water Quality Standards here.

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