Environmentalists upset over lack of progress from Blue-Green Algae Task Force

Published: August 5, 2022 5:04 PM EDT
Updated: August 5, 2022 6:53 PM EDT

Environmentalists are upset over the lack of progress from the Blue-Green Algae Task Force.

In 2019 the task force developed 32 recommendations.

A report showed over the last three years ecological conditions have not improved. And in May cases, they have worsened.

Harmful algae blooms persist, water quality’s declined and a record number of manatees have died.

Eve Samples, Executive Director of Friends of the Everglades said, “You know, we hear from politicians in Tallahassee, who like to tout what they see as progress. But when we look at these scientific guidelines, these recommendations, and what is truly been done to comply with them, we’re falling woefully short in Florida.”

Samples is head of one of the dozen nonprofits that issued the report.

Dr. Mike Parsons, a professor of Marine Science at FGCU is a member of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force.

Parson said these are complicated issues that take time.

“It’s not necessarily what the dep is doing or not doing, it’s more what are they allowed to do. We could ask them, ‘can you do this? Or what would it take to do this?’, and sometimes it requires legislative action. Other times, it just requires more funding,” Parsons said.

And more pressure on state lawmakers and state agencies to implement the task force’s recommendations.

Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection said in response to the report that it’s dedicated and spent more than four million dollars toward water quality and restoration.