Help protect people and wildlife from toxic algae blooms

Endangered Florida Panther Kitten, image courtesy of the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute via Flickr.com

Toxic algae is getting worse in Florida’s waterways, putting people, pets, and wildlife at risk. Now there’s a chance to protect public health and the environment from these dangerous outbreaks. Join with fellow Floridians in demanding that Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) protect environmental and human health by including limits on blue green algae in state water quality standards.   

The FDEP is considering changes to water quality standards as part of a review required by law to take place every three years. Despite recent outbreaks of toxic algae and US Environmental Protection Agency’s new recommended exposure levels, the state has no standards for how much blue green algae a river or lake can accumulate before a public health warning is issued. That puts people and pets at risk of dangerous exposure, as these outbreaks release cyanotoxins that are linked to liver disease and neurological disorders in humans, and can cause almost immediate death in dogs that accidentally ingest algae.Take action to demand that FDEP protect human health by including limits on blue green algae in our water quality standards. 

A coalition of groups recently petitioned FDEP to set standards for blue green algae as part of its triennial review process. This follows hundreds of instances of toxic blue green algae in the state’s rivers, lakes, and springs--including the tragedy of 2018 in which algae smothered Lake Okeechobee and downstream areas on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. 

The people of Florida and the whole Gulf coast will never forget what happened when blue green algae turned Florida’s waterways into toxic and rotting mats of slime, smothering submerged grasses and aquatic life and putting human health at risk. Take action now to tell FDEP to protect Floridians from the toxic effects of blue green algae.

Christian Wagley

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