Florida: FWC to suspend aquatic spraying

CLEWISTON — In response to public complaints and concerns about chemical spraying to control aquatic plants, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission will temporarily suspend the aquatic herbicide spraying program.

On Jan. 23, Ramon Iglesias, who has been active in the movement to halt aquatic spraying, shared a letter online that he received from Kipp Frohlich, Division of Habitat and Species Conservation, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

“I wanted to … [more…]

Florida lawmakers begin cracking down on polluters

photo: City of Sarasota employees work to contain a sewage spill. (Florida)

Photo: City of Sarasota employees work to contain a sewage spill. Herald-Tribune archive (2011) Mike Lang

But big questions remain about how far they’ll go

TALLAHASSEE — The crowd packed into a committee room in the basement of the Florida House office building burst into applause last week after Rep. Randy Fine finished delivering an impassioned speech about preventing sewage from spilling into waterways.

“If the sergeant would get the … [more…]

Petition against spraying herbicide to be heard by FWC

photo: spraying herbicide into open waters

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/Courtesy of James Abernethy. FWC employs private contractors at a cost of millions of dollars a year in Florida to spray waterbodies in an effort to control invasive hydrilla.

Advocates of clean water in Florida are jumping on a bandwagon that started rolling late last summer when marine life expert Jim Abernethy of West Palm Beach started a Change.org petition calling for the Florida Fish … [more…]

SFWMD: Water district board OKs leasing reservoir’s land to sugar grower

map - EAA reservoir: Water district board OKs leasing project's land to sugar grower

Environmentalists and state officials agree there’s “no silver bullet,” no single project that will seriously curtail discharges of excess Lake Okeechobee water east to the St. Lucie River and west to the Caloosahatchee River. A suite of projects north, south, east and west of the lake are either under construction or in the planning stage to help solve the problem. Screenshot of SFWMD’s Lake Okeechobee reservoir project tracker (Photo: CONTRIBUTED [more…]

Trump signs water projects bill with aims in Flint, Florida

photo in Oval Office: President Donald Trump signs the "America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018"

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed a wide-ranging bill to improve the nation’s water infrastructure, including a Florida project intended to reduce toxic algae blooms that have devastated coastal marine life and emptied beaches.

The new law will help create a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee designed to filter out toxins that contribute to harmful algae blooms that have killed turtles, fish and other marine life — even … [more…]