Environment

Leaking septic tanks may be causing prolonged algae blooms like the one currently killing fish and wildlife near Lake Okeechobee.

When it comes to the health of the Everglades, scientists often look to the birds. The healthier the ecosystem, the bigger the populations of wading birds like wood storks, spoonbills, egrets and herons.

Scientists say this year is shaping up to be a very good season for wading bird nesting, on the heels of a 2017 nesting season where some bird populations grew by 50 percent or more.

Last week, Gov. Rick Scott ordered a state of emergency for seven counties around Lake Okeechobee as a result of toxic algae blooms. Now the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from the lake because the algae has spread to both Florida coasts, hurting home values, tourism and local businesses. 

Krista Kennedy via Flickr

This weekend saw protests around the state over water quality issues. With a thick mat of blue-green algae creeping along the Caloosahatchee River and a persistent red tide bloom of the coast, people are taking signs in hand to say enough is enough. Today on Gulf Coast Live we continue our special coverage of summer time water problems.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order Thursday responding to confusion over a new Florida law, and he's making it clear that it doesn't make public beaches private.

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