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Erin Brockovich In Fort Myers To Talk About Water Crisis

Over a hundred people toted lawn chairs and water bottles to the Burroughs Home and Gardens for a river-side chat about water quality.

Fort Myers Beach resident Jennifer Rusk was there holding a sign with photos three dead turtles she had photographed while walking along the beach.

“I’m here because I would like to hear some professionals," Rusk said. "And I’d like to get a better understanding and find a solution to make our water better for our wildlife and for our humans.”

Three members of the community were joined by environmentalist and consumer advocate Erin Brockovich, who is known for her involvement in one of the largest direct-action lawsuits in U.S. history, for the panel discussion.  

Brockovich spoke to a crowd that filled the pavilion and spilled onto the lawn.

"Today this is about you. This is about how we can get more information to you because when you know, you will do more and you’ll get very involved," Brockovich said. 

Southwest Florida has been dealing with the effects of a year-long algae bloom that has devastated marine life and the bottom lines for many businesses.

“ I could stand here – we all could stand here and blame everybody for everything, but where is that going to get us? What we need to start doing is getting solution driven,” Brockovich said.

Brockovich told the crowd to start recording and reporting short and long term health affects of red tide exposure to the department of health. She also encouraged people to get involved with grass roots activism at the local level. She recommended that they attend council meetings and be relentless in expressing their concerns about water quality to local members of government. 

Andrea Perdomo is a reporter for WGCU News. She started her career in public radio as an intern for the Miami-based NPR station, WLRN. Andrea graduated from Florida International University, where she was a contributing writer for the student-run newspaper, The Panther Press, and was also a member of the university's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.