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Gulf Coast Life

Florida's Blue-Green Algae Task Force One Step Closer to Finalizing Recommendations

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Tom James - www.pelicanmedia.tv
Blue-green algae in the Caloosahatchee River at the beginning of Summer, 2018

Florida’s Blue-green Algae Task Force met for the sixth time on Monday. Its five members are charged with finding ways to reduce nutrient pollution that fuels toxic cyanobacteria blooms, and determine how best to allocate resources to speed up nutrient reductions in Lake Okeechobee and the downstream estuaries. Nutrients polluting Florida’s water bodies are widely recognized as the main driver of harmful algal blooms. The task force has identified the primary sources as agricultural operations, wastewater treatment plants, onsite sewage disposal systems, and urban stormwater runoff.

At Monday’s meeting, task force members got one step closer to finalizing their recommendations, which will be presented to the governor and lawmakers before the 2020 Legislative Session. You can read the most recent Blue-green Algae Task Force Draft Consensus Document #1 HERE. It contains the most recent recommendations coming out of the task force meetings.

 

We get the latest from task force member Dr. Mike Parsons. He is Professor of Marine Science at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Director of FGCU’s Coastal Watershed Institute and Vester Field Station.

 

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University. 
Julie Glenn is the News Director and the host of Gulf Coast Live. She joined the WGCU team in November of 2016 to expand the Gulf Coast Live call-in radio show from once a week to five days a week.  Since then, the show has been recognized in state and regional competitions and has featured artists, political leaders, historians, environmental experts, doctors, local reporters, and national and international scholars. After leading the station's award-winning coverage of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, Julie was named Interim News Director. In January of 2018, she launched WGCU's first podcast: Grape Minds.