Fecal bacteria may be in the water where you're swimming. A proposed act aims to require posting advisories.
The Florida Department of Health posts advisories at some coastal beaches and “public swimming areas” when fecal bacteria is detected in the water. But, there is no requirement to warn people about waters that have not been designated as public swimming areas.
The "Safe Waterways Act" SB 604 and companion bill "Public Bathing Places" HB 393, proposed by Calusa Waterkeeper, is designed to address this public health risk. Both proposals have yet to be heard in committee.
The Calusa Waterkeeper says that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has verified fecal bacteria impairments in nearly 1 million acres of coastal estuaries and 9,000 miles of rivers and streams.
"The state's inadequate notification system and ineffective restoration plans are putting an increasing number of Florida residents and visitors at risk to dangerous pathogens found in fecal contamination."
Learn about how the proposed legislation would require health advisories be issued anywhere humans might interact with a waterbody that has been found to contain fecal bacteria.
- John Cassani, Calusa Waterkeeper
- Howard Simon, Calusa Waterkeeper board member