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Indian River Lagoon

Florida’s building boom threatens wildlife-rich lagoon

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The most biologically diverse waterway in America is seriously ill. The Indian River Lagoon is repeatedly being choked with oxygen-robbing algae, its surface increasingly dotted with thousands of dead fish, manatees, birds and other creatures. The culprits: farm runoff and a huge influx of people that has sent lawn fertilizer and other pollutants into the lagoon, which runs 156 miles along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, almost to Palm Beach, and includes the Cape Canaveral area. “It’s the death by a thousand…

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Hoping to curb pollution, Randy Fine bill would require inspection of septic tanks

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A new bill filed today by Rep. Randy Fine, who represents House District 53, would aim to solve the Indian River Lagoon’s septic tank crisis and help all of Florida’s water quality by requiring the inspection of septic tanks as part of home and other real estate sales. The Indian River Lagoon was revealed last year to have been polluted by human waste leaking from faulty septic tanks. The number of septic tanks in the area is unknown, but estimated to…

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Agriculture, sugar doesn’t deserve all the blame for algae bloom, Farm Bureau Federation says

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Agriculture group Florida Farm Bureau Federation said Wednesday that sugar isn’t as culpable for the harmful Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River algal blooms as some groups contend. “Special interest groups have targeted agriculture as the sole cause of these blooms to promote buying more land for a ‘flow way’ south of Lake Okeechobee, even though a vast amount of research indicates that doing so will harm the remnant Everglades,” the group said in a news release. Though lake…

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Rick Scott urges congressional delegation to take ‘immediate action’ to address algae problem

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It’s time to take action. That was the message Gov. Rick Scott sent to Florida’s congressional delegation in a letter Tuesday. The letter outlines what Florida has done to address the algae-bloom in South Florida, and calls on the delegation to take immediate action to make sure Florida received a federal emergency declaration. “Florida is without a doubt the most beautiful state in the country with some of the world’s most incredible natural treasures. We need your help in protecting…

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Rick Scott to include money in 2017-18 budget proposal to help clean up Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahatchee River

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A voluntary program to encourage residents to switch from septic tanks could be getting a funding boost. Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday he plans to include additional funding in his 2017-18 budget to help clean up the Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahatchee River. The proposal, the Governor’s Office said, would include new funding for a 50-50 matching grant program with local communities near the areas affected by the algae blooms. “It is up to all of us – the state,…

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‘Guacamole-thick’ algae causes crisis on Florida coastline

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A smelly, “guacamole-thick” muck is fouling a stretch of beaches promoted as Florida’s “Treasure Coast,” where lawmakers and residents blame the federal government, saying the algae crisis is fueled by freshwater flows controlled by Army officials to protect an erosion-prone dike. The blue-green algae is the latest contaminant featured in yearslong arguments over water flowing from Lake Okeechobee, which is critical to South Florida’s water supply and flood control systems. At Central Marine boat docks in Stuart, pea-green and brown…

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Jac VerSteeg: Rick Scott puts Band-Aid on environmental wounds

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A politician is a guy who shoots you in the gut and then campaigns by bragging about the Band-Aid he put on the wound. The latest example: Just days after The Palm Beach Post’s John Kennedy documented how Gov. Rick Scott‘s environmental policies had led to an explosion of huge developments in Palm Beach County and across the state, Scott showed up in the county to tout his environmental achievements. Scott came to Florida Atlantic University’s Pine Jog Environmental Education…

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