Legislative motion wanted to blunt purple tide

A red tide sign alerts beachgoers at Lynn Hall Park on Fort Myers Beach on March 6. Red tide continues to batter Southwest Florida. Fort Myers Beach recently hauled off 13 tons of dead fish fish that littered the shoreline.

Fish killed by the latest bout of red tide lie along Bluebill Beach in Naples on March 6.
Julie Wraithmell

Whereas coastal wildlife and residents gasp below the burden of Southwest Florida’s purple tide, improvement pursuits are quietly blocking makes an attempt in Tallahassee to handle the nutrient sources fueling these tragedies. One such motion: the Florida Engineering Society is vocally opposing the passage of a modest reform of Florida’s stormwater guidelines, introduced ahead by the Division of Environmental Safety (DEP). 

Karenia brevis, the purple tide organism, loves heat water temperatures and water wealthy in nitrogen and phosphorus, vitamins that wash into the nearshore from sources together with stormwater runoff, fertilizer, agricultural runoff, wastewater, septic tanks, and extra. One vital supply — stormwater — is ruled by state guidelines in an try to carry and clear water from developed areas earlier than it reaches the coasts. Sadly, these guidelines have been written earlier than we knew as a lot in regards to the perform of those programs — and now that the science is healthier understood, they desperately should be up to date. For the final 12 months, DEP has been working with stakeholders starting from native governments to homebuilders to environmental teams like Audubon to barter enhancements to those guidelines. What has emerged are modest however essential updates to the rule that can assist be certain that the greater than 14,000 new improvement permits anticipated within the subsequent 5 years won’t contribute as many vitamins to Florida’s waters as they might have beforehand. Now the rule have to be ratified by the Florida Legislature. 

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