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Harmful Algal Blooms Close South Florida Beaches

Elise Dovletoglou. ORI’s summer intern, talks with Rob about the closing of beaches in Palm Beach County, Hope Sound, and in Stuart including Jensen Beach.  With summer rains the Army Corp was forced to release the black muck from behind dams threatening to overflow from Lake Okeechobee.  Dark green and soupy-thick nitrogen-rich sludge moved down the St. Lucie River into Indian River Lagoon.  Due to the earth’s spin, the Coriolis Effect, the dirty rancid water veered south to foul Stuart beaches and on to Hope Sound by Jupiter Island.  Just before the fourth of July weekend, a state of emergency was declared for St. Lucie County, Martin County and Palm Beach County closing beaches and prohibiting swimmers and waders from going into the water.

The Ocean River Institute has been actively collecting signatures and comments to stop the summer spread of lawn fertilizer in the Town of Jupiter and Palm Beach County.  The last hold outs on responsible lawn care in Indian River Lagoon.  Elise has organized the responses of 2,238 individuals from across the nation.  The 1,010 response from Florida residents were arranged by town.  Hundreds of written comments told of personal experiences of family vacations, childhood memories and plans for future visits.  A nation looks to the Treasure Coast for clean beaches, healthy waterways, dolphins and marine life.

Act to save South Florida’s waterways, beaches, and wildlife by signing our letter and please take a moment to comment.  We’ll be interested in what you say and will share with many others.