Environmental groups sue over algae blooms | StAugustine.com

Posted by Trish Riley, July 25, 2012

TALLAHASSEE AP — Three environmental groups sued the Army Corps of Engineers, the state and a water management district Monday over smelly, slimy green algae blooms that have been polluting the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida.The lawsuit in U.S. District Court here alleges the corps is violating state and South Florida Water Management District regulations by diverting water that should be going into the river to 500,000 acres of sugar cane fields instead.

via Environmental groups sue over algae blooms | StAugustine.com.

It seems backwards and inappropriate to me that every environmental solution begins with citizen uprisings followed by lawsuits that drag on for years before reaching resolution. I really wish we would begin to see a stronger sense of corporate responsibility and governmental protection of the rights of people to a safe, clean environment. For an idea of how long this situation has been brewing [–T.Riley]: On October 20, The News-Pressheld a forum about the crisis plaguing the Caloosahatchee River. More than 130 government officials, scientists and citizens came to listen to five panelists who also answered audience questions.

The forum grew from the newspaper’s September River at Risk series, which examined the health of the 75-mile-long Caloosahatchee that flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico.
The river is critical to the region it traverses — Lee County’s $2.6 billion tourism industry depends on it — but its health is challenged by wastewater runoff, toxic algae blooms, leaky septic systems and too much or too little water from Lake Okeechobee.
…“We do know that it’s destroying your estuary,” Kim Taplin of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. “It pains us to make those discharges.”

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