Posted by: Vicki Burns | May 1, 2014

Toxic Algae in Florida – Reinforces Need For Changes in North America

I’ve written about the challenges of blue-green algae in Florida in previous posts because having a personal connection with this area causes me to pay close attention to any news from there. My parents had the privilege of enjoying winters in Florida for 25 years after they retired and other family members continue that tradition now.
This post from Earthjustice came to my attention recently and although it is not heralding good news, I was pleased to see the straightforward information about what is causing the increase in blue-green algae blooms and in particular this message “This pollution is preventable. Now that we know how the nitrogen and phosphorus in sewage, manure and fertilizer tip Florida’s delicate ecological balance, we have a responsibility to do something about it.”

St. Lucie River Florida, photo courtesy of Dick Miller Earthjustice

St. Lucie River Florida, photo courtesy of Dick Miller Earthjustice

That message is relevant across North America, and nowhere is it more applicable than here in Manitoba, home to Lake Winnipeg – the 10th largest lake in the world and one of the most threatened lakes. I know that many thousands of people are concerned about the state of our lake but they don’t know what can be done to turn things around. My goal is to offer the information I’ve learned in hopes of letting people know that the solutions exist. We just need to get going on putting them into place and the very first should be upgrading our sewage treatment in both cities and rural areas. Addressing point sources of phosphorus( sewage treatment) should be a “no brainer” but often is not because of the cost.
Florida has been a welcome reprieve from our icy winters for over a century now. I hope we can count on that continuing without worry about toxic algae blooms threatening the landscape.

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