“Our tourism economy depends on clean water, and this group actually has the audacity to fight against that? It doesn’t make any sense,” said Earthjustice attorney Alisa Coe. “It is just common sense to set limits on the amount of sewage, manure and fertilizer that’s allowed in our water,” Coe said. “You would think that’s something everyone can agree on.”
The toxic algae outbreaks breaking out around Florida can cause rashes, breathing problems, stomach disorders, and worse. Health authorities have had to shut down drinkingwater plants, beaches and swimming areas. Toxic algae can kill fish, livestock and pets.
Pictures of this health threat are available at Photo Slideshow: Images of Florida Nutrient Pollution and Algae Outbreaks and Map: Florida Slime Crime Tracker.
This pollution hurts people who work in restaurants, hotels, beach concessions, the fishing industry, the boating industry, the dive industry, and the real estate sales and rental markets.
After years of seeing toxic algae on Florida tourist beaches like Sanibel Island and at fishing destinations like the St. Johns River, Earthjustice filed a Clean Water Act federal lawsuit in 2008 in the Northern District of Florida on behalf of the Florida Wildlife Federation, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, St. John’s Riverkeeper, and the Sierra Club. In 2009, the EPA set numeric limits for the phosphorus and nitrogen that comes from sewage, fertilizer and manure in the water.