“The Suwannee River Basin has been lucky in avoiding red tide
so far, but we don’t want it anywhere,” said John S.
Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper. “Beyond this emergency,
let’s stop the excess fertilizers and phosphate mine waste that are
causing this problem.”
Several other Florida Waterkeepers signed the letter, as did
Waterkeepers Florida, representing all the Waterkeepers of Florida.
Red tide warning, beach closure sign in St. Petersburg, Fla.: Jaclyn Lopez, Center for Biological Diversity.
“Tampa Bay hasn’t been this sick since the 1970s when Clean
Water Act regulations brought about the bay’s recovery,” said
Justin Bloom, Suncoast Waterkeeper board member. “It is with a
groundswell of public support that we call on our governor for
leadership to protect and restore our bays and waterways.”
“Our right to clean water has been jeopardized and now is the
time for action to protect Tampa Bay,” said Megan Eakins,
Tampa Bay Waterkeeper board chair. “Our area needs the full
support of our governor to take the actions necessary to mitigate
this disaster and ensure this does not happen again.”
“Failure to remove dead and decaying marine life will
exacerbate the intensity and duration of the red tide event,”
said Andre Mele, executive director of Peace+Myakka Waterkeeper.
“Dead marine life releases nutrients into the water column,
which feeds the red tide organism and adds to the bloom, in a
classic positive feedback loop.”
Plus the international Waterkeeper Alliance.
“Nearly 50 years ago, amid the era of burning rivers and
rampant environmental degradation, the Clean Water Act was enacted,
and yet almost five decades later, too many decision-makers continue
to ignore the lessons history has taught us,” said Patience
Burke, Waterkeeper Alliance organizer for the Gulf and South
Atlantic regions. “We are bearing witness to an ecological
catastrophe and will face judgment over the next 50 years about how
we do, or do, not respond.”
Gov. DeSantis Urged to Declare State of Emergency Due to Red Tide
Hundreds of Tons of Dead Marine Animals Have Been Collected From
Tampa Bay, Including Six Manatees
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— More than two dozen local businesses and
conservation groups today
asked Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency due to the ongoing red tide and fish kills in and around Tampa Bay. The St. Petersburg city council and mayor also have requested that the governor declare a state of emergency to help coordinate and fund desperately needed cleanup efforts and mitigate the worsening red tide.
The red tide appeared in Tampa Bay shortly after Florida regulators,
in March, authorized the discharge of up to 480 million gallons of
wastewater from the Piney Point phosphogypsum stack into Tampa Bay.
The Piney Point gypstack is a mountain of toxic waste topped by an
impoundment of hundreds of millions of gallons of process
wastewater, stormwater and tons of dredged spoil from Port Manatee.
So-called “nutrient pollution” like ammonia, nitrogen
and phosphorous from that discharge can significantly worsen red
The hundreds of tons of dead marine life discovered in recent weeks
has included manatees and goliath groupers, which can weigh hundreds
of pounds, as well as puffer fish, eel, horseshoe crabs, sheepshead,
mullet, snook, red drum, tarpon, sharks, grouper, catfish and
numerous other species of fish.
“Red tide’s carnage is horrific and infuriating,” said Continue reading →