Have you been exposed to toxic blue-green algae?

University of Miami is looking for participants for a study measuring the longterm health impacts of Microcystin exposure. The study requires multiple participants in three categories: Residents living near areas that have been or could be impacted by harmful algal blooms Workers who are employed in areas that have been or could be impacted by harmful algal blooms Out-of-state short term visitors to those areas If you are willing to participate, please use the contact information listed below to get in touch with the study coordinators by April 15, 2021. Study Coordinators: Addison Testoff & Mohamed Diop, Marcela Jaramillo, MS, PhD Email: act110@miami.edu, mxd976@miami.edu, mxj323@miami.edu Phone: 305-308-2477 and 305-243-7565 Study Leader: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez DO, PhD, MPH, CPH

2021-03-29T15:50:19-04:00March 29th, 2021|All Posts, Human Health and Safety, Toxic Algae|

Protecting the Environment Protects Human Health

“One thing I know in my bones as a scientist is that protecting the environment protects human health. There’s no question that there’s a link between environmental health and human health.” - Dr. Paul Alan Cox Today's Clean Water Conversation made a powerful argument for safeguarding the health of Floridians by taking care of our natural environment. We owe a big thanks to Toxic Puzzle's lead researcher, Dr. Paul Alan Cox, and president of Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, Rob Lord, for reminding listeners that this issue transcends political party lines and for speaking to the urgency of leaders in public health and government working together to address this situation now--not down the road. As Rob Lord put it, "In our local political [...]

2021-01-21T15:46:10-05:00January 21st, 2021|Clean Water Conversations, Toxic Algae|

Join our next Clean Water Conversation: Revisiting the Toxic Puzzle

2018 is a year that most Floridians will never forget. That year, widely recalled as "Toxic18," put toxic algae and its link to serious public health concerns on the map in South Florida. That year, we saw devastating consequences after another summer of toxic Lake Okeechobee discharges. People got sick, dogs died, businesses suffered, and the most destructive red ride in years persisted with help from the constant source of nutrients. Samples collected during significant cyanobacterial blooms of 2016 and 2018 and tested by Dr. Paul Alan Cox's team from the Brain Chemistry Labs in Jackson, WY found concentrations of microcystin 10,000 times greater than that allowed by the state of Ohio for recreational waters. In the years since then, [...]

We can end toxic discharges

Lake Okeechobee discharges continue, but there’s an end in sight. An announcement made today by the Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that they would lessen the polluted lake releases to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. The following is the release transition plan for the Caloosahatchee River Estuary:     The first week target measured at the S-77 flood gates will be in addition to any local basin runoff. The following weeks will be measured at the S-79 and the targets will include Lake Okeechobee and local basin runoff. The following is the release plan for the St. Lucie River Estuary: While no lake water is released during the pauses for each “pulse,” local basin runoff may require flows through [...]

2020-12-11T14:52:40-05:00December 11th, 2020|All Posts, Toxic Algae|

Toxic Discharge Update: More Haven and Ortona Locks 10-16-20

Scenes from the More Haven and Ortona Locks on the Caloosahatchee River captured Friday afternoon, October 16. Releases from Lake Okeechobee began Wednesday, October 14 at a rate of 4,000 cfs out of S-77 west to the Caloosahatchee estuary. The Army Corps reports that releases west are being implemented in a steady release at S-77 with the local basin providing a natural watershed pulse at S-79 in addition to the lake releases. https://youtu.be/MfzqGXDVsuE https://youtu.be/5xCjH2pFNgk https://youtu.be/Xo-Eo7S6Zyc  

Toxic Discharge Update: St. Lucie Locks 10-16-20

Scenes from the St. Lucie Lock and Dam captured Friday morning, October 16. Releases from Lake Okeechobee began Wednesday, October 14 at a rate of 1,800 cfs out of S-80 east to the St. Lucie estuary. The Army Corps reports that releases east are being pulsed at S-80 in an effort to have the lowest flow days at the peak of the King Tides this week.

2020-10-16T16:53:17-04:00October 16th, 2020|All Posts, Lake Okeechobee, St. Lucie Estuary, Toxic Algae|

Army Corps: Hold off on Lake O discharges

Today, Friends of the Everglades asked the Army Corps of Engineers to hold off on Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries for one more week. We believe the cost-benefit analysis remains in favor of waiting, for the following five reasons: The 7-day forecast looks relatively dry, which means Lake Okeechobee’s water levels are likely to stop rising so quickly. King Tides are projected on the east coast this week, posing flooding risk that could be amplified by Lake O discharges. There are no imminent tropical-cyclone threats in the Atlantic that could bring rain to Lake Okeechobee. Florida Department of Environmental Protection is still waiting on toxicity results for water samples taken at S-308 and S-77, the [...]

Lake Okeechobee Discharge Watch

South Florida residents are on edge as heavy rains have pushed the water level in Lake Okeechobee toward the tipping point where damaging releases to the coasts are deemed necessary to protect the Herbert Hoover Dike.  Today at 15.86 feet, the possibility of toxic discharges is more likely than it's been the last two years. Thanks to a change in operations that has lowered Lake Okeechobee levels before the rainy season, the Army Corps of Engineers has been better equipped to deal with extra rainfall like the deluge of storms that have lingered over South Florida for the past several weeks. We are hopeful that the Army Corps’ efforts to avoid discharges to the northern estuaries by finding additional southern [...]

2020-10-06T17:13:01-04:00October 6th, 2020|All Posts, Lake Okeechobee, Toxic Algae|

Friends of the Everglades Supports Legislation Prohibiting Toxic Discharges

Today, Friends of the Everglades stood with Congressman Brian Mast in front of the St. Lucie River in support of his newly-introduced legislation. The bill aims to prohibit toxic discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie Estuary and the Indian River Lagoon when microcystin exceeds the EPA recreational limit of 8 parts per billion. An advanced copy of the bill can be viewed here. With each passing year, we have accumulated more scientific evidence confirming the serious health threats posed by toxic algae blooms. Yet it’s still legally permissible to flood our communities with this toxic water. That's inexcusable. Congressman Mast’s legislation aims to stop that. These are not partisan issues. They are commonsense public-health protections. We support Congressman [...]

ACTION ALERT: Send a letter to the Army Corps to support protecting communities from toxic algae

We need your help. The Army Corps of Engineers has formally recognized the serious public health threat posed by harmful algal blooms. As such, it is imperative that they move forward with a proposed deviation from the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS 2008) that would allow for common-sense adjustments to the current lake management plan to avoid sending toxic algae to communities. The Corps is gathering comments from the public to help them finalize the proposed changes to current lake management. Your input can help shape the way the federal government manages South Florida’s waterways. If you’ve seen the impacts of toxic blooms, discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee, or the collapse of Florida Bay and the health of [...]

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