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 Mast’s bill to prohibit discharges when microcystin exceeds the EPA recreational limit of 8 parts per billion, and the broader Lake Okeechobee operational changes it would require. And we believe state government leaders need to get to work on setting water-quality limits for blue-green algae toxins across the state. Half measures are not working for Florida’s environment.

The time for bold action is now. If today’s leaders can summon the will to act boldly, Floridians can be safeguarded from toxic algae.

In the video below, you can listen to comments made today by our executive director, Eve Samples in support of the bill.