“Piney Point is a pre-existing condition,” Craig Pittman joked with us during today’s Clean Water Conversation.

The statement exemplified Pittman’s easy humor in the face of Florida’s complicated and often disturbing lack of environmental concern. But it also carried weight coming from the guy who first wrote about the impending disaster that’s playing out now at the phosphate plant in Manatee County in 2003. It’s a poignant example of Florida’s regrettable tendency towards preventable environmental disasters.

During today’s Clean Water Conversation, we enjoyed a few laughs but then got down to business discussing the state’s many pressing environmental issues. We covered the latest at Piney Point, the possible toxic algae summer ahead, the repealed M-CORES toll roads, the threat of Aquifer Storage and Recovery wells north of Lake Okeechobee, the disappointing result of yesterday’s “Right to Farm” bill passage, and threats that persist against two of Florida’s most loved megafauna — manatees and panthers.

If you missed the conversation today, you can find the full recording available below. Please pass it on to your friends and neighbors to help us keep these important topic in the spotlight.

More on Craig Pittman
(From his bio on the Florida Phoenix)

Craig Pittman is a native Floridian. In 30 years at the Tampa Bay Times, he won numerous state and national awards for his environmental reporting. He is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller Oh, Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, which won a gold medal from the Florida Book Awards. His latest, published in 2020, is Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther. The Florida Heritage Book Festival recently named him a Florida Literary Legend. Craig is co-host of the “Welcome to Florida” podcast. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and children.