White Paper: Valuing Florida’s Clean Waters
In the first comprehensive review of its kind, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), based at Tufts University, has released a white paper entitled Valuing Florida’s Clean Waters. The paper finds that algae and red tide outbreaks caused by water pollution cost Floridians between $1.3 billion and $10.5 billion each year.
The Water Didn’t Always Look Like This
Throughout history, Florida has been known for its clear, sandy-bottomed rivers, streams, lakes, springs, bays and beaches—places of beauty and revitalization that draw visitors from around the globe.
Today, many of the postcard-perfect blue waters that make Florida a tourist mecca are coming up green and choked with nasty, toxic algae. It has happened in front of pricey waterfront mansions. It has happened in rural streams, where neighbors fish for food. And it has happened along famous beaches, where horrified tourists and residents watch as the waves toss up hundreds of dead fish.
The culprit behind this environmental and economic crisis? Pollution caused by inadequately treated sewage, manure and fertilizer. This pollution is preventable. Now that we know more about how the nitrogen and phosphorus in sewage, manure and fertilizer tip Florida’s delicate ecological balance, we have a responsibility to do something about it. We know that excess nitrogen and phosphorus spur these toxic algae outbreaks. And we know the way to make Florida’s waters clean again is to limit this pollution at its source.
The fact is, industrial polluters have been using public waters as their cheap, private sewers for years. Now, they are bringing considerable political and monetary forces to fight against clean water standards that the public overwhelmingly supports. It is time for Florida to establish limits on the water pollution that threatens families’ health and drinking water.
This pollution is poisoning the rivers, lakes and streams that supply the water to kitchen taps. Floridians deserve clean drinking water, not water polluted with sewage, fertilizer and manure runoff.
Protecting Your Family from Toxic Algae
Protecting Our Economy From Algae Outbreaks
The Source of Toxic Algae Outbreaks
Setting Clear Pollution Limits
Preventing Toxic Algae Outbreaks
Updated Sewage Treatment Plants
Better Manure Management