Florida is a special place – Disney world, alligators, South Beach, the pan handle, and gorgeous beaches. In the enviro realm, water nutrient issues in Florida are very hot (aka many Florida officials are saying the federal EPA better mind their own businass) right now. By “nutrient issues” I mean phosphorous and nitrogen (N&P) pollution (stay with me now) from farming and city runoff in many of Florida’s waterways; each state has its own targets and pollution limits according to the Clean Water Act (the grand daddy law from the 70s that protects our nation’s waterways and drinking water). Florida has exceeded its permissible N&P limits, so the federal EPA stepped in to slap them on the wrist, but Florida said you can’t do that because you don’t have jurisdiction in our state. Anyway, that’s in court now. Back to the point, I have good news about the Everglades!
The recent announcement has left EPA saying “this is a milestone for America’s Everglades.” An $880 million plan to improve water quality in the Everglades has been approved and it includes a 12-year clean up (yikes that’s three more election cycles). Pollution from farming practices and nearby urban centers has left the Everglades with poor water quality which is a major source of drinking water for South Floridians.
The Everglades are home to some of the most unique species in the U.S. The new cleanup plan is a response to a lawsuit from….1988! The plan includes new water treatment and stormwater infrastructure to address some of the polluted waterways in the Everglades. Glad to see that we can still preserve our country’s land. Many of our lands, waters, and species are interconnected and are affected by any change whether you can visually see it or not. Cheers.