Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a weekly roundup of the most pressing conservation issues important to anglers. Working with our friends at Trout Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, The Everglades Foundation, Captains for Clean Water, Bullsugar.org, and Conservation Hawks (among others), we’ll make sure you’ve got the information you need to understand the issues and form solid opinions.
If you know of an important issue–whether it’s national or local–that anglers should be paying attention to, comment below, and we’ll check it out!
1. Algae Blooms Plague South Florida Coast
For more than two years we’ve been posting about the water problems of South Florida, where the natural flow of water–southward, through the Everglades–has been cut off. Discharges of sometimes toxic freshwater from lake Okeechobee instead are sent down the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers, fouling saltwater estuaries on both coasts.
In May 2017–after intense lobbying and public pressure–Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that set aside funds to build a holding reservoir south of Okeechobee, which would stop the discharges and help re-establish the “River of Grass.” But that project has been bogged down and is years away from breaking ground. In the meantime, a nasty bloom of algae has appeared on the big lake, as well as along the coast.
Mike Connor of Bullsugar.org has been holding public officials responsible for their lack of urgency in addressing the problem. Today, Governor Scott told the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to issue an emergency order urging the Army Corps of Engineers to “send it south.” What this means, exactly, is still up in the air, however.
2. Just 9 Days Left to Comment on Pebble Mine!
On April 1, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened a 90-day public-comment period to collect opinions and information about the proposed Pebble Mine. That comment period ends on June 29, so if you haven’t done so, make your voice heard. Use the form below to add your comments!