Environmental Roundup June 18, 2021

 Environmental Roundup June 18, 2021

FLORIDA:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed new plans for Lake Okeechobee, all six of which would raise the lake by at least a 1.5 feet for parts of the year. WLRN’s Jenny Staletovich reports, that’s raising concerns with conservationists and wildlife managers. Conservationists and wildlife managers say prolonged high water is bad for lake health. The Army Corps wants to select a preferred alternative by August 4. See below for dates and times of upcoming, public USACOE meetings.

The Florida Department of Health in Lee County continues to urge people and their pets to stay out of the Caloosahatchee river near the Franklin Lock and Dam due to the continued presence of harmful blue-green algae, despite the repeated application of a product intended to kill cyanobacteria, promoted earlier this month by Governor Ron DeSantis. The News Press reports the hydrogen-peroxide product Lake Guard Oxy was funded through a $750,000 pilot partnership between the state Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District. The product is labeled a pesticide, and water quality advocates note that in addition to harming birds and beneficial insects, the product does not address the root cause of the blooms: nutrients in the water.

Harmful red tide continues to impact Southwest Florida, from Tampa Bay South along the Gulf coast. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports red tide has been…

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