We Support a Red Tide Plan for Pinellas County

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The residents and small business owners of Pinellas County would like our County Commissioners to draft and fund a plan to better address challenges like Red Tide / Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) now and in the future that follows the guidelines of the Red Tide Plan proposed by the Amy Kedron Campaign for the Pinellas County Commission. 

Red Tide is a naturally occurring phenomenon but evidence shows human activity such as runoff from lawn fertilizers, cow pastures, agriculture, sewer systems and septic systems is feeding these Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) making them more wide-spread and long-lasting.  The toxin that has killed several hundred tons of marine life in Pinellas County is also affecting local air quality and can impact public health.

Since Red Tide arrived on our shores, the Amy Kedron Campaign has spent time interviewing clean up crews, small business owners and residents about their experience.  She has also sponsored a special Town Hall about Red Tide to help the community to share their concerns and come up with solutions to this economic and environmental challenge.  She has also spent time talking with Waterkeepers, environmental attorneys, meteorologists and other officials to help address this challenge.

As a result, Amy has established a list of policy recommendations that she plans to implement as a Pinellas County Commissioner.  The plan will help reduce the harmful impact of Red Tide in the coming weeks and years.   This plan is a work in progress and we would like to hear your feedback at amy@amykedron.com.

 

Amy's Red Tide Plan:

 

Monitoring

  • Find and employ more quantitative and efficient ways to monitor air and water quality to keep the public more regularly informed.
  • Educate the public about ways to document the impact of HABs on their health.
  • Educate local businesses about ways to document the physical and economic impact of HABs on businesses and workers.

Public Health

  • Ensure there is adequate signage on beaches regarding water and air quality.
  • Educate the public about ways to avoid HABs and their effects.
  • Establish a reliable way to monitor air quality and alert the community as we do with water quality.

Water Quality

  • Immediately extend and enforce the ban on fertilizers during HABs.
  • Incentivize Florida Friendly landscaping practices to use less water and chemicals.
  • Minimize sewage overflows by diverting rainwater into the ground through more emphasis on downspout disconnects, rain barrels, swales, rain gardens and permeable pavement.

Local Business

  • Immediately work with state leaders to advocate for small business disaster loans below the 18 percent rate.
  • Educate small businesses about disaster support services and work with area agencies to assist businesses with applications.
  • Work with state leaders to extend the deadline for disaster loans if needed.
  • Allocate more of the County budget toward strengthening impacted small businesses with grants and business development assistance.

Justice

  • If legal claims are pursued against major polluters, work to ensure the claims of homeowners, small business owners and others are adequately processed and awarded.

 


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