Declare a Federal State of Emergency, and Fund The Decontamination of Lake Okeechobee NOW.
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Florida's Lake Okeechobee, which provides drinking water and recreational opportunities to Florida residents, is contaminated. The US Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for Flood Management of the Lake, and is under federal orders to release waters to surrounding lands to prevent flooding. These waters must be released, whether they are contaminated or not under current federal law.
Sign the petition below to stop the discharge of contaminated water from Lake O!
Currently, contaminated water is being released, and is forming blue green algae in the canals and waterways. The algae is toxic, and depletes oxygen from the water. It also is dangerous to humans. The algae ridden waters reach the ocean, and the blue green algae dies when exposed to the salt water. BUT sadly, that is not where it ends. The dead blue green algae along with nutrient laden waters meet the awaiting red tide. The two combine, and form a super plume of live and dead algae, a toxic mass that further deplete oxygen from the water. This results in devastating fish kills, avian deaths, and deaths of sea life - anything that lives in the ocean is at risk.
Sign the petition below to declare a State of Emergency in Florida!
People argue that Red Tide is a natural occurrence, which it is. But it is NOT natural for it to be fed by the influx of contaminated Lake O waters. It is not natural if the bloom was initiated by mankind. It is resulting in fish kill up and down the East and West Coast of Florida, the likes of which have never been seen before.
In addition to the devastating effects on the wildlife and ocean, people who live on, work on, or vacation to the areas of coastal Florida are being impacted. Businesses, once bustling, are empty of patrons. Tourists are canceling their vacations. Hotels are empty. The possible long term health effects are not even yet known, with all who work in, or visit the area, reporting breathing difficulties, and dangerous infections resulting from exposure to the water. This has to STOP not only for human and environmental well-being, but also for the State of Florida's economical well-being.
We plead with you, Senators, Representatives, Members of The Corps, and President Trump - listen to our voice, and purify the waters of our reservoirs, specifically Lake Okeechobee, BEFORE they are released to our communities and to the ocean. We need Congress or the President to declare a State of Emergency in Florida, which will allow the USACE and FDEP to step in and take measures to escalate water purification efforts. Furthermore, we ask that you appropriate funding - up to no less than 100 million dollars, for the immediate clean-up efforts of Lake O, and allow outside vendors to bid on, and propose clean-up options. We further propose that a non-partisan group of scientists be charged with overseeing the long-term purification efforts and testing of contaminants, to work in conjunction with USACE and FDEP in an ongoing effort. Finally, we ask that new legislation be passed that all abutting land owners to Lake Okeechobee, and those property owners within a 50 mile radius of said Lake, put in, at their expense, decontamination ponds as needed, and/or are required to use only organic fertilizers. This would include banning the use of non-organic weed control sprays on the lake itself, and all surrounding water bodies within said radius. A provision that enforces penalties with resulting fines and/or imprisonment after violating compliance measures, and that all fines collected would be used in ongoing cleanup efforts of Lake O.
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