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Algae crisis explodes into a leading campaign issue in Florida

James Clarke

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Tensions over a growing environmental crisis in Florida have exploded into a full-blown campaign issue as candidates face-off over how to solve the problem and who is to blame. Humans are also suffering the effects – the “Red tide”, so named because of the rust color the algae lends to the water, can be deeply detrimental to people. Floridians have reported respiratory issues and the Environmental Protection Agency has cautioned that algae can also induce nausea and other extreme symptoms, like vomiting.

Red tide is nothing new in Florida, where algae is routine. Scott, a two-term governor, and Nelson, a three-term senator, have sparred for months, but the algae issue has proven particularly contentious.

A number of lawmakers largely point to Central Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, the state’s largest freshwater lake, as the source of the algae.

Scott has taken aim at Nelson over the lake.

Scott has notably slashed environmental funding as governor, including for the South Florida Water Management District and for state water-quality monitoring stations, hindering the work researchers can do.

“Florida’s algae bloom crisis is a man-made crisis, made by this man,” Join The Conversation

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