Target: Rick Scott, Governor of Florida
Goal: Protect the Indian River Lagoon from detrimental algae blooms and pollution.
Huge amounts of fish have been dying in the Indian River Lagoon, with around 15 different species floating to the shore either dead or dying. The species include puffer fish, catfish, sea trout, stingrays, and many others. Fish kills of this magnitude generally occur due to reduced oxygen in the water, which can be caused by algae blooms, overpopulation, increased water temperatures, or pollution. The Indian River Lagoon has been experiencing a high concentration of a dangerous algae bloom known as brown tide which is believed to have contributed to the recent fish kill.
The Indian River Lagoon is an immensely important environmental habitat, containing five state parks, four federal wildlife refuges, and a national seashore. It has the most bio-diverse lagoon ecosystem in the northern hemisphere and contains over 3,000 species of plants and animals, 35 of which are listed as threatened or endangered.
This lagoon clearly deserves to be protected and maintained, yet decades of human activity and a large increase of people living along the lagoon have had a detrimental effect on its ecosystem. Mangroves, for example, are vitally important for marine life, and massive amounts of them have been removed for housing developments.
The increase of the human population living near the lagoon has resulted in an increase of pollution from sewer plants and septic tanks. Over the past decade there have been numerous reports of excess nitrogen and phosphorous in the water caused by polluting discharges, both of which are known to contribute to harmful algae blooms. It is extremely likely that the current brown tide problem responsible for the major fish kill is a direct result of pollutant chemicals in the lagoon.
A massive cleanup effort is required to end these unnecessary fish deaths and restore the Indian River Lagoon to a clean and healthy state. Sign the petition below to tell Governor Rick Scott to make the Indian River Lagoon a priority and ensure that appropriate cleanup methods are taken to prevent this kind of major fish kill from happening again.
Dear Governor Scott,
A massive fish kill was recently discovered in the Indian River Lagoon, with approximately 15 different species found dead or dying on the shore. A harmful algae bloom known as brown tide is believed to be responsible, and it is highly likely that this bloom was caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorous in the water. These pollutant chemicals are caused by discharges from sewer plants and septic tanks, and a major cleanup effort is needed to restore the lagoon.
The Indian River Lagoon has the most bio-diverse lagoon ecosystem in the northern hemisphere and is home to over 3,000 species of plants and animals, 35 of which are threatened or endangered. Furthermore, the lagoon generates more than $300 million in fisheries revenues, and these businesses will suffer if fish populations continue to be threatened by algae blooms.
I am urging you to make the Indian River Lagoon a priority. Please take action to ensure that appropriate cleanup methods are taken to restore the lagoon to a clean and healthy state, and ensure that its valuable ecosystem receives the protection it deserves.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service