Target: Rick Scott, Governor of Florida
Goal: Allocate funding to reduce pollution and the destructive algal blooms it causes.
Florida governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency due to massive algal blooms arriving on the beaches. In addition to smelling like cow manure, the blooms also cause negative environmental and health effects. Many of the beaches have been forced to close. The blooms occurred because of a variety of factors including hot weather, heavy rains, and pollution in Lake Okeechobee. Call on Governor Scott to support anti-pollution spending and prevent other emergencies like this one.
Algal blooms cause a host of environmental problems such as contaminating water, killing wildlife, and creating dead zones. Dead zones are marine areas with low oxygen and a corresponding inability to support life. The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico grew from 5,052 to 6,474 square miles between 2014 and 2015–a 22 percent increase. This is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut put together.
In addition, these blooms can prove destructive to human health. Though not more than one percent of algal blooms create toxins, it is difficult to tell them apart from other blooms. Toxic blooms may even produce cancer-causing substances. Animals like pets and livestock have been killed by consuming water from harmful algal blooms.
Despite the dangers caused by these algal blooms, Governor Scott recently rejected a $700 million plan to create reservoirs that would reduce pollution. Now the algal blooms caused by this pollution are overwhelming beaches and threatening marine life. Urge Governor Scott to care for the environment and keep Florida waters pristine.
Dear Governor Scott,
The rampant pollution in Lake Okeechobee and the algal blooms it produces must be addressed. You yourself have declared a state of emergency because of these blooms. However, you also refused a $700 million plan to purchase 46,800 acres of land for clean reservoirs, and now your state is paying the price. In addition to the harm these blooms cause to marine life, they also expel odors and force beaches to close, cutting into tourist revenue. Not many people want to visit a beach that smells like cow manure.
Algal blooms reduce oxygen in the water, which kills marine life and creates dead zones. The Gulf of Mexico dead zone increased from 5,042 to 6,474 square miles between 2014 and 2015, a rise of 22 percent. This is larger than Rhode Island and Connecticut put together. Though this dead zone is closer to Mississippi and Louisiana than it is to Florida, it is a sobering reminder of what Florida’s oceans could become if pollution is left unchecked.
It is time to check that pollution and reduce these algal blooms. This state of emergency is all the more troubling because there were measures that could have been taken to prevent it—measures your administration rejected. Protect the environment and keep Florida pristine for future generations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Eurotrophication8