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Florida’s algae-infested waters

By Staff | Mar 20, 2019

To the editor:

According to the mainstream news reporting, our governor is in the process of accumulating a very large sum of both federal and state money to combat our problems with red tide and algae-infested waters in and around Florida. He is leading the charge, rightfully so, to eliminate this most serious pestilence.

It is very important that we remain aware that prevention is always cheaper than treatment after the fact. We should not rush in blindly and toss large amounts of taxpayer dollars at solutions without first thoroughly consulting the environmental scientists and science-minded entrepreneurs among us as to the reason for the problem itself. What is causing the problem?

So far, the proposed solutions involve vacuuming, open-cell foam barriers, microorganisms that attack the algae, and nano-bubble curtains to attempt to avoid its spreading. These expensive and ongoing endless “solutions” do absolutely nothing to address the elimination of the problem. They all do, however, present additional problems. What is to be done about the disposal of byproduct waste? Spend more money? I truly hope not.

We must seriously concentrate on keeping nutrients out of our waters – rivers, streams, canals, and our shorelines. The increased land development we are seeing that is necessary to accommodate our ever-increasing population growth, the greater will be the use of those substances we are applying generously to the soil. The solution is to prevent nutrients from entering our waters. The greater the amount of nutrients, namely nitrogen and phosphorus, infiltrating our waters, the larger our algae blooms will become.

Preventing this algae problem initially is the best and most economical solution, not a continuous and expensive clean up and disposal procedure after the fact.

One ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.

Short-term thinking is precisely what gave the USA our $22 trillion national debt that is growing at the rate of one million dollars per minute. It is time to cease our myopic thinking and planning. Enough is enough.

Robert E. Workman

Cape Coral