Big Sugar

Despite political promises on the campaign trail about solving the massive red tide outbreaks that littered Florida’s shores with dead sea creatures and scared away tourists last year, the state Legislature ended up passing a bill that sets up a task force to study the perennial problem. The bill specifically names the private Mote Marine […]

Hats off to Southwest Florida Congressman Francis Rooney for pressing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies to tell the public what it knows about the threat of toxic blue-green algae. Finally, a public official is focusing attention on our public-health crisis, particularly in Southwest Florida. The dead fish that piled […]

After eight years of sponsoring legislation designed to undermine water resource regulations, Representative Matt Caldwell’s trail of stench ended with his recent loss to Nikki Fried for Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Never has one elected official so blatantly sold out his community and left a legacy of destruction of our precious and fragile […]

In Florida, Republicans have held the Governor’s office and both chambers of the Legislature for over 20 years and there is little tension between them. Major policy shifts have occurred with little or no dissent from either branch, especially in the last 8 years: Water pollution regulation was de-funded, unenforced, or eliminated altogether Florida Forever’s […]

Why vote AGAINST DeSantis? DeSantis on the environment: He advocates for more research, not tough regulation and direct action to address red tide He’s afraid to be a “climate change believer” and an “alarmist” He thinks the state can’t help coastal cities and counties protect property from climate change and  sea level rise He supports […]

The recent full page ad written by Robert Buker, Jr, CEO and President of U.S. Sugar, concerning the Lake Okeechobee watershed suggests that in Florida nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and the Sugar Industry continuing to deny any culpability or responsibility for the devastating impacts of harmful algae blooms on […]

Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum released his environmental policy last week, and it differs markedly from his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis in many respects, including one very unique one: Gillum pledges to go after the polluters who are causing Florida’s disastrous water contamination. It’s unusual to hear any Florida politician say we need to […]

One is backed by President Donald Trump, the other has Sen. Bernie Sanders’ support. Nate Chute, IndyStar On the campaign trail, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum often claims to have a stronger environmental record than Republican opponent Ron DeSantis. Gillum supports banning fracking, talks about climate change solutions and bashes corporate polluters, including the sugar industry. He says […]

TALLAHASSEE — The Rick Scott who’s running for the U.S. Senate in 2018 often bears only a hazy resemblance to the newcomer who burst on the scene and became governor of Florida eight years ago. On a wide range of issues, Scott has shifted positions to adapt to changing political times, defying the conventional wisdom […]

Originally published on September 24, 2018 2:06 pm LISTEN TO INTERVIEW HERE Ray Judah was a Lee County Commissioner from 1988 to 2012. During that time, Judah was a staunch advocate for environmental issues, including being instrumental in the creation of the county’s land preservation program, Conservation 20/20, and the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, or CREW. Since leaving office […]

The statewide Republican primary for Commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) resulted in candidate Matt Caldwell flying under the radar of the public’s heightened concern over the devastating impacts of harmful algae blooms on our environment and businesses. The Commissioner of FDACS holds a cabinet post and is very influential concerning policy […]

A coalition of environmental groups says Florida’s algae outbreaks and subsequent marine life die-offs are so severe that the Leon Circuit Court should immediately act to make sure Florida spends land conservation money the way voters directed it to four years ago. They filed a motion in court Wednesday to make that happen. In 2014, […]

Water managers look at new solution for Lake Okeechobee overflow in effort to keep it out of estuaries. Water managers are fast-tracking plans to dispose of Lake Okeechobee overflow by pumping it 3,000 feet underground, agreeing to spend $10 million this week to build two deep injection wells in a test of the project’s viability. The so-called […]

Ron DeSantis, Republican candidate for Florida governor, calls sugar price supports “corporate welfare” and says the industry has too much influence. On the campaign trail, Ron DeSantis has railed against Florida’s sugar industry, blasting its two largest corporations for having too much influence in Tallahassee and D.C. Even before running for Florida governor, the former congressman — who […]

Patrons of the Dry Dock Waterfront Grill on Florida’s Longboat Key usually enjoy stunning views of the Sarasota Bay. Now, they get an unpleasant stench. A red tide—a natural phenomenon involving an accumulation of algae brought to shore by currents and wind—is killing marine life and hurting the tourism industry across Florida’s Gulf Coast. Local […]

The Right to Pollute is worth billions, especially the right to pollute a national park. That means there’s money to be made defending that right. Champions of pollution build careers and fortunes helping private industry destroy public places, and few have attracted more mercenaries than the Everglades. We saw it on the national stage last […]

“Covering stuff up doesn’t make it go away,” said Lilly Womble, an 18-year-old on vacation on Florida’s Sanibel Island. The island is world renowned for its sea shells but that day we were watching employees from the Sanibel Moorings Resort pull a sheet over a dead loggerhead sea turtle on the beach behind the hotel. One of […]

Gov. Rick Scott traveled to southeast Florida today where nasty fluorescent green algae is blanketing waterways around Stuart, but he declined to speak to reporters “due to security issues,” according to TC Palm reporter Ali Schmitz, who videotaped Scott’s 30-second cruise across a slimed marina basin. The governor has been desperate to paint himself as an environmental […]

GOP candidate Rick Scott and Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson are blaming each other for the Sunshine State’s toxic algae problem, which has raised health concerns and threatened tourism in Florida. In recent days, the U.S. Senate race in Florida has turned decidedly slimy. Incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and his Republican challenger, Gov. Rick Scott, […]

Despite rising threats from pollution fueled by increasing development and climate change, Florida has repeatedly cut back on monitoring its water and providing critical data that scientists need to understand how problems like algae blooms and red tide occur. When Florida Sea Grant director Karl Havens, who is a well-regarded expert on water and has […]

SANIBEL , FL – AUGUST 01: Fish are seen washed ashore the Sanibel causeway after dying in a red tide on August 1, 2018 in Sanibel, Florida. Red tide season usually lasts from October to around February, but the current red tide has stayed along the coast for around 10 months, killing massive amounts of […]

Florida’s southwest coast is grappling with the largest, longest red tide in more than a decade. Dead fish, sea turtles and manatees are littering the sugar sand beaches of Lee and Collier counties. Last weekend nearly 4,000 dead fish were counted on Sanibel beaches. Florida’s southeast coast is similarly struggling with massive blue-green algae blooms. A […]

As horrified people watch dead manatees, marine mammals, fish and hundreds of sea turtles wash up on Florida’s southwest coast, politicians are tripping over one another to express concern. But a look back eight years ago shows that three key state leaders – Gov. Rick Scott, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, and Attorney General Pam Bondi […]

Florida is in the midst of a still-unfolding water pollution catastrophe. Many formerly picture-perfect beaches and posh waterfront neighborhoods are now surreal toxic landscapes where the smell is so pungent, it can make you nauseous. Florida is in the midst of a still-unfolding water pollution catastrophe. Many formerly picture-perfect beaches and posh waterfront neighborhoods are now surreal […]

A red tide that appeared in October and lasted well past the normal season is now the worst to hit Florida in more than a decade, sickening sea birds and leaving beaches and inlets littered with dead fish, sea turtles and manatees. Florida’s southwest coast, a ribbon of inlets and barrier islands normally brimming with […]


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