Nov 06, 2019

Florida Gov. DeSantis Announces State Water Quality Website

In an effort to provide residents with recent water quality data for south Florida’s major bodies of water, Governor DeSantis has unveiled protectingfloridatogether.gov.

In an effort to provide residents with recent water quality data for south Florida’s major bodies of water, Governor DeSantis has unveiled protectingfloridatogether.gov.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced a new website that tracks water quality in Florida’s major waterways and lakes.

The website, protectingfloridatogether.gov, provides information on blue-green algae blooms and red tide. The site also provides updates on environmental projects occurring in the state.

The website currently only provides water quality data for three of south Florida’s major bodies of water, but will expand the scope of its reach in the future, according to News Press.

The purpose of the new website is to allow the public to get recent information on water conditions to avoid being exposed to toxic waters.  

Critics of the site point out that some of the science appears to be dated, incomplete or misleading. The interactive features where users can get nutrient levels uses data from April, even though water conditions are sampled once a month.

"We've obviously experienced things like blue-green algae and red tide and people obviously care about it from an environmental perspective, but folks also care about it from a health perspective," said DeSantis during a press conference at Lovers Key State Park. "But up until now those have been totally different things."

Earlier this year DeSantis pushed for a water quality component to be built with the Caloosahatchee River reservoir and then appointed members to the Blue-Green Algae Task Force, reported News Press. Southwest Florida waters became toxic in 2018 because of blue-green algae bloom in the Caloosahatchee River and a red tide outbreak in the Gulf of Mexico. 

"We've got a great environmental movement really starting here in Florida, and I think leading the nation, about the importance of water quality and making a difference for our environment," said Noah Valenstein, secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

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