Al­gae blooms threaten to cause catas­tro­phe

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Opinion -

Our state faces cat­a­strophic dam­age from al­gal blooms and phos­phate-rich fer­til­izer runoff that has in­fested Lake Okee­chobee. Form­ing a thick, green blan­ket, the al­gae dec­i­mates na­tive pop­u­la­tions by caus­ing hy­poxia and pre­vent­ing sun­light from reach­ing plant species.

Of­ten­times, en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion most neg­a­tively af­fects peo­ple whose liveli­hoods are in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to the land, such as fish­er­men and low-in­come agri­cul­tur­ists who ex­pose them­selves to tox­ins on a daily ba­sis.

We must spear­head in­di­vid­ual ef­forts, like re­duc­ing our lawn fer­til­izer use, and urge gov­ern­ment agen­cies to en­act stricter poli­cies.

Is­abelle Gain, Fort Laud­erdale

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