The list of environmental catastrophes that afflicted Florida’s lands, waters and coastlines in 2021 was almost as long as a red tide-killed tarpon. The headlines that were blared across media platforms last year made directors of tourist development councils more nervous than a Florida Pantherin in a room full rocking chairs.
As the calendar turns to 2022 all those terrible events will be forgotten, right?
Manatee deaths: Earthjustice sues EPA for Indian River Lagoon water Quality
Blue Green Algae Taskforce:It aims to tap experts from China, the U.S. and other countries
Feeding timeOfficials approve feeding starving manatees unprecedented amounts
Looking ahead to 2022 and considering how little was accomplished in 2021, expect this year’s look, feel, and smell to be very similar.
There are many ways to attack fragile environments. biosolids, Wildfires, Invasive species, Coral bleaching, Aquatic herbicides, Everglades destruction,oil drilling/fracking,Lack of biodiversity, sea level rise, king tidesAnd Erosion.
As if all that wasn’t enough, here are 17 Florida news sites USA Today Network will be monitoring next year:
Piney Point phosphate mine
Florida is a special area that is surrounded and filled with water. Its residents live, work, and play in a giant bubble of water beneath their feet. We have allowed phosphate mining to continue for over 100 years as a means of providing the mineral for fertilizers, detergents, and other chemicals.
The toxic wastewater from the mining process at Piney Point began leaking into the water supply. Over 215,000,000 gallons of contaminated water escaped from containment ponds and travelled to a Manatee County tributary, which flowed into Tampa Bay’s southern end. Two months later, Tampa Bay was hit by a massive red tide. Did the two events have a cause and effect? It is possible to bet on it.
The problem is that Piney Point’s story has not ended. The Florida Departmentof Environmental Protection filed suit in the last few months to recover $46 million spent on emergency contracting to mitigate the leak and more than $1 million in fines since 2019 for improperly managing the containment facility. Recently, a The plan to inject the toxic water into the ground at more than 2,000 feet was approvedThe same place from which many Floridians obtain their drinking water.
What could go wrong?
Toxic alga blooms
It’s become a summer rite as reliable and as reliable as mosquitoes, dumping rainfall storms and sweltering heat. The annual turning green of some inland waterways.
Years of allowing nutrients to run downstream unchecked into our lakesOur rivers and canals have caught up with us, coating our waters in toxic cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green alga. Cities are spending money to put signs on their streets that say “Don’t touch the water” rather than “Enjoy our waterways.”
The green stuff will be forgotten by most Floridians until May, when enough daylight is available to allow the algae to grow. The longest day of the calendar is in June. By then, the algae will have doubled in size.
In 2021, the cute and lovable manatee had a year that was hard to forget. Record-breaking number of deaths According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 1,056 through Dec. 10.Many of these deaths can be attributed to starvation. Although this is a sad story, it is important to note that the primary food source for many manatees seagrasses in coastal estuaries continues to be scarce.
The launch of an emergency supplemental feeding program has caused some concern. Is it large enough for hundreds or just a few people? This story will be of great interest to everyone in Florida and beyond.
Nearly 900 Florida’s natural springs draw hundreds of millions of gallons from the ground every day. Some of them form rivers that flow to Mexico. They provide access to Florida’s vast, vitally important aquifer, which is the source of 90% Florida’s drinking water.
However, over the years, We have found ways to drain, pollute and reduce their flows to the point that some are no more than holes in the ground. To restore larger-scale springs, we are spending hundreds of million of taxpayers’ money. Yet, permits are still given to water users who pay pennies for millions of dollars to draw a natural resource. These uses can range from irrigation to bottling for retail sales.
Red tide was first identified by early European explorers to Florida. However, debate has raged over recent years about how much human influence has contributed.
A One in 2021 was severe. It bloomed along the beaches at Pinellas,Manatee, and Sarasota this summerSeveral counties are also located on the west side Tampa Bay. Environmentalists were furious at the sight of a 300-pound goliath fish, which has been protected from harvest since 1990, being lifted into a trash can by a backhoe. They blamed the recent Piney Point spillage for the tide’s fury.
For the second consecutive year, and for the third time since 2005, The Greek alphabet included the hurricane season.. The good news is that Florida children have learned many letters in the ancient language. The bad news is that this is becoming all too common.
A study published Nov. 22 blames climate changes and predicts that even the northeastern U.S. would see it. More monster storms Arrive faster, but slow down once they have made landfall.
According to the Florida Department for Economic Development, Florida was home to a $58.7billion construction industry in 2019, with over 154,000 building permits. Association of General Contractors of America. This trend is not expected to slow down, as Florida’s population is projected at 26 million by 2030. According to The Florida Chamber of Commerce.
This means that water will be more scarce, while more garbage, sewage and roads will be made. Panthers and bears could be seen joining the manatees, who will need to be fed to survive.
TCPalm’s outdoors writer is Ed Killer. Sign up for his weekly newsletters and others at profile.tcpalm.com/newsletters/manage. Friend Ed on facebook Ed KillerFollow him on Twitter @tcpalmekiller or email him email@example.com.