State Rep. Dane Eagle asks gov to declare state of emergency over algal blooms

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Florida Representative Dane Eagle submitted a letter to Governor Rick Scott, asking him to declare a state of emergency.

Eagle says the declaration would be for the blue-green algae blooms from the Lake Okeechobee water releases.

Eagle wrote that it would help deliver state funds to respond to the water threat.

Here’s the letter in its entirety:

“We write today to request you immediately declare a state of emergency in Lee County in response to the blue-green algae blooms in the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary.

We thank you for directing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to partner with the South Florida Water Management District to identify additional funding for more water flow monitoring stations along the Caloosahatchee River to help with the growing issues related to algal blooms.

As the blooms have grown and created a harsher threat to our tourism economy, small businesses, and the health of the environment and residents in Lee County, we ask you to issue a state of emergency for Lee County. It is important to note this affects the residents of each of our communities, not just any single one. Blue-green algae has been reported in East Lee County, Downtown Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, and Cape Coral. The bloom’s impact affects not only those areas but the tourism market on the barrier islands of Lee
County as well.

A state of emergency would effectuate a swift and efficient state response to the imminent dangers of the blue-green algae threat to Lee County by identifying available funds state agencies could use to respond to this threat. Additionally, we ask that you continue to request the water management districts explore and pursue all options that will reduce discharges, including storage north, east, west, and south of Lake Okeechobee. Thank you for your consideration of this matter.”

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