The Legislature of the State of Florida has sent Governor Ron DeSantis a bill that will reduce the amount nutrients that end up in surface and groundwater in the state, informs Associated Press.
The purpose of the bill is to stop blooms of blue-green algae that damage tourism and wildlife. In this state where water resources are very important for the tourism industry, algae blooms in surface water have in the past killed fish fauna and irritated the eyes of swimmers; activities such as fishing, swimming and boating have had to shut down.
The bill is a priority for Gov. DeSantis. Recommendations from a task force that was formed to work on the algae issue have been included. It deals with sewage treatment (septic tanks, municipal waste water treatment), stormwater and fertiliser runoff, and leaks in water pipes. In addition, the Department of Environmental Protection is to work with the University of Florida on improvements to management practices that will decrease fertiliser runoff from golf courses.
Before the House approved the bill unanimously, Democratic Rep. Margaret Good said ‘This bill actually advances water quality in Florida in a real substantive way. I mean, I think I’m going to cry, I’m so excited’, stressing the importance of water quality for Florida.
Republican Rep. Blaise Ingoglia referred to the bill as ‘a historic piece of legislation’, the ‘starting point where we shifted gears and proved to people that we, as a state, are prepared to take on these big environmental issues’.
Last week the Florida Senate passed the bill unanimously.