State caught Lying About Red Tide

Posted on Monday 11 December 2006

That’s not the only environmental issue they’ve been caught directly lying about. Seems someone at the Governors mansion feels bad about what they’ve been doing and is leaking things to environmental groups and the press! More on that later but for now:

An inter-office memorandum to Gov. Jeb Bush from Colleen Castille, secretary of the state Environmental Protection Agency, directly contradicts the Sate of Florida’s long-time contention that there is no tie between pollution and the recent increase in harmful algal blooms and red tide plaguing the state’s coastal waters. 1 Here’s the quote We do know that there is a connection between nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus). And the exponential growth of algae. But we don’t know at what concentration levels the bacteria becomes toxic…Colleen” She called it a bacteria! It’s an “Algae” lady!
Here’s what they been saying and having Mote Marine and S.T.A.R.T. say to the public: This statement by Cindy Heil of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is typical of the position the state has maintained for some time disputing any link:

“Scientists are still debating the issue. The evidence to date suggests there is no direct link.”

This is partially true, state funded agencies like Mote Marine and FWRI have repeatedly refused to study this link, prompting the feds to create a 10 million dollar grant to force Florida to study the issue. Although private studies have shown that yes, polluted runoff IS directly related to increased red tide activity (note) Even a few high school kids have proven this link in their science fair, but of course it’s easy for the state and the Feds to discredit some kids work isn’t it?

The admission by Castille, reported last month by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a Tallahassee public interest group, supports a coalition of environmental, health organizations, independent web sites (like this one!), and plain citizens who knew that if you fertilized a plant it grows more.

“The issue of algal blooms resembles a regional version of what is happening on a national level with global warming – a Bush administration is denying the science linking human pollution to a disastrous natural reaction,” stated Florida PEER Director Jerry Phillips, a former water enforcement attorney with the state Department of Environmental Protection. “Florida needs to stop pretending the explosion of algal blooms has nothing to do with significantly elevated levels of pollution in our waters.” Editors note - They also need to stop pretending Red Tide isn’t increasing when in fact it’s occurring about 15 times more often, last longer and is more severe than ever before! 2

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