Manatees in Trouble
An algae scourge in Florida is threatening manatees. The deaths have been part of a grim series of manatee deaths that has been happening in the area since 2012. More than 150 manatees have been found dead in a trend that began after a bloom of algae turned waters dark brown, killing off sea grass that manatees eat and depend on to survive.
What is the cause of the algae scourge that has been killing these threatenend manatees? The levels of chemicals released by oil and gas drilling companies are causing the toxic algae blooms. And the worst part is the Rick Scott administration wants to allow even more toxic chemicals in Florida's water, lifting chemical dumping restrictions on oil and gas companies, increasing the number of regulated chemicals from 54 to 92.
Florida's treasured Indian River Lagoon, stretching more than 150 miles along the states's east coast, is one of the most biologically diverse estuaries in the country, is also home to around 50 threatened and endangered species. Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed changing the classification of the West Indian Manatee from “endangered” to “threatened” even while manatee deaths are becoming more and more common.
Dozens of chemicals are among those released by oil and gas drilling companies (including fracking operations) causing toxic algae blooms in South Florida are not only harming manatees, but also making people sick, hurting the economy and closing beaches. And the Rick Scott administration wants to legalize even more toxic chemicals in Florida's water dumped into rivers and lakes as part of the first update of the state’s water quality standards in 24 years
Manatee deaths are becoming more common, coinciding with a new algae bloom in the region because of chemicals released into the water: PLEASE SIGN TO SAVE THE MANATEES!