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Environmentalists Protest Proposed Water Legislation Over Algae Concerns

Kevin Meerschaert

Environmentalists around the state are protesting two bills in the legislature they say will lead to more algal blooms in the St. Johns River and other waterways.

The bills, SB1808 and HB7115would give the Florida Department of Environmental Protection the authority to establish water quality standards. It's part of a deal made by the state with the Federal Department of Environmental Protection.

But the protestors, including the St. JohnsRiverkeeper, say the legislation doesn't go far enough to protect waterways.

Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman says the bill doesn't address problems like algal blooms until after they happen. She says its far more effective to try and prevent the blooms from occurring.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.