Governor Ron DeSantis created the Blue-Green Algae Task Force (BGATF) in January of 2019 to “ensure that objective and sound science informs Florida’s environmental decision-making process” and identify restoration projections and regulatory changes that are needed to improve water quality.
In October 2019, the Task Force issued a consensus document outlining recommendations to monitor, prevent, and mitigate toxic algae blooms.
With the three-year anniversary of the consensus document approaching, a coalition of organizations from across the state, including Waterkeepers Florida, came together to review the BGATF recommendations and provide an update on their implementation. St. Johns Riverkeeper is a founding member of Waterkeepers Florida.
This “progress report” (attached below) demonstrates which of the BGATF recommendations have and have not been implemented by the legislature or state agencies during the last three years. The recommendations address Basin Management Plans (BMAPs), agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs), septic tanks, sewage overflows, stormwater treatment systems, and innovative technologies.
The report finds that only 4 of the 32 BGATF recommendations evaluated have been fully implemented to date, demonstrating the significant work that remains to address the toxic algae blooms that continue to plague waterways throughout the state.
We commend the Task Force for their efforts and urge the Legislature and state agencies to take the actions necessary to improve water quality, prevent toxic algae blooms, and protect human health.