2021 is a tough year for Florida’s environment



Florida is made up of the iconic creatures and waterways that make the Sunshine State unique.

It is also no stranger to its environmental victories and challenges.

From a record year of manatee deaths to a leak in the Piney Point, Florida environment that made headlines throughout 2021.

More than 1,000 manatees have died this year as they starve to death from the giant seagrass that died in the Indus River Lagoon from pollution.

Patrick Rose, executive director of Save the Manatee Club.

Now, as long-standing efforts to address water quality issues and restore habitats are underway, state officials will feed malnourished manatees romaine lettuce.

On Florida’s west coast, more than 200 million gallons of wastewater from the former Piney Point Fertilizer Plant discharged into Tampa Bay in the spring.

The Environmental Protection Agency has granted Manatee County permission to pump sewage into the ground.

Many attribute the wastewater to helping spur another summer of red tides along the Gulf Coast.

Many areas of Southwest Florida have lost the stench of fish. The area also avoids a catastrophic year for blue-green algae except for the springtime blooms along Caloosahatchee in LaBelle and at Franklin Lock.

Although blooms aren’t common, the one at Franklin Lock smells good and allows scientists the opportunity to delve deeper into the effects of blooms on our health.

Florida has also moved one step closer to restoring the Everglades after water managers and advocates celebrated the opening of Reservoir C-44 in Martin County, which will clean and restore the water.

2021 also marks the year the teams completely removed the Old Tamiami Trail bedrock, allowing more water to flow south to the Everglades.

While those are just two of the projects underway, they will have to work in symphony with the new Lake Okeechobee System Operations Manual.

The downsized model of the Corps has only one plan left, but won’t be completed until the end of next year.

Copyright 2021 Fort Myers Broadcasting Company. Copyright Registered. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written consent. 2021 is a tough year for Florida’s environment

Aila Slisco

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