Environmental groups to sue feds over killer green slime toxic algae from Lake Okeechobee

Three environmental groups filed notice Wednesday that they intend to sue the federal government over the disastrous pollution that’s been fueling toxic algae outbreaks and marine die-offs in South Florida.

The Center for Biological Diversity, Calusa Waterkeeper and Waterkeeper Alliance filed a 60-day notice against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

At issue: the slugs of pollution that are repeatedly released every time the Army Corps opens floodgates on Lake Okeechobee, sending water west down the Caloosahatchee River to the Gulf and east through the St. Lucie Rive to the Atlantic. The water, polluted by agricultural waste, sewage, manure and fertilizer runoff, sparks green slime toxic algae that kills marine life, makes people sick, and chases away tourists. See previous Florida Phoenix in-depth coverage of the issue here, and here and here. Disturbing photos of dead fish and manatees washing ashore have drawn worldwide negative attention to Florida.

Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said “the Corps keeps treating Florida’s rivers like a toilet.”

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