STUART, FL - There's an occasional bite under the Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart, but Adam Goddard says the fishing this summer has been a bust.
"All the water runoff is hurting local businesses. Guides, restaurants, who wants to look at chocolate water?" asks Goddard.
Tuesday, State Sen. Joe Negron will host Gov. Rick Scott out at the St. Lucie Locks, where for months, billions of gallons of fresh water from Lake O has entered the St. Lucie Estuary.
"I want him to see the billions of gallons of polluted water that is pouring into our community. What can be done short term between now and the end of the year to reduce or eliminate these discharges?" asked the Stuart Republican.
The senator says he'd like to see more collaboration with the Army Corps of Engineers when it comes to these releases, that have left a stew of toxic algae in the waterways of Martin and St. Lucie Counties.
Environmentalists say they've been watching all the area oyster beds die off.
Mark Perry with the Florida Oceanographic Society says with the salinity levels so low, they took a survey last week and found a 99% mortality rate among the oyster beds.
"They provide habitat for about 300 types of species for crab and little shrimp that the bigger fish depend on. And they clean the water," said Perry.
Water that Adam Goddard hopes the governor will realize, needs help now.
"I hope he can stop the draining of the lake into our waterways. Used to be clear here, the fishing was good," said Goddard.
Senator Negron said the long term outlook for the Indian River Lagoon is good. He believes projects like raising the Tamiami Trail to allow water to flow south will help in the future. The key is to figure out how to scale back the Lake O discharges.
Besides meeting with the governor on Tuesday, the senator will be hosting a hearing on Thursday in Stuart with a number of stakeholders in the future of the Indian River Lagoon. The goal is to come up with some sort of action plan by the end of the year.
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