Gov. Rick Scott to tour St. Lucie Estuary as worries over toxic algae, bacteria levels grow

STUART, Fla. -- Governor Rick Scott said on Monday that he would tour the St. Lucie Estuary do see the effects of toxic algae and high levels of bacteria.

Scott, who spoke with reporters during a visit to West Palm Beach, said he would tour the impacted areas soon.

"This is an issue that we have to keep working on every day," Scott said. "We're going to have to continue focusing every day, like we are, on how do we improve the flow of water in places like the Everglades and the quality of water all across the state."

Pressed on the impact on local businesses and tourism, Scott said it was a "focus."

"The first thing you think about is the people who live here. I mean, you worry about them. You want to make sure that everything we're doing, whether it is focusing on our crime rate, whether it is focusing on our education system, whether it is focusing on jobs, you want to make sure this is the best place to live," Scott said. "We want to make sure that all of our tourists know [that] this is a place that they want to come to. So, we focus on it from that standpoint."

Scott is expected to meet with U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy to discuss the impact of the algae and the bacteria as early as this month.

On Tuesday, Scott and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio are expected to tour Apalachicola Bay, where the oyster industry has been devastated by over harvesting and water shortages.

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