Jon Shainman reports
Indian River Lagoon
FT. PIERCE, Fla. - St. Lucie County joined Martin County Tuesday in asking Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency with regards to the Indian River Lagoon.
But the governor did not commit to that, saying the federal government needs to step up.
Mike Connor holds a plastic water bottle with a green liquid inside.
"We've all become armchair biologists lately. This is a toxic algae," said Connor.
When Connor looks at the plastic bottle, he sees a lost summer. Revenues from his small charter boat, are down 90 percent.
"When the toxic river signs went up, all bets were off. I can't in good conscience take people out on the river," said Connor.
His last charter was the first week in June.
"Everything's been documented, the effects, the causes. What we don't know as business owners, what is being done on our end," he added.
Tuesday, the St. Lucie County Commission followed its peers in Martin County and approved a resolution to ask the governor to declare a state of emergency for the Indian River lagoon.
"It's important that we move and have the ability to make a difference when it comes to the Indian River Lagoon," said St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky.
Scott was in Stuart on Tuesday and said that last week he asked water control and environmental agencies to speed up any necessary permitting processes.
When we asked the governor if there will there be help for business owners like Conner, the governor turned the attention to the federal government.
"What's so frustrating is that the federal government has sat on their hands. They're $1.6 billion behind in funding these projects which could have prevented this from ever happening," said Scott.
Connor has consulted with an attorney and plans to file some type of legal papers this week to see if there's anyway he can get some sort of reimbursement for his losses this summer.