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'It is literally toxic:' U.S. Rep. Brian Mast vows change after Pahokee Marina algae bloom

Florida congressman seeks to end toxic water discharges
Posted at 8:35 AM, Apr 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 12:42:52-04

PAHOKEE, Fla. — U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., toured the Pahokee City Marina as a toxic algae bloom has taken hold.

"It is literally toxic," Mast said Wednesday during a news conference.

Mast wants discharges of toxic algae into Florida's waters to end.

"I will do everything I physically can to prevent them from doing that," Mast said. "I don't care if they lock me up and put me behind bars for filling in a canal. They will not poison my community with this crap."

Mast has introduced legislation that would prevent toxic water discharges by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Scientists said toxic algae blooms are fueled by fresh water, heat and nutrients from farmlands and fertilizers.

The Army Corps of Engineers is not currently releasing any water from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie Estuary, but the agency is monitoring the lake level closely ahead of our rainy season.

Officials said algae blooms play a role in their decision over whether to discharge water from the lake into the river.

The Florida Oceanographic Society said the pictures of the greenish water in Pahokee "remind us of the nightmarish Toxic Summer of 2016 in our local waterways."

"There's poison behind us. That's not hyperbolic," Mast said. "It's toxic. That's not hyperbolic."