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Hillary Clinton sending Carol Browner to tour Treasure Coast waterways

Posted: 12:29 AM, Sep 07, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-07 00:33:01-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. -- A presidential candidate has responded to an invitation from Martin County Commissioners to tour the St. Lucie River after it was coated in toxic algae blooms.

Commissioners sent letters to Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at the end of July.

Hillary Clinton responded with a letter Tuesday saying residents have a right to clean waterways.

She will not be making a visit to Martin County herself, but will be sending someone on her behalf Monday, September 12.

That person, Carol Browner, is a former long-time administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency and native Floridian.

Clinton says Browner will be touring the waterways, talking with members of the community, business owners and other stakeholders.

Then, Clinton says she will connect with Browner to discuss what next steps to take for the Treasure Coast.

Some Stuart residents question if the timing of the trip is too late.

John Stukel, an area fisherman, says there is still minimal algae that can be found, but nothing compared to what developed in the waterways when commissioners sent the letters.

Algae covered many parts of the St. Lucie River. In some places, such as Rio, algae appeared thick enough to walk on. The smell was rancid and posed a major threat to the local economy and tourism.

“I’d much rather the candidate see it so she can have first hand knowledge of it instead of just sending someone else,” said Stukel.

“They would have seen all the green stuff on the water. They would have seen all the fish dying, all the oyster beds dying and the ecosystem dying.”

Trump and his campaign have not responded to the Martin County Commissioners’ invitation.