Famed environmentalist Erin Brockovich visited Stuart Sunday to announce her support for U.S. Rep. Brian Mast’s "Stop Harmful Discharges Act."
The bill, authored by Mast, would make the Army Corps of Engineers consider public health and safety a priority when determining when and where to release water from Lake Okeechobee.
“I’ve never seen a toxic algae bloom where there has been as little response to massive fish kills, manatees, dolphins sick, respiratory problems. People can’t get out on their boats, they can’t get out on the water, businesses can’t do business. I’ve never seen a situation like this, ever,” said Brockovich.
Currently, the Army Corps of Engineers has to prioritize flooding risks, the integrity of the Herbert Hoover Dike, water supply and navigation. Mast wants public health and safety to be an equal on that priority list.
Brockovich regularly tours communities across the country that are dealing with environmental concerns.
Sunday, she called the toxic algae crisis one of the worst algae issues she has ever seen.
“It’s time to rise up … it is worth the fight,” Brockovich told a crowd of a few dozen people. ”I’m no stranger to Florida. It sickens me to see what’s happening to your environment, businesses, tourism, wildlife,” Brockovich said.
Mast said the bill, if passed, would not slow down any projects underway to strengthen the Herbert Hoover Dike. He said it does not alter the water rights compact between the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe, nor diminish access to water for the Miccosukee tribe.
During her visit to the Treasure Coast, Brockovich also took time to meet with St. Lucie County families regarding glioblastoma cases.