FORT PIERCE, Fla. — From toxic algae to red tide, our waterways have taken a major hit over the last year. However, people who live and work along the Treasure Coast are now coming together to be part of the solution.
“Because of red tide and this most recent situation we’ve had cancellations,” said boat captain Paul Fafeita.
Fafeita runs Just Bumminit, a river boat tour business in Vero Beach.
“You get to see wildlife and the dolphins and the manatees and the birds and that type of stuff and when you can’t do that it gets frustrating,” said Fafeita.
Channeling his feeling of defeat, he’s now created the Clean Water Coalition of Indian River County. It includes more than 45 other community leaders and businesses all fighting for the same cause; improved water quality.
“Not conserving water in our own yards, planting more native plants really taking care of our daily lives, we are just going to continue to mess things up,” said Donna Halleran.
Today the coalition along with hundreds of others from the coqmmunity met with representatives from 5 different counties to learn how each one is trying to turn things around. The counties include Indian River, Brevard, Martin, St.Lucie and Volusia.
This is the 8th year FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has hosted a public forum for anyone with questions about current restoration projects and research. However, the primary focus was on long-term effects of blue-green algae.
“Learning how toxins from the blooms are getting up through the food change and ultimately how they are affecting human health,” said executive director James Sullivan.
Getting answers could take years, however officials say bringing people who live here in front of county leaders is a really good start.
“It’s great that the public is getting involved that’s how we are going to deal with these challenges the public has to be educated and be concerned about it,” said Sullivan.
If you were unable to attend but want to watch the meeting:CLICK HERE