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Love Thy Neighbor: Florida’s Fight to Stop Sugarcane Burning

You shall love thy neighbor as thyself (Matthew 22.39).

Thick smoke looms over the Glades most months of the year. In these communities south of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, ash falls on houses and cars, the children call it black snow. Schools have a protocol for when the plumes reach down into town, calling kids inside, closing windows, pulling shades. They still talk about the day when students from Rosenwald Elementary School went to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

When the sugarcane industry is your neighbor, smoke is part of everyday life. So is asthma.

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Love Thy Neighbor: Florida’s Fight to Stop Sugarcane Burning

You shall love thy neighbor as thyself (Matthew 22.39).

Thick smoke looms over the Glades most months of the year. In these communities south of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, ash falls on houses and cars, the children call it black snow. Schools have a protocol for when the plumes reach down into town, calling kids inside, closing windows, pulling shades. They still talk about the day when students from Rosenwald Elementary School went to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

When the sugarcane industry is your neighbor, smoke is part of everyday life. So is asthma.

Read more

Rick Scott Panicked on Toxic Algae, But the Problem Won't Go Away

A very big story, perhaps the biggest story in Everglades restoration, has been hiding in plain sight, but another year of Lake Okeechobee discharges carrying toxic algae is pushing it to a tipping point: Water management officials claim their top priority is human health and safety, but in truth the whole system is operated for the benefit of sugarcane.

Lake Okeechobee algae bloom off Port Mayaca. Photo by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

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Lake Okeechobee Algae Bloom is Toxic: Florida DEP

On Friday Florida DEP confirmed that the algal bloom in Lake Okeechobee off Clewiston tested positive for microcystin. The algae is toxic.

Algal bloom off Clewiston, Florida. Image courtesy of Planet Labs, Inc. Produced by Earthrise Media.

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Why Don't Federal Water Policies Put People First?

Gil Smart was right: the pictures from Saturday’s rally on the Roosevelt Bridge could have been from any number of toxic algae summers on the St. Lucie. Same frustrations. Same fears. With giant toxic algae blooms on Lake Okeechobee two of the last three years, and so much scientific evidence that these blooms are linked to deadly diseases like ALS, Alzheimer's and cancer, how much longer can we ignore this looming health crisis?

Protests erupted on Florida's Treasure Coast over another toxic summer in 2019

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Is Asking a Government Agency Not to Poison Us News? Yup.

This week a Florida lawmaker asked a government agency not to poison his constituents. This shouldn't be news. It shouldn't be unusual. But it is, and Eye On Miami explains why...

The St. Lucie River, Thursday, June 14th

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Adam Putnam: Florida's Worst Choice for Clean Water

Few politicians have done more than Putnam to loot and pollute the State of Florida. From steering tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to his family’s businesses--and hundreds of millions to the sugarcane companies backing his run for governor--to gutting clean water regulations and pollution standards, Putnam has dedicated his career to stealing and destroying public resources for the benefit of a handful of international billionaires happy to exploit Florida and Floridians and move on when there’s nothing left.

Adam Putnam's links to toxic algae are no secret on the Treasure Coast

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Is Sugar Framing God for Our Water Crisis?

Finding a scapegoat to take the rap for a crisis is nothing new, but it takes moxie to throw God under the bus. Florida’s sugarcane industry makes it look easy.

Scene from the Toxic Summer of 2016

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Who Would Defend the Right to Pollute?

The Right to Pollute is worth billions, especially the right to pollute a national park. That means there’s money to be made defending that right. Champions of pollution build careers and fortunes helping private industry destroy public places, and few have attracted more mercenaries than the Everglades.

Rep. Matt Caldwell changed his look to run for Florida Agriculture Commissioner

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