Clean Water For Florida

Warning sign on Caloosahatchee River. (Mike Dove).

Feature: Stop Toxic Algae

Lean about what has caused the outbreaks, and the impacts to health and economy.  Read more.
Toxic algae outbreak on southwest Florida's Caloosahatchee River in June and July 2011. (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation)

Photo Slideshow

Algae outbreaks have fouled Florida's waters in increasing quantities each year.  View images.
Clean Water For Florida!

Many of the postcard-perfect blue waters that make Florida a tourist mecca are coming up green and choked with nasty, toxic algae.

The culprit behind this environmental and economic crisis? Pollution caused by inadequately treated sewage, manure and fertilizer.

This pollution is preventable. Now that we know how the nitrogen and phosphorus in sewage, manure and fertilizer tip Florida's delicate ecological balance, we have a responsibility to do something about it.

Earthjustice is committed to restoring clean water to Florida—because the current state of affairs is untenable and dangerous to human health.


Video: Water Warrior

Earthjustice Managing Attorney David Guest talks about the threat to the health and wealth of Florida's citizens posed by toxic algae outbreaks.

Learn More: The Legal Case

Interactive Map: Florida Slime Crime Tracker

Florida's waterways are plagued by slime caused by fertilizer, sewage and animal manure. Click on the blue icons on the map to view photographs of the muck, or explore a larger map.

Learn More: Don't Get Slimed!

Florida's Department of Health and Division of Environmental Health issued a pamphlet on the basic facts and dangers of blue green algae.

Department of Health Pamphlet on Blue Green Algae.

5 Facts On Blue Green Algae:

  1. Blue green algae, also called cyanobacteria, are tiny organisms naturally found in all types of water.
  2. Algal blooms can look like a thick mat or foamy scum. Blooms can change the water color to blue, green, brown, orange, or red and may give off an unpleasant odor.
  3. Blue green algae sometimes produce toxins and other times do not. You cannot look at a bloom and tell if it is toxic.
  4. Swimming in blooms can result in ear, eye and skin reactions.
  5. Even non-toxic algae can create problems in the water environment. Blooms can remove oxygen from the water, causing large fish kills.

For more facts and health and safety tips, read the entire pamphlet or call Florida's Aquatic Toxins Hotline: 1-888-232-8635.

Featured Stories

Industrial polluters have been using Florida's public waters as their cheap, private sewers for years. Now, they are bringing considerable political and monetary forces to fight against clean water standards that the public overwhelmingly supports.
For more than two decades, Earthjustice has been working to implement effective regulations to restore Florida’s waterways and halt destructive practices and projects. Managing Attorney David Guest discusses how Earthjustice is protecting Florida’s water and the national implications of that work.
Phosphorus and nitrogen poison Florida's waters, running off agricultural operations and fertilized landscapes. These images document harmful algae outbreaks triggered by the runoff.
Earthjustice Managing Attorney David Guest takes on the swamp creatures—alligators, politicans, slime, and polluters. They're all in a life's work for this legendary Earthjustice attorney. Learn about the work of Earthjustice's Florida regional office.
Earthjustice has been working to restore the Everglades for more than two decades. Today, we are fighting for numeric, quantifiable limits on water pollution from fertilizer, sewage, and manure in the state’s waters, including those running to the Everglades.
The Clean Water Act puts pollution limits on lakes and streams to protect their uses for drinking water, recreation, and fish and wildlife habitat. Earthjustice has sought to force the Environmental Protection Agency to create effective water quality standards.
A technical report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission providing background information for guiding development of local response plans to harmful algae outbreaks.
In a video interview, Earthjustice Managing Attorney David Guest talks about the threat to the health and wealth of Florida's citizens posed by toxic algae outbreaks. The outbreaks are caused by pollutants from sewage, fertilizer and manure that big business pumps into Florida's waterways.