Imagine that one of Florida’s most important flood-control structures has been ruptured, and that every day, 1.5 billion gallons of toxic water is gushing into two of Florida’s most popular sport fishing, boating and tourist areas.
Soon, a dark, smelly blue-green algae bloom forms in the waterways, with the consistency of guacamole. Below the surface, the algae is suffocating sea grass where sport fish breed; exposure to the water is toxic to wildlife and pets. For humans, simply inhaling the air near the water results in symptoms similar to asthma. People are getting sick. Those who work near the water are wearing respiratory gear.