There are so many questions about water quality that are unanswered by Florida elected officials who take the oath to protect the health and public welfare of taxpayers and voters.
Florida health officials in counties affected by water quality emergencies should require a database on water-borne illnesses and outcomes; especially methyl resistant staph infections otherwise known as flesh eating bacteria. Today, taxpayers and voters are in the dark. Agency staffers who could make a difference are either indifferent or too scared of their political bosses. The rote answer by politicians: "We don't want to alarm the public."
Another stock answer: "We don't want to raise people's taxes to report news that draws attention to how poorly water quality is managed in Florida."
Marty Baum, the Indian River Waterkeeper, took me on a tour last week of the St. Lucie River. There are no birds. No fishermen, no fish. Definitely no swimmers with signs like the one above posted at a local boat ramp. "Don't touch the water."
Lots of high priced, river-front real estate looking suspended in animation. At a harbor restaurant where lunch was served, a nearby water sports concession was shuttered.
Your tax dollars are being used to keep you in the dark about Florida's water quality emergency. It is time to put some sunlight on this issue. It should not be left to guessing or chance which doctors and which hospitals and clinics are handling life-threatening emergencies because a child or adult has inadvertently paid the price for contact with Florida's toxic waters.