Scott's algae emergency caused by his decisions

Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in South Florida over the algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee and other waterways.

Not only has he done nothing in his eight years as governor to prevent this catastrophe, but he's cut budgets, rolled back regulations and appointed his developer cronies to boards and departments that should be protecting Florida's environment (but aren't).

Money that could have helped prevent this disaster through land purchases near Lake Okeechobee was diverted from its intended purpose.

Scott has taken campaign contributions from some of the worst polluters, most notably Big Sugar.

He said on TV that he was trying to "find out what causes the algae bloom" and doing all he could to stop it. Two fibs in one sentence!

The Herald-Tribune’s July 10 article establishes that red tide is naturally occurring but points out that it is made worse by nutrient pollution (fertilizers).

The discharge of millions of gallons of nutrient-rich water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River immediately preceded this green-algae and red-tide catastrophe. Cause and effect seem pretty clear.

If you haven't personally encountered hundreds of dead animals on the beaches, you can't know how bad the situation really is. Dead animals as far as I could see down Manasota Key. The smell of death stayed in my nostrils for hours afterward.

Scott blames the federal government to minimize the damage to his Senate campaign. He owns this catastrophe.

Who knows what damage Scott could do if he gets to Washington!

Robert Kaercher, Venice

Save Florida's water, before it's too late

Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline bordering saltwater — water we can’t yet drink.

The state has myriad freshwater lakes and natural springs. Even with such resources, Florida water won’t last forever.

Some industrialists seek to frack for natural gas in Florida. Fracking — pouring chemicals into the ground to fracture rocks and release gas — often sullies if not poisons an area’s water supply. We can’t allow this in our state.

What if global warming and climate change are not hoaxes? Brackish water already has invaded the Everglades. If saltwater can permeate the land near Miami, what about our other freshwater resources?

Let’s begin modestly to preserve our water supply.

Restaurateurs, don’t place glasses of water on a diner’s table unless requested. Often patrons don’t drink the water, and the restaurant pours it down the drain.

Patrons, don’t ask for water unless you really need it. If you request water, why not share a glass to start?

At home, refrain from running water endlessly when brushing teeth, shaving or rinsing and washing dishes.

The same economy applies when washing your car: hose on, use water, hose off. Use a bucket. Don’t just let it run.

Fertilizer runoff spoils water. It feeds red tide. How much is your green lawn (or crop) worth if you spoil our water? Priorities, please.

Save our water, before it’s too late.

Our planet has a finite supply of natural resources. It makes sense to preserve Florida’s water resources. Let’s do ourselves and our kids a favor.

Jeffrey Weisman, Sarasota

Much of 'our' Siesta sands washed away from Lido

Save Our Siesta Sands 2 (SOS 2) seems determined to pursue rear-guard litigation against the limited dredging of Big Pass to save Lido Key Beach (“Group renews resistance to Lido Beach project,” Herald-Tribune, July 10).

Frivolous litigation to tie up the dredging plan in court until Lido Beach dies is not the answer.

SOS 2 expresses concern about a loss of revenue and property values. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found the concern without merit. The limited dredging plan calls for correcting any unforeseen problems, should they arise.

SOS 2 is supposed to stand for Save Our Siesta Sands 2. But sea currents wash sand from Lido Key Beach southward onto Siesta Beach. If the consequences weren’t so serious, the lack of logic in the acronym would just be a bad joke.

The truth is that Lido Beach goes, while Siesta Beach grows.

The blinkered view of SOS 2 ignores the devastating loss of municipal revenue and profits to the businesses on St. Armands Circle if Lido Key Beach disappears.

Trying to stop the correction of actual and irreversible harm to others because of hypothetical and unproven fears of harm to one’s self is not sound policy.

Does SOS 2 want to be a sandbox bully sitting atop an abundance of sand — much of which comes from another sandbox — and fighting off other playmates?

Please play nice, SOS 2, with your neighbors in Sarasota. They are not your enemies.

Michael J. Polelle, Sarasota