In an effort to raise awareness to the dire water quality conditions of the Indian River Lagoon, Maitland State Representative Joy Goff-Marcil has gifted 160 mason jars of toxic water to all elected Senate and House Members of the Florida Legislature. The Indian River Lagoon, one of the most biodiverse estuaries in the Northern Hemisphere, has been suffering massive losses of marine life due to deadly amounts of human sewage and plastics, glyphosates from weed killer, and stormwater leakages of nitrogen and phosphorus that result in the algal blooms seen today.
In addressing why she sent the jars of water, Rep. Goff-Marcil urges her “fellow Members to consider the gift as a friendly reminder as well as a call to action: We need to develop a system for septic and stormwater inspection and monitoring, and my legislation does just that. The manatees are dying, the seagrass is dwindling, and the birds have flocked away. We, as elected officials, need to start paying attention.”
The gift bags of water, accompanied by a two-sided informational sheet explaining the biome repercussions of the decaying river, was provided to Representative Goff-Marcil by Katrina Shadix, the Executive Director of Bear Warriors United based in Seminole County. The informational sheet listed a series of Appropriation Project Bills passed unanimously on the Consent Agenda and included in the 2021 General Appropriations Act, of which includes:
- HB 3077, appropriating $176,825 to the South Indian River Water Control District Section Drainage Improvement Project
- HB 3799, appropriating $600,000 to the Indian River Lagoon Seagrass Restoration Project
- HB 4101, appropriating $292,500 to the Brevard County Indian River Lagoon
This effort aligns with Representative Goff-Marcil’s sponsored legislation in HB 1225, a bill to implement the recommendations of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force that would fulfill the promise and efforts made by the 2020 Clean Waterways Act.