More than 30 beaches across Florida participated in the awareness event
On Aug. 12, protestors joined hands at more than 30 beaches across Florida in a movement called “Hands Along the Water.” The movement sought to raise awareness regarding toxic blue-green algae blooms believed to be caused by discharges from Lake Okeechobee polluted by agricultural storm water runoff. The algae blooms, combined with a red tide, have closed beaches and devastated marine life across Florida’s gulf coast.
The peaceful gatherings were held across the state at beaches, including those in Miami, Cocoa Beach, Naples, Fort Myers and Sanibel. Protesters held hands across beaches and raised their hands to the sky for 15 minutes in an effort to call attention to the state’s water quality problem perpetuated by polluted storm water runoff, as reported by the Sun Sentinel. The event focused on the damage done to wildlife, homes and beaches by the toxic blue-green algae believed to be released from Lake Okeechobee to coastal communities through the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers. The toxins may be a result of citrus grove and sugar cane agricultural runoff, as well as fertilizer and manure storm water runoff.
JOINING HANDS: Dozens of people are holding hands along Madeira Beach and John's Pass Bridge for one of several #HandsAlongTheWater events being held across Florida | WATCH: https://t.co/kz2tydS39h pic.twitter.com/Qoa2C6Ou6O
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) August 12, 2018
— NBC2 (@NBC2) August 12, 2018