We want to wish a happy new year to the entire Suncoast Waterkeeper family. Our waterways and natural areas support the local economy and quality of life. Together, we fought to protect our water in 2021 and, with your help, will continue to work to preserve what makes the Suncoast special.
Here’s a look back at our work in 2021 and a preview of what we’re working on for 2022:
Piney Point has been a ticking time bomb. Due to neglect and inaction, the State of Florida was forced to dump over 200 million gallons of contaminated water into Tampa Bay. Over the course of 2021, we experienced some of the worst red tides, other harmful algae blooms and fish kills that we have ever seen. The threat doesn’t end there. Now the State of Florida and DEP are working to inject the wastewater into our aquifer without adequate testing or filtration.
That is why we launched and are continuing to pursue a federal lawsuit to safely close Piney Point with other partners and organizations in the region.
In addition to the lawsuit, we hosted educational forums and conducted advocacy campaigns to demand better from our local and state elected officials on Piney Point.
Stopping Sewage Spills
Our region has suffered from numerous sewage spills due to poor management of aging environmental infrastructure. According to the City of Bradenton’s own reports, 160 million gallons of raw and partially treated sewage was dumped into the Manatee River over the last four years. This contributed to declining conditions in our estuaries. In 2021, we filed a notice of intent to sue the City of Bradenton over repeated sewage spills into our waterways. We hope to resolve our case against Bradenton in 2022. Our previous sewage lawsuits have resulted in major investments in wastewater infrastructure and fewer sewage spills. Together, we’re going to continue our work to reduce sewage spills on the Suncoast.
Water Quality Monitoring
To enjoy our waterways, we need to ensure that they are clean. We sample water quality weekly to keep our community informed about the water they rely on for recreation, work and more. In 2022, because of your support, we’ll continue to monitor water quality in our waterways.
Monitoring Public Information & Demanding Accountability
In many ways, regulation and oversight in Florida is broken. Our regulators have repeatedly ignored or failed to address threats to our water quality, quality of life and local economy. That’s why we regularly monitor public records for information on water quality, pollution, harmful algae blooms and new and existing projects. Monitoring this information allows us to let you know what is happening in our community and lets us know when we need to take action.
Your support means that we’ll be able to continue to work to protect our water. We can’t afford to let pollution, contamination and inaction from our government officials threaten our water, quality of life and local economy. Together, we’ll continue to make a difference in 2022.