Suncoast Waterkeeper is SICK OF SEWAGE!
"SOS" in Tampa Bay
(1) de-politicize the issue by agreeing to oversight by the federal court,
(2) provide certainty that cities will fully address overdue system maintenance and upgrades via mandatory long-term commitments and deadlines, and
(3) ensure transparency and citizen oversight.
Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, bountiful wildlife, and beloved blue waters. Sadly, many cities in Florida suffer from antiquated infrastructure that leads to sewage overflowing into waterways during large storms, which are especially common during the annual hurricane season. Sewage pollution wreaks havoc on wildlife and ecosystems, and poses major health risks to humans that come into contact with polluted water. Bacteria and pathogens in sewage cause serious infections and even death for humans or animals unlucky enough to be exposed.
Florida's sewage pollution crisis is a blight and creates horrific conditions in one of America's most important areas for water-based tourism and recreation, fishing, and sensitive wildlife habitat. City and state officials have not been proactive in maintaining sewage systems. St. Pete became a national poster child for sewage pollution after the city myopically decided to close one of its four sewage treatment plants right before the rainy season of 2015. In the months that followed, St. Pete dumped hundreds of millions of gallons of raw and "partially-treated" sewage into neighborhoods, Tampa Bay, and adjacent waters. Making matters worse, local officials were not transparent or forthcoming about the scope and impact of the spills.