In the past 10 years, Suncoast Waterkeeper has taken responsible legal action that has resulted in the removal of 1 trillion gallons of nutrient-polluted wastewater from entering creeks, rivers, and bays. We have curtailed sewage spills, stopped industrial pollution, informed the public about the safety of recreational waters, and tackled one of the most significant local environmental disasters of our time including the Piney Point disaster in 2021. Suncoast Waterkeeper joined with Center for Biological Diversity, Manasota-88, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper and Our Children’s Earth Foundation to sue the property owner, HRK Holdings, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to demand accountability and the safe closure of Piney Point.
Since 2019, we have settled eight Clean Water Act Citizen suits. Five took action against municipalities illegally spilling over 1 trillion gallons of sewage, and three aimed to stop industrial facilities from illegally discharging heavy metal-laden stormwater. Combined, the suits contributed more than $600,000 for environmental projects aimed at enhancing local waters in Sarasota and Tampa Bays, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars of investments by Sarasota and the City of Bradenton to improve infrastructure. We all win when there is much less nitrogen pollution to fuel Red Tide, and there is an observable increase in seagrass meadows.