SARASOTA — With Florida’s nagging environmental woes flaring up to crisis levels in some areas, Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist unveiled a clean water plan Wednesday that was light on details but promised tougher regulations.
A red tide algae bloom is causing extensive fish kills in the Tampa Bay area, Florida is experiencing a record number of manatee deaths and a large blue-green algae bloom covers much of Lake Okeechobee.
Crist touched on all three issues Wednesday, but also drew a rebuke from a prominent local environmentalist about what he didn’t include in his plan — phosphate mining.
Standing on a deck overlooking Sarasota Bay at Marina Jack, Crist sped through the elements of his plan in three minutes, taking jabs at polluting “special interests” and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. He later traveled to Fort Myers for a boat tour.
“We’ve seen this story play out time and time again,” Crist said. “Politicians look the other way while special interests run wild, and when something goes wrong, it’s the everyday Floridians who have to pay the tab.”