The massive toxic algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee

This is a paper that focuses on the massive toxic algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee. The paper also identifies the similarities and differences in emergency responses.

The massive toxic algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee

Florida beaches are suffering from a massive toxic algae bloom that formed in Lake Okeechobee. As the water warms during summer, it creates an ideal environment for the growth of the blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria. The blue-green algae can be toxic and harmful to people and animals that come into contact with it. The algae bloom spread far beyond the shores of Lake Okeechobee because the Army Corps of Engineers is keeping the water level low in Lake Okeechobee to prevent a possible breach of the 80-year-old earthen dike that surrounds the lake — a breach that could be catastrophic and lead to flooding in nearby communities.

Sending big gushes of pollution-laden Lake Okeechobee water east into the St. Lucie River and west into the Caloosahatchee River is already hurting sea grass and oyster beds and scaring away game fish along the coast.


QUESTION1: If there was a time machine to go back in time 50-60 years before the establishment of the Everglades Agricultural Area. How could you better plan the development of this land for farming, communities, and the environment in order to prevent this toxic-algae bloom?

Read the NY Times Story, “The Invisible Catastrophe (Links to an external site.)” describing the Aliso Canyon gas leak (also called Porter Ranch gas leak) the largest methane leak in US history.

Questions 2: Use this information and your own research to help answer the following
A.       Identify the similarities and differences in the emergency response to the methane gas leak when compared to the Flint, MI safe-water failure.
·         Identify similarities:
·         Identify differences:
B.       Explain why evacuation was deemed necessary to insure the health or safety of Porter Ranch residents, but not for Flint, MI residents. Specifically, does exposure to unsafe air pose a different health risk than exposure to unsafe water?

Supply the vast majority of our energy needs, including more than two-thirds of U.S. electricity generation. They have powered America for more than a century. However, their production and use have significant health and environmental impacts, including air and water pollution, environmental degradation, and global warming.

Questions 3:
A.       Besides or other than extreme weather events, explain how climate change can negatively affect public health?
B.       Nuclear power is an alternative energy source to fossil fuels.
i.            Explain one advantage of using nuclear energy with respect to lessening climate change or global warming.
ii.            Explain one disadvantage of using nuclear energy with respect to endangering public health.

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