My Jenny Staletovich of the Miami Herald, 08/06/2018:
State scientists sample water in the lake, but too infrequently to track rapidly evolving algae blooms. So instead, Havens had to rely on satellite images taken thousands of miles away. But only on sunny days when clouds don’t get in the way.
“No one is out on the lake collecting water samples of the bloom,” he said last month. “We’re flying blind.”
Over the last decade, as the state fought federal efforts to protect water, shrunk its own environmental and water-management agencies, and cut funding to an algae task force, monitoring for water quality has plummeted. While one crisis after another hit Florida, state and federal funding that paid for a massive coastal network with nearly three decades of information dwindled from about 350 stations to 115, according to Florida International University’s Southeast Environmental Research Center.
In 2014, the state cut funding to about 30 percent of the stations in Biscayne Bay where half the seagrass has died in the last six years.