Groups call on lawmakers to help protect St. Johns River

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Environmental advocates in Jacksonville and around Florida are calling on state lawmakers to take steps to protect the St. Johns River and other waterways.

In recent years, the river has been affected by algae blooms. The algae feeds off of fertilizer and sewage that are dumped into the river.

On Monday morning, the St. Johns Riverkeeper and the Sierra Club voiced their opposition to bills in the Florida House and Senate.

Other groups held similar events at the same time around the state.

They say the proposals, which certain water quality standards, don't do enough to keep waterways clean.

"It costs us money," St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman said. "Our prevention, it costs the polluters money; restoration, it costs all of us money. And we want to make sure we're not pushing this problem off to future generations."

The environmental groups say algae poses health threats to people and to animals. They also say it's an economic issue because some businesses rely on having a clean river.

The Senate is scheduled to consider its bill Tuesday.

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