JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 5,000 people have signed a petition urging Governor Ron DeSantis to take steps to prevent sewage sludge from polluting the St. Johns River.
The campaign, launched by the St. Johns Riverkeeper says nearly 90,000 tons of South Florida’s sewage sludge is being disposed of within the River’s Upper Basin and polluting the water.
Over a decade ago, legislation gave South Florida protection from sewage sludge. As a result, Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper, said trucks are bringing the sewage sludge north to be disposed within the headwaters of the St. Johns and it is impacting the water quality of the entire river.
“What we’re seeing, in 2017 alone, they trucked 89,000 tons of sewage sludge and that has a high nutrient runoff which is fueling toxic blue-green algae throughout the river,” explained Rinaman.
To stop the pollution, the petition is asking for the Governor to give all waterways the same protections as South Florida.
“We need to protect all of Florida waters from this unsustainable, really dangerous practice,” explained Rinaman. “To do that, we have to have a comprehensive holistic management of our human waste. The state of Florida is growing dramatically, we all contribute to the volume of waste in our state and right now, we’re not managing it in a way that protects our waters, our health and our economy.”
To view the petition, click here.