RESOLUTION OF THE FLORIDA LEAGUE OF CITIES, INC., IN RESPONSE TO THE HIGH
CONCENTRATION AND PROLONGED PRESENCE OF HARMFUL RED ALGAL BLOOMS IN THE GULF OF
MEXICO AND TOXIC BLUE GREEN ALGAL BLOOMS IN FLORIDA’S COASTAL, ESTUARINE AND INLAND
WATERS, URGING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNTED STATES TO DECLARE AFFECTED
JURISDICTIONS IN FLORIDA A MAJOR DISASTER AREA, URGING MEMBERS OF FLORIDA’S
CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO REQUEST SAID ACTION BY THE PRESIDENT, AND URGING
THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA TO EXPAND THE CURRENT STATE OF EMERGENCY
TO ENCOMPASS ALL AFFECTED JURISDICTIONS.
WHEREAS, water quality is of vital importance to Florida’s municipalities, their residents, businesses and visitors; and
WHEREAS, water quality is of vital importance to the state’s economy and numerous municipal economies throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, there is widespread, high concentration and prolonged presence of harmful Red Tide in waters of the Gulf of Mexico and its adjacent estuarine areas, resulting in large numbers of dead fish and marine life washing up on beaches and within rivers and waterways within numerous jurisdictions throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, decaying fish and marine life further degrades water quality; and
WHEREAS, excess water discharged from Lake Okeechobee is causing widespread and prolonged toxic Blue Green Algal blooms in coastal and inland waterways in numerous jurisdictions throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, the widespread and prolonged algal blooms threaten the State’s environment and fragile ecosystems, including its beaches, rivers and wildlife; and
WHEREAS, the widespread and prolonged algal blooms and fish kills have led to the issuance of health advisories, closure of recreational areas, and economic losses to affected communities; and
WHEREAS, Governor Rick Scott issued Executive Order Number 18-191 on July 9, 2018, declaring a State of Local Emergency for the following counties for Emergency Management-Lake Okeechobee Discharge/Algae Blooms: Glades, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie; and
WHEREAS, the Governor’s declaration of Executive Order Number 18-191 may make funding assistance available to businesses, individuals, and governmental entities adversely affected by algal blooms and fish kills; and
WHEREAS, the Blue Green Algal blooms are increasing the severity and impact of the Red Tide; and
WHEREAS, the combined effects of the Harmful Red Tide and Blue Green Algal Blooms has caused numerous visitors to cancel vacations to Florida, while businesses that rely on water quality have seen sharp declines in revenue, causing devastating impacts to local government economies and the well-being of local residents and businesses; and
WHEREAS, the adverse impacts caused by the Red Tide and Blue Green Algal blooms are being experienced in jurisdictions beyond the initial seven counties encompassed in Executive Order Number 18-191; and
WHEREAS, there is no indication the harmful Red Algal bloom and toxic Blue Green Algal bloom will abate before lasting economic harm occurs.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE
FLORIDA LEAGUE OF CITIES, INC.:
Section 1. The
Florida League of Cities, Inc. urges the President of the United States to
declare all jurisdictions affected by the harmful Red Algal bloom and the toxic
Blue Green Algal bloom a Major Disaster area to provide economic assistance to
businesses and individuals impacted by these blooms.
Section 2. The Florida League of Cities, Inc. urges members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation to request the President of the United States to declare all jurisdictions affected by the harmful Red Algal bloom and the toxic Blue Green Algal bloom a Major Disaster area.
Section 3. The Florida League of Cities, Inc. urges the Governor of the State of Florida to expand Executive Order Number 18-191 to include additional jurisdictions that are adversely impacted by the harmful Red Algal bloom and the toxic Blue Green Algal bloom.
PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Florida League of Cities, Inc., in conference
assembled at the League’s 92nd Annual Conference, at the Diplomat Resort, Hollywood, Florida, this 18th Day of August 2018.
Gil Ziffer, President
Florida League of Cities, Inc.
Commissioner, City of Tallahassee
Michael Sittig, Executive Director
League of Cities, Inc.