Martin County Conservation Alliance


Please JOIN US Wed. NOV. 20 to hear Dr. Paul Gray.
Your comments are needed to CDC by MONDAY NOV. 18.

Nov. 20 -  Dr. Paul Gray, Audubon of Florida – Local Birds

& "Lake Okeechobee: What Happens Here Doesn't Stay Here."

NOTE:  Dr. Paul is knowledgeable about birds (Audubon of Florida) 

and the Lake  (he is the Audubon of Florida expert for the Lake)

and has been a great voice for a healthy Lake Okeechobee that helps us too.

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Great info and good time to say "thanks and please continue."

Join us on Wednesday,  Nov. 20th – 6:30-7:40 pm

Wolf Technology Center, IRSC Chastain Campus – 2400 S.E. Salerno Rd

Best parking is in western lot, closer to Hospital & in front of Morgade Library.

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LOSOM meetings are on-going and Big Sugar is active there.

LOSOM is the Lake Okeehobee System Operating Manual -- what levels will

the Lake be maintained at, when will dumps from Lake O come OUR  WAY,

will Big Sugar continue to get favored treatment.

Our Elected Officials worked hard to get us this opportunity to weigh in.

We MUST be part of this to keep from having more toxic algae in years ahead.

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The CDC Survey is Very Important for LOSOM.  Some at LOSOM are saying

that the Corps must have Studies to Support the Health Concerns to give it much weight.

Comments are due on Nov. 14 unless that deadline is extended.  

IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO GET SOME INPUT TO THEM FROM OUR AREA. 
THE SUGAR FOLKS WILL NO DOUBT BE TELLING THEM THERE IS NO NEED FOR THE STUDY.
The CDC is proposing to do a study on microcystin exposure from blue-green algae.
They are taking public comment until NOVEMBER 18, 2019.  Make YOUR Comments & spread the word!  It's Our Health, Our Healthy Environment!

The website link:

Below are some suggested ideas on how to answer the 4 questions posed by the CDC. They need to hear from people in their own words what the impact of the green slime has been.

To send comments by mail:
-- Jeffrey M. Zirger, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia, 30329
All submissions must include the agency name (CDC) and Docket number. (CDC-2019-0079).

QUESTIONS THE CDC WANTS PUBLIC COMMENT ON:
1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
      This information is critical in the area around Lake Okeechobee where extensive cyanobacteria blooms have become a regular occurrence. Since this is happening in many other states, it is of national importance.
​     The lack of information on exposure and long-term health risks has led to inconstancy in public warnings that exposes the public, particularly children, with long-term consequences.
     The Florida Health Department has told residents that only susceptible individuals who actually contact the blooms are likely to be affected and only experience minor symptoms. We know the toxins aerosolize. We know the toxins are found in nasal passages and lungs for those who have not made contact with blooms. We need more information on what toxins become aerosolized and if enough toxin in the air is a risk. Also, if such toxins or their effects accumulate over time.

2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
     Collecting a representative sample will be challenging. The toxicity of the cyanobacteria has become a political issue with some public officials denying that the blooms are toxic in Lake Okeechobee, yet data from FDEP shows toxins are common.
     Those who are aware of the risks will take steps to avoid being in or near the blooms and will wear protective gear if exposure is necessary.
     Those who deny the toxicity will be more likely to be exposed but less willing to prove that exposure is a risk.
     Ideally employees who are required to be near blooms without protective gear on a daily basis would be the best subjects. State employees who regularly inspect and test blooms and do not wear protective gear would be ideal subjects.
     Both Florida Atlantic University and Florida Gulf Coast University have done studies on inhalation of microcystin. Data from those studies should be used to determine appropriate samples.
     While frequent recreational fishing on Lake Okeechobee might be seen as frequent exposure, many recreational fishermen stick to the Lake marshes where no blooms have been identified.

3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
     The study and its sampling methods should make clear whether they are collecting data from those with a high likelihood of regular aerosol exposure OR whether it is simply a sample of those who have some degree of aerial exposure that would reflect the general populace.
     What is most needed is a worst-case study that allows those who must be regularly exposed to know if there are risks involved.

4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

5. Assess information collection costs.
     The lack of information on the health risks of cyanobacteria puts us at risk for high human cost and high economic cost. Being cheap and “seeing no evil” is not an acceptable strategy.

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Please Join Us.  Open to the Public.  No charge.  Tell Friends.

If you have questions, send them to DonnaSMelzer@gmail.com.

Sponsored by Martin County Conservation Alliance.  Open to public, no charge.

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The Martin County Conservation Alliance website seeks to inform residents about development projects and Comprehensive Plan amendments which threaten our special Martin County quality of life. We invite the public to attend our monthly meetings. Please become a member of the Martin County Conservation Alliance and stand with us. The state has severely weakened the Growth Management Act, so we must join together and act locally. It is our best hope of preserving our Martin County difference.

Website by the Martin County Conservation Alliance, P.O. Box 1923, Stuart, FL 34995