Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed University of Florida Water Institute Director, Wendy Graham, to the new State of Florida Blue-Green Algae Task Force. Dr. Graham will be working in collaboration Dr. Evelyn Gaiser (Florida International University), Dr. Michael Parsons (Florida Gulf Coast University), Dr. James Sullivan (Florida Atlantic University) and Dr. Valerie Paul (Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce). The team will report to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection secretary, Noah Valenstein.
According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s press release, the Task Force will make recommendations to expedite nutrient reductions in Lake Okeechobee and downstream estuaries and will identify opportunities to fund priority projects with state, local and federal funding. The Task Force will also review and prioritize projects that will provide the largest and most meaningful nutrient reductions in other key waterways.
“It is significant that Governor DeSantis has made improving Florida’s water quality one of his administration’s early priorities,” Graham said. “I look forward to helping to bring the latest science to chart a course to manage this important problem, and to rigorously document progress towards its solution.”