- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Senate candidate and Democratic congressman Patrick Murphy delivered several bottles of toxic, algae-tainted water to Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s office Tuesday and said the governor isn’t doing enough to find a long-term solution for algae blooms caused by polluted water flowing from Lake Okeechobee.

The green, sludgy water was taken from the St. Lucie River, where a massive algae bloom and the stink that comes with it has hurt tourism and caused health concerns. Scott has declared a state of emergency.

“My constituents wake up every morning and not only do they have to look at this - 2, 3, 4 inches of algae on the surface - but they have to smell it,” Murphy told reporters after dropping off the toxic water.

Murphy also criticized Scott for not visiting the area, saying, “He declared a state of emergency but won’t see it for himself? I don’t get that.”

Scott’s office responded that Murphy should be doing more in Washington to help the problem caused by agriculture and residential pollutants that algae thrive on.



“It’s disappointing that he has spent more time on a stunt than a solution,” Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said in an email. “Time and time again, the state continues to show up and put up funding to help with the water quality in this area and we wish Congress and the President would do the same.”

Scott signed a bill this year that will provide up to $200 million toward Everglades restoration out of a fund that voters said should be used for land conservation. He also plans to ask the Legislature for money to replace septic tanks in the areas affect by algae.

Murphy said even more money from the land conservation fund should go toward buying land south of Okeechobee to treat water and then let it flow to the Everglades instead of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers.

Murphy is seeking the seat now held by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. He faces U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary.

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