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Narrative Standard for Algae Causing Nutrients
For nutrients that have been causing the toxic outbreaks of algal blooms in many of Florida’s rivers, lakes and streams, there are “narrative standards”. What does that mean? Well according to the Environmental Protection Agency it means the standards are vague and difficult to enforce. The EPA would like to see a set of standards that provide better protection for sensitive waters, lakes and estuaries.

Nutrient pollution threatens human health and the environment. It hurts businesses, costs jobs, and reduces property values. EPA officials are confident that extensive research and collaboration have resulted in standards that are reasonable and defensible to reduce the nutrient levels, but locals aren’t sure the standards are effective.

For instance, the EPA rules add biologic and chemical indicators as well as the nutrient limits. The Santa Fe River met state nutrient standards, but it is clean from the biologic indicators that the river was impaired.

 
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Robotic Laboratories Fan Out to Study the Seas - Robots called Environmental Sample Processors, or ESPs take biological samples, perform lab experiments in situ, and can ping results back to land via satellite. Rather than outsourcing the exploratory science of oceanography to robots, ESPs are expanding the reach and scope of where scientists are able to investigate.


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