Date: June 1st, 2020
Journalist: Gary Reich
In the age of covid-19, it doesn’t take long to appreciate the things you once took for granted. In a matter of days, millions of workers in restaurants, hotels, barbershops and more went from gainful work to collecting unemployment.
In a way, that’s exactly what happened to tens of thousands of South Florida’s marine and shoreside businesses in 2018, when toxic mats of blue-green algae began smothering the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. The foul-smelling concoction — sometimes mixed with huge expanses of dead fish — closed beaches and waterways on both sides of South Florida. People canceled vacation plans. Others stayed home to avoid the smelly mess. The problems lasted for months, leaving economic and environmental destruction.