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Who’s To Blame For Florida’s Toxic Algae? Democrats, Republicans, Independents Disagree

Toxic algae blooms plagued the Indian River Lagoon in 2016. Photo: WMFE file

Who is to blame for Florida’s toxic algae? A University of Florida survey on last year’s crisis shows the answer is different for Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

The survey found that Democrats were 80 percent more likely than Republicans to blame state government, and Independents were 40 percent more likely to blame state leaders.

UF environmental engineering professor David Kaplan, who worked on the survey, says respondents also blamed agricultural producers. The federal government, Florida residents and tourists shouldered the least blame.

“Whether it’s about the way you manage your own lawn or the decisions you make at the polling booth, we all have a roll to play in mitigating these in the future.”

Only half of respondents described themselves as knowledgeable about the toxic blooms. More than 400 respondents participated in the telephone survey in December.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »