Guest Commentary: Demand Water Action Now


It is with heavy heart and sad emotion that I take time to put these thoughts to words and share them with all that will listen. As I watch a video of people trying to save a manatee stranded in a sea of blue green algae, it is raising its head out of the poison scum trying to breath as people try to spray it with fresh water to keep it alive. I would rather we get rid of all the “no wake zones” and let the boat motors do the job faster than watch and have children watch these poor animals suffer this way. The once beautiful sparkling blue waters of the Gulf are now a thing of the past. People (you notice I don’t say tourist because they are not here) should be very careful about swimming our waters.

The attitude has been “oh we can just wait though the summer season and it will clear up in the fall.” That isn’t working. People’s lives, health and livelihoods are being threatened. It has now reached critical mass and must be dealt with ASAP.

FACT – We will get more rain through the summer season and this can only get worse without immediate action. It is not just the problem of one area of South Florida, because the Army Corp and the EPA believe in spreading the wealth. They have successfully managed to get the whole of South Florida with our National Parks in the Everglades also being the recipients of this poison and their lack of fore thought.

As the pirates of old would say, “the cat is out of the bag” meaning the “cat of nine tails” a whip of punishment kept on deck in a bag and only brought out when someone needed discipline.

The time has come to put denial behind us and start accepting the fact that the Lake O releases have destroyed our estuaries and economy. If we are to recover we MUST stop acting like the student in the end of the Animal House movie who walks down the street in the middle of the chaos and just keeps saying “All is well, all is well” trying to making it happen by believing it. Like the movie it does nothing. I beg and plead to all that read this to make public the Lake O emergency that we now find ourselves in. We can no longer keep it quiet!

In the day of Face Book, Twitter, AND ALL THE OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA people all over the world know what is going on here! The tourists are not here this summer, the staycationers are staying away. Europeans get Face Book too and they are not here this summer. If we would like to see this environment and the economies built on it survive we must all press the President, Governor and all our elected officials to take emergency action NOW!

Today the Weather Channel announced that the Lake O releases and algae blooms are hitting the Gulf Coast. We knew that a while ago. Check out Paddlers Against the Flow and Captains for Clean Water on Facebook. Also check out

I am a concerned citizen, volunteer, businessman and environmentalist.


John Paeno
Bonita Springs