Charlotte County Democrats attended Tuesday’s Water Quality Summit in Punta Gorda. Many were skeptical of claims by Republican state lawmakers.
State Sen. Ben Albritton (R), Dist. 26 and State Rep. Michael Grant (R), Dist. 75 asserted that environmental concerns and especially Red Tide were at the top of the agenda for the legislature.
Members of the newly-established Charlotte Co. Democratic Environmental Caucus submitted written questions to the panels. Rep. Grant responded to a question, concerning the effects of phosphate mining by Mosaic Inc., saying that it was the first he had heard of any concerns about phosphates. That answer elicited laughter from the audience.
Pressure from activists, including many Democrats, has recently forced a pause on planned phosphate mining in Desoto County.
No Democratic lawmakers were invited to participate in the panels moderated by County Commissioner Bill Truex (R). New handout material from the Democratic Environmental Caucus was distributed at Tuesday’s Summit.
Scientists from Mote Labs of Sarasota and the Florida Environmental Protection Agency presented information about the causes of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and possible solutions.
The Summit was covered by local news media, including WINK-TV and NBC-2.
Charlotte County is taking a stand in Southwest Florida’s water crisis.