In January of 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order 19-12 creating the Blue-Green Algae Task Force (BGATF) charged with expediting progress towards reducing the adverse impacts of toxic blue-green algae blooms. In October of 2019, the Task Force issued an initial consensus document outlining recommendations to make progress towards that goal. As we approach the three-year anniversary of the issuance of those recommendations, ecological conditions in Florida have not improved and, in many cases, they have worsened. Lack of meaningful water quality protections have resulted in persistent harmful algal blooms, a record number of manatees deaths, and an overall decline in water quality statewide.
During the summer of 2022, as algae blooms continued to plague waterways across the state, a coalition of environmental organizations representing Floridians across the state, including Waterkeepers Florida, came together to review the BGATF recommendations and provide an update on their implementation. This document serves as a progress report to outline which of the BGATF recommendations have and have not been implemented by legislative and state agency actions during the last three years.