Issues of Interest

TOURISM NUMBERS VISITFlorida estimates that the state welcomed 35.1 million visitors between July and September 2022, marking a 6.9 percent increase over the same period in 2021. This fifth consecutive quarter of overall visitation surpasses pre-pandemic levels.

SPRINGS RESTORATION Thirty statewide springs renovation projects will share nearly $75 million to aid the recovery of, and provide protection for, Florida’s springs. The funding will pay for land acquisition, septic to sewer conversions and water quality improvement efforts. A listing of the projects is here.

BISCAYNE BAY A total of $22.7 million from the Biscayne Bay Grant Program will be disbursed to seven projects relating to water quality improvements and protection for Miami-Dade County’s Biscayne Bay.

ALGAE County health departments are urging their residents to avoid water with blue-green algae as the toxic bloom causes a range of health issues including damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system. The state is experiencing an increase in blooms since Hurricane Nicole.

RED TIDE Recent water samples indicate toxic red tide is still present along Florida’s Gulf Coast. While levels around Manatee, Sarasota and SW Florida have dropped, they have increased in Lower Tampa Bay, St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island. Red tide is responsible for killing marine life and making people sick.