In Southern Florida, concerns continue to rise over the current condition of the state’s Everglades. Now flourished with algae blooms toxic to both marine and human life, decision makers are searching for a solution to remove the green growth and sustain water resources. As one of the state’s primary sources of freshwater, Senate President Joe Negron proposed an $2.4 billion solution which encompasses the purchasing of about 60,000 acres south of Lake Okeechobee to build a purification reservoir.  The man-made tactic is suggested to help remove contaminants while also supplying more clean water to Southern Florida. 
“You can’t continue to destroy oyster beds, destroy the sea grasses we spent millions of dollars planting, and have communities where there are literally signs saying ‘Due to outbreak of poisonous bacteria, you can’t swim in the water,’ ” Negron stated in an interview with the Times/Herald. 
Tampa Bay Times reports that Negron’s hopes for the cost of the project to be split between the federal government and the state of Florida, leaving the state’s half at $1.2 billion.  However, the project has its oppositions. Many have raised concerns over the state’s overall debt increase from this project. Others are worried about the land requirements. The acreage for the reservoir would be taken from the sugar cane farmers, a large agricultural powerhouse in the state. 
Although this proposal is still being debated, the reoccurring algae outbreaks are destroying this once lush ecosystem. Last year, heavy rainfalls forced the US Army Corps of Engineers to release billions of gallons of tainted water into Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries.  This, along with wastewater discharge and agricultural runoff, are suggested to be the culprit to the booming bloom.
According to Larry Brand, a professor of marine biology and ecology at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science who has studied the Everglades for 20 years, toxic algae species are becoming more prevalent. 
The contaminants in the water are suggested to raise certain nutrient levels that fuel the algae, such as phosphorus and nitrogen. When large amounts of algae build on the surface, organic matter sinks and is then consumed by bacteria thereby removing oxygen from the water. Oxygen is vital to the Everglades’ marine life; and as Brand explains in an interview with the University of Miami News & Events, “If you take out all the oxygen, everything else dies.” 
Lawmakers are set to continue the Everglades conversation during regular session beginning in March, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 
Published 1/31/2016 Klas, Mary Ellen. Everglades restoration: Debate rages over plan to spend $800 million to build a massive water cleaning reservoir. Tampa Bay Times, January 7, 2017. Web. http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/legislature/everglades-restoration-debate-rages-over-plan-to-spend-800-million-to/2308640  Castillo, Jessica. Poisoning A River of Grass. University of Miami News & Events, January 23, 2017. Web. http://news.miami.edu/stories/2017/01/poisoning-a-river-of-grass.html  Turner, Jim. Fla. Senate begins weighing Negron’s water plan. The News Service of Florida, January 11, 2017. Web. http://www.theledger.com/news/20170111/fla-senate-begins-weighing-negrons-water-plan  The Tampa Bay Times. Negron’s smart next step for the Everglades. Miami Herald, January 18, 2017. Web. http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article127367394.html