1. Bill would steer more federal resources to target algae blooms
The U.S. Senate has passed a bill that would devote more federal resources to combating algae blooms.
The legislation is part of a growing response by Congress to the environmentally and economically harmful phenomena that have plagued both Florida coasts.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., would give the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency authority to declare a severe algae bloom as a nationally significant event. That declaration would trigger federal resources available to those affected by the outbreak.
The measure also would authorize, though not guarantee, $110 million over the next five years for research into the causes and control of large algae blooms and hypoxia — low-oxygen zones.
“People come to Florida to enjoy its beautiful beaches and unique environment,” Nelson said in a news release. “When these toxic algae blooms plague our waterways, they not only hurt our environment, they hurt our local economies as well.
The bill, passed Tuesday without opposition on a voice vote, now heads to the House.
2. Collision kills motorcyclist
A motorcyclist who died Saturday morning after a collision with a pickup was identified Sunday by the Florida Highway Patrol.
The victim was Joseph Carl Ankrom, 56, of Naples, who was driving his 2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle without a helmet.
The wreck occurred about 8:30 a.m. Saturday on County Road 92, nearly 2 miles south of U.S. 41 on the eastern edge of Collier-Seminole State Park, FHP reported.
Ankrom was driving behind a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Philip N. Wysong, 30, of Tennessee, the Highway Patrol reported. Wysong pulled over onto the east shoulder to make a U-turn, then abruptly re-entered the road, striking the motorcycle driver, the FHP said.
The FHP reported that Wysong was issued a citation alleging an improper U-turn.
3. Pool enclosures and debris pickup
Collier County has notified the City of Marco Island that Hurricane Irma debris removal was postponed temporarily, according to an email from Captain Dave Baer, MIPD. The dump site access roads have been inundated with water. Collier County is working to correct the flooding.
Also, Homeowners with damaged pool enclosures need to install a temporary barrier sooner rather than later.
Collier County has established policies for homeowners with pools for replacing enclosures that have been damaged from Hurricane Irma, and points out it needs to be a priority for safety when it comes to repairs.
State building codes require residential pools and outdoor pools have barriers for safety, and the requirement is enforced by the county, county spokeswoman Connie Dean said.
In essence, the county’s building plan review and inspection division says a homeowner can erect temporary contractor safety mesh around the pool until permanent repairs can be made.