3 To Know: Debris pickup; pool safety

Marco Eagle

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.

Water full of algae laps along the Sewell's Point shore on the St. Lucie River under an Ocean Boulevard bridge, Monday, June 27, 2016. The Martin County Commission decided at an emergency meeting Tuesday to ask state and federal authorities to declare a disaster where blue-green algae has closed beaches. County officials on Florida's Atlantic coast want the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close the locks between Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River.  (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post via AP)

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.

Dianna von Stockhausen scrubs her pool Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, because the pump to clean the water has been off since her residence lost power during Hurricane Irma. "I'm just so frustrated," said von Stockhausen, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cares for her mother, who has cancer. "They keep telling me that my power has been restored, and I keep telling them that it's not."

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.