[USA] The recent guest column by Grant Gilmore and recent comments by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have ignored the highly successful results and environmentally friendly technology used by Ecosphere Technologies to restore marine life and jobs back to Outboards Only Marina, which had been devastated by a massive, toxic algae bloom.
When Ecosphere stepped in to help a fellow local business on July 9, there were hundreds of dead fish on the surface and a smell so putrid and toxic that Outboards Only employees and nearby neighbors were getting sick. But a week later, after Ecosphere deployed to help clean up the mess, fish and manatees were thriving once again, and the air quality was restored. Phil Norman, co-owner of Outboards Only, stated: “Ecosphere made it safe for myself and our employees to get back to work. Before they arrived, our business was shut down with employees getting sick from the football-field sized algae bloom. There were only dead fish and dead animals on the surface and it was worse than any oil spill could have been.”
The story Gilmore and the DEP didn’t tell was that if Ecosphere hadn’t deployed its equipment at its own cost, there was no help coming from city of Stuart, Martin County, state or federal agencies, as is still the case today. Because of this, Martin and St. Lucie Counties are dealing with a tremendous loss in tourism, business revenues and real-estate/property values, due to the continued threat of water and airborne illnesses and the lack of anything being done to provide people with immediate relief.
When Ecosphere arrived at the Outboards Only Marina, the oxygen levels were very low, worse than even the Dead Sea. As evidenced by scientific and independent laboratory testing, not opinion, the water at Outboards Only was not capable of sustaining any life before Ecosphere arrived.
Third party, independent water quality analysis by multiple labs showed algal toxin microcystin were reduced from 8,850 micrograms per liter to less than 1.5 micrograms per liter after Ecosphere’s treatment, making the water safe for recreational purposes per World Health Organization guidelines. The DEP confirmed these results with their own water quality samples taken during and up to three days after Ecosphere completed the job, showing less than 1 micrograms per liter toxin microcystin levels upon completion of the job. The claims that results were unfavorable or unimpressive are false.
Ecosphere makes claims that are backed by scientific evidence and actual independent lab results, and are not fueled by emotional, unsubstantiated opinions. On the same note, recent DEP comments have referred to samples taken from the initial stages of cleanup and ignore the final treatment levels.
Everyone can agree that a long term, comprehensive solution is needed to solve the problems Lake Okeechobee discharges have created, but without a short term plan in place, discharges will continue to occur for many years to come with toxic algae blooms only getting worse.
Ecosphere’s solution calls for restoring the health of the C-44 Canal and maintaining it without the addition of toxic chemicals, effectively treating the algae at the source with highly oxygenated water and not “killing everything in the water” as mentioned by Gilmore. In fact, Ecosphere’s solution was approved by the United States Patent Office in 2015 as the only patented solution to treat Lake Okeechobee waters and is still, to this day, the only solution that has been proven to eliminate toxic algae blooms without the use of toxic chemicals. Also untrue is the concept that every gallon of water from Lake Okeechobee needs to be treated. Ecosphere’s patented solution calls for treating multiple zones within the C-44 Canal and other discharge canals to maintain oxygen levels and destroy corresponding algae growth.
The success at Outboards Marina proves exactly what can be done at the source of the problem with an environmentally friendly technology and solution, not in five to 15 years but as soon as tomorrow. The results speak for themselves, and we stand by the incredible success achieved by our entire team at Outboards Only.
Photo: A mobile water treatment system by Stuart-based Ecosphere Technologies treats 4,000 gallons of water per minute from the boat basin July 9 at Outboards Only marina in Rio. The marina was not operational because of a toxic algae bloom coating the water. Ecosphere’s chemical free system uses more than 23 approved and impending patents to break down the algae and treat the water. Highly oxygenated, treated water is returned back into the boat basin. (MOLLY BARTELS/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS)
View original article at: Despite naysayers, Ecosphere’s treatment of toxic algae is effective