Sunday, June 23, 2019

NOAA, the Florida Keys fake environmental protection outfit?

The other night, I dreamed of living upstairs in a new home owned by my friends Naja and Arnaud Girard, above, who publish Key West the (Blue) Newspaper, which rocks the local establishment boat. On the first floor landing at the foot of the stairs was a fat wallet containing money and credit cards. I picked it up and gave it to Arnaud, thinking it was his. He gave it back to me and walked away. 

Yesterday, this showed up:
It took more than two years and over 30 email exchanges, some not very nice, before top officials at NOAA finally sent copies of investigative documents to The Blue Paper...

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NOAA Hides Contents of Investigative Report Jun 222019   by Arnaud and Naja Girard Last week The Blue Paper published an investigation into the apparent protections that government agencies are placing over large contractors who wreck the Keys’ environment. This week we (finally) received a respo...

  • Sloan Bashinsky I recall back when the blue paper and an Everglades environmental law firm hosted a forum at NOAA in Key West, and I kept trying from the audience to ask NOAA's head guy back then, Billy Causey, why he had said during his comments that the best way to deal with the chemical pollution in Lake Okeechobee and the east-west canal was to release that water into the Everglades, which would filter clean up that water before it reached the Bay of Florida? I also wanted to ask the other panelists how they figured building holding/treatment ponds around the east-west canal could trap and treat all the poisoned water coming down from central Florida?

    Those chemicals were killing sea grasses manatee on the east and west coasts ate, but the red algae was not affected and the manatee were eating it and were dying, and people on the east and west coasts were raising hell. 

    Despite my efforts to ask the questions, I was not called upon by Naja. 

    I accosted Causey in the hall outside the auditorium after the event ended and gave him a piece of my mind. I knew then NOAA was really messed up. When later the complaints were made about Causey's management style, and he was, as I recall, resigned elsewhere, I was not surprised.

    Before that NOAA meeting, I tried to get Naja to invite Brian Lapointe, an environmental scientist, who had his own company and had presented to the Key West City Commission. He had different views from NOAA. Naja told me La Pointe had had his say before the city commission and he would not be invited to the NOAA presentation. I later heard he and Causey did not get along and Causey would not have stood for being on the same platform with him. 

    When later I told LaPointe, whom I knew somewhat, what I had heard at the NOAA meeting, he said he disagreed with the panelists. He was convinced chemicals from the Florida mainland were responsible for the death of most of the reef.

    Harmful Algal Blooms : Florida Atlantic University - Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
    Harmful Algal Blooms : Florida Atlantic University - Harbor Branch…
    Harmful Algal Blooms : Florida Atlantic University - Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

Here's a link to the NOAA (Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary) website:

As with many government agencies, the advertising is pretty, but the main course leaves something to be desired.

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