Letters to the Editor

Big Sugar, algae and Castro

I could not agree more with Fred Grimm’s column and his assertion that Gov. Rick Scott ignores Big Sugar’s role in toxic algae infestation.

We all know that the elephant in the room is Big Sugar, that the pollution from agricultural runoff into Lake Okeechobee is the fundamental problem. Repairing household septic tanks, as the governor proposes, is only a drop in the proverbial bucket.

What many forget is that Lake Okeechobee was not always a cesspool of phosphorus and nitrogen that flow in from the sugar fields. Prior to 1960, we obtained most of our sugar from Cuba. After we embargoed the Castro regime, we needed another source, hence the rise of Big Sugar in Florida.

When we assess the destruction to our environment, most recently the algae bloom in Martin County and elsewhere, we cannot ignore what Big Sugar has done and continues to do. From another vantage, I like to think of the environmental destruction as “Castro’s Revenge”. I am sure he is smiling at our ineptitude.

Larry Murray,

Big Pine Key

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