The political climate for undertaking long overdue infrastructure improvements that will reduce the nutrients that feed red tide in our waterways is the most favorable in recent memory. We all have to take advantage of it to ensure that encouraging promises are funded and acted upon.

For START, this means meeting with leading federal, state and local policy makers to keep the emphasis on addressing nutrient loading that sustains harmful algal blooms (HABs) like red tide and green algae. START’s areas of focus with federal policy makers is redirecting the polluted discharges from Lake Okeechobee so they don’t run into our Rivers, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. This can be achieved by launching the “Water South” program long advocated by many environmentalists that uses some existing agricultural land to build a reservoir to hold Lake Okeechobee discharges and a system of naturally filtering treatment areas to reduce the nutrients in the water so it can be released where it once naturally flowed to the now drying parts of The Everglades. In addition, attention should be directed to the northern portion of Lake Okeechobee to help reduce the agricultural runoff into the Lake that is the main source of its nutrient overload. These projects require both federal and state funding as they share responsibility for managing Lake Okeechobee.

At the state level, START is emphasizing the importance of funding needed to help local governments continue their upgrade of existing waste water treatment facilities and the conversion of septic systems to sewers. Even today, one out of every three residences in Florida still has a septic system. For the remaining septic systems, START supports the growing momentum in Tallahassee to produce legislation that requires annual inspection of septic systems and required pump outs when necessary.

Here in the Sarasota – Manatee area, START is also encouraging local governments to continue to fund infrastructure upgrades that reduce nutrients in our waterways that feed red tide. This includes improvements in treatment facilities, septic conversions to sewers and upgrading stormwater treatment areas.


Below you’ll find a listing with the contact information for leading federal and state policy makers who have the ability to fund the kind of nutrient reducing programs described above. You need to contact them to let them know you want them to fund and execute these improvement programs. We recommend email as the best way to get the message heard. They are always read by staff and passed on to the policy makers as trending for or against an issue. We all need to support the “Call to Action” movement for reducing the nutrients in our waterways.

Policy Makers Contact List

Gov. DeSantis 407-796-1441
Mailing address State of FL, The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Rick Scott B3 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274

Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
(202) 224-3041
Toll free in Florida: (866) 630-7106

Congressman Vern Buchanan
2427 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5015

Congressman Brian Mast
2182 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-3026

Sen. Bill Galvano District Office
1023 Manatee Avenue West
Suite 201
Bradenton, FL 34205
(941) 741-3401
Tallahassee Office
305 Senate Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
(850) 487-5021

Sen.Joe Gruters
District Office
381 Interstate Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34240
(941) 378-6309
Tallahassee Office
324 Senate Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
(850) 487-5023

Margaret Good Email:
District Address:
Unit 104
2750 Stickney Point Road
Sarasota, FL 34231-6023
Phone: (941) 955-8077
Capitol Address:
402 South Monroe Street
319 The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: (850) 717-5072

Representative Will Robinson
Capitol Office
1401 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 717-5071
District Office
Suite 100
717 Manatee Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34205-8654
Phone: (941) 708-4968

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