Briefly

Stuff that matters

toxic lake

How the sugar industry killed Florida’s beaches.

Florida’s Treasure Coast has sandy, white beaches, an abundance of wildlife, and a very serous algae problem. The problem was especially dire last summer, when a thick, green sludge blanketed beaches and waterways along the coast, choking sea life and fouling up the water. The algae, which is caused by phosphorus leaching from industrial agriculture upstream — particularly sugar cane farms — is toxic to humans, and climate change makes it even worse.

Toxic Lake, a new investigation by the Weather Channel, explains just how this toxic sludge came to choke Florida’s beaches, what it would take to stop it, and the consequences if we don’t address it. It’s worth your time. Watch it here.