Congressman Charlie Crist has called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the deaths of pelicans and egrets in the Tampa Bay area last week, as well as the massive beaching of false killer whales over the weekend. More than 80 false killer whales died as a result of the beaching.
Crist wants the EPA to test the toxicity of the surrounding waterways to see if the deaths of the birds and the mammals are linked to poor water quality caused by the harmful algal blooms.
“Both of these incidents are extremely disturbing and raise concerns that harmful algal blooms off Florida’s Gulf Coast may have been a factor,” Crist wrote. “Given the devastating effects of last year’s algal blooms on both the east and west coasts of Florida, I am asking that the EPA fully investigate these events, report the findings to the public, and work to mitigate further impacts.”