The recent massive Mosaic gypsum stack sinkhole that sent at least 215 million gallons of contaminated water into the Florida aquifer should have been front page news in Sunday’s Bradenton Herald. Instead, the information, such as it was, was found on the second page of the B section of the paper.
The Florida Aquifer provides drinking water for 60 percent of Florida’s residents and this calamity wasn’t front page news! The article focused on the concern of the residents of Mulberry, and stated that Mosaic officials continue to test and monitor the water and that the EPA and the DEP are also keeping an eye on the sinkhole.
Because most information that the public receives about Mosaic is self-serving publicity, it would have been very informative if our hometown newspaper had seized this opportunity to inform the public about this latest awful “accident” from phosphate mining.
Could it be ”yesterday Mulberry, tomorrow Manatee County?” After all, Mosaic is returning to our Manatee County commissioners’ chambers to request a 34-year permit to dredge still more, over 761 acres, of our precious wetlands, as well as 23 acres of jurisdictional open waters and ditches and 27,287 linear feet of jurisdictional streams.
Not many years ago, our county’s Land Development Comprehensive Plan prohibited any development activity on our wetlands.
There is an incredible irony in this entire fiasco that touts the necessity of phosphate for agricultural production. The irony is that organic farming is the type of farming we need to encourage. Organic farming feeds the soil. Phosphate farming feeds the plant.
As the soil becomes less fertile, the plant needs more phosphorous and more insecticides and more weed killers. Mosaic’s argument blows away like dry sand on a windy day.