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Protesters greet Scott on algae tour on St. Lucie River

Protesters greet Gov. Rick Scott as he tours the St. Lucie River. (WPEC)

Friday, Governor Rick Scott toured the St. Lucie River but refused to speak with media or the community who gathered to meet with him.

Governor Scott came to Sunset Marina to announce $700,000 of federal money will be allocated to cleanup toxic algae.

“We’re being poisoned,” said protestors, “the priority should be human health and human safety.”

Community members gathered for several hours before they learned they would never speak with the Governor. The Governor loaded the boat for his tour from a different location than originally posted.

“We’re really not pleased with Governor Scott right now at all,” said Mike Conner, “the state needs more leadership.”

Conner is a fishing guide in Stuart, and said his business has plummeted due to the algae blooms.

“My fishing productivity’s dropped off about 75% in the lower end of the river lagoon,” he shared

Conner also said the toxicity killed many of the oyster bed, and he’s suffering alongside many other who just want the problem to stop.

People like Jo Neeson who said, “I’m particularly upset with Scott because every time you see him on TV he’s jobs, jobs, jobs! And every time I turn around my friends are losing jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Congressman Brian Mast also stood alongside Stuart locals, and he never got to speak to the Governor either.

Here is the statement sent to CBS12 from the Governor’s office:

“DEP’s grant funding is provided to help communities provide targeted clean-up efforts to quickly reduce and address impacts to significantly impacted areas, such as marinas, boat ramps and other public access areas. Funding from this grant program can be used for services including containment, removal, cleanup, elimination, transportation and disposal of harmful algal blooms in key areas identified by local governments.

The Governor speaks with members of the media and Florida families every day and has spoken with concerned Floridians and members of the media on both coasts in the past several weeks on this very issue. We always welcome public input through our office and will continue to work directly with local partners to do what's best for the families in our state. As you know, Governor Scott has taken multiple actions on this recently.“

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