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It was less than a month ago, in early August, that Southwest Florida fishing guide Nick Fischer told Good Morning America that a putrid combination of blue-green algae and a red tide in the region had him feeling anxious about the impacts the ecological disaster would have on his business.
“It’s economically affecting all of us, you can’t fish here and they [tourists] just want to get their families out of here and leave the area,” Fischer said. “This is what I do every day for a living, that’s how I, we provide for our families and I don’t know what to do.”
For Fischer, and a state that touts tourism as being the number one economic industry -- making up to 23 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue, supporting more than 1.4 million jobs and creating a local value up to $45 billion -- losing those vital customers has Floridians wondering if it’s time to approach environmental policy differently.
It’s all happening as the midterm elections are heating up in the Sunshine State and Floridians say they have one thing on their mind: how to protect their environment and their economy.