ORLANDO, Fla. - The longer we wait, the more expensive it will be...
That's the message being sent by environmental groups across Florida to state lawmakers, in a demand for better anti-pollution laws.
"Florida looks like a toilet," said State Representative Linda Stewart of Orlando.
She attended a rally outside the local office of the State Department of Environmental Protection.
Advocates brought with them picture posterboards showing the pollution in some of Florida's waterways and lakes. Algae-stained water from nitrates was evident in several of them. The chemical comes from fertilizer runoff into bodies of water.
"Florida's water is polluted no matter where you go!' said Frank Jackalone with the Sierra Club.
"It has become such a crisis that people are losing jobs, their property values are sinking and they can't sell their homes anymore," he added.
Between now and early next year, the campaign will hold rallies across Florida to show that no community is immune and state lawmakers need to address the problem.
Online, they have posted a petition they hope will attract 100,000 signatures.
Freshwater supplies in Florida are dwindling, according to Stewart. "We need a better plan on how we are going to deal with our future water (needs)," she said.
She pointed to utilities as a source of fresh water pollution.
Central Florida is growing faster than its water supply, the Floridan aquifer, can support. The area uses 800 million gallons a day, according to a 2010 estimate reported by Jacksonville.com.