Threatened Tampa


Hayley Scalabrin, Staff Writer

Students at Freedom High School are concerned about the reservoir that is leaking near their homes in Tampa, Florida. Authorities are now emptying the toxic wastewater into the Tampa Bay to prevent a massive flood from destroying nearby homes. There are currently millions of gallons of wastewater being emptied into the Tampa Bay, to help alleviate the pressure on the reservoir. Additionally, hundreds of people are being evacuated from their homes in Manatee County in case of a flood. The water contains Radium, Ammonia and low levels of Phosphorus. Radium and Ammonia are dangerous for humans and Phosphorus may cause eutrophication, which is harmful to wildlife.

Alaina Edwards, 12, has lived in Tampa for the past twelve years. Edwards does not approve of the destructive action that is being taken and is concerned for the aquatic ecosystem in Tampa Bay.

“I have heard about this. It is disgusting how little preventative measures are being taken that could benefit our environment. Instead, careless actions are constantly being made, harming the nature and wildlife, and even humans! This makes me sick to my stomach,” Edwards explained.

Tripp Weston, 11, has lived in Tampa for the past 10 years.

“I have heard about this, and I am slightly concerned but I know it will be solved in the end. I am absolutely not okay with the damage that is being done to the bay’s natural ecosystem. The issue needs to be remedied,” Weston, 11, says.

Alisha Bhatia, 12, has lived in Tampa for her entire life.

“I heard about this briefly this morning. I am unsettled by the fact that this waste is being dumped and may impact aquatic health, but right now the most important factor is the safety of the residents at the reservoir site. Evacuating them was a good first step but I wish that something other than dumping waste could have been done to ensure their safety.”

Olivia Murrin, 11, has lived in Tampa for sixteen years.

“I have not heard about this at all, but I am concerned now that I have learned about this. I took AP Environmental Science last year and we learned about toxic waste and its impact on the environment. This waste can impact our land, water, and animals. It will eventually come back to harm humans in the future. I do not approve of dumping the wastewater into the Bay.”