The City of Venice will hold another Red Tide Forum next week.

The city’s Environmental Advisory Board will discuss with experts what’s happening and what can be done to reduce the flow of nutrients into local waterways on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in council chambers at City Hall. The forum fulfills a directive from City Council.

Speakers include Dr. Ron Musselman, PhD chemist; Alan Jones, Jones Potato Farm, Agricultural Environmental Leadership Award 2016 recipient; Dr. Randy Edwards, Ph.D. marine science; and Mac Carraway, green business consultant.

“We’re going to put more information out there and let people make the decision” what the city should do in terms of policy changes, said Tom Jones, EAB chairman.

“Hopefully it will raise awareness, and present new ideas for council to look at,” Jones said. “The intention is not to steer it so much as to put more information out there. Obviously, there are a lot of unknowns, so we just want to hear about some possible new directions that we haven’t looked at yet.”

In addition to the forum speakers, the agenda includes more than a half dozen related board actions, including letters to the governor urging resurrection of the 2010 State Water Management best practices project, and reinstituting 2012 state rules requiring inspections every five years of all septic tanks. There’s a similar letter to county officials being drafted.

The advisory board is also considering a proposal to ask the Venice Planning Commission to make Florida Friendly Landscaping a requirement for all new developments where “open space” is designated, and to make it at least an option for residential yards.

If time allows, they also plan to discuss a proposal on how to involve city homeowner associations by asking them to work with the EAB to develop an education program for new residents that promotes Florida Friendly Landscaping and water management practices.

The meeting, which begins at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, will be held in council chambers at Venice City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave. It is open to the public and citizens are encouraged to attend.

Email: ggiles@venicegondolier.com

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