There's something strange in dozens of South Floridia's waterfront neighborhoods: Huge colonies of algae have blanketed their beaches with thick green blooms of a smelly ooze-like substance.
And it don't look good.
But who you gonna blame for the environmental disaster? According to documents uncovered by The Plantain, an aging dike that went unrepaired as part of an "immersive promotional agreement" between Columbia Pictures and Florida's Department of Fish and Wildlife to promote the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot.
The documents reveal that the film studio contracted with the Fish and Wildlife Department after one of the film's producers read a newspaper article discussing the Department's plan to renovate a long-ignored dike outside of Lake Okeechobee. The article said the improvements were necessary to prevent blue-green algae colonies, which produce a putrid green, sludgelike substance similar to the "ectoplasm" material from the Ghostbusters franchise, from infiltrating Florida's coastal waterways.
The Department received $1,200 in exchange for delaying the scheduled dike repairs until after the film's July 15 release date, at which time the film's stars would join members of the Department's newly-branded "Algae Busters" unit to pour algaecide into the waterways during a taped segment for The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
What was initially projected to be a relatively small blossom, however, grew exponentially do to unexpectedly strong winds. As a result, large portions of Florida's south eastern coast are now covered with the smelly green sludge.
"It appears that the thick discharge and putrid smell was caused an aging dike that didn't get enough attention," said Florida's Governor Rick Scott in a statement viewed by many as homophobic. "The State regrets entering into this agreement with Columbia Pictures and is working diligently to contain the algae.
For their part, Columbia Pictures has provided waterfront residents with free tickets to see the movie, Ghostbusters branded towels and thumb drives, and face masks to help block out the putrid smell emanating from the algae pods.
But for residents like Sidney David Schroeder, the free swag is not enough.
"It's a goddamn shame," said the 33-year-old Game Stop employee who has lived in his parents' waterfront home his entire life and remembers playing off its now-algae infested dock fondly. "It's like they have set out to ruin my childhood."
When asked how the algae blooms were "ruining his childhood," Mr. Schroeder explained that he was referring to the new Ghostbusters movie, stating "I mean female Ghostbusters? That's not a thing! They are literally raping my childhood. It isn't right."
When pressed whether the recent algae growth had any effect on his youthful memories of playing in the water, Mr. Shroeder said "of course not. Nothing could tarnish those memories or how much joy I experienced at the time. Memories are not so fickle."