October 25, 2013
Pictured on left: A bottlenose dolphin in the Banana River
Pictures on the right: The Indian River Lagoon
Picture credit: L - NASA Picture credit: R - USFWS
When most people think of Florida, the first image that comes to mind, may be our crystal clear or turquoise water, followed closely behind by our glorious wildlife.
But, that beautiful image is in grave danger of becoming only a distant memory.
Florida’s water and wildlife, that in the past were our pride and joy, are suffering and we are all of us to blame.
A visit to one of our world-famous, heavily visited shore lines or tourist areas, instantly reveals what has become of a long ago perfect paradise.
Indeed, one of our most beloved and formerly pristine wildlife and water treasures, is the Indian River Lagoon on the Mid Atlantic Coast.
In the not so distant past, this area was considered to be 156 miles of sheer delight and wonder.
But, the boyhood home waters of our Senator Bill Nelson, is no longer pristine, nor exquisitely beautiful and the plethora of wildlife, namely dolphins, manatees, pelicans, and countless marine life that once flourished here, are either dying or already dead.
The high level of concern is due to the large number of bottlenose dolphin deaths, who are considered by many to be the ”canary in the mine” species in this area.
Those who love the lagoon feel sick and want to stop this, but the too often injected government, or political red tape, stands in the way of the lagoon’s salvation.
Officials are once again taking the wrong pathway and want to do a two-year investigation to examine the cause of it all, to the great chagrin of most who live here, who already know the answer to this question.
The cause of, or root of, the dirty, poisoned, polluted water is purely and simply, toxins.
This latest catastrophe began a few years ago, when a red tide or algae bloom, killed off massive amounts of the lagoon’s life-giving sea grasses.
Toxins kill the sea grass, which the fish need, so, no sea weed, no fish, and without the fish, the larger animals starve.
Continual run off of toxins, in the form of pesticides and herbicides, etc. from our lawns, farms and factories, even septic tanks, drains directly into Florida’s aquifers, as well as the lakes, all over the state, at a staggering rate that may surely end all Marine life here, if left unchecked.
No, we do not need another investigation, survey or breaking news story to know that we humans are the cause of it all.
We simply cannot continue to do as we please here and expect the Planet to just, ”take it.”
We are all reaping the ugly seeds that were sown decades ago, and the future of Florida’s Marine life, even we humans, depends on whether or not we stop pretending that this is not happening and start reversing the life-robbing cycle we began with little concern for the future.
What we do up above, always ends up in our aquifers, we are drinking it and bathing in it, the animals are swimming and living in it, and in too many places, it has become a toxic soup that can no longer sustain life.
Everybody from Joe Citizen, to Senator Nelson, to Audubon of Florida, and NOAA, has a suggestion, an opinion, about what we need to do about the lagoon and this tragedy, but still nothing gets done.
Hello, people, we need to stop talking and start doing.
This is not rocket science.
The problem is non discriminatory, never-ending, dumping of poisons into our waters, period!
We all created this mess, you, me, farmers, factories, US Sugar, and every single person, group, or place that uses chemicals in this state, that end up in our water, now we have to clean it up, end of story.
Some places to learn more:
Crisis In the Indian River Lagoon
Florida Waters Alive With Toxic Algae, Toxic Politics
NOAA to Investigate Dolphin Deaths In Indian River Lagoon
The Campaign For a Clean Indian River Lagoon
9 Investigates Dolphin, Manatee Deaths In Indian River