Re: Get the Fever...

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Posted by Serge on 2013-03-03 17:06:33 in reply to Get the Fever... posted by Michael Rosa on 2013-03-02 08:03:03

Nice video Michael.

The enlargement of the channel is just a little part of the tip of the iceberg. Most importantly, we have eutrophication problems especially in Florida Bay.
Cyanobacteria and diatoms love the eutrophic conditions that have been created there. Because of the long residence time of Florida Bay, the nutrients (esp. Phosphorus) do not get flushed out easily. The water became turbid and the seagrasses do not get enough light or get covered with algae (epiphytic) which also result in light blocking. When rooted seagrasses die, their roots no longer maintain the sediment, which subsequently get resuspended, release nutrients and make the water more opaque. The cycle repeats itself on and on and on.

It is hypothesized that these nutrients come from the Keys. Our monitoring stations do not seem to point out that these nutrients come from the Everglades and the upstream pollution. It is hypothesized that these nutrients got displaced by a storm surge subsequent to a hurricane which pushed the groundwater sitting underneath the keys up into Fl. Bay.

The Keys are victim of their success. Too many people get there and too many leaky septic tanks are found. We have data to show this. So, to end my parabola: The channel is one thing, but thinking about adding a sewage system will make things go for the worst. A sewage would mean more capacity to host people in the keys (and esp. tourists). This means more pressure to this fragile hydrosystem.

If you ask to the people who have fished the waters around Key West, they will tell you that fishing is not what it used to be. Some do not even take the fly rod and go out to fish. Backcountry guides do not event take their customers to the backcountry anymore (bones are gone).

It is very alarming.

In my now neck of the Woods (Ft Myers area), I am fighting against detention ponds in golf course and condos. These ponds are maxed out, convoluted to accommodate more condos/houses. Although they are supposed to create a buffer between the natural and urban areas, they are morphed into pollution ponds, heavily managed to remain artificially clear and devoid of vegetation. With no algae and vegetation, no nutrients and other pollutants are filtered. Everything and the pesticides to control the plant/algae go to the overflow box. Copper and nutrients and arsenic get to the bay, the Gulf of mexico and create unbalanced hydrosystems: The seagrasses are dying, the oysters have problems, drift algae and red tides occur more than ever.

Mangroves are completely ignored and threatened. Less water getting to them make the channels less active and the mangroves choke them cutting their own supply of water. Mangroves are dying slowly and not many people do much about it. The Mangroves are the forgotten piece of restoration efforts. Mangroves are so important: they protect the shoreline and are great filters of pollutants. They are nurseries for many fishes incl. tarpons and juv. snooks.

The more I live here and the more I try to have the smallest foot print possible, the more I see irresponsible people, mostly snowbirds who have no idea of our fragile ecosystem here and who look at our waters as a play ground. What is more shocking is that even if I educate them I am told:
"you know that what your are suggesting is not acceptable" or "I do not give a damn, I will be dead by then". Is it really the legacy they want to give to their children?

What I describe is happening NOW and with little funding and political willingness to make things changes, I am not very optimistic.

Sorry for the rant, but I had to send this to you guys.
Good fishing.


Short article in the Naples Daily News I wrote:

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