IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ, PLEASE COMPLETE THIS PRE-FILLED FORM:
It’s usually all fun & games over at Jigalode HQ, but this is one of those times that we need to get serious and ask for your help to fix our waters.
If you haven’t already heard, (probably due to the lack of mainstream media coverage) our inshore estuaries in South Florida are quickly deteriorating. Although, this has always been a growing concern, the problem only escalated when heavy rainfall this past winter caused the farming region south of Lake Okeechobee to pump the excess water north into the lake. In the process, the water being pumped into the lake from this agricultural land carried harmful pesticides and fertilizers along with it.
At the same time, Lake Okeechobee is also experiencing high water levels from the same heavy rainfall, pushing officials to release billions of gallons of water out through the St.Lucie and Caloosahatachee rivers to avoid flooding and further damage to the Okeechobee dike. Mix these two together and you have yourself the perfect storm of ecological destruction.
The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust have put forth the Fix Our Water Initiative to engage the people who care about our waters most, recreational anglers.
Florida’s agricultural industry has caused the natural water flow to be interrupted and is now effecting estuaries on every coast of the state. Here is more info from The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust:
The epicenter of the assault on recreational fisheries is in South Florida. At present, many billions of gallons of polluted freshwater are being discharged every day from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River and the St. Lucie River and Estuary. These areas are unfishable. Algal blooms are widespread.
In contrast, so little freshwater is reaching Florida Bay that the waters of Florida Bay are hypersaline (too salty), resulting in a large-scale die-off of seagrass, an extensive algae bloom, and numerous fish kills.
Natural Florida Everglades flows sent the right amount of freshwater to Florida Bay via sheet flow, and much less water to the east and west coasts, which supported healthy habitats and healthy fisheries.
Here is that form again for those of you who made it through this post. Any effort to help fix our waters is appreciated.
Contact your local, state, and federal elected representatives via the form below and tell them to fast-track CERP, purchase the land to create reservoirs to store and clean freshwater, and implement strategies to reduce nutrients and contaminants in the freshwater entering the estuaries. Stay tuned to btt.org, Facebook, and Instagram for updates.