I read with interest “Florida’s Estuaries Are Drowning” by Glenn Hayes. I grew up in Ft. Pierce during the 60’s & 70s, fishing, sailing, living by, and paying rather close attention to the Indian River Lagoon. If I were to relate my childhood experiences regarding the brilliant abundance of life, few would believe it. That says much about the demographics and explosive population growth this area has experienced since then.
While living in the Florida Keys in the 1990s I participated in the political process called “Everglades Restoration” and the establishment of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. They were, and are, utter failures. The proof is in the pudding. All politicians are impotent because of the money involved in our electoral process. The 750,000 acres of sugar land should have been taken years ago by the process of eminent domain. If, and when, they were financially compensated is a separate question. You would think that the health of Florida would be as important as where I-95 would be routed. But, in political Florida, it’s not.
While the Army Corp’s actions relating to the outflow of water from Lake Okeechobee has had a devastating impact on the estuarine systems along both coasts, the elephant in the room is never, ever discussed. Our economic system, capitalism, can never acknowledge limits. Not limits in campaign spending, in population growth, in fertilizer use, pesticide use, nothing. Anyone who has lived in Florida for more than a couple of decades, and was paying attention, should have seen the train wreck ahead. Unlimited coastal development, unlimited use of pesticides and the millions of fertilized yards all have managed to kill our marine environment one small cut at a time. But, of course, you don’t sell newspapers and magazines by telling the truth to your readers, especially when the blame must be laid at their feet.
Yes, the Army Corp has a lot to answer for. But, the greater problem is the millions of people who moved to Florida because the weather was warm and it had no income tax, who didn’t give a “flip” about anything that made Florida what it is. They were content to turn the key to their high performance powerboat and race down the intracoastal waterway cursing the “Manatee Zones”. A simple fly-over of what is called Miami cannot be termed anything other than an horrible and grotesque abomination to what Florida should really represent.
Instead, we have a group of arrogant humans who have raped the earth, growing fat in their air-conditioned homes, offices and stores, turning into idiotic zombies in front of their TV’s watching football games and Dancing with the Stars, and now have the “flipping” audacity to point their finger at the Army Corp.
Norman Trabulsy Jr.
Dear Mr. Trabulsy, Jr.
We love our passionate readers especially when it comes to environmental concerns. As Glenn Hayes wrote, “Will the public outcry be loud enough to be heard?” We encourage you to keep the dialogue going in your community. Thank you for reading All At Sea and by all means keep your thoughts coming.
I was horrified when I saw the photo on page 24, lower left corner, with people on the bow with dangling legs and those on the swim platform. The boat appears to be underway so please tell me my eyes are deceiving me. In our 5+ years of being full-time cruisers, we have seen similar sights but am shocked that you would endorse that boating behavior.
Laura Lane Bender
Shame on them and shame on us. Safe boating is everybody’s responsibility. While clearly this group is having a great time, it is never advisable to jeopardize their safety.
Thank you for pointing this out to us. We will make every attempt to look closer at the pictures submitted before placing them in the magazine.