Thursday, July 10, 2008

Some depressing environmental news for Florida

Ocean Conservancy Releases Report On Reef Management: How Florida and National Park Service Marine Reserve Policies Undermine Efforts to Protect Coral Reef Ecosystems. Turns out that Biscayne National Park is in worse shape now than it was when it was created in 1980.
FWC and NPS have taken no action to fulfill their obligations to protect coral reef ecosystems in Biscayne National Park since they began reviewing their management plans in 2002.
"Biscayne National Park once had some of the most spectacular coral reefs in Florida. The native communities they support desperately need our immediate action"...
During our years boating and snorkeling southern Biscayne Bay and the offshore reefs, we watched this happening. By the time we left Florida, it wasn't fun to look at the ruined reefs any more, here or in the Keys.

And this: NOAA Report States Half of U.S. Coral Reefs In "Poor" or "Fair" Condition. So sad.

And, from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, U.S. Sugar Buyout May Not Help The Everglades
....Crist’s plan to purchase 300 square miles of U.S. Sugar land as the “missing link” to restore the Everglades may be an expensive pipe dream. Ten years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted a detailed analysis of re-creating a “flow way” from Lake Okeechobee as envisioned by Gov. Crist and rejected it as unworkable...

(Updated:) And in this thoroughly depressing Time magazine article, Is Florida the Sunset State?, there's this:
We have water, water, everywhere, but much of South Florida's per capita use is 50% above the national average, and we've lost half the wetlands that used to recharge our aquifers. So water shortages threaten to limit growth in a way that wetlands regulations or bad headlines never could. "Florida is astonishingly wasteful," says Cynthia Barnett...
...In the words of the novelist and columnist Carl Hiaasen, the bard of Florida's decline, "You don't have to be a wacko enviro to want your kids to be able to swim in a lake or maybe see an animal that isn't in a cage or a seaquarium. And even people who don't give a rat's ass about the panther will care when saltwater comes out of their faucets."

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