John Moran writes for News-Press - “The Great Toxic Slime Outbreak of 2018 has befouled the Caloosahatchee River, the river of my childhood growing up in Fort Myers. So I grabbed my cameras and headed south from Gainesville to see for myself. A heartbreaking sight awaited. Gov. Scott has declared a state of emergency in seven counties to combat the toxic green algae bloom fed by water discharges from Lake Okeechobee. The governor directed state health officials to warn Floridians and visitors of the dangers of toxic algae. Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, will assist impacted businesses. And the governor once again blamed the Army Corps of Engineers for the slow pace of Everglades restoration projects....” Read I love Florida, but we must target source of water pollution.
Adam Friedman writes for Fort Myers News-Press - “ The lionfish is beautiful, majestic and perfect for a fish tank. The Brazilian pepper tree is exotic with bright red berries that brighten up your lawn. The Argentine black and white tegu has a unique color pattern, making it a cool-looking pet. These are just some of the reasons exotic plants and animals were brought to Florida. Over time, though, these non-native species have turned invasive by overpopulation habitats and disturbing native plants and animals….” Read Invasive species in Florida: How everyone, from spearfishermen to scientists, is fighting back.
David Fleshler reports for the South Florida Sun Sentinel - “The controversial fishing practice of catching large sharks from shore could be banned from many of Florida’s public beaches, restricted to nighttime hours or subjected to other limits, under options being considered to protect both swimmers and the sharks. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted last April to impose limits on shore-based shark fishing, an activity that produces dramatic Instagram photos and YouTube videos of anglers reeling in 12-foot hammerheads and tiger sharks. Nine workshops have been scheduled around the state, with specific proposals tentatively scheduled to go to the commission in December….” Read Florida to restrict shore-based shark fishing at many public beaches.
Kate Santich writes for the Orlando Sentinel - “At the end of a dirt road in an abandoned Lake County orange grove- a place most people would consider the middle of nowhere- Cathy and Bruce Brown found their piece of paradise...among the dying citrus trees, they spotted a striking sky-blue bird they couldn’t identify.It turned out to be a rare Florida Scrub-Jay — a species found nowhere else in the world but the state’s midsection and typically only in the squatty, sandy habitat known as scrub. Gregarious and inquisitive, the species is thousands of years old, but in recent years its territory has been devoured by agriculture and subdivisions, killing off 90 percent of the population. No more than 4,000 are left…” Read Lake couple create haven for rare Scrub-Jays and young fans.
From Our Readers
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