OUTDOORS COLUMN: Florida's water quality being threatened by manmade pollution

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In addition, the dead zone in the north central Gulf is expanding at a rapid rate

Those who have spent many years on the water have acquired a certain sense of the environmental factors which surround them which have such a great impact on their lives. This is especially true of those fisherfolk, whether they are commercial or sport, who need to be acutely tuned in to factors such as weather patterns, water quality, salinity and the like.

Water quality issues these days are being more and more negatively impacted by pollutants being flushed into our estuaries from ever increasing sources. To compound the problem, it is not just a nutrient overload from fertilizers, septic drain fields and poorly performing municipal waste water systems but toxic brews of pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, etc.

Old timers will be quick to concede that there is certainly something up with our normal weather patterns here, not to mention just about everywhere.

I have always considered myself to be an optimist and truly believe that Mother Nature is very resilient with her ability for self healing. I’m afraid my optimism is fading, particularly when it comes to the fragile ecosystems of our fair state.

Water has always been the life blood of Florida’s exceptionalism. Circle the globe at our latitude and you will find mostly desert.

If the natural, native flora of this state continues to be bulldozed under and replaced with plants and grasses that do not belong or thrive here without massive amounts of water, fertilizer and sprays, I’m afraid we are killing the golden goose, if we have not already.

Looking at the bigger picture, the dead zone in the north central Gulf is expanding at a rapid rate. The massive flooding in entire Mississippi watershed this spring and summer is exacerbating and growing the size of the dead zone. Despite the red tide of last summer, the reef and pelagic fishing off our shores has been great lately.

Does anyone think that may be because these species are being concentrated farther south due to an expanding dead zone to the north. Maybe there can be millions studying that for the next 10 years while nothing changes.

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