Coral Crisis

Many thousands of species call Coral Reefs home~
Picture credit: underwater universe


Yesterday on WUCF, our local PBS Channel, there was an excellent dual story about Coral Reefs and the depressing decline of them worldwide and also one about the alarming situation with Oysters.

Coral Reefs are one of the most threatened and most in peril of all the world’s ecosystems and the future does not look good, unless, we step in and do what is necessary to stop what may soon become complete decimation.

Renowned Australian Scientist, Marine Ecologist, Dr. Katharina Fabricius and her team have worked tirelessly for many years studying the negative impacts of various factors on Coral Reefs and Marine Life around the Globe and the program yesterday was dedicated to their work.

Living here in the Sunshine State, we are blessed with the ability to take a short drive down to the Keys and see our very own Coral Reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

But the pleasure of seeing the immense beauty of Coral Reefs, may be short-lived for all of us.

I can feel Al Gore breathing down my neck, as I write this, but one fact taught in my Geology Classes, was that the Earth has repeatedly, over millions of years, chilled and warmed since its inception.

However, our very bad habits are speeding things up right now.

Yes, we Humans are quite to blame for many of these changes in Global Marine Life and Coral Reefs, as well as other bodies of water and threatened wildlife.

The current impact of Global Warming, whether our Governor, or anyone else in Government or politics, wants to admit, believe, or deny it, is affecting everything that lives, grows and swims in our Global Seas.

And yes, we are causing and are to blame, for a great deal of this.

We Humans use pesticides, poisons and chemicals everywhere, without a thought as to what they will do to all living things, including us!

Rivers, streams, lakes and oceans are being murdered and are dying a slow painful death, due to our ongoing ignorance, greed and stupidity.

We cannot continue our evil ways and expect that the planet will just deal with it.

Our planet and entirely too many living things on it, especially our Coral Reefs, are in crisis mode.

We made this mess, now we need to clean it up.


Places to learn more:

Coral Reefs

Florida’s Coral Reefs

Coral reef fish danger – Blue Planet – BBC Environment


Coral reefs and climate change: A message for Copenhagen

Ocean acidification 

Oceans of Acid: How Fossil Fuels Could Destroy Marine Ecosystems

Elements in the Ocean

Acid tests for corals

New Study Warns Warmer, Acidic Oceans Will Kill Coral Reefs

The Australian Institute of Marine Science

Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef


Lovely Leatherback~

A Nesting Florida Leatherback Sea Turtle
Dermochelys coriacea
Photo credit: NOAA – Public Domain

For those fortunate ones of us who live here in the tropical paradise known as Florida, the news this morning brought a rare and treasured site and story, it was of a Leatherback Sea Turtle who had recently been seen on the beach at Canaveral National Sea Shore, laying her eggs.

According to reporter Dan Billow, who has covered the Florida Space Coast for over 25 years for WESH TV, this was a once in a lifetime occurrence.

What made it so,  was the fact that the lovely Leatherback weighing in at over 800 pounds, was doing her nesting and egg laying in broad daylight, something that rarely ever happens.

The Leatherback is the largest of our Florida Sea Turtles and this was a blessing for those of us here, who love them and do everything possible to ensure their safety during nesting season, which hopefully will also guarantee their future.

The Leatherback is one of three Florida Sea Turtles who are listed as Endangered, the List also includes the Green and Hawksbill Sea Turtles.

The story today about this Sea Turtle mother makes what we saw happen in our own front yard yesterday even sweeter.

Harriet our resident Gopher Tortoise, was next to her primary hole/tunnel, at about noon, quite busy sending sand flying, it appeared that she then made a small mound or nest and looked to be laying her own eggs.

We both found this news interesting, as we did not know that Sea Turtles and Gopher Tortoises did their nesting at the same time.

We may be grandparents again soon and we are, as to be expected, both thrilled.

The representative from the Park Service and the TV News reporter both agree that things may finally be looking up for this gentle giant.

Congratulations and Happy Mother’s Day to a Lovely Leatherback~

Places to learn more:

Rare 800-pound sea turtle nests on Brevard County beach

800 Pound Leatherback Sea Turtle Lays Eggs

Canaveral National Sea Shore

Loggerhead Nesting In Florida

Endangered or Threatened Species

Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) – NOAA

Leatherback sea turtle – Wikipedia

Leatherback Sea Turtle – Gator –

Patron of the Oceans

Pugh with Tutu
Lewis Pugh with Archbishop Desmond Tutu,  September 15, 2010
Picture credit: Publicist


On GMHQ this morning Sam Champion interviewed a true Hero, one who is not just another wildlife activist.

He talked to Lewis Pugh, the renown swimmer, author, activist, public speaker, and former marine lawyer, from Plymouth, England, who has put his infamous speedos into water that few of us will never, thankfully have to endure, to save an endangered  ecosystem and endangered  Ocean wildlife.

Earlier this year, Lewis launched a five swim campaign in Antarctica for a cause near to many hearts, especially his!

Lewis is swimming in the Ross Sea, to shine a light on what Humans once again are doing to wildlife that is causing irreparable harm to those with no voice.

His dream is for the area to become a Marine Sanctuary.

Among the victims he is swimming to save and protect are: Whales, Squids, Seals and Emperor Penguins, none of which has numbers to brag about here right now.

As he so poignantly said during the interview, the affects over fishing, combined with climate change,  in this unique place, is having a disastrous affect on a pristine ecosystem and those who inhabit it quite precariously.

Of course Sam is extremely close to this subject from his years on his own show Sea Rescue, and its extensive involvement in Marine life.

Pugh has a Facebook page, listed below and there have been countless interviews and stories about him, so getting to the heart of this story was quite easy.

Lewis is hoping to impact the members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources or, (CCAMLR) from its representative 24 countries.

Among the myriad of accolades and awards Pugh has been given, the one that I personally find most important was, when he was appointed the UNEP’s Patron of the Oceans in 2013.


Places to learn more:

Lewis on Facebook

Lewis Pugh Swims Antarctica’s Icy Ross Sea To Save Pristine Ecosystem

Ocean campaigner puts his body in ice to save a sea

Antarctica in a Speedo chilling for extreme swimmer Lewis Pugh

His Bio on Wikipedia

His personal web site: Lewis Pugh

Lewis Pugh: Swimmer has Ross Sea talks with Russia

Lewis Pugh’s Antarctic swim – in pictures


Gone is Forever

A Green Sea Turtle Hatchling
Photo credit: Manuel Heinrich Emha


As someone who has in the past,  been  fond of deep-fried shrimp, as of today, it is off of my menu, forever!

I try very hard to be a vegetarian, but alas, shrimp was a guilty weakness, but now, no more.

In my mail this morning was a sickening, sad story that the Southeast Shrimping Industry is still killing our Endangered Florida Sea Turtles by the thousands, over 50,000 of them actually and few, if any,  have seemed to be able to stop them.

But wait, they are now being sued and the group doing it, just may have enough clout to force them to finally, once and for all, change their murderous behavior.

This is not a new issue with sea life and death at the hands of those who make their living fishing, it has been going on at least since the 1990’s.

But the fact that they continue to this day, and show so little regard for these Endangered Sea Turtles,  is where I personally draw the line and say, no more.

The problem for all these many years has been the nets used by the Fishing/Shrimping  Industry, that trap the Sea Turtles and other sea life and cause them to drown.

In the past, demands have been made to force implementation by the fishing industry of TED’s,  or turtle excluder devices, which allows creatures to escape, but not enough are using them and the turtles continue to die by the thousands.

All Sea Turtles in this country are either an Endangered or Threatened Species, namely, the loggerhead, leatherback, hawksbill, green and Kemp’s ridley.

US Fish and Wildlife is seeking to lower the status of the Green Sea Turtle from Endangered to Threatened, claiming that their numbers are now higher due to conservation success and better nets.

As with the recent divisive and controversial ruling concerning the hunting of our Florida Black Bear, if this does happen, what will the future hold, for the Sea Turtles removed from the Endangered List?

Will FWS in the future allow them to be hunted as well?

The very people and agencies in this state and this country who should be protecting our creatures “with no voice”  seem to have lost their desire or ability to do so.

My respect for all of these “Groups” with the blood of our “voiceless ones” on their hands, has been greatly diminished by their actions.

Being beholden  to the evil of  “money and power”  seems to  have replaced kindness and caring, and the animals are all the losers for this.

Gone is forever.


Places to learn more:

Walking with the Alligators: Sea Turtles

Lawsuit: Better monitoring of shrimping industry by federal government needed to protect endangered sea turtles

US govt sued over sea turtles snared in shrimp nets

Group sues to require sea-turtle trap doors in shrimp nets

US govt sued over sea turtles snared in shrimp nets

U.S. sued to curb deaths of sea turtles by shrimping industry


Bison and Bears, the connection~

Wood Bison in Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, Canada
Picture credit:  Laura Kaupas.


As you may have noticed, there has been a two month gap in postings here.

The reason is that my heart has been broken over the imminent approval of Hunting our beautiful Florida Black Bear.

The final, fateful decision is expected in a very short time.

But this morning, a story on our news, brought for the first time in over two months, a reason to smile and cause for joy.

Another creature which has occupied a huge place in my heart for over 30 years, has just been given a new lease on life.

The Wild Wood Bison, which has been gone here in America, for over one hundred years, is being brought back to Alaska.

The differences between them and our American Bison are in the links below.

This reintroduction of the Wild Wood Bison, is courtesy of the people of Canada, who did not completely decimate theirs, as we did.

This cooperation between our two countries, is but one more example of the good that Humans can do for wild animals, when they chose to do so.

By appearances, it would seem that the people of Canada care and respect their wildlife more than we do here.

An example, the history of our concern for our most  “at risk”  wild things in this country, has been, far too often at best, woefully neglectful.

Ask any resident of California, when they last saw a wild animal, no, not a deer, or a raccoon, but a true large wild animal.

They have been hunted, killed and chased out of not only California, but many, if not most, of the other lower 48 states for over a Century.

The joyful news today about the Wood Bison, is bittersweet, as we who live here in Florida await the final decision to come for our magnificent Florida Black Bear.

Once this is done and they kill or hunt too many of them, it will be too late to say,  sorry!

Like the stunning, Ivory Billed Woodpecker that once ranged freely all over the South East, and have now been hunted to extinction to adorn a ladies’ hat, come Fall, will our Black Bears also be no more?

Perhaps, we could learn a bit about wildlife compassion from our neighbors to the North?

There was one reference story of a Wildlife Park in Canada, where the Wood Bison and the Black Bear live together in apparent harmony.

Are you listening in Tallahassee?

There just may be a connection between the Black Bear and the Wood Bison.


Places to learn more:

Wood Bison Free in Alaska

Wood Buffalo National Park

Alaska wood bison being held at village to be released soon

Wood Bison set for release

Wood bison leave Portage for release in Alaska wild after an absence of more than 100 years

Phenotypic Differences Between the Bison Subspecies

Wood Bison Curriculum


Double Entendre or Controlled Florida Bear Hunting

And coming soon to Florida!
Picture credit: William A. Troyer – US Fish and Wildlife Service


In the little publicized, poorly defined FFWS meeting in Jacksonville yesterday, not much was really accomplished or confirmed about the plan to renew Black Bear hunting in this state.

We still do not really know exactly how, when, where or what is going to  happen to our Black Bears.

Another meeting is set for April in Tallahassee.

A sparse few showed up to object to hunting them, but so many more came to support the plan to begin once again hunting/killing our Florida Black Bears.

FFWS said that they are going to become much more aggressive in the way Bears are handled or controlled from now on.

Two things in the various news stories reporting this meeting stood out to me.

One was that if the hunt is approved, the hunters will not be killing bears in the conflict/troubled areas, but, they will instead be deep in the woods killing Bears that may have never even seen a Human, let alone caused any sort of problems.

And second, the news that of the 41 states where black bears live, 32 already do allow hunting.

This to me, seems to be used as a form of excuse by the Hunting groups to renew the killings.

I wonder if any of these hunting supporters have ever been to California?

I lived there for over 30 years and never saw a Bear or any other kind of wild animal, except for raccoons and deer, until I went to Yellowstone and then again when I came here to Florida nearly ten years ago.

You see, they had already hunted most of them, to extinction, long before I ever moved there.

What was missing from this Bear Meeting yesterday, was what happened to the bear populations in those states, after the hunting began.

This animal was, just a short time ago very scarce in Florida.

In this state, Bears are not the problem, people are the problem.

They refuse to do what will keep bears away from their neighborhoods and out of their yards and garages.

They leave food outside in their yards, and in open garages, they do not have bear proof trash cans, in fact some of them even outright feed the bears.

Dumpsters all over Central Florida are left open and uncovered.

For Bears, who always follow the food, this entire area is one big Bear Buffet.

Dinner is served, and they all know where to find it.

It all here for them to enjoy.

All that is, except for the ones who have already been killed by FFWS.

These bears were labeled as bad or aggressive bears, too aggressive to be allowed to live.

The idea of a resumption in Bear hunting gives me fits of terror.

Here is why.

In 1998, the year that my parents moved to this area in Central Florida in the Ocala Forest, from South Florida, the Forestry Service began what is supposed to be a safe normal process, it is called a “controlled burn.”

Well, that year the controlled burn nearly wiped out most of Central Florida.

To say it got out of hand fast, is an understatement.

So, what happens when FFWS gives Hunters, these same ones we now see out on our local roads, standing on their roofs and in the beds of their pickup trucks firing into the woods, using rifles now also armed with silencers?

This is the reason that I am very worried right now, not just for the Bears, but for all of us.

These Hunters, who continuously show that they care little for the safety of others, or their own hunting dogs, are completely  “over the moon” at the idea of finally legally being able to shoot and kill bears.

Since moving here ten years ago, we have witnessed already, some cruel and sick behavior towards Black Bears.

They have found bears dead on the sides of the roads, with their paws and feet cut off.

Now FFWS wants to give these people permission to do it legally.

Where will it all end?

I keep remembering the controlled burn in 1998 and the complete devastation that it caused to Humans and Animals alike.

But things just got out of hand.

Will controlled Florida Bear Hunting be any different?


Places to learn more:

No decision made on whether to allow bear hunting in Florida

Florida bear hunt likely to happen this fall

Bear policy protests

Black bears could soon be fair game for Florida hunters

Florida Mulls Return Of Bear Hunts After Increase In Urban Attacks

With black bear population on rise, Florida may allow hunts


No, No, No!

A magnificent Florida Black Bear


The FFWS Meeting will be tomorrow at 8:30 AM at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jacksonville,
225 East Coastline Drive on the Third floor. Phone number is 904 588-1234

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL  32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676


Dear Readers.

I know how very tired you must be of  seeing and hearing this, but by this time tomorrow, it may all be over for our magnificent Florida Black Bears.

The meeting will be in Jacksonville

We all knew this, it has been talked about everywhere.

But the stories have been quite remiss on every channel, as to when and where, this meeting will actually take place.

Was/is this intentional to keep those of us who are outraged by this away?

The idea that it can and will, soon be OPEN season on our Bears is inconceivable.

One of the most beautiful and majestic beings to ever live in this state will, if this is passed and I am positive it will be, hunted down, shot and killed like any of the other wild animals here, that are already being murdered for SPORT.

The idea that I/we may soon have to drive past the gruesome scene on the side of our county roads here in Lake County with these maniacs with guns and silencers will NOW be killing Black Bears, legally.

It was only one short year ago that I called and spoke with the man at the top here and he promised me that this would NEVER happen.

If you have a phone, a computer or any form of communication at hand right now,

please do what ever you can to tell FFWS that this is complete insanity.

Just a short time ago this animal was listed as Endangered and now it is about to be hunted.

Below is the Bear Petition with more information.

Please think of one of the most beautiful creatures that God has ever made,  lying dead on a road, only  to be hauled off  and dismembered, by someone who cares nothing for the beauty that it was/is, only the bragging rights for ending its life.


Here is the Bear Petition, please sign it and share it:   Bear Petition



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,316 other followers