Lethal Lagoon

BottlenoseDolphinKSC                                            IndianRiverLagoonUSFWS

A bottlenose dolphin in the Banana River                                                                  The Indian River Lagoon
Picture credit: NASA                                                                                                        Picture credit: USFWS


When most people think of Florida, the first image that comes to mind, may be our crystal clear or turquoise water, followed closely behind by our glorious wildlife.

But, that beautiful image is in grave danger of becoming only a distant memory.

Florida’s water and wildlife, that in the past were our pride and joy, are suffering and we are all of us to blame.

A visit to one of our world-famous, heavily visited shore lines or tourist areas, instantly reveals what has become of a long ago perfect paradise.

Indeed, one of our most beloved and formerly pristine wildlife and water treasures, is the Indian River Lagoon on the Mid Atlantic Coast.

In the not so distant past, this area was considered to be 156 miles of sheer delight and wonder.

But, the boyhood home waters of our Senator Bill Nelson, is no longer pristine, nor exquisitely beautiful and the plethora of wildlife, namely dolphins, manatees, pelicans, and countless marine life that once flourished here, are either dying or already dead.

The high level of concern is due to the large number of bottlenose dolphin deaths, who are considered by many to be the  “canary in the mine” species in this area.

Those who love the lagoon feel sick and want to stop this, but the too often injected government, or political red tape, stands in the way of the lagoon’s salvation.

Officials are once again taking the wrong pathway and want to do a two-year investigation to examine the cause of it all, to the great chagrin of most who live here, who already know the answer to this question.

The cause of, or root of, the dirty, poisoned, polluted water is purely and simply, toxins.

This latest catastrophe began a few years ago, when a red tide or algae bloom, killed off massive amounts of the lagoon’s life-giving sea grasses.

Toxins kill the sea grass, which the fish need, so, no sea weed, no fish, and without the fish, the larger animals starve.

Continual run off of toxins, in the form of pesticides and herbicides, etc.  from our lawns, farms and factories, even septic tanks, drains directly into Florida’s aquifers, as well as the lakes, all over the state, at a staggering rate that may surely end all Marine life here, if left unchecked.

No, we do not need another investigation, survey or breaking news story  to know that we humans are the cause of it all.

We simply cannot continue to do as we please here and expect the Planet to just,  “take it.”

We are all reaping the ugly seeds that were sown decades ago, and the future of Florida’s Marine life, even we humans, depends on whether or not we stop pretending that this is not happening and start reversing the life-robbing cycle we began with little concern for the future.

What we do up above, always ends up in our aquifers, we are drinking it and bathing in it, the animals are swimming and living in it, and in too many places, it has become a toxic soup that can no longer sustain life.

Everybody from Joe Citizen, to Senator Nelson, to Audubon of Florida, and NOAA, has a suggestion, an opinion, about what we need to do about the lagoon and this tragedy, but still nothing gets done.

Hello, people, we need to stop talking and start doing.

This is not rocket science.

The problem is non discriminatory, never-ending,  dumping of poisons into our waters, period!

We all created this mess, you, me, farmers, factories, US Sugar, and every single person, group, or place that uses chemicals in this state, that end up in our water, now we have to clean it up, end of story.


Some places to learn more:

Crisis in the Indian River Lagoon

Florida Waters Alive With Toxic Algae, Toxic Politics

NOAA to investigate dolphin deaths in Indian River Lagoon

The Campaign for a Clean  Indian River Lagoon

9 Investigates Dolphin, Manatee Deaths In Indian River



26 thoughts on “Lethal Lagoon

  1. Similar stories all across the globe. The problem has become pandemic, requiring IMMEDIATE action; but the political red tape…ah yes, the crux of it all. The big question-will anything be done while there’s still time?

  2. Similar things happening right here in our beloved Pacific Northwest! They’re happening in other countries too, like Hungary. The last of the wilds are being assaulted from every which way. Every time I hear someone speak about our wild spaces as “resources”, I cringe.

    As a wild foods forager, I know there are myths out there about the “Brutal Savage”…but the reality, many delicate medicinal and edible plants exist in the forest/wild areas because Native People careful tended them. Even in harvesting roots, I will dig up a plant with permission, take its root, but leave its growth node. This is then planted back. That’s how the Natives did it. While taking stuff to live, you plant back, care back, protect back. IN RELATION.

    With industrialization, this knowledge has been forgotten. Big food companies hire groups of people, ranging from 100 to 1000 (usually immigrant people) to comb our Pacific Northwest woods for edible mushrooms. They are instructed to pick EVERYTHING…including the poisonous and non-edible mushrooms, they take all the fungi. They pull them up by their roots. We’re losing all our species that belong not just to us, but to the wild birds and animals. It affects us all.

    The mushrooms that humans cannot eat belong in the forest for other reasons…other animals, or they are part of symbiotic colonies of organisms that nourish other paras-ital plants and trees. Many plants, like Alder Trees and Red Root, grow with a symbiotic colony or organisms at their roots. The bacteria and fungi help some of these beautiful plants dump back nitrogen and fix it in the soil. These plants are givers for future plants.You often see these plants in disturbed areas (after flooding, clear cutting, etc.) because they are actually fixing the soil up for other trees and plants to move in, later on. People managing the forest can interrupt these natural wild processes, by thinking other trees should be there, or this or that, not realizing forests are built as symbiotic colonies of both visible and invisible organisms in phases that are different than human time.

    Anyway, that is to say, things are really bad all over in regards to all of our wild spaces, and we all need to ally together in protecting and giving back to our wild areas. Industrialized food and other industrialized businesses. as well as pharmaceutical and supplement manufacturers are wiping out our forests and, wild spaces, like with the example of mushroom harvesting, I would never take all mushrooms, just what I need, I would leave inedible mushrooms where they belong, and I harvest mushrooms by cutting them individually, leaving the roots intact to grow again. But as corporations move in and want to use waterways to dump their waste, want to redesign wetlands, clear cut land leaving it open to invasive s, make it harder for individuals to forage food, but allowing corporations to move in and take EVERYTHING in sight, for profit. They call all this “resources”, and the resources are dwindling. Life is not a resource. It is our Essence.Life is built on the premise of exchange, nurturing abundance. Not unlimited resource extraction. Then when laws do come down the pike, they are more apt to prevent those working with wild areas with respect, and allow big companies business as usual. Same thing with regulation of farmers, with the small, biodynamic farmers having tons of regulations yet the larger, more industrialized farmers have way less licensing and regulation.

    I agree, more people need to stop talking and do more doing. I am a forest activist and steward, and often get very discouraged. One of my teachers, a good friend, has finally resigned his position after 7 years in a forest non-profit that does excellent work by monitoring the US Forest Service, and lands that are being sold behind the public’s back to the timber industry. Whenever possible, this group goes out and looks for endangered species so the sales can be halted in the courts under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Oh my gosh, this is all a very sad business and however one participates, there needs to be more participation and awareness, because the people carrying the torch can only carry so much by themselves! Last I looked, no matter what a person believes, we all share the same home, the same air, and the same water.

    Beautiful post! We all need to make common cause and unite! The time is absolutely right now!

    • Thank you so much for sharing what is happening in your area and of course, for your continuing support.
      Mother Earth and all of her creatures need as many defenders as they can get.

  3. Agreed. We have made some strides to reducing pollution, but they are not enough. We must do more. And, by “must,” I mean that we have an ethical obligation to do more–indeed, to do everything that we can.

    • There are not enough of us who treasure all wild things and are willing to do what needs to be done, even though there are so many who care little for this beautiful planet, but how can we not try?

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