If you’ve ever fished in South Florida, you know there’s no other place with such a diversity of saltwater species. Redfish, tarpon, sea trout, flounder, snook—more than 800 species of fish within ten miles of the St. Lucie Inlet alone.
If you haven’t been down to South Florida, you should go soon. Otherwise, there may be nothing left but dead water.
The problem is complex because it involves, politics, peopl,e and padding pockets. But it’s not insurmountable. Here are a few of the issues that threaten this once wild and wonderful corner of America.
- Over 47,000 acres of seagrass in St. Lucie and The Indian River Lagoon have been destroyed by algae blooms
- Salinity in Florida Bay is now twice the normal level
- In 2016 a toxic algae bloom covered 239 square miles of Lake Okeechobee
- The Everglades are slowly choking to death
- The Biscayne Aquifer is slowly drying up due to low water flows in the Everglades (eight million people depend on this water source)
- This is a manmade problem
But it can be fixed. Established in 2009 by Ducks Unlimited and the National Wildlife Federation, Vanishing Paradise began advocating for restoration of the Mississippi River Delta by nationalizing the issue, raising awareness, and educating members of Congress. Now they’re joining forces with outdoorsmen and others who care about the future of South Florida and its many diverse habitats. To learn more, visit vanishingparadise.org.