FLORIDA SPORTSMAN: The State of Florida’s Seagrass

Florida Sportsman: Written by David Conway. June 7, 2017. 

Florida’s seagrass woes can be illustrated by understanding another familiar, American ecological disaster: the Dust Bowl. Demand for grains boomed in America after WWI and Midwest farmers plowed under native grasses to meet that demand. When the Depression hit, demand fell, and they abandoned those lands. Prolonged drought followed and when the winds hit those soils without the native grasses, the soils literally blew away. The resulting calamity caused mass migrations and economic devastation.

Florida’s agricultural and waterway architects have constructed a similar scenario for our state. Instead of land, we have sea. Instead of wind, we get water. Instead of dust, we get algae. It’s happened on various scales for the last 50 years in the state with the replumbing of the waterways and Lake Okeechobee, and now it’s threatening the health not only of estuaries to the west and east of the lake, again, but also Florida Bay.

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