Sunday, October 09, 2005
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
The tide keeps coming.
Recent articles and opinions about our current red tide bloom.
By STEVE GIBSON
Red tide is a problem that just won't go away. Even when the dreaded bloom is seemingly gone from our waters, you can bet it will return. Again and again and again. The fish-killing algae is nothing new. It has haunted Florida's Gulf Coast communities seemingly forever. But in years past, it was a fleeting thing ... for the most part. There have been cases where red tide has shown up and lasted for weeks and even months, but those who have lived around the area for a few years will likely agree it's different this time around.
Most of us aren't scientists. But you don't have to have a marine biology degree from an Ivy League school to figure out that the times have changed. As this area becomes more and more popular and the population continues to explode, the environment suffers.
RED TIDE'S DEATH TOLL
Vibrant Gulf only a memory
Back in the day when swimming off Lido was my favorite exercise, marine life was just part of the deal.
But those days are long gone -- done in by increasingly persistent red tide. When the water's toxic enough to kill rays, dolphins, fish and all the other amazing creatures who share the Gulf, humans have no business sticking their face in it.
Because they end up offshore, I don't use yard fertilizers and pesticides. The reward for my do-goodery is a shabby patch of dirty sand, which once was my lawn, and the hope (or delusion) that my tiny sacrifice will somehow help the big picture.
I can't look at a storm drain -- or a lift station, for that matter -- without thinking: What are they putting in the bay and Gulf? I suspect that sea critters are asking the same thing.
Related letters to the editor in Sunday's SHT:
"The gulf was our shining treasure here in Sarasota, and it has become a toxic soup", more.
"Will our Gulf waters bounce back in my lifetime? I don't think so". The rest of the letter.
"Editorial writer Laura Sperling's perspective on the evisceration of marine Gulf life is shared by many folks like myself who spend our working days on the water as charter boat captains, eco-educators, commercial crabbers and fin-fish harvesters." The rest of this letter.