Wildwood Outfitters Blog and Fishing Report
There are places on Earth whose diversity alone warrants our protection and respect; places that haven't been totally spoiled by the onward march of industry. One of those places, the Everglades and the greater South Florida ecosystem, is in peril. As billions of gallons of freshwater are released from Lake Okeechobee, the delicate balance between fresh and saltwater is being disrupted. This imbalance has led to a tipping point where it's quite literally Now or Neverglades.
The issues facing the Everglades ecosystem are one of a political nature, continued by human greed and interference in the natural order of things. Levies built in decades past have hindered the natural balance between freshwater and saltwater in South Florida. While this may have been done with the best of intentions (hurricane flood protection) it has led the "river of grass" to all but dry up as water in Lake Okeechobee now has nowhere to go. Then during wet years, when the water levels get too high, billions of gallons of water are dumped into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. That huge discharge of freshwater leads to algal blooms that choke out sea grasses, mussels, and fish.
When the water levels are too low, not enough freshwater travels south towards the Everglades and Florida Keys. When the water levels are too high, too much freshwater travels south. This constant change in salinity has wreaked havoc on the ecosystem and the recreational fishing industry. The suffocating algae kills the sea grass that is needed to support the base layers of the food chain, which in turn disrupts the natural order of things.
This dire situation is being acted upon quickly though. In a moment of bipartisanship, Gov. Rick Scott responded to a petition signed by 70,000 concerned citizens to authorize the building of a large reservoir in between Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades to serve as a buffer for those toxic freshwater discharges. Thanks to the work of companies like Orvis, RepYourWater, Simms, Sage, and plenty more in the fly fishing industry, Senate Bill 10 is on its way through the Florida legislature to expedite the building of the dam and providing critical protection for this diverse and special ecosystem.
To find out more information and show your support visit Now or Neverglades here!