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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Florida environmental disaster news

South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD, pronounced, "Swift Mud") has announced the appointment to their governing board of Malcolm S. Wade, Jr., Senior Vice President of sugar operations for U.S. Sugar, the entity most responsible for the pollution of the Everglades. Is this a possible conflict of interest, or just blatant raping and pillaging?


Call it a hunch, but I'm guessing none of the members of Collier County's tourism board are natives.

Excerpted from the Naples Daily News:

It seemed like a good idea to Collier County tourism promoters, but everybody didn't agree.

The idea was to give beach vendors complimentary plastic bags that beachgoers could use to collect shells.

Besides providing a service to shellers, printing on the bags could promote Collier County as the Paradise Coast, remind beachgoers not to litter and that live shelling is prohibited on county beaches.

Weeks after starting up the program, the county is pulling the bags from local beach spots in the wake of warnings that the bags could be an environmental hazard.

[It] raised concerns that the bags are not biodegradable and, if left floating in the water, might look like jellyfish to sea turtles that might try to eat the bags or might get entangled in them.

Besides that, the warning against live shelling is printed only in English and doesn't define live shelling, critics said.

Wert said Tuesday that the county will replace the bags with biodegradable ones — and this time will consult with county environment experts before ordering them.

New bags should do a better job of educating beachgoers about what is allowed and what isn't, said Nancy Payton, field representative for the Florida Wildlife Federation.

Many beachgoers aren't familiar with the term "live shelling" — collecting a shell that has something living in it — and don't know that Collier County prohibits collecting live shells, live sand dollars and live sea stars from its beaches.

Payton said that, without more education, beachgoers might fill the bags with anything they can pick out of the surf, and that could be plenty, given that the bag measures 12 inches wide and 15 inches deep.

I would recommend they all go to shell in a handbasket.


Iguana infestation has become a hot topic lately. Eradication efforts of the non-native invasive critters on Boca Grande have ranged from collecting and mercifully drowning them, to hunting them with teeny, tiny guns. What to do with all those dead lizards...?

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