I live on the gulf coast of Florida. Our town is on the north shore of the Withlacoochee River. Some time ago the river was designated by the state as one of “Florida’s Outstanding Waters”. Today the outstanding part of the river’s situation is the fact that it is in severe decline. The local non-profit W.A.R. Inc., has undertaken a project to study the river’s ills and document a program for remediation. My town Inglis, and our sister community Yankeetown, have stepped up and committed $25,000 each towards the study that has a price tag exceeding $200,000. Completing the study will require up to three years.
Most of the things wrong with the lower river are attributable to what happens upstream. And what happens upstream is precipitated by a growing population. I’ve included a “Letter to the Editor” published by the Citrus Chronicle back in June. When it comes to water and natural water resource matters regarding health, the situation is only getting worse.
Lip Service & Futile Action
Heads are in the sand at all levels of government in Florida as well as across our nation. In our state, at our back door, is an abundance of evidence that politicians and administrators refuse to acknowledge the root cause of water resource depletion and degradation. Without water the economic engine they continuously hope to exploit for themselves and their supporters and on behalf of the “public” in general, will not run!
Water withdrawals have lowered our precious aquifer to the point that spring flows, river ecology, natural surface retention bodies and municipal and private systems that feed on this source are on the brink of shut down. One of hundreds, an example of this obvious distain and practiced denial is water permitting to private business under the guise of new jobs and the economic stimulus of new business. And business pays nothing for this inventory/commodity that belongs first to nature and second to us. Stewardship - - - baloney!
The basis for this entire fiasco is people. A thousand, or more a day cross our border (the state line) too. We build and create more infrastructure, and public service. And the pressure on resources, like a cancer, manifests itself in dying, chemical laden rivers, dying estuary plant life and disappearing animals and aquatic creatures. Upside down natural responses such as the algal explosions alter nature’s balance. Wells have salt water intruding and/ or mineral poisoning. Even rain patterns have gone negative. Our school children know that rain is not some magical occurrence or God given gift. It requires surface water and humidity from vaporization of same to charge clouds that in turn replenish water bodies and the earth’s substrata below. Today, demand exceeds supply and the results are negative. This ain’t rocket science!
Vast amounts of our tax paid money is spent on crumbling and/or depreciated capital improvements. Support services for an unchecked population expansion outpaces these tax revenues, impact fees, licensing, and other ingenious methods for raising funds under the category of public welfare such as a land fill. Land fills are essential to the growth process. Once full, in just a few decades they can be reclaimed for development! They must be important, our local state Senator has one. Look around. It is nothing but a Ponzi scheme. The downward spiral tightens daily. The root of all this evil? PEOPLE! More people!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch. State and local government is always in a dither over how to attract new business and get more people to come to “our” community. It goes without saying, that “our” community suffers after the carrying capacity is exceeded. Have you ever had this thought, recently ? “Where the hell is all this traffic coming from?”
Now add a recession. Did you see the 60 pages of mice-type, for 1,461 properties with delinquent real estate taxes in the Chronicle (Friday, May 3rd)? There goes the tax base and scary plunges in revenue, on top of Duke’s reneging. Too many people. A bitter pill to swallow, debate, or acknowledge. We’ll never see a legal mandate in our state to halt the overwhelming influx of people or restrict development. It’s like running from a tidal wave. Barring a natural miracle, we have exceeded our environmental balance. God, save us from ourselves!
What I see on my walks
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Love the Beach - Finding China!
OMG! Pig It Out.
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I Wouldn't Rush Renting Out Jr's Room Yet.
Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Reduction and Lemon Curd Yogurt
Have a Great Weekend. Enuff said.
P.S. Fruit Bat: Get a grip.