Posts Tagged ‘environment’

America! America! God mend thine every flaw

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

 

I am fearful that our beloved United States of America is going to follow a path (despite the rules laid down by our founders) that defies to protect us from the fate of Saudi Arabia, China and Russia.  All of those places have no tolerance for intellectual freedom much less freedom of religion or freedom to love. 

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I love America with all my heart…   her amber waves of grain are being destroyed by pipelinesHer purple mountain majesty is being blown to bits by coal magnates.

amber waves of grain

 

 

Her beautiful spacious skies will again be choked with soot and fear.  Her brotherhood of good From sea to shining sea will have to hide and whisper in corners and alleys.

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Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.  Self-control is likened to weakness and liberty to peril. 

I weep, and seek the comfort of the like minded.  I cling to to the lovers of clean food and thought, pristine water and mind, clear air and soul.  Greed is the enemy of all those things. 

America please see what is happening.  Please embrace what our founders saw and tried to keep for everyone after them.  O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years

O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years   I repeat –> O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years.  Take that in.

patriot dreams

 

that sees

 

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maine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Till selfish gain no longer stain, the banner of the free!

 

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2016

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

In 2016 much of the news was heart breaking.  My year was excellent.  The good fortune of shipshape health and no cavities.  No accidents, no deaths, no divorces, just pretty much good news.  If I stayed away from any media then, 2016 was very good.

The pages of Facebook friends were full of happy pictures of happy children, a wedding, and new babies and playful pups.  There was some travel to parts unknown (Iceland) and some revisiting with friends and beloved Moms. 

 

10900109_10205516594741027_8254405356214504125_oYosemite National Park, no matter how beautiful the photos are, they don’t replace being there.  New York City, Eureka Springs, Lake Geneva, Camp Douglas (yes… Camp Douglas Wisconsin) and the entire island of Puerto Rico were magnificent.  Making  snow angels and snow people, and sledding in the snow, as well as, riding horses on a beach in Rincon.

 

Yosemite.Fran_

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Olympics was fun.   Simone Biles and Michael Phelps, came home with a lot of bling. Phelps has more Olympic medals than anyone ever. 

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Yusra Mardini was the Syrian refugee that had the world cheering her on.  Remember her?  Not long before the Olympics she had been in the Mediterranean Sea swimming for her life. 

http://www.sbnation.com/2016/8/6/12393220/yusra-mardini-olympic-athlete-swimming-syria-refugee-team-saved-lives-rio  Yusra

 

 

 

 

 

 

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People died.  Some were famous and some of those people were really cool and it made us sad to lose them.   People that graced this earth like Muhammed Ali, Gwen Ifill, and Alan Rickman, as well as many many others who maybe weren’t so famous but also graced the earth and left it a better place because they were here.

Fidel Castro finally died.  Luckily he never proved to be the powerful mastermind of world domination he was originally reported to be.  He was just a dude with a plan on a mountain.  He successfully carried out his plan and it pissed off a lot of people for a long time. 

Justice Antonin Scalia died and the President (Obama) quickly planned a replacement, but, Congress halted his choice by refusing to vote for a new justice until we got a new president.  (that sucked). 

A lot of black people died after being shot by white policemen.  Then a lot of white policemen were shot and the nation started taking sides.  (that sucked too)

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Some of the worst news in the US…

Flint Michigan knowingly allowed lead in the public water supply.

Roger Ailes got $40 million and an early retirement for sexually noodging and intimidating women.

The assault on the planet planned by the incoming US president to improve the economy.

If I didn’t care about clean water, clean air, and a happy planet I’d be in a great mood.  I’m not in a great mood. 

 


 

“The truth is that people in every age find reason to believe that their best times are behind them, and all that remains is decline and despair — that note of lament Cicero hit in 63 B.C.: “O tempora, o mores!” But far from uttering a generalized moan, the orator was castigating the corruption of his age as expressed in one man, Catiline, the author of a plot to seize power in Rome. The historian Sallust described Catiline as “reckless, cunning, treacherous, capable of any form of pretense or concealment. Covetous of others’ possessions… He possessed little discretion. His disordered mind craved the monstrous, incredible, gigantic.”

Historians can be so judgmental. I’m sure Catiline just wanted to make Rome great again.

This guy Sallust hung out with Julius Caesar and uttered his words, which were reportedly recorded in 63 BC, in a works he called Catiline’s War

It appears to me, therefore, more reasonable to pursue glory by means of the intellect than of bodily strength, and, since the life which we enjoy is short, to make the remembrance of us as lasting as possible. For the glory of wealth and beauty is fleeting and perishable; that of intellectual power is illustrious and immortal.

So Sallust was right.  It has been well over 2000 years since he spoke Italian words that have been translated to English.  I’m not sure who translated for us and from what book, but, that said, — until the world implodes or we blow ourselves up in fury we’ll know this guy and his wise words.  So — if you and yours are happy, safe, healthy, cavity free and comfortable then it has been a good year.

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This is a scrawny pup saved from a certain death at the dog pound.

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Arkansas oil spill

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Wondering how things are going with the Arkansas oil spill?  You can find whatever information you want according to what news source you go to.  How can we trust our news sources when one station states“a couple of dead ducks and 10 live oily birds were found after an ExxonMobil pipeline ruptured last week…to date, we have no indication that there’s a health impact on the community...”Crude oil is crude oil, None of it is real good to touch.” 

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/02/oily-ducks-found-after-thousands-gallons-oil-spill-in-arkansas/#ixzz2PY7jGT3l

 Another news source really wasn’t too informative telling us what we already knew… “a 2- or 3-inch gash in the underground Pegasus pipeline, began spewing crude Friday…This incident has damaged private property and Arkansas’s natural resources. Homeowners have been forced from their homes as a result of this spill,”

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/03/us/arkansas-oil-spill/

 

ABC seemed to have a better grasp on the environmental impact, but they didn’t confront ExxonMobile.  They were careful.  “Attorney General Dustin McDaniel toured the black, oily ditches plaguing the city’s landscape and said the neighborhood looked “like a scene from the Walking Dead…Clean-up crews have recovered more than 12,000 barrels…” he also stated…”After seeing the source of the leak, I have more questions than answers…”There’s no such thing as an overreaction by a homeowner. Selling a house in that neighborhood will be very different now and the fault of that shouldn’t be with the homeowners.”

http://abcnews.go.com/US/exxon-mobil-pay-arkansas-oil-spill/story?id=18873237#.UV4vfjfAHTo

So if you peer in to news that is off the mainstream grid they find out things like“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has had a ‘no fly zone’ in place in Mayflower, Arkansas since April 1 at 2:12 PM and will be in place ‘until further notice,’ according to the FAA website and it’s being overseen by ExxonMobil itself.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette revealed that the FAA site noted earlier today that “only relief aircraft operations under direction of Tom Suhrhoff” were allowed within the designated no fly zone.  Suhrhoff is not an FAA employee: he works for ExxonMobil.

http://www.salon.com/2013/04/04/exxon_controls_skies_over_arkansas_oil_spill/

So we can’t know how many dead birds or displaced persons or contaminated wells and watersheds have been affected.  We only know what is going on above ground.  What is going on below?  Lets hope little investigative pit bull reporters will be finding this stuff out.   A myriad of anomalies have  resulted from this spill that we need to learn from.  ExxonMobile has control of the information.  Does that scare you?  It scares hell out of me.

 

 

 


Tanks vs Trains

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
Florida Governor Rick Scott turned down $2.4 billion in Federal money for a high speed rail project despite knowledge of a newly revealed Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) study that forecast the venture would net a $10 million surplus in its very first year of operation. 
State and Federal court battles are holding back the entire industry of high speed rail.  Meanwhile war machines carry on unobstructed?

One great train and track needs to be built to prove its usefulness.   A wonderful provider of jobs and a peaceful industry of builders and innovative minds to do their thing.  Not to mention a very comfortable way to study, read, sleep off a hangover, prepare a power point, get your homework done,  have some lunch,  cuddle with a loved one,  make friends with strangers, decrease your footprint, meet a famous person, pee without stopping at a scary rest stop, do needlepoint, or just enjoy the view without worrying about driving into the swamp, while getting from point A to point B.

 

The United States government pays companies to build tanks and jets to provide security and to protect the nation from bad guys.  But if the government pays a corporation to build solar panels, high speed rail, or windmills to provide energy independence  (which is a better source of security) than it is called socialist government intervention or “Big Government”.   Why isn’t it called socialist government intervention for us to subsidize the building of war machines?

Top 10 Fastest Trains 1

 

Shanghai Maglev is the fastest train in the world.  It’s operational speed of 430km/h and average speed of 251kmph. (156 mph)  The Maglev started commercial operations in April 2004.

It runs on the 30.5km Shanghai Maglev Line, which is the first commercially operated high-speed magnetic levitation line, extending from Longyang Road Station of Metro Line 2 and ending at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

Shanghai Maglev is owned and operated by Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Co. (SMTDC). The train was constructed by a joint venture of Siemens and ThyssenKrupp.


 

 Tanks are only useful for war?  Tank builders therefore need war.

Why can’t we also subsidize weapons of peace that contribute to energy independence?  Things like high speed rail that run on magnets (please see above), and Renewables.  Things that keep the planet clean and alive, and we get to live out our 70 to 80 years in peace?  Unfortunately, some people just don’t get peace.  Maybe a nice long clean peaceful life is achievable.


1% vs 99%

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Wouldn’t it be better if the TV and radio personalities would talk  about facts rather than presuming fault?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Wouldn’t it be better if we stopped listening to the loud whiners?  Shut them off, change the station;  too busy admiring people who are discovering and inventing stuff.

The desire to classify ourselves is human nature.  Humans are influenced by each other to impose group boundaries.  For instance the 1% versus the 99%.  The 99% is vast,  not cozy;  whereas the 1% are in bed together cuddling and clinging.  Here are some pretty interesting things being done by members of both groups .

http://www.humdingerwind.com/#/wi_large/

Inventor Shawn Frayne has come up with a device that harnesses the power of wind without any rotating parts. Instead, his company’s Windbelts capture energy using fluttering fabric. Air passes over a taut membrane, it induces a vibration, somewhat akin to a violin bow.   Magnets mounted on the membrane bounce back and forth between metal coils, inducing an electric current.

What makes this so way cool is that it can be put on fences in urban areas and it can be palm sized or room sized and the materials it is made from are all available right here in the good ole USA.

windbelt

 

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http://news.carbonwarroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CCW20111.png

 

Richard Branson has started a “Carbon War Room”.  Does he qualifiy as part of the 1%?    He has an influence on them.  He concerns himself with the future of the planet and makes money doing it.  His latest venture is opening a shop  near the White House for Venture Capitalists to hang out and find investment solutions.  International corporations like Maersk, the global tanker operator, 3M,   and General Electric Co., the major U.S. maker of gas turbines, windmills and appliances;  find there is money to be made and profits enhanced by cutting noxious pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions.

http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/dynamic/article.page.php?page_id=7874&section=home

 

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Pegasus Global Holdings Announces Plans to Develop World’s Largest Tech Testing and Evaluation Center

http://techcitement.com/admin/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ghosttown.jpg

Pegasus Global Holdings bought a town in New Mexico.   They needed a place to create and test green technology innovations.  How cool is that?  Is this the enemy doing cool things with their money?   Pegasus Global Holdings is actually one of those big scary conglomerates making billions from war tools and satellites; which qualifies them as a member of the 1%.  Perhaps refocusing their moneymaking prowess on technologies that have an end result of a healthier, cleaner, and subsequently happier planet is a good thing  —  even if their motivation isn’t benevolent grace.

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A.I.M. Interview: Algenol’s CEO Paul Woods

Paul Woods is a hero.   He has a biorefinery  in Lee County, Florida.  It will consume almost two dry tons per day of carbon dioxide obtained from industrial sources, and will produce 100,000 gallons of fuel-grade ethanol per year.  Whats not to love about that.  He is an innovative scientist and has become pretty wealthy by being smart and steadfast, he is one of  the 99%.

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free energy?

Friday, October 14th, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

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Exxon-Mobile is running frequent ads on TV claiming they care about teachers and education.  One thought on this could be they are interested in controlling what is taught in universities.   They might cause universities to back off on the Environmental education and focus more on finding oil, extracting oil and refining oil.  Frankly oil sells itself so that is a no brainer.

There are lots of bright young minds with brand new engineering degrees planning to go to Texas, Mexico or Canada and work for an oil company.  They don’t need to be recruited or guided — money talks.  Money also talks to the legislators of various state run Universities.  Like a big circle, politicians give subsidies to oil and educators.

 Geothermal, solar, wind, biodiesel, and other renewable sources of energy aren’t at the Universities recruiting these brilliant young minds.  They don’t have the politically backed funding for that.  Oil and coal receive federal funding and they use much of it for recruiting brilliance and luring them with buttloads of money.

Meantime, we’re building tired old SUV’s in our auto plants and wonder why the rest of the world doesn’t want them.  Because the rest of the world has young brilliant minds too.  They are being recruited into the renewable energy industry and making fast and powerful cars that run on batteries and biodiesel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

read about Nicola Tesla…

 

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solar and wind feed-in tariffs

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Wind and solar farms,  can have severe impacts on wildlife and their habitats when they are built as huge corporate owned farms.  Solar panels on the roof of a home or business does not hurt any being.   Wind turbines installed on roofs much the same as the roof vent type does not hurt any being (see wind-belts).  Net-metering and Feed-in tariffs are wonderful ways many countries and 11 of the states within the United States are successfully providing energy.  So why aren’t feed-in tariffs and their success embraced wholeheartedly within the US, especially the southern states where the Sun is so abundant?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A feed-in tariff, offers small-scale producers of solar energy long-term contracts (usually at above-market rates) for the electricity they sell.  Net-metering allows anyone, whose solar or wind system is producing more electricity than they need, to sell the excess back to the utility in turn reducing or eliminating their electric bill.  But once their bill falls to zero, the homeowner gets no more money from the system, although some grids will give credit.

Using Florida as an example:  The Governor of Florida and Florida Power and Light (FPL) are trying to pass legislation that is being marketed to the voters of Florida as forward thinking and green.  Large utility companies would control the renewable energy industry in Florida.  Smaller businesses would still have to pay exorbitant utility rates.  This would cause them to bring their business to feed-in tariff (FTI)  states where they can have their own solar, wind and/or biofuels for their business.

There exists a trend in which consumers are looking for USA made products that are made in a low carbon impact way.  Florida and it’s constant sunshine should be the forerunner of this trend.  Instead Florida’s Governor and Florida’s privately run FPL are interested in increasing the surcharge on their customers’ bills. Who benefits from this?  Compared with neighboring states, Florida’s industrial utility rates already are 52 percent higher and residential rates are 20 percent higher.

Florida could do both utility owned and privately owned alternative energies.  FPL can put algae ponds around its current Coal fired power plants.  The algae is used to make biofuel and feeds on the CO2.  Algae needs massive amounts of CO2 to grow, coal fired power plants are thought to be evil in part because of their massive amount of CO2 emissions.  Talk about a win win!!

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/print/article/2009/06/blooming-biofuel-how-algae-could-provide-the-solution

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Meantime, manufacturing and big box stores and private homes and associations of homes can have their own solar panels (if they so choose).  Small solar wind and biofuel companies will flock to Florida for the substantial need and abundance of resource.

PS: “Conservation: addition by subtraction
Even though this doesn’t technically generate electricity or transfer energy, we have to mention this;  one dollar worth of energy conservation can save three to five dollars in energy generation equipment costs; if you can use what you have more efficiently, there’s no reason to spend more to make more. While designing for efficiency is the best way to achieve high levels of energy conservation, there are lots of retrofits in insulation and efficiency upgrades that can help cut back on demand.”  Colin Dunn

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/04/generating-off-grid-power-3-ways.php

Back in the days of the Renaissance the lords of the land (the folks in the castles) owned the land and the mill.  Serfs (the folks in the huts) paid the Lords for leasing the land to grow grain, they then took the grain to the mill and paid the Lords to have their grains milled.  This same concept is all I can think of that keeps states from allowing homeowners to provide their own energy and get credit for excess energy.  The governor of Florida Rick Scott seems to want to be Lord and we the beholden serfs.

 

 

Fair Trade

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

If you have ever seen the term “Fair Trade” on labels, you may have wondered what that meant.

fair trade

 

 

 

 

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It isn’t about guns and Pomeranians.  It is actually a marvelous system of guaranteeing the buyer that the product they are buying is not harming life or the planet.  For example: In Papua New Guinea the farmers grow cocoa on land they own.  The cocoa was sold to middle-men that in turn sold it to chocolate makers who in turn sold it to us.  The farmers profits were miniscule in comparison to the middle man.   Logging Companies wanted to buy these lands from the farmers and since the farmers weren’t making much money growing cocoa they were willing to sell.  The Nature Conservancy came along and explained to the farmers that the sale would be a short lived income.  With Fair Trade certification their profits would be greater and last as long as they were willing to farm sustainably.    Keeping their lands to sell Fair Trade cocoa will provide income forever (or until we stop loving chocolate).

The farmers were granted the fair trade certification after a long (three years I think) and arduous process of sustainable growing and marketing education.  The middle man was removed so they had to find their own fair trade buyers.  You wouldn’t think it would be hard to find buyers for this wonderful cocoa; it helps to understand these farmers have limited sources of communication and funds for travel.  These photos might help explain.

Papua New Guinea - Tari Mountain kids send greetings beyond borders
Dancing villagers near the Karawari River, Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea Intro, photo, picture, image
The purchase of a fair trade product means paying a fair price to the producer, and creating lasting trade relationships that can guarantee the financing environmental development.  When you buy fair trade product you establish a more direct and concrete partnership with the producer.
So remember when you buy fair trade certified products you are participating in saving families, forests, and ways of life we can never enjoy.
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If you think fair trade clothing is ugly hippy crap take a look at Colin Firth’s wife Livia in a gown designed by Jeff Garner who used fair trade Ahimsa Silk for the beautiful gown she wore to the Golden Globe awards.

Livia Firth, Colin Firth, Prophetik, Jeff Garner, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Golden Globes, eco-celebrities, green celebrities

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So to summarize, fair trade and rain-forest alliance are providing decent wages for countries like India, Mexico, Guatemala and Ethiopia.  If you complain about immigration then buy fair trade products.  The immigrants will go home and grow stuff for us to buy rather than coming here and taking our jobs cleaning hotels and picking tomatoes.

 

temperature

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/images/1208natltemp.png

…so according to this graph, unless the NOAA is lying, the average temperature in 2008 was about 54 degrees F.  The average temp in 1895 was about 52 degrees F.  Perhaps this isn’t significant, but, then again, perhaps it is.

If you look at it in degrees C it is only a difference of about 11.3 to 12.1.  Not impressive enough to get you out of your Ram tough truck?

Smart scientists are having a blue bloody bird over this stuff.  We’re so busy being mad at Republicans or Democrats or Wall Street or Mexicans we aren’t looking at what is really important.  This planet isn’t just a big floating rock, it is alive and we need to keep it that way.  There isn’t another live planet for us to go to.

Wars of the Waters

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

There are about 18 million Florida residents who directly or indirectly make their living from the visits of the 50 million tourists who come here every year.  Why do you think they come here?  This place is beautiful and  magical–  the critters, the flowers, the waters, the Everglades, the history it is all absolutely enchanting.  What is disenchanting is the runaway sprawl and the devastation to our swamp and it’s water quality and the resultant effects on lives.

The  coastal areas of Florida are beige on a satellite view.  When you zoom in a bit more you’ll see the ant-like cars moving slowly in traffic.  Within these beige areas along the coasts there are towns that can be redone, rebuilt, restored.  Prosperity and development can live on without devouring any more of the everglades and its endowments to us.  We just need to insist.  

nodogsnobikesnoswim

In the middle of Florida just south of Lake Okeechobee is a huge dike that stops the flow of water that created the Everglades.  This area is beige on a satellite view as well.  This dike was built and canals were dug to enhance development and sugar plantations and cattle ranching.  The run off and phosphorus is killing the Everglades.  Why should we care?  The river of grass, the  panthers, the wild orchids, and the fact that its slow flow into the estuaries of the tip of Florida serves as fish nurseries and it sits on top of the aquifer that gives us drinking water and there is no other place on earth like it and if we can’t save it then it is a message to the world that we failed.

Well–other than that you must at least care about the otters.  The happy resourceful otters are disappearing.  Otters play just for the sake of playing. (like us)  What is bad for them is bad for us.  So while your crawling along in traffic think about the otters.  When is the last time you saw one?

The enormous growth of metropolitan Atlanta, and the resulting increase in water withdrawals from the Chattahoochee river have an effect on the oysters in the Apalachicola Bay in Northern Florida.  The oysters depend on the brackish water mixture of river and ocean water.  “Water transfers” also occur prior to reaching Apalachicola Bay.  Water is withdrawn from the Chattahoochee, then discharged as treated sewage water into another river, such as the Oconee River, which flows to the Atlantic Seaboard. The Congress of the United States has been asked to intervene in the fight between Georgia, Florida, and Alabama over rights to the river water. The lawsuit is now in court, and that may take quite a few years to resolve.

Why should you care?  You don’t like oysters? You may be interested to know that each oyster individually filters 50 gallons of water per day.  Oysters are to bays and estuaries as our kidneys are to us, we die without them.

James Cain, Apalachicola Bay Oyster-man

Florida has a strong and powerful nature conservancy, Audubon Society and Ocean Conservancy. It also has powerful developers, ranchers and plantation owners who employ the masses (as well as immigrants).  A constant war is ongoing.  A war that has never been won by either side, but, much has been lost.  I look at the empty concrete strip malls that have been a result of too much too fast and the swamp land that was filled between dredged canals.  Another CVS replaces the eagle nest, a banyan tree that ended its 50 year life to a blockbuster store that is now defunct, another mangrove island (fish nursery) losing its life to another development.  I think some just love the fight no matter the devastation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Apalachicola Bay is one of the most productive estuarine systems in the Northern hemisphere as a result of the overall good water quality.
  • Apalachicola Bay is an exceptionally important nursery area for the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Over 95% of all species harvested commercially and 85% of all species harvested recreationally in the open Gulf have to spend a portion of their life in estuarine waters. Blue crabs, for example, migrate as much as 300 miles to spawn in Apalachicola Bay.
  • Apalachicola Bay is a major forage area for such offshore fish species as gag grouper and gray snapper.
  • The area is a major forage area for migratory birds, in particular for trans-gulf migrants in the spring.

 

 

 

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