There’s been lots of news lately about the condition of Florida’s waters, both Gulf and Atlantic. Yes, in the southeast, where the St. Lucie River empties into the Indian River (at Stuart) and in the southwest, where the Caloosahatchee River empties into the Gulf of Mexico, there is green algae as a result of pumping from Lake Okeechobee. However, on our Natural North Florida Big Bend, water quality is the best it’s been in years.
One indicator of the health of our waters is the resurgence of our sea grasses and our bay scallop populations. Yes, in the last few years, rainy spring weather has brought dark water and photosynthesis was slowed, causing sea grasses to thin. However, this year has been relatively dry and our water is perfect for turtle grass, manatee grass and rolling red algae–all which provide shelter and nourishment for crustaceans, molluscs, and bait fish.