This post is going to be the first in a series about the loss of Florida's wetlands and how it impacts our state and our way of living. (All these photos are of pets or critters I've found at one time or another)
I have to admit that I've never been overly concerned when I've heard people talk about the loss of our wetlands. After all, I've sold several properties that had large portions of them that were not buildable because they were zoned as wetlands. How could there possibly be a problem?
And let's face it. The state of Florida is below sea level and we can find swamp land everywhere. So until now, it has seemed to me, that many people have been overreacting, with their concerns about losing wetlands. I say "until now" because this week I learned some astounding facts.
First of all, I'm a Florida native. I was born and raised in the Daytona Beach area and I've been selling homes right here since 1995. The very things I love about Volusia county, are the same things that may cause our northern, seasonal residents to "freak out". But what can I say? I'm a Florida girl. I LOVE frogs, lizards, geckos, salamanders, turtles, and many other little critters. And I always have to pick them up and pet them, to give them a little "hello" and let them know they're special and appreciated. (Yes, I pet frogs. Just ask my clients who have seen me do it... Karen, Johanna, Melissa, and many others) And you don't know what you're missing until you've gotten a lizard to open it's mouth, then clamped him on your ear lobe! LOL! What a beautiful earring!
But it all seriousness, Florida has been losing wetlands, in spite of strict laws, since it's inception as a state. The pace of loss is slowing, but it has not stopped.
- In 1780, Florida had 20.3 million acres of wetlands. (Over half the state)
- In 1980, Florida had 11 million acres of wetlands.
- From 1985-1986, Florida lost more than 260,000 acres of freshwater, emergent wetlands.
- From 2003-2007, Florida has lost 5005 acres of wetlands.
- Since Florida became a state, total wetland area has decreased by more than 44%.
Most Floridians know that the Florida Everglades, which comprise the majority of Florida's wetlands, have been in danger for many years. Invading plant and animal species have caused great harm to the delicate Everglades ecosystem. Many projects are in place to restore the natural balance of the Everglades, and will hopefully save many species from extinction. But many people are unaware that coastal wetlands are among the world's most productive ecosystems.
Consider for a moment, the many different types of birds that migrate here each winter, to the same spot, year after year. But this year, they arrive to find their winter home has disappeared, due to a new housing development, or drought, or fire, or any number of reasons. For many types of birds, it causes confusion as they look for a new place to winter. They need to find the necessary water, food, plant life, nesting spaces and safety from predators. But most birds won't look for more than a few possible locations and they eventually die. They don't survive the winter and never return to their summer homes. These are the ones that are dwindling in number, year after year, and will eventually become extinct unless something is done.
I have so much information on this subject that you can expect me to write several posts over the next few weeks. There is much that is being done to rectify this situation, but there is still much more that needs to be done.
I've been told that instead of saying "Something must be done." You should be saying "I must do something". So this is where I'm starting. I'm educating myself and those of you who may not be aware of this problem. Selling real estate is my job. But there are many other things that I'm capable of doing as well. And since I don't want to lose my little critter friends, this is one of the causes to which I'll be contributing my efforts.
Thank you for reading. I'll do some research to find ways in which we can monetarily support wetland preservation. Hopefully I'll have some of that information in my next post on this topic. If any of you are aware of something of this nature, please leave the information in the comments.
In this litigious day and age, unfortunately this is necessary. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by The Activerain Network and it's members and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Lisa C. Hill, "The Smart Choice" and Adams Cameron & Co., Realtors. Lisa Hill, Active Rain and Adams Cameron & Co. claim no responsibility for the actions taken by anyone, as a result of these opinions.