One of the most important environmental challenges we face as a nation is the protection of our natural waterways. And in Florida, it doesn’t get any more challenging than restoring the 156 mile long Indian River Lagoon on Florida’s East coast. The Indian River Lagoon is one of North America’s most diverse estuaries with more than 4000 species of plants and animals, including 35 that are listed as threatened or endangered — more than any other estuary in North America.
In the last 100 years, activity by humans significantly increased freshwater runoff and nutrients from farms which have been detrimental to lagoon health. Disappearing wetlands from development are needed to cleanse the lagoon.
Mangroves and Seagrass are so important to the marine life that draws millions of boaters and fishermen annually which contributes tens of millions of dollars to Florida’s economy. Both of these important resources have disappeared at an alarming rate.
So what can we do to protect our natural waterways like the Indian River Lagoon? According to St. Johns River Water Management District, first and foremost, support restoration projects with your tax dollars. Then limit plant fertilizers, use water friendly plants for landscaping, pick up after your pet, eliminate septic tanks, send only rain water down the storm drain, leave only footprints, and pick up your trash while you enjoy our natural resources.
Another very important thing we can all do is take photos of our beautiful environment and share your photos and stories with your friends. The more appreciation people have for our natural environment, the more advocates we have doing their share. Capture those remarkable natural scenes and share them often. This blog post displays photos of the beautiful Indian River Lagoon.
Protect our natural resources, and may the remarkable photos of our beautiful environment be yours.