Demand Cleanup of Florida Estuary

Target: Governor Rick Scott

Goal: Clean up the Indian River estuary

The Indian River estuary in Florida is so severely polluted that dolphins, manatees and pelicans have suddenly died in the Summers of 2012 and 2013. Scientists and ecologists who are studying the area blame their deaths on the massive amount of nitrogen in the water and the explosive urban development of surrounding areas. Due to the high level of nitrogen, a type of algae has prevented sea grass from growing, endangering the fish who use the grass as cover from predators. Experts say that the only way to clean up the estuary is to use a massive vacuum and switch the septic tanks to sewer systems.

Concern grew for the estuary in the Summer of 2012, when three manatees suddenly died in an area where deaths were rare. A year after this incident, hundreds of other species started dying, leaving a trail of carcasses over a third of the estuary. The death toll for the 2013 year alone is staggering: 280 manatees, hundreds of pelicans, scores of bottlenose dolphins and hundreds of fish. Experts are blaming the cause of their deaths on the rapid expansion of urban development in the area. Factories, retirement condos, and sewage treatment plants are responsible for dumping dangerous levels of nitrogen into the water, alongside other toxins.

It is estimated that the estuary contains 45 percent more nitrogen than what is considered healthy, but the consequences of those levels didn’t appear until heavy rains flooded the estuary. In previous years the area looked deceptively healthy because the drought reduced the flow of nitrogen into the water. The heavy rains also brought a sudden bloom of algae in the area. This is distressing because this phenomenon allowed the numbers of algae eating fish to grow, while those that need the protection of sea grass suffer. The sea grass is also needed to stabilize nitrogen levels but their numbers are dwindling.

Experts say the only real solution to this problem is a massive vacuum and a change from septic tanks to sewer systems. These ecosystems are suffering because of how close human civilizations reside next to it. Urge the governor of Florida to begin cleanup of the estuary by signing this petition. It is not fair that our sea cows and dolphins should die because we humans have become irresponsible.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Rick Scott,

The nitrogen levels in the Indian River estuary pose a huge threat to the marine life. It is estimated that the levels are 45 percent higher than what they are supposed to be and the ecosystem is unable to naturally correct the problem. Experts blame the recent explosive expansion of human civilizations for the deaths of hundreds of manatees, pelicans, and dolphins. Just in the year 2013, 208 manatees suddenly died; their deaths were caused by eating micro algae, leading to irritation and shock in their intestines. Pelicans and dolphins slowly followed and their carcasses line one-third of the estuary.

Experts believe that the only way to clean up the estuary is with a massive vacuum cleaner and switching the septic tanks to a sewer system. I am writing to implore you to do something, whether it means implementing this unusual cleanup method, or using other non-hazardous means. Please, the lives of these beautiful and endangered species depends on us humans.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nadia Drake via ConsciousLifeNews

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