Saturday, January 24, 2015

Nature Can Cure Our Ills

Today was a beautiful windy afternoon in SW Florida. I took a walk at Prairie Pines Preserve and felt at peace.  No amount of booze, pills, sex, video games, shopping, movies, TV or money can do for our hearts, bodies and minds what nature can. It doesn't take a lot of time, and you don't have to walk far to start feeling really good. Here are a few pics from today. You can see more on my facebook page, The Back Ten Feet With Sue Scott. I hope everyone reading this takes a walk in the woods, along a stream, out on the prairie or along the beach wherever you live.






Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Send It South Editorial From John Heim

Well said, John!

Send the water south of Lake Okeechobee

January 14, 2015
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer
To the editor:
This past weekend Key Largo hosted the Everglades Annual Conference that is fully focused on sending the water south of Lake Okeechobee, rather than the discharges east and west down our rivers that have destroyed our local waterways health and marine life amongst other qualities of life.
We, as activists for clean water in Florida, have sent many operatives and representatives to the conference to stand up for our local communities and the well-being of our town's lifeline. The pollution that exists in our water is still there even though you cannot see it, and we will not stand for it now or never.
The reality of the 2013 "summer lost" is still in our minds and hearts as it killed off a record of manatees, erased our oyster populations and about crippled our local tourism in the summer months and threatened to lose tourism season in itself as the polluted water sifted into winter months. We are committed to raising awareness to the general public, as well as both locals and tourists of our very grave situation that very much still exists.
The Caloosahatchee River was deemed number 7 on the most critical list in the United States not too long ago, while the Indian River Lagoon is also in peril. Mother Nature intended the water to slowly drift south of the lake while naturally cleaning the water to feed the everglades. If you ever heard anyone say "the Everglades are dying," this is why. The top of the lake is a river called the Kissimmee River, which used to flow in a zig zag, slow, meandering manner into the lake and would eventually drift onward into the Everglades naturally. However, man ruined that by channelling the river into a gushing onslaught into the lake and connected our rivers on the east and west. The Everglades no longer gets that needed flow way south at all. Instead we get the gush of rushing water into our rivers that are not well suited to handle this aggressive onslaught.
To add insult to injury, the sugar industry is fully responsible for years and years of back pumping its chemicals into the lake. You got it, right into our local communities waterways! The sugar industry has gone as far as to grow sugar cane crops along the southern perimeter of the lake, making it impossible for water to flow naturally. Recently, the sugar industry wanted to build housing along the south perimeter. However the work of local activists put a halt to that Sugar Hill Housing Project.
We activists of the clean water movement have been to our local politicians offices, to our state representatives offices, to the governor's office in Tallahassee and his mansion in Naples and all the way to Washington DC to be heard in front of Congress as common day people fighting for the future of our communities. Without clean water we will have no tourism. Without tourism we will have no jobs. Without jobs will have no homes or businesses. Without jobs or businesses will have no local economy. Everything we call home solely depends on clean water and seeing the water flow south naturally into the Everglades.
We will not stop! We will continue at any and all measures to better educate and bring truthful awareness to this very real life do or die situation for us all locally who live here and visit here. We are not afraid to speak to this issue. Our next stop is Gov. Rick Scott's office in Tallahassee in February. ?Fight for your community. It's depending on you.
John G Heim
Fort Myers Beach

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Just say No!

Don't know if all of you are aware of this but...here in Florida, and in fact all over the country, fertilizer companies, exotic plant growers and others in the plant trade have bought and paid for our representatives at the state level same as with the feds. And they have crafted laws that actually prohibit local communities from having more stringent laws for natural resource protection than what the state has. 

Now, keep in mind, state environmental laws are designed to create MINIMUM levels of degradation, harm, and injury to the environment. They are not meant to create MAXIMUM levels that barely scratch the surface. The best way to get around all this quackery? Just say NO! No matter how lean and ineffectual their laws, we still have the power to simply NOT USE harmful chemicals! We can decide, we want larger plant beds and LESS lawn!!! 

We can decide, we want to use NATIVE plants and we CAN make the effort to seek out nurseries who sell those plants in our areas! Don't let these special interest groups who don't give a rat's ass about clean water or healthy soil get in our way. You just have to say NO.



Friday, January 2, 2015

SW Florida in Winter

Take a hike with me in the Charlotte Harbor Flatwoods. A lot of brown, but our native trees and shrubs are green, with NO extra water or fertilizers!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Miami Dade Pine Rockland Almost Gone

Article reprinted courtesy Coccoloba Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society
To learn more and receive the newsletter, visit www.fnpscoccoloba.org .

Pine Rocklands Update

As some of you may already know, Miami-Dade County is in the process of losing one of its last intact tracts of endangered pine rockland. The 88 acres of the land was sold from the University of Miami to a developer known as Ram. This development company is using the rare land to build various stores and apartments. The development will further endanger several species of rare plants and animals. This includes the Bartram’s and atala hairstreak butterflies, bald eagles, indigo snakes, and the Florida bonneted bats.

In an attempt at remediation, Ram has agreed to set aside 40 of the acres for a preserve. Unfortunately, this is not a solution due to the fact that much of the land has been overrun by non-native species, and much of the native creatures inhabiting the area are already extremely close to extinction.

Fortunately, conservationists are working hard to help protect this area from being destroyed. There has already been a large amount of success, including the 90,000 signatures of petitions from people all over the world wanting to save this land.
            
Want to learn more and stay up to date with this project? See the links below for more information and to see how you can help:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Read Between the Lines


It's all over Facebook! Home Depot to require suppliers label plants sprayed with neonics.
Big friggin' deal! Home Depot will continue to SELL those plants. Home Depot is not out any money, staff or effort. They say they REQUIRE the labels. Big deal. If they actually cared they would stop dealing with ANY supplier who is known to spray with deadly chemicals. That, however, would take real balls, real caring and a real sense of being part of a healthy community.

Do not fall for this kind of false concern, this false action as if they "hear" us and are actually doing something about our concerns. Put YOUR money where your mouth is and shop at local, NATIVE nurseries. Wherever you live, you can search for nurseries that sell native plants and do not use pesticides. They ARE out there.

In Florida, I know you can go to www.plantrealflorida.org and find the retail native nursery closest to you.  Please don't fall for ruses that don't actually mean real positive change.

Our pollinators depend on it!