One man makes a difference for the health and well-being of Florida marine life

Artificial Mangrove System by Lee Shepard, IntraCoastal Eco Systems

These artificial mangrove systems are providing critical cover for fish in Florida to survive and thrive

Just listened to this podcast about Lee Shepard of IntraCoastal Eco Systems.. He’s created an artificial mangrove root system that helps shelter spawning and juvenile fish so that they can survive predators.

Their natural defense – mangrove forests – have been more than 80 percent wiped out for the pleasure of those who would have “million dollar views” of the oceans and lagoons. Shepard is one person who saw a serious problem –  the death of dolphins and manatees and the death of 11 humans due to the release of billions of gallons of polluted water by the Army Corps of Engineers from Lake Okeechobee. This runoff water was filled with toxic contaminants which created devastatingly harmful algal blooms. Indian River Lagoon was specifically called a “killing zone” and a “mass murder mystery” after the sudden death of 46 dolphins, 111 manatees, 300 pelicans, and 47,000 acres of sea grass beds.

Disaster from polluted release from Lake Okeechobee into Floirda lagoons

Human-caused disasters like are made worse because we no longer have mangrove forests to absorb or protect our waterways

The pictures from this environmental disaster all too closely resemble those that came out of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf disaster.

Shepard stepped up and decided to do something about it. His story and his commitment are pretty inspiring.

Who says one person can’t make a difference? Not this writer!

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