The Water They Breathe - Environmental Impacts On Our Waters and Habitat

The Water They Breathe - Environmental Impacts On Our Waters and Habitat

The Water They Breathe - Environmental Impacts On Our Waters and Habitat
By Paul Ramos

Like many outdoorsmen and women today, there is nothing comparable to spending a day with nature, and in particular, a day out on the water. This is especially true for individuals like myself where waterways, canals, beaches, rivers, swamps and estuaries are plenty. I only have to drive a few miles West and I'm in Everglades National Park. One of the most unique ecosystems on the planet. It's a wilderness paradise that has been preserved and protected today thanks to Harry S. Truman and a generation of Americans who saw its beauty and importance to our society.

During the past two decades, I've grown more and more concerned with the changes that I have seen. I believe that these changes have been pivotal because of the pressures that have been put on our environment, especially with our water. My deepest concern is that some of the damage that has been done may be irreversible. As an angler for many years, I believe I can share some observations that many scientists and experts in the field would agree with.

There has been a significant decline in the population of fish. Certain species that were common in my area during the 70's and 80's are rarely seen or caught today.

There have been laws and amendment enacted to remedy this problem. In some cases yes, populations have improved from netting bans, some of the order has been restored. I haven't seen any significant changes, and to be fair, it could be due to a host of other reasons. Reasons like global warming, and changes in seasonal patterns. In the 1980's, I would cast a fishing line behind my house and catch a Snapper, Sheepshead, Redfish, Jack in less than an hour. I would be lucky to even catch a Snapper and the other species together given months on the water fishing.

The habitat of these fish and wildlife are not being preserved. Most times they are underfunded and given less priority by city governments.

Funny as it sounds, our Natural Resources need resources. Mother Nature alone needs a hand in caring for her own. Why? It's because we humans are instrumental in affecting the balance. It is this sensitive balance that even with the brightest minds and the best engineers aren't capable of restoring or even managing.

The encroachment of development, even on non protected lands still has an indirect effect on nearby protected lands and water.

The Real Estate boom was a bust for the Environment. Planners and Politicians continue to tell us economic growth was vital to our sustainability. Too often, our environment again suffers long term effects that generations will not be able to repair. There is no better example of this than a coastal city where I live that was literately transformed from 2-4 level quaint motels and condominiums, into massive eyesores. that literately could reach the clouds on certain days. It is this small coastal community where I first visited in 1976 and where you could look into the marina and see clear blue water. You could swear you were looking at a fish tank, and of course it was teaming with a variety of fish. Today it's all but a brown haze, from countless sewage pipe breaches. On a good day it may be a clear green. The numbers of fish, as you would expect, nonexistent. I just feel sad for kids who will never know how beautiful that water was. Never.

So it's the quality of the water above all. It's the air they breathe, the water that spawns life. We as intelligent beings have a responsibility to understand that we cannot damage our waters and our habitat without damaging ourselves and our own quality of life. Life begins with water, its sustainability and quality of its life begins with us.

Our natural resources are the great wonders of our country. It is ours to enjoy, nurture and leave as our legacy to future generations. As a contributor to [] and being involved with local community beach cleanups, promoting responsible use of our resources is the message I like to share and encourage everyone to participate in. My hope is that you find the same inspiration and passion for nature and our resources, and share that with others.

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