BusinessEnvironmentGrassroots Effort Protects Gulf of Mexico’s Largest Seagrass Bed

Grassroots Effort Protects Gulf of Mexico’s Largest Seagrass Bed


- Advertisment -sslate

Florida’s newest aquatic preserve is officially set to move forward, with a management plan aimed at protecting some 350,000 acres of sea grass.

The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve off Florida’s west coast is the first new preserve to be designated in more than 30 years, and part of the largest sea grass bed in the Gulf of Mexico. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has approved a plan to protect the 700 square miles of coastal habitat along Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties.

William Toney, a fishing guide in Homosassa, said he is not a political person, but spent years attending meetings to fight for his livelihood, and the health of the Gulf.

“It really meant a lot to me, and to the people in our communities here,” Toney emphasized. “Especially us that make a living on the water, you know, we need that protection of our sea grass, for all our fish and crabs and shrimp.”

Seagrass Florida

Toney pointed out economies of the towns connected to the preserve are mostly driven by tourism and fishing. The state management plan calls for routine water quality testing, restoring damaged sea grass and encouraging community groups to work together. The preserve is now the 42nd in the Florida system.

The areas encompassing the preserve are home to mangrove islands, salt marshes, oysters, sponges, corals and more, and the plan still allows for recreational activities, like boating, fishing and scalloping.

Joy Hazell, extension agent for the University of Florida/IFAS Extension, said locals saw the need to protect their own.

“The community went to the state government and said, ‘We want to protect this,’ ” Hazell explained. “When you have those community-driven resource protections, you just have a stronger agreement between the people who use the resource and the people who are in charge of managing the resource.”

Community members cited increasing threats from pollution as part of their concerns. Recent bouts of red tide and other harmful algae blooms, fueled by farm and fertilizer runoff, dominated headlines, taking a toll on marine life and tourism businesses.

Sunshine Slate
Sunshine Slate
Sunshine Slate is your news, entertainment, music fashion website. We provide you with the latest breaking news and videos straight from the United States of America.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

Capturing Brilliance: The Unmatched Value of Professional Photography

This guide delves into why choosing a professional photographer for those vital images is a decision that adds incomparable value.

Congress needs to act quickly, wisely on Medicare teleheath provisions

Telehealth has been key to health care in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but some of the flexibilities for this type of care for Medicare patients could expire soon.

Best Apps and Games for your New Mobile Phone

We can install any app from the google play store very quickly. Let’s take a look at some most amazing apps for android mobile phones.

Decoding The Role of Professional Home Builders in Realising Your Dream Abode

From choosing the right design, materials, and fixtures to ensuring a timely completion, the complexities involved are numerous. This is where the role of a professional home builder assumes paramount importance.
- Advertisement -

New map reveals high wildfire risks for Florida amid heat wave

A newly updated wildfire risk map could help level the playing field for rural communities who don't have the resources to conduct their own wildfire risk assessments

Essential Summer Safety Tips for staying Healthy in Florida heat

As the summer sun blazes, especially in the Sunshine State, it is easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of the season.
- Advertisement -sslate

Must read

Best Apps and Games for your New Mobile Phone

We can install any app from the google play store very quickly. Let’s take a look at some most amazing apps for android mobile phones.

Florida aims to build a comprehensive crisis response system

Florida is getting attention for its efforts to create a comprehensive crisis response system for mental health needs.
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -sslate

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you