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A message to all residents of Merritt Island, Fla.

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The Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse estuary in North America, carries over 4,500 different species of wildlife. It was once called Rio De Ais, after a native tribe who once lived in Merritt Island. They were lucky enough to experience the richness of the lagoon before they were eradicated completely. And after pioneers had taken over their land, the abundant life source of our adjacent waters slowly began to die.

Nowadays, the lagoon is in its final stages of death with little strength left to support its ecosystem. Sea turtles that once existed in great numbers have become scarce. Dolphins that swam elegantly and with pride along with their relatives, are no longer entertaining us with their synchronized dances. If we continue to ignore the needs of the Indian River Lagoon, our next generation will only wonder of the lively diversity that once existed.

Time is running out and we are already seeing the consequences of our actions. If we continue the path towards pollution, then we as a species will live alone on this island and it would already be too late to reverse what we have caused.

If we could only see how our actions are affecting our island, then I believe we would make better decisions on environmental sustainability and hopefully save our future. Unfortunately, very little of us are willing to make sacrifices to rescue our wildlife from extinction. The reasons that we choose to keep our eyes and ears closed are the same reasons we choose to live comfortably. As a message to all, I am hoping to open your eyes to what we have caused and to let you know that it is not too late to bring back the island to its greatest potential, that is if we can only change our ways.

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