A unique rally in support of the Indian River Lagoon will be staged on September 28, 2013. Local fishing and boating interests from all walks of life are joining together to stretch their “Hands Across the Lagoon.”
The declining conditions of the lagoon are prompting people to stand up and be counted. There is more at stake than fun and recreation; there is also an economic impact to be considered. As water quality deteriorates, as grass beds disappear, fewer and fewer tourists will want to visit. The economic impact will be loss of jobs and incomes for area residents. Many fishing guides are already noting the decline in charter bookings because of what’s happening to the lagoon.
A recent CCA Alert reported that the lagoon “lost over 60% of its seagrasses in 3 years, and over 50 bottlenose dolphins have died in just the last 7 months. On top of that, some groups out there who don't want us fishing there at all! These are just a few very real threats to our fishing future, right in our backyard.”
“Hands Across the Lagoon” is an initiative of the IRL National Estuary Program. The idea is to bring citizens from all five counties along the IRL to area causeways to show their support for protecting the lagoon. Participants will link hands for 15 minutes on all eight causeways that span the lagoon’s 156 miles of shoreline.
There will also be a complimentary event 2 days before “Hands Across the lagoon.” The Marine Discovery Center will host an IRL Public Forum in New Smyrna Beach from 6-8:30 p.m., on Sept. 26. A panel of experts will address current challenges in the lagoon and resulting mortality issues for estuarine species.
“The Indian River Lagoon and our surrounding estuaries are changing before our eyes,” said Chad Truxall, managing director at the MDC. “This is our community, where we work, live and play and it’s the cradle of the ocean. We hope citizens will participate in these two events to show their support for North America's most biologically diverse estuary.”
The start and end time of the event are the same at every location. Each causeway event is spearheaded by different organizations. Go to the Indian River Lagoon News and Events FB page for more information.
Organizers hope that the “Hands Across the Lagoon” event will represent a creditable public statement of concern for the lagoon.
Keep up with Ron’s latest Examiner updates by clicking on the subscribe button. A notice will be sent to you each time a new article is published.
Use the comment section below to add your thoughts to the conversation.
Angler Alert: Don’t forget to log you catch online at the Angler Action Program.