Drought Could Cripple Everglades’Life… You don’t say… As the drought continues (yes, despite today’s downpour and hail storm there is still a drought) our ecosystem will continue to feel the pressure of our encroachment and insatiable thirst for more land. It’s easy to surmise that as water levels continue to recede (partly due to our absurd water use) typical everglades’ natives will begin to explore their once former habitat (your backyard) in search of water, food, and other necessities.

It’s funny how things happen. After reading this article by the Herald this morning, I went for a drive to run a couple of errands. Along a two lane street nearby, I encountered a few cars, stopped in the middle of the road for no particular reason. No particular reason happened to be a fairly large Florida Cooter (Turtle) trying to cross the street. So, being the animal lover that I am, I pulled over and darted across the road to move the little guy along (I have a couple of turtles of my own, so that helped.) Standing on the grass looking around, once the traffic flow had resumed, I noticed his retention pond home had dried out and he was crawling along in another direction in search of some new watering hole, which I knew didn’t exist. So, I did the next best thing and put the dry turtle in a box and drove to a nearby lake where I released him, back into some relative safety…

Animal encounters such as these are going to become more common place. Alligators will soon flock to the rock quarries many South Florida sprawl-land houses are built around in search of better conditions and more space. Meanwhile, people will likely wonder what these critters are doing in their backyards. They will be seen as nuisances, yet few people seem to understand that we encroached on their land and not vice versa…

The water restrictions in place are long overdue and are finally becoming even more stringent. Our region has had an insatiable, virtually unrestricted use of our water resources for far too long. We should not be squandering one of our most precious resources on lawn watering (30 MGM, for a Golf Course, are you kidding me?) or other similar petty activities. Sprawl can be partially attributed to this careless use of our resources, with its larger concrete footprint; water runoff doesn’t circulate into the aquifer like it should. Many home owners in sprawl-land, in search of that delusional “American Dream” feel the need to keep their lawn green. Water restrictions aren’t new; it’s just a blatant signal that we need to recreate a truly sustainable community…

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4 Responses to Close Encounters with the Turtle Kind

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree. The turtle thanks you too.

       0 likes

  2. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    You know, I had always wanted to release an animal into the wild like that…and, I must say, it was rather rewarding to watch the little guy scamper into the water and swim away…

       0 likes

  3. Dave says:

    Eventually people will need to come to the realization that their lawns don’t need to be perfectly green year round. People in the rest of the US are used to their lawns dying for half the year from the cold, people here simply need to accept that South Florida is a wet season/dry season climate and things aren’t green and thriving year round. Of course it doesn’t help that the dry season also happens to be the tourist season when the most people are looking.

       0 likes

  4. Anonymous says:

    For a good laugh/cringe, just read the inane comments made on any newspaper article hosted by Topix on this subject.

       0 likes

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