Village of Islamorada Focuses on Florida Bay

Florida Bay Forever Boat Tour

Islamorada, FL – The Village of Islamorada is taking the lead on bringing awareness to the issues facing the Florida Bay. In conjunction with the June 21, 2016 Workshop to Address Sea Grass Die-off and Everglades Restoration, the Village invited a host of politicians, community leaders, scientists and representatives from various governmental agencies to take a boat ride to see the seagrass “dead zone” first-hand.

Departing from Angler House Marina, Captain Xavier Figueredo and Councilman Mike Forster, escorted the sturdy group on an educational tour of the Bay in windy and choppy conditions.  Dr. Steve Davis, Everglades Foundation, narrated the state of affairs as the cotillion observed healthy and lush sea grass beds close to the Islamorada shoreline as well as acreage of scarified Bay bottom as they toured deep in the Bay to the area of Rankin and Dump Keys. 

Captain Xavier Figueredo, volunteering services and representing the newly created Florida Bay Forever, said, “When we get to the “dead zone” you see nothing – and I mean nothing on the bottom of the sea floor. When we see this, smell the rotten egg small of decaying grass, and then really educate our passengers about the need to get more fresh clean water to the Bay through the creation of reservoirs south of the lake, it seems inconceivable to me that anyone could argue the point that we need to act swiftly. The Bay is in need of emergency aid if we want to continue to be the, “Fishing Capital of the World.”

Aboard were Jeff Couch, USACOE, State Representative Holly Raschein, Kate DeLoach, Legislative Aide, John Wayne Smith, Islamorada’s State Lobbyist, Lisa Tennyson, Monroe County Legislative Affairs Director, Roget Bryan, Islamorada Village Attorney, John Sutter, Alina Davis, Drew Bartlett, Florida DEP Ernie Marks, SFWMD, Heather Carruthers, Monroe County Mayor and Deb Gillis, Islamorada Mayor.

On other issues relating to the Bay, look for Islamorada to pass a Resolution supporting Everglades Restoration on June 30 at their regularly scheduled council meeting. The BOCC will attempt to pass a similar resolution on July 15 at their meeting in Key Largo. Florida Bay Forever will be kicking off membership drive July 1 via their website www.floridabayforever.org.