Tallahassee’s Dolphins and the Sadness of the Indian River Lagoon

Stormsong

The last time I was in Tallahassee was I eighteen and there to cheer on the Florida Gators.Today I was there to visit the Capitol and  the city looked very different with thirty plus years under my belt.

I noticed the city was actually quite beautiful, very southern, with magnificent, awe inspiring oak trees, tall stately buildings, and dolphins.

At the back of the Capitol, which today almost acts like the front of the Capitol, there is a large statue called “Stormsong” composed of stainless steel dolphins. The animals seem to soar joyously in invisible waves.(http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/17019) The large piece is beautiful.

The statue is by Hugh Bradford and is a “celebration of Florida’s wildlife.” A public private partnership, from Florida’s  Bush administration, that was started in 2000 and completed in 2008, made the work possible.

As breathtaking as the statue is, I could not help but be saddened knowing that the dolphins who live in my home town of Sewall’s Point in Martin County are probably the sickest in the state. These dolphins suffer from suppressed immune systems, multiple sicknesses and more than anywhere else, lobomycosis. This has all been written about and documented by Dr Gregory Bossert previously of Harbor Brach Oceanographic Institute. His research states that it is believed the filthy fresh water releases from Lake Okeechobee exasperate an already toxic water system in the southern Indian River Lagoon.
(http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs/10.2460/javma.228.1.104)

On top of this the northern and central lagoon has had a UME or “unexplained morality event” since 2013 and over 90 dolphins have died, “mysteriously.”
(http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/health/mmume/floridadolphins2013.html)

It is time for the Capitol’s politicians to look deep within themselves and out the widows and start working for the irreplaceable wildlife in our state instead of against it.

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