Coastal Connections, SLR/IRL

Child’s drawing of tailless Winter and new friend baby Hope. Both of these dolphins were rescued from the IRL and now reside at CMA, in Clearwater, Fl.

The first thing I noticed flying in to St Petersburg was that they had a lot  of seagrass beds…

“How in can a place with so many people have so much more seagrass than Stuart?” I thought to myself. “Well, number one, they don’t have releases from Lake Okeechobee destroying their estuary every few years, and they are known for the state’s most successful estuary restoration program–of Tampa Bay ( something we are trying to emulate for the Indian River Lagoon (

It was the new year’s weekend and Ed and I had decided to “get away.”

What I had forgotten is that Clearwater, our destination, is home to Winter and Hope, Indian River east coast dolphins who were rescued by Harbor Branch ( based in St Lucie County who were then rehabilitated at Clearwater Marine Aquarium on the west coast.  These dolphins could not be released. Winter, an amputee due to a crab trap cutting off her tail, and Hope, an orphan who was suckling on her dead mother when found never learned life skills…

Today these dolphins are alive, friends, inspiring thousands of people including a multitude of veteran and children amputees, have starred in two feature films, and have made Clearwater a favorite nationwide family destination: (

The experience of visiting the aquarium, made me think about how connected we all really are. How much we can do together. If Harbor Branch had not saved these IRL dolphins, Winter and Hope would not be the worldwide ambassadors for their species that they are today.

Yes, we are all connected across our great state! Happy 2018 Florida!


Seagrass beds as we approach St Petersburg

At the CWA having fun
Clearwater Causway
Ed in his Bullsugar shirt along the causeway

8 thoughts on “Coastal Connections, SLR/IRL

  1. Keep up your good work, We are lucky to have people like you fighting for our estuary.
    Bert & Marjorie Sweeney

  2. Thanks for you hard work and dedication to protect Florida’s environment and wildlife. You are as inspiring as Winter and Hope!

  3. The sea grass work at Tampa was important and a template for future efforts. We further south have a complex water conondrum on both costs. You have been a growing force in water issues and Eco-Voice salutes your efforts.

  4. In 2004 hurricane Charley stalled offshore just south of Tampa. The waters are shallow and I believe wind and waves tore into a calcium bottom with the power of a thousand atomic bombs.When Charley decided to come ashore it moved very fast as a strong cat. 4 pushing water loaded with calcium carbonate. Many “exsperts” claimed it was them that brought back the sea grass and everyone should do what THEY say to do to bring back the sea grass. You can bet the fake news was spewing out their lying propaganda supporting these “exsperts”. The hard fact is sea grass thrives on calcium carbonate. It is my opinion that it is the goal of these “exsperts” to choke off the phosporus and nutriants so no sea grass will grow while all the time putting up a front pretending to care about “saveing” the lagoon. Thanks for the work you and your husband are doing . Thank you also for putting up with me and letting me tell it like it is.

  5. Sanabel Island is noted for its shell beachs. Its location is right in the path that Hurricanes Charley and Irma took.This is the reason I am certain both hurricanes tore into a massive calcium sea bed. I saw no foam or shells in the picture of Ed on the shore.Maby the acid in the water desolved it all. If you screen the sand in these healthy grass flats I am sure you will find live coquina clams.

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