Tag Archives: Seagrass IRL

This is the Life

On Saturday, June 5, 2021, Ed took me for a ride in the Maverick. Sometimes I am fussy, refusing to go if the waves are too big or the wind is too strong. But on Saturday, conditions were perfect.

It was a beautiful day, and I was grateful. I was grateful that the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon was not a toxic soup this year. I was grateful for the small amount of life in the river. Ed and I  put in at the Jensen Beach Boat Ramp and it was crowded. Resident wading birds were there waiting to see if someone would throw them a fish. I noticed, thankfully, the county had put up a sign since the last time Ed and I had visited. Once Ed and I got beyond the docks and out into the Indian River Lagoon the wind picked up and I held on tight! I Suddenly it seemed we were weaving in and out of other boats. I kept yelling “Be careful of manatees!”

“I’m in the channel!” Ed replied, looking at me  incredulously.

First we visited Boy Scout Island between Sewall’s and Sailfish Points as I wanted to check out the seagrass or lack thereof. It was growing! There were different kinds, one like a feather, (Johnsons) the other like a thick hair (Shoal). I saw blue crabs and hundreds of small snails. I was so happy to see this. I remember other times recently when there was not one bit of life. Still, it hurts that I have to “be happy” for such a small banquet of what I experienced in my childhood.

“If we can just hold off Lake Okeechobee releases…” I thought and was pleased the ACOE has done so for most of this year. Lake Worth Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee have not been so lucky.

Here, the rains began in late May and the river’s a little darker, not the turquoise blue you sometimes see. Nonetheless, the water looked good and and many families were enjoying themselves. Ed anchored being careful of grasses. I took a walk while he fished. Together we photographed the area.

-Boy Scout Island lies between Sewall’s and Sailfish Points near the Sailfish Flats and St Lucie Inlet -Seagrass beds slowly recovering  just off Boy Scout Island 6-5-21 -Excessive sargassum weed and macro-algae not as welcome to see a budding seagrasses-Head  of horseshoe crab – maybe molted. Good sign they are still here! -Thousands of snails leaving paths in the sand-A small hermit crab took someone’s shell. A nice one! -Little snails up close-Hand sized hermit crabs, old friends. Once there were thousands. We held races on the beach.-Boy Scout Island is a mangrove island with tidal areas for wildlife. We visited at low tide.Next, Ed and I got back in the boat and jutted through the Crossroads, me holding on for dear life again, -Ed in his glory! Spray on our faces! We arched off around the sea of boats onto a large sandbar close to the St Lucie Inlet.

It was a great adventure anchoring and then walking in the waist high water to the sandbar. I felt like I was a kid again roaming around, looking for shells, breathing in the clear air, lost in the happiness of the experience. We found quite a few fighting conch, pin shells, and clam like creatures all alive inside their shells! But no queen conch. Ed decided to go check that the anchor still held.

I wandered around losing track of time. I don’t think think there is anything more I love than this. I collected shells. Looked in holes. Birds rested and hunted for food. I even saw an osprey catch a fish in the lagoon’s shallow waters. The cloud formations were unbelievable.

When I finally returned to the boat, Ed was asleep. What a classic!

“This is the Life.”

This is the life indeed!-Pin shell and mollusk-Fighting Conch – orange in color -Tiny bit of seagrass and macroalge -Ed sleeps, Sandbar, St Lucie Inlet 

 

Life Returns to the St Lucie River-Indian River Lagoon

ST LUCIE INLET STATE PARK, ST LUCIE INLET & SAILFISH POINT, MARTIN COUNTY 3-14/15-2020, photos Ed and Jacqui Lippisch

It is an amazing thing, what happens, when you give something time to heal. Life rises from the ashes, it returns. After some of the worst toxic discharge years -2013, 2016, 2018- the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon in Martin County is healing.

Let’s be clear. ~She is not flush, but she is healing.

Ed and my weekend aerials and boat excursion show absolutely beautiful water and God’s creatures on the rise! Seagrasses, once completely gone, are visible, but dormant from winter months, it still looks pretty barren. Hopefully, upcoming visits to the same area will reveal plush meadows by June or July.

These are awkward and difficult times, with Coronavirus restrictions quickly bearing down on us; so I wanted to share  some “good news.”

We must not forget to focus on the gift of blue water and  the miracle of resurgent life. Life that always returns if given the chance. ~It is all around us.

SEAGRASS EAST OF SAILFISH POINT & MANY BOATING FAMILIES ENJOYING THE SANDBAR AT CONFLUENCE ST. LUCIE RIVER AND INDIAN RIVER LAGOON

LIGHTNING WELCK & EGG CASING  and other critters by my brother Todd Thurlow-RETURN ALL CRITTERS;THEY ARE PROTECTED BY LAW 🙂

VIDEO OF REDFISH

HERMIT CRAB STOLE A HAWKWING CONCH SHELL! 🙂

BABY QUEEN CONCH ARE RETUNING TO THE SANDBAR! SUCH BEAUTIFUL COLORS!

BIRD ISLAND, JUST OFF SEWALL’S POINT, SEE THE HUNDREDS OF WHITE SPECKS!

CROSSROADS AREA 2019-20 OFFERS BLUE WATER FLOWING IN FROM INLET RATHER THAN TOXIC BROWN OUTGOING FROM LAKE OKEECHOBEE WORSENED BY AREA CANALS

SOUTH- DOWN JUPITER NARROWS -PASSING ST LUCIE INLET STATE PARK & ARRIVING AT PECK’S LAKE ~A CONTINUATION OF THE INDIAN RIVER LAGOON.  ~SLOW SPEED ZONES, MANY OSPREYS, JUMPING FISH, A FEW MANATEES &DOLPHINS. PEACE AND QUIET. ~SO NICE TO RETURN AT SUNSET KNOWING LIFE IS SLOWLY RETURNING TO THE ST LUCIE. LIFE RETURNS.