Friday, February 15, 2008

FLORIDA BAY - are you sick of me posting today or what? For those that don't know where Florida bay is..... got this fantastic map off of an educational website. The bottom right side are the line-up of Keys. FL Bay is a beautiful sub-tropical estuary, approx 850 sq mi, home to many species. "At least 22 commercially and/or recreationally important aquatic species are known to use Florida Bay as a nursery ground."

"Until recently, this subtropical estuary was noted for its clear, warm waters, lush seagrass beds and outstanding fishing. However, starting in the late 1980s, dramatic changes in the ecology of Florida Bay became evident. These changes included the widespread death of seagrass beds, turbid water associated with this die-off, large and sustained blooms of algae and population reductions in pink shrimp, sponges, lobster, recreational game fish and wading birds.

Recognizing Florida Bay's ecological changes, the State of Florida and the federal government made a commitment to improve environmental management in order to restore the bay toward a more natural state. A collaborative interagency research program was initiated in 1994 in order to document the history of the bay, monitor status and trends, understand human impacts on the bay and provide a scientific basis for restoration. With partners from other state and federal agencies and the academic community, the District has initiated a comprehensive investigation of the bay and its upstream watershed to better understand the ecological consequences of alternative water management actions."

Satellite imagery of Florida Bay.

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