Save Our Reef, Save Your World
The Native Americans have a philosophy we would all do well to adopt, “Live peacefully on the earth and leave a soft footprint.” Those of us who are trying to do just that are being overpowered by forces of pure economic interest who categorize everything in the environment as a commodity. Ever since Disney World came to Orlando, the business people have been trying to make our coastal communities a suburb of the “City Beautiful”. To reinforce my point, they have renamed the Beeline (an autobahn to the coast) the Beachline. Coastal residents continue to call it the Beeline (to us it goes strait to Orlando) and we are constantly being corrected. Today, I will try to do the correcting.
Several years back, Port Canaveral was dredged to accommodate Disney and other cruise lines. It has been a boost to the economy, but it has hastened the erosion of the local beaches. The owners of oceanfront property are up in arms and demanding that something be done about it. Business people are errantly convinced that it will affect tourism. Brevard County, Patrick Air Force base and the Army Corps of Engineers have plans to “mend” the beaches with a beach re-nourishment program. There is no sense in arguing with me . . . beach re-nourishment never works! The stuff (can’t call it proper beach sand) that they pump or dump, just washes away, every time.There are environmental concerns as well.
Satellite Beach used to have rolling dunes and wonderful transition habitat to the higher more solid ground of the barrier island. Nothing should have ever been built on the ocean side of Highway A1A. No one should be allowed to “own” the beach. It is for everyone.
It is against state law to pick a single sea oat, but the county issues permits to have entire dune lines bulldozed to build condominiums. The money for the projects came from all over the world. Check out the real estate option on your “Too Big To Fail” 401k. The residents of the town finally banded together and bought as much as they could of what remained of the undeveloped shoreline. This is how love and wisdom work. Their money is gone, but they have preserved a priceless heritage for their descendants. You can enjoy it, too.
I am focusing on a short stretch of beach with a living reef that is in danger from the plans of the uninitiated. Sure, they have credentials, but they aren’t from around here. Transplanted big shots are forever conducting expensive studies to find out what we would be glad to tell them for free. At first glance, the reef looks dead, like nothing but rocks, but it is vibrant and full of life. We are trying to save it.
To me, this is a microcosm of a worldwide struggle between the sanctified, natural world and an abomination of concrete steel and glass. We are being carried by a strong current into a global economy, and a “New World Order”. I have heard federal government officials in America claim to be globalists. There is tremendous pressure being exerted on all of us to become a homogenous global community. The “Third World” is quickly being developed and the people are proving themselves capable of competing with the “First World” for their position in the lead.
I want to encourage those people to hold on tight to their regional traditions, resources and identity and not sacrifice them on the altar of “progress”. Don’t emulate the centralized systems of the “First World”. Set a better course and a superior example. Remain who you are and keep what you have. Maintain a regional stronghold from which to do business and a modular approach to energy. These will be the keys for survival and success. I will speak more of this in the future.
Meanwhile, let me share our small problem as we hope to save our ugly little reef with a grassroots effort. It is really the best way to go for permanent solutions. Pray that our our efforts will not be swept away by the rising tide of the next few storms.
This is a two minute look at the reef. Jake Smith from Pure Ocean TV.com strums a worm rock (soft coral) tune on his guitar in accompaniment. Take a close up look at what we want to keep in our backyard. Meanwhile think about what is worth saving near your home.
This is an interview with two locals in the know. Mike Daniel (surfer, surf board designer, shaper, manufacturer, representative from Sebastian Inlet Chapter of Surfrider Foundation). and Rodney Smith (professional angler, guide, founder/publisher Coastal angler Magazine, community developer). It is very informative!
Check out the Ocean Reef Beach Festival- December 1, 2012 at Satellite Beach’s Pelican Beach Park.
Anglers For Conservation - Anglers for Conservation is an individual and community development organization. They provide education and activities that promote appreciation and responsible use of waterways in Florida and throughout the world.http://www.anglersforconservation.org/