Issues facing Marco Island

Too much of a good thing: the problem with nutrients

A very hot topic is Southwest Florida has been about our waters, national coverage on the Red Tide that has plagued us with fish kills from Marco up to Sanibel.  Couple that with the green toxic algae flooding in from Lake Okeechobee  to the Caloosahatchie River and, the St. Lucie River on the East Coast. 

In Marco, we had excellent monthly testing data that a former City Manager threw out and replaced it with quarterly testing which provides a mere snapshot at best.  The ten years or so of monthly testing by the City showed some grave concerns over the nitrogen levels growing, and this has gotten worse as we look at quarterly test results where nitrogen levels are 4 times the State DEP threshold of 0.3 mg/L, just look at the May 2018 test results as posted on the City website. 

The following slides were created by Phd scientists that I gleaned from my part as a committee member of the Aquaculture Committee for the Gulf Council, part of NOAA Fisheries.  They speak to the challenges that face all municipal coastal cities of Florida and beyond.

As stated, our problem is Nitrogen.  We as citizens can make a difference and institute the solutions I have already outlined and are shown in the PowerPoint Presentation that you can watch and download to read in detail solutions we can start today and take proactive steps to reduce Nitrogen levels.  This will take a community effort and citizen ownership of, including City enforcement to make an impact for the positive on this Nitrogen epidemic.

When I came to Marco in 1970, the bays were full of seagrass, which is the key barometer of a healthy ecosystem.  Today, the seagrass beds are gone.  We as a City have created this ecosystem disaster but we can, in a collective and collaborative effort reclaim them!

I have the solutions outlined to help get us there.

Sam Young’s Proposed Solutions to protect our Waterways

Download Slideshow


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