During this pandemic, I have had plenty of time to sit on the dock and admire the beauty of our Homosassa Bluewaters.
Reflecting on its past, present and future, I am reminded of how important this area of the river is to the folks living along its banks
and the entire
Homosassa community. In the past, everyone benefited by its presence, everyone but the Bluewaters itself, it was used and abused.
Today, each weekend during the summer and scallop season, hundreds of boats and boaters ascend on this small area of the river to party and enjoy the cool waters, not knowing that their Danford Anchors are destroying any remaining native submerged vegetation. Tying up to the trees along the bank only pulls them into the water over time, and by not observing the idle speed zone, they are destroying the river banks. The excessively loud music is completely out of place in this area which mother nature has provided for all to enjoy.
Having had the privilege of growing up in Florida during a time which some would still consider “Old Florida,” I have seen the human footprint leave its mark on all of Florida’s natural resources. I watched as the Weeki Wachee prairie disappeared, the Kissimmee River turned into a ditch, our lakes and river banks dug into, and our bays dredged and filled for additional waterfront properties. The States’ effort to control the gar fish population in our coastal water with the use of dynamite, the government’s failed attempt to create a barge canal across our state, and I could go on and on.
Could this all happen today?
I am not sure, but history has a way of repeating itself. Just look at the activities on our Bluewaters on any given weekend during the summer. We must not allow the human footprint to continue to add to its decline. We must act now!
I am happy to say today, that the Homosassa River Restoration Project, led by Steve and Cindi Minguy, has been successful and work is well on its way. The Homosassa River Alliance has joined the efforts of the residents of Spring Cove, and those along the Bluewaters including the entire community in an effort to persuade our county and state officials to enact, pass and enforce laws and regulations protecting the Bluewaters, the river and its banks.
The Parkway is coming, and with it will come many many more boats and boaters. This will be good for our economy, but will add additional stress upon our waters. It is my hope that all that depend on this river area for their livelihood, and those that use it for recreation, will support all efforts to protect this natural resource which we have been blessed with.
I will always remember being told as a young man, that when there is money to be made from mother nature, she always loses! Let us encourage everyone to educate this generation to preserve and protect an amazing part of the river that cannot be replaced.
Frank Kapocsi is the president of the Homosassa River Alliance.