Bringing Back Florida's Caloosahatchee

Scientists are attempting to restore a specific species of aquatic grass in the Caloosahatchee River on Flordia’s southwest coast. The hope? That they can recreate the huge beds of grasses that once provided food, shelter, and water filtering for this important east-west drainage that reaches all the way to Lake Okeechobee. The story behind the story is Florida’s $1.7 billion dollar purchase of 187,000 acres of agricultural land used for growing sugar (see “Eating U.S. Sugar“), which may, in several years, put an end to a large source of excess nutrients that flow through the state’s waterways.
“‘Studies show that each square kilometer of seagrass supplies $10,000 in ecological services, from feeding ducks to working as fish habitat to improving water quality. If we had grass all the way to the lake, the river would be a lot cleaner, and we’d improve the fishery.'” Kevin Lollar in the Fort Myers News-Press.

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