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The Negative Effects Of Humans And Nature On Florida’s Marine Ecosystems

2182 words - 9 pages

Nature designed Florida to be one large marine ecosystem. Florida is one big sand peninsula located below the 40th longitudinal North American line. Three bodies of salt water (Gulf of Mexico, Strait of Florida and Atlantic Ocean) surround three out of four directions of Florida. Man-made canals, natural lakes, rivers and estuaries are confined within the State of Florida’s physical boundaries. All of these form an interlocking system of waterways that impact the interconnected marine environment (marine ecosystem). All of Florida’s waterways are connected back to the surrounding bodies of water while passing through Florida’s sub-tropical and temperate zones and impact the delicate marine ecosystem balance. Man and nature are causing a negative impact to this region like never before. Hurricanes, lack of green initiatives, garbage, pollution and the stripping of natural resources for population growth are decimating Florida’s natural ecosystems.
The State of Florida’s marine ecosystems are in a constant pattern of change. Change is necessary in nature. Change is nature’s way of adaptation. While there are “occasional good” changes, the progressive major changes have a devastating negative impact to the Florida marine environment. There are several factors correlated directly to this negative change. Most of these factors are due to man. One cause is natural. It is the hurricane. Hurricane Season is from June to November (NOAA) each and every year. On average 11 named storms occur in the Atlantic Basin each year with 6 reaching hurricane strength and 50% of these becoming a major hurricane of category 3 to 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (NOAA). Whether small or large, hurricanes cause damage and modifications to the land and marine ecosystems. These damages occur on the Florida peninsula mainland, the Florida Keys and the oceans surrounding Florida, depending on the direction of an individual storm’s path. Each of these areas has a historic recorded hit by one or more major hurricanes. Because hurricane winds start at 75 mph and can reach up to 156 miles per hour or more, the damage of the winds can be extensive (NOAA). Winds will rip the roof off of a house or tip over a mobile home. Debris is scattered with bullet like force. Storm surge floods buildings, streets and lands. Hurricane spawned tornado winds cause extra natural destruction. Finally, what little natural habitat is left untouched by humans can be fully devastated by hurricane aftermath.
Most Atlantic hurricanes start out in the North Atlantic Ocean, which is called the hurricane breeding ground. Rarely a hurricane will form in the Caribbean Sea and sometimes the Gulf of Mexico. The extremely rare tropical storm is one forming right off of a landmass. This rarity occurred in the most recent 2009-hurricane season with the eye of the tropical storm named Claudette coming ashore over the Florida panhandle and reaching 60 mph of the 75 mph limit to...

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