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Water-Related News

A Florida journalist reflects on his reporting of seagrass losses in estuaries across the state

"Seagrass die-off has happened before in Florida in various estuaries at various times. Seagrass recovers. But this is the first time it's really been simultaneous in all five major estuaries in Florida," said Bill Kearney of the Sun Sentinel.

Seagrasses are currently dying off across Florida. The die-offs began in all five of Florida’s major estuaries between 2011 and 2016 — that includes Tampa Bay, Charlotte Harbor, Florida Bay, Biscayne Bay, and the Indian River Lagoon.

In a two-part series, South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper senior editor and reporter Bill Kearney explained this is happening because of rising temperatures and population growth.

Heat stresses the seagrasses. And with Florida being the fastest growing state in the country, more people means more pollutants and nutrients entering our waters, especially through increased stormwater runoff and leaky septic tanks.

Seagrasses are important for biodiversity, as well as tourism and the economy.