Green (Second Anniversary Post)

Today is the two year anniversary of the Blergh! Hurray! This year, I actually remembered it- in fact, I wrote this post a while back. I even did research! So today, for the two year anniversary of my Blergh, I'm gonna learn y'all a thing.
Not more than a month or two ago, a beachside auto
repair place decorated the wall beside their business.


Back a few months ago, there was a fish kill near where I live. Thousands upon thousands of dead fish, washing up on the shores. At our house, we got horseshoe crabs- an endangered species- and puffer fish. I'm sure you heard about it. It made CNN. The worst part is, everyone shrugged their shoulders and scratched their heads and said, "Now, why would this happen?"

Let me tell you why.

Everybody wants to come to Florida.

Especially during the summer, because we're the Sunshine State. Especially during spring break, because we're where the parties are. Especially during the cold months of fall and winter, because it's cold up north but Florida's always bright and sunny and green.

Green.

People want to move to Florida so they can always look out and see that nice green lawn and, not far away, that sparkling river or ocean with bottlenose dolphins dancing in the waves. Or, y'know, maybe they just want to golf on one of the million golf courses that are constantly squashing out the swamp and scrub.

Want to know what goes into the green lawn? A mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Fertilizer.

Want to know what goes into the river or ocean? A mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that runs off from the nice, green, lawn.

Plants need the chemical compounds nitrate and phosphate to grow, so you put them on your front yard, your back yard, whatever, in the form of fertilizer. Yay! Look at that happy, happy grass. Now, if you live near a river or ocean or body of water or some sort, which everybody in Florida does because it's Florida, all that fertilizer will run down into that water.

What happens next is called eutrophication. Algae just loves all that nitrate and phosphate, and it blooms. Which is more or less okay- unless it's toxic algae. Which sounds very much like a b-rated science fiction movie, but it's real. There's a type that will literally cause fish to have bleeding welts on their bodies.

Even if it's not toxic, we're still facing a threat. That algae dies and the bacteria eats it. Rivers, lagoons, etc., like the ones the fish kill occurred in(these are called estuaries but you probably already knew that), can become depleted in oxygen.

Why did all those fish die? We smothered them.

And I'm sure you've heard it before. Every year, there's some new pollution worry and some new environmental effort and there are species' becoming endangered, going extinct, and everyone nods their heads and shakes their fists so everybody else thinks they're a good person. Then they go and raze the scrub, and with it the homes of scrub jays and foxes and gopher tortoises, to build a damn Zaxby's across the street from McDonald's in a place where there were once wild caracaras.(That's a whole other tangent I could go off on.)

My question for you is: would you kill an ecosystem for a few spots of grass outside your house?

I'm going to stop here, because I keep getting more and more pissed off. And I don't know why I wrote this. And I know that there's only about three people in the whole world that read this stupid blog but I had to say something.





Works Cited

"Fertilizers and Crop Yield." GCSE Bitesize. BBC. 2014. 5 May 2016.

"Nutrient Pollution- Eutrophication." NOAA'S National Ocean Service Education. National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, USA.gov. 25 March 2008. 5 May 2016.






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