So Local Pasco Podcast, March 17th, 2016. Pat Calabrese’s Pajamas Edition

No, we do NOT discuss Pat’s “pajama problem” on the podcast, today.  He WANTED to, but this is a family program.

I got reminded repeatedly, Wednesday, that there are many of us with a deep spiritual connection with the coastal waters of So Local Pasco country…Notice:  No one LIVES on Anclote Island, or the stilt houses, but I included them, anyway.  That’s because they ARE part of our identity.  The very first image I used to help identify this website was a picture of one of the stilt houses (photo taken by our friend Spellbinding Sherry).

Hudson Beach is actually a rocky headland, which some remember as an oyster bar, at the mouth of the Hudson Channel.  Beaches are not really natural, this far north on the Suncoast.
Hudson Beach is actually a rocky headland, which some remember as an oyster bar, at the mouth of the Hudson Channel. Beaches are not really natural, this far north on the Suncoast.

West Pasco County has only three east to west drainages…The Anclote River, the Pithlachascotee River, and Bear Creek…ALL water flowing off the land to the Gulf goes one of those three ways.  What WE do between where it falls and the Gulf is important to our health, and the health of dozens (hundreds?) of species, from mollusks to marine mammals.

So, today was consciousness raising day, for me…A recognition that I had something important to SAY about all this, and that others share my view, and my passion for science and action to help our marine environment.

Chris and Jess

Without the abundance of sea life we have, here…There would BE no Crab and Shrimp Festival.  There MIGHT be no Gill Dawg.  The abundance part is something that we have because Pasco County voters, and voters all across the state, had the vision and courage to change the CONSTITUTION of our state, to save fisheries that were collapsing due to overharvesting, and underregulation, throughout the 70s and 80s.  As fishing methods modernized, fisheries MANAGEMENT did not…And several important stocks, such as Redfish, King Mackeral, Spanish Mackeral, and others, were in deep trouble.

Some commercial net fishermen adapted by moving to other kinds of fishing.  Not all transitions were smooth, not everyone was happy with the ban.
Some commercial netfishing adapted by moving to other kinds of fishing. Not all transitions were smooth, not everyone was happy with the ban.

In the next few months, I will endeavor to tell you the story of how that all changed…Not because FWC did it….Not because the legislature did it…Not even because of an executive action by the governor and cabinet.  It happened because citizen voters signed petitions, and we got a net ban amendment to the Florida Constitution on the ballot, and changed it.  Forever.

Steve Waters article from the Sun Sentinal:

The Net Ban Rescued Fishing in Florida

It’s a vastly important environmental victory for ALL Floridians, yet most people don’t really know about it.

Please take the time to sign up for events like the upcoming Coastal Cleanup…Donate your time to the Energy and Marine Center, or other groups who make it their business to practice stewardship of our coastal treasures!

On Lori and Mike Nunes sailboat, just off Hudson.  I really look like I know what I am doing, don't I?
On Lori and Mike Nunes sailboat, just off Hudson. I really look like I know what I am doing, don’t I?

~Greg

Feel free to leave a comment! Be nice, though, or the banhammer shall fall.