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This post today continues an email discussion with NOAA’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries District Director Billy Causey
reported in the next previous word to the wise, Big Sugar, et. al., it’s not smart to mess with Mother Nature post at this website, which was prompted by my report in the next previous 2014 Last Stand and Everglades Law Center water quality symposium in Key West report post at this website. The two earlier posts provide the background for this post today, so if you have not yet read them, you might wish to click on those links and get the back story before reading what follows, which is a bit less tame than those two posts.
Billy Causey wrote to me:
The organizers of the Water Quality: The Buck Stops Here forum were Last Stand and the Everglades Law Center. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary merely provided the space in the EcoDiscovery Center. It was not a sanctuary event. The organizers put together the list of invited speakers and I even had to squeeze my way on to the panel.
It is my understanding that Brian Lapointe asked to speak before the City Commission a month or so ago and he went it alone, not inviting another viewpoint. I wish we could have had more questions last Tuesday evening, I would have liked to have heard from Joel and some of the other Reef Relief members that were present. And by the way, I worked with Deevon and Criag when they first started Reef Relief. John Halas and I helped them with their first 100 mooring buoys and I have been a member (except maybe a few years in the mid-1990’s) since the formation of RR. In addition, when I managed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary I funded Brian Lapointe to conduct several research projects with his colleagues.
I just thought I would share a little of my history with Reef Relief with you.
Will Our Grandchildren Remember Us For What We Conserved and Protected or For What We Let Slip Away?
Hi, Billy –
Yes, the organizers of the Water Quality: The Buck Stops Here forum were Last Stand and the Everglades Law Center. I understood that from promos I had received by email from Naja [Naja Girard], which is what prompted me to ask her to invite Brian Lapointe
to the water quality forum. City Commissioner Jimmy Weekly had sponsored Brian presenting to the City Commission. I don’t know how it came about, but it didn’t receive preliminary fanfare of which I was aware. I was there, it was announced that Brian would make a presentation. I was surprised, but pleased. I reported that the next day at www.goodmorningkeywest.com.
It was because Naja had seen Brian’s presentation in Old City Hall, that I wrote to her asking if she had invited Brian to the water quality conference? I was taken aback by her curt and also defensive response. She was Last Stand’s President! I published those emails. Spin it anyway you wish, Billy, you will not convince me that you were not the reason Brian was not invited to the water quality conference. Nor, I doubt, will you convince Joel and Erika Biddle that you were not the reason Brian was not invited.
You came across to me during the water quality conference as disingenuous, and you continued to come across that way when I spoke to you after most everyone had left Eco-Discovery Center. You presented an affect of an addict, during your presentations, and when speaking with me afterward. I talked with Joel and Erika about that at their home last night. They said, yes, you come across like you are on something. I said booze was my guess, based on your body shape and weight, and skin coloration, and your way of speaking and relating. They said your red cursor danced and jerked on the screen when you presented, and all but one of the other scientists’ red cursors did the same.
Joel said the nutrient spikes and valleys in one of the charts you presented, which spikes you said should be ignored, are hugely important, indicating large infusions of nitrates into the water, followed by rapid grown of nitrogen-eating organisms, which knocked the nitrogen back. Joel, mild-mannered as he is, seemed thoroughly unhappy with your presentation and the entire conference. And, he agreed, the Army Corps of Engineers indeed are concerned about water laden with nitrates and phosphates again being dumped into the Everglades, and there not being a way to clean that water up beforehand.
When you said during one of your presentations, that passing through the Everglades will clean up the dirty water before it reaches Florida Bay, I nearly fell out of my seat. A scientist who spoke behind you said passing through the Everglades will not clean up that dirty water, it has to be cleaned up before being put into the Everglades.
Joel said, eventually the Corps will come around, after pressure comes from higher up, and the dirty water will be sent back into the Everglades, unless your filtering system cleans it up, which Joel said will not happen; as things now stand, you don’t have the capability of cleaning up that huge amount of dirty water.
Reef Relief, by the way, for which Joel gave his life for a number of years, has fallen from the heavens, and now is headed by people who like cruise ships far more than they like Mother Nature. Joel is quite disturbed about that, too. As is Erika. Your friends. I remember Joel telling me Reef Relief came around to agreeing with Brian Lapointe about what killed most of the reef down here.
They both said NOAA and other environmental agencies, including Brian Lapointe, are more concerned about getting federal funding, getting paid your salaries paid, than anything else. I said, Brian gets some business from foreign countries and is not as dependent, perhaps, as you, Billy, and other environmental agencies are on federal funding.
Joel said all the environmental activist organizations, Last Stand, the Sierra Club, Everglades Law Center, others I don’t recall which he named, sold out to the high salinity theory. I said, well, sure, if fresh water coming out of the Everglades was reduced, then Florida Bay would become more saline as a result. But that would not translate to the ocean around the reef becoming more saline. The ocean already was more saline, the upper Florida Bay was an estuary body, more brackish than the ocean.
Billy, if you want to keep batting tennis balls at me, go head; I will keep batting them back.
I told two of the scientists after speaking with you following the water quality symposium, that you, Billy Causey, are not their friend. They said you are very much their friend. I said, no you are not.
From there, I went to speak to the only scientist I had not conversed with, and I asked him why you all had dragged stopping global warming into the conference, when there was nothing any of you could do about stopping it? I said your mission is to restore the water flow into the Everglades, if you can clean up all that dirty water. He pushed back, tried to defend trying to stop global warming. I didn’t budge. He finally conceded, yes, there is only one valve you might be able to turn, and that is the valve which can release all that dirty water back into the Everglades, if it first can be cleaned up.
That’s when I left, feeling like a great fraud had been attempted during the conference, and you, Billy, were the main instigator, although you had plenty of active help from Naja and Last Stand, Everglades Law Center, and the scientists, who, Joel and I both were convinced from what they had said during the conference, darn well knew they did not have the capability of cleaning up all that dirty water you and they want released back into the Everglades.
The Hispanic woman in the audience got that out of one of the scientists toward the end of the questions and answers, when she asked if the small fresh water release “test” area over toward the west coast, which worked out well restoring that small area, was a test for the main problem, and the scientist said no, that was different from bringing large amounts of water into the Everglades, if it first can be cleaned up.
Billy, if you and the other scientists had the ability to clean up all of that dirty water before releasing it into the Everglades, you and they would have lavished that filtering technology on the water quality conference audience. Instead, you and the scientists did everything possible to race through the filtering system, as if it was of no concern. That, Billy, was the smoking gun. Your and the other scientists’ Achilles heel. And the Corps stopped you, for now, from bringing into the Everglades a great deal of dirty water you and the other scientists do not have the ability to clean up.
Is that, Billy, what you want your grandchildren to remember you by?
“Will Our Grandchildren Remember Us For What We Conserved and Protected or For What We Let Slip Away?”
Is that what Big Sugar and the other big farm combines and the fertilizer companies want their grandchildren to remember them by?
They killed the Everglades, they killed the manatees, they killed the sea grasses, they killed Florida Bay, they killed the only living coral reef in North America.
I’m 71 years old, Billy. Hopefully, my days are numbered compared to my grandchildren’s days.
I told Joel and Erika at their home, hell, there are no environmentalists in the Florida Keys, it is not possible to be an environmentalist and live in the Florida Keys. If we truly are worried about the environment down here, we would move somewhere else. Down here we need our cars and trucks and motor scooters and motor cycles. We need our food and merchandise brought down here by trucks. We need airplanes and tourists and boats coming in and out of here all the time. We need coal and nuclear powered electricity. Of all places in North America, we should be totally solar. We suck our drinking water out of depleting mainland aquifers, and Key West sells that drinking water to biohazard cruise ships, which find it more convenient to get their drinking water in Key West, instead of on the south Florida coast.
Instead of fighting cruise ships calling on Key West tooth and nail, fang and claw, Reef Relief accepted donations from a cruise ship company and put one of its management employees on Reef Relief’s board of directors. Joel Biddle told me that, DeeVon Quirolo later told me the same thing. She and Joel said they had hoped to change the cruise ship company in that way. Not surprisingly, the cruise ship company was not changed.
The county and city governments in the Florida Keys allow as much new development as Tallahassee will allow. Redevelopment of old developments proceeds unbridled.
We delude ourselves in the Keys by saying we are going green. We are going brown as fast as we can. And I’m part of it. So are you, Billy. But I’m dead honest about it, which cannot be said of most people I know living down here.
When Joel and Erika got on the global warming alarm band wagon last night, I reminded them that global warming and cooling are part of the planet’s natural historical cycle. I said people down here smoke tobacco, Erika is one, and, pound for pound, smokers pollute the air as much as any factory, car, truck, tractor, airplane, boat, power plant. I said humans are aggravating a natural planetary warming cycle already under way. The seas will rise just because of the natural planetary warming; humans are making the seas rise higher. Joel and Erika agreed.
The atmosphere is dying because of humans. The oceans are dying because of humans. The land is dying because of humans. It won’t surprise me, Billy, if the planet gets fed up and defends herself and shakes the nasty fleas giving her all sorts of black plagues off of her skin. Yes, that will destroy a lot of other innocent life forms, but it will save the planet. Meanwhile, I imagine a Category 5 hurricane rampaging the Florida Keys from Key West to Key Largo, and then plowing into Big Sugar’s domain, will be a good start.
After writing to Billy, I remembered that I had told the Key West City Commission during citizen comments at a city commission meeting that they really should get to know Brian Lapointe, whose position was farm chemical runoff from the mainland was what had killed 90 percent of the reef, and that dirty water was going to be released into the Everglades again because it was killing the manatees on the Florida east and west coasts, and when those chemicals made there way down here again, they would kill the rest of the reef and the undersea coral farms Key West and Monroe County were funding in hopes the coral being raised on those farms would be transplanted on and restore the reef. I think it maybe was a month after that City Commission meeting that Brian made his devastating presentation at a city commission meeting, showing massive mainland chemical runoff into Florida Bay even now, mostly from the west side of Florida, which is making its way down to the Florida Keys and onto the reef. As I recall, no questions were asked of Brian by the mayor and city commissioners, and citizens in the audience were not given an opportunity to speak.
In early January 1995, the angels who run me told me, “Go to Big Pine Key, go as soon as possible, this is important.” I was living in Boulder, Colorado. I bought a round trip ticket from Denver to Miami and was on my way. On the 7th day of the trip, in the middle of the hump on No Name Key Bridge, facing the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by pelicans sitting on the bridge railing, flying above the bridge and diving into and sitting on the water below, I was seized by something HUGE. My heart felt like it would jump out of my body. I bust into heaving sobs and grabbed the bridge railing to avoid falling to the ground, as I heard, BECAUSE YOU LOVE THIS PLACE SO MUCH YOU WILL BE USED TO TRY TO PROTECT IT. That covenant the angels made with me is my dog in this fight.
To be dead honest, I wish I still lived on my own little Walden on Little Torch Key, the next island below Big Pine – my heart is trying to jump out of my body, I’m bursting into tears, the angels have me in Key West on a different mission impossible, about which I write daily at www.goodmorningkeywest.com ; although today, at Danny Coll’s invitation.
I’m speaking about grinder pumps to the Lower Keys Rotary Club on Big Pine Key. Danny is running against County Commissioner George Neugent,
who proved in spades, by defending biohazard grinder pumps over environmentally-friendly gravity sewer systems in that part of the Keys, needs to be removed from office. It just ain’t smart, George, to mess with Mother Nature, which you just might learn even more about as this campaign season progresses, since I doesn’t seem Her attempts, so far, to get your attention have worked. I hope She leaves your sweet wife Susie out of it …
Billy Causey, who lives on Big Pine and glibly rebuffed my efforts to enlist him in stopping the biohazard grinder pump invasion of Big Pine and the lower islands, is in Her crosshairs, too.
As is Last Stand.
Causey, NOAA and Last Stand should have put Monroe County, Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) into Federal Court as soon as DEP approved FKAA’s permits to install a sewer system in the Lower Keys, which relied heavily on biohazard grinder pumps, instead of on environmentally-friendly gravity sewer systems.
I am convinced somebody is getting paid off; there is no other explanation for using grinder pumps on individual private properties where gravity is feasible. Grinder pumps cost more to install and maintain. Grinder pumps break down frequently. Grinder pump lines spring leaks which spill raw sewerage into the eco-system. Grinder pump line leaks cannot be detected, therefore cannot be repaired. Grinder pumps require electricity to operate. Power outages are common in the lower Keys. Power outages for extended periods of time happen during and following hurricanes. Ocean tidal surges during hurricanes cover lower Keys islands with saltwater, further compromising grinder pumps. A New Jersey grinder pump subdivision was hit by Hurricane Sandy and Hazmat teams were sent in to clean up human feces off of yards and streets and out of homes.
Here’s what Mother Nature thinks of grinder pumps being used instead of gravity in the Florida Keys.
The Lower Keys Rotary Club will hear from Her today.