Animals After Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma has had devastating effects across the southern part of the United States, as well as the Caribbean. This storm has forced over 6 million people to evacuate and left millions without power. Irma has not only affected the human inhabitants but also the vast amount of animals that live in this location. The Florida Keys, known as the Sport Fishing Capital of the world, have been hit by the eye of the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean which has and will continue to severely impact the fishing in this largely populated marine environment. When Hurricane Andrew hit Florida an estimated 7 million fish were killed.  However, Irma’s top wind speeds were about 30% stronger then Andrew’s, and thus the devastation is unthinkable.

Some fish can sense the changes in water temperature and barometric pressure that a hurricane brings with it, while many others cannot. Some types of marine life, such as dolphins and sharks, know when it is time to leave to stay safe, while others can sense the change but do not know that they should leave. Animals that cannot leave, for instance coral polyps, have to take on the full force of the winds and waves that the hurricane brings along with it. After a hurricane hits there has been an estimated decrease of 20% of coral reefs. Most marine life dies from pollution, decrease of oxygen in the water, or becoming stranded on land. As you can tell all of these facts and statistics do not fair well for anyone who enjoys fishing and for the marine life that we all love so much.

Donate your time for hurricane cleanup, donate resources to our beloved Florida Keys and get back on the water soon.

Grace Gillis

President, Lamar Louise Curry

Middle School Fishing Club