Environmental Angler: April 2021

Say What?! Stupidity and Munyon Island on Lake Worth Lagoon!!!

By Keith Lozott Contributing Writer

This is a follow up to a previous article I wrote last year, and the story continues to this day and for a long time to follow.  I grew up fishing the flats around Munyon Island, it was a time in my life that I cherish.  We cut our teeth as young anglers fishing for snook, barracuda, mangrove snapper, jacks, and later in life a few redfish showed up to our surprise.  The area is the last pristine grass flat south of Martin County and north of Biscayne Bay in my opinion.  I’m sure there are other flats somewhere in between but I haven’t fished them.

The premise behind this is that investors bought the land that is now and always has been submerged seabed. The flats are loaded with seagrass of all varieties and are home to numerous species of fish, crabs, shrimp, turtles, and more.  Despite the opposition of the neighbors, boaters, anglers, and scientists, they are still pursuing the idea of filling it in and developing it. This type of development is extremely harmful to the ecosystem and not to mention deemed an unsuitable way to develop property. One of the owners without mentioning names seems to own land that is submerged in several places in South Florida and has a propensity to fight the government constantly. Maybe the thought behind this bullying tactic is a ploy to get the government to back down and give due to cost.

As a real estate professional for 20+ years, I understand the concept of wanting to develop property and make a profit.  This is how Florida came to be what it is today, and we have learned many lessons along the way as a state.  Our waterways have suffered serious damage because of development that wasn’t thought through properly.  I could list a bunch of examples where poor development caused catastrophic damage to the environment.  Lake Okeechobee and the east-west diversion of water that is supposed to flow south for example.  Or the amount of mangroves that have been removed throughout the state and has been a disaster for the health of the waterways, salt-marshes, and flats.

What is located on the southeast side of this grass flat that they want to fill in?  Mangroves that flood during high tide providing habitat and clean the water that feeds the adjacent grass flats for sensitive marine life that resides there.  The question I pose is, have we learned anything from our checkered past or is the fast buck ($$$) more important than what makes this state great?  Saltwater fishing is a 9.2 billion dollar industry in Florida (2018-2019 FWC) and impacts our economy more than just another development.  If we pave the estuaries, we will kill our economy put simply.  People move here for the water, pristine beaches, and the way of life we have.  If we get rid of it, you fill in the blanks!!!

To be continued…

Keith Lozott The Fishing Realtor