While many outsiders correlate Florida with big theme parks like Disney and Universal, here in Florida we know that it’s our fantastic outdoor environments that truly make our state one-of-a-kind. And we aren’t just talking about South Florida beaches.
If you love kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding, then few other states can offer up the wealth of water opportunities as Florida. There are the crystal clear springs and manatee wintering grounds throughout Central Florida and the outstanding overnight canoe adventures like that available at the Florida Panhandle’s Coldwater Creek. If you love the speed and group opportunities of jet skis, pontoons, and powerboats, then there are adventures likes scalloping in the Gulf, exploring the springs of the Suwanee River and, obviously our personal favorite, the many water activities possible right here in Indian River Lagoon. Within an hour of our boat dock, you can explore spoil islands and BBQ on your personal favorite, take the friends out waterskiing, enjoy premier fishing opportunities, or simply marvel at the dolphins and other marine life that also call this slice of Florida home.
We’re proud to have been operating as Hayley’s Boat Rental for over 10 years now, but sadly in recent years there has arisen a major threat to our way of life and the way so many Floridians and our guests choose to enjoy this state’s beautiful waterways. Two years ago, Indian River Lagoon experienced massive algae blooming that led to the worst fish culling in its history. In addition to killing fish and devastating aquatic environments, algae blooms can have serious harmful impacts on human health. Early this month, local biologists announced that they are seeing a similar pattern of rising algae levels in regional waters.
The Indian River Lagoon watershed covers a very large area, including most of the land ranging from South Volusia County to South Martin County east of interstate I-95. While two of the largest causes of the pollution that incites high algae growth are sewage spills and agricultural runoffs, every household and business within the Indian River Lagoon watershed area also plays a role. The good news is this means that every household can make a difference and help prevent another massive bloom from devastating our beautiful waters.
How You Can Help Save Indian River Lagoon
- Say no to fertilizers this summer. There are new fertilizer regulations that you can view here, but the best way to prevent algae blooms is to say no to fertilizers altogether — especially if you live within blocks of a shoreline — as those chemicals will run-off into the waterways and just as they promote growth in your front-yard, they promote the rapid and intense growth of harmful algae.
- Choose native plants and plant native vegetative buffers along shorelines. For those who love a verdant garden and front yard, consider this year integrating native Florida plants into your yardscapes. Check out this handy website to get started.
- Avoid boating or swimming in seagrass beds. Seagrass beds are still recovering from the last massive algae bloom, please steer clear in shallow water to promote its regrowth for the wellbeing of all marine life.
- Use natural methods to kill weeds. One way of doing so is to cut the tops of weeds, pour boiling water over them, and then hand-pull to rid your garden of them. This method is great for your other plants and outstanding for the health of our watershed.
- Ensure pet waste is properly disposed of in the trash. Human sewage isn’t the only type of sewage wrecking the lagoon… Bring a bag and advice family and friends to bring bags to pick up pet waste during walks or in the yard.
- Get your hands dirty at a volunteer or workshop event. The local Marine Resources Council provides an outstanding number of volunteer and environment workshops for the public to take part in. If you live in the Indian River Lagoon area, consider stopping by one of their events to learn more about the people and efforts being undertaken to ensure we never have another devastating algae bloom again.
Or come down and talk to us in person at 321 Boat Club!