So on Friday May 10th, 2019 we were able to take out several Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Staff along with the two regional managers for the USFWS Department of Interior on the Mosquito Lagoon. Captain Billy Rotne, Captain Chris Myers and myself took them on an in depth tour of the Mosquito Lagoon and its dirty waters, missing grass on the flats and decline of fish. The two regional refuge managers had never been on the Mosquito Lagoon to see it. We showed them areas of concern, showed them areas of massive change and went over several options, science and suggestions. Suggestions from us and them. We explained to them in depth on how the fishing has declined so much over the years and how the public in general feels about this estuary and its future direction. We also discussed getting more law enforcement out there, how laws get changed, and of course the politics behind it, that sometimes can be severe red tape. But over all this was the best meeting I personally have experienced with the USFWS on the condition of the Mosquito Lagoon.
Billy, Chris and I presented the Refuge Supervisor Area II Florida, Caribbean, and Gulf Coast (LA, MS, AL) and the assistant Refuge Supervisor/Gulf Restoration Caribbean Islands, Florida, Coastal AL/MS/LA USFW Southeast Region with sound data and the over now 6000 signature petition to make the Mosquito Lagoon, Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge go catch and release for certain species. They said this petition is very powerful and will get FWC on board with their thoughts. They said things will go a lot better if FWC can agree with this action/science, so a more in depth scientific approach will be done specifically for the Mosquito Lagoon. Before FWC lumped a massive region into data, but now will focus on the lagoon itself with separate data.
This is a quote from Billy's FB Page on how the event went and I could not agree more:
"Yesterday’s tour with the southeast region USFWS supervisors went very
well, as they expressed their desire to better manage the resource. We
need defensible science that supports what we all see on the lagoon, and
now that process has been started. When the data aligns with what we
all know to be true, action can then take place."
future looks bright even though the water currently looks brown."
In the mean time the petition has been put back up online at this link below. So if you have not signed it or know of someone who has not signed it then please do so or pass it on. Thank you very much for everyone's support on this.