I drift dived over this toxic tire dump by Hugh Taylor Birch Park in the late eighties. The current was running strong, but it took the entire dive time of about 45 minutes drifting over this tire dump with no end in sight. Nothing grew and nothing lived on these tires although they had been there for many years. The outfall off Pompano Beach was also lined with tires. I’m glad that all these tires are finally being disposed of and hope the outfall’s tires will also. But there must be a better way to dispose of them than incineration. Incinerators have caused mercury contamination of the Everglades. As a result, the fish in the Glades are toxic and dangerous to eat.
Clean metal, wood, cement and non-toxic structures like old ships, cars, airplanes, trains, towers and clean construction rubble make the best artificial reefs I have seen. An artificial reef just below the surface, made up of these materials could be built offshore around the state where beach erosion is more prevalent. Marine life would soon inhabit it, coral would grow on it and the force of the eroding waves would be lessened without the need for frequent and more expensive beach renourishment (dredging sand up on the beach). Mangroves would also grow and form a barrier to hurricanes and erosion.
Many Floridians want a sandbox instead of a natural beach. They hire beach raking tractors to remove the seaweed that washes up on the beaches, destroying turtle nests, crabs and mollusks and causing more beach erosion. They seem to forget that the Florida Keys they love have natural beaches, protected from beach raking. Seaweed actually buttresses the beach and serves as fertilizer for plants to grow, preventing further erosion. Next day, the seaweed washes up again and the destructive process of removing it is repeated and paid for it with our taxes and assessments.
Florida will suffer from climate change and global warming. (Take that Scott!) It is never too late to take measures to ameliorate its worst aspects such as sea level rise.