Mass Deaths Indicate Marine Ecosystem in Distress
"The cause [for the hundreds of pelican, dolphin and manatee deaths] continues to evade easy explanation," writes Michael Wines. "But a central question is whether the deaths are symptoms of something more ominous: the collapse of the natural balance that sustains the 156-mile estuary’s northern reaches."
“'We may have reached a tipping point,' said Troy Rice, who directs the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, a federal, state and local government partnership at the St. Johns River Water Management District."
"Mr. Rice’s fear, widely shared, is that an ecosystem that supports more than 4,300 species of wildlife — and commercial fisheries, tourism and other businesses generating nearly $4 billion annually — is buckling under the strain of decades of pollution generated by coastal Florida’s explosive development."