January, 2008The Skimmer
Native & Nice
The closest we may ever get to snowfall comes from thenative salt bush (
), which also an-swers to the names of ground-sel tree and sea myrtle. At thistime of year, the salt bush is infull bloom, profusely coveredwith fluffy white flowers thatcreate a minor “snow” flurry inthe gentlest breeze.The salt bushes in our backyard arrived on their ownand established themselvesalong the edge of the bay.They create a nice contrast tothe mangroves. True to their name, they are salt tolerant andthrive in moist areas. A little pruning will encourage the bush todevelop into a small tree.In the wild, salt bushes can be seen clustered along coastalareas and waterways. They usually stand from 3 to 12 feet andthey may be as wide as they are tall. Native plant references suggest that the salt bush lifespancan reach 50 years. However, ours seem to die after a fewyears, but there are always many younger generations to taketheir places.The salt bush can be found as far north as Massachusetts,where they become deciduous. —Donnadine Miller
Good News from Linda Young
received this email letter from LindaYoung this week:
Dear friends of Florida's waters - as you all know, CleanWater Network of Florida has been working with our membersin Bay County for the past six years to protect St. Andrew Bayfrom the unnecessary building of a new international airport inthe headwaters of West Bay (the most pristine estuary in theentire Gulf of Mexico). We have hired attorneys to fight theFAA's Record of Decision (ROD) and to challenge the ArmyCorps of Engineers' wetlands destruction permit. This week wehad two major victories for our efforts. First the 2nd CircuitCourt of Appeals granted us an indefinite stay of the FAA RODand then, also on Monday our attorneys received a letter fromthe Corps telling us that they were suspending the wetlandsdestruction permit for the airport project!!! The St. Pete Timesdid a great job of explaining the case and what happened (see below). Please share our excitement over this very unusualoutcome of our attorneys hardwork. There are thousands of acres of wetlands, wildlife habitat, cypress swamps, streamsand estuaries at stake here and these decisions moved us a littlecloser to having permanent protection for this special place.Happy holidays to everyone,Linda Young, Director,Clean Water Network of Florida
Craig Pittman's article, Wetlands get reprieve can befound here:
Long-time SEVASmembers, Lee & CatherineBidgood, who moved from NSB to Gainesvill this sum-mer were honored by thechapter Dec. 6, 2007.In a ceremony at River-side Park, attended by,among others, NSBMayor Sally Mackay, CityCommissioner Jim Hatha-way and Halifax chapter president David Hartgrove, a live oak was planted in the park accompanied by a plaque identifying the Bidgoods as honoreesfor their dedicated environmental activism.A reception was held at the Night Swan B&B followingthe ceremony.It felt good having the Bidgoods back, if only for a day.
Plastic bag update
The move is on! Finally! Many stores, companies, corpo-rations, towns cities, states and countries are doing somethingabout the disposable plastic bag problem. The ubiquitous bagshave clogged enough sewer systems, strangled enough wildlifeand choked enough waterways to have sensible people wake upto the fact that these things are not only an ugly nuisance(whatever happened to
?), they're dangerous!The link below will take you to the latest news on thesubject.
Remember, we sell a very good environmen-tally sensible bag (see p.4) at SEVAS meetings.
Donnadine Miller, event coordinator,flanked by Catherine & Lee Bidgood.