“W/apologies To Maxwell Anderson, et al.”


(March 5, 2018)

 

At What Price, Sanford*

will you pursue the nouveau

while Welaka rots?

 

  • (Creek or earlier (?) name of The Chain of Lakes (shallow) like pearls before swine along The St. Johns River of which Lakes Harney, Jessup and Monroe form a disjointed triangle atop the northern borders of Seminole County and Sanford, Florida, USA. Long subjected to the vagaries of agricultural interests since the coming of Americans to this sometimes pestilent and almost always perilous piece of paradise called Central Florida, the use of which required fertilization, pestecidal and insecticidal applications as well as anti- fungicidal and other chemical assists in pursuit of commercial aims, not to mention the addition of bovine, swine and human effluents borne for many years – until only recently in the mid-20th Century – without benefit of sewage treatment or impoundment and natural purification – all flowing eventually into The St. Johns and its many riverine adjoinments – The Wekiva, a Wild and Scenic River by Federal acknowledgement, The Econlockahatchee, and other tributaries – are mostly protected from cattle farm, radish farm, orange grove and other agricultural interests: but at a cost.  With the influx of human population growth, massive commercial development, an ever-encroaching ring of residential – and concomittant commercial adjuncts – have threatened and continue to threaten watersheds and acquifers not just around my three lakes and rivers and streams of interest but the entire system.  Pardon me if this took too long and was too convoluted: I beg to proffer S. L. Clemens’ ‘plaint that I did not have the time to make this shorter. Walt Disney World employees and visitors with whom I have spoken assure me no one recalls a single mosquito bite while touring the massive park which is located in and adjacent to The Green Swamp which both lie West and soutwest of Orlando.  Why?  Massive infusions of pesticides, perhaps?  Bet on it! I was told in the 1970s that upwards of 70 percent of Seminole County might be considered wetlands of wetlands-influenced property: and since the 1950s upwards of 90 percent of the new home construction took place in that 70 percent area.  Flooding concerns, seawall construction which in Sanford dates back to the latter portions of the 19th Century and channelization along the St. Johns just in Seminole County alone – The Government Cut in particular, bypasses the natural flow of the St. Johns northward from Lake Jessup to Lake Monroe, whose old riverbed in the 1930s heralded that portion of the river and lakes as “The Largemouth Bass Capital of The World” and other game and panfish species threatened by loss of sandy-bottom and shallow grassy lakefronts for spawning and small fry development – not to mention the mercury and other chemical threats to seafood production which includes such usually saline seacoast species as Blue Crab, Sting Ray, Mullet, Croaker, Shrimp and Redfish and other saltwater special – take considerable tolls on food-fishing and commercial fishing and simply swimming in and drinking from the rivers located along our shorelines.)

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