Monday, December 13, 2004

Washers in the Wetlands

Reporter Michael Stewart of the Pensacola News Journal has a dispatch in Monday's newspaper that serves to remind everyone how far we have yet to go in the post-Ivan clean-up -- and how long it's likely to take.

Ivan Debris on Wetlands a Daunting Problem describes the trash that lines Santa Rosa Sound:
Gulf Breeze's shoreline wasn't intended to be a landfill, but much of it looks like one.

Hurricane Ivan tossed refrigerators, cabinets and couches all along a roughly four-mile stretch of marshy land that stretches west from Bob Sikes Bridge to Deerpoint Circle and up along the city's western coast.

* * *
The problem is, so far, no one has figured out how it is going to be done. Much of the swamp land is too soft to support heavy equipment.

"Even if you got heavy equipment in there, you might never get it back out again," City Parks Superintendent Frank Hall said.

Even getting to the trash on foot could prove difficult.

"You can be on dry land one second and knee deep in mud the next," Hall said.
Stewart reports that an area engineering firm has been hired to figure out what to do about it all, but because the Santa Rosa Sound wetlands are an environmentally sensitive area, "both the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will have to sign off on the project and issue permits" before bids are let.

My guess is it could take two years, or even more. About the same length of time it will take to replace all the plastic roofs along the Blue Roof Coast.

1 comment:

Greg said...

It may be of interest to the readers to know that the detritus removal efforts mentioned in Stewart's Monday PNJ article aren't just a problem for the "sensitive" areas.

Up here, in the north section of Pensacola, between Nine Mile, US-29, Old Chemstrand, and New Chemstrand, debris removal seems to attract more debris. Crews have been constantly picking up tree limbs, trunks, etc., but the piles of household goods grow daily. In fact, I think some people along Chemstrand, Nine Mile Road, Pensacola Blvd (US 29), and various side streets are taking advantage of this "free" removal to make piles of whatever crap they don't need. How else can you explain the fact that there are more refrigerators, stoves, washers, etc. along Chemstrand than you can find at Best Buys?

As John noted in his posting, "Hurricane Ivan tossed refrigerators, cabinets and couches" along the shore. There's quite a bit of that tossing evident up here, and it grows daily. However, it's been several months since the hurricane, and one wonders where all that new stuff came from.