Wave Maker’s News: Florida’s Nature Coast or Mining Coast?

This article is excerpted from Wave Maker’s News, our quarterly update on all things water in the Gulf of Mexico, check out the full newsletter here. Enjoying a swim at Manatee Springs State Park, not far from the proposed mine site. Photo courtesy of Paul Clark.There is true magic on the planet where the land meets the sea. As the uplands and sandhills of the Nature Coast region gradually slope towards the Gulf of Mexico, they transition into a mosaic of coastal hammocks, coastal marshes, and amazing estuaries that form one of the most ecologically diverse and essential places in Florida. If one were to try to place a massive mine in the least appropriate place possible, this would be the place. Shockingly, that is exactly what is happening along the coast in Levy County, Florida.The proposed Tarmac Mine boondoggle would negatively impact everything from wildlife to commercial fisherman. Thousands of acres of wetlands would be harmed and the downstream impacts to the Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve could be devastating. A mine of this size and scale at this location would begin to turn the Nature Coast into the Mining Coast. Indeed, once the mining beast sinks its teeth into a place like this at this size and scale, the negative impacts will be felt by our grandchildren’s children.In response to this dire threat, Gulf Restoration Network is working with allies and partners to oppose this mine at the local planning level as well as at the federal Clean Water Act permitting level. We’ll keep you updated as the fight to protect Florida’s Nature Coast continues.Darden Rice is GRN’s Florida Program Director

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