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A NOAA-funded study led

by Duke University has found that

the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone”

drives up the price of large shrimp

relative to small shrimp, creating

an economic impact that directly

affects consumers, fishermen and

seafood markets.

The northern Gulf of Mex-

ico region, known as the “dead

zone,” is actually a vast area of hy-

poxic (low oxygen) bottom water

during the summer. Caused by ex-

cessive nutrient pollution delivered

from the Mississippi River, prima-

rily from agriculture and waste-

water, the low oxygen levels are

insufficient for supporting most

marine life and habitats in near-

bottom waters and threaten the

livelihood of many fisheries. While

the negative effects of these low

oxygen waters on marine life are

well known, understanding the eco-

nomic impact and importance has

been difficult to achieve.

The study, conducted in

collaboration with NOAA’s Na-

tional Marine Fisheries Service and

funded by the National Centers for

Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)

provides the first evidence linking

Gulf hypoxia to economic impacts.

According to lead scientist, Martin

D. Smith, George M. Woodwell

Distinguished Professor of Envi-

ronmental Economics at Duke’s

Nicholas School of the Environ-


“Many studies have docu-

mented the ecological impacts of

hypoxia, but establishing a clear

causal link to economic losses in

affected fisheries has been elusive.

Our study does this by showing

how seasonal hypoxia off the

Louisiana and Mississippi coasts

drives monthly fluctu-

What began as a blessing

of the shrimp boats more than 50

years ago has grown into a major

beach-front celebration of shrimp

in this Old Florida beach town. In

1959 the first Shrimp Festival was

held. St Raphael’s Episcopal

Church sponsored the Blessing of

the Shrimp Fleet which was held

on the Beach Pier, and sold

Shrimp Rolls in the County Park

on the Beach.

Initially it was held on the

weekend nearest the full moon

after the Edison Festival, it was

scheduled that way because the

Beach Shrimping fleet was in port

around the full moon, as shrimping

is poor during full moons, and the

port is deeper to accommodate

boat loads of that beautiful pink

treasure (Shrimp).

The main attraction at the

the 2017 Fort Myers Beach

Shrimp Festival, are huge boiling

pots of Gulf pink shrimp, “world

famous” shrimp dinner, which

members of the Lions

Medical professionals have

the right to protect people -- that's

what a federal appeals court in

Florida unanimously ruled on Feb.

16 when it said doctors can't be pe-

nalized for discussing gun safety

with their patients. It was a well-

deserved comeuppance for the gun

lobby and its latest ploy to pit Sec-

ond Amendment rights against the

First Amendment. It sought to

muzzle doctors when they talked to

their patients about gun safety, but

the court didn't buy the argument.

Lawmakers in Florida had

passed a state law in 2011 that

threatened to rescind doctors' li-

censes and impose fines if they

asked patients simple questions

about weapons storage. But doc-

tors, and especially pediatricians,

regularly discuss safety surround-

ing guns, pools and other impor-

tant health-related

Weekly Edition March 9 - March 15, 2017

From Island to Bay, News at Sea Level

Vol. 2 No. 25

Cont’d pg. 5

Cont’d pg 20

Price of Shrimp

Impacted by

Gulf of Mexico

“Dead Zone”

Residents in parts of South-

west Florida are under an evacua-

tion order as a result of a raging

wildfire. In Florida's Collier

County, wildfires burned more

than 6,000 acres, and are only

about 30 percent contained.

“All the sudden we started

seeing the black smoke coming up

and that’s when the sheriff’s de-

partment came in and told us to

take whatever we had and get out

of there,” said one Naples resident.

Florida Highway Patrol

shut down part of I-75 between

mile marker 80 and mile marker

105 until visibility improves.

Authorities credited high

temperatures and low humidity

with creating hazardous fire-prone

conditions, with strong wind gusts

fueling the flames.

According to Wayne Mar-

tin, the deputy director of the

Greater Naples Fire Department,

the fire started up Sunday after-


Florida Forest Service or-

dered mandatory evacuations for

the Naples Club RV Resort, Pan-

ther's Walk RV Resort, the entire

Forest Glen community, the Aven-

tine at Naples Apartments, and

horse stables in and along New-

man Drive.

I-75 will remain closed

until conditions improve. Drivers

should find alternate routes and

expect delays near the area of the


Raging Wildfire

Burning 6000+ Acres

58th Annual

Shrimp Festival

Cont’d pg. 20

Florida Court Rules That Doctors

Can Talk About Gun Safety