how to get through a day of fishing without hurting your back

how to get through a day of fishing without hurting your back

guest blog by Peter Miller

Fishing is commonly thought of as the ultimate stress reliever, but it can also lead to back pain or serious back injuries if proper measurements aren’t followed. In fact, according to a Duke University Medical Center study, 69 percent of fishermen suffer from back pain at some point during their fishing career. Heavy lifting, repetitive motions, and long days of standing with the body in the same position often causes stress, tension and muscle fatigue in the back and makes fishermen susceptible to a number of debilitating back injuries.

One fishing enthusiast all too familiar with how fishing can cause back pain is professional angler Peter Miller. Following an injury that herniated two discs and pinched a nerve in his lower back, the three time World Sailfish Champion and host of NBC show “Bass 2 Billfish with Peter Miller” suffered chronic pain that prevented him from fishing at the top of his game. After deciding to have surgery with Tampa-based Laser Spine Institute, the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, Peter was able to return to doing what he loves and has since worked closely with his surgeon, Dr. Stefan Prada, M. D., to develop a list of tips for how to prevent back pain during a day of fishing:

Get really comfortable shoes. Traditionally, fishermen wear flip flops, boat shoes or bare feet. These shoes offer little support and have no cushion to absorb shock. Try wearing shoes that are more traditional for jogging than for fishing.

Stretch. Even 5 minutes worth of stretching before you get on the boat or mid-day can make a tremendous difference. Try touching your toes or the floor and reaching your hands over your head to stretch your back.

Maintain a strong core. A strong core will make you better prepared for the various motions involved when fishing, such as throwing a cast and reeling in a fish. Planks, push-ups, v-sits and leg lifts are all great exercises to develop a strong core.

Take Advil. Anti-inflammatory medications in mild doses will always help. Try taking some anti-inflammatory medications prior to taking the boat out to help prevent inflammation during the day.

Stay active. Don’t be sedentary. The kiss of death is sitting all day on a boat. One great way to help your back muscles stay active, warm and loose while on the boat is the cat-and-dog exercise: position yourself on your hand and knees and alternate between rounding your back by looking down on the ground and arching it by looking up into the sky.

Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is essential to helping reduce pain. It helps keep the muscles hydrated and helps avoid muscle cramps.

And that’s how to get through a day of fishing without hurting your back.

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com



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New Mobile Marine Service Central Florida

New Mobile Marine Service Central Florida

There is a fantastic new mobile marine service in central Florida.

Started last fall, Orlando Mobile Marine is the baby of Mr. Fernando Fonseca, who brings over 20 years of experience in marine services to his new business. Fernando is a certified master technician for Johnson/Evinrude and Yamaha. He also services Mercury, Honda, and Suzuki outboards as well as Yamaha Wave Runners and other brands of personal watercraft.

He also performs boat repairs- custom lighting and rigging, electrical work, mechanical work, and detailing.

Fernando says, “Reliability and attention to detail are very important to my customers and to me. Customers are welcome to watch me to see what I’m doing as I work on their boat. It helps them understand the workings of their vessel better.”

Fernando says his rates are comparable or less than those found at other marine service centers in central Florida.

Fernando just rigged a new 70 horsepower Yamaha four stroke engine on my friend Karl Dienst’s venerable Hewes Bonefisher, replacing the old 90 hp that had powered the boat for the last 18 years. Karl was thrilled with the work Fernando did. “Fernando did a great job. I was impressed with his ability to work quickly, neatly, and with precision, without overcharging. He did not try to sell me other services or parts that I didn’t need or want. I am very, very happy with the work, and the boat runs like a scalded dog now.”

Mind you, this is a mobile marine service. That means he brings the shop to you. For this service there is a one-time fee of $60 per job. If he has to come out two or three times to get the job finished, you only pay the service fee once. Of course, parts and labor are additional, but compare favorably with any other shop in central Florida. And you get the benefit of Fernando’s extensive experience and attention to detail.

Orlando Mobile Marine, the fantastic new mobile marine service in central Florida. When your boat needs work, visit their website or give them a call at 407.232.4749.

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2014. All rights are reserved.



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Banana River Lagoon Fishing Report

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Banana River Lagoon Fishing Report 22214

Upcoming Events-
-Mosquito Lagoon Show and Tell Fishing Seminar, March 15. Visit this link  for more information or to register…
-Mosquito Lagoon On-the-Water Show and Tell Fishing Seminar, March 16. Visit this link  for more information or to register…

Blog Posts this Week-
- Sharkwave Fly Lines Coming
- Lunkerhunt Swim Bentos Bait
- Oil Drilling Coming to the Everglades

The new issue (March 2014) of Florida Sportsman has an article about the Indian River Lagoon Odyssey, by John Kumiski! Check it out!

On to the fishing, men!

Monday the weather was gorgeous, so I strapped the kayak to the roof of the chariot and drove over to the Banana River Lagoon. I got there after nine o’clock. Six cars were already there. I avoided the other boats as much as I could.

Travelling along the shoreline I saw two small trout, two small redfish, and then a school of about 20 small reds, less than 20 inch fish. They elicited no response in me.

I went out to the second bar. There was nothing there.

I went to the third bar. Two boats were there, one on each side. I went up the middle. The water was clear, there was hardly any grass, and I saw nothing. I kept going.

On the fourth bar there was a school of black drum, not the big ones. Two tasted my black bunny leech. The larger one was 12 pounds or so.

I left them, hoping to find big fish. A group of eight big reds was swimming high in the water. I got two casts at them but they ignored me.

The paddle back was uneventful, as no fish were seen.

The grass up there is all gone, and so are most of the fish. It’s a sad thing.

Tuesday found me on a bus travelling to Tallahassee for the Clean Water Rally. Senator David Simmons, the senator from my district, was one of the speakers. Good work, sir!

I had a meeting with my district’s representative, Rep. Jason Brodeur. He told me he understands the need for clean water, would be sponsored a bill addressing clean water issues. It was good to hear, but show me the money. Stay tuned.

One of the speakers was a woman from Naples, Dr. Karen Dwyer, of the Stone Crab Alliance. Here is what she had to say: ” The Everglades oil rush is on. In addition to the 115,000 acres leased for oil exploration, Collier Resources just issued two more leases for massive seismic testing operations to identify more locations for oil drilling: 103,000 acres to Tocala, LLC and 234,500 acres to Burnett Oil, all in the Big Cypress National Preserve in the western Everglades. Everyone. March 11. Please. Pack the EPA Meeting. Take a stand for the Everglades and our water. Now is the time. No one can take your place.”

Fight for your right to clean water!

Fight for your right to clean water!

How this has escaped the state and national news media is beyond me. All fishermen should be going crazy over this- hydraulic fracturing in the Everglades? WE CAN’T LET THIS HAPPEN!!! I will be in Naples on March 11. I hope to see you there.

Wednesday Rick DePaiva, one of my dearest friends, came up to fish with me. Because he likes going there and because I got a good report from one of my subscribers we went to KARS Park and launched the canoe.

The weather was awesome.

The short version is that we went most of the way to the NASA Causeway, went out to the islands on the other side of the channel, and worked it hard. We saw maybe eight fish and had one half-baked shot that did not work. So we went fishless. Had a good time other than that, enjoying the day and Rick’s company.

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 This is what we wanted. It is not what we got.

            Again, most of the grass is gone. This area had such thick grass just a couple years ago, too. Bad, bad, bad Bad BAD.

And that is this week’s not so great Banana River Lagoon Fishing Report.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2014. All rights are reserved.



Sharkwave Fly Lines Coming

Sharkwave Fly Lines Coming

Whether you hated or loved the Sharkskin line, here comes an entire family of them. The latest press release from Scientific Anglers-

The Development of the SharkWave
When we introduced the Sharkskin™ family of lines in 2007, they weren’t simply the latest in a long line of high-quality innovations. The Sharkskin created an entirely new category of product: textured fly lines. These lines, developed and manufactured at the Scientific Anglers facility in Midland, Michigan, represented one of the most interesting and groundbreaking evolutions in the history of fly line technology.

The benefits of the textured lines were numerous: increased surface area allowed the lines to sit higher in the water, offering less drag, easier mending, less water spray, and easier pick-ups; the micro-textured surface trapped air to provide increases in both shootability and flotation—all while decreasing friction; and the microreplicated pattern increased the durability of the lines, allowing them to last up to twice as long.

The accolades mounted. But we knew we could do better.

Using what we learned while developing the Sharkskin, we developed the Mastery Textured series. These lines took the high points of the Sharkskin technology and combined them with the easy feel of traditional, smooth fly lines, resulting in a textured line that performs like the Sharkskin, but feels smoother to the touch.

Then something struck us: Let’s take the best parts of the Sharkskin, combine it with the Mastery Textured series, and see what happens.

The result? Meet the SharkWave, the world’s first Triple-Textured and Triple-Colored fly line. Featuring Sharkskin texture on the tip section, Mastery Textured divots for the belly and running line, a smooth Tactile Reference Point at the AFTMA 30-foot mark, SA•ID line identification, AST dry slick technology, Improved Dry Tip technology, and Streamlined Loops, the SharkWave is unlike any fly line we’ve ever produced.

It’s fishing. Friction-free.

It won’t be cheap. I hope they include finger guards in the box.

See the entire press release with photos, graphs, and illustrations here…

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2014. All rights are reserved.

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Oil Drilling Coming to the Everglades

Fight for your right to clean water!

Oil Drilling Coming to the Everglades?

Is oil drilling coming to the Everglades?1798497_10203291943840558_357090852_n

This request came from Dr. Karen Dwyer in Naples, Florida:

“Join us, March 11, in Naples and bring as many people as you can. This is an URGENT REQUEST. The federal EPA is flying in for a hearing that could decide the fate of Florida water and open the door to Everglades drilling. We need to act fast and get big. It’s time to show just how strong and far reaching opposition is to Everglades drilling. We need you at the hearing to say “NO” to the injection well. March 11. Clean water not dirty drilling. See you in Naples!”

If you fish or bird watch in Everglades National Park, if you don’t want the door swung wide open to oil drilling in or off the beaches of Florida, you need to sport these folks any way you can. For more information visit this link

Help stop oil drilling coming to the Everglades!

John Kumiski



 

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Demand Clean Water Now

demand clean water

Demand Clean Water Now

Most of my readers are fishermen. For obvious reasons they need clean water. But all humans and most other organisms require clean water. Since our elected and appointed officials are in many cases taking liberties with that vital resource, it’s time all responsible citizens demand clean water now.

demand clean water

Should Florida’s citizens have to put up with this? Is it a sewer or a river?

On December 1 the Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure kicked off. One of the reasons we made this paddle voyage is to highlight the plight of the most biologically diverse estuary in North America. What plight, you ask? Algae blooms have badly fouled lagoon waters the past two summers, caused by nutrient overload in the north half of the lagoon. Nutrient-laden fresh water discharges from Lake Okeechobee have wreaked havoc on the south half of the lagoon for years.

No Drinking Water

Coming soon to a faucet near you?

It’s got to stop.

There are similar problems going on in water bodies state-wide. Coral reefs in the Keys are dying. What happened to the bonefish??? Springs are losing flow. The Floridan Aquifer is becoming polluted. Click on this link to see the hot spots in your community (and there probably are some). Click this link to see photos of the nasty stuff. Is your favorite fishing hole here yet?

If we don’t take action the quality of life we so often take for granted will continue to spiral downward.

The Indian River Lagoon has gotten bad press for the past two years. “Toxic algae blooms”, “fish kills”, “dead dolphins and manatees”, “loss of seagrass”, “a dying lagoon.” It’s affected the economy of the region. Tourists don’t want to visit or go fishing on a dying lagoon.

No one needs to re-invent the wheel. There already exists a core of clean water activists. Help them by offering support in any way you can. You can volunteer at this link…

One easy way to offer support is by signing the Floridian’s Clean Water Declaration.

FLORIDIANS’ CLEAN WATER DECLARATION

In recognition that:

Clean water is essential for healthy people and a healthy economy. Florida water quality and quantity are inseparably linked.

Florida waters are held in public trust by the State of Florida for the benefit of its people and the maintenance of natural ecosystems.

We the undersigned hereby declare:

The people of Florida have an inalienable right to:

  1. Clean drinking water whether that water is drawn from public sources or private wells.
  2. Safe lakes, streams, springs, rivers, canals and coastal waters for swimming and fishing.
  3. Protection from water pollution and its effects.
  4. Know the sources of pollution that threaten Florida’s waters.
  5. Protection from water privatization and its effects.
  6. Abundant water for drinking, fishing and recreation.

The people of Florida, the state government, and the industries that benefit from Florida’s natural resources have the responsibility to:

  1. Stop pollution at its source rather than allowing it to enter our waters.
  2. Protect Florida’s waters, as well as the people who depend on them, fromoverconsumption and privatization.
  3. Protect the natural environment which is critical to the health of Florida’s people,wildlife and economy.
  4. Provide clean water for future generations.

By signing this declaration, we agree to its principles and resolve to work together in good faith to ensure that the future of our waters will be driven by the concepts contained within this FLORIDIANS’ CLEAN WATER DECLARATION.

If you agree with this statement and want to sign on, please visit this link NOW…

It only makes sense that we all demand clean water now.

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.



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Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

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Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

Upcoming Events-

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The Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure kicks off on November 30. Paddle a section or the length of the lagoon with us! Now, if you don’t know about the IRL Paddle Adventure, a bunch of us are paddling from New Smyrna to Jupiter, 160 miles, to raise awareness and money for the Indian River Lagoon. Readers can help by sponsoring us, following our progress, and publicizing the event (facebook, twitter, whatever). Thank you for your support!

Blog Posts this Week:

-Fly Fish Banana River Black Drum

-Deadly Flats Fishing Mistakes

-Getting Out of Dodge, with El Chico

 

OK, what else? Ah yes, last Saturday I attended the Florida Citizens Clean Water Summit held at UCF. The water crisis in Florida is not just algae blooms in the Indian River Lagoon. It includes low spring flows, polluted aquifers, agricultural discharges, and more. Our politicians have let us down. Oh yeah, that’s what they do. So what are we going to do about it? We’re going to hold rallies. We’re going to march on Tallahassee. We’re going to demand our right to clean water for swimming, fishing, drinking, etc. Get informed. Get involved. Clean water is vitally important to all of us.

So, did we fish this week???

Monday found me on Mosquito Lagoon with the Reverend Larry Kirk and Dalen Mills. I hadn’t seen Larry in a long time and as always we had thought-provoking conversation about light topics, like the existence of God and the likelihood of Immaculate Conception. When it came to finding fish God was not with us, though. We looked from the Pole/Troll area down into Max Hoeck Creek and saw perhaps a half dozen reds all day, with pretty decent weather (at least for lately) too. One 12 inch trout was all that separated us from the skunk.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday it blew like snot with overcast and spitting rain. The Spotted Tail stayed home.

Friday, going crazy from staying inside, I put the kayak on the van and drove to the Indian River Lagoon in spite of wind, clouds, spitting rain, and a water level gauge at 1.4. So when the water was high and dirty and I couldn’t see anything I was not surprised.

I ran over two nice redfish and saw one tail briefly, did not get a shot. I blind-cast fruitlessly for 30 minutes or so. I was glad to be away from the computer.

On the way back I stopped at Kayaks by Bo to see Tom and Lynn. Great folks, great shop. Check ‘em out.

With Thanksgiving this week and the Paddle Adventure starting on Saturday I will only be getting out fishing one day this week. The chance of a fishing report next weekend is small. I hope to blog and report while on the paddle adventure though, although the schedule will be different than every weekend.

Argonaut Publishing Company is having a big Christmas Sale on all of its fishing books by one Capt. John Kumiski. Visit this link to do some holiday shopping!

That is this week’s exciting version of the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.



NOAA to Eliminate Paper Maps

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administratio...

NOAA to Eliminate Paper Maps

This is sad news- NOAA to Eliminate Paper Maps.

Following the path of books and music which are moving to a digital model, paper maps are getting the “heave-ho” from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the organization sails into a digital world.

As early as April 2014, NOAA will discontinue printing its lithographic nautical charts in favor of its increasingly popular digital versions, saving the organization millions of dollars in printing and updating.

With both novice and more experienced mariners having access to technology that can provide accurate readings in a store-bought hand-held device, maps are experiencing a type of “geospatial evolution.” Avenza Systems already works with the NOAA on creating a working geo-referenced digital map for use on hand-held devices –more than 2,100 NOAA maps at this point. The popularity of digital maps has grown with consumers as well as how traditional map publishers are dealing with the change from the paper world to a digital one.

So if you still believe the nautical chart has a place in your dreaming, scheming, or navigation, you’d better get a hold of the ones you want pronto. Christmas is coming- add them to your list.

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.



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Bonefishing Crooked Island, Bahamas

bonefishing crooked island bahamas

Bonefishing Crooked Island, Bahamas

A Guest Blog by Michelle M. Yelton

bonefishing crooked island bahamas

Guide Shakey shows off a bonefish.

Shakey. The name, not the fly-fishing. The fishing is spot on.  Standing atop a powder white flat seasoned with a gray-toned rock bottom, Shakey points his finger with the confidence of a military sniper and commands, “ten o’clock, 30 feet, cast it now.”

To the untrained eye, even donning a pair of polarized lenses, one might think Shakey is off.  But, he couldn’t be more precise.  Hidden in clear sight is a bounty of bonefish.

To someone listening in, one might mistake Shakey for an intense gym trainer.

“Cast it again! Now, now! Go! Aww, shit, you missed it.  Dropped it too hard. Try again, man.”

It’s no wonder these stunning fish, nearly transparent and adorned with sterling silver tiger stripes, are also known as the “ghosts of the flats.” It’s the unlikely scenario where camouflage meets pristine beauty giving fly fisherman and guides the challenge of first spotting, then landing one.

But after 18 years as a fly-fishing guide on the Crooked Island of the Bahamas, make no mistake, Shakey’s eyes and judgment are not a reflection of his nickname.

Born Elton McKinney, Shakey remembers the first time he witnessed the sport of fly fishing.

“In 1994 this guy came to the island to fly fish, and I thought it was the craziest thing I’d ever seen,” Shakey recalls.  “But after watching him a while, I asked him to teach me.”

That was just the beginning.  His family thought he was foolish for spending gas money to boat around the islands looking for bonefish, but Shakey knew he discovered a gem that could profoundly impact his town’s economy.

“I told them to relax; that this was my money and my time. Knowledge is power and I just keep pushing on.” 

And he was right. Before guiding for bonefish, Shakey and his father hauled in bonefish commercially. Once Shakey realized the fish had more potential as a tourism draw, he took action to stop that practice.

“After I started guiding I told my old man, ‘We aren’t hauling no more bonefish,’” said Shakey. “And he wasn’t happy about that. Then, I went to the police and told them these fish mean more to us than the nets, and the police agreed with that.”

Shakey and his team of seven anglers guide all year round.  While prime season is October through May, the fishing is still worthwhile the entire year.  Trips can be booked through Crooked Island Lodge.

Lodging
A group of four-room bungalows that a few yards from the beach complete with restaurant, gift shop and bar make up Crooked Island Lodge. Built in the late 1960s, the rustic and serene lodge offers the only commercial lodging option on the island. Accommodations are air-conditioned and comfortably simple, yet a good night’s sleep is never a challenge with the rocking cadence of ocean waves right outside your window. Maxing out at 12 rooms, action and adventure are only found on the water. On land, it’s all about relaxation whether it is lying beachside underneath shaded hammocks or strolling the immaculate shoreline.

Activities
In addition to the excellent fly-fishing, there are a variety of incredible spots for diving, deep sea fishing, swimming and snorkeling.  Better yet, hire a guide boat or rent kayaks and head across the bay to the old, abandoned lighthouse.  While there, learn how to catch conch or spear fresh lobster, and watch in awe as the guide transforms it into a gourmet seaside meal with just a knife, some foil and a hand-built fire. For an added treat while fly-fishing, ask Shakey to make the dolphins jump.

Dining
Meals are cooked to order three times a day at Crooked Island Lodge, and lunch coolers are packed for excursions. Dinners are the highlight of the dining experience where everyone is served the same meal, which is always a surprise of freshly caught seafood. The food is divine.

Local Tips
UV tops and pants recommended to fight the daytime sunrays, especially if going out on the water.  Pack some lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants or bug spray to ward off the mosquitoes and sand fleas while on land.

How to Get There
Bahamas Air flies to Crooked Island early on Saturdays and Wednesdays, which requires an overnight stop in Nassau the night before. Likewise, Pineapple Air flies in early on Mondays and Fridays.  Otherwise, hire a private charter and fly straight to Crooked Island Lodge, which has its own seaside runway.  Travelers on charter boats often make pit stops at Crooked Island Lodge where they can find food, drinks and wireless Internet.  Anchor in the bay and use a dinghy to come ashore.

Learn More
To learn more about fly-fishing in Crooked Island, Bahamas, contact The Granddaddy Fly Fishing Experience at info@granddaddyflyfishing.com or 828-288-1221 or visit their website at www.granddaddyflyfishing.com.  Additional information about Crooked Island Lodge and Crooked Island, Bahamas can be found at http://crookedislandlodge.com/.

North Carolina resident Michelle Yelton works for a public relations firm. She enjoys fishing in the Bahamas.

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.



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Save The Mosquito Lagoon!

Gopher tortoise
Gopher tortoise (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ENVIRONMENTAL ALERT!!!! DANGER! DANGER!

Save The Mosquito Lagoon!

Oppose the Proposed MINWR Launch Site!

Space Florida and Governor Rick Scott want NASA to give the State control of 150 acres of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge property. They want to build a commercial launch site outside of NASA so they don’t have the red tape and regulations of working with NASA.

If you bird, fish, hunt, or paddle the lagoons I probably don’t need to explain the negative impact this would have on your recreation.

The 40 endangered species that make their homes here probably think it’s not a good idea either. They can neither vote nor write letters.

Obviously, a massive publicity and letter writing campaign (sample letter below- feel free to copy/modify) needs to start immediately so we can keep this complex on either the NASA property or Canaveral Air Force Station.

If you think a new space complex on what is now national wildlife refuge property is a bad idea, send a letter or email to Governor Scott, Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, your congressional representative, and your state senator and state representative to let them know. You can find them at these links:

http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/Find

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov

 

Dear PERSON TO WHOM YOU ARE SENDING THE EMAIL,

I am very strongly opposed to Space Florida building any type of launch facility within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. One million people a year visit this refuge to bird, fish, hunt, kayak, see manatees, and other outdoor-related activities. Those people could easily go elsewhere, depriving the surrounding communities of badly needed tourist dollars.

Forty threatened and endangered species make their homes here. It’s not like they can go elsewhere. The remaining wild areas that could be occupied by them already is.

The NASA property has more than enough space for the proposed 150 acres that Space Florida says they need. Let them purchase the property from NASA if they want to avoid NASA red tape.

A commercial launch facility is not compatible with the stated mission of the national wildlife refuge: “To administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of the present and future generations of Americans.”

I look forward to hearing your views on this important topic.

Respectfully yours,

YOUR NAME HERE

I sent this letter to Layne Hamilton, Administrator at the MINWR. She responded:

“Thank you for your comments concerning the Space Florida launch pad proposal.  Because the refuge has secondary ownership rights to the refuge land that overlays Kennedy Space Center (under an interagency agreement between NASA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), land use decisions related to space-related activities are solely NASA’s.  In response to Space Florida’s proposal for NASA to excess 150 acres to the State for development of a commercial space port, NASA informed the State they will not excess any land, although they are willing to discuss leasing facilities/land to the state for commercial use as a space port.  As part of the decision-making process, an environmental study will be completed (Environmental Impact Statement – EIS) by either NASA, FAA, the State, or a combination of agencies.  At this point we do not know if a launch site will be approved for Space Florida, or if approved, where it will be located.

“We have a 50-year partnership with NASA and have worked closely with them to protect the natural and cultural resources on the refuge and Kennedy Space Center.  The environmental review process (under the National Environmental Policy Act – NEPA) that will be initiated for any proposal for use or lease of NASA property will require public meetings and input.  Public comments will be solicited throughout the process.
“We share your concerns regarding the potential impact from a proposed commercial launch facility to the refuge’s wildlife, habitat and visitors. We anticipate that NASA will work closely with us during the environmental impact review to determine the best alternatives for potential future commercial launch pads and to assure that impacts to refuge visitors and the environment will be a minimized. However, the final decision will be NASA’s and not the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s.

“Again, thank you for your concerns and please feel free to contact me if you want to discuss further.”

Layne L. Hamilton
Refuge Manager
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 2683
Titusville, FL 32781

Ted Forsgren at CCA wrote:
“Thank you for contacting us on the Shiloh launch complex. CCA Florida is gathering information and will be monitoring the project as it goes through the process just as we did in the previous launch site issue several years ago. As before we believe that the best solution is to examine the abandoned sites at the existing Canaveral launch area. The best thing that you can do right now is to send an email to US Senator Bill Nelson and voice your concerns. Please let us know the response you receive from Sen. Nelson. Thank you for your interest and concerns. “
Two Facebook pages are trying to organize opposition to the launch site:

Save The Mosquito Lagoon! Oppose the Proposed MINWR Launch Site!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.

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