Daily DrakeSL1

SL1For millions of years tarpon have been drawn to the shallow waters of the Florida Keys. In recent times, those fish and their habitats have been steadily displaced by the economic forces of cruise ship tourism. This October, Key West powers-that-be will gamble on a $35 million taxpayer-funded bill to accomplish additional widening of Key West harbor, allowing Mega-Cruise Ships into the fold.

Silver Lining, a new documentary by Will Benson at WorldANGLING, highlights what’s at stake and why groups such as the Lower Keys Guide Association are adamant that dredging is not the answer.

“Do we consider the natural value of the shallow water ecosystem, grass flats, coral reef and the fishery that is supported by them and choose a balanced approach for the future…or, do we stake our future on an industry that doesn’t care what environmental tracks it leaves behind?”

Silver Lining

SL3LKGAWorldANGLING, F3T, and The Drake are encouraging all anglers to fight the proposed dredging of the port. Please take the time to cut, paste, and send the form letter provided below:

Dear Mayor and City Council members,
I would like to voice my opposition to proceeding with the Army Corps of Engineer’s feasibility study concerning the dredging of Key West harbor to accommodate larger cruise ships. Not only is it a bad idea to use taxpayer dollars to fund a study that once completed will encounter tremendous legal hurdles and is an unsound financial investment for the City giving the single payer source of revenue to offset the cost, it is also a disaster in the making as far as the environment is concerned. Key West is a natural wonder and made so by the pristine waters that surround it. The daily siltation that occurs from the already very large cruise ships entering and exiting the port is of great concern for the health of the reef, the fishery and the thousands of jobs that depend on it. Dredging the port will only make things worse and will risk the very thing that many, like myself, come to the keys to experience. I urge the council and mayor to do whatever is possible to make sure this tragedy does not happen. The world-class fishing and ecotourism that Key West is known for is the real value. Please do not take the gamble with an industry that is already ruining the environment, has a horrific track record, and seeks to make a few interested parties money at the expense of the entire community.

Mayor: ccates@keywestcity.com

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Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.

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