Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Petition to protect the Blue Heron bridge


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 echeng

echeng

    The Blue

  • Admin
  • 5842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco, CA
  • Interests:photography, ice cream, cello, chamber music, quadcopters

Posted 13 March 2008 - 05:47 PM

The Blue Heron bridge is located on the eastern most section of the continental United States, where the warm water of the Gulf Stream current comes in closer than any other place on the east coast. This current brings in larval animals and juveniles of tropical marine species, depositing them directly under the Blue Heron bridge. These tropical species intermingle with the temperate species normally found in this area, creating one of the most diverse marine habitats anywhere in the United States. Some of the unusual species found at the bridge are seahorses, stargazers, flying gurnards, striated frogfish, searobins, Atlantic longarm (mimic) octopi, and much more.

If you want to help save the Blue Heron bridge from the irreparable damage caused by collectors, please sign our petition, which was created by a local attorney, Pura Vida Divers, and other members of the Palm Beach Diving Association. If you would rather sign the petition in person, it can be found at Pura Vida Divers, Narcosis Dive Charters, Jim Abernethy's Scuba Adventures.

Petition link: http://www.petitiono...o/petition.html

Petition to Protect the Blue Heron Bridge Diving Area, Riviera Beach, Florida

We the undersigned request the enactment of a law, regulation, and/or ordinance prohibiting the taking of any and all types of marine creatures (including but not limited to seahorses, frogfish, batfish, blennies, gobies, damsels, crabs, shrimp, octopus, angelfish, wrasses, jawfish, scorpion fish, rays, butterfly fish, parrot fish, nudibranchs, slugs, and worms), sponges, corals, aquatic plants and grasses from the waters underneath the Blue Heron Bridge, Riviera Beach, Florida, (including the smaller east span) and the surrounding waters (i.e., 300 feet to the north and south of the bridge) by any and all means.

We request this action because this area of water is a very unique and popular scuba diving and snorkeling site that is well known internationally for its diverse concentration of marine creatures; but, the area is being depleted and destroyed by individuals capturing the creatures, sponges, corals, and plants/grasses for sale to others and/or for display in personal aquariums.

The Blue Heron bridge is located on the eastern most section of the continental United States, where the warm water of the Gulf Stream current comes in closer than any other place on the east coast. This current brings in larval animals and juveniles of tropical marine species not found anywhere else on the east coast of the United States, depositing them directly under the Blue Heron bridge. The tropical species intermingle with the temperate species normally found in this area, creating one of the most diverse marine habitats anywhere in the United States.

We the undersigned seek to put an immediate stop to the destruction of this unique marine habitat.

--- Additional Information ---

Lazaro Ruda, a frequent diver of the Blue Heron Bridge, notes that the following animals are regularly found at the bridge:

Seahorses (Lined, Longsnout, Dwarf, Pipehorse)
Pipefish (Shortfin, Harlequin, many others)
Frogfish (Striated, Dwarf, Ocellated, many others)
Stargazers (Northern and Southern species)
Flying Gurnard (tons of them)
Searobin (Bandtail and Leopard species)
Batfish (Shortnose, Red-lipped, Polka-dot)
Nudibranchs and Flatworms (many new species)
Rays (Southern, Atlantic, Roughtail, Eagle)
Flounders and Sole
Blennies (Countless species)
Gobies (Countless species)
Octopus (Common, Reef, Atlantic Longarm [Mimic], Pygmy)
Shrimp (Mantis, Bumblebee, Coral Banded (red & yellow), and more)
Eels (every species in the atlantic and MORE)

... and this is just a small of list of the odd and unique. The Blue Heron Bridge is a haven for juvenile tropicals.

For some images of just a few of the animals, see a gallery here:
http://thelivingsea....llery.php?id=58

Also, Laz has written a good article about the bridge:
http://thelivingsea....rvelousMuck.php

Sincerely,

The Undersigned


eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#2 MikeO

MikeO

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Location:Fairfax, VA, USA

Posted 17 March 2008 - 04:46 AM

I posted a comment on the news article, but thought I would post the idea here as well. IS the bridge in Phil Forster Park? If so, the park's website says:

"It is prohibited to solicit or conduct commercial business on or from park property unless previously authorized in writing by the County. Commercial fishermen are permitted to use the park to launch or retrieve their vessels. Businesses such as dive boats, water taxi services, etc. that would result in increased traffic flow in the park are prohibited with the exception of those permitted by contract with the County."

If these collectors are selling the critters to stores in the area, is that not a "commercial business"? Do they have something in writing from the county?

Mike

Mike Oelrich
Canon EOS 40D in Seatool housing, 100mm macro, Tokina 10-17, INON Z-240s.


#3 echeng

echeng

    The Blue

  • Admin
  • 5842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco, CA
  • Interests:photography, ice cream, cello, chamber music, quadcopters

Posted 10 September 2008 - 09:23 PM

We recently received great news about the Blue Heron bridge. It is now protected, and the taking of any marine animal from the area is illegal!

Douglas Kahle, the attorney and diver originally responsible for the Blue Heron Bridge petition, sent us the following update:

UPDATE: BLUE HERON BRIDGE PETITION

GREAT NEWS!!!!!! The Blue Heron Bridge Petition has been a success. County Commissioner Karen T. Marcus was extremely responsive and apparently sympathetic to the Petition and the cause; she performed magnificently in seeking protection for the marine creatures inhabiting the BHB area. As set forth in the attached letters, Rich Walesky, the Director of Environmental Resources Management, concluded that it is in fact a violation to remove marine creatures from the BHB area. Furthermore, Dennis Eshleman, Director of the CountyParks and Recreation Department, is pursuing a submerged land lease with the state to provide additional protection. Finally, a sign will be placed at the area to inform the public that marine creatures cannot be removed from the area and the Park Rangers will be notified immediately.

Accordingly, if you witness people removing marine creatures from this area, PLEASE CONTACT THE PARK RANGERS; do not waste your time contacting the Riviera Beach Police.

Also, donít hesitate to show your appreciation to Ms. Marcus by dropping her a thank you letter. Again, she did a remarkable job and recently won reelection in a landslide asCountyCommissioner.

Attached is the Petition Letter that was sent on June 9, 2008; Ms. Marcusí letter of August 6, 2008 concluding that removal of the marine creatures is a violation and prohibited; and, Ms. Marcusí letter of August 20, 2008 indicating that a sign will be placed at the BHB area and the Park Rangers will be notified.


If you'd like, you can download the petition letters and responses from Ms. Marcus here: [PDF, 600KB]
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#4 shawnh

shawnh

    Shawk Man

  • Senior Moderator
  • 1398 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Boulder, CO
  • Interests:UW Video, UW Photography Diving, Telemark Skiing, Cycling, Travel

Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:56 PM

Eric,
This is great news! Our own little Lembeh is now a bit safer!
Canon 5D MII - Aquatica Housing - Sola 4000 Lights - Wahoo HD Monitor & Sony EX1 - Gates EX1 Housing - Fathoms UWA Lens
www.bluespheremedia.com

#5 Nakedwithoutcamera

Nakedwithoutcamera

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 395 posts

Posted 14 September 2008 - 06:17 PM

Wonderful news
Ellen B.