CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Hurricane Ian pushed yachts out of the marina and into the mangrove forest, but the longer the stagnation drags on, the more severe the effects.
Ranger Rob Howell is a local naturalist. He said the infrastructure, especially at Fort Myers Beach and the barrier islands, is gone.
At Cape Harbour, Cape Coral, Ian also caused damage. According to Ranger Robb, there was a storm surge of about 15 to 20 feet in this area of the harbor.
Strong winds and waves didn’t just blow boats over mangroves and trees. In addition, the oil and gas in them leak out, creating even greater problems for our ecosystems and marine life.
“To get this out of here, if you have a powerful enough barge, you’ll have to lift it with a crane…or you’ll have to pull it out of there to remove all the mangroves, otherwise you’ll have fiberglass and plastic.” We have to chop it up so that it flows into the environment,” said Ranger Robb.
What was once lush is now dry and desolate. Mangroves are vital to Florida’s ecosystem.
Mangroves are great for dealing with storms. They bore the brunt of what Cape Harbour would suffer, but because they were here, Cape Harbour didn’t suffer as badly.
Mangroves prevent erosion and absorb storm surges, but are also a food source for marine life. Food sources are cut off due to the heavy blow, knocking down the dominoes of the food chain.
Natural infrastructure destroyed. Our coastal communities now face the restoration of what is left behind.
“These trees don’t grow back when their roots are affected. Mangroves are very hardy, but when their roots are affected they get damaged, so now we have the beach here. In front of Ian There were no beaches here,” he said.
Hundreds of boats and debris are now lying under water in waterways, eventually adding chemicals that contaminate the fish, and animals eating the fish and contaminating it. We have a disaster and we’re making it worse.”
There used to be a lot of trees around here, but now they are gone.
Ranger Robb said, “Just because the low speed zone is blown doesn’t mean it can do whatever it wants. These velocities do a lot of damage and the wake is a lot of erosion.” .
If we don’t slow down a bit on the water and clear the debris and debris, “depending on the direction of the wind and water, we have one less barrier for the next storm to pass through here and hit what’s behind us.” I know you want to get back to normal, but this is your chance to rebuild better.”