Florida’s unlike anywhere else in the continental United States- unique ecosystems harboring thousands of species found nowhere else on the planet, shaped by wind and rain, water and tides. They’re sensitive ecosystems, plagued by human development and associated nutrients, sediment, and the introduction of dozens of non-native species. Hell Bay Boatworks has been a tireless advocate in the conservation of Florida’s unique aquatic resources- restoring the Everglades, mitigating pollution from agriculture surrounding Lake Okeechobee.
We don’t blink an eye at the conservation of panthers or leopards or bison or wolves- species which range hundreds of square miles, species which, globally speaking, are pretty stable. Little things count, and they’re often ignored. Take the Panama City Crayfish– whose entire global population covers an area about the size of Disney World. Of all the species which need conservation attention, those inhabiting such tiny native ranges should be the easiest to protect- they’re not fuzzy or photogenic or cuddly, and when it comes to building new condos or protecting something that looks like it’s out of a sci-fi novel, the spiny-squishy-slimy critters too often lose out. It’s a shame, because they exist- and they’re worth protecting.