Sanibel Sea School Director Address Lions Club

provided to Santiva Chronicle

Bruce Neill, Executive Director of the Sanibel Sea School, addressed the Sanible Capitva Lions Club. His talk focused on the impact of climate change, red tide and algae on water conditions and aquatic life.

He started his talk by stating that climate change is real, it is driven by human activities, and that there is not a scientific debate on this. Virtually all scientists agree on the cause and effect of climate change. He said that climate change skeptics claim there are not “good” studies, i.e., double blind studies, on climate change. He humorously stated that there have never been double blind studies on the effectiveness of parachutes either.

He noted that red tide is a natural occurring phenomenon that is enhanced by human activity. It is not a plant or animal, rather it is a form of plankton. Nutrients cause the red tide to bloom, and
its decomposition depletes the oxygen in the water making it hypoxic. It is primarily this lack of oxygen not the toxin that kills much of the aquatic life.

In discussing solution he pointed out that the water infrastructure of south Florida was created to serve a population that is one-twentieth of the current population. The increased migration of almost one thousand people a day into Florida is not sustainable. He pointed out that the solution to the water quality issues starts with us. We can reduce our use of plastics and fertilizer. We can reduce the water usage by using native vegetation and not irrigating our lawns. He stated that 56 percent of the water usage on Sanibel is for irrigation of lawns, most of which actually runs off into the bay or the gulf. Finally, we can press our politicians to discuss detailed plans on their proposals for improving water quality and not just letting them of with thirty-second sound bites.

Sanibel Captiva Lions Club holds regular dinner meetings on the first and third Wednesday of the month during the year. Visiting Lions or other interested people are welcome to attend. For more information on the Sanibel Captiva Lions Club contact Membership Chair Lion Steven Schulz at PO Box 391, Sanibel, FL 33957, or 239-233-6261, or visit our website at

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