Opinion by Randy Wayne White, New York Times, Sept. 29, 2018


SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. — As the Spanish cartographer Juan López de Velasco sailed along southwest Florida in 1575, he was greeted by a sight that became odiously familiar this summer to those on the peninsula he mapped for the Spanish Empire so long ago. “The coast is all in ruin,” he wrote in his journal, “because in these four or five leagues of sea there is barely 1.5 fathoms of water where many fish are dying.”

It is possible that López made this entry within sight of the shell mound where my house of yellow pine has, since 1926, witnessed a time warp flow of conquistadors, past and present, and too many harmful algae blooms to count.

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