Eco-Watch-Martin

Environmental Activists
Wring Promise of
Swamp's Re-Opening
from one of
Florida's Premiere Polluters

FPL's 2006 Toxic Release Report

Red-shouldered hawks, barred owls, pileated woodpeckers, alligators, and turtles are common. Deer, bobcat, river otter, and gray fox are sometimes seen. Look for red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, belted kingfishers, and vultures on the six-mile drive from the entrance gate to the viewing area.

South Florida Environmental Activists sought and won the reopening of Barley Barber Swamp in Western Martin County reports Environmental Activist Rachel Kijewski.

Listed by Florida' Conservation Commission as a prime viewing site in Martin County for a variety of Florida Wildlife, public access has been blocked in recent years. While specuclation is rampant on the actual reasoning behind owner FLORIDA POWER & LIGHTS the fact remains that Public Access has been restored .

Florida Conservation Commission
lists Barley Barber Swamp

as one of 4 prime wildlife viewing
locations in Martin County.

(
Click Here)

PBCEC (Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition) and Everglades Earth First have been in the forefront of bringing a host of Environmental issues to the public's attention thoughout the Palm Beaches and the Treasure Coast.

These dedicated activists are determined to illuminate serious pollution threats that are too often obscured by the fog of PUBLIC RELATIONS and MISINFORMATION.

Barley Barber Swamp is touted as ideal for viewing
Red-shouldered hawks, barred owls, pileated woodpeckers, alligators, and turtles are common. Deer, bobcat,
river otter, and gray fox are sometimes seen.
Look for red-tailed hawks, American kestrels,
belted kingfishers,
and vultures on the six-mile drive from the entrance gate to the viewing area.

Projected surficial aquifer drawdown
[will occur] when groundwater is needed... (
report) 

Barley Barber Swamp
is also remarkable as home of some of the
oldest Cypress growth in the Southeast US.

One of the trees in the Barley Barber swamp is estimated to be in excess of 1100 years old.

Canals dug by FPL adjascent to the power plant and the Barley Barber Swamp are reported to have produced
a significant impact called "PROJECTED SURFICIAL AQUIFER DRAWDOWN". This lowering of the water table has had dramatic impact on the wildlife, most especially the old growth cypress in the Barley Barber Swamp.

Barley Barber Swamp
Was fully developed as a nature destination with a Welcome Center and rasied walkway system throughout.
Florida Conservation's Website describes a one-mile boardwalk runs through a cypress swamp of large bald cypress, red maples, and cabbage palms.
They have announced plans to reopen the swamp
(
Click Here)

The initial consensus plan developed by the coalition had three parts

1. Regain public access to this unique natural wildreess that had been available for years. 2. Raise awareness of the impact of the powerplant on the wilderness adjascent to the plant and a longer term  3. Once public access was resumed a wiser and more responsible stewardship would follow and would ultimately protect this unque treasure one of the oldest cypress growths in the South East US. One cypress tree in the preserve was estimated to be over 1100 years old.

Barley Barber Swamp home of FP&L's Barley Barber Cooling Pond, has been compromised because the water table has been significantly lowerd impacting wildlife and the ancient cypress growth. 

Dr. Sydney Bacchus a Hyro-Ecologist has studied the Barber Swamp and her investigations have found that the actions of FPL in digging the Barley Barber Cooling Pond have significantly lowered the water table and endangered the old growth Cypress.

She has stated that the Barley Barber Swamp is dying, due to the lowering the water table. The 17 mile long cooling pond is adjacent to the swamp.

Efforts have been made by the PBCEC to outreach to the invested local community and other enviromental organizations. Educational efforts are next on the agenda.

Power Plants one of the two leading sources of Mercury Pollution

NRDC REPORTS: [
excerpted]
Power Plants

... The bulk of this mercury pollution could be eliminated with the installation of pollution-control devices. Similar devices have proved very successful on municipal incinerators, which were once a significant source of mercury pollution.

But in January 2004 the Bush administration proposed to weaken and delay efforts to clean up mercury emissions from roughly 1,100 coal-fired boilers at more than 460 electric power plants. Essentially, the administration's plan treats mercury as if it were a run-of-the-mill air pollutant instead of a hazardous air pollutant, allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to avoid requiring power plants to reduce emissions by the maximum amount technologically achievable.  ( more)

FULL REPORT PDF

 



Video Footage
of 1100 year old Bald Cyress
in Barley Barber