Tag Archives: spoonbill

MINWR Shiloh Commercial Space Launch Environmental Impact Could Be Epic

Yesterday, as Tropical Storm Hermine brought wind and rain to the Space Coast; very few, if any, skiffs were on the water enjoying the mostly pristine beauty of Mosquito Lagoon.

The serenity of the quiet moment was interrupted when a thunderous series of booms shook the house again and again.

I immediately  went outside to investigate, knowing it wasn’t thunder from a storm band rain shower approaching.

Moments later, social media began to break the story of an “anomaly ” that had just occurred when SpaceX was testing a rocket motor in preparation for an early morning launch on Saturday.

I went to a nearby dock and immediately saw the smoke plume rising to the south, nearly 17 miles away.

Thanks to safety protocols, no human life was lost, nor were there any injuries.  The question that remains is: how much environmental damage might be done by the remnants of rocket fuel that were surely washed into the surrounding marshland when a deluge of water was applied to extinguish the massive fire.

Currently, Space Florida is awaiting an environmental impact study’s completion in an effort to bring just such a launch site to the MINWR, just 5-7 miles south of my home along the shores of Mosquito Lagoon.  I hope that a fully transparent and objective study includes the aftermath of this incident in the study.  The area being considered is home to many endangered and threatened species and is opposed by US Fish & Wildlife staff that run the Refuge.

Environmental Impact Study Pending
Environmental Impact Study Pending

Yesterday was a wake-up call.  Space flight remains a risky business and with that in mind, I remain opposed to the Commercial Launch Facility that is proposed.

Shiloh Commercial Spaceport

In 2012, the State of Florida requested 150 acres of NASA land located at the north end of the Kennedy Space Center, near Daytona. The site – known as “Shiloh,” which is largely unpopulated at this time, would be developed into a dedicated commercial spaceport. Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana communicated his support to the Federal Aviation Administration in April 2013 for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Study of the site. Today, the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation is working with the State of Florida to complete the Environmental Impact Study, which is anticipated to be complete by late 2015. Following the successful completion of that study, Space Florida will submit a formal application to the FAA for consideration of a Spaceport Operators License at the site.

I support the creation of a new launch facility on the current NASA campus where infrastructure already exists to respond to and manage the next inevitable “anomaly” when it occurs.

Continue to stay engaged on this issue and have your voice heard saying No Shiloh Launch Complex.  The MINWR needs to remain pristine and clean.


IFTD 2015 – Playing Hookie on Day 3

After spending two days at the Flood Tide Company booth, I ducked out to film a little with Catch 1 Films on the home water; Mosquito Lagoon.

ONE: mosquito lagoon

Its always great to spend time on the water with friends.  Being able to relive the moments in film is priceless.






Anything Happens, Everyday

The more time I spend on the water, the more I get it. Even though I’m standing there with a fly rod in hand, its the total immersion into the environment that impresses upon me the essence of why I’m there.

After pulling on the rope to start up my faithful 25 HP outboard a simple twist of the tiller washes away the daily grind of the day job and my soul is set free to roam unabated.

I used to think these adventures were about stalking and catching fish. Now I simply let it happen along the periphery of the overall adventure and where it might lead.

I always have my head on swivel, searching for the next target that happens to be swimming by, but it is the macro view of the environment that brings the most joy.

I’ve seen a bobcat standing some 20 feet away along the mangrove sprinkled shoreline as curious and startled by my presence as I am of it. I’ve watched in awe as a bobcat swam between two islands carefully watching me as I passed by on plane, gawking.

The myriad of shore birds that ignore my presence as I slide by silently until I’m within a stone’s throw give me pause.

Seeing the ground appear to move as hundreds of fiddler crabs retreat from the waters edge in unison mesmerizes me.

I cherish this thing we call fly fishing. Not because of the fish I’ll hold for a moment or two to admire, but for the experiences that will form my fondest memories, for it is every time I go forth, I reinforce the notion that anything happens, everyday.

Clock Management

The reflection of sunlight glimmers like a star on the evening horizon as a tail rises above the surface, distributing the light in a beacon like flash.  Roseate spoonbills and wood storks line the shoreline in search of a piscatorial breakfast.  As you glide towards the point where the tail has disappeared beneath the surface, not so much as a breeze stirs the heavy moist morning air.

The anticipation of seeing that tail emerge again is building.  Your focus is laser-like as you try to discern even the slightest ripple or wake that might alert you to the redfish that is starting to seem like it vanished completely.

The scenario plays out several more times over the next hour while the storks and spoonbills have all but stood still, save the occasional movement that was required to capture a crustacean or fish at its feet.

By now, the sun has climbed a bit higher and the sight lines into the water have grown longer.  The occasional sign of a fish still appears, but its merely a tease, as they continue to cruise silently back into oblivion, blending into the mottled bottom.

Rather than succumbing to the urge to leave these redfish behind in search of “happier” fish, a better option is to simply put time on your side.

The birds along the shore are masters of time and use it wisely to ensure they remain well fed each and every day.  Emulating their tactics can lead to success where before it had remained elusive.

Sight fishing is often referred to as being akin to hunting .  Most often it is a spot and stalk game, but occasionally still hunting will deliver the best results.

When the fish are playing hide and go seek, hunker down and put time on your side.  They’ll eventually make the mistake of showing themselves within your range.  Then, just like our feathered friends have learned, they’ll be easy pickings.