When one of the strongest El Niños ever recorded hit the South American country of Peru in 1982, the abnormal warming it brought to the Pacific Ocean was a catastrophic blow to the already economically fragile nation. The fishing industry quickly suffered massive losses as the anchovy harvest collapsed and the sardines suddenly migrated south into Chilean waters.
“Central Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, North Florida’s Apalachicola Bay and a trio of coastal estuaries in South Florida are in the throes of ecosystem collapses that threaten sea grass, fisheries, recreation and local economies.
What’s to blame? A historic toll of chronic pollution and crippled drainage has been compounded by drought in recent years and El Niño downpours this winter. The troubled environments are far apart, but their stories are similar and even intertwined.”