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Date of Issue: December 07, 2007

Sandscript

Waterway thoughts, plus some more hurricane problems to come

I’ve had an interest in the Gulfcoast Intracoastal Waterway for years. As a Little Roat, I watched missiles go past my house on what is now Anna Maria Sound, en route to the Cape.

So it’s kind of fun to see a press release that states that “the dream of a waterborne superhighway that would unite the nation and move its commerce dates back to the founding fathers. Like many outsize dreams, realizing it took decades of determination, engineering feats, financial wizardry and lobbying. The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway now stretches from Boston to Miami, fulfilling its purpose of protected passage for ships and boats, serving for commerce in some areas and recreation along its length.

Of course, this waterway also stretches from the Florida Keys to Texas.

The East Coast Waterway today promotes recreation and one of Florida's major economic engines, the boating industry, according to the book’s author, William G. Crawford Jr.

A native of Fort Lauderdale, he is the author of numerous articles on Florida's Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, and has written scores of others on Florida history.

 

Yikes!

The 2008 hurricane landfall rate is expected to remain high, according to Risk Management Solutions out of California. The group has “confirmed its modeled hurricane activity rates for 2008 to 2012 following an elicitation with a group of the world's leading hurricane researchers,” according to a report. “Results of the elicitation suggest that the average risk of landfalling hurricanes in the Atlantic basin for the next five years, known as 'the medium-term view,' remains at approximately the same level as has been predicted for the past 2 years, which is significantly above the risk averaged over the long term.

"Although U.S. hurricane-related losses have been low since 2004 and 2005, it was apparent from the views expressed among the experts that we are still in a period of elevated hurricane activity that started in 1995, and that this is likely to continue for at least several more years," commented Dr. Claire Souch, senior director of model management at RMS. “However, there remains disagreement and uncertainty about what is driving the change in hurricane frequency, with some researchers believing it is mainly due to natural cycles in oceanic circulation, and others arguing it is primarily caused by human-induced climate change."

 

Holiday thoughts

OK, so some of us view Brazilian pepper trees as evil, noxious shrubs that should be banned. At least, that’s what the state of Florida thinks.

But at this time of year, their happy little red blossoms make for a nice little wreath for a front door.

There were a bunch of people harvesting sprigs from trees off 75th Street last year, and I expect more this year.

Happy holidays.

 

Sandscript factoid

U.S. Coast Guard’s bridge management specialist offered a little note of late.

It seems that there is a legal issue for boaters that pass through bridges that isn’t all that known regarding antennae. If you can drop it, you should.

According to Michael Lieberum, who head up the seventh district of the Coast Guard out of Miami, failure to lower any outriggers or antennae can, at a second offense, result in a $25,000 fine.’

Yeah, that’s not a typo. It’s $25,000.

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