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Monday, June 23, 2014

Visit to Shired Island Florida

We go to Shired Island in the Big Bend of Florida, about once a year. Normally in cooler weather, because I don't care for the water. In 2010 Shired Island was still rated the top polluted beach in the USA failing 90% of tests. I can not find any updated info, but one blogger stated it was improving with no facts to back that up. There are about 8 camp sites, one of which my sister and her small family decided to camp at for the week. My daughter, who is ten, will still go in the water, but my husband, son and I prefer not to. If she is in the water, I am at the edge. The water does not get deep, and when it is low tide you really can walk out quite far. A nice lady, also visiting the beach, said they had been told that Great White Sharks had been seen there, and two of them were tagged by rangers but that only one could be found. That freaked me out just a tiny bit.

We have lived in Florida nine years, so we have been to Shired Island and least 9 times. Normally the water is murky and only clear on the shore line. It was the same this time, but the water had a tea colored tinge to it, and the water in the public restroom and shower had the same tea colored water. There was a sign up that said do not drink the water. Normally while there we see Horseshoe Crabs, Stingrays usually dead and washed ashore, lots of Sandpipers, White Cranes and other birds. I was surprised at how little wild life we saw. The little sand crabs were there, lots more than usual, the one below is a real close up shot of one living in a rotting log with about twenty others. We saw no Stingrays, no Horseshoe Crabs, no Blue Crabs either. Only a few Seagulls, one with a completely black head. No Sandpipers, Cranes, or other birds at all. There is now cell phone service, never was before, because apparently someplace condos were put in. There are road signs now, and the dock has been made all nice. The water is still a concern though, and why was there not much animal life. I am happy to say I will not be visiting Shired Island again for a while. It was nice to see my family, and thank goodness it was overcast so not unbearably hot, but I won't miss it.

On a side note my daughter is required to change out of her wet suit, wash hands before leaving, and shower as soon as returning home. Can't be too safe.  I think if you had a boat, and didn't want to swim it would be nice, but I wouldn't eat anything caught in this suspect water.  If anyone has any recent stats on the water, besides 2010, or before, please feel free to share them in the comments.

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