Originally published by WINK News on April 11, 2023

The color of some of the mangroves from above? Grey – like the mood as we note the coastline’s defenses are weakened. The color of the sky this day, also grey.

The new Calusa Waterkeeper, Captain Codty Pierce noted the breeze, “A little gusty today,” as he showed me the mangroves through Matlacha Pass.

The Waterkeeper added, “It’s a little saddening, but this was a natural event. It’s not the first time that it’s happened.” That natural event, Hurricane Ian. And while we hope to never again get hit by such a powerful storm, it likely won’t be the last.

“The majority of the mangroves here anything that was underwater when the storm surge came up was protected. When you go out and you do a general you know, scanning of the horizon, you’ll see lots of greenery that kind of comes to eye level, and then above that is all brown. So most of the destruction you’re seeing is actually the wind shear that just sheared all the greenery off and then the plants can’t photosynthesize anymore,” explained Pierce.

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