Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Staff Contacts | Home RSS

We sacrifice so much for green lawns

July 21, 2012
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The dog and I were watching the little tarpon rolling and busting baitfish at the base of one of the handful of mini-dams that line Burnt Store Road.

A peaceful scene, no fishermen standing on the dam's edge scaring all the fish away, the sun just moments away from breaking the horizon. The rain-swollen freshwater canals were flowing heavily over the weirs and as the tannin stained water entered the saltwater of the spreader system below, big bubbles of dirty brown froth accumulated and swirled around

With the past, present and future water management issues plaguing Cape Coral and its residents, one that troubles me is the use of untold millions of gallons of water to irrigate and keep beautiful everyone's lawns. We all want a great lawn, but at what cost?

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

Lawns are important to the point of obsession with some and I truly believe they would use the last drop even if it meant not flushing indoors anymore. You know, the folks blasting the sprinklers after a four-day rain. They just can't help themselves.

All summer long I see armies of trucks laden with the latest and "safest" EPA approved poisons delivering their toxic load to everyone's yard in the neighborhoods all across the city. Exotic blends of God knows what, hundreds of gallons, thousands of gallons a day. Who knows, sprayed on schedule, every day of the week. Month after month. Year after year. How many millions of gallons are dispersed daily, nationwide?

Unfortunately, after the 10 a.m. delivery and about 2 or 3 the sky turns black and we have our daily mini-monsoon. The "latest and safest" is on its way from your lawn down the street and into the water that we swim in and eat fish from. The next day it doesn't rain, the sprinklers go back on, more wasted water, and the trucks keep rolling.

Sort of like kicking yourself in your own butt repeatedly while paying to poison yourself, your environment and your children's. All the while using up all your clean water. Many don't realize that clean water is not infinite and in the not-to-distant future, worldwide, it will be a rare and precious commodity.

I decided to forgo all that and rip out the lawn and go all stone. I took some areas around my house, installed the stone and it looked great.

Hurricane Charlie came and I thought it might sandblast all the paint off the house, but it never moved. I was preparing to do the whole yard when I found out there is an ordinance calling for a certain percentage of "lawn" to be present.

It's been awhile since I checked the rules, but we are paying a terrible price in wasted well water, water bills, and both short and long term environmental damage just to stay "green"

Desertscapes are not to everyone's liking, especially those that worship their beautiful green lawns, but they are ideal for cutting down on wasting water and poisoning our environment and, when done right, looks great.

It's just a thought but know this, the present course we are on is both long and short term toxic. Something to remember as you take that next bite of redfish and hold your breath as you turn on your faucet in the NW this coming draught season.

Scientists tell us there are now six areas in the world's oceans, like the one off Hawaii, that are swirling mats of plastic trash slowly baking in the intense sun, breaking down and releasing their poison components into the oceans and the food chain. In other words, into your tuna sandwich.

What's a little trash you say? The one off Hawaii, according to conservative estimates, is as large as the state of Texas. Many scientists say it's much larger. This is one of six now known to exist on such a staggering scale.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or, or



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web