Local News

Jun 12, 2013 4:47 PM by Heather Jackson

Foul Smell Near the JFK Causeway Worries a Resident

FLOUR BLUFF - If you have driven over the JFK Causeway recently, you may have noticed a foul smell coming off the water. One resident is worried the stinky laguna madre is affecting the wildlife.

"This area, this water used to be pristine green blue," Sid Walsh, a Flour Bluff resident remembers.

Sid Walsh has lived in the area near Laguna Madre for over 40 years. This dirty water near Laguna Shores Road is surrounded by what looks like brown hair and that worries Walsh.

"There was a lot of sand. There is no sand, the water is brown, the fish are gone, the birds are gone," Walsh says.

He says it is all because what he calls poisonous gas coming off of the dead sea grass.

"The bay is polluted and it smells bad. And right now you and I 's eyes are burning and it is hard to breath because of the dead grass," Walsh explains.

I admit, it was hard to breathe-but when I talked to officials about the smell and piles of grass in Laguna Madre, they say it is completely normal.

"You have this cycle of new grass coming in, and old grass dying off. So, it builds up along the shoreline and you get some smelly seagrass. So, natural cycle," Jace Tunnell, the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program Coordinator explains.

Ahhhh....so that is what the horrible smell is. But what about the low numbers of birds in the area that Walsh says are leaving year after year.

"A lot of it is predator disturbance. There is more people using the bay so human disturbance is a big one ummm weather conditions," Tunnell says.

Although this might look like a wasteland, scientist say the inside of the waters are actually in tip top shape; area scientist are constantly monitoring the water quality and bird population to make sure that area is okay.

We're told the foul smell will be around for the next few months because of the heat. But once the weather gets cooler, the smell should go away.

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