The BP oil
disaster sheds light on the fragility of our
ecosystem. While BP pursues methods of controlling
the leak, the potential for the oil to reach the
shores of the Florida coasts
and, through the Gulf Stream current, the entire
Eastern Seaboard, continues to escalate. Millions of
lives remain at risk of toxicity if the oil and
dispersants seep into the groundwater and aquifers.
is a water-bearing layer of rock, sediment or soil.
best known for its sunshine and beaches, its
Floridan aquifer system is, according to the
U.S. Geological Survey,
one of the most productive aquifers in the world.
The Floridan aquifer system and Biscayne aquifer are
among only a few carbonate-rock aquifers in the
United States. These aquifers supply drinking water
to millions every day.
massive carbonate rock aquifers are also most
fragile and vulnerable. The Biscayne aquifer is
surficial — that is, a shallow aquifer located close
to the surface. Studies also define the Biscayne
aquifer as, uniquely, an unconfined coastal aquifer
that joins with the floor of Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic
Ocean. Such features provide easy pathways for
contaminants to flow due to the possibilities of
saltwater intrusions and surface contaminations.
Unbelievably, the sources for numerous bottled
waters available commercially in Florida — as an
option to tap water — appear to be wells within
close proximity to the Gulf
may be too late to protect the shores, city, county,
state and federal governments now need to assure the
public that aquifers in Florida — and everywhere
along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico — are
adequately protected from the BP
oil spill and
other pollutants tied to this environmental