Paradise Lost Redux?

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As this issue of SFBW was going to the printer, there were some alarming headlines about the environment that should be a wakeup call for businesses. The headlines largely had to do with red tide no longer being just a Gulf Coast problem, but rolling into South Florida.

The original “Paradise Lost” comes from a 1981 Time magazine article that told how South Florida was overrun by a hurricane of crime, drugs and refugees. This was an era when companies were fleeing Miami, which wasn’t such a trendy place.

The new headlines include:

* “State team deployed to investigate MacArthur Beach fish kill,” said the Palm Beach Post website.  Most of the county’s beaches were closed and dead fish were washing up on some beaches. There were reports of respiratory issues.

* “Red tide confirmed in Miami-Dade, and some beaches have been closed,” read a headline on the Miami Herald website. Haulover Beach was closed to swimmers and monitoring was being done on beaches further south.

* “Red-Tide Sludge Could Flood Miami During King-Tide Season, City Warns,” was the headline on the New Times website. Residents were warned to avoid contact with the floodwater, and New Times told how police officers were filmed wearing “Mad Max”-type masks on Haulover Beach.

If you don’t know already, king tides are a seasonal event and have caused water to slosh over seawalls and up through storm drains during previous occasions.

As someone who lives on the tidal Middle River, I ordered a high-efficiency particulate air filter machine because a member of my household already has respiratory issues. I can only hope red tide doesn’t come up the river.

If you think this issue isn’t being noticed nationally, you are sadly mistaken. In the race for U.S. Senate, Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson sparred over who is to blame for the red tide and its cousin, green algae. (One could argue that inaction and indifference by both the state and federal government are factors, too.)

Then there is the race for governor between Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis. Gillum had a campaign stop on Siesta Key to highlight his environmental plan while DeSantis issued a statement that he would put together a task force on algae if elected.

One might ask why these types of task forces haven’t been put together years ago, given Florida’s history with red tide.

There seems to be plenty of speculation about what causes these algae blooms, including fertilizer runoff, septic tanks and red Saharan dust. Clearly, the state and federal government have done a poor job of figuring the problem out and determining what, if anything, can be done to mitigate the issue.

What’s clear is that dead fish and closed beaches aren’t the type of publicity the state needs as people are planning winter vacations. Let’s hope there isn’t an outgoing economic tide.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.