The hazards of lead in paint, pottery, gasoline and toys have been known for decades, but water managers were told last week that lead shot left behind by hunters on more than 687,000 acres of hunting grounds and wetlands owned by the South Florida Water Management District does not harm wildlife or the environment.
“The bottom line is there is not much shooting going on on district lands,” Robb Startzman, chief scientist of the District’s Land Stewardship Division, said at a workshop Oct. 13 on the potential impact on hunters and wildlife. “There is no evidence to support adverse effects of lead shot on district lands.”
The workshop echoed an international debate on the hazards of lead in ammunition and fishing tackle. From bait and tackle shops in Florida to battlefields of Afghanistan, hunters, anglers, veterinarians, politicians, the military and the National Rifle Association are mobilizing.