Earth Day: Protecting Florida’s Natural Beauty

As an active Advisory Council member of Tampa Bay Watch, I read with great interest and enthusiasm Jeff Klinkenberg’s story of an environmentalist’s 1,000 mile journey through pristine Florida. It’s a Florida of which many people don’t know. As Klinkenberg relates, “Carlton Ward Jr. and a few close friends — started their expedition in the Everglades in January. They hiked, pedaled bicycles, rode horses and paddled kayaks, meandering through the mangroves, sawgrass, cypress, scrubs, pines and across prairies, ponds, lakes and rivers.”
It’s an important story well worth reading, especially on Earth Day. Our fragile eco-system and natural beauty is threatened every day by expansive growth and commercialization. Yet, without that natural beauty, Florida would not be the beautiful and native habitat for so many wild animals, birds, and fish. Hopefully, the story will give us all a renewed appreciation for our environment and its natural wonders. Perhaps, more importantly, it will compel us to preserve what we have for generations to come.