My Florida…Your Florida
My Florida is your Florida. It is the place that FDC HQ calls home. Florida is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Within miles of our location here at HQ, we have 71.6 miles of beautiful sandy coastline. That’s just in Brevard County. Just about everywhere you look in Florida there is an expansive view of luscious green landscape. Ponds, rivers and oceans are scattered throughout. Within the greenery and the aquatic environments are a great number of animals, birds, and marine life that are truly stunning.
This place we call home has an indescribable beauty. People from all over the world visit us to receive some sort of respite from their everyday stressors, and when they leave this place, they only want more. That is one of many reasons why it is extremely important for us to keep this place safe.
Why Florida’s Conservation is Important
There are a lot of reasons why conservation in Florida is important. Due to the nature of our ecosystems here, it tends to get pretty complicated. Therefore, I will try to cover the broad strokes here and give you a sense of what were dealing with.
Biodiversity, Local Habitats, and Responsible Development
For starters, we have a LARGE amount of biodiversity. There are many different ecosystems here including, wetlands, mangroves, pine flatwoods, and coral reefs. Each one of these slices of life support a large amount of plant and animal species. That means the protection of these places is crucial for preventing extinction of the beautiful plants, animals, and marine life that we have here.
Conserving these areas may be considered difficult due to the rise of our population here. There is a consistent need for housing and for the infrastructure to improve to keep up with the growth Florida has seen. However, it is of the utmost importance that development be done in a way that is responsible and not damaging to these incredibly important habitats. Conservation should always help guide development. People are moving here for the beauty of this place, so destroying it to make room for more people is not only counterproductive, but dangerous.
This brings me to my next point. Our natural resources happen to be one of the biggest contributors to our states economy. If we don’t follow proper conservation, the economic impact on our state’s income could be devastating. A lot of people depend on our state’s natural resources for the work they do, and without it, jobs will be lost and people will no longer be able to afford to live here.
Natural Protection and Our Vast Water Supply
Something we may not consider when thinking about our environment here is how it protects us. Because of our tropical/coastal climate and where we are geographically, we tend to see more hurricanes and tropical storms. Flooding becomes a big issue here and people’s properties can be completely destroyed in the wake of these storms. It can be a very dangerous place to live at times.
This is where our coastal ecosystems come in. When we maintain our ecosystems well, our state has a much better chance against flooding, erosion, and storm damage. The mangroves, salt marshes, and barrier islands help deter the effects of changing precipitation patterns, extreme weather events, and the rising sea level.
Something that we may take for granted is our water supply. It is extremely dependent on the conservation of our water sources. Florida’s lakes, rivers, and aquifers are critical to human and ecological needs. These water supplies contribute a great deal to the sustainability of the water we use for drinking, irrigation, industry, and maintaining healthy ecosystems.
How Do We Help?
There are a TON of ways to get involved in helping to conserve our environment. This makes it rather easy to do your part. With the large amount of options out there, it can be something as simple as recycling your plastic products or something as large as donating money or time to local conservation efforts. Below I have compiled a short list of ways you can help so that you can choose which ways work best for you and your local needs.
Ways to help
- Volunteer with Local Conservation Organizations: There are MANY local conservation organizations scattered throughout Florida. If you wish to help, reach out to your local organizations and see how you can assist.
- Support Protected Areas: There are state parks and nature preserves all over Florida. You can support these places by visiting them responsibly, following park rules, and contributing via donations or membership programs.
- Reduce Pollution: Pollution adversely affects local water bodies and wildlife. You can reduce your impact by properly disposing of waste, minimizing plastic use, and participating in community clean ups.
- Native Plant Landscaping: When you choose to landscape with native plants, it helps preserve your local biodiversity and reduces water consumption. Native plants are well adapted to the local climate and provide essential habitats for local wildlife.
- Advocate for Conservation Policies: Stay informed about your local conservation issues and advocate for policies that protect the natural environment. Attend public meetings, contact local representatives, and participate in campaigns for environmentally friendly policies.
- Support Sustainable Fishing and Boating: If you are involved in either of the following, follow fishing regulations, avoid sensitive areas, and properly dispose of your waste.
- Reduce Light Pollution: Artificial lighting can disrupt the behavior of nocturnal animals and nesting sea turtles. Use dark sky friendly lighting fixtures at home and advocate for light pollution reduction.
- Educate Others: Raising awareness of the importance of conservation is one of the best ways you can help. Share information with friends, family, and social networks. Encourage others to participate in conservation efforts and help them make more environmentally friendly choices.
Conclusion- We can do this
This isn’t only my Florida, it is also your Florida. Where we live is extremely important. This place brings so much joy to many people and it can keep on doing that if we do our part to keep it safe. No action is too small and every little bit counts in conservation. If we all do just a little bit more to help make better our home, we can make a HUGE difference. It doesn’t take much to do a little, to help make a big impact. Reach out to your local conservation organizations today to see how you can help make a difference. LETS KEEP FLORIDA’S NATURAL BEAUTY ALIVE.