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Documentary Portrays Life in Two Florida Fishing Communities

The Legacy Institute for Nature and Culture (LINC) announces its first interactive documentary - In Their Own Words: Perseverance and Resilience in Two Florida Fishing Communities, produced with the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage. Vivid photographs portray the culture and landscape of commercial fishing in Cedar Key and Cortez, combined with insightful oral histories of the featured individuals and families.

The collaboration of maritime anthropologist Dr. Michael Jepson and photographer Carlton Ward, Jr. documents how these two fishing communities have adapted to dramatic change in their traditional way of life. Join the exploration at www.saltwaterheritage.com.

LINC also announces the availability of The Heart of Florida. The commemorative 2007 calendar celebrates the landscapes, wildlife and culture of Florida cattle ranches from a conservation perspective. The calendar is the product of a collaboration between LINC and the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and includes a foreword by Patrick Smith, author of A Land Remembered, as well as a poignant essay on ranches and the environment by ecologist Hilary Swain.

Available from the University Press of Florida for $15 at www.upf.com.

County Launches Website on Water

If you pay a water bill every month, you’ll probably be surprised to hear that water is free. What you pay for is the cost of the infrastructure necessary to acquire, move and treat the water – plus the cost of treating wastewater when it leaves your home.

To help residents better understand where their water comes from and how tough water management choices can be, Hillsborough County Water Resource Services has developed a new website at www.hillsboroughwaterworks.com.

“It’s hard to get people interested in water — unless they are directly affected in some way. We hope this site will give people some ideas regarding why they should care about water,” said Bart Weiss, division director of the Hillsborough County Water Resource Team.

Hans Geissler Named Fellow in Civic Ventures

Hans Geissler, founder of Morning Star Fishermen in Dade City, has been selected as a fellow in CivicVentures, a think tank and program incubator helping society achieve the greatest return on experience.

The group, partially funded through The Atlantic Philanthropies and The John Templeton Foundation, awards Purpose Prizes to Americans over 60 who are leading a new age of social innovation.

Morning Star, featured in the Winter 2006 issue of Bay Soundings, teaches aquaponics to students from around the world in a practical, self-sustaining setting that maximizes space and other resources such as water.

New Research Head Named at Mote

Glen T. Shen has joined Mote Marine Laboratory as executive vice president for research. A marine geochemist, Shen most recently served as managing director for a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. His published work includes the prestigious international journal “Nature” and covers topics ranging from coral reef ecology to climate change.

“I’m very proud and excited to be joining Mote at this pivotal time in the laboratory’s history,” Shen said. “As a recognized leader in marine research, Mote and its scientists and remarkable volunteer corps can make a real difference at a time when the challenges facing our oceans are growing. I hope that my experience working in academia, government and industry will strengthen Mote’s ability to execute its diverse research and education missions.”

Barry Rosen to Lead USGS in Florida

Barry Rosen has been named director of the US Geological Survey’s Florida Integrated Science Center. He comes to the USGS from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where he oversaw the hydrology, engineering, modeling and overall integration and assessment of the south Florida ecosystem restoration projects.

As director of the USGS FISC, Rosen will lead agency natural science programs in biology, geology, geography, and water studies conducted through field centers throughout the state. In Tampa Bay, USGS is conducting a pilot study that brings together scientists from all four USGS disciplines - geology, biological resources, water resources and mapping – in a fully integrated team for the first time ever. For more information, visit http://gulfsci.usgs.gov/tampabay/.

Pasco Residents Receive Awards from 1000 Friends of Florida

Three Pasco County residents have received Community Steward Awards for their leadership on growth management and environmental issues from 1000 Friends of Florida, a “smart-growth” advocacy group. Jennifer L. Seney, director of Pascowildlife, Inc., was recognized for her leadership in the successful passage of “Penny for Pasco,” a local sales tax referendum for the purchase of environmentally sensitive lands. Seney now chairs the county’s environmental lands acquisition selection committee, which evaluates land for possible county acquisition.

Bob and Sharon Blanchard were recognized for their environmentally sensitive stewardship of the 1,798-acre Little Everglades Ranch in Green Swamp. The Blanchards have reforested the ranch and put their property under conservation easement with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, protecting it from development in perpetuity. They also played a key role in convincing Tampa Bay Water to reduce groundwater pumping through 2012.

Outdoor Education Fund Kicks Off with $10,000 Gift

The Charlie and Shirley Riddle Outdoor Education Fund at Camp Bayou has been created with a $10,000 donation from the Ruskin Community Development Foundation. The annual disbursement will provide funding to ensure that all schoolchildren, regardless of their family’s financial situation, have the opportunity to attend outdoor education programs at Camp Bayou.

While the land was purchased through the Hillsborough Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP), the Camp Bayou Nature Center is funded through the Ruskin foundation.

For more information, call 813-363-5438 or visit www.campbayou.com.

Groups Join to Call for Ocean, Coastal Renewal

Twenty conservation, recreation and civic organizations – the largest group ever to stand up for coastal restoration – have joined together and called upon Florida’s next governor to make protecting the state’s oceans and coastlines a top priority.

Their report addresses six key threats to a healthy Florida coast: Unwise coastal development, pollution, coastal drilling, unsustainable fishing practices, global warming, and the lack of a coordinated management system. Solutions include the reduction of government subsidies that encourage growth in high-risk coastal areas; strengthening of water quality standards; adoption of an ecosystem-based management approach to marine life and fisheries; and establishment of unified, coordinated government leadership for ocean and coastal resources.

Participating groups include Caribbean Conservation Corporation, Clean Water Network of Florida, Environmental Defense, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Ocean Conservancy, Reef Relief and the Surfrider Foundation. Additional groups that endorse the blueprint include Florida Oceanographic Society, League of Women Voters of Florida, National Parks Conservation Association, Save the Manatee and Sierra Club - Florida Chapter. For more information, visit http://www.nrdc.org/oceans/florida/flfuture.asp.

Hillsborough County Releases State of the Environment

The Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County has released its 2005 State of the Environment report highlighting water quality and air quality, as well as new mangrove protection efforts and wastewater violation settlements. For copies of the report, visit www.epchc.org or call (813) 627-2600.

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