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Help others understand and appreciate Florida's natural beauty. Upload an image of your favorite animal, plant or place and tell us why we should all care for it and strive to protect it.
We will share it on our website and social media. We will also ask you to help us spread the word and get others to see that "Florida is... Nature."
Help preserve our wilderness. Help save our environment.
The following events are postponed and will be rescheduled after Hurricane Irma:
(Postponed due to Hurricane Irma)
Senator José Javier Rodríguez and Miami Waterkeeper present “Florida is…” Exhibit Preview and Conservation Talk
September 7 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
(Cancelled due to Hurricane Irma)
“Florida is Nature” Artist Talk in Pinecrest Gardens
September 11 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am
(Postponed due to Hurricane Irma)
Mayor Corradino and Commissioner Levine-Cava host official opening of “Florida is…” exhibition in Pinecrest Gardens
September 13 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen and the International SeaKeepers Society host the closing of “Florida Is…” exhibition
October 5 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Exhibition runs through November 19th, 2017
11000 S.W. 57th Avenue
Pinecrest, FL 33156
Learn more at
Florida is.. Sea grapes | Coccoloba uvifera (see http://nativeflags.org/sea-grape/)
Coccoloba uvifera is a species of flowering plant in the buckwheat family, Polygonaceae, that is native to coastal beaches throughout tropical America and the Caribbean, including southern Florida, the Bahamas, the Greater and Lesser Antilles, and Bermuda. Common names include seagrape and baygrape.
In late summer, it bears green fruit, about 2 cm (0.79 in) diameter, in large, grape-like clusters. The fruit gradually ripens to a purplish color. Each contains a large pit that constitutes most of the volume of the fruit.
Florida is… Poisonwood (Metopium toxiferum)
“Poisonwood (Metopium toxiferum)
Poisonwood is an evergreen shrub or tree that grows 25–35 feet tall in hammocks, pinelands, and sandy areas near saltwater. It is particularly abundant in the Florida Keys. As of this writing, poisonwood’s range has only been confirmed in five counties in South Florida: Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe. The tree has a spreading, rounded form with a short trunk and arching limbs with drooping branches. The bark varies in color from reddish brown to gray, depending on the habitat, and has oily patches of sap on the surface; older trees have scaly bark (Figure 13). Each leaf is comprised of three to seven oval leaflets, although five leaflets are typical. Leaves are glossy and dark green above, paler underneath, and have smooth margines (leaf edges). Irregular blotches of resin dot the surface of many of the leaflets (Figure 14). The fruit is ½ inch long, oval, yellow to orange in color, and hangs in loose clusters (Figure 15). The poisonwood fruit is an important food source for the threatened white crown pigeon.
Do not walk where poisonwood is known to grow during a rainstorm. Rainwater dripping off the poisonwood leaves contains urushiol, which causes contact dermatitis.”
25 years ago a #hurricane came barreling into my hometown at 168 miles an hour. It came out of nowhere… 48 hours earlier, the #Category 5 monster hadn’t yet been classified as a hurricane.
They gave it a name.
And told us to take cover: Under a #mattress. In the #bathroom. Find the safest room in the house. A bunker, if you had one. Hide.
#Storms are named in alphabetical order. Their way of bringing order to irreparable chaos… This was the first storm of the 1992 hurricane season; so its name started with an A.
A as in August. As in too early, too soon, too quick. As in Alpha.
Catastrophe landed at dawn, lifted our rooftops and swirled into our living rooms.
Destroying buildings, even killing some.
Exiting in the Gulf a few hours later, property damage was the largest in American history.
Gripped us before, during, and, yes, after.
It changed many things; everything, actually.
Just as much as it destroyed, it gave opportunity for renewal.
Many people took stock of their lives. Who they were. What they meant to one another.
Neighbors saw each other in a new light. Without electricity, water or security, they looked out for one another, helped each other.
Openness, new beginnings.
People began reimagining a new future.
Questioning past building practices and developing new, safer ones.
Sea-level rise is the new threat on the horizon. It magnifies the threat extreme weather events will bring to our shores. In the future, the water may not recede. Neighborhoods may forever be lost. Insurance may not be able to cover the damage. Folks may not be able to ever return home.
Together, we must remember who we were on August 24th, 1992 –neighbors helping neighbors, as we manage to chaos to come.
Understanding that when one of us suffers, all of us suffer, we need to take stock of everything that is at stake and begin making the right decisions. Communities must be engaged. Policy-makers must be proactive.
Vigilant, as we face an uncertain future, we must do all we can to better understand. We must be science literate. We must be able to understand, communicate and listen to the science.
We must summon the courage today to make the right choices for tomorrow’s reality. Choices that strengthen community and build equity as we face an uncertain future.
X, Y and Z aren’t letters used in naming Atlantic hurricanes. We usually don’t get past W… But Hurricane Xavier, Tropical Storm Yolanda, and Hurricane Zach may soon come into our lexicon.
You can expect more extreme weather events with warming seas. Future hurricanes will be more dangerous, more erratic and more frequent. Their storm surge deadlier, and their damage costlier as we insist on building closer and closer to the water’s edge.
Zooming towards Texas, Hurricane Harry is in the Gulf of Mexico today. It appears to the first Category 3 storm to hit the US mainland in a decade. It is a serious threat. It’s the eighth named storm. And its only August 24th.
August 24, 1992 brought Andrew as the first. That felt bizarre enough.
Florida is,,, the #SunshineState
Xavier Cortada, “Brother Sun,” digital art, 2015.
Celebrating Pope Francis’ upcoming environmental encyclical: Cortada created “Brother Sun,” a digital art piece to celebrate Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical titled ‘Laudato Sii’ and St. Francis’ Canticle of Brother Sun.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
“As we address climate change concerns, I wanted to depict the life-giving energy source at the center of our solar system — ‘radiant in all his splendor!’” stated Cortada. “Eight centuries after the patron saint of animals first sang about Brother Sun, all of Earth’s creatures (including humans) are threatened by human disruptions to the perfect, but fragile balance created in synchrony with the sun.”
Florida is… #BiscayneBay
From Wiki: Biscayne Bay (Bahía Vizcaína in Spanish) is a lagoon that is approximately 35 miles (56 km) long and up to 8 miles (13 km) wide located on the Atlantic coast of South Florida, United States. It is usually divided for purposes of discussion and analysis into three parts: North Bay, Central Bay, and South Bay. Its area is 428 square miles (1,110 km2). The drainage basin covers 938 square miles (2,430 km2).
In 1975, the bay was designated as a state aquatic preserve. The aquatic preserve spans the entirety of Biscayne Bay from Oleta River in the north to Card Sound in the south, with the exception of the central part of the bay, which is Biscayne National Park. A second preserve was soon added off of Cape Florida on Key Biscayne, which became known as the Cape Florida to Monroe County Line Preserve. These two preserves are now managed by the state of Florida under the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves. Seven remaining houses of Biscayne Bay’s Stiltsville settlement are now within the boundaries of this National Park which was established in 1980. Much of Biscayne National Park was designated as a National Monument in 1967. Barnes Sound lies within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. In regards to wildlife, bottlenose dolphins and Florida manatees can be observed in the bay.
The bay has been known by several names. Juan Ponce de León called it Chequescha in 1513. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés called it Tequesta in 1565. The British, during their occupation of Florida, called the bay Cape River, Dartmouth Sound, and Sandwich gulph. Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda related that a sailor from the Bay of Biscay called the Viscayno or Biscayno had lived on the lower east coast of Florida for a while after being shipwrecked, and a 17th-century map shows a Cayo de Biscainhos, the probable origin of Key Biscayne. The bay was known as Key Biscayne Bay in the 19th century, finally shrinking to Biscayne Bay late in the 19th century.
Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was chosen for the Release to Tide series Cortada created for CLEER (see http://cortada.com/2015/WaterSCCF) because its natural charisma. The local dolphin population in Florida’s Sanibel / Captiva area stays in the bay and near-shore waters year-round. Why migrate if you have what you need? It has been determined through dorsal fin photo identification that 300-400 dolphins live, feed, breed and play in the upper Pine Island Sound area.
Florida is… Gasteracantha cancriformis #floridaisnature #spider.
Gasteracantha cancriformis is a species of orb-weaver spider (family Araneidae). It is widely distributed in the New World. The genus name Gasteracantha derives from the Greek words γαστήρ (gaster, “belly”) and ἄκανθα (acantha, “thorn”), while the specific epithet cancriformis derives from the Latin words cancer (“crab”) and forma (“shape, form, appearance”).