Saturday, October 20, 2012

Restoring wetlands, Tampa, Florida

I'm winding down Day 1 of 5 at the Restore Americas Estuaries conference (RAE) here in Tampa, Florida:

and I had a fabulous time today with the RAE Tampa Bay Watch:

In a few hours, about 80 of us planted about 10, 000 spartina alterniflora plugs in a restoration workshop. Apparently it was the last plug planting for the Cockroach (named for what the first settlers thought blue crabs look like) Bay project. Cockroach Bay began their restoration work in 1987. When they began, it was an ugly sand quarry and a moonscape. Today's work completed a big milestone for this most major piece in the restoration of Tampa Bay's 400 square miles of open water and 2000 miles of shoreline, so actually an interesting example of what I would call applied trigger point theory.

Blue crab carapace

This evening I am heading out to a special estuaries workers yoga class and then I'm off to the glamourous task of doing my laundry- I fell out of the canoe, slipped in the black mud 3 additional
 times).  And remarkably, I have preserved my manicure.

On the bus out to & back from Cockroach Bay, I sat next to Jeff Benoit, Pres of RAE and learned a lot about this important organization and how they have survived the shrinking federal budget for wetlands restoration, despite their essential role in so many environmental issues today. We also talked about engaging ecological artists in restoration and using social media for outreach. I told him that what I think ecological artists offer land managers includes imaginative framing and a captivating narrative. We approach & organize restoration work totally differently than land managers. I didn't add but will presume it will be obvious in my Wednes. presentation here, that we also make unique connections. About social media, I suggested he not try to make it perfect, just leave it raw. Raw is it's own style, most economical and actually, most accessible an has worked well for me without any marketing. The Gulf to Gulf webcasts on vimeo have been download from 58 countries..

No comments:

Post a Comment