I had the opportunity to attend the 28th Annual Everglades Coalition Conference this past weekend in Coral Gables, Florida. The Everglades Coalition Conference is a three (3) day conference dedicated to discussing legislative initiatives related to the Everglades ecosystem as well as initiatives related to Everglades restoration, conservation, preservation and management. There were representative profit and non-profit organizations from the National, State and local levels in attendance at the conference.
Although I did not engage in any photography while at the conference, I found the topics discussed to be very educational and enlightening. Guest speakers and panels discussions had individuals from the Water Management District, Army Core of Engineers, Federal and State Congressmen and women, fishing guides, scientists, agriculturalists and sportsmen. Each presenter brought a different perspective and different methodologies to the conversation but the underlying goal was the same, preserve the Everglades and the animals and plants contained therein for future generations enjoyment.
The primary message I got from the conference was that although we have made great strides in Everglades restoration, preservation and conservation we have a long ways to go before we can declare victory. Through my many hours spent driving, walking, fishing, camping and photographing the Everglades I have developed a great love and respect for this ecosystem. However, it would be more enjoyable without the millions of mosquitoes. I plan on doing my part in getting out the message and working toward restoring and preserving the Everglades for my children and grandchildren.