Fifty years have passed since my parents took this picture. The family was visiting the zoo and my mother told me to stand on the back of the giant tortoise for a photograph. I was four years old, and I refused. I “didn’t want to hurt the turtle” by standing on its back. My mother held the power in the negotiations. She won and I lost. I stood on the poor tortoise, but made sure my mother and father knew that I was mad about it. I gave it my best frown as there was no way I could hide my dismay ~as I wished to befriend and pet the turtle, not to stand on it.
The 1968 photo has become a family classic.
Over the years, I have learned that it is often the case, when dealing with the environment, that people with more power than I, tell me what to do. I often end up “standing on the turtle,” but today I smile. I have learned to conform, and I have definitely accepted that being mad, or mean, will get me few friends and even fewer successes.
This week, when I was in Washington DC with the Everglades Foundation, I was assigned to a great lobbying team. Our job, along with others, was to convince key congressional members of two things: 1. Authorization of the EAA Reservoir through the Water Resources Development Act as a portion of the CERP, (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan), the master plan to restore the Everglades, that is cost-shared 50/50 between the State of Florida and the Federal Government. 2. Increase the Federal Funding for CERP as the federal contribution needs to increase to at least $200 million to begin to meet its cost-share commitment.
The feedback we got from the lobbied members of Congress was positive; however, sometimes I felt like that little girl standing on the tortoise when members in power told me that even with the approvals, if they were approved, Everglades restoration and improving the state of the Northern Estuaries and Florida Bay will take many, many years. “After all the Army Corp of Engineers has a very specific process…”
I smiled, but deep down inside I was frowning.
The environment, like the giant tortoise, should be treated more respectfully. Slow is for turtles, not for crises.
America’s Everglades Summit 2018: http://www.evergladessummit.org
WRDA, Water Resources Development Act: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Resources_Development_Act
EAA Reservoir: https://www.sfwmd.gov/our-work/cerp-project-planning/eaa-reservoir
Senate President Joe Negron/EAA Reservoir: http://sunshinestatenews.com/story/negron-concerned-about-initial-sfwmd-modeling-everglades-agricultural-area
13 thoughts on “Slow is For Turtles, Not for Crises ~Lobbying for the EAA Reservoir, SLR/ILR”
Keep UP your GOOD work Jacquie. Maybe someday they will listen and ACT NOW before its too late.. Uncle Dale etc
Re the giant tortoise. I can relate. Many years ago while snorkeling off Key Largo, I was having fun standing on the coal reef near the surface. I was chastise in my trek by a nearby environmentalist who advised I was killing the coral by stepping on it.
A twist! Those environmentalist can be a nuisance. 🤣
What a great photo, Jacqui! You made my day!
On Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 11:27 AM, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch wrote:
> Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch posted: ” Fifty years have passed since my parents > took this picture. The family was visiting the zoo and my mother told me to > stand on the back of the giant tortoise for a photograph. I was four years > old, and I refused. I “didn’t want to hurt the turtle” by s” >
Ha! Glad you liked it! My mom said I got the story a bit wrong. It was Cypress Gardens and my grandfather made me stand on the tortoise! 🙂 But I remember it just like I wrote :).
So Jacqui….are you drinking yet?!? 😏
Always! 😁try 4 after 5😆
It would be nice to have Mr. Murray from the Murray show to give every public official going into the White house a lie detector test to find out if they are there to work for the citizens who elected them or special interest groups. You would for sure create a crisis.
The creatures in our lagoon are no longer being starved to death—miles and miles and miles of sea grass where it has never been before.
I am sorry but it makes me really really pe-oed to hear army corps. telling whopper lie that it will take many, many years for the waters in our northern estuaries to come back. Chactawhachee Bay is where I grew up fishing and diveing. Already a generation has been robbed of the blissfull childhood I had. Today I waded the NEW grass flats and saw they were being mowed down to about 4 inchs high. I have seen mullet doing a little swim in place dance when they ate manitee grass but now am almost certain they are eating turtle grass too. I am frowning on the outside but smileing on the inside.I have been drivein US 1 the length of the lagoon to Boca and see no birds the whole way . No birds is a sure sign everything is dead. Thanks for putting up with me.
Hi Jacqui, May I reprint this in Currents? It’s too beautiful not to share with a wider audience. Barbara
On Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 10:06 AM Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch wrote:
> Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch posted: “The creative seed for this blog post > dates back to 2011. On November 1st in 2011, my mother forwarded Bill > Lyons, son of famed Stuart News conservationist and newspaperman, Ernest > Lyons, an email that had been sent to me by Mrs. Sheri Anker of the St > Luci” >
Absolutely. Thank you Barbara. I read through your magazine today. I am so very sorry for the loss of your son in law. You and yours are in my prayers.