This remarkable photograph was recently taken at Volusia Blue Springs by John Moran (http://www.johnmoranphoto.com). Over 500 manatees had gathered! This certainly begs the question: “What is the proper term for a large group of manatees?”
Are they called a “herd” like their cousins the elephants?
No, I learned, they are not…
A large group of manatees is referred to as “an aggregation.”
That’s kind of strange? Isn’t that terminology reserved more for molecular biology? Apparently not!
Terminology aside, I just wanted to share John’s wonderful photo. Isn’t it beautiful? Florida is so cool! Panther, bears and manatees!
As it warms up and these gentle giants disperse into our estuaries, please be aware that under your boat could be one, two, or an “aggregation of manatees.” 😁
“Manatees often swim alone or in pairs. They are not territorial, so they have no need for a leader or followers. When manatees are seen in a group, it is either a mating herd or an informal meeting of the species simply sharing a warm area that has a large food supply. A group of manatees is called an aggregation.” https://www.livescience.com/27405-manatees.html
It is amazing to realize how much of the Florida Constitution ensures protections of the environment, and yet we see the continued degradation of the natural resources of our state. It’s time we learn our constitution by heart, make sure it’s followed, and take action to see if something need be added.
Today, I am going to list the areas of the constitution that have to do with the environment for easy reference. You can click the links below to see the full amendments.
In 1968, “ardent environmentalist” and respected state representative, John Robert Middlemas, of Panama City, insisted that words of support for environmental policy were placed in the historic constitutional revision that same year.
In his honor, I ask that all fellow environmentalists review below, and ask oneself how to make these words take on a new sense of urgency as our springs, rivers, and natural lands need our voice. At the end of this article, and after reviewing our state constitution, if so inspired, please feel free to enter your own constitutional proposal or improve one that’s simply being ignored.
The CRC is considering September 22nd as the deadline for public proposals so please submit soon!
As an aside, it is my honor to serve as the Chair of the CRC’s General Provisions Committee, which is charged with examining Article II of the Florida Constitution. If you have comments or thoughts regarding Article II (or other provisions relating to the environment), please email me at Jacqui.Lippisch@flcrc.gov.
Here is the list of current environmental provisions in the Florida Constitution:
General Provisions (Article II): Section 7, Natural Resources & Scenic Beauty/Everglades Agricultural Area
Miscellaneous (Article X): Section 11, sovereignty lands; Section 16, limiting marine net fishing; Section 17, Everglades Trust Fund; Section 18, disposition of conservation lands; Section 28, Land Acquisition Trust Fund, (Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, 2014.)
To enter your own proposal or idea regarding the environment:
Go to gov/Proposals/Submit to create a free account and submit your proposed change to the Florida constitution. The online tool allows you to create your proposal using legal language by redacting or adding language. Remember to keep it simple and clear.
Using the same program, submit your proposal to the Constitution Revision Commission and sign up for the alert emails. Commissioners will review proposals and determine which proposals should be placed on Florida’s 2018 General Election ballot.
*Proposals can also be emailed to the commission at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sent in the mail to: Constitution Revision Commission, The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399. Thank you so much for conserving and protecting the great state of Florida!
People who really change the world are often not seen as much as some others. They orchestrate their goals like the Wizard of Oz, behind a curtain. So today, I wish to pull the curtain aside and credit Cris Costello of the the Florida West Coast Sierra Club, who is changing our world in the state of Florida in a big way.
I first met Cris in 2009, when the I was trying to usher through a strong fertilizer ordinance for the Town of Sewall’s Point ; it was only my second year as a commissioner, and I needed lots of help. And suddenly she appeared, like “Glenda the Good.”She contacted me, introducing herself, commending me on my efforts and forwarding me helpful information, ammunition, and contacts, to help me achieve me goal. Then she was gone but she came back to congratulate me when the town’s strong fertilizer ordinance passed in 2010, the first on Florida’s east coast!
Through out the years there have been other experiences with her like this, at the Florida League of Cities, at the Sugarland Rally in Clewiston, fighting the Florida Legislature each year as some there try to take away our Home Rule to have strong fertilizer ordinances and other water protections, and most recently the Clean Water Summit (CWS) in Orlando.
Cris helped organize people and press from all over our great state, as people all over our great state have water issues: overdrawn aquifers, algae filled springs, creeks filled with agricultural and residential fertilizer runoff, the dying Everglades, and especially “us,” the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, with our filthy canals and releases from Lake Okeechobee killing “one of the most bio-diverse estuaries in North America.”
I believe Cris saw the amazing citizen river/lagoon protests that occurred in Martin and St Lucie Counties last summer, and brought the movement state wide. The opening comments of the Clean Water Summit of which hundreds attended were: “The Indian River crisis spurred this movement. It is our responsibility to embrace this movement and embodied it now as a state.”
Today Cris and others organized the Tallahassee Clean Water Rally and thousands of citizens are signing the Clean Water Declaration, see link above. Hundreds of people will be descending upon the steps of the state capitol today, to say to our legislature: “Clean Water IS business in Florida; it’s our business!”
Kudos to Cris and those who are changing our world fighting for clean water in Florida. Let’s give her and her team a loud round of applause!