Back to Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - April 3, 2008)
Where theres hope
Gentle sunbeams filter through delicate, chartreuse, newly
unfurled leaves, as if light striking multiple panes of stain glass suspended from
the tree branches. Father cardinal is dressed in his very best red cloak to greet
the morning, and his lady, in full song.
The martins are busily playing house while planning family reunions, swooping,
circling, and singing joyful melodies. A lizard warms upon a bright yellow
strawberry pot; sapphire jeweled tail sparkles. The sky is turquoise blue. The
weather is temperate. The landscape is painted in a fresh glazing of green. The
world seems new.
In spite of winters dropped leaves, fallen limbs, forgotten trails, and
frozen-back branches, new buds are forming, new sprouts are pushing through warmed,
damp soil, home and garden shelves are filled with potted herbs and petunias, while
backyard mowers are being dusted and primed. A new season awaits us and its
Like a youthful whisper heard above the wind, there is hope in the air. Everyone
is talking green. Its the latest buzz and like the
word spreading among industrious bees the message is finally being
heard from large corporations and government efforts such as: the Florida
Forever Five Year Plan conducted by The Department of Environmental
Protections Division of State Lands in partnership with local governments;
and the United States Navys Keep Right Whales Safe Program to
smaller, just as important, efforts by individual consumers opting to take home
groceries in reusable cloth bags or switching to using non-toxic, biodegradable
cleaners in their homes.
Florida Forever has acquired more than 600,000 acres since 2000 and allocates $300
million annually to purchase land. Today, virtually all of the funding through 2010
is already obligated for anticipated land purchases, so efforts still need to be
emphasized and funding maximized.
Florida Forever is crucial to protecting habitat for the incredible variety
of wildlife in our state. From bears to butterflies, and for people, too,
Floridas land conservation programs have saved precious, healthy natural
resources for us all, said Laurie MacDonald of Defenders of Wildlife, another
Florida Coalition steering committee member group.
The United States Navys efforts are an integral part to the survival of the
350 to 400 remaining Right Whales on the eastern coast. The U.S. Navy reports:
The critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale migrates from waters off
Eastern Canada to the safety of the Atlantic waters off the southeast coast, close
to Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, and Naval Station Mayport, to birth their
young. The annual calving season runs from Dec. 1 to March 31.
To protect this endangered species, the Navy implemented Right Whale mitigations
on ships and shore stations in the Jacksonville and Mayport operating areas.
Whether its the operation specialists in Fleet Area Control and
Surveillance Facility at NAS Jacksonville, or the deck seamen lookouts aboard ships
like USS Doyle, the Southeast Region works with the Coast Guard, the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission and other mariners to save Right Whales.
Going Green couldnt be cooler.
With hope in the air, consumers, educators, government agencies and conservation
organizations, also realize this is the critical point of pushing the stone finally
over the ledge. Keeping up the momentum and encouragement is integral to the
success of all the efforts that have brought us to this green awareness
of today. Florida Forever is scheduled to expire in 2010. There are less than 100
Florida panthers left in the wild, while the U.N. announced March 18, that the
worlds glaciers are melting away at record breaking losses. ScienceDaily
reported: Prof. Dr. Wilfried Haeberli, Director of the Service said:
The latest figures are part of what appears to be an accelerating trend with
no apparent end in sight.
We are standing upon a precipice. We can relax to the tasks ahead claiming it is
time for others to take the lead or we can continue to inspire and motivate those
that will carry on our efforts into the future. The stone is heavy, but the
mountain is not insurmountable. There is hope ... back to nature.
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.