Back to Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - June 7, 2007)
Every drop makes a difference
Have you noticed how it seems people are more on edge lately? Tempers are a little
shorter than usual and tolerance levels seem to be lower. Although the spring
weather in Florida has been relatively mild with low humidity, the rainless weeks
have taken a toll.
|Photo by Karen Mitchell Tremmel
|A Southern Black Racer visits
the planter for a cool drink on a hot day.
Smoke from forest fires fills the atmosphere like gray fog. Our lakes are either
dried up or at all time low levels. Many rivers and creeks have run dry or are too
low to canoe. The grasses are burned dry. Theres a tension in the air.
Our bird baths have increased in activity by birds in search of clean, fresh water
sources. This past week in our garden weve noticed a most unusual sight. A
southern black racer has been fearlessly slithering out in broad daylight to sip a
drink from the planters. Things just arent the same.
In a press release on April 16, from the Department of Environmental Protection a
task force was announced: Gov. Charlie Crist and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson today joined
Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Commissioner Charles Bronson, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Secretary Michael W. Sole, Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Craig
Fugate and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District Commander Col. Paul
Grosskruger to discuss the current drought conditions and water conservation
measures in Florida.
The waters of the nations second-largest freshwater lake, Lake Okeechobee
and tributaries have fallen to record breaking lows. The 2007 State of Florida
Drought Action Plan declares: Lake Okeechobee, the source of water for the
Florida Everglades and the primary back-up water supply for most agricultural users
and residents of the SFWMD, is currently at 10.08 feet, the lowest elevation ever
recorded in the month of April and more than 4 feet below its historical average
for this time of year. At this low level, water from the lake cannot be used to
replenish the regional supply.
SFWMD advocates conservation and has issued restrictions to limit both residential
and agricultural use to address the water shortage. Crist urges Florida residents
to conserve water. Every drop of water makes a difference, and water
conservation needs to be part of everyones daily routine. And yet
Floridians continue to ignore the recommendations, warnings and signs all around
them. It is as if they have blinders on.
So what can you do to conserve this precious natural resource: water? The Action
Plan recommends 50 Ways to Be Water Smart including: Never pour water down the
drain when there may be another use for it. Use a broom or blower instead of a hose
to clean leaves and other debris from your driveway or sidewalk. Do not waste water
waiting for it to get hot. Capture it for other uses such as plant watering or heat
it on the stove or in a microwave. Read all the recommendations at: www.dep.state.fl.us/drought/tips.htm
Check it out. Be part of the smarter solution. Help change the world one drop at a
time ... back to nature.
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.