Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thank you Juanita Greene, Lloyd Miller and Lancelot Jones

I wrote 5 years ago, "Biscayne Bay is where I feed my soul. It is conveniently close to my home that it seems spiritually reckless to think of it in such a way. After all, we find inspiration in those individuals who have shared their stories of spiritual awakenings through nature while traversing dangerous mountains or paddling treacherous waters in remote areas of the world. To the contrary, Biscayne Bay casually shoulders up to Miami. The presence of the city is a constant reminder that we need to nurture our wilderness with all our hearts as we live our urban routine. When I am in the city, I know Biscayne Bay is with me, like a good friend that might say goodbye one day."

And for Biscayne Bay, I thank those three great people, Juanita Greene, Lloyd Miller and Lancelot Jones. Without one of them, this park would not exist and an oil refinery would sit where I now photograph the bird rookeries. Where fishermen now chase bonefish in the shallow flats, freighter boats would instead be moving in and out of the deep water port. But because of the brave voices that stood up for Biscayne Bay, it became a protected park monument in 1968. In 1980, it became a national park, over 180,000 acres worth.

There are two unique qualities of this national park. A major city lays adjacent to it and 96% of it is water. And let's not forget the Turkey Point nuclear plant and Mount Trashmore, both located on the edge of the park. Maybe it is especially for these reasons that Biscayne Bay must be carefully watched over and cared for. As the park management moves toward expanding the no-motor zone on my beloved bay waters, I think nostalgically over the years that I have spent exploring this bay and experiencing its highs and lows.

From one vantage point, I have been reminded of our urban reality:

But from another, I share this reality with you:

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