Thursday, March 19, 2009


Sorry kids, y'all know Miss Vero's head was a lovely shade of fuzzy green when we got in at noon yesterday from our St. Paddy's parties. So, many festivities, so little time. We took a long beauty sleep nap and woke up in time to watch the "Atocha Adventure" special we told y'all about and then went over our emails. We then realized that LDouglas' Green Acres post could not wait another week because it is happening now! So, here we are on Thursday with our regular Wednesday post "Greetings from Green Acres". We'd also like to add our two cents and remind everyone about the beautiful white pelicans on Indian River's own Pelican Island. If we were going to spend anytime watching wildlife locally,it would be to watch these beautiful birds right in our own backyard (and quite easy to do actually):

This is National Wildlife Week
(March 16th to the 20th), and a very good time to be reminded of the importance of protecting wildlife. Some people don't think it’s so important and bemoan the fact we protect spotted owls and beach mice. But by protecting wildlife we are really protecting ourselves.
Wildlife ='s Nature ='s Environment ='s Prosperity.

All inextricably linked. When you protect wildlife, you in effect protect habitat which is nature, which is also the environment. You also protect the sustainability of resources. Prosperity doesn't do you much good if that means having a million dollars in the bank you can't spend because nobody has raw materials to manufacture goods, or you don't have water coming out of your faucet or you’re sick.

Fortunately, we're learning wildlife, nature, the environment has more than quality of life value, it has monetary value and plenty of it. The Nature Conservancy recently released a report of just how valuable nature is. For example, Florida State Parks raised $70 million of general revenues in the form of sales taxes and generated over 20,000 jobs. Fishing and hunting, an $8 billion dollar industry in 2006 brought in about $800 million in taxes and generated over 85,000 jobs. Wildlife viewing is another $5 billion industry and it goes on. Not to mention the value of flood control and replenishing aquifers and water supplies.

That's the good news. The bad news is that we may be raising the first generation of Americans to grow up disconnected from nature.

If you're from the generation who grew up watching Gadabout Gaddis, The Flying Fisherman, or Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, or the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau or Marty Stouffer's Wild America, there's a good chance you spent a lot of your spare time playing outdoors. Even though there are even more nature shows today and they are as popular as ever, our kids are spending too much time indoors. If you think that describes your children or grandchildren, you might want to check out "Green, the parents place for nature play and learning".

The web-site is run by the National Wildlife Federation promoting the "Green Hour". Ideally that’s an hour a day set aside for "unstructured play and interaction with the natural world". Besides the benefit to nature- people who love nature are more apt to fight to protect it- the benefit to children is better physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It may seem ironic a part of Green Hour's message is unstructured play and yet each week they publish a "fresh issue full of activities and information to help guide the exploration and focus on fun outdoor activities", but it's good for parents or grandparents who may like some guidance.

Miss Vero's blog last week reminded us of just how wild wildlife can be. Fortunately, it isn't everyday we have news of a hungry Florida panther on the prowl. But we do have frequent sightings of bobcats though you may never be lucky enough to see one. The next best thing and what I think is a fun activity for kids is to look for their tracks. You can often spot them on any of the Buffer Preserve trails. But beware, you may miss the forest- not because of the trees- but because your looking down for tracks. A day or two after a rain is usually a good time as the slate has been wiped clean and you get a better picture of what went through most recently. But you don't need to visit the buffer preserve to see animal tracks, you'll more than likely find them on any sandy hiking or walking trail you choose. Go to the beach early in the morning and you'll see turtle tracks going up and turtle tracks going back down. Sometimes you even see baby turtle tracks heading down. Get out there.

Other News

Something that needs our immediate attention, if you’re so inclined to agree, is our Renewable Electricity/Portfolio Standard requiring utility companies to meet the target of 20% renewable energy. The politicians who sit on the committee are being pressured by the nuclear industry to include nuclear energy as renewable. Nuclear just doesn't cut it as green renewable energy. First, uranium is a finite resource. We’re trying to get off relying on other countries for our energy needs and would be buying uranium from Russia to meet the demands. Besides that, current customers are charged for the very expensive construction of new nuclear plants, federal taxpayers are on the hook for loan guarantees and for accidents, as well as paying for storage of nuclear waste. A short time ago we paid $500 million to upgrade Yucca Mountain for storage and it still can't meet the demand for spent nuclear waste scattered around the country. Who knows what the tab would be for new sites secure enough to store the waste until we figure out what to do with it or should the utility company not meet its loans or a terrorist flies a plane into one.

From the Sierra Club:

Please email or call Governor Crist, at; (850) 488-7146, and ask him to stand up to utility lobbyists who are trying to undermine the RPS intended to reach his target of 20% renewables by 2020. Your outreach to the Governor will make a difference!
Contact the following state legislative leaders:
They sit on key committees that will have significant influence over the RPS – it’s important that they hear that you want a real clean renewable energy portfolio, and that nuclear power has no place in a policy intended to promote renewable energy! Senator Lee Constantine (Orlando) (850) 487-5050
Senator Jim King (Jacksonville) (850) 487-5030
Representative Paige Kreegel (Punta Gorda) (850) 488-9175
Representative Debbie Mayfield (Vero Beach) (850) 488-0952

BTW, It just so happens a bill fast tracking permits for new nuclear power plants is making it's way through the Florida Legislature. The nuclear industry has a lot of push, let's show them we have more. Please send a quick letter or make the call. And please be sure to tell Ms. Mayfield you're one of her constituents, as it has extra effect. Thanks!

More about Green Hour:

More about National Wildlife Week:

The report by the Nature conservancy: Economic Benefits of Land Conservation, A Case for Florida Forever:

A shorter article summing up the benefits:

TTFN, LDouglas


LDouglas said...

I received the May 2009 issue of The Herb Companion today and started to read. On page 9 is the winning essay in an essay contest they held. I see why it won- it's a beautiful essay.

It's about passing down a love of nature and gardening to another generation. Even more meaningful is that the writer lives and owns a business in Vero Beach.

You can find it here:

Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to agree about nuclear energy not being renewable energy and sent an e-mail to all on the list with a link to the blog. I had to look up the Governor's e-mail, your link led me to yahoo. It's They have 80% left to include nuclear, they don't need to include it in the 20% for renewables.

Signed, a fellow blogger from Blogsville.

BlessUrHeart said...

More good info, LD! I hope we can all try to convince the elected people that, once elected, they should keep their campaign promises and actually listen to people who don't weild the big money bags, but good luck on that.

Did you want to see the list of contributors to the Mayfield campaigns? Ain't no Joe Sixpacks, lemme tell you. FPL and other energy companies, right up there with all the developer money. Sigh -- are we ever gonna elect people who care about us?

BlessUrHeart said...

oops, "wield." sorry . . . typed too fast.

LDouglas said...

"Sigh -- are we ever gonna elect people who care about us?"

Probably only when integrity and honesty is more prestigious than expensive cars and mansions, BlessUrHeart.