A "strand" swamp - Jennings State Forrest, Middleburg. Florida
Since the arrival of our ancestors, more than 30% of the formerly existing wetlands have been drained for residential development, "flood control", and agricultural use. The process continues, particularly along the coastal and recreational corridors. As I think back across the 22 years that we have lived in east-central and northeast Florida, the amount of human encroachment on the natural environment of the Sunshine State is astonishing. As a northern invader myself, I understand the allure of Florida -- it's warmth and economic opportunity. Admittedly, I have to keep my hypocracy tucked into a back pocket when I turn a critical eye and voice or vote upon those who would continue the development trend of the last century. But I have learned to love this place -- this ecology -- all places and native environments, really, but Florida all the more because I live here, and have learned to appreciate it's simple, original, natural gifts. Thus The Florida Project. My own effort, as a single voice, as a member of larger organizations, as a citizen-voter, as a professional, as an artist, a photographer, a songwriter -- to make some small impact to preserve, at least in memory, some piece of this miraculous natural geography.
Black Creek -- a tannic "back-water" river -- northeast Florida
I'm not at all sure what the end-product of this will be -- a book, a blog, a consortium of existing nonprofit organizations, a CD, a documentary, some combination or all of the above. But something it will be. Made out of the threads of my spare time for now as I continue to meet the calling of an important and very meaningful career, something it will be... it is far too important for it not to be. Stand by -- and let's see what happens.