Conserving the Current: The Year of the River
by: Davis Yancy Clegg
The concept of a community – from our perception -can be diluted to where we only perceive it as our immediate surroundings. While maintaining a beautiful lawn to keep the homeowners association in your favor is a noble pursuit, conditions exist outside of our own backyards that require our collective efforts to preserve the environmental stability on a much larger scale. The St. Johns River is of said scale. Jacksonville’s Mayor Alvin Brown, the Cummer Museum and the St. Johns Riverkeeper came together to collaborate a year round awareness campaign to help preserve the St. Johns River economic viability. Together, they announced that 2015 shall be dubbed “The Year of the River.” The St. Johns River has such an enormously impact on the city’s economy that goes unnoticed by many (if not the local majority). The goal is to recruit upwards of 50 institutions to raise awareness of the vast economic impact the river provides. “The celebration of the Year of the River is all about valuing the St. Johns River, and the first step to protect our mighty river is having that strong sense of responsibility and value and care for the St. Johns,” St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman said. “By us getting together to celebrate the Year of the River it really gives us an opportunity to give something back to our river, because it’s really shaped us as a community, and it’s part of our being. It’s part of us celebrating and valuing our great river.”
With any altruistic behavior, there will always be both supporters and skeptics. There are many eco-conscious supporters of the cause. However, with history’s redundant and often boring habit of repeating itself – much like mainstream radio relentlessly regurgitates the newest Taylor Swift ditty (in case you missed it the first 17 times on any given day) – skeptics are on center stage more often than not! Hater’s will most definitely ‘hate hate hate hate hate hate.’ Taylor has a point there! What matters most is that we focus on the precious resources that are our biggest assets and cannot be held to compromising circumstances.
Here at Amelia River Cruises, we take great pride in our team. We are very fortunate to have Justina Dacey as our resident Marine biologist. Which coincidentally, was what I always dreamed of being as a kid! It’s fascinating to me still! Justina plays a major role in one of our tours that EVERYONE must venture on at some point. It truly is an educational and flat-out fun experience! Our guests will be coached on the operation of an Otter Trawl shrimp net. It is the most commercially used shrimp net in the industry today. Wouldn’t you know! These nets were developed right here in Fernandina Beach, FL. Fernandina Beach knows Shrimp! Deploying and retrieving the net is part of the hands-on experience. The catch will then be displayed in an on-board aquarium and each of the creatures will be identified by Justina and released back into the wild. After our guest have been educated via the on board display aquarium, its back out to explore the estuaries and several other renowned sights before returning to Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach.
The Eco-Tours are 2 hours in length and ticket Prices are $27 for adults and one $17 for the little explorers! Click here to secure your seat now!!!
Until Next time.. Stay Salty Friends