Living Wild in Florida

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Storks

 

It’s no secret that biodiversity is threatened by the rapid growth of cities, and Florida, while home to three National Parks and a huge variety of other natural destinations, isn’t immune to this particular threat. It does have, however, the advantage of facing this while armed with advanced science and the overall prevailing attitude among people towards having a better relationship with the environment, according to data provided by Sunshine State Survey. The Sunshine State may very well set an example for how urban-dwellers can sustainably co-exist with other critters, with firsthand knowledge of how their survival means a lot for the upkeep of our natural resources.

Even Miami, which has the largest metropolitan area among all the cities in the state, still boasts rich biodiversity. Some would even go as far as comparing it to Australia. Discover Homes Miami documented in a blog post that, “It’s not only humans who want to live in a beachfront property. So too do various bugs, snakes, gators, and reptiles; the place is like an open zoo of sorts.”

In South Florida, extraordinary efforts from ordinary citizens demonstrate that it’s possible to peacefully co-exist with their wild neighbors. For example, alongside being a rehabilitation center for distressed wild animals, South Florida Wildlife Center is currently running a campaign called ‘If You Care, Leave Them There’ to educate the community about wildlife. Efforts like this matter a lot for a city that attracts hundreds of thousands of residents from all over the country each year revealed Business Insider. The people who decide to live in the city for a long time, after all, must develop the richest knowledge of the place, as they eventually get bigger stakes in taking care of the environment, and are most rewarded for it.

While Travel Tips suggests state agencies such as The Department of Environmental Protection and The Bureau of Beaches and Coastal Systems ensure the protection of natural resources as well the proper management of state parks, it’s also important to think about how the skills and experience of the private sector can also make a great contribution. A study from the University of Florida highlights the potential that private owners hold for improving the environmental situation by continually trying out ideas that may strike the perfect balance among recreation, sustainability, along with profitability for those that take care of these places.

 

Starling in City

 

Indeed, the state of the environment shouldn’t be the concern of this or that group of people alone. Government and private businesses, experts or enthusiasts, as well as citizens and tourists alike can all contribute towards taking care of natural resources and wildlife. While it is helpful and important to think of this as everyone’s duty, it matters equally that people continue to recognize nature, with all its beauty and mystery, as a gift, and a reward that’s worth pursuing. In 2016, Floridians listed the environment as their second most important concern, next only to the economy. One can only guess that if the people of the Sunshine State care about the environment this much, it’s because they’re among the people who know how to best enjoy it.

Come and enjoy our environment as well.  Hop on one of our popular Shrimping Eco Tours and explore the backwaters and tidal creeks. (learn more…)

 

 

 

Let’s Preserve our Precious Wetlands

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Intracoastal Fernandina Beach

 

For the longest period of time, waterways all around the globe were thought of in only one light. Littering and playing ignorant to all the ecosystems affected by man’s actions has led us to a point that no longer allows us to claim ignorance. The wetlands in northeast Florida were once thought of as nothing more than economically stunted areas in need of reclamation. So, in the 1990’s, a series of canals and levees were built. These ditches had a sole purpose: to drain the wetlands, making way for economic opportunities. Agriculture and urban development projects took precedent over the protection of Florida’s wetlands. In fact, since Florida became a state in 1845, over 70 percent of the wetlands have been converted into projects like the aforementioned. It’s an incredibly easy philanthropic ploy to talk about changing things, and to make promises to expand the conversation regarding our environmental woes and pending efforts. Yet, action isn’t always taken. Ernest Hemingway gave us quite a few “real talk” moments throughout his life. He once wrote, “Do sober what you say you will do when you are drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut!” While alcohol is not likely the most determinant factor regarding our lack of environmental awareness and activism, too many empty promises are made by both private citizens and government agencies.

Sunset at Fernandina BeachIt goes without saying, one hundred years is quite a long time. We are far better informed about pollution and environmental protection than the chaps that set out to destroy the wetlands in the name of progress. Nowadays, we have begun to grasp just how important the wetlands are to the nourishment of the indigenous Floridian wildlife, water quality and the economic flow into our communities from tourism dollars – many of which come from tourists in search of the perfect marsh-framed sunset snapshot.

Even though it took the better part of a century, notice has finally begun to be taken, and actions have followed suit. What have we learned? Well, when we allow our wetlands to be deteriorated in such ways, the effects are compounded over time. Many of these are not only irreversible, but the devastation that ensues as a result doesn’t end, even in the event we were to cease destroying them. Progress is quite poorly defined. Profit and progress are not synonymous. The conversion of wetlands into developed urban areas has resulted in a number of negative impacts on the environment as a whole. Things like increased rate of erosion, storm water retention ineffectiveness, wildlife habitat destruction and the slowed release of nutrients needed to sustain the countless ecosystems crucial to the area have all occurred as a direct result of wetland destruction.

As the 1980’s came to a close, President Bush – “H” – vowed that there would be “no net loss of wetlands.” Presidents that would follow would keep this promise as a cornerstone of their campaigning. Even still, in the few short years between 1990 and 2005, nearly eighty-five thousand acres of wetlands were lost in the St. Johns area alone. That’s almost 6,000 acres a year. Florida’s flat terrain and sea level positioning puts the 11 million acres of wetlands well beyond the other 47 states that share the continental boundary. Let us not take the abundance for granted. We only have one Earth – and only so many acres of wetlands – to lose.

 

The perfect place to enjoy and learn about our Eco system is to join us on one of our popular Shrimping Eco Tours. You will learn all kinds of great things about our environment. (… continue)

 

 

 

Just Around The Corner – The 54 Annual Shrimp Festival

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Decorated Shrimp boats at the Shrimp Festival

 

To the Duke of Newcastle, James Oglethorpe once wrote, “This next island, the fairest of this province, I call Amelia.” Fairest of the surrounding islands is a most accurate observation. With only 52 square miles making up the entire island, 13 of those miles are pure, untouched beaches. Dunes for days, and stars for nights make for the most serene of getaways. Being the only territory in the continental United States under dominion of 8 different flags for over 500 years, there is no shortage of culture for the most soulful of travelers.

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Unicorn of the Sea – the Narwhal

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Narwhale

 

Widely – yet incorrectly – believed to be a character introduced in Greek mythology, The Unicorn, an equine-like creature, was first documented in early natural history. It came to be known as a symbol of purity. If you wanted any shot at catching the absurdly illusive creature, you yourself had to be a symbol of purity. Yep, only virgins could capture the woodland creature. The common imagery when thinking of a unicorn’s horn is a long, spiraled, pointed object. To create the appearance that unicorns were a reality.

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Protect Water from Pollution

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Intracoastal Amelia Island

 

Government funded agencies, nonprofit organizations, and – last but certainly not least – concerned individuals are our world’s best defensive line against the destruction of our planet. Unfortunately, there is only one way to destroy our planet. It’s by our own hands. As industry pushes forward, society has evolved to become obsessed with its own survival. In that act, mankind has neglected that which is responsible for its’ own survival. Before environmental awareness took on a more public presence, pollution was all but overlooked in modern America.

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Got Water?

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Sunset on an Amelia River Cruise

 

 

New perspective makes themselves known in every all sorts of ways you never before imagined if you look deep within the confines of your everyday experiences. The greatest illusion of all is that of control. It is quite certain that there is none. As children, we have our toys… God be with whomever dares to go near the ones that are deemed untouchable. Yet inevitably, at some point when the guard is down, your favorite transformer finds its way to a spot where it has never belonged. The day is marked, and control has been lost for the first time.

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“And So It Begins” the Anton Laplume Band on the Amelia River Cruise

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

 

The Anton Laplume Band

 

A buzz has been vibrating the surface of the music scene in the Southeast. The source, you ask? That would be none other than the emanating sounds of The Anton Laplume Band. With rhythmic bass lines echoing the phrasing of Bootsy, melodies so infectious they’ll take control of your dreams. Lyrics that embody the struggles of the mundane, and grooves that make the song you’re hearing become your only concept of time. Why wouldn’t you want to experience the vast flavors of this musical spread?!

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Boo Radley Music Duo Joins Amelia River Cuises

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Boo Radley Music Duo

 

It is with great pleasure that we at Amelia River Cruises welcome the acoustic stylings of the Boo Radley Music Duo. Michael Shawn Turner and Patricia Matson have been working together as a duo, creating a sound that has yet to be comparable to any other local sound. With high quality vocal harmonizing backed up by the organic sounds of full-body acoustic, warm tones and well-rehearse harmonies set the Boo Radley apart from any other duo in the Northeast Florida music scene.

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Find Your Zen on Cumberland Island

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Robert Stafford's Plantation

Robert Stafford’s Plantation on Cumberland Island, GA

 

In this age, we have become quite savvy at discovering new ways to find harmony with ourselves. Many find solace in performing a simple mantra every day when they arise from what has been – hopefully – a good night’s rest. “Your destiny is your own.” “I am calm and collected.” “The day holds nothing I can’t bear.” Repeating’s mantras just like these have been documented to make a person feel secure and empowered, ready to take on their grind for the day.

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Adopt a Pet and Gain a Lifelong Friend

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Dog on the boat

 

One of the most beautiful things about being or becoming an American, a privilege not to be taken lightly, is owning your own domesticated animal. Pets are what turn your down time into fun time of the day. Yes, when they are little, they can leave you with – quite literally – a handful. Sure, there are all sorts of animal lovers out there. Dogs and cats are great, but don’t believe for one second that the only viable pets in today’s culture are only house cats and Frisbee-dominating dogs. I grew up in a neighborhood that we could have opened as a half-way legitimate wildlife reserve. With the neighbors keeping everything from ferrets, possums, sugar gliders (flying squirrels), and even the occasional snake, there was never a dull moment where our pets and interactions among them were concerned.

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