Crunchy, veggie "Money Bags" appetizers; spicy, green curry sauces; lobster Pad Thai -- a heady potpourri of aromas fueled a lively discussion on some of the most important, but overlooked, environmental problems plaguing South Florida and the Water Conservation Areas where the Miccosukee Tribe make their homes.
Mary Jo explained the scope and breadth of her visionary mission: to empower communities in the various watersheds of Florida to initiate integral projects that offer multidisciplinary solutions to the environmental problems of the region.
Of particular concern at this business lunch meeting was the problem of the L-28 Interceptor Canal -- a direct line from the Western Basin of the Everglades Agricultural Area which brings waters high in phosphorus direcly onto the Miccosukee Federal Reservation. These dirty waters are contributing to changes in flora and fauna which simply can not be fixed without switching to a Geological Time Period. This is why it's so important to stop this high phosphorus runoff now. -- and this doesn't even touch on the negative impacts on the Miccosukee Way of Life.
What should be sawgrass plains has converted to a dense vegetation of cattails and other plants. These changes in the environment block access to Miccosukee Villages and make it difficult to practice ceremony, customs, and a unique Way of Life.
Robin Haines-Merrill of the Upper Room Art Gallery brought her experience to bear on the discussion. And Geovanny Perez brings a Sociological gaze that is very astute in analyzing the consequences to Environmental Justice.
We wrapped the discussion over a delicious Sticky Rice dessert, and promised to link up with activist-artists that are doing great work addressing the problems of a polluted Lake Okeechobee.
Teamwork makes the Dream Work!