From the President

                                            

      Reflections  - Summer 2018

Having just returned from an environmental and ecological adventure in the Galápagos Islands and the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador, I cannot help reflecting upon my own involvement with Deerfield Island.  The island is but a unique “left-over” from the development and construction of today’s Florida.  Once a part of the fresh water marsh that helped drain the Everglades, it is now an isolated parcel of native and invasive flora and fauna residing in an urban community.

The rainforests of the world are under siege by the forces of development,  just as our unique Everglades are.  These forests are being cleared for agricultural production, housing development and the harvesting of trees and wood production.  The rainforests are unique in being the source of many plant and animal species.  Many of them have properties that are as yet undiscovered.  Measured utilization of these global resources should be encouraged in order to preserve them for future generations.

The value of Deerfield Island lies not so much in its history, but, in what it can bring to educating the public relative to our own unique position as having been a part of the “great sea of grass” that once flowed down the great state of Florida.  We can demonstrate and encourage native plant horticulture, while explaining the damage that invasives can do our community. Supporting the restoration of the Everglades and replenishing the aquifer through rechanneling  the drainage systems closer to what it was prior to the great assault on the Everglades.  Some of this has already begun.  Currently we have seen extensive rains that we would hope was replenishing the aquifer, but that is not the case.  Much of that runoff is merely directed into canals and channels that ultimately just get dumped in the ocean.  We can each help change perceptions and the direction of local, state and federal activities.  We can do this not just for ourselves, but for the future.