The Nature of Florida with Oscar Corral

Michelle Colson "Mermaid Michi" Has a Huge Social Media Following And Is A Powerful Voice for Florida's Springs

March 24, 2022 Oscar Corral
Michelle Colson "Mermaid Michi" Has a Huge Social Media Following And Is A Powerful Voice for Florida's Springs
The Nature of Florida with Oscar Corral
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The Nature of Florida with Oscar Corral
Michelle Colson "Mermaid Michi" Has a Huge Social Media Following And Is A Powerful Voice for Florida's Springs
Mar 24, 2022
Oscar Corral

Michelle Colson, also known as Mermaid Michi, has amassed a million social media followers on TikTok and Instagram. They flock to her posts to see her lip sync and dance underwater in crystal clear Florida springs. She leverages her fame to bring awareness to the degradation of Florida's unique fresh water springs, and in the process spreads awareness about environmental issues to younger generations. Her instagram handle, @guardianofthesprings has become a well known source for unique underwater sing-alongs, mermaid culture and vital information about Florida's springs.

Show Notes Transcript

Michelle Colson, also known as Mermaid Michi, has amassed a million social media followers on TikTok and Instagram. They flock to her posts to see her lip sync and dance underwater in crystal clear Florida springs. She leverages her fame to bring awareness to the degradation of Florida's unique fresh water springs, and in the process spreads awareness about environmental issues to younger generations. Her instagram handle, @guardianofthesprings has become a well known source for unique underwater sing-alongs, mermaid culture and vital information about Florida's springs.

00:00:02:10 - 00:00:16:20
Unknown
Welcome to the nature of Florida, the Sunshine State's only podcast dedicated to its wild and natural places and the fight to preserve them. I'm your host, Oscar Corral, a two time Emmy Award winning filmmaker and journalist. I've dedicated much of my career to making films about environmental issues.

00:00:16:21 - 00:00:33:00
Unknown
Tune in each week to hear from a broad range of voices from scientists to surfers, activists to mermaids who are working on the front lines to save what's left of Florida's natural beauty and its wildlife. Welcome to another episode of The Nature of Florida podcast.

00:00:33:08 - 00:00:47:00
Unknown
My name is Oscar Corral. I'm your host. And with me here today is a very special guest who is today in human form. She left her tail behind to join us in her human form outside of the water.

00:00:47:18 - 00:01:03:18
Unknown
I welcome Mermaid Michie, Michelle Colson, a professional mermaid and also a well-known activist for Florida Waters, particularly the springs up in north Florida. And she's here today to talk everything about springs and Florida waters. And I want to give her a nice, warm welcome.

00:01:03:18 - 00:01:18:00
Unknown
Welcome. How are you? I'm doing well. I'm doing well. So first I want to ask you, are you can you confirm that you are in your human form right now and you're not a mermaid? Yes. Yes, I can.

00:01:18:13 - 00:01:36:04
Unknown
Let me let me show you these guys. Yes. So it seems to me following you on Instagram and and and social media and also knowing you for a couple of years now that you are it's almost like if you feel most natural when you're in the water.

00:01:36:04 - 00:01:50:08
Unknown
Talk to me about that. Yeah. So I've always been a water baby ever since I was little. I grew up around water. I grew up around the ocean swimming before I could walk. Right. All sorts of things related to water.

00:01:50:08 - 00:02:04:15
Unknown
I was in the swim team in Mexico and then when I came into my meeting, it was like a fish in the water. I was already a fish in the water. And then I didn't know how putting on a tail could literally make me a fish in the water.

00:02:04:23 - 00:02:20:01
Unknown
And yes, it really is where I feel the most alive. It is where nothing else matters in the world. At that moment in time that I am in the water, whether I'm in my tail, whether I'm not in my tail, it doesn't matter if I am in a Florida spring.

00:02:21:03 - 00:02:45:06
Unknown
Nothing else matters. Why? Why is that? What is it about the springs? So water is what sustains life on this planet. If there was no water. There would be this this would not happen. It would be like water is literally the driving force of everything that exists.

00:02:46:01 - 00:03:04:18
Unknown
This water in the springs is coming out of the aquifer and a lot of people don't know a lot about the aquifer, but it is literally water coming up from the ground to feed everything around it. Florida thrives and it is what it is because of the Florida Springs.

00:03:05:02 - 00:03:20:18
Unknown
Zoraida Springs and our aquifer are connected to not just the rivers, but the lakes, the Everglades, the ocean. It is all connected. All of the water all over the world is all connected. And if we're not taking care of it, it's bad.

00:03:20:21 - 00:03:38:22
Unknown
And for me, those places are sacred. I mean, for hundreds of years, settlers before us, before there was any technology or anything like that, they settled around these springs. These springs have a history in history of. Life that has evolved because of them.

00:03:39:07 - 00:03:56:01
Unknown
And I feel very blessed to have the ability to swim in them and to to be in that water that sustains life like, you know, magical, majestic water. I can't even describe the feeling that I feel when I am in those springs and where it's.

00:03:56:19 - 00:04:12:20
Unknown
It's degrading. It is degrading. It is threatened. I've seen the degradation in less than five, six years of my activism. And it's hard when I hear people that have grown up going to these springs and their stories like I think they're beautiful people to look at.

00:04:12:20 - 00:04:30:19
Unknown
Some of my videos are like, Oh, but if they actually knew what was going on in that picture, if they actually knew what that algae meant, the fact that there is no, you know, plant life, the fact that there is no fish, the fact that there's they just see this clear water and they're like, where is that

00:04:30:19 - 00:04:52:05
Unknown
? That's beautiful than it is. But they don't know that there's a sad reality to that. Right. And it's for so many reasons. I follow a bunch of different social media accounts related to the springs, and a lot of them are focused on showing how beautiful the springs are and the clear water and the natural flora and fauna

00:04:52:14 - 00:05:03:18
Unknown
. And that's great. I love that. That's why I follow them. But you're your page is, you know, you take it to the next level. You don't just talk about the beauty of these places. You've also done public service announcements.

00:05:03:18 - 00:05:17:14
Unknown
You've done activism. In other words, you're telling people not just that these springs are beautiful, but that they're vulnerable and that they're in danger of possibly disappearing. What? Why go that extra level instead of just documenting how beautiful they are?

00:05:17:19 - 00:05:36:06
Unknown
Why decide to sound the alarm? Well, just like I stated, you know, they are beautiful. They're beautiful bodies of water. I mean, I still even in their degradation, I find them majestic. I find like I regenerates every time I touch and swim and am in that water.

00:05:36:16 - 00:05:52:06
Unknown
And so it that, like I said a little bit ago, is the driving force of Florida. If there is no water in Florida, how is the public in Florida? Hundreds of thousands of people supposed to serve us. Hmm.

00:05:53:05 - 00:06:17:14
Unknown
Right. When a lot of the things with overpumping are aquifer is people don't realize that the the Florida aquifer is one of the biggest and one of the most water freshwater producing aquifers in the world. Yet Florida is expected to have water shortages by 2050, and it's already happening.

00:06:18:06 - 00:06:36:21
Unknown
Not only are we having water shortages, we're having massive, massive water pollution in in our water. So that not only is the shortage now happening, but our pollution is happening. There's just. And if we don't do something now and if I don't just if I just talk about the beauty of it and not actually show people what's

00:06:36:21 - 00:06:54:08
Unknown
going on and how they can help. I'm I'm just another pretty Instagram. I'm just another pretty esthetic Instagram. You know, I don't want that. I want to use my platform as a mermaid to raise the awareness that I know that I can with that mermaid platform now that I've.

00:06:55:23 - 00:07:12:16
Unknown
Been so involved in it. I couldn't see myself using my memory platform for anything else. I mean, it's got to be for for viewers who are tuning in just with audio. I want to let them know that this is a video Zoom call and Mitchell is joining us on video.

00:07:12:16 - 00:07:29:01
Unknown
And behind her, there are scenes of photographs of mermaids in the water. And I can't tell if those are you or if there are other people, my friends. But but tell me about that. I mean, it seems like like the mermaid culture in Florida started in Weeki watching, if I'm not mistaken.

00:07:29:20 - 00:07:45:05
Unknown
And. But but tell me how it has spread to the people. So just like any other kind of, you know, I guess you could say cosplay or hobby, this this notion of mermaids has always been a thing, right?

00:07:45:06 - 00:08:05:05
Unknown
Mermaids, for as long as I was before I was born has been a magical creature that everyone it doesn't matter who you are, are intrigued by. Everyone in this world is, for some reason, just drawn to this mermaid like more people, more folk scenario.

00:08:05:18 - 00:08:19:14
Unknown
And I'm when I got involved, I didn't even know that there was a community of mermaids. One of my friends gave me a tail because he knew that I loved mermaids. I put it on two years, two years wearing a tail.

00:08:19:14 - 00:08:38:11
Unknown
And then I realized there was a full mermaid community, just like there's the cosplays community, right? The the Star Wars people and that like just it was more people, more folk all over the world, everywhere. And it's. For me, I feel like a fish in the water.

00:08:38:11 - 00:08:57:24
Unknown
So it was just a match made in heaven. And again, what is what is a more folk or mermaid culture? You talked about getting a tail. Is it like like the equivalent of having fins on your on your feet, but like a joint fin that makes it one single dorsal fin or like, I guess.

00:08:58:13 - 00:09:09:16
Unknown
Tell me about that. What is what is it? What is it? What is the costume? What is the mermaid? When you transform into a mermaid, what goes into it? There's a lot that goes into it. I wish I could show you one of my tails.

00:09:09:16 - 00:09:24:13
Unknown
I mean, she's got a lot of tails here, but but there is ones that are just the mono fin, so. So that your legs are not bound together and you can swim with the dolphin kick, which is the kind of technique that we have to use to swim in tails.

00:09:24:20 - 00:09:38:03
Unknown
And then there's then you can take it a step further and put it on skin. Or so the skin goes over the mono fin and over your legs all the way up to here. So now you look like a fish, but there's fabric ones and then there's those silicone ones.

00:09:38:03 - 00:09:57:00
Unknown
So there's all sorts of different kinds of tails and prices and uses for tails. It's just the whole situation. So where do you get these tails? Like what manufacturer makes them? They tell me about these tails. It doesn't seem like something you could just pick up off the shelf in Wal-Mart.

00:09:57:01 - 00:10:12:05
Unknown
No. So mermaid has started the mermaid culture. The mermaid community is starting to grow more and more. I'm sure you I'm sure most people know they like mermaids are back. You know, after a long time, Ariel just appeared again and again.

00:10:13:01 - 00:10:30:03
Unknown
And so mermaids are a thing right now. And it it kind of. It's a it's a brand new industry in a sense that it is very new and it's a very new niche industry. But now there's more mermaids that are not just dressing up, looking pretty, taking pictures, dealing like mermaids.

00:10:30:03 - 00:10:47:12
Unknown
Now there's professional mermaids, mermaids that have turned this hobby of ours into a business, into a career, into a activist platform. Different things that we can do with this more sonar of ours, because that's what it is when we are human, we're human.

00:10:47:13 - 00:11:06:17
Unknown
And then women we turn into are more people are more folk. That's my Minnesota. So for me, it's kind of the springs. Yeah. Oh, the, the more jokes, the better. But yeah. So there's just it's a, it's a, it's an up and coming industry and there's a lot of new tail makers all the time.

00:11:06:19 - 00:11:21:03
Unknown
It's just it's a growing thing. You can get them from several toolmakers, but they're expensive. If you want a good tail for certain situations. So if you're just gonna swim and be a little kid, you probably won't start with $100 tail.

00:11:21:10 - 00:11:38:09
Unknown
But if you're going to do this professionally, high end events, you know, things like that, you're going to want a silicone tail and I can show you some tails if you want of kind of what I mean. But it's a whole thing that we would spend probably too long speaking about if I try to explain.

00:11:38:14 - 00:11:50:00
Unknown
Well, no, absolutely. This is this is the whole point of this is such an interesting conversation. Okay. So so going back to going back to the the you know, the tails and dressing up, you mentioned that there's room now.

00:11:50:00 - 00:12:02:00
Unknown
It's not just a hobby. Now, some people consider this a profession. And in the documentary that I'm releasing called The Fellowship of the Springs, which is about Florida Springs, it's a two part series, I should say. Mitchie is in the documentary.

00:12:02:00 - 00:12:14:14
Unknown
That's how we met. And she is she plays a big role in the film. She's up and she's a young activist who we met coincidentally filming in Alexander Springs in Ocala National Forest a couple of years ago. A complete coincidence.

00:12:14:14 - 00:12:32:09
Unknown
We were in the water filming and here comes this big group of mermaids and meet. She's among them. And she she's the one who gave us an interview. And since then, we've interviewed her several more times and and kind of followed her trajectory as she evolved from a mermaid into a full blown activist who is out there

00:12:32:09 - 00:12:43:24
Unknown
trying to help save the springs. So so my question is, when you how do you what is a professional mermaid? How do you make a living doing that? Is there is there a way to make a living doing that?

00:12:43:24 - 00:12:59:15
Unknown
And you described yourself and in the documentary as a professional mermaid. What does that mean? So kind of what I was going back to before when the mermaid culture first started, it was a hobby. It was somebody that people would love to get beautiful pictures and put a tail on, get, you know, beautiful.

00:12:59:20 - 00:13:14:22
Unknown
And then it started emerging into a business. So there's a difference between a professional mermaid and just a mermaid. A mermaid is one that is doing this as a hobby. She loves to take the photos, you know, loves to attend events.

00:13:14:22 - 00:13:27:23
Unknown
And the other, the professional mermaid is when you are getting paid for this, when you have turned this hobby of yours into a business, and there's so many different ways that that emerge, folk can do that. You can do events.

00:13:27:24 - 00:13:48:15
Unknown
So those are the things that I started doing. I started doing kids parties, corporate events, you know, concerts, swimming in different places, festivals like charities. Currently, I'm doing a lot of different things for women's shelters where the women go and have their kids there and.

00:13:49:17 - 00:14:11:05
Unknown
A mermaid shows up. And obviously that's very event oriented. So that is a way that people can do that. People can work in aquariums. People can work in or it can work in Weeki Wachee. There's just all sorts of avenues because this is such a new industry that we are creating those jobs for ourselves.

00:14:11:06 - 00:14:27:06
Unknown
I've been to events and attended events where you have mermaids and mermen in tanks and actual water tanks on display. Do you do that or is it mostly out of the water? Professional appearances. So I've done some tank stuff.

00:14:30:02 - 00:14:47:19
Unknown
I wouldn't say that it's not for everyone. Right. So you have to be completely comfortable in water, especially performing for a crowd. So if you're it's a it's kind of like an act. So not only do you have to act and look beautiful, but you're doing it underwater.

00:14:47:19 - 00:15:06:15
Unknown
For people who are watching that really want to know that this is a mermaid thing. So in tanks, I do events where I'm in a pool. So for New Year's this year we did an event and another mermaid in an event, a kind of hotel beach thing.

00:15:06:15 - 00:15:18:13
Unknown
And they put a pool. There was a pool and they put a plexiglass over the part of the pool and people could walk over and see the mermaid swimming under the plexiglass. And then we were also in the pool.

00:15:18:23 - 00:15:32:16
Unknown
So it just depends on what the the client wants and what we can tell them that they want. So most of the time is us trying to tell them why they need a mermaid at their event. Right? Because it's kind of hard to explain, like, well, why do we need a mermaid?

00:15:32:16 - 00:15:46:06
Unknown
Will you have a pool and a mermaid? You know, it's it's still a thing, but those are just the different kinds of ways. Now, for me, I've not only turned that into my business and have right now the girl's house that I'm staying at, she's my business partner.

00:15:46:06 - 00:16:10:03
Unknown
We have a business together here in Ocala called Mermaid Springs. So it's just there. We're starting this mermaid community all over, and I've taken mine a little bit of a step further and added activists to that rule because it, in my opinion, we are mermaids means of the water that is like it is in the word mermaid

00:16:11:08 - 00:16:28:14
Unknown
. And who better than a mermaid? Who better than a half human half fish? Who can speak to humans, who has, for whatever reason, a magical connection to every human that that mermaid touches? How do kids react to the mermaid?

00:16:29:02 - 00:16:42:09
Unknown
To the mermaid appearances and adults? I mean, what kind of reactions do you get from people when you show up at these different events? You know, as a mermaid and with a tail and swimming in water or even out of the water, what kind of reaction do you get?

00:16:43:07 - 00:16:59:11
Unknown
I would say about 90% of people from as young as, you know, two one years old all the way up until I think the oldest lady was like 89. Wow. Ah. In ah, ah, ah, ah. You can't, can't get over the fact that there's a mermaid.

00:16:59:11 - 00:17:12:16
Unknown
It doesn't matter what setting it is, whether they're looking at her underwater or they're looking at her, you know, with their grandkids, it is amazing to me. Well, people tell me, what do you love about this? Like, why do you do these kinds of events, the kids events.

00:17:13:00 - 00:17:33:16
Unknown
And it's because not only do we get to see and make a kid's dream come true, but then looking back at their parents, smiling from ear to ear, you're making not only that child's life, but then the parents is is also like, oh, my gosh, like my my little girl, my little boy.

00:17:34:04 - 00:17:54:03
Unknown
You have little boys. You bring up a good point. This is not just mermaids and women. I've also filmed men in the water with mermaid or mermaid tails. And so it's it's it's not just for women. This is something that is that is, you know, for for anybody who's interested in and living out that that fantasy of

00:17:54:04 - 00:18:11:09
Unknown
of being, you know, a creature in the water. Pretty much, yes. And that's why I try to their focus is because this is this is for everyone. Yes. The word mermaid is more widely known and talked about than merman or mariner folk.

00:18:11:20 - 00:18:32:03
Unknown
But we are a pod. We're a pod of more folk. There is mermaids, there's mermen, there's tritons, there's like Myrna corns. There's just all types of more folk and it's very inclusive. I've learned that. I absolutely love it.

00:18:32:03 - 00:18:45:06
Unknown
There's no there's no shape, there's no size. There's no age. There's no there's no nothing. When you want to be immortal, you just are. And I love it. I embrace it. I remember that first encounter we had in Alexander Springs.

00:18:45:06 - 00:18:56:21
Unknown
This was back in 2019, I think, and we showed up to film, just to film the beauty of the spring. And all of a sudden I see all these I didn't even I didn't even know that mermaid or folk culture existed.

00:18:57:04 - 00:19:07:17
Unknown
These I had no idea. All of a sudden I see you and other friends, you know, changing into these tails and kind of going into the water and putting the tails on. And I'm under water and I see people swimming.

00:19:07:24 - 00:19:19:09
Unknown
It's mermaids, mermaids and mermen all around me. Um, what have I stumbled into? This is I got to film this, and that's, you know, that's kind of what led to you being in the film. That's how we kind of connected.

00:19:19:18 - 00:19:41:14
Unknown
And that was kind of a twist of fate, I think, because, you know, activism is activism is it's a matter of getting attention and it's a matter of calling attention to an issue. And I think that the Murphy platform is powerful because it triggers people's imagination and it reminds them that they're, you know, they come from water

00:19:41:19 - 00:19:56:02
Unknown
and that there's a deep connection to and plus the, you know, the whole fantasy of of the mermaid and merman is amazing. It's so bright, so vivid. I remember, you know, I have two daughters and I remember them watching The Little Mermaid and kind of wanting a mermaid costume.

00:19:56:09 - 00:20:09:18
Unknown
But, you know, but as you grow older, you realize that it's you know, it's not just a Disney cartoon. It's a it's it's actually a connection to water that people have. We are water. What's that? We're water. We are water like we are.

00:20:09:20 - 00:20:25:13
Unknown
We are literally made up of water. We could go I think it's I think it's almost been like months without eating. But we cannot we will die in 3 to 4 days if we don't have water. Yeah. How crazy is that?

00:20:25:24 - 00:20:35:11
Unknown
Even I'm from South Florida, I'm from Miami. And I can't tell you how many people I know down here that have never been to a spring, that have, you know, some haven't even heard of springs. They don't even know they exist.

00:20:36:13 - 00:20:51:06
Unknown
But I think. Tell me about that that feeling when you first jumped into a spring. I think I remember reading. Are you telling us that you first went to a spring at Ginnie Springs? Tell me about that feeling of going into a spring for the first time and what it triggers.

00:20:52:08 - 00:21:09:12
Unknown
So for me, I've always as as a water lover, and I've always seen videos and photos of this beautiful, pristine, clear water. But in my lifetime, at that moment in time, I hadn't actually seen it in person. Now, I lived in Miami.

00:21:09:12 - 00:21:31:05
Unknown
I grew up in Miami. I lived in Miami most of my life. And it wasn't until about the ages, I think 18 or 19, that I moved out of South Florida and I did not know, just like I would say, more than half of the people in Florida that there were fresh water springs in Florida, that Florida

00:21:31:06 - 00:21:46:17
Unknown
is one of the states that has the most one of the places in the world, that has the most concentration of springs in the entire world. And people don't know that it has a lot. Florida has the largest springs and the highest concentration of freshwater springs on earth there, as unique as the geysers of Yellowstone.

00:21:47:03 - 00:22:04:06
Unknown
And for people who don't know what a spring is there these beautiful, clear waters that flow from the earth, it's just like the aquifer. The aquifer just pumps water out into the surface. And this clear water flows and and it sometimes forms a stream or a river.

00:22:04:08 - 00:22:19:15
Unknown
And it's it's always about the same temperature, 72 degrees, which sounds sounds warm. But if you're in the hot Florida summer, it's actually extremely refreshing and cool. And and it's just they're an amazing they're amazing places we cannot survive without that water.

00:22:19:16 - 00:22:33:21
Unknown
That water is sacred. The fact that I am blessed enough to know about them and to get to immerse myself in the water that sustains life on this planet, to me is just it is like a rebirth. I can't even describe it.

00:22:33:21 - 00:22:52:09
Unknown
And we unfortunately are losing that water. Tell me about this. The threat to the springs. What is your activism about? What are you what are you fighting? We're fighting humans. We're fighting the footprint that unfortunately, humans that we are allowing.

00:22:54:02 - 00:23:13:01
Unknown
We're allowing this to happen and we are directly causing it. Indirectly. Indirectly. People don't know. And it's not ignorance. People don't know what they don't know. And if they don't know that freshwater springs exists, they're not going to know that they're in danger, that there's stuff that we have to act now in order to have this water

00:23:13:18 - 00:23:27:01
Unknown
. They're not going to know that. And so for me. It started as let me show how beautiful these springs are. And then it was like, Alright, people don't even know that these exist in Florida. I need to, I need to get this ball rolling.

00:23:27:01 - 00:23:41:02
Unknown
And there's so many other people in Florida that I have come across this and I'm trying to make connections as well with the notice that notice that all of the water in Florida is degrading and degrading and degrading.

00:23:41:03 - 00:24:02:10
Unknown
I mean, we're right now, we're fighting a battle in the Indian River River Lagoon. More than 400 manatees have died this year from January to now. That's almost the same amount that died in all of 2020. Have died in two months because of the loss of seagrass.

00:24:02:23 - 00:24:13:17
Unknown
So people don't know. People don't know what they don't know. And the only way to get this information out there is to be loud to to be loud and to put it out there. Whatever a way to do that.

00:24:14:03 - 00:24:29:19
Unknown
Then underwater as a mermaid. Tell me about your handles. How do people follow you on Instagram? Tell me about your your social media. How can people follow you? So right now, I'm mostly on Instagram and TikTok and my handle is Guardian of the Springs.

00:24:30:04 - 00:24:53:19
Unknown
So Springs. Guardian of the Springs. Great. I have obviously several mermaids that I also love and I am involved with my business, with my business partner. It is Mermaids of the Springs and we're working on other things. I want to open up a nonprofit that involves caring for the Springs and showing them in this way.

00:24:54:08 - 00:25:12:04
Unknown
I want mermaids involved. This weekend, on Sunday, we are doing a march to march for to save these manatees. Right now in Florida, it is illegal to feed a manatee. And the reason why they're dying in this Indian River lagoon is because there is no seagrass for them to eat.

00:25:12:04 - 00:25:31:12
Unknown
They have because of the pollution that humans have created. That Indian River lagoon where manatees come during the winter has lost a little over 20,000 acres of seagrass. So manatees are starving, they're initiated, they're starving, they're cold because it's been the winter and we're finding too many dead.

00:25:32:07 - 00:25:44:12
Unknown
So on Sunday, we're going to do a march and we're going to be loud and there's going to be mermaids there. I got a bunch of mermaids that are going to show up and we're going to show up and there's like, we just have to care about this.

00:25:44:12 - 00:25:57:18
Unknown
And the thing is, it's contagious. When you put a mermaid, a magical being doing like caring for the world in the way that most of us activists are doing. It's contagious. It's contagious to see the happiness is contagious.

00:25:57:18 - 00:26:11:23
Unknown
To see like it just draws you in. I haven't seen anybody that I know that it hasn't done it. Some people take longer than others, but once people realize what truly this means to us, what this water means to Florida, they get it.

00:26:12:16 - 00:26:30:20
Unknown
Because once you get them to realize that just like you and just like me, we're all water and we need this water. You want to protect that, right, as well. So there's a there's a great line in our documentary and it's in our trailer, in fact, that said, it's you and you say the mermaids are not going

00:26:30:20 - 00:26:52:02
Unknown
to go down without a fight. And so I guess the lesson to be drawn is don't mess with the mermaids. Yeah. I mean, I will say this, mermaids have their nice side, but we are also sirens. And right now mermaids are being very loving towards our springs and towards our oceans.

00:26:52:02 - 00:27:10:06
Unknown
But there are some of us that don't care if we're fighting $1,000,000,000 company to come at this mermaid. Because I am not giving up without a fight. I'm not scared. And nobody scares me in this world. Nobody there's no big corporation.

00:27:10:06 - 00:27:28:23
Unknown
There's no nothing that I don't believe. That is, as more folk and as humans, we have the power. We just need to unite. And I know that that's my purpose. I came here to this world to help save and guard these springs and the waters of the planet, because it's all connected and people are starting to rally

00:27:28:23 - 00:27:43:04
Unknown
behind the mermaids and mermaids are starting to rally behind the mermaids. You know, there's mermaids that are just doing this for a hobby and are starting to realize like, Holy moly, if I want to do this and continue to do this as a hobby and if I want to take these photos and, you know, so it's just

00:27:43:04 - 00:27:56:15
Unknown
a ripple effect. It's a ripple effect. And I really do think that we are going to come out winning in this situation. That's a great note to end on. A note of optimism, a note of hope. If you haven't gone out to a Florida spring, get out there.

00:27:56:22 - 00:28:10:04
Unknown
Try to make it past the gravitational pull of Disney World in Central Florida and head just a little further north and you'll hit the springs are amazing places that are truly addictive. If you go to spring once, I mean, you're a lifelong fan.

00:28:10:05 - 00:28:29:06
Unknown
It's amazing. And and be aware of what's happening to follow Mitchie on on Instagram on Tik-Tok Mermaid Beachy. Michelle Carlson and I want to thank you much for joining me today and talking to me about about the music culture and and for and for all you do for the springs.

00:28:29:06 - 00:28:43:17
Unknown
So look out for our documentary. You'll be in it. Coming up in the next few months. And I hope that we have many more future conversations. Yes, I'm I'm very excited. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you for doing what you're doing to raise awareness about our springs and our beautiful water.

00:28:43:24 - 00:29:01:08
Unknown
And this is definitely not the last time that we're going to we're going to talk. So I look forward to continuing our Water Warrior work. This episode of The Nature of Florida podcast was brought to you in part by the Filburn Foundation, the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida and Explica Media.

00:29:01:09 - 00:29:16:08
Unknown
If you're enjoying this podcast, remember to subscribe on our website, The Nature of Florida with Oscar Corral, Dot Bus, Broadcom. That's the nature of Florida with Oscar Corral, dot bus, Broadcom. Or find us on your favorite platform and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.