The Nature of Florida with Oscar Corral

Louis Wolfson III, a major developer of affordable housing in America, talks about his fight to protect the everglades and springs of Florida.

June 06, 2022 Oscar Corral
Louis Wolfson III, a major developer of affordable housing in America, talks about his fight to protect the everglades and springs of Florida.
The Nature of Florida with Oscar Corral
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The Nature of Florida with Oscar Corral
Louis Wolfson III, a major developer of affordable housing in America, talks about his fight to protect the everglades and springs of Florida.
Jun 06, 2022
Oscar Corral

Louis Wolfson III; Learn how old-school Key West piracy played a role in the origins of the Wolfson family, whose descendant, fifth-generation Floridian Louis Wolfson III, has become an environmental leader in Florida through philanthropy. Today he leads one of the largest affordable housing development companies in the United States. But his love of the water and Florida's natural places are his passion. From the time he captained his own Boston Whaler at the age of 8, he explored the waters off South Florida and has seen their evolution. This history tour of Florida with Wolfson takes listeners on vivid journey through the area’s vaunted waters. Those early encounters with Roseate spoonbills and flamingos triggered a life-long love and commitment to see them survive for future generations. Today, Wolfson, a construction entrepreneur, wants to help make sure what’s left of South Florida’s nature - its everglades, bays, reefs and forests - are saved. 


Show Notes Transcript

Louis Wolfson III; Learn how old-school Key West piracy played a role in the origins of the Wolfson family, whose descendant, fifth-generation Floridian Louis Wolfson III, has become an environmental leader in Florida through philanthropy. Today he leads one of the largest affordable housing development companies in the United States. But his love of the water and Florida's natural places are his passion. From the time he captained his own Boston Whaler at the age of 8, he explored the waters off South Florida and has seen their evolution. This history tour of Florida with Wolfson takes listeners on vivid journey through the area’s vaunted waters. Those early encounters with Roseate spoonbills and flamingos triggered a life-long love and commitment to see them survive for future generations. Today, Wolfson, a construction entrepreneur, wants to help make sure what’s left of South Florida’s nature - its everglades, bays, reefs and forests - are saved. 


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 - 00:00:32:19
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. Hello, everybody, and welcome to The Nature of Florida podcast.

00:00:32:20 - 00:00:47:13
Unknown
With me here today is a very special guest, Louis Wolfson III , the third. He's a fifth generation Floridian. He grew up on the water in south Florida. Today, he's one of the founders of Pinnacle Housing Group, one of the leading housing affordable housing developers in the United States.

00:00:47:14 - 00:01:02:21
Unknown
He's also a philanthropist who has donated extensively to environmental causes, including Everglades restoration. Welcome, Lewis. Welcome. Good day. Good to be with you, Oscar. So so, Luis, tell me a little bit about growing up in South Florida as a fifth generation Floridian.

00:01:02:21 - 00:01:18:04
Unknown
I remember reading that your grandfather was a crank. He was a Key West native and born and reared in Key West. Absolutely. Being a fifth generation, the roots go way back, even before Colonel Wolfson, who was born in 1900 in Key West.

00:01:18:15 - 00:01:46:11
Unknown
But Louis Wolfson. The first was on a Russian freighter working from New York to Charleston to Cuba to Key West to New Orleans. And that was pretty much the trading route for the south, the southern Caribbean. And the pirates turned off the lighthouses of Key West on a regular basis so that the wrecking industry could thrive.

00:01:47:00 - 00:02:01:17
Unknown
And they turned the lighthouse off. The freighter ran up on the reefs. The people were saved and brought ashore, and everything on the boats went to the Pirates of Key West, the richest city in the United States of America in the 1850s.

00:02:02:04 - 00:02:26:24
Unknown
This was in 1889, however. So that's how we swam ashore in Key West. The colonel was born in 1900, and so he was a punk, even went through endemics and pandemics in Key West, where they would get in their boats and go out into the waters and hang out on islands and fish and catch rainwater and be

00:02:26:24 - 00:02:51:15
Unknown
in solitude so that they didn't get the disease and died. And then he came with his parents in 1917 to Miami. Colonel Wolfson, my grandfather, said he saw every street light go up and every sidewalk go down so that his the population of Miami at that time was like 3500 people when he came to Miami, because Key

00:02:51:15 - 00:03:15:24
Unknown
West is actually older than Miami. Key West was established and had a had an international community and population way before Miami ever did. Very much so. Absolutely. St Augustine and Key West, where the two biggest cities in Florida by far and oldest and you both thriving and it was all water.

00:03:16:01 - 00:03:39:12
Unknown
Everglades mangroves in between. Tell me about those early experiences you had growing up in South Florida. Do you remember your first encounter with with with the Everglades or with water? Absolutely. I grew up in and on the water on Miami Beach, probably had a Boston whaler at the time.

00:03:39:12 - 00:03:55:20
Unknown
I was eight years old with a hand-held motor. We run it behind you. And I was allowed from one bridge to the other bridge on the canal right off of Surprise Lake, right by the Old Heart Institute on Meridian Avenue or Miami Beach.

00:03:56:11 - 00:04:16:10
Unknown
And I often ventured into surprise length beyond my bounds, because we were always skiing, we were always swimming, we were always snorkeling in the waters. But really it was all fun times and great, wonderful as kids. But I really learned from my grandparents.

00:04:16:10 - 00:04:38:09
Unknown
My grandmother in 1958 bought the Geiger home in old Key West and restored it. It was the start of the restoration movement in Key West, Florida, and in 1960 they opened up the old Geiger home as the Audubon House and Tropical Gardens.

00:04:39:05 - 00:05:04:14
Unknown
And so I learned that in early age we had all of our family meetings there, that the Everglades, the South bays, the waters, the Atlantic Ocean were all in integral, integral environmental, natural habitat that we enjoyed and shared and had to cherish.

00:05:05:00 - 00:05:32:01
Unknown
And my grandparents called it the Audubon House because John James Audubon came to Key West in the 1880s and painted 22 of the water birds, the Florida water birds. And so we always saw those birds, the pelicans, the great white herons, the great blue herons, and on and on and on.

00:05:32:13 - 00:05:54:05
Unknown
That was a part of our lives, the roseate spoonbill and the flamingos. And so we were taught at an early age that the birds, animals, fish, mammals, etc., etc., of Florida was an important part of us growing up, of our lives, of our livelihood, for tourism.

00:05:54:17 - 00:06:23:18
Unknown
And for for preserving into the future. My grandma grandmother was the preservationist. She taught us how to rebuild things as they used to be. And the Audubon House and Tropical Gardens in Key West takes people back to the 1850s when the Geiger's Captain Geiger, who ran the seaport and ran the pirates down there and what life was

00:06:23:19 - 00:06:40:08
Unknown
like and we educate people to this day, it's still in our family. We still own it, still lose money with it. It's a not for profit, but it's very important to continue to teach people about the importance of what our God given gifts are of South Florida.

00:06:40:18 - 00:06:57:12
Unknown
I think it's important I think it's important to hear this from from someone who grew up here and who's seen how South Florida has changed over the last, you know, 50, 60 years, over a lifetime. And to have have appreciated it from a young age, because some people grew up here and never experienced that when they were

00:06:57:12 - 00:07:18:11
Unknown
younger. Tell me about those changes. What have you seen in the last 50, 60 years? The good, the bad and the ugly. Oscar when we were in our teens, we were snorkeling pretty much every day after school and or every weekend down in the Keys and.

00:07:20:16 - 00:07:43:14
Unknown
Lobster, the Kong, the fishing, the Hawaiian slings for fishing. I mean, we always lived within all of the rules and regulations that were set forth. Populations were much lower. We were members of Ocean Reef in Key Largo in the early sixties when it opened up.

00:07:44:10 - 00:08:06:06
Unknown
And as a child, bone fishing and fly fishing, probably when I was ten years old. And so it was prolific. It was clear. It was abundance of sea life. Small sharks up on the grasses. Grasses everywhere. Schools of bonefish permit redfish everywhere.

00:08:06:23 - 00:08:25:10
Unknown
It was heaven on earth. And. Those memories, you know, in my late sixties now are fading because my children were all raised on the water. They're all in their thirties now. They do everything I've described that I did as a child.

00:08:25:21 - 00:08:46:00
Unknown
But there isn't nearly the penny camp. John Penny can. Our Barrier Reef. It's dying reefs off of Key Biscayne. They're not as healthy as they used to be. There were always hurricanes. There were always things that hurt them.

00:08:46:01 - 00:09:09:00
Unknown
But they always came back. And now they. They're not coming back. The water is polluted. Plastic is killing off sea life. Fertilizers moving in not just from central Florida, but from fertilizers out of everybody's yards and grasses and on and on and on.

00:09:09:10 - 00:09:30:07
Unknown
It's. It's. Creating algae blooms everywhere. It is obvious and blatant that over the last 45 years of my growing up on the water and even the last, I would say 15 to 20 years of my children growing up on the water.

00:09:30:15 - 00:09:54:11
Unknown
Now we have five grandchildren and I'm worried sick that they're not going to get to see or enjoy any of this. So, you know, this is a long period of time. We're talking 40 years. And a lot of people can't comprehend the 40 years of watching things and marking the tide changes at my floating dock out back

00:09:54:21 - 00:10:12:09
Unknown
here in Coral Gables. I think, oh, yeah, for certain. I mean, highest tides on full moons. During October, November, December, during that period of time are a good 11 inches higher than they ever were 35 years ago when we moved into this house.

00:10:12:20 - 00:10:32:10
Unknown
And I hear now that 2040 will be 11 inches, according to the new statistics, down from 17. Well, that's great. You know, it's down from 17 inches, but it's that's only 22 years away. And I'm talking it was 11 inches in 35 years.

00:10:32:10 - 00:10:48:18
Unknown
So it's speeding up. And, you know, I do understand we're in deicing. So on a planet Earth. And the only way to totally get reaction is an asteroid hit medicine 200 years later, you got plenty of ice on the planet Earth, but that's not good for civilization.

00:10:48:21 - 00:11:05:20
Unknown
But the fact of the matter is, we're not helping one little bit. And there's with technology and everything we have going for us, shame on us. I'm also involved for 22 years with research of the spoonbill, roseate spoonbills, beautiful birds.

00:11:05:20 - 00:11:21:20
Unknown
We've radio tracked them all over the world and we tag them in the South Bays and in the Everglades. And they're pretty much the canary in the coal mine. OSCAR They when their chicks are healthy and growing, the Everglades are doing well.

00:11:22:04 - 00:11:47:03
Unknown
And when chicks are dying off, which they were really bad for a long period of time, things are unhealthy. We discovered that water management was releasing fresh water into the saltwater estuaries at exactly the wrong times, and that was killing off the fish, the food supply for Mama Roseate spoonbills, and thus babies were dying of starvation.

00:11:47:16 - 00:12:05:22
Unknown
So now we our foundation is doing everything we can do to start a huge podcasting series. And we've put cameras on roseate spoonbill nests to the tune of 50 of them in the South Bays, the Florida Keys and the Everglades.

00:12:06:06 - 00:12:25:14
Unknown
And we're watching what's happening now and reporting on it. And it's not a pretty sight. And once we lose that, it's never coming back. Extinction is final. And, you know, it literally brings tears to my eyes to think that our grandchildren could never see this.

00:12:26:07 - 00:12:44:15
Unknown
Tell me more about some of the efforts you're making and your philanthropy for environmental issues. I mean, talked about the Roseate Spoonbill program. What else what else are you got have you got going on? I started all the license plates in the state of Florida with the diver on it inside of a cage.

00:12:45:04 - 00:13:10:21
Unknown
And 100% of the money that we make, about $200,000 a year goes in to save the Florida Springs. Our springs like blue springs on the set, all the springs, Silver Glen Springs and on and on in central Florida, on the Saint John's off the St John's River, those springs or their aquifers under them are throwing out less

00:13:10:22 - 00:13:32:10
Unknown
water than previous years. Nobody knows why. Nobody knows what's happening. All our manatees spend their summers in these springs. They're very important to our resources and our environment. One of my fraternity brothers was became a Ph.D., a doctor for for manatees.

00:13:32:10 - 00:13:47:09
Unknown
And so I started funding the manatee program. He came up with this Springs idea and saved the Florida Springs. And it's for you, because whatever you know, I guarantee you they won't be here for our grandchildren. No. Well, some of them won't.

00:13:48:03 - 00:14:02:18
Unknown
Let's see. There's a big fight over it right now in north Florida. People down in south Florida don't know about that. But it the springs are to north Florida, what the Everglades are to south Florida and people. And one of the great things and I know you're interested in water, so let's talk about how water is all

00:14:02:18 - 00:14:13:19
Unknown
connected all over the state. And, you know, if if you love the Everglades and you love Lake Okeechobee, the springs are connected. The water that flows into lake. Okay. Each job makes its way through the aquifer. That's what feeds the springs.

00:14:14:03 - 00:14:25:13
Unknown
I mean, there's all there's all kinds of interconnectivity there. And so you can't just select one area and say, I'm just going to pay attention to this and care about this. You're going to have to care about everything because it's all connected in a way.

00:14:25:23 - 00:14:59:17
Unknown
And so and so for you, as a as a as a philanthropist and somebody who cares. Philosophically speaking, how do you see this interconnectivity and how it affects us? It's all connected. You know, the Everglades Foundation is the wisest and I believe most insightful group of scientists, researchers and intelligent people putting that puzzle together.

00:15:00:02 - 00:15:34:06
Unknown
It is very complex but interconnected. And that's why we've started recently funding a through the Lyndon Lewis Watson, the Second Family Foundation, this foundation. We think it is an integral part of figuring out just exactly what you're speaking of and how we can all do more in keeping the Everglades clean flowing and not stagnating and not polluting

00:15:34:06 - 00:15:58:06
Unknown
as it is today. You know, it's very complex and there's so many things fighting it in so many different directions. And yet I can see, you know, when when not for profits, just fight development. It's not as good as everybody working together to overcome issues.

00:15:58:07 - 00:16:21:23
Unknown
Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. I am a real estate developer. We get involved in all aspects of real estate development. Affordable housing started me in this 28 years ago. But we have a huge parcel of land in Western Palm Beach, and it was very environmentally and is very environmentally important.

00:16:22:13 - 00:16:44:06
Unknown
And as we went to get zoning, we committed that we would give a thousand acres back to the Everglades and connect hundreds of thousands of water swamps back to the main flow of the river of grass. And they said we were some of the best.

00:16:44:20 - 00:17:01:08
Unknown
This community has gotten more awards for working with environmentalists and doing the right things and putting an entire river, giant river through our entire property so that it could restore hundreds of thousands of acres that were totally shut off.

00:17:01:08 - 00:17:17:23
Unknown
And we were the connecting point. And yet we still get to build in there, do our thing, but do it responsibly and do it so that the people who live there and there will be thousands of folks living there that understand the importance of the Everglades.

00:17:18:08 - 00:17:40:15
Unknown
And then and see, we've done huge restorations on our property of removing. It used to be a fabulous farm, which was for cattle. And that's the God's worst thing that could be in the Florida Everglades. So, I mean, you need responsibility and people need to work with not against our environment.

00:17:41:02 - 00:18:00:00
Unknown
And, you know, we can work together and people need to know this and accept it. And we've got to give and take. And when you take, take, take. The future, it's going to lose, lose, lose. We have a thriving community down here in south Florida.

00:18:00:06 - 00:18:18:11
Unknown
It's a magnet for people from all over the world, not just New York and California, but for people from Latin America, Europe, Asia, everywhere. And which is wonderful. It's great that we have a thriving community. One of the challenges that presents for local environmental issues is awareness, and a lot of people who move down here may not

00:18:18:12 - 00:18:33:17
Unknown
be aware of the environmental jewels that we have in our area and in our state. And I think that applies even more so to people at influential levels, people who are wealthy, people who come here to invest. People who come here to start businesses.

00:18:34:14 - 00:18:53:16
Unknown
And you are somebody at that level. How how is how do you reach people at that level? How do you how do you educate them? Because people at that level, it's harder to reach them, I think, because it's just it's just they rely so much on their peers and on the and on the knowledge that they already

00:18:53:16 - 00:19:10:18
Unknown
have. And they're so focused on on their businesses and on their investments, which is fine. But how do you how do you break through to people like that and make them aware? Because those are the influential people that can actually make decisions that affect environmental issues in South Florida and all around Florida.

00:19:10:19 - 00:19:36:04
Unknown
So what's that like? Great question. Oscar and I have two, two stories for you. Number one, we've started an initiative, also two podcasts. I think that PSA is public service announcements are being broadcasted day and night can be the education for all the visitors and many people that live here.

00:19:36:15 - 00:20:03:24
Unknown
And the example is we worked with Light Arts on Miami Beach. Dennis Johnson told Dennis Showalter, a friend of mine, and we created podcasts for Miami Beach, and they put them on their tourism channels. And it's we paid we had a contest with literally, I don't know.

00:20:05:04 - 00:20:34:15
Unknown
30, 40, 50 filmmakers to create a short PSA. And some were funny. Some were. Most were creative. All were futuristic and well done and geared towards the youth. And. And then the winners won cash prizes. And it they're still being shown.

00:20:34:22 - 00:20:48:01
Unknown
And now some of the networks are starting to do PSA and saying, hey, let's save our treasures and let's keep what we have in plastic is no bueno and we can't have plastic. And so it's education. It's all about education.

00:20:48:09 - 00:21:08:00
Unknown
Now, let me give you about the number one country on planet Earth doing the best job of educating all tourists that go there. And 99.9% of the tourists that go there is for eco tourism and that countries Costa Rica house in Costa Rica on the Pacific Ocean.

00:21:08:06 - 00:21:33:16
Unknown
I've been going there since 2000. They start in first grade educating every kid who's a Costa Rican about the importance of their rainforests and their wildlife and their ecosystems to where those kids have been coming, becoming and are becoming, and will become the future leaders of Costa Rica.

00:21:34:13 - 00:22:00:17
Unknown
And so you've got to start early. We got to start kindergarten, first grade, and start educating. And and, you know, life is a marathon and things. It's not a sprint. And things don't happen overnight. But when every single person in school comes up with the importance of an environment and education and you podcasting to to our world

00:22:00:17 - 00:22:24:24
Unknown
on a regular basis, to all of us down here, the people that are moving down here are very conscious of their future and our future as a civilization on the planet Earth. And and I believe that over time, we can educate everybody, everybody internationally and residents of life and movers that come here, they all start out not

00:22:25:00 - 00:22:39:02
Unknown
knowing anything. Nobody could possibly know what you and I have experienced over long periods of time and seen it until they see it with their own eyes and they will get it. But I think it's teachable. I think it's doable.

00:22:39:04 - 00:23:02:08
Unknown
And I know Costa Rica has done a fantastic job of doing it. Laws have to protect you are lawmakers have to become environmentalist and only from them growing up and will that be attained. So, you know, we have our work cut out for us and we need every volunteer we can gather with us to help spread the

00:23:02:08 - 00:23:20:01
Unknown
message and keep a movement going. It's a long term movement, but what's what's to depend on? What's your favorite way to spend time on the water? Now, I'm going out tonight. When this is done, I got my nieces, nephews.

00:23:20:01 - 00:23:39:12
Unknown
They're in from Seattle and New York City and some of their friends. We're going out on the boat. We'll anchor, I don't know, 15 minutes from our house in Biscayne Bay. We will watch the sunset. The moon rise will be eating stone crabs.

00:23:40:00 - 00:24:03:02
Unknown
And we might have a line in the water and we'll be out there till ten or 11:00 at night talking and teaching one another, what's going on in our worlds. And even, you know, the best bubble in the world is to get out on the water and be with your family and know our grandkids, since three months

00:24:03:02 - 00:24:17:13
Unknown
old, have been out boating with us and in the water, in the rocking and the motion. They just love it and it just shows them out and calm them down. And, you know, we'll fill up the bait well with water and let them swim in it.

00:24:17:13 - 00:24:42:05
Unknown
And, you know, it's if you're out on the water, I think you live longer and it calms me and my children and now the grandchildren and all of our friends and. Every Friday and Saturday night, literally, I would say two weekends every month where we're out there on the water day and or nine.

00:24:43:09 - 00:25:00:20
Unknown
Would you say that you have a spiritual, spiritual connection to the water down here? Definitely. Tell me about that. Tell me about that. You know, it comes. It's an intertwining with me. Our summers were in the Bahamas, and it's crystal clear there.

00:25:01:12 - 00:25:17:11
Unknown
And, you know, I was the one. We had a big boat. Family boat. We lived on it and we'd spend a month on it. I was blessed growing up, but I had the Boston whaler up on top and I grabbed a Bahamian kid.

00:25:17:20 - 00:25:31:00
Unknown
13, 14 years old. And we'd go out to their favorite spots and we'd snorkel. And if I didn't come home with fish and if he didn't come home with fish for his family, you know, we weren't eating fresh fish and lobster that night.

00:25:31:22 - 00:25:51:08
Unknown
We knew the seasons and we lived by the rules and regulations and that that connection between South Florida and the Bahamas. And to this day, I mean, whenever we're we already have the grandkids. Sorry about the phone. It's all right.

00:25:52:02 - 00:26:11:02
Unknown
We already have the grandkids with masks on looking down into the water. They're good swimmers, but not snorkeling yet. And we'll have a bucket with the glass on it, looking down at the reefs. And they're just fascinated. It just takes you to a different world, a serene space.

00:26:12:04 - 00:26:38:00
Unknown
Our family grew up. We owned the Seaquarium growing up. So we were swimming between that and whales and everything else. And, you know, today that just I don't encourage that sort of thing. I like free animals. But even in my office, I have a fish aquarium that's 22 years old, I'd say are ten fish that are in

00:26:38:00 - 00:27:02:17
Unknown
there are easily 15 to 18 years old each. Wow. It is a garden and the starfish just probably had one baby starfish. That's an empire. I'd love to see this. This is his ecosystem. There are easily ten different systems that make it recreate their sunrise, sunset of storms, lightning storms, you know, hot flashes and whatnot.

00:27:02:17 - 00:27:25:22
Unknown
So it totally and completely reproduces the ocean. So I believe somehow that the future we will be able to grow things back. But you can't grow in pollution. Yeah. So? So the waves and the movement and the sun up and sun down and the black lights.

00:27:26:08 - 00:27:43:15
Unknown
And we have to grow bacteria, bad bacteria in another tank below the big tank because it has to filter through to the good system. So it's really honest to goodness. We have learned through technology that these fish are old age.

00:27:43:16 - 00:28:04:09
Unknown
I mean, they don't have beards and whatever on them, but I can't believe we haven't had a fish die in five years. What could what could regular people do to participate in in the future and in restoration and in and in improving things environmentally good regular people involved.

00:28:04:20 - 00:28:32:11
Unknown
Yeah. It's the best questionable. Get involved. You got to start to learn and see with your own eyes. You can read all you want, you can see. And when you know your podcasts, you know when you bring in between talking to me, if you had, you know, the Great Barrier Reef and the keys are Barrier Reef I

00:28:32:11 - 00:28:49:04
Unknown
think the third largest in the world. Thriving back in the day and showing what it is today. And just teaching with pictures. Pictures speak all the words you can possibly speak. People get bored with words. They want to see it from themselves.

00:28:49:05 - 00:29:06:22
Unknown
They need to experience this and so get educated. You need to teach people to get out, get about, learn and see it with your own eyes. And then you will be. Preaching it at everyone who will listen. I couldn't agree more.

00:29:07:00 - 00:29:24:04
Unknown
I think it's important for people to get out there. And that's one of the reasons for this podcast to encourage anybody listening to get in your car, get on a bike, take a walk in a park in your neighborhood, just get outside and and just look around and understand that all of that around you is is a

00:29:24:05 - 00:29:43:03
Unknown
gift. And it's something that we've been handed down after many generations to to care for on our watch. And so I think it's so important for whether you're a newcomer to Florida or whether you're a fifth generation Floridian to know it's so important to get out there and it's so easy to become just kind of cloistered in

00:29:43:04 - 00:29:56:18
Unknown
our in our in our lives, in a developed world, and not see and feel the natural world around us. The natural world to me is therapeutic, and it's something that gives you a feeling that you don't get anywhere else.

00:29:57:04 - 00:30:11:00
Unknown
The Japanese have a term for it. They call it forest bathing. When you go out and actually spend some time in nature rather than in a developed space, and I think there's a lot of truth to that for just bathing in water in general, especially sea water and spring water.

00:30:11:14 - 00:30:25:09
Unknown
Those two are just you know, it doesn't cost a lot of money to go out to Crandon Park, to Miami Beach, and just just to walk out into the ocean and immerse yourself in that water and remember that you came from that water.

00:30:25:09 - 00:30:42:19
Unknown
And this is you know, you're 70% water. And I think I think people can easily get out there and learn to appreciate what they have around them and and then get involved. And getting involved can be as simple as, you know, I don't know, watching a documentary and getting educated or becoming a member of of a foundation

00:30:42:20 - 00:30:58:21
Unknown
or institute that supports these causes or becoming, I don't know, member of the Sierra Club or the Audubon and becoming alert of things happening in south Florida and around the state. It's so important for people to care and to appreciate what they have otherwise.

00:30:59:06 - 00:31:18:10
Unknown
I think I think it's possible that the natural world around us could continue to deteriorate if people don't start standing up for it and becoming involved, because it's just it's our nature. Human nature is about progress and it's about conquering the human, you know, the natural world.

00:31:18:24 - 00:31:34:14
Unknown
And and we also need to coexist with it and and nurture it and care for it. I think that's so important. And and so my last question is and you've probably been asked this a million times, but tell me what you think about the future.

00:31:34:14 - 00:32:05:14
Unknown
Are you hopeful? Are you optimistic? I am a totally optimistic person in everything I do live breathes. I always look, but I'm a realist, so I see what's going on around us. So that drives me even harder to to get people just like you described, to come down south here to Matheson Hammock Park with its lagoon and

00:32:05:14 - 00:32:29:23
Unknown
to walk around and see that that really is right in the middle of a mangrove field right next to Fairchild Tropical Gardens. And it's a huge park of natural old Florida. And then to go down into the Everglades, Everglades National Park and walk around there and or get on an environmental one of those boat tours and learn

00:32:29:23 - 00:32:51:01
Unknown
and go out into the Everglades and see the richness and the serenity and the beauty that you were describing. And so I you know, it it this just it's a call to action for me. And it's a call to action, I think, for the whole millennial younger generation.

00:32:51:04 - 00:33:15:08
Unknown
They are very environmentally in-tune, more so than my generation was or or mine for sure. And certainly our grandparents, because there wasn't the population down here that there is today and it continues to grow in population, unbeknownst to population, hurts the natural resources.

00:33:16:19 - 00:33:36:09
Unknown
And so much of it is is not done on purpose. It's just done really out of not knowing, not being educating, not understanding. And so it really is education. We need full blown education. You are doing it. We continue to do it and we've got to get more and more people involved.

00:33:36:09 - 00:33:56:13
Unknown
So I'm optimistic that this next generation can rise to the occasion and do a better job than we have done. I couldn't agree with you more. I think I'm optimistic. I'm hopeful. And I feel like educating people and people becoming aware of what's going on is the most important in the first step.

00:33:57:01 - 00:34:10:14
Unknown
And I think it's happening slowly but surely, and that gives me quite a bit of hope for the future. On that note, with me today, Lewis Wolfson, third at our podcast, The Nature of Florida. Thank you for joining us for a wonderful discussion.

00:34:10:22 - 00:34:30:21
Unknown
Thank you, Oscar. It's been a pleasure. To your audience, let's go get them. Let's make the world a little better than we found it when we first arrived. This episode of The Nature of Florida podcast was brought to you in part by the Everglades Foundation, the Fairburn Foundation, the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida and Explique a

00:34:30:21 - 00:34:43:23
Unknown
media. If you're enjoying this podcast, remember to subscribe on our website. The Nature of Florida with Oscar Corral, the Bus, Broadcom. That's the nature of Florida with Oscar Corral Douglas, Broadcom. Or find us on your favorite platform and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.