I was recently asked by April Vokey to craft a few words for an article on her platform; Anchored Outdoors.
Being a sticker nerd with a bad fly fishing habit, I chose to opine a bit about them:
Surely you have seen stickers for sale at a fly shop, picked up a few at a show or have been given one or two by a friend. While mostly viewed as a promotional item (even though most times you pay for them), there is a secondary market that exists for these colorful, uniquely identifiable pieces of vinyl.
Beyond their intended purpose of building a brand, promoting products or memorializing an event; stickers are themselves a form of currency in the fly-fishing community. A few years back I flew out West and joined a friend for a few days’ worth of adventure and the concept of their value really gelled in my mind.
There are a broad array of issues swirling throughout social media these days regarding conservation. Whether it relates to Everglades Restoration, Opposition to Pebble Mine or improving water quality in Mosquito Lagoon and the Indian River Lagoon, we can all agree on something; each issue is important.
Too often there are bombs being thrown by advocates for what many of us perceive as the right side of the issue. The bomb throwing serves little to change minds or create solutions, yet the air raid sirens sound almost daily.
Much of the rhetoric comes from charity organizations, 501 c (3) designated companies that are “not for profit”. Don’t lose sight of the fact that they are companies. It matters.
While we all very much want to do something to improve our environment, we should make reasoned decisions on how its being done.
One of the best things you can do in life is be involved in causes you care about. The simplest, and often most effective is through personal action.
One of your choices is to invest in a company that you believe will give you the best return on investment towards the goal you value in conservation efforts. The second, is rolling up your sleeves and creating some sweat equity for your cause the good old fashioned way, with boots on the ground.
Making an Impact is the Goal
Simply writing a check, swiping a credit card, plastering a sticker on your rear window of your truck or re-posting the latest shocking post on social media may be all you have time to do if that’s all you have to invest. If you’re confident in the company you’ve invested in is making every dollar count, go for it.
There in lies the challenge. Do some due diligence before you invest. If you were buying stock, you would want to know how revenue was being spent. What does the “leadership” make?
You might be surprised if you looked at salaries in the “not for profit” space. Very surprised.
If you’re the sweat equity type, its easy to provide real results that are meaningful. Volunteer to join a clean-up group, commit to cleaning up a section of your neighborhood or a shoreline and make it yours. Often the larger conservation companies are only interested in broad strokes at the policy level and their impact may happen, if ever, in timelines measured in decades.
Projects like The Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservior have been in planning since around the year 2000 and won’t be completed until 2028 at the earliest.
Thanks for wanting to be part of the positive solutions for coastal conservation issues. Now, make an informed decision on how you’re going to do it and make an impact!
Since moving to New Smyrna Beach, my wife and I have enjoyed getting to explore all the great locally owned and operated food options it has to offer.
Our home is a short two block walk away from the center of Downtown.
We recently had the opportunity to check out one of the newest additions to Canal Street, The Local Pearl.
Chef Henry Salgado is a neighbor and we were excited to see what he had created.
We started with an order of calamari while the final preparations were being made to open the raw bar. (oysters arrive fresh daily)
Lightly fried along with jalapeño slices, it was delicious.
We started with a dozen Texas oysters that were being featured for happy hour ($1 /oyster). They were followed with another TX order and a third that were a combination of oysters sourced from the Florida panhandle.
Kyle was on the oyster knife behind the bar & he was very efficient and a pleasure to talk with about our selections. It’s clear he enjoys his ambassadorial role and is well suited for it.
If you have fresh oysters on your mind in New Smyrna Beach, head down to Canal Street and visit, you won’t be disappointed.
There are local oysters you can have on the menu as well. The are raised just a few miles away in the backwaters of Mosquito Lagoon by the Indian River Oyster Company.
Actually filmed during 2019 MLB Spring Training , Orvis just released a short vignette profiling Rick Porcello and his love for fly fishing.
Rick and I have been sharing the water together in Mosquito Lagoon and SW Florida for around eight years, so when he asked me to come down to help by running my skiff in support of the effort, it was an easy yes.
Working around his daily workout at Fenway South, we managed to spend a fair amount of time in the afternoons and evenings on the water.
My skiff makes a cameo appearance in the back half of the video.
Here is the result of David Mangum & Cavin Brothers work behind the lens.
Thanks to Simon & Tucker from Orvis for taking good care of me while I was there!
Have you ever had the pleasure of poling a remote shoreline in Mosquito Lagoon early in the morning while being serenaded by the buzzing of thousands of wings?
No, not the insects for which the area earns its well deserved name; honey bees and bumble bees are omnipresent when mangroves are blooming. So much so, their collective buzzing nearly drowns out all other sounds in the area.
The next time it happens, slow down and poke your nose into the shoreline and watch them work. It’s a fascinating service they perform as they glean nectar from blossoms and collect pollen.
The lagoon is an amazing place, down to its smallest detail. Just like these little overachievers, we all need to do our part to make sure we’re acting in a manner that contributes to its sustainability.
Our responsibilities lie in how we treat it today and how we leave it for tomorrow.