CHANGING WATERS: The Human Impact on Florida’s Aquatic Systems
“Water does not stop at borders and what happens to water upstream impacts people and ecosystems downstream . . . The preservation of water should not be a partisan issue. It is a basic human right that we all need to work together to preserve.”
This project is being pubished by Geroge F. Thompson Publishing. The anticipated release date is the fall of 2018
Florida’s waterways are treasures that are being irreparably damaged from the negative impacts of climate change, agricultural pollution, population and urban growth, and land development. The photographs in ChangingWaters are a document of what is happening and a call to action to preserve these resources for the importance of both their natural beauty and essential role in our survival. This project also highlights the efforts of those who are involved in the protection of our waterways, and shares their successes and failures, as well as their perspectives on the use and conservation of water.
It’s no secret that Florida, especially South Florida and the Miami Beach area, is experiencing unprecedented development. Because Florida is known mostly for its beaches, the preservation of rivers, lakes and bays is frequently overlooked. The explosion of coastal development is on-going situation that threatens the health of coastal areas by removing or harming plants such as mangroves and decimating the habitat of sea creatures such as oysters that are critical to the preservation of shorelines and water quality. Human health, and the health of the entire ecosystem are at risk.
As the population increases estuaries and waterways are being damaged by the diversion of water from inland waterways to use in reservoirs and farms, and by the removal of water from aquifers. The encroachment on watersheds caused by population growth and expanding neighborhoods with more lawns, roadways, and wastewater drainage pipes also contributes to the deterioration of water quality. Additionally, sea level rise threatens the quality of freshwater rivers and lakes as well as the integrity of the coastline, riparian landscapes, and native species.
In 2013 I drove alone cross-country in search of myself and for something to which I could dedicate my life. While I was traveling I met river keepers and indigenous people who were protecting the ever-dwindling waterways of the Southwest. When I returned home, I decided to focus on the waterways in my home state of Florida. With this project, I invite viewers to consider their personal relationships to this water, and to consider how they might be better stewards of this fundamentally important––and finite–– resource.