July 5, 2013

One Way to Get Involved

Contributed by Joe WHYTE
Have you ever visited the Everglades ?
This vast area in southern Florida, covered largely in sawgrass, is home to awesome wildlife and delicate and endangered
ecosystems. For many decades, this wonderful area has been threatened by, agriculture and land development, even oil drilling. Recently, more people have come to believe that the Everglades needs to be restored and receive a greater degree of protection. If you feel this way, you may wonder how you can get involved.
The key to environmental awareness and protection is education. Teachers, especially in the natural sciences, are on the front lines of providing the knowledge and appreciation of the environment that encourage communities to protect special areas like the Everglades.
An appreciation of the Everglades begins with an understanding of its unique role in Florida. This special area contains sawgrass marshes, hardwood hammocks, cypress swamps and stands of mangroves where fresh water meets the sea. Each of these ecosystems is home to amazing wildlife, from menacing alligators to elegant great egrets. However, it is not only the Everglades wildlife – it is its key role in supplying almost half of Florida’s fresh water through feeding the porous aquifers underneath it. An understanding of the Everglades comes through basic knowledge of geology, agriculture, meteorology, hydrology, environmental restoration – and understanding how the governments work and finance our well being.
In a teaching training you can acquire the background for further exploring these topics and many others as well. 


In the 1970s and 1980s, the environmental movement brought pressure on state and federal lawmakers to begin protecting and preserving the Everglades. Although a part of the Everglades was dedicated as a National Park in 1934, this offered protection to only the southern section of this ecosystem. It became clear that more needed to be done, not only to protect all of the Everglades, but also to restore some of the sections that had been drained for agriculture or dammed for water control or diversion. The Everglades Forever Act was passed in 1994 to mandate cleanup of the chemical-laden runoff that was the product of agricultural activity in those areas that had been drained for crops. Everglades restoration was promoted in 2000 with a law to remove some of the levees and dams dating from the 1940s and 1950s. The purpose of this legislation was to return to a more natural and unimpeded flow of water through the area, freshwater that also feeds our wells.
Understanding of and being an advocate for the Everglades and other environmentally sensitive areas requires good skills in oral and written communication. An online teaching degree provides those skills, along with the ability to present facts in a clear, concise way. As an environmental advocate, you might be asked to write a letter to the editor, send an email to your representative in Congress or the state legislature, prepare an informational brochure or speak at a local meeting of concerned citizens.
Did You Know ?
The Everglades are often described as having only two seasons- the wet and the dry. Most hot summer days are punctuated by quenching afternoon thunderstorms that bring life-giving water to the park.

Even if you have never visited the Everglades, knowing that it has been designated as one of only 3 wetland areas of global importance indicates the need to be concerned about its protection and preservation. Nowadays, you can take an advantage of earning a teaching degree online, without the sacrifice of your regular salary and time off.  Earning an online teaching degree can be the first step to becoming an advocate for the Everglades and other threatened areas of the world. You will have an understanding of and the ability to speak and write well about the causes that concern you and, above all, you will be educating others to act on behalf of the environment, now and in the future.

The author volunteered this contribution. He has been writing on education resources, digital marketing and business for over 10 years.  He has helped hundreds of businesses generate more revenue and more profitability through his consulting.