Water’s Incredible Effect
How privileged we are to live on or near the water is something Southwest Florida residents hear often, particularly from visitors who left behind landlocked cities, states or even countries. Sometimes I feel as if I could be one with the water that surrounds us. When I’m focused, concentrating on a project, I’m like a kayaker on a mission, paddling across the inky waters of Pine Island Sound. Then there are times when my energy is low and my drive to do certain tasks just floats away, and I’m like a swimmer resting on my back in the placid Gulf and drifting with each gentle wave.
In this issue we explore the magical effects of water and the wonderful things you can enjoy on or near the waterways. Some of us love to fish, and a battle with a tarpon in Boca Grande Pass is your connection to the water. Others are mariners and island hopping from Sanibel to Cabbage Key to Cayo Costa leaves you surrounded by waters that change color as the sun rises and falls; the beautiful scenery connects you to the water. And even those who prefer land, can hike alongside winding rivers and scrub- lined bays in our parks and wildlife refuges and feel the water’s calming effect as you scour the sky for bald eagles. Yes, numerous opportunities to connect with water encompass us here, and as you read from page to page, I’m sure you’ll come away with a new appreciation for H2O.
With the Gulf, rivers and lakes around us, it’s only natural that waterborne ecotourism abounds here. In this issue the feature story Nature Watch explores Florida’s commitment to ecotourism and what our area’s outfitters are doing to make your encounters with the flora and fauna in our parks and refuges more meaningful. Find out what the Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism, a non- profit educational group incorporated in 2001 to establish and maintain an ethical code of local ecotourism, is doing to preserve our natural environment as more and more ecotourists flock to Southwest Florida. After reading this story, I hope you are propelled to book yourself a spot on one of the new ecotourim adventures mentioned in the stor y.
Away from the water, there’s plenty happening in Southwest Florida at this time of year. At all of our wonderful cultural centers, you’ll find music, theater, dance and art offerings galore. Whether you attend a concert by the Southwest Florida Symphony, a performance at the Broadway Palm Theatre or Florida Repertory Theatre, a show at the Alliance for the Arts or visit the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, the cultural scene is bursting with creative energy, and you’ll want to be part of it.
Last of all, I want to express my sincere thanks to the many readers who wrote me regarding my publisher’s letter that ran in the January/ February issue. I am always appreciative of your comments and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me and the TOTI Media team.