Wa­ter’s In­cred­i­ble Ef­fect

RSWLiving - - Publisher’s Letter - Daniela E. Jaeger Pub­lisher, TOTI Me­dia

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.

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