Judges included Len Messineo, well known professional nature photographer and lecturer; Dave Graff, naturalist, photographer, and educator for the Naples Botanical Garden; Vickie Kelber, former City Councilwoman, nature lover and amateur photographer; and Nancy Richie, Environmental Specialist.
1st Place: ”The Sentinel” (White Pelican portrait) by Pat Koziar.
2nd Place: “Morning Beauty” (Pink Hibiscus) by Frank Steiger, MIPD.
3rd Place: “Stirring Things Up” (Woodstork) by Edwin Bridle.
Honorable Mention: “Minnow & Green Heron” by Michael A. Housewert.
Pat Koziar’s Anhinga, titled, “Bad Hair Day” was chosen as the winning photo for black and white category.
Lin Cotton’s “Ménage a Trois” of three anoles was chosen as the winning photo for the enhanced category.
All photographs entered are currently on display in the Police Department foyer. Winning photographs will be displayed at City Hall.
Marco Island Charter Middle School Grade 7; Teacher: Holdsworth; Winning Student: Danielle Bui; Essay # 1
Everyone! Start picking up the plastic bottles away from the refuse can then throw them in the recycling bin instead! Everybody knows that littering affects the animals, critters, fresh water and the whole environment. Didn’t you know it can affect us, too, gum wrappers, plastic bags, candy bags, etc., on our street or amusement park? Obviously, our nostrils can take the bakery’s bread smells but it can’t take one whiff of a rotten cherry lollipop on the sidewalk. So, if you guys don’t wan’t this to happen you can also do simple things like turn off the running faucet, turn down the water heater by setting it at 130-140 degrees. Don’t throw spent batteries in the trash.
Save some energy by using a dimmer light bulb. The best part about it is that it’s easy and it’s fun to help the environment. Cool isn’t it?
To start with, when you watch Disney Channel and you surprisingly saw the commercial about the Friends for Change, your realize your favorite celebrities are helping the environment by cleaning up the beach and encouraging kids to heal the Earth. They even add more effort by getting Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas to sing “Make a Wave” together. In my opinion, I think the reason they sang that song is because the boats and ships should stop producing oils at sea where the cute marine mammals are. Since the celebrities are busy helping the Earth, it’s our turn to give the medicines to Earth and hope to see happiness in the world.
Secondly, about our lovely home planet, everything isn’t what it seems. Earth is always in trouble from the air pollution because some industries generate dust and chemicals and we add pollutants to the air by driving cars, buses, trucks. trains and planes that burn fossil fuel for energy. And, unfortunately, acid rain also causes a problem when a coal burning power plant combines with moisture in the air to form sulfuric acid, then falls as rain or snow until it poisons the organisms, like our beloved trees. But worst of all, water pollution causes damages too because pollutants from humans or other organisms can get into the oceans, streams, ground water and lakes. Some of these pollutants cause cancer,dysentery and liver damage in animals and humans, too.
After we reduce, reuse, recycle, the result will be that we help to save tons of recycled paper and trees and thousands of gallons of fresh water and thousands of kilowatts of electricity. If the citizens around the U.S. recycle newspapers, we can save 500,000 trees from being cut down. I know that’s a lot of trees. What’s even better is that the composting saves limited landfill space and turns garbage to a valuable resource. It reduces trash, improves plant health and retains soil moisture.
In conclusion, doing small things for Earth can be a huge help. It helps all the innocent people to have healthy lives by not permitting a litterbug to litter again. Not even a soda can on the water! If we keep on working hard for Earth who knows what the results might be!
Manatee Middle School Grade 6; Teacher: Baldwin; Winning Student: Ludena Gustave; Essay # 51
Dear Governor Crist:
Invasive species are a major problem in southern Florida. The number of pythons in south Florida is increasing. Also, other animals and plants that are not native to the environment are a problem.
They are becoming a serious threat to our habitats and animals. I believe that you should act to help our native species from becoming extinct. When all the foreign species move in they completely take over. They eat the animals or take up room that is meant for the native plants and animals.
Governor, I encourage you to make hunting season longer so more of the non-native animals can be taken away. Research shows that there are about 100,000 pythons in the Everglades.
I also encourage you to make laws against selling pythons and other non-native species in pet stores or in plant shops. I think this because if they are sold after a certain amount of time the owner decides that he/she doesn’t want them anymore, then they let them go in the wild where they will soon take over.
I hope that you will do something to stop this from happening because some of the plants and animals which are endangered might soon become extinct.
In conclusion, as the Governor, I hope you will take what I wrote into consideration and do something to stop it.
A citizen who cares, Ludena Gustave.
Manatee Middle School Grade 8; Teacher: Dallacqua; Winning Student: Emily Acevedo; Essay # 59
Save The Everglades
The Everglades is a beautiful place full of wild life, plants and swamps. Sadly, people are slowly ruining it. However, there’s something you can do to help save and preserve the animals and nature that live there.
First, we can stop people from hunting in the Everglades. Many people hunt and go fishing in the swamps there and end up killing a lot of animals just for fun. By stopping people from hunting it will save the lives of many animals which will prevent them from going extinct. When an animal goes extinct it hurts the environment where it used to live. This is why it’s so important to stop this because it hurts the ecosystem of the Everglades.
Secondly, we need to stop deforestation. There are a lot of trees and plants that live in the Everglades. Many animals make their homes or nests in those trees and plants. Business owners today want to start construction in areas like the Everglades. We need to stop them because they want to cut down trees to start construction and by doing that they ruin the homes of the animals.
Lastly, we need to stop littering. Not littering is something anyone can do; you just need to have self-control. Littering can be very harmful to animals and to the environment. For example, when animals see litter on the ground they might think that it’s food. So they eat it and that’s very dangerous because they can choke on the garbage and even die. But, it not only hurts animals it also hurts the environment. Think about it, when you litter you are throwing your disgusting garbage in the water and on the beautiful trees and plants.
In conclusion, the Everglades are a beautiful place that we want to preserve. How can you help? You do things like stop littering, stop hunting in the Everglades and stop deforestation. All of these things can be very harmful to animals. Please help try to make a difference. We want the beautiful Everglades to be here for a very long time
Manatee Middle School Grade 7; Teacher: Summa; Winning Student: Rodney Plancher; Poem # 82
Imagine a world with polution not being against the law.
Imagine what would happen to the Everglades.
Imagine the water not being clean.
Imagine there will be no wild life…the birds will no longer be there.
Imagine all of them dead because of chemicals.
That is why we have to save the Everglades and make it lively like it was before.
Manatee Middle School Grade 6; Teacher: Gray; Winning Student: Lindsey Pena; Poem # 89