Stepping Stones

Lake ‘O’ Reservoir…Is It Still a Go?

Stepping Stones


For several years there has been talk, and hope, that a reservoir would be built to alleviate the releases of water from Lake Okeechobee into the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. These discharges constantly bring unwanted nutrients from the lake which flow all the way to the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, having a negative, and sometimes deadly, effect […]

Giving Thanks… For Baby Dolphins

Stepping Stones


Now that you’ve sat down and enjoyed that turkey dinner, spent time with family and given thanks for all that you have, it’s time to be thankful for one more thing. When expressing our gratitude this time of year we often forget to look “outside of the box” and appreciate some of the signs and signals that remind us we […]

Year End Roundup… Already?

Stepping Stones
Master Naturalist

Holy Moly! What an astounding year we’ve had in South Florida! It seems like events began in September of 2017 when Hurricane Irma passed directly over Marco Island and never quit. During the next 14 months, the surprises just kept on coming, with no apparent end in sight. Let’s take a look at what we experienced, both good and bad. […]

Our Natural and Artificial Reefs

Stepping Stones


Do you like to snorkel? How about scuba diving? How about fishing in a location where you know you’ll catch something? If so, you are more than likely to visit a reef system, be it natural or artificial. There are several options throughout the state and even more in the past few years with the development of artificial structures in […]

Wildlife Recovery… Not So Simple

Stepping Stones


When we last corresponded, topics of deep concern were red tide, brown tide and blue-green algae and their effects on land, waterways and tourism. It was noted that 2.7 tons of dead fish were removed from Lee County beaches alone, at least 170 manatee deaths occurred, 49 dolphins washed ashore and hundreds of sea turtles lost their lives, all attributed […]

Visitor Experience Enhancement on the Way in Fakahatchee

Stepping Stones


Great and wonderful things are happening in the western Everglades! If you’ve not been to the Big Cypress Bend boardwalk, travelled the trails along Jayne’s Scenic Drive or paddled a canoe among the mangrove trees of the East River then get ready. Changes are on the horizon for visitors and events are happening fast! For many years the Florida Park […]

Apocalypse Marco… What If?

Stepping Stones


Okay, I think we’ve endured enough information about the red tide problem along South Florida beaches. We’re fed up with reports of a blue-green algae caused by water releases from Lake Okeechobee. And now a new problem on coastal borders? The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is reporting a new phenomenon that must be dealt with. Trichodesmium, which is […]

Treating Active Military to Paradise

Stepping Stones


Imagine returning from an active tour of duty overseas, anxious to spend some quality time with the ones you love, and then the phone rings. Without hesitation you explain to your family that your country needs you and you must leave… again. This is a lifestyle for active servicemen in the U.S. Army. For Sgt. Jhonnie Alvarado it became a […]

Red Tide vs. Marine Animals – And the winner is…

Stepping Stones


This summer it seems like the algal bloom known as Red Tide just does not want to go away. It is hard to recall a time earlier in the year that it was not present in South Florida and its longevity is taking a toll on area marine animals. This harmful algae bloom (HAB) occurs when microscopic algae multiply to […]

Burmese Python Update

Stepping Stones


Mating season is now over and, without a doubt, hundreds, if not thousands, of Burmese python hatchlings are getting their first taste of life here in South Florida. This invasive species of snake has flourished from Miami on the east coast all the way to Collier County and even into parts of the Florida Keys. When I asked a Park […]


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