Environmental

Chicks Love Charley

Words by Carmen Macri and Ambar Ramirez    A seemingly harmless COVID project turned into a massive success story.    Back in 2020, Charley Harrold was facing difficulty finding work in the film industry as a grip which involves setting up, rigging and dismantling lighting equipment on set, a job he described as “problem-solving on set.” When job opportunities were scarce, Harrold turned his attention to projects around his 6-acre property in Baldwin. One day, he visited Tractor Supply Co. to pick up a part for a new project. While browsing the aisles, he noticed the chick pen. Without giving …

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Ride in Style With the St. Johns River Taxi

  Words and Photos by Ambar Ramirez & Carmen Macri   Some tend to forget that Jacksonville is not all beaches; it’s also home to beautiful rivers. And they also seem to forget that car rides, buses and Skyways aren’t the only modes of transportation in this bold city. Established in 1987, the St. Johns River Taxi ferried passengers across the St. Johns River between the Northbank and Southbank of Downtown Jacksonville. However, now it is more than just a mode of getting from point A to point B — it is a vibrant party cruise.    “Water Taxi service …

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Behind the Minds of Florida Fin Fest 

Words by Carmen Macri    If there is one thing Jacksonville loves more than its beaches, it’s a free festival. So, it comes as no surprise that our charming coastal town has eagerly embraced the arrival of the free marine conservation festival, Fin Fest.   As we embark on the third year of Fin Fest, its fundamental mission remains unwavering: to harmoniously blend the worlds of ocean education and entertainment. The aim is to not only enrich our understanding of marine life but also illuminate the ways our daily routines influence these delicate ecosystems.   But before we delve too …

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Pencils from Florida’s Cedar Trees

Pencils from Florida’s Cedar Trees By Ted Hunt It’s the end of summer and school is starting in a couple of weeks, and finally, the little ones will be out of the house. But first the school supplies — crayons, glue, folders, a new lunch box and most importantly, those pencils.   The pencil is a simple instrument the creates marks that adheres to a sheet of paper. It has a core of graphite surrounded by two wooden halves glued together, usually with an eraser on one end. Contrary to a common misconception, lead has never been used in pencils. …

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Florida’s Miraculous Spring Waters

By Ted Hunt Medical practices during most of the 1800s relied on traditional treatments such as bloodletting, blistering, high doses of mineral poisons and vomiting. One or more of these techniques would hopefully restore the body’s natural balance, and the patient would be cured from a variety of illnesses. Bloodletting is slicing open a vein, then applying a cup to draw blood containing harmful bacteria out of the body. Blistering is placing hot plaster onto the skin to raise blisters, then drain the pus which contains harmful bacteria. Mineral poisons were consumed to encourage diarrhea and vomiting to purge the …

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Little Mice VS. Little Men

Words By Carmen Macri, Ambar Ramirez and Tysen Romeo   We arrived at the quaint neighborhood of Whispering Oaks around 9 a.m. and were greeted by one of the many friendly residents. After a quick introduction and a few firm handshakes, we were escorted on a quick walk across A1A Beach Boulevard to Ocean Hammock Park Walkway. The walkway is located on a city-owned, 18-acre parcel of wetlands and dunes leading directly to the beach, one of the few public accesses in the area. It is about one-third of a mile long, and the sights along the way are what …

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Wastefulness Does Not Look Good On You

Words By Ambar Ramirez   Imagine not knowing the next time you will eat, and living with consistent food shortages and hunger or food insecurity becomes the norm. Such a life is already a reality for millions of low-income households and for those living in developing nations. And if changes are not made now that life will become a reality for millions more.   In developing nations, the main reason for the hunger crisis stems from a lack of food production and scarcity of supplies. In America, though, the main reason we will face food hunger is due to inflation, …

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A Place in the Sun

How the Inflation Reduction Act will reach Florida’s communities On Aug. 18, a substantial piece of legislation was signed into law, the Inflation Reduction Act (aka the IRA Bill) or, as President Biden called it: “the biggest step forward on climate ever.” The bill invests $370 billion in spending and tax credits aiming to reduce health costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and raise taxes on corporations. The U.S. is finally taking a legitimate swing in the fight against climate change. Though it didn’t meet original expectations, it’s putting us on course to reduce our own pollution which is good for …

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Fishing Flood Tides with Cowford Conservation

We ran the skiff only 30 minutes away from the boat ramp before Rami hopped on the poling platform and began pushing us through the labyrinth of spartina marsh creeks. Evan, posted on the front deck, fly rod in hand, scanned the grass flats for any sign of the targeted species, Sciaenops ocellatus, aka redfish. This was no regular day fishing the creeks, though, but an unusually early flood tide for the season, and I was sharing a boat with two of the most dialed fishermen from the area. Evan Tucker and Rami Ashouri of Cowford Conservation are two local …

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