Author: flaqwaterstories

Tarpons: The Silver King is a Conservation Success Story

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By Joe Guidry, former opinion editor, The Tampa Tribune The tarpon is called “the Silver King” for good reason. It can grow upward of seven feet long and 300 pounds, and it is generally acknowledged as the toughest sportfish on Florida’s coast, known for its muscular runs and spectacular leaps. However, when The Florida Aquarium Associate Curator Eric Hovland (pictured below) calls the tarpon “scrappy,” he is not talking about its rod-bending ability. The tarpon, […]

The Chaz Remains Enchanting Wilderness Oasis Despite Environmental Challenges

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By Joe Guidry, former opinion editor, The Tampa Tribune The Chassahowitzka may be difficult to say, but this beguiling river scarcely an hour’s drive from Tampa is impossible to forget. The Seminole Indians gave the river its tongue-tying name, with Chassahowitzka meaning “pumpkin hanging place,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. But the roughly seven-mile long waterway usually is simply called The Chaz. The river has not been spared entirely the effects […]

And It All Began with a Canoe Trip

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If you are discouraged by politics and don’t think you are rich enough to affect government, consider the example of Gus Muench. Now 80-years-old, Muench never envisioned himself getting involved in politics. He grew up in Seminole Heights, where he was a “river rat.”  He had a little boat he kept chained in a park on the Hillsborough River and was out on the water every chance he had. The river had good fishing though […]

A Creature of the Wind

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By Joe Guidry, former opinion editor, The Tampa Tribune One of spring’s most inspiring sights is the elegant swallow-tailed kite swooping and circling through the air against a vivid blue sky. It is beauty in motion. So, I was delighted the kite was chosen as the central motif of The Florida Aquarium’s new Mosaic Center, which offers meeting rooms and event halls with panoramic views of the waterfront. But, the Aquarium’s commitment to the kite involves […]

Trekking for Protecting Florida’s Wildlife Corridors

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A passion for wild places can, like Florida waters, carry us to places we’d never imagined possible. A little more than two years ago, The Florida Aquarium hosted members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition as they prepared for their second 1,000-mile journey across the state. Among those attending The Aquarium’s festivities was a 22-year-old recent college graduate who found herself about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Tampa native Alex Morrison, a recent […]

Governor Bob Martinez a Champion for the Environment

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“This wasn’t seen as environmentalism; it was patriotism. The necessity of being frugal with resources and avoiding waste made a deep impression …” From his office on the 39th floor of the Regents Bank Building in downtown Tampa, former Tampa Mayor and Florida Governor Bob Martinez can see the shimmering results of his leadership. A vibrant Tampa Bay, a cleaner Hillsborough River and a preserved Picnic Island are just a few of his accomplishments readily […]

Cabbage Key Fishing Expeditions: Unpredictable Ones Often the Best Ones

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It’s impossible to tell a Cabbage Key fishing tale which I’m about to do without first appropriately describing the 100-acre island.  In fact, you rarely read about Cabbage Key without seeing it described as “old Florida.”  A purist might grumble that Old Florida didn’t have ferry boats taking up to 700 people a day to eat at the Cabbage Key Restaurant, rumored to be the inspiration of Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” And Old Florida […]

OUR BLOGGER JOE GUIDRY RECEIVES CONSERVATION AWARD

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Are we ever lucky at The Florida Aquarium to have our blogger, Joe Guidry, be the winner of such a prestigious award!  And as you’ll find out, he gets to designate $2,000 toward a project or park of his choice. We gave Joe a pass on writing this next blog so we could share some more great news about this hero for our environment.  It is written by Stacy White, chairman of the Hillsborough Board […]

Volunteers and The Florida Aquarium Share a Special Relationship

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By Joe Guidry, former opinion editor, The Tampa Tribune This is Volunteer Appreciation Week, which The Florida Aquarium has good cause to celebrate. Manager of Volunteer Services Chelsea Gomez says the 266 active volunteers “interact with guests, care for animals, dive in the exhibits” and are “involved in every single area in The Aquarium.” Perhaps it is a stretch to say the Aquarium, which employs about 220 full and part-time workers, could not function without volunteers, […]

Upcoming Day of Discovery Focuses on Autism-friendly Experiences

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By Joe Guidry, former opinion editor, The Tampa Tribune In his recent State of the City speech Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn launched an “Autism Friendly Tampa” initiative, pledging that the city would work with the University of South Florida’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) to better meet the needs of residents with autism. It is an admirable undertaking, and one that The Florida Aquarium has pursued for years with USF’s CARD. Buckhorn is […]