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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 […]

Tampa, Know Your Tortoises

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The Florida Aquarium’s e-newsletter recently ran this delightful photograph of Koko, a burrowing owl, riding on the back of a gopher tortoise. The species share the same habitat in the aquarium uplands display, but the photograph is as telling as it is cute. The lowly gopher tortoise carries a lot other creatures on its back – at least figuratively. Scientists say the burrows gopher tortoises dig provide a home or refuge for more than 350 wildlife […]

Getting Sea Turtles Back on Their Flippers

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By Joe Guidry, former opinion editor, the Tampa Tribune “It was 9 a.m. on a recent Monday.  Our Florida Aquarium Center for Conservation sea turtle release team climbed into two vehicles.  Our shelled comrades, Rosemary and Ginger, quietly rested in their transport carriers. Two hours later, our convoy arrived at Cape Canaveral Seashore and within 15 minutes the two healthy loggerhead sea turtles fitted with microchips swam out into the surf and out of sight. […]

Turning Feel-Good Words Into Action

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By Joe Guidry, former opinion editor, the Tampa Tribune The Florida Aquarium’s pioneering efforts to save coral reefs, which are dying at an alarming rate, is attracting a lot of news coverage, and rightly so. But those reports, such as The Tampa Bay Times’ recent Paul Guzzo story on The Florida Aquarium working with Cuban scientists to create greenhouses for growing coral that can eventually be replanted, represent more than just scientific progress. The Aquarium’s […]

A Well-Articulated “No” Protects Tampa Bay

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By Joe Guidry, former opinion editor, the Tampa Tribune Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Jan Platt was mocked by political opponents as “Commissioner No” because of how often she voted against development proposals that came before the Board. It was a nickname that ultimately most Hillsborough residents came to see as a badge of honor, as she fought an often-lonely battle against projects that posed a threat to public resources, particularly Tampa Bay. While she lost […]

Finding Wild Florida at Myakka

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By Joe Guidry, former opinion editor, the Tampa Tribune Unlike many aquariums that focus on sharks, dolphins and other offshore species, The Florida Aquarium, in telling the Florida water story, illustrates how intrinsically tied those coastal species are to swamps and wetlands far removed from the shore. It is a fascinating story, one that includes creatures that range from otters to tarpon, and makes one appreciate the remarkable diversity of Florida’s natural riches and understand […]

A Restored Tampa Bay—The Positive Side of the Regulatory Equation

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By Joe Guidry, former opinion editor, The Tampa Tribune To hear some elected officials tell it, regulations are the devil’s spawn – they destroy efficiency, increase prices and kill jobs. In fact, during the political season, the word regulations is almost always preceded by “job-killing.” There is some truth to the claim that bureaucratic red tape and command-and-control policies hamstring enterprise and deter innovation, the reason officials should take care when adopting new rules. But […]