Dunedin Designated Hope Spot
Famed Ocean Scientist Sylvia Earle returns to Dunedin to Designate it as Florida Gulf Coast “Hope Spot”. Dunedin will be officially designated as a Florida Gulf Coast “Hope Spot” on Saturday, Oct. 26. An official “ribbon cutting” ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in Dunedin’s Pioneer Park. The celebration will continue throughout the afternoon with special activities in Downtown Dunedin. The event is free; however, children must be accompanied by an adult.
Her Deepness, Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, will be there to recognize the newly designated Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot and Dunedin as the home city of the Hope Spot. Dr. Earle is a world-renowned oceanographer and founder of Mission Blue. In 1979, she set a record for the deepest dive without a tether. She was the first woman to become the Chief Scientist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and has been called a “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine. (LEFT Dr. Sylvia A. Earle)
Dunedin has been chosen as the Home City of this newly designated Hope Spot. The city of Dunedin is especially near and dear to Dr. Sylvia Earle; it is where she grew up and first fell in love with the ocean. Bring your children for the scientific activities to follow during the Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot Celebration. If you are an artist or a scientist and would like to participate in this great family-friendly event please e-mail [email protected].
Mission Blue’s Council chose the Gulf Coast to join 120 other “Hope Spots” in the world, each recognized for the unique features and programs that make them critical to the health of marine areas. Partners in the project say this designation will also put the Gulf of Mexico on an international scale when it comes to protecting the earth’s waters.
About 12 percent of land around the world is protected, but for the waters, it’s less than six percent. This new designation will bring people together to protect areas that are not currently regulated.
The Florida Gulf Coast earned its new title thanks in part to the region’s immense biodiversity, which is supported greatly by seagrasses. Seagrasses suck out CO2 from the atmosphere, which helps combat some climate change and sea level rise impacts that we might see in the future, so further protecting those resources in the future is expected to be vital to this region, according to Ed Sherwood, executive director of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program. (Photo LEFT by Heather Miller for Destination Tampa Bay)
The Hope Spot designation creates a unifying rallying point that can be used to collaborate with the many supporters that are working to promote sustainable use of the waters and to promote education and research and communication to make sure that the waters are healthy for people to use today, as well as for generations to come.
For more information on the Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot effort and organization visit https:// bluegreenconnections.org/ or Blue-Green Connections on Facebook. For more information on Hope Spots and Mission Blue visit https://mission-blue.org/
Content by Jackie McCallum Photo courtesy of Blue-Green Connections, Inc, Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, and Destination Tampa Bay