On December 2nd, Miami Friends Meeting was pleased to host Rev. Houston R. Cypress, Otter Clan, a member of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and Board Member of the Love the Everglades Movement, who spoke with tenderness about his ancestral home – the Everglades – and with great concern about the impact of agricultural waste on water quality and the impending threat of toxic water released from Lake Okeechobee. Houston focused on the deep spiritual connection the tribe has with the Everglades and shared the results of the tribe’s independent monitoring of water quality.
Miami Friends Meeting attender Luca Marazzi, an aquatic ecologist and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Florida International University, shared the scientific community’s research and concerns.
Some indigenous groups have been reluctant to collaborate with conservation groups who seem to care more about bird species than the humans that have inhabited environmentally sensitive areas for generations. Scientists and environmentalists support “solutions” to saving the Everglades that the Miccosukees fear will flood their traditional homes on tree islands within the “river of grass.”
Miami Friends feel a commitment to become allies of the Miccosukees in helping provide educational forums about the urgency of saving the whole Everglades system, not only as a vital series of ecosystems but also as the Miccosukee homeland. Some in the audience had never visited the Everglades. Houston and the Love the Everglades Movement provide spiritual excursions into the Everglades to appreciate the delicate balance of nature and the serene beauty to be encountered if one takes the time.
Click on photo to see full size
Love the Everglades website: www.LoveTheEverglades.org