The Florida I have inside me….

A literary remembrance of Bill Belleville, whose storytelling celebrates the mystery and glory of our state’s waterways, and beckons us to go outside. By Cynthia Barnett This winter on a sunny weekday, I jostled my kayak into the warm waters of the Wekiva River in honor of Bill Belleville, one of the great chroniclers of what he called vernacular Florida—“the luxuriant particulars of nature, of culture, and of place.” Belleville,

Water as A Healing Source, In search of miracle cures

From ancient times, water has been imbued with almost magical curative powers. Taking the waters in Florida After the Civil War, visitors flocked to the state, drawn by a promise of the healing powers of the springs and the sea. By Rick Kilby Beer baron Charles D. Kaier had certainly prospered in America after he immigrated from Germany. He fought for his new country during the Civil War and, by

Water as Freedom: Fluid freedom

Whether it be an endless ocean, a meandering river, or a back country swamp, water evokes freedom for all who seek it. Finding freedom, so fluid and fleeting Florida’s waterways promise blissful release from rules and care — until one person’s liberty clashes with another’s property lines. By Thomas T. Ankersen Featured image above: Cave divers enter the labyrinth of Manatee Springs, one of the state’s first-magnitude springs, located on

Water as A Natural Bridge, Bonding Across the Straits of Florida

The lessons of a manatee’s journey How shared waterways bridge the divides between Florida and Cuba — for marine life and the scientists united to protect it. By Anmari Alvarez Aleman Featured image above: In April 1984, more than 20 years before this Florida manatee was spotted by Anmari Alvarez Aleman in the warm waters off of Cuba, she was photographed in Crystal River with her male calf. In 2007, she

Someplace so familiar

Traveling halfway around the world, this sponge diver found his home in Tarpon Springs — a vibrant seaside outpost of his native Greece. By Janet Scherberger It’s a breezy, clear-blue-sky early afternoon in Tarpon Springs and Anastasio “Taso” Karistinos is on his sponge boat, stringing up a gray tarp to protect against the sun. “I don’t need to get more tan,” he says with a broad grin, his white teeth

History unfolded as water set the course

History unfolded as water set the course Lessons abound in the stories of our state’s earliest inhabitants, as they coped with the rising seas. By Kenneth Sassaman 7032 B.C., Near Modern-Day Titusville, On Florida’s East Coast As the end of her mortal life approached, the matriarch of the clan contemplated the future of her people. The world they knew was changing. Water was on the rise, in some places faster

Water: The elemental link to Florida’s identity

By Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee Surrounded by more than 1,300 miles of coastline containing a myriad of freshwater lakes and springs, and with more than 11,000 miles of rivers, water is perhaps Florida’s most defining element. We are fortunate to live in a state where almost anywhere you go, you can find a body of water within close proximity providing inspiration, adventure and a way of life for
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