Imagine Our Florida, Inc.  

IOF is on a Mission to Educate and Empower the people of Florida to become a voice for our wildlife, advocate for environmental stewardship, and coexist within our unique ecosystems.

Look at some of the animals found in Florida - click on the picture below

Children's animal coloring and activity pages - click on the coloring page below

Check out some of the different plants found in Florida - click on the picture below


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    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.

    Our purpose is to bring people together in a shared vision to preserve and protect Florida's wildlife, habitat and ecosystem. We plan to accomplish this via science- based education and the development of appreciation and respect for the natural world and our place within it.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.21 hours ago
    ---- From Sea to Shining Sea… ----

    One of the best advantages of living in Florida is that, if we travel far enough in either a Westerly or Easterly direction, we will find...water! And, one really cool thing about that is when the water seems to glow, as if by magic.

    On a summer evening in the Indian River lagoon, a natural magic illuminates the wake of a boat, the splash from a paddle, or creates beautiful blue flashes of frenzied schools of mullet. If you run your fingers through the water, you can see it fall in gorgeous blue-green luminescent droplets… What is causing the lagoon to glow? Bioluminescence! Tiny dinoflagellates (Pyrodinium bahamense) – or bioluminescent plankton – create light through biochemical reactions. When excited or stimulated, these plankton become little flashlights in the water, much like fireflies do on land.

    This evening, the plankton are lighting our way, as we kayak along the Indian River and into the lagoon. Originally named the “Rio de Ais,” after the Ais tribe of Native Americans who made their home along the East coast of Florida, the lagoon is, in actuality, a grouping of five lagoons, which comprise the most biodiverse lagoon ecosystem in the Northern Hemisphere, with over 10,000 species of plants and animals – thirty-five of these threatened or endangered. The lagoon is rife with game fish, such as tarpon or snook, which grow to epic sizes because there are very few predators in the lagoon. It is also host to all three types of mangroves, which provide filtration and nutrition to the ecosystem. We are told by our guide that, due to development, the mangrove population has been reduced by 85%. In addition, the water level in the system is rising due to increased runoff from the city. And there is also the danger from algae blooms, which form as a result of deforestation, pollution and high temperatures. Surely, these things are serious indications of danger to our natural ecosystems. However, they do not detract from the magic we are witnessing this evening; the beautiful blue glow serving as a reminder of the uniqueness and intricacy of this environment, one we must cherish and protect.

    If You Go…
    If you are looking for an educational, but interesting and fun adventure to share with family or friends, consider taking a bioluminescence tour! BK Adventure offers environmentally-friendly guided eco-tours. For more information, they can be reached at: | | (407) 519-8711

    To help ensure an enjoyable experience, we suggest wearing a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and closed shoes, and taking along some mosquito repellent, as well as a change of clothes, as you will likely get wet – but, that’s part of the fun!

    Submitted by IOF Advisor Arlene Cuellar
    *Bioluminescence photos courtesy of BK Adventure*
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.2 days ago
    --- Happy 4th of July! ---

    Wishing everyone at IOF a fun, safe, and memorable holiday!

    As we celebrate our independence, let's remember our wildlife who have given up their freedom to roam about their homeland when we moved in.

    Take a few moments today, to teach someone the value of a bug, how our oceans depend on us to recycle, the difference between a turtle and a tortoise, what to do when encountering a panther or a bear, or to appreciate the beauty of a blooming "weed." Because after all, we are all an equal and valuable part of the circle of life.

    Together, we can make a change. One voice at a time. One person at a time.

    Imagine the hearts and minds we will collectively change today if we all reach just one person.

    Connect. Respect. Coexist.

    #IOF #ImagineOurFlorida
    #IndependenceDay #4thofJuly
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.3 days ago
    --- Scarlet Rosemallow ---

    Scarlet Rosemallow, Hibiscus coccineus, is native to Florida and can be found in swamps and wetlands along lakes and streams. Also known as Marsh Hibiscus, the scarlet flowers on this water-loving shrub appear in late spring and summer and only last for a day. Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to the beautiful crimson wildflowers.

    Bonus: Scarlet Rosemallow can be grown in your home garden in an area that receives plenty of water.

    #IOF #ImagineOurFlorida
    #ScarletRosemallow #Wildflowers
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.4 days ago
    ---A Decline in Environmental Fines May Demonstrate Hope for the Future but Some are Skeptic---

    "In 2010, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection assessed 1,249 environmental fines in Florida, totaling $10.2 million. In 2019, the agency assessed 352 fines, totaling $4.4 million."

    #Environment #nature #pollution #Florida #ImagineOurFlorida #IOF
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.5 days ago
    Oh, those lazy, hazy days of summer...
    "Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time."
    - John Lubbock

    #ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #ConnectRespectCoexist

    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.6 days ago
    --- Tuesday Trivia ---

    Between February and June, 80% of naturally occurring sand pine scrub fires occur. These wildfires can be highly flammable which is why prescribed burns are utilized. Forestry managers can better control fires by burning when conditions are least likely to become out of control.

    Photo Credit: FWC

    Cooper, R.W. 1973. Fire and sand pine. Sand pine symposium proceedings. General technical report SE-2. Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service; Marianna, Florida. 207

    #SandPineScrubs #fireecology #pines #Florida #IOF #FloridaForNests #Forests #SandPine #ImagineOurFlorida