For the Love of Florida Speaker Series

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Fall in love with Florida all over again by celebrating our people, discovering our environmental history, and championing our state's natural resources.

For the Love of Florida: Telling the Essential Florida Story

A Speaker Series presented by Oxbow Eco-Center



          Fall in love with Florida all over again or maybe for the very first time at the Oxbow Eco-Center’s “For the Love of Florida” Speaker Series being held at the Port St. Lucie Community Center at 2195 S.E. Airoso Boulevard from January through May. Learn about the people and places that have shaped Florida’s delightful and charming culture, gain an appreciation of its natural wonders, and become part of the Blue Revolution to champion Florida’s future.

          This series, supported by the Florida Humanities Council, consists of seven captivating speakers including scientists, authors, journalists, and historians. Whether you’re new to Florida or a long-time resident, sit back and take a little trip to learn how land and water were “conquered” and meet some of the everyday heroes who fought to protect the state’s natural wonders.

          If you need assistance registering or require special accommodations to take in any of these entertaining and insightful programs, please call the Oxbow Eco-Center at (772) 785-5833 or e-mail: All events are accessible and offer free parking.



Join the Blue Revolution -- January 9 * 6:30 p.m.
Florida’s economy and idyllic lifestyle are built on a foundation of pure and plentiful water. Yet for the first time in history, the latest generation of Floridians has not inherited waters as clean and abundant as their parents. In this uplifting program, award-winning author Cynthia Barnett demonstrates why this water-rich state could face water scarcity and quality woes, and how we can turn it around with a Blue Revolution.





The Most Interesting Floridians I Have Known -- February 6 * 6:30 p.m. Author Jeff Klinkenberg introduces some of the most interesting people he’s known over a lifetime of writing about Florida’s culture. From influential leaders to salt-of-the-Earth everyday people, Klinkenberg will share stories about living the quintessential Florida life. Prepare yourself for an entertaining program featuring these intriguing citizens through Jeff’s award-winning storytelling.



    Our St. Lucie River: The North Fork -- February 13 * 6:30 p.m. 

 SPECIAL LOCATION: Board Of County Commission Chambers,  2300 Virginia Avenue, Fort  Pierce

Gary Goforth

     Join the St. Lucie Conservation Alliance and Oxbow Eco-Center for a special presentation by Dr.  Gary Goforth on the history and current issues plaguing the North Fork of the St. Lucie River and its  creeks  and canals. With more than 35 years experience in water resources management and large scale environmental restoration, Goforth will share the water quality status of the river and engage in a discussion on how current processes can be improved.



Dr. Edie WidderWhat Goes Around Comes Around: Where Water and Health Meet – March 1 * 6:30  Florida’s toxic algae blooms have been much in the news lately.  These blooms raise potential health concerns not only for local wildlife, but people as well.  It turns out that what we put into our waterways can return to us in the form of contaminated fish and toxic algae blooms. Dr. Edith Widder, founder of Ocean Research & Conservation Association, shares findings from her research in the Indian River Lagoon, Lake Okeechobee and St. Lucie Estuary, and presents strategies that we can all use to improve the health of our waters.



Marjorie Harris Carr: A Florida Super Hero -- March 6 * 6:30 p.m.
Using engaging historic postcards, photos, and lively discussion, historian Dr. Peggy Macdonald blends environment and history to convey an inspirational message through the life and work of Marjorie Harris Carr. Despite growing up in Florida during a time when women were discouraged from seeking careers in science, Marjorie became a super hero in environmental conservation. She led a small but influential group of citizens to do big things — like stopping the Cross Florida Barge Canal by Presidential order and conserving hundreds of thousands of acres of critical habitat. The land that was to be dredged from the Atlantic to the Gulf is now the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, memorializing this powerful woman.



Land Remembered

Take a Trip through Patrick Smith’s “A Land Remembered” -- March 13 * 6:30 p.m. 
Prepare yourself for a visual feast of storytelling highlighting Patrick Smith, famed author of the Florida classic “A Land Remembered.” Patrick’s son, Rick Smith (aka Patrick Jr.), cleverly utilizes family video, special effects and music to bring his unique presentation to life. Rick discusses his late father’s body of work and why he decided to write about society’s underdogs to tell the story of the “real” Florida.


Dr. Nool
Florida Water Stories -- April 3 * 6:30 p.m.
Take a thought-provoking look at Florida’s long and sometimes difficult relationship with water along with University of Florida master lecturer Dr. Steve Noll. Discover why Florida’s geography and natural history create water concerns more pressing than perhaps anywhere else in the nation. You’ll hear how and why Floridians attempted to re-shape the state by turning land into water and water into land.



President FDR

 Through the Eyes of Roosevelt: the Essential Role of Government and Public Service – May 1 * 6:30 p.m. President Franklin D. Roosevelt led the country at one of the most challenging and defining times in our history, leading us through the Great Depression followed by World War II. His presidency offers an excellent message on the essential role of government in a great society. Although controversial at the time, his programs were highly successful and carried Americans through difficult times. The Works Progress Administration included construction projects and the collection of cultural stories still enjoyed today. In clever fashion, historian David Schmidt inspires the audience to consider the ethic of public service that Roosevelt awakened.


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This program is sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the Florida Department State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

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