Category Archives: CAVU

Climate Advocates Voices Unidas

I met David Smith at the dawn of my climate change journey when Dr. Stoddard, then South Miami’s Mayor, and Caroline Lewis, the founder of The CLEO Institute suggested he hear my thoughts on our climate and South Florida’s questionable future in a world of rising seas. That was in 2015 when I was in 10th grade and our paths have crossed many times in the years since, including this year when he graciously asked me to serve on the Board of Directors for an amazing organization that he and his wife Jordan founded and lead, Climate Advocates Voices Unidas (CAVU).


David is a gifted filmmaker and storyteller, pilot, devout environmentalist, esteemed educator, father, friend, and all around nice guy. He, Jordan, and the entire CAVU team are having a truly incredible advocacy and educational impact in “moving the needle,” as David would say, in an important and positive direction.


My own work with CAVU over the years has included being featured in the 10 part Florida-focused series Ahead of the Tide that remains relevant (and can be found here on the main page!), the Ahead of the Tide Miami Video Premiere at the University of Miami in 2016, and more recently the Climate Innovation Challenge for which I served as a judge and keynote speaker that took place this past April.

CAVU seeks to engage individuals, communities, and leaders to take action on climate related issues through education, media, scientific research, and advocacy for our natural world. At their heart, the folks at CAVU are immersive story-tellers and true agents of change. As we say here at CAVU, Perspective is Everything and with that in mind I invite you to view the following short video that illustrates our impact throughout the hemisphere:

CAVU’s current programs and projects include its award winning Climate Innovation Challenge (, a wonderful STEAM focused program for students; a multi-media series The Polluted Future that exposes how a new federal rule threatens New Mexico’s aquatic environment; and Methane Matters as part of their Unearthed Series that explores the impact, benefits, and costs of gas and oil while advocating to have greenhouse gas emissions materially reduced. And this coming Spring CAVU is planning to launch a new video series and website that aims to bring social justice and environmental organizations together to ensure that equity and justice are prioritized as society transitions to a clean energy economy.


I have long admired David and Jordan’s work and am deeply humbled that they would ask me to serve on the CAVU Board. They are making a real difference in a world that needs all of the difference makers that we can find so I hope you will take time to learn about their truly amazing work. I know it will inspire you and I look forward to hearing what you think.

To learn more about CAVU or to consider making a donation towards its incredibly important work please visit or contact me at any time.

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, Seas Are Rising, and So Are You


The last two weeks have been a blur for The Sink or Swim Project but the next two weeks are even more exciting and I have a lot of news to share with you about some amazing events.

Breakthrough Miami

Before I share news about February, I must share the incredible experience that I enjoyed on Saturday, January the 30th as I lectured to a Breakthrough Miami class of Middle and High School students at Palmer Trinity.

The 80 children and their questions were absolutely incredible. In fact, following my presentation they had almost an hour worth of engaging questions about what will happen, and when, as well as many on possible solutions and how they can spread the word. As I often say, today’s children ‘Get It’ and the students at Breakthrough Miami are a perfect example of this and give me great hope that we absolutely can solve our planet’s global warming and sea level rise problems.


I must admit that this presentation was unlike any I had ever done before because it was being filmed by a crew from National Geographic’s Years of Living Dangerously ( for inclusion in season two of the Emmy award winning series that will air later this year. A crew flew in from New York, Germany and elsewhere to film The Sink or Swim Project presentation for their upcoming segment on Miami that will have actor/musician Jack Black as its correspondent. The students not only learned about sea level rise that morning but had the opportunity to watch the crew work and even ask all sorts of questions about their process, profession and lives. It was truly a memorable experience and I want to thank National Geographic, the Years Project, Jon, Tomek, and Matt, as well as Gus and Brian from Palmer for their tremendous support.DSC_0333

Coming Attractions of The Sink or Swim Project

Now, onto what will be an incredible month (February) for The Sink or Swim Project’s educational work. Here are the coming attractions:

1. February 15th: Ahead of the Tide

I am so very excited to share with you the launch of a monumental 10 part series on sea level rise entitled Ahead of the Tide that drops its first episode on February 15th. This landmark movement highlights the effects of sea level rise and climate change through the stories and voices of local people here in Florida.

Each video (5 to 7 minutes) will showcase different issues related to sea level rise from scientists, engineers, politicians, educators, authors, activists and others. David Smith of CAVU ( has made many breathtaking environmental films and from what I’ve seen, thus far, the Ahead of the Tide series will be both stunningly beautiful, as well as deeply thought provoking.

Please check out the trailer on our website,, or at where you can sign up to join the movment and make a difference today!

2. February 26th: TEDx Youth@Miami

I love watching TED Talks and I am so very honored to share that I will be presenting my own TEDx talk at the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall here in Miami on February 26th! My talk will be about my work on sea level rise and how ‘kids get it’ and how young people, no matter how young, can have an impact in solving the problem. To learn more and even buy tickets, click here!

TEDxYouth-slide3. February 20th & 27th:

On two consecutive Saturdays, the 20th and 27th, The University of Miami will host the Cooper Fellow Training Series two day lecture entitled Empowering Capable Climate Communicators 2016. The training will take place at the University of Miami’s Cox Science Center on the Coral Gables campus from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm both days. It is sponsored by The CLEO Institute, the University of Miami’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Geological Sciences.

Both days will be filled with presentations, discussions and training by some of the world’s leading climate scientists and communicators who will talk about causes, severity and impacts if humane-induced climate change, as well as what must be done to adapt, stop and reverse trends.

I am deeply proud to say that on the 27th I will be presenting a lecture entitled I Have Found My Voice. You Must Too. I plan to discuss the journey that I have been on over the last two years with The Sink or Swim Project’s educational efforts and will illustrate how anyone, no matter their age, can make a difference. Thanks to Dr. Harold Wanless, Chair of The University of Miami Department of Geological Sciences for inviting me to participate.

To learn more about Empowering Capable Climate Communicators 2016 training please click on the following flyer:  


In lieu of flowers and candy for Valentine’s Day I am off to Hawaii for a week long Marine Biology Expedition. I can’t wait to see what treasures I discover during my first visit to the Pacific Ocean. I plan to swim with giant manta rays and dolphins, search for whales, hike volcanos and explore black sand beaches and rain forests.

I will do my best to post a picture or two on The Sink or Swim Project’s social media when possible and when I return will share some more BIG news with you about how children are making a huge difference in the world and why I know that my generation can and will solve the challenges our planet faces from warming and sea rise. Until then, please consider telling your friends about The Sink or Swim Project and following us on social media.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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