Category Archives: Saving Miami

From Miami-Dade’s Honor College to Middle & High Schoolers, KIDS GET IT!

So why is it that so few adults in Washington ‘get it’?

The stories pouring out of Washington this past week such as attempts to expand coal mining, eliminating important steps to protect our climate, and (http://www.recorder.com/Trump-order-could-ease-restrictions-on-oil-and-gas-drilling-in-some-national-parks-8987014) news that oil companies could be allowed to explore and drill wells in some of America’s National Parks (including Big Cyprus and Everglades National Park!) have many people rightfully upset, myself included. If needed, I’ll spend the rest of my life working to prevent oil explorations at Big Cyprus or Everglades National Park (have the so called “adults” in charge of these changes lost their minds?) and I am certain I will not be alone.

Why am I so certain?

Well, I only need think of the students that I have lectured to and met over the last few weeks. You only need to hear of their concerns, the passions in their voices and to look into their eyes to know that they are worried about what we are doing to our planet, much less their (rightful) fears over what the new “leadership” in Washington has been doing over the last month or two.

Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College has the largest institution of higher education in America and their very best students are enrolled in the Honor’s College. These young men and women are an impressive, motivated, and highly intelligent group and I learned that up close earlier this month when I presented a full lecture on climate change, sea level rise and what we need to do to solve this growing crisis. These energetic students were passionate about my talk and the need to get serious about fixing the problem. While those in power in Washington might not be serious about our changing climate, the Miami Dade College Honor’s students most certainly were.

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The Sagemont School

The Sagemont School is located on the edge of the Everglades in far, far Western Broward County in Weston. The middle and high school students that I met with this month might not yet be in college but they sure did express their concerns and are most certainly concerned about whether America’s leaders are serious about creating a sustainable future and protecting our planet.

And why not? No place in America is at greater risk from our ocean’s rising seas than South Florida and no place within South Florida is more at risk of extinction than the Everglades, whose grasslands you can see from the back of the school. Even the youngest students in attendance for my talk that day ‘get it’ and are worried about what is happening to our planet and want to help solve the problem. 

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Delaney,

Wow! Where do I start?
 You are an incredibly bright & passionate young woman who has discovered their gift at an early age and is sharing it with the world. Your light shines for others to see.
Your presentation was captivating, educational & left the kids realizing we can all do something to make a difference. 
It was a pleasure to meet you. I am so grateful you were able to join us!
*By the way, my sustainability class LOVED your books!!!
Thank you for what you do. You are amazing & inspiring!
Elaine Fiore

Climate & Sports Student Summit


And just last weekend I had the pleasure of being the closing speaker at the Climate & Sports Student Summit at American Airlines Arena that was organized by the Green Sports Alliance and the Miami Heat.

IMG_8047The students at this event were from schools all over South Florida and they were not only concerned about what is happening in Washington, as well as South Florida, but I am pleased to report that many of them are already deeply engaged in being part of the solution. And to prove it, they spent an entire Saturday learning about and working on ways to protect our precious environment.

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4638996Take, for example, attendees and speakers Kayla and Kimberly Correiea. These two incredible young women (mind you, they are, like myself, high school students) have founded the Plastic Free Mermaids organization (http://plasticfreemermaids.weebly.com) and bring awareness about the dangers of plastic in our marine environment, host cleanups and educate others on how to live in a plastic free lifestyle. These girls are amazing and are also very serious about having a positive impact in our world. Please consider visiting their website and following them on social media.
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And speaking of the Climate & Sports Student Summit and how serious today’s youth is about learning about what is happening to Florida and how they can help, please consider the note I received after my lecture at the home of the Miami Heat from Mel Rigo who wrote:

Good afternoon Delaney, I attended the American Airlines Arena Summit last Saturday and was really interested in what you presented. After talking it through with my teacher, we’ve decided to contact you and see if you’d be willing to attend our school … April is Earth month and our students have come up with themes for each week of the month, the first week of April will be water week which is why we would definitely love it if you’d like to attend and speak to our students during lunch. Pines Middle School welcomes you and would greatly appreciate it if you could come and tell us about what could soon be happening to our state. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Melanie Rigo from Pines Middle School

While many of the adults in Washington right now might not understand (or, at the very least, act like they understand) the importance of shifting our economy from fossil fuels to sustainable solutions such as solar, I can tell you that kids most certainly, absolutely, and undeniably ‘get it’ and these three recent groups once again prove that is the case.

As stupid as the suggestion from the adults ‘in charge’ right now might be that they want to expand coal mining or drill everywhere possible including in our National Parks (!), today’s youth are committed to fixing the climate crisis and ensuring that we change our ways.

Of that, I promise.

March for Science Miami

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When I learned of plans to have the first ever March for Science that will take place in Washington on Earth Day (April 22nd), I knew that we had to have a march here in Miami. That very night I created a social media account for a Miami March for Science, as well as a logo patterned after the Washington group’s artwork and began to think of others who would help support all of the cool science taking place in our region and the world.

900_7329f207-b69c-4f7e-8322-9f628fd81358_6587944b-520d-4f6b-bb9f-e075e86c3059_aae036c4-f36f-4c5f-b376-e0e694320656I am so very pleased to share with you that many people in our community are eager to tout the benefits of science and that I have the honor to now be working with some exceptional, passionate, folks who are organizing the official Miami march. A non-profit organization has been formed for the event along with a wonderful website (https://www.sciencemarchmiami.org) and tens of thousands of people have offered to support the effort including a range of local and national organizations, including Miami Waterkeepers, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Natural History Museum, the Nature Conservancy and the Women’s March Miami to name just a few. In addition to attending the upcoming march, you can even get some seriously cool merch to support the march in the form of tee shirts by visiting the Participate page on our website (https://www.sciencemarchmiami.org/indexhi).

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So come on Miami, mark you calendars for Earth Day, April 22nd, and join us at Museum Park in Downtown Miami at 11:00 am. Please keep an eye out on The Sink or Swim Project’s social media for more ‘Miami March’ news or follow the March on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and please share the details with all your friends. The more people that march on April 22nd and the louder our voices become, the better. We all know that science trumps politics!

Owen Joins Jack Black & ‘The School Of Rock’

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Owen playing guitar for me in the lobby the morning I filmed with Jack Black

My brother Owen is an amazing person, an excellent student and he is an especially incredible artist. He can sing, act, make all sorts of contraptions, and play different musical instruments, including the guitar. He’s been an inspiration to me in countless ways, is always supportive of all of my endeavors including my sea rise work. It was easy to ask him to join me on South Beach the day that I met Jack Black to film for the Miami Episode of Season 2 of Years of Living Dangerously and he and I had a blast that day.

Before the BIG day arrived Year’s Co-Executive Producer Jon Meyersohn asked me what I initially thought was a strange question; “Do you own a guitar and, if so, can you bring it with you the day we film with Jack?”  While Owen packed one of his guitars I introduced him to some videos of Jack’s band, Tenacious D, and that’s when we started to wonder if Jack might actually play the thing for us.

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By the time we had finished filming and had eaten a late lunch I’d forgotten that we’d brought the guitar and that’s when I was asked if we had brought one. Before I knew it Jack had it in his hand and began to admire it closely as Owen and I stood on the sand next to him and the most beautiful aqua water you can imagine. And that’s when the sound and music exploded off of the guitar and out of Jack’s mouth as he went into full Tenacious D mode and transported us off to his Land of Kickapoo (look it up) as if we were all on a speedboat. Amazing and fun and hysterical.

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Hours earlier Jack could not have been more serious about the most serious environmental issue of our time, yet now we were lost in his world.  I guess I should share with you that Jack could not have been nicer to me and my entire family and, well, everyone that was there that day (even people just passing by and learning ‘OMG, it’s Jack Black!).

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He was personable and down to earth and talked to me more like a friend than what he is, a major motion picture star and rock musician. And speaking of music, we spent a lot of time talking about his favorite bands (like Slipknot, Courtney Barnett, and others) and mine (like Piece the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens). He also gave me great selfie picture taking advice (click here to learn his expert technique). The best way I can describe him (and I mean this as a total compliment) is that Jack’s just a normal dude. A normal dude that can act like crazy and rock a guitar and sing like the rock star he is.

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When he rocked Owen’s guitar it was simply magical to see and hear and in those few minutes we got to see the Jack Black that you see in movies. An explosive, energetic, entertainer who also enjoys having fun no matter what he’s doing.

When he finished his mini-concert by the Bay he announced to all around that Owen’s guitar was properly christened, remarked about the lovely inlay detail on it and insisted that they take pictures together, with the guitar, of course.

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To see more of Jack, as well as yours truly, please tune into the Miami Episode (Gathering Storm, Saving Miami) on Wednesday November 2nd on The National Geographic Channel for Years of Living Dangerously. The Years of Living Dangerously has been called “the most important television series ever” for good reason and while Jack does not play guitar in our episode, he goes on an important adventure all over Miami to explain what’s happening to South Florida and why we must all work together to solve the climate change crisis before it is too late.

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