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At the first program of the 2015 Conversations Series Nathaniel Reed, a founding member and vice chairman of the Everglades Foundation shared colorful stories about his efforts to advance protection of the environment that began in the 1960s, including his service as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and Parks in the Nixon and Ford administrations. For 55 years he has served as the rallying voice to protect this delicate and important ecosystem from raw sewage and industrial waste that threatens wildlife as well as plant diversity. Reed was joined on stage by panelists Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation and Dan Burkhardt, Danforth Center Board member and author of Missouri River Country – 100 Miles of Stories and Scenery from Hermann to the Confluence and Florida Bay Forever – A Story of Water from the Everglades to the Keys.
The Everglades Foundation is currently working to curb the release of billions of gallons of contaminated water pouring out of Lake Okeechobee that has led to the loss of habitat and urban runoff in the Everglades in addition to economic hardship for many businesses who rely on the surrounding bodies of water for their work.
“We face a number of issues,” said Eric. “We salute the work of the Danforth Plant Science Center, because their scientific research will help move us forward and preserve our precious natural resources. Agricultural research is extremely important.”
The Danforth Center is dedicated to improving sustainability in agriculture. “I’ve never been able to paint the picture for you like Nathaniel and Eric have tonight,” said Jim Carrington, Ph.D., president of the Danforth Center. “Our agricultural inputs are in serious imbalance with nature. The Danforth Center is addressing the same issues as the Everglades Foundation, but we are addressing them through the farm, the farmer and the technology that is used.”
The inspiring evening brought historical conservation and current-day issues to light. “We share a mutual responsibility as stewards of this Earth,” stated Nathaniel. “Stewardship of mother Earth is part of our collective and individual duty. We are all in this together.” The Conversations Series is sponsored by St. Louis Public Radio and HEC-TV. If you missed the program, you can watch it throughout the month of May starting May 3rd. The program will air Sundays at 5:00 P.M. and Tuesdays at 8:00 A.M on 989 Charter cable and 99 AT&T U-Verse. If you missed any past Conversation programs, you can view them here. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter @DanforthCenter and LIKE us on Facebook to stay up to date with science, research and recent news.
| Nathaniel ReedEverglades FoundationEric EikenbergDan BurkhardtConversations SeriesConservation