Inspiration, education, and getting your hands dirty!

Today’s post is from a dear family friend,  and Finley fan (as you will see), Grace Pezzeminti.

Whenever my uncle invited my father to go deep sea fishing, he would bring along his briefcase, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. That should give you an idea of how outdoorsy my family is. Despite the fact that I grew up on Florida’s Space Coast, I never learned to surf or fish or climb a tree. I figured nature was best left to the professionals. Luckily, I met Finley’s family and friends in my impressionable college years. They were the first people in my life to be actively committed to a healthier planet. Because of their example, I am now pursuing a master’s degree in Coastal Zone Management. I still know little about coral biology or the chemistry of water eutrophication, but I am going to use my ethnographic skills to promote resilient shorelines on our increasingly fragile coasts.

I grew up surrounded by people who routinely said, “Well, I’m no scientist” when confronted with complicated environmental issues. Finley wasn’t a scientist either, but her passionate vision for a greener future gave me the confidence to get involved as a pretty science-illiterate layman. Now I get to share Finley’s passion with my family too. I still have to drag my father outside, but we’re working together to develop a living shoreline (mangroves) for our home rather than concrete riprap.Change is gradual. It’s a simple thing to educate yourself and use your strengths to make a difference, whether that’s at home, in Miami Beach, or in global politics. Science can be intimidating, but that shouldn’t keep us from going outside and getting our hands dirty. I made that mistake as a child, but with Finley as my guide I will never miss out on the universe outside again.

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