The Florida Lifestyle

Pensacola Lighthouse

Pensacola Lighthouse on the Florida Panhandle copyrighted by Elaine Marie.

The American Automobile Association and pollsters finally got it right. There are three Floridas! When I ordered my Florida tour book recently, I had the option of three books: South Florida, Central Florida, and the Panhandle.

One thread courses through them all— sunny skies and scenic beaches. As I travel around the sunshine state with my sketch book in hand, I am captivated by what I see: the pristine beaches of North or Central Florida contrasted by the well-groomed tropical beaches of South Florida.

As a state whose economy and geography is defined by water, you would think that Florida would treasure its natural resources.

Yet, Florida has a pattern of abusing natural resources like the St. Johns River and the Everglades. How can we manage our state’s current growth and not diminish our resources? We are on the path to outpacing New York as the third largest state.

The symbiotic relationship between wetlands, aquatic habitat and clouds is what makes Florida unique and is often the subject of many of my paintings. If we destroy our fragile ecological balance, we imperil our lifestyle.

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