As we head towards our annual meeting in Key Largo August 10-11, I wanted to briefly look back at our May meeting in Tampa. Thanks to Randy Smith, Allison Lewis and the entire meeting team for an excellent meeting and celebration and remembrance of Buddy Blain’s life and accomplishments. The technical meeting was focused on the Tampa Bay estuary recovery with numerous presentations providing examples of successful restoration projects. In attendance were many of Buddy’s family and friends that helped us remember Buddy with inspiring words and funny stories of times spent with Buddy. Thanks again to all who helped put the meeting together and make it special in so many ways.
We now move to our annual meeting in Key Largo where we will again host the executive directors from around Florida in a panel discussion addressing each district’s priorities and hot button issues. We will again hold our banquet feast and have the always enjoyable “Eco Tour” (snorkeling trip) on Friday afternoon. We hope you will all join us in the keys for this meeting.
We again will hold our student scholarship fund raising event by raffling off our “cooler of cheer” in its very own Yeti cooler. This event was well received and was one of the highlights of our banquet. If you are interested in sponsoring the cooler or the event check our web page or get in contact with one of our 2017 officers.
During May and June we received and reviewed the applications for our various scholarships and reached conclusion on our various awards. Once again we had a great group of applicants and deliberations and discussions were as difficult as always. The winners will be announced soon. Again AWRA Florida is on track to give to needy students via scholarships, poster contest prizes, travel reimbursement for meetings and student chapter support awards totaling $20,000. Thanks to all our sponsors and members who make the development and nurturing of our future water resources professionals possible.
With each passing meeting we are also seeing our membership rise and we are on track to surpass our membership total from 2016 of 382 members. This would give us 5 straight years of increasing membership! I would say part of the appeal of AWRA Florida is the high quality technical meetings and diversity of attendees across the water resources community that draw many of our members to us. I encourage you all to ask a friend or peer to join AWRA Florida or attend a meeting with you. The value for the dollar cannot be beat with any other organization. I hope to see you all in Key Largo wearing your best tropical attire!
“May neighbors respect you, Trouble neglect you, The angels protect you, And heaven accept you”. Irish Drinking Toast.
“Drink moderately, for drunkenness neither keeps a secret nor observes a promise”. Miguel De Cervantes.