Dianne Hughes has dedicated her career to environmental regulation and restoration. She has worked on the largest restoration project in the world – The Everglades Restoration Project. So when she heard about Climate Ride recently from her friend, Ruth Holmes, who rode in the Red, White and Blue Ridge Ride, she decided to sign up to visit Bryce, Zion, and Escalante. She hopes to show family and friends that she is a true believer in climate change and committed to finding ways to communicate with others that climate change is REAL and WE are causing it.
Dianne lives in Florida, which is in the thick of climate change. As a scientist and the Senior Ecosystem Specialist for Martin County, she has seen the impacts of human activities on our natural resources, wildlife, habitat, and especially in sea level rise over the past 100 years. Around Martin County, salinity is impacting stormwater ponds, which discharge directly to the St. Lucie River and Estuary. During high and King tides, seawater backs up through outfall systems to stormwater facilities.
She has also seen climate change impacting Florida’s estuaries and springs. When she was certified to dive in the 1980's, the springs were beautiful and pristine and Florida Bay was flourishing with sponges. But revisiting Florida Bay recently proved to be disappointing. She went diving and found there are no more sponges in the bay and the bottom was covered in a floating layer of algae.
Dianne’s conviction to protecting the environment stems from her understanding that we are just borrowing this planet from our children and grandchildren. That’s why she is raising funds to support Citizens Climate Lobby and the National Parks Conservation Association in order to ensure that future generations have access to wild spaces and clean water when they are her age. She plans to continue using educational outreach to teach local residents and activists to help them take action and ask for change within Martin County.
Her conviction to protecting the environment also stems from understanding that we are just borrowing this planet from our children and grandchildren. She wants to ensure that future generations will have clean water when they are her age. She knows for that to happen, it will take some serious political shifts.