SYMPOSIUM SUMMARY: Florida, USA
The Symposium attracted a diverse group from around the world. Besides the USA, eight countries were represented, plus Puerto Rico. About 150 attendees came for either a few days or the entire sixday event. They represented the entire spectrum of the aquatic plant field, from academics to growers to hobbyists to botanical gardens personnel. It had been 16 years since the last Symposium visit, so all the stops were pulled out to show off Florida’s
aquatic side. Tours included an airboat ride in the Everglades, which was simultaneously thrilling and educational. Many said it was a Symposium’s highlight since they greatly enjoyed speeding along the surface amid miles of aquatic plants and cloudfilled skies. Stopping to see the alligators up so close was an additional treat. Other natural ecosystems visited were the Atlantic Ocean beach (filled with turtle nests) and freshwater springs in the central part of the State. Swimming and kayaking in the crystal clear water was a real eye
opener. People were amazed to learn that Florida spring water is always 72o F (22o C), which feels cold in the hot summer and warm in the winter. Even more amazing was snorkeling over dense forests of submerged aquatic plants, which often extended down 10-40 feet (3-12 meters). There were countless fish, including numerous large plecostomus, and other
aquatic fauna in this completely unique environment. ....
Read more in the Water Garden Journal Vol. 21-3