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Aquarium Environmentalism

Dwight wrote:

>Respectfully, I don't think I'm off-based in my assessment and I think its
>in the long term best interest of our hobby for you "founders" to take more
>of a personal  interest in seeking ways to promote the "Environmentally
>Responsible" angle of our hobby beyond your home regions (beyond just
>seeking diverse convention lcations) .  With an eye on encouraging the
>formation of local self sustaining groups.  These groups can serve as info
>disseminators will give the general pubic a "warm-n'-fuzzy" feeling about
>the benefits (environmental and otherwise) of planted Aquaria.  

I (and others) have addressed Dwight's unrealistic wish that others could
come start up a local club for him in other posts.  But I have to comment
on this. (which, of course has nothing to do with the original
conversation, so I have changed the header)

It is in the long term best interest of this hobby (and this world) that
EVERYONE become more environmentally aware and active.  Did you know that
New Hampshire slid some bad aquatic plant legislation by a few years back?
Are you aware that the local aquarium and pond hobbyists have been working
hard to have it rescinded or at least changed?  Did you know that MA (my
state) has appointed a task force to study the impact of invasive,
non-native plants?  Did you know that I (and other hobbyists and vendors)
have been in direct, productive contact with our legislators working to
make sure that any laws are fair and enforceable.  That those laws will
protect our waterways and at the same time not needlessly impact the
aquarium hobby?

Do you know that I have written about these issues both in my columns in
national magazines and here on the APD?  Have you noticed that several of
us _immediately_ jump to educate people here on the list the minute a post
comes up regarding hobbyists doing something that might negatively impact
the environment?  Do you know that when I am educating teachers on the use
of aquariums in the classroom, one of the FIRST things we discuss is how to
avoid a negative impact on our environment from the aquarium hobby?

These are important issues, and ones that should _always_ be taken into
considerations.  But I know that there are people who ARE doing their part.
 Are you doing yours?  This is not a personal challenge to you, Dwight, but
to _everyone_ who reads this list.  Think about it.  Are we ALL doing our
part.  If we do, we can minimize the adverse effects of our hobby on the
environment in the future. Cleaning up the ecological disasters that others
have already made, particularly in the warm, southern states, is a
different and very difficult issue.

Few people have the time or money to turn these issues into a personal
crusade.  What we can _ALL_ do, is to do our part to educate others at
every opportunity, and to make sure that all the decisions we make
regarding our own participation in the hobby are carefully considered and
environmentally sound.

If, Dwight, you or other people care to spearhead a movement to create a
"watchdog" committee to keep us all informed of changes and information on
the environmental front, contact the AGA management committee, either
through myself, or any other management committee member. (they are listed
both in the front of TAG and on the AGA web site)  I suspect that the AGA
would welcome involvement of that type from an enthusiast member!  But
don't expect "them" to do it for you, because as I said at the beginning of
this post, "them" is "us" and we _all_ need to do our part.