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We’re a country of rivers and streams. Lewis and Clark discovered this as they made their way westward. And it remains apparent today to anyone who stares out an airplane window.
As anglers, we have a special appreciation of, and a personal relationship with, these iconic rivers. We also have a great sense of concern. That’s because many of these rivers are threatened by mining, pollution, closure and more.
Thankfully, there’s a way for all of us to help through Save Our Streams (S.O.S.). It’s a SIMMS program that raises awareness of – and gives back to – these waterways. Part of this program is a series of limited-edition S.O.S. tee-shirts. Each one is designed for a much-loved American river. SIMMS supports organizations working to protect and preserve these rivers for all of us to enjoy.
Healthy rivers not only are vital for thriving fisheries and great angling opportunities, but they also sustain diverse wildlife, contribute billions of dollars annually to our outdoor recreation economy, and they’re the main source of drinking water for two-thirds of Americans. In short, we can’t live without them.
The labyrinth of mangrove forests, sawgrass marshes and cypress swamps known as the Everglades is one the most diverse and unique fisheries in the country. For decades, anglers have been drawn to not only the tarpon and snook that reside here, but also to the mystic and lore of this South Florida jungle.
This 2 million acre wetland begins in Central Florida’s Kissimmee River and flows south into Lake Okeechobee. Historically, during the wet season, Lake Okeechobee’s overflow formed a slow moving river of grass that flowed south through Everglades National Park, all the way out to Florida Bay. Water mismanagement in the form of damming, ditching and draining, has drastically changed the traditional flow of fresh water that once supplied, and balanced the Everglades. In order to protect this one-of-a-kind resource, we have to send the water south again.
Captains for Clean Water spawned from a group of fishing guides from Fort Myers, FL that “had enough” of Florida’s poor water management practices. Now Captains for Clean Water is a grassroots 501(c)3 non-profit organization that advocates for the elimination of harmful, large-scale Lake Okeechobee discharges into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie River Estuaries by restoring the natural flow of Lake Okeechobee water south into the Everglades and Florida Bay. Restoring the natural southern flow of Lake Okeechobee water is essential to the survival of Florida’s estuaries, the health of the Everglades, and the long-term viability of South Florida’s largest drinking water source, the Biscayne Aquifer.
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, artist/passionate angler, Jorge Martinez has been enamored with fish and art his entire live. Even as a kid, Martinez remembers drawing but it wasn’t until graduating high school that he really began to fine-tune his craft while attending the Miami School of Art and Design. Living in Miami allows Martinez to indulge in both of his passions, and affords him the opportunity to fish for just about every premiere salt water gamefish that swims. Martinez has been fortunate to chase bonefish, permit, tarpon and redfish in areas all over South Florida, but it’s the Everglades he calls his favorite and finds most inspiring.
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