In 1994 I started calling my tours eco-tours. The fact that you were doing a tour with a teacher with experience in Marine Biology, Zoology, Biology, Earth and Space Science just to mention a few. This educational experience made the trip one that really helped many understand the ecology of the area. Of course I had a history as a teacher of doing a field trip per week with High School Students. They actually learned more outside the classroom than in the classroom.
I became a member of Hernando County Tourism Development Council, and really did a lot to promote Florida’s Nature Coast. I provided kayaking and diving trips up and down the nature coast.
Every Tom Dick and Harry started providing eco-tours. I suppose it was good as more and more people got out and enjoyed the unique environment of the area.
It all went well until the Deep Horizon Oil Spill. Tourism in the state came to a scratching halt. Still today, I seldom get a group to paddle on an eco-tour, and if they did, from the keys to Texas, the Gulf is not the same.
Maybe I should have been lined up for a hand out from BP, but I guess one thing I learned from my Grandfather is, don’t take charity. So I wait hoping for the day that I can again enjoy the Gulfs estuaries, rivers and spring.