Environmental Leadership – MiaSci’s Fernando Bretos Receives Audubon/Toyota Fellowship

Posted on October 6th, 2010

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By: MiaSci

Fernando Bretos

Fernando Bretos, Director of Miami Science Museum’s Reclamation Project and member of the new Museum team, was one of 40 individuals nationwide selected as a 2010 TogetherGreen Fellow (www.togethergreen.org).

Supported by a conservation alliance of Audubon and Toyota, the TogetherGreen Fellowship offers specialized training in conservation planning and the chance to work and share best practices with gifted conservation professionals nationwide. Miami Science Museum will receive $10,000, which will be used to expand the Reclamation Project’s participatory eco-art outreach.

Throughout his fellowship, Bretos hopes to engage 200 new volunteers and plant 11,000 seedlings, representing over seven acres of replanted habitat.  He will work with volunteers to collect and exhibit Red mangrove seedlings artistically in the windows of public buildings, museums, schools and retail stores, doubling as seedling nurseries and vibrant outreach tools. The seedlings will then be planted in areas cleared of invasive plants along Biscayne Bay, creating new wetland habitat. Mangroves not only provide habitat for marine and land based flora and fauna but cleanse coastal waters, act as a coastal buffer from storms and absorb greenhouse gases.

“Fernando is the kind of person who can make a real difference in the health of our environment and the quality of our future,” said Audubon President David Yarnold. “Each of our TogetherGreen Fellows demonstrates exceptional environmental understanding and commitment, combined with tremendous potential to inspire and lead others.”

The Reclamation Project is the brainchild of local Miami artist Xavier Cortada. It employs a unique participatory eco-art platform that engages volunteers to restore coastal and urban habitats “one seedling at a time.” Bretos sees himself as a convert to the field of eco-art. A scientist by training, he developed an immediate appreciation for Mr. Cortada’s participatory eco-art approach in 2007. The two have worked closely together since.

To support the Reclamation Project, please visit: http://www.miamisci.org/www/reclamation-project-form.php

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