Why environmental storytelling is everything

I think I know what you’re thinking. “Please, not another Millennial trying to change the world with social media posts and blogs.”

That might be a real feeling for many. But changing the world is important to me. And it’s important to the rest of Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s team. It’s why we put so much time and care into our work, including our communications tactics – everything from the signs you see on our Juno Beach campus and our social media posts to the articles you read about the Center.

Where did environmental storytelling begin? Perhaps it was with Rachel Carson, who challenged people to think about the potential long-term effects on the environment. Maybe it began with Walt Whitman or Henry David Thoreau, nature lovers and pioneers that viewed nature as an inspiration. Or maybe it’s today, in the digital age, with someone like Paul Nicklen, a National Geographic photographer and former Go Blue Awards Luncheon speaker. He had powerful images that transform our minds and hearts to the conviction that we need to take action now.

Regardless, these people recognized the power of a good story. And today, our world is bombarded with stories. Your story. My story. Success stories. Snap stories. It’s a constant flow of information, and it sometimes feels overwhelming.

That means you need a stand-out story that breaks through the noise. Some organizations have naturally good stories. I believe Loggerhead Marinelife Center is one of them.

It’s our ocean conservation story.

Whether our hospital team treats hundreds of sea turtle patients every year, our research biologists spend hours studying beach ecology and thousands of sea turtle nests, our education staff shares knowledge with students of all ages, or our conservation department creates global partnerships and initiatives, our story is one of continuous passion and effort.

Environmental communication is powerful. It has the power to change our world.

As someone with a journalism degree, sometimes I feel that I’m not making as much of a difference for ocean conservation. After all, I’m not examining sea turtle patients or documenting nesting trends. Sometimes I feel like all I do is observe, writing words on a page about protecting sea turtles or capturing one moment in time through a lens. And in part, it’s expected. That’s part of what professional communicators do, whether PR pros, filmmakers, designers, photographers or writers.

In those moments of doubt, I have to remind myself how important environmental storytelling is. Nature has the ability to inspire and remind us of the beauty, wonder, mystery and immense power that it holds; its power to transform.

If our entire team of staff, volunteers and supporters – whether on the marketing team like me or treating turtles in the hospital– didn’t help us tell our story every day, how would people know about our efforts? How would people learn about our new programs and conservation initiatives, innovative medical developments or research projects?

You see, when we started in 1983, we looked very different from the facility you know and love today. We were in an old home in Loggerhead Park, operating a small facility with an even smaller team of staff and volunteers. But our founder Eleanor Fletcher was a firecracker. She was a woman who loved and believed in the power of the next generation to make a difference. She cared for sea turtles and their ocean home. That’s why Loggerhead Marinelife Center still exists today. That’s why we continue telling out story –  because we believe in its power to make a difference in the lives of marine life and people. It is my hope that through our entire team’s efforts, we can continue to inspire others and protect our blue planet.