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‘(Nothing But) Flowers’

Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation Logo

I know about Guy Harvey. He’s the artist whose work adorned so many of my dad’s t-shirts when I was a kid. Simple white shirts, a pocket on the left front breast with Harvey’s screen-printed signature in light blue, and those incredible renderings of ocean life on the back. A fighting marlin. A colorful mahi-mahi. A hammerhead shark. My dad had a drawer full of them, probably still does because he never throws anything away. As a kid around the waterfront, those images embodied the lifestyle.

But I did not know about him to the extent that Terry Boram reveals in her article titled ‘Who is Guy Harvey?’ this month. I knew the art. Boram discovers the man.

What Harvey and his ‘Outpost’ brand are hoping to do in the coastal resort world is nothing short of revolutionary. And to be honest, before reading Boram’s piece, I was skeptical. An environmentally friendly resort? My years in college studying tourism management taught me to believe that in the past, such a statement was a flat-out contradiction, impossible. The mere idea of tourism doesn’t jibe with environmental stewardship. At one end of the spectrum, the only real solution to preserving the environment is to keep people out altogether, a move in a direction back to nature, kind of the like that Talking Heads song in the title of my essay.

There was a shopping mall, now it’s all covered with flowers!…

This used to be real estate, now it’s only fields and trees…

Where, where is the town? Now – it’s nothing but flowers!

But Harvey, with the launch of his third namesake ‘Outpost’ resort in St. Pete, is proving that there is indeed a middle ground, and that now is the time to move in that direction. Harvey’s is an example of taking responsibility to do the hard work, rather than stare down the bottom line. We are at a critical juncture in our relationship with the earth, particularly those of us who enjoy the water. Time has long since run out for people to sit by and do nothing. Start somewhere. Recycle more. Start composting. Grow a garden. Use your holding tank. Don’t wait for someone else to do it – take control of the earth’s destiny, the little bit you can. It all counts.

What will make Harvey’s Outposts successful, I believe, is that the ‘green’ side of it is an unobtrusive part of the infrastructure design. With current technology, a resort (or a household, for that matter) need not make any compromises on amenities or luxuries to be environmentally responsible. Harvey will help change the tourism industry. I hope, as I’m sure Harvey does, that the clientele, upon visiting his Outposts, will go away changed just a little bit themselves.

On a lighter note, we have a new feature to introduce this month. David Ansel kicks off the ‘Coastal Life’ section of the magazine with a two-page cartoon depicting a typical waterfront scene on the Chesapeake. Ansel’s cartoons are both light-hearted and exquisitely detailed, with almost a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ quality to them that will have you noticing something new about the image every time you take a look at it. Look for his cartoons to pop up in the magazine here and there in the future. He’s not too shabby at portraits either, and has drawn a likeness of myself for my editorial (see below), and Donald Street for his article on the battleship Missouri.

As usual, direct all letters to the editor, contribution ideas, photography, news or artwork at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you and always are on the lookout for fresh ideas and new talent. Thanks for reading All at Sea Southeast.

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