So what has the ocean done for you today?

Biscayne National Park, Florida–Kenny Broad is an ecological anthropologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer–and more besides. He is also something of a thinker, I discovered when he took me out on his boat today.

We crossed the Biscayne National Park to spend some time on Elliott Key, an island haven for all kinds of plants, birds, reptiles (anoles abound), fish–and as we immediately discovered, mosquitoes.

Biscayne Bioblitz 2010.jpg

Biscayne NP is 172,000 acres of tropical wilderness, most of it underwater. It’s home to manatees, crocodiles and alligators. It contains the start of the world’s largest coral reef, where sharks, manta rays, and marine birds can be seen.

But you’re never really out of sight of civilization. As we crossed the bay in Kenny’s boat, on one side I could see the skyscrapers of downtown Miami; on the other side the nuclear power station at Turkey Point.

That all this biodiversity can survive in the middle of so much development is remarkable. I spoke to Kenny about the park and what it means to him and the people of Miami. We talked about how much the ocean does for us, both in terms of boosting our economic wealth and our spiritual health.

Posted by David Braun

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Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn