Local youth leadership group takes Lake O learning adventure

CLEWISTON — Hendry Glades Youth Leadership members were treated Thursday, Nov. 8, to an educational field trip aboard pontoon boats out on Lake Okeechobee, courtesy of Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort and its general manager, Ramon Iglesias.

He said he’d been approached by adult leaders of the troupe who asked if they could bring the youngsters out to the marina and visit Lake O. Always welcoming of chance to educate people about the lake and the community-sustaining tourism opportunities it provides in the counties bordering its southern end, Mr. Iglesias said, “Sure.”

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/Martin’s Marina and Resort
General Manager Ramon Iglesias (far left) and resort co-owner Mary Ann Martin (far right) “had a great field trip on the lake discussing tourism and Lake Okeechobee with the Hendry Glades Youth Leadership group,” they posted on the marina’s Facebook page.

So, with the help of some of the resort’s staff and local fishing captains, he and Ms. Martin took the group out on several pontoon boats for a wide-ranging lesson that included frank talk about the realities of its ecological conditions, its thriving plant, animal and, yes, microscopic life (including the infamous algae). But Mr. Iglesias and the guides also explained how reliably great the fishing has been on the Big Lake despite the continuing unflattering portrayals of it from coastal media sources — and that algae is a global phenomenon, present in every body of freshwater in the world and basically responsible for the air we breathe.

Their visit lasted around 90 minutes, and Mr. Iglesias declared it a wonderful and rewarding exercise for both the adults and the students.

Tuesday Tritt, a leader of the Hendry Glades Youth Leadership organization, also said the kids had a great time.

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