SUNCOAST SEABIRD SANCTUARY
Ralph and I began making trips by boat to the mangrove islands around the beaches and rescuing Brown Pelicans who were entangled in monofilament fishing line and near death. This was a fantastic experience in my life, and it left me changed forever. Over the years the sanctuary has grown at a steady pace and is recognized now worldwide.
I, along with many others, have devoted a great deal of time and effort to ensure its continued growth and success. At the beginning, during the lean years, I helped in the only way I knew how. We did as many benefit concerts that we could handle to keep the birds fed until private donations caught up with the needs of the sanctuary.
Now that we are into the millennium and the encroachment of man bears ever more strongly upon the delicate balance of the environment on the Gulf Coast of Florida, I salute my native Floridian brother, Ralph Heath. We all can sleep better tonight knowing that he is watching over our children of the air and our babes in the sea...
ANCLOTE KEY LIGHTHOUSE
This is the Anclote Key Lighthouse. Built late in the 1800s, she still stands off the gulf coast near my home town of Tarpon Springs, FL. As a young boy, my friends and I swam and fished safely under her watchful gaze. At night her light could be seen for many miles out to sea, and it guided Greek fishing captains safely home to port.
In the early 1980s, the U.S. Coast Guard, entrusted with the maintenance of the lighthouse, abandoned her and left her to the mercy of the elements. Just recently, much focus has been placed on the preservation and restoration of this monumental relic of the past. A group of us "locals" formed the Anclote Key Lighthouse Restoration Committee and began to devise a plan to save her. We decided I would perform a series of concerts to "Re-Light The Light" of the Anclote Key Lighthouse. The concerts raised a substantial amount of money and we were on our way.
Finally, after 5 years of dedication and hard work, the state of Florida included the lighthouse within her park system, and the lighthouse was fully restored and re-lit on September 3rd, 2003. I would like to thank all that were involved in this project.
Dreams do come true!
To learn more about the history of the Anclote Key Lighthouse, visit: