Friday, February 25, 2011

BJ Gerald is winner of Lee County's Citizen of the Year Award

( BJ Gerald is third woman in from the right)

On Tuesday, February 15, 2011, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners awarded BJ Gerald the Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award for her outstanding service to the community. BJ devotes countless volunteer hours with Animal Services in Lee County and other animal rights programs. BJ, a Sierra Club member, has also dedicated numerous hours to the Florida Green Transportation Campaign and the Red Tide Campaign, the two campaigns that I am working on in Southwest Florida.

An avid bicyclist, BJ has been instrumental in promoting alternative forms of green transportation such as using public transit and riding bikes.  Often, BJ has commuted from her home in Alva to downtown Fort Myers via her bicycle.

BJ’s commitment to the environment serves as an inspiration to many. She is passionate about the causes she embraces and is willing to do perform any volunteer task that is needed to promote our campaigns.

The Sierra Club  needs more volunteers like BJ to help further the objectives of our Florida campaigns. Our staff of field and conservation organizers in St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Miami  are currently working on several crucial campaigns  including Florida Healthy Air/Green Transportation/Beyond Oil; Florida Water Quality; Everglades Restoration; Florida Wildlife Corridors and Habitat Protection; and Waste Minimization. 

The environmental issues that we are facing this year -- fertilizer ordinance pre-emption, lack of funding to implement EPA numeric nutrient criteria standards, and lack of support for funding rail and other forms of public transit in Florida -- are all battles that must be won.  We need volunteers throughout the state to write letters to the editor, help with tabling events, give presentations, call public officials, etc. Many of these tasks can be done at home and require only an hour or two of your time.

If you are concerned about the future of Florida and its environment and want to help with any of the Florida campaigns listed above, please call me at  239-313-7202 or email me at

Submitted by: Marti Daltry, Conservation Organizer, Sierra Club, Fort Myers Office