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The most important action you can participate in on a daily basis is community conservation. Get together with your kids and spouse and do a family trash pickup. Separate the plastics and glass and take them to your local recycling center. In your yard, choose plants that use less water, use organic fertilizers and use cuttings to keep the soil moist around your plants. If you can afford solar, check out your states websites for incentives that make solar much more affordable. If you can afford a hybrid vehicle, you not only save on gas, but on your taxes. Several car companies offer flex fuel vehicles. Another important aspect of participation is writing your congressman and senators about upcoming bills for the environment. Politicians do listen to your calls and read your e-mails. It is important to them what you think. Most important, get involved and don’t give up.

Below are some programs for hands on involvement for our environment.

* Turtles of Tortuguero Research Participant Program, contact through CCC, the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, 4424 NW 13th St, Ste A-1, Gainesville, FL 32609, 1800-678-7853, (352) 373-6441

* Protect Hawksbill Sea Turtles on the Big Island, Hawaii. Contact the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, P.O. Box 52, Hawaii 96718. Phone (808) 985-6090, fax (808) 985-6029

* EarthWatch sponsors several projects around the world in which you can volunteer hands on working with scientists and educators including Amazon Riverboat Exploration, Galapagos Invasion, Amphibians and Reptiles, Otter Ecology and Conservation. Contact EarthWatch Institute International Headquarters, 3 Clock Tower Place, Suite 100, Box 75 Maynard, MA 01754, Phone 1-800-776-0188, (978) 461-0081

Of course another way to participate is to donate to several wonderful non-profit organizations that support our wildlife and environment. We like to suggest you look locally first as most areas have preserves or parks that are in dire need of monies. Those same places usually love to get support from volunteers to help in their causes.

Below is a list of some organizations that Joseph supports:

* Caribbean Conservation Corporation, 4424 NW 13th St, Ste A-1, Gainesville, FL 32609, 1 800-678-7853

* Amphibian Conservation Alliance, 1700 North Moore Street, 20th Floor, Arlington, VA, (703) 807-5588

* SEATURTLE.ORG, 1 Southampton Place, Durham, NC 27705

* Catalina Island Conservancy, P.O. Box 2739, Avalon, CA 90068 (310) 510-2595

* The Arthur R Marshall Foundation, 2806 S. Dixie Hwy , West Palm Beach, FL 33405, (561) 805-TREE

* Rainforest Alliance, 665 Broadway, Suite 500, New York, NY, 10012, (212) 677-1900

* The American Cetacean Society, P.O. Box 1391, San Pedro, CA 90733, (310) 548-6279

* Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203-1606, (703) 841-5300

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