Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Miceli.
Lisa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In 1989, I graduated from the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute. I grew up in a family of artists and instinctively knew that I wanted to use my creativity to inspire people to care about marine life and the seas.
I am a 100% Shore Diving “Florida Coral Hugger” Girl. When I scuba dive, I am underwater but my mind is still in my sketchbook. I sometimes find myself sitting in one spot for a long time enjoying the colors of the coral and tropical fish. Once on shore, I quickly grab my sketch book and jot down new ideas.
Since 1970, I have been swimming/snorkeling/diving in the same exact location on Lauderdale-By-The-Sea beach. Since 3 months old the beach has been my ‘backyard’ which only continued to nurture my love for all things ocean-related. Our family get-a-aways were always ocean-based destinations such as car trips to Sanibel and Captiva Island, the Florida Keys and Vero Beach. On a thrifty budget, my single Mom knew that bathing suits, snorkels and towels was all that was needed to make our family holiday something special.
In 2017: I was recognized for my “Significant Contributions” by the United States Coral Reef Task Force – NOAA – and for the creativity and leadership in minimizing marine debris in Southeast Florida oceans.
I also earned a stakeholder seat in the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) where I regularly interact with academia, non-governmental organizations, fishing, diving, and private businesses as well as county, state and federal authorities including the DEP, NOAA and FWC.
How did Stoked On Salt come to be? What is it all about?
Growing up in Florida, unfortunately I have had the opportunity to witness our living coral reefs slowly disappear due to debris, anchor damage and other environmental factors. Since that was completely unacceptable to me, in May of 2013, I created “Stoked On Salt” and a volunteer cleanup group called “SOS Ocean Clean-Up.
At the moment I am creating a one-of-a-kind mural of an underwater scene without using typical paint brushes, but by using debris itemscollected from our beach.
The Mural is located on the backside of the Windjammer Resort in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL. Every day tourists, residents, beach goers and divers drop off any beach debris that they find on the shoreline or under the ocean while diving/snorkeling and drop into a bucket that I have located behind the resort. Once the debris is thoroughly cleaned, on weekends I paint the Mural using these debris items as my painting tools to bring awareness to the debris that is being discarded on the shoreline and makes its way into the ocean which can destroy marine, and ultimately, human life.
You can view the ‘SOS Protect Our Coral Reefs Mural’ photos starting from Day 1 on the Facebook Page: Windjammer Resort.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I am actually giggling at this question. No lie, there has definitely been struggles and bumpy roads along the way but I believe they have made me a wiser and stronger person at times. I may only be 5 feet tall but I am an Ocean Warrior on a Mission! 🙂
Many people are not aware of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean. I wanted to do something that was inspiring for a younger generation because they’re the ones in line to inherit all these issues.
Having a teen myself, I understand how challenging it may be to actually get them out of bed early on weekends to participate in a beach cleanup – but when they leave the SOS events with a smile, hashtag their photos of debris they collected – I feel immensely rewarded for making a difference in the local community.
Since we are not a Non-profit organization, I find that many cities and corporations decline participating with me even though they would love to join us. My ways to overcome this obstacle is to collaborate with non-profits that are already in existence but lack volunteers and funding to promote their work. It is my following of people that enhance the non-profits that I work with in the environment.
We rely on a small portion of our SOS proceeds to produce these SOS events. We are so thankful for the community because most of our cleanup donations, supplies, permits, advertising, snacks, and giveaways are either donated by local businesses, ocean conservation groups, families, schools… basically the community.
As you would imagine, I don’t have a staff so I spend a lot of my personal time executing these free events to the community.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Stoked On Salt, Inc. – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
In 2013, Stoked On Salt Ocean Conservation Gear was created with the passion for the sea to help preserve and protect our living coral reef ecosystems.
‘SOS Ocean Clean Up’ is our local ocean conservation group comprised totally of volunteers ages 4 to 85. This organization was created because of our intense desire to protect our local treasures, the beautiful beaches and coral reef.
SOS Debris Art – I paint using beach debris items as my painting tools to bring awareness to the debris that is being discarded on the shoreline and makes its way into the ocean which can destroy marine, and ultimately, human life.
The community gave me the nickname, “Ocean Warrior.”
I have a long history since childhood for caring about the ocean and environment and as I matured I continued that advocacy wherever I saw the opportunity.
During those years, I was fortunate to meet others like myself and partner with them to make more of an impact on the community and the focus necessary to bring thousands of people on board to be my “Warrior Family.”
I also have connected non-profit organizations who are part of this SOS MISSION and even further impact the future generations.
What sets me apart from others is that I do it with a passion and not with a financial motive.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Through Stoked On Salt Ocean Conservation events, I would love to see greater awareness with the removal of plastics in our everyday lives, to include straws, plastic bags cups, etc….
- Website: www.StokedOnSalt.com
- Phone: 754-246-4848
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stoked_on_salt/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stoked-On-Salt-447540452005645/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/StokedOnSalt?lang=en
- Other: https://www.facebook.com/SOSoceancleanup/