A 2016 Pew Research Center survey found that 75% of U.S. adults said they are particularly concerned about “helping the environment” as they go about their daily lives. Only 20% said they try to live in ways that help protect the environment “all the time”. The purpose of the LLPS Quarterly Membership Meeting (public invited) is first, to keep members and the general public informed of Society actions and initiatives, per our bylaws, on a regular basis. Importantly, with these meetings, we also want to strengthen the environmental awareness of current and upcoming generations and, if possible, alter/influence behaviors in a positive manner. Environmental awareness is one of the first steps in understanding the economic, aesthetic and biological importance of our natural resources, the significance of human alterations, and how impacts of such actions can be addressed by our Society, members, and the general public.
Our membership meetings happen, generally, on the third Thursday of the month on a quarterly basis. Meetings occur in January, April, July, and October. 2-3 weeks prior to the quarterly meeting, our LLPS Board meets to review Society actions and initiatives during the quarter and future actions and initiatives. The Board meeting agenda and minutes are a template for the LLPS Quarterly Newsletter and for our Quarterly Membership Meeting. Quarterly Membership meetings are held at the Gulf Shores Activity Center and start at 5:30PM with ½ hour of “meet and mingle”, refreshments and finger food. At 6PM we introduce and receive a talk by a subject matter expert on topics of interest to our Society and the general public. A most recent example was in October 2019, Craig Newton, with the Alabama Marine Resources Division, shared with us shrimp, fish, and crab diversity and abundances in the Lagoon and area waters, causes of the declines and possible corrective actions. Following the guest speaker, our President updates the audience on other items of importance to the membership prior to adjourning. If there are topics that impact Little Lagoon and its watershed that you would like to learn more about, please contact Dennis Hatfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hosting this meeting entails considerable logistics and preparation. Guest speaker logistics, preparation of the meeting agenda and hosting the meeting are handled by the President. The Board “finalizes” the agenda and our Secretary prepares the Newsletter and press releases for advertising the event in area newspapers and our local radio station Sunny 105.7. The newsletter is distributed by several board members to our membership via snail mail and e-mail. LLPS Quarterly Meeting road signs are put out by our Vice President at strategic locations with the Lagoon watershed one week prior to the meeting. Our Treasurer books the meeting room, sets up tables and chairs, greets members and guests at the meeting and collects dues. Several Board members tag team to purchase and set up refreshments and finger food for meeting attendees. Volunteers help put up tables and chairs and clean up when the meeting is over.
There are many ways to participate in ensuring that Little Lagoon will remain a quality environment not only now but into the future. You can participate as part of the water quality team, as an oyster gardener, or in our educational outreach activities. We need your help! If you would like to be part of our educational outreach team, helping to make sure our quarterly meetings and other educational outreach activities reach our audiences in a meaningful way, contact Deborah at email@example.com.