Post Image

WLRN: Sundial

Snorkeling is known as a peaceful way to encounter nature. You might see clownfish, colorful coral and sea horses. Imagine coming across a gator while you’re wearing your mask, fins and snorkel.

That’s what happened to Luca Martinez, who is a junior at Palmer Trinity School in Palmetto Bay. He’s garnered hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of views on social media for his beautiful photography and videos of wildlife….like a gator filmed while he was snorkeling.

But it’s not all photography and TikToks. He uses social media to raise awareness and educate others about the threats to Florida’s environment and wildlife.

“I realized the biggest threat to the Everglades is not these homes, it’s not even global warming, it’s not the invasive species. The biggest threat is that we’re all so dangerously disconnected from it,” said Martinez, who was Sundial’s guest for this week’s Wildlife Thursday.

“I realized the way to save this place is sharing it and having people experience it because they’ll fall in love with it. We’ll all fall in love with this place if we give it our attention and our time. And that’s just it because when you love something you’ll protect it, you’ll care for it and you’ll fight for it. And that’s what we need before we can get into any of the other conversations [about] the threats of global warming; we got to care about it.”