Lisa Miceli-Capano grew up in Florida and as a child, her family nicknamed her goldfish because they could never get her out of the water. “Having the beach as my backyard only continued to nurture my love for all things ocean-related,” she shared with Living In Oakland Park.
Her family vacations always centered around beach destinations : “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”.
She graduated from the Ft. Lauderdale Art Institute in 1989. “I grew up in a family of artists and instinctively knew I wanted to use my creativity to inspire people to care about marine life and the seas”.
Shortly after graduation, she received a stakeholder seat in the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative.
It was no surprise then when she decided to found Stoked on Salt, an ocean conversation gear company with her art showcased on them, SOS Ocean Conservation Day, and a local volunteer cleanup group called SOS Ocean Clean Up. She also used her love of art to form SOS Debris Art, where she creates one of a kind murals of underwater scenes with debris items collected from the beach during ocean cleanups.
Her work can be seen at the Windjammer Resort in Lauderdale By The Sea, the City of Fort Lauderdale recreational buildings or the restroom building in Fort Lauderdale at South Beach Park.
In 2017, she was recognized for her significant contributions by the United States Coral Reef Task Force and for her creativity and leadership in minimizing marine debris in southeast Florida oceans.
In May 2018, Lisa was recognized as the 2018 synergy summit for cultural and heritage tourism as a best local artist.
She was also named a finalist in October 2019 for the 11th annual Go Blue Awards in two categories along with other marine conservationists, including 4Ocean.
According to Miceli-Capano “…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”.
Anyone looking to get involved in her mission can join her at the 4th annual SOS Ocean Conservation Day presented by the City of Oakland Park at Jaco Pastorius Park on July 10, 2020.
Over 40 ocean conversation groups will be there to engage in outreach with the general public about things like corals, manatees, lion fish, beach and ocean debris, sharks and sea turtles.
“We Floridians spend a great deal of time in the water. As a result, we often are the first to see the short term and long term changes in the aquatic environment….this makes us uniquely qualified to call attention to the threats that the underwater world faces. Of course, we also have an important responsibility to protect the aquatic environment whenever we interact with it”, Miceli-Capano conveys.
Ultimately, she hopes that people realize the positive effect they can have on changing the underwater environment. “Many people are not aware of the ocean’s influence on us and I wanted to do something that was inspiring for a younger generation because they are the ones in line to inherit all these issues”.
Lisa has no staff to help put on any of these events, so she spends much of her free time doing all the leg work herself. “What sets me apart from others is that I do it with a passion and not a financial motive” .
To learn more about what she does or how they can get involved, she can be reached at [email protected]
Katina Caraganis is a Massachusetts native and has called South Florida home since 2015. She graduated college with a degree in communication studies and has received numerous writing awards during her tenure in journalism. When she’s not working for an online pet supply retailer, she spends her time training for a half-marathon in March and studying to become a certified nutrition coach.