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SWFL climate change activists march for environment awareness

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

Climate activists organized in parts of Southwest Florida, launching a strike to save the environment.

Activists organized to march from Punta Gorda north across Baron Collier Bridge into Port Charlotte Friday to address climate change.

“I really care about our earth and our climate, and I’ve seen so much change just from being 23 years old,” Hannah Patten said.

Patten mentioned changes that included the melting of polar ice caps, local red tide effects and buildup of trash on local streets and abroad.

“All of this change is such a short amount of time,” Patten said.

Activists marched together in unison shouting, “What do we want? Environmental justice.”

Environmental activists also gathered to push for change in Fort Myers Friday.

“I’m doing everything that I can within my power to affect whatever changes I can make to raise awareness about the environmental issues that we’re facing,” Andrew Wahlberg said in Fort Myers.

Patten said she wants elected leaders to hear the local voices urging them to focus on local impacts climate change has in Southwest Florida.

“The reason why I’m here today is because I feel like our elected officials hold the most amount of power and the most amount of ability to put plans into action,” Patten said.

The marchers know change won’t happen overnight, but they fear the ability to make a decision is growing slimmer.

“I’m concerned too about the planet that we’re going to be leaving for my son and my grandkids,” Rebecca Malagon said. “Our names won’t be in the history books, but our movement will be.”

These local strikes come three days ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York City.