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Carl Hiaasen to headline upcoming EcoSummit in Sarasota

Nature and culture set the stage for December events during the two-day expo.

Discussion of environmental issues and sustainability practices at December’s Green Living Expo and EcoSummit won’t be purely scientific, especially with Carl Hiaasen on hand.

The event will be run by the Science and Environment Council, a not-for-profit consortium of 40 science-based environmental organizations in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

The two-segment event kicks off with a free, two-day Green Living Expo on Dec. 2-3 at Sarasota’s Municipal Auditorium featuring green solutions for energy conservation, water protection, waste reduction and more. Entry is free with advanced registration, and $5 per group at the door.

The three-day EcoSummit opens from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 4 with a free screening of Australian filmmaker’s Damon Gameau’s documentary, “2040” at the Bay Park’s Nest.

On Dec. 5-6, the EcoSummit moves indoors to the VanWezel Performing Arts Hall.

Florida Stories with Carl Hiaasen is planned for 7-9 p.m. Dec. 5. The longtime author and Miami Herald columnist will be introduced by Craig Pittman, himself an award-winning Florida journalist. The two writers will be joined on stage by local storytellers and a musical guest.

EcoSummit ticket options range from $155 for the summit; $185 for premium, which includes the Hiaasen event; and $285, which includes a pre-show reception and premium seating. An early registration discount of $40, using the code HOTSALE40, is available through Sept. 30. Standalone tickets to see Hiaasen are $85 for general admission and $185, which includes pre-show reception and premium seating.

The EcoSummit will feature lectures, panel discussions, storytelling, and music. Dozens of national, regional, and local experts will share innovations on reducing environmental impacts and encouraging more sustainable practices.

“Over the past century in Florida, population growth and development patterns have increased pollution and decreased the environment’s capacity to process it,” said Dr. Jennifer Shafer, SEC’s co-executive director. “Our natural environment is the foundation of our economy and quality of life; by working together to educate and activate the community, we hope to bolster efforts to conserve and restore our treasured natural resources — and protect quality of life for generations to come.”

Other associated events include family-friendly Ever-GREEN Days at The Bay Sarasota, with a weeklong schedule of free interactive and eco-friendly experiences — such as guided tours, hands-on eco-education, family friendly activities and more – from Nov. 30-Dec. 6.

For information and tickets, visit the EcoSummit website.