Marcelo Balladares is the Everglades Fellow with the National Parks Conservation Association, a national non-profit organization that works towards the advancement and protection of America’s National Parks. His role often involves - but is not limited to - advocating on behalf of Everglades and Biscayne Bay national parks in South Florida and collaborating with local environmental organizations, including the Tropical Audubon Society, Hold The Line Coalition, and Miami Waterkeeper.
During Marcelo’s time with NPCA, he has advocated on behalf of preserving the Urban Development Boundary - which prevents further urban sprawl into the Everglades - and for protecting critical South Florida ecosystems from development threats. This included speaking in opposition against the proposed “Miami Wilds” project, which would see a water park built in the middle of one of the few remaining fragments of the critically endangered Pine-Rockland ecosystem.
Marcelo graduated from Florida International University in 2021 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Economics. While at FIU, he interned as a Naturalist at the Nature Preserve where he led multiple tours and volunteer events.
He has personally found a deep satisfaction in advocating for National Parks, as they are a monument to the fact that the preservation and protection of nature - while still being able to maintain a connection with it - is possible. Outside of his work with the NPCA, Marcelo also organizes with the Sunrise Movement’s Miami Hub to advocate for environmental justice throughout Miami, with a focus on uplifting the younger generation of Black & Latine communities and fighting for their right to sustainable living conditions and a future where their voices are heard.