We are grateful to all of you for joining us for our latest Clean Water Conversation: The tipping point in Biscayne Bay. Today we heard about the factors surrounding and leading up to the recent fish kill in Biscayne Bay from Miami Waterkeeper, Rachel Silverstein, and Friends of the Everglades board members, Phil Kushlan and Camila Quaresma-Sharp. As mentioned in the conversation you can add your name in support of a strong fertilizer ordinance by clicking HERE or on the button below. If you missed the conversation today, you can find the full recording available below. Please share it with your friends and neighbors to help us ensure that immediate and long term protections are prioritized to save this treasured [...]
On September 2, 2020, following a unprecedented fish kill, Friends of the Everglades joined Miami Waterkeeper and dozens of representatives from science and education institutions and environmental organizations in signing a consensus statement that calls for the following remedies for Biscayne Bay: Curtail sewage leaks Convert septic tanks to centralized wastewater treatment Clean and treat stormwater Reduce fertilizer overuse. While we recognize that many of these solutions will take concerted time, effort, and money to complete, we sincerely feel it is inexcusable that, in the face of Biscayne Bay's near-death state, Miami-Dade County has yet to pass a fertilizer ordinance. In Florida, 139 municipalities and 32 counties have passed fertilizer ordinances since 2007. Just over half of municipal ordinances include [...]
Members of Congress met last week for a hearing on the Everglades and water management in Florida. During the hearing, Congresswomen Debbie Mucarsel-Powell asked all 5 witnesses if they support how water is currently managed in Lake Okeechobee. Here's how the vote stacked up: NO: Elizabeth Jolin, Captain, The Bay and Reef Company of the Florida Keys NO: Chauncey P. Goss, II, Chairman, South Florida Water Management District Governing Board NO: Noah Valenstein, Secretary, Florida Department of Environmental Protection NO: Shannon Estenoz, Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs, The Everglades Foundation YES: Gary Ritter, Assistant Director of Government and Community Affairs, FL Farm Bureau Federation One of these is not like the others... Watch the full Everglades hearing here: [...]
Friends of the Everglades submits congressional testimony on Everglades restoration, water management in Florida
Today at 11 a.m., members of Congress will host a virtual hearing on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and water management in Florida. Tune in here to watch five witnesses appear before the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Friends of the Everglades submitted the following congressional testimony in advance of this important hearing to drive home two main points: Human health must be a top priority for the Army Corps of Engineers, particularly when it comes to protecting people from the threat of toxic algae; and we need an EAA Storage Reservoir that is truly effective. Click here to view the testimony in full.
Last week, residents and activists from the Glades communities spoke with us about the environmental and health injustices of sugarcane burning. Shocking imagery and compassionate personal testimony helped to paint a picture of the very real threat that looms over communities south of Lake Okeechobee 6-8 months of the year. The take-away was clear: impacted communities deserve immediate and lasting protections. At Friends of the Everglades, we've made a commitment to help shine a light on this flagrant example of environmental inequality and we'd like to ask for your help. Last week, we sent a letter to Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried to express our support for the expansion of real protections for communities most impacted by the pre-harvest practice of sugarcane burning, until such [...]
ACTION ALERT: Send a letter to Gov. DeSantis and lawmakers urging them to protect the endangered Florida panther by stopping new toll roads.
Did you hear? Young friends of the Everglades are leading the fight to protect Florida's state animal, the Florida panther. This endangered species faces a significant threat from a set of new toll roads, known as M-CORES, proposed to cut through territory that is vital to the panther's survival and recovery efforts. In a new initiative launched last week, kids across the state sent letters to Gov. DeSantis and members of the Florida legislature urging them to protect the endangered Florida panther by stopping construction of the new toll roads. Their commitment set a worthy example for Floridians of all ages that care about the preservation of state wildlife. To make a real difference, we need all of you to weigh in. Without your voices, we [...]
A rare and endangered species, the Florida Panther evokes a sense of mystery and beauty that is not unlike its natural Everglades environment. Widely recognized as the iconic state animal of Florida, the number of panthers left in the wild are thought to have dwindled to only a couple hundred thanks to increasing environmental threats. Young Friends of the Everglades virtual learning components are aimed at nurturing the youngest environmentalists among us by linking education to advocacy. The latest addition of the the Florida panther to our online learning space aims to familiarize users with information about this truly extraordinary species and inspire each and every Young Friend to be an active part of the panther recovery efforts. Young Friends [...]
We are grateful to all of you for joining us for our latest Clean Water Conversation: Stop the Burn. Today we covered the environmental and health injustices of sugarcane burning. As our guest Patrick so poignantly emphasized, the history of Everglades restoration is scattered with instances where the reckless pursuit of short term profit was allowed to outweigh that of longterm human health and dignity. This outdated pre-harvest practice is another shocking example of a way that this shortsighted thinking still prevails to this day. Our guests today reminded us of the importance of collectively raising our voices against injustices and lifting up each other's individual experiences, as real human stories are often the most effective tool for fostering change. We can't say enough about the [...]
Almost half a million acres of sugarcane are burned for harvest every year in the fields around the Glades. Thick smoke looms, and ash rains down on houses, cars, and schools in communities south of Florida's Lake Okeechobee most months of the year. Insufficient protections for surrounding communities imposes air pollution, health risks, and economic stress on vulnerable residents — threats that are underscored by the current pandemic. Friends of the Everglades submitted the following letter to Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried to express our support for the expansion of real protections for communities most impacted by the pre-harvest practice of sugarcane burning, until such a time that pre-harvest burning is banned entirely. Click here to view the letter in full.
The Florida Bonneted Bat, one of the rarest and most endangered species of bat in the world, is relying on the designation of critical habitat in Florida, partially located in Everglades National Park, for its best chance of recovery and survival. Known for its large ears that push forward over a wrinkled face, this beloved species is at odds with rising seas and ongoing development across South Florida. Found in only a small number of counties in or around Florida’s Everglades, the bat’s exact population is unknown but is thought to be small and ever-decreasing. In the attached comments, Friends of the Everglades joined the Center for Biological Diversity and other conservation organizations in response to the U.S. Fish and [...]