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‘Clean Waterways Act’ is incremental at best — and we need more from Florida policymakers

Statement from Eve Samples, executive director of Friends of the Everglades, on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of the Clean Waterways Act (Senate Bill 712) on June 30, 2020: “The Clean Waterways Act is incrementalism at best. It does too little to curtail polluters, and too little to protect Floridians from the harmful effects of toxic algae blooms that have devastating effects on human health and the state’s economy. What’s worse: The bill was amended to preempt local governments from passing ‘Rights of Nature’ initiatives that could have empowered citizens to protect the natural ecosystems in their own communities. Senate Bill 712 does some incremental good by tightening up rules and penalties for septic and sewer systems — but it falls [...]

Recording Available Now! Clean Water Conversations: Revisiting “The Swamp”

Did you miss today's Clean Water Conversation featuring author of "The Swamp," Michael Grunwald? No worries! We've got you covered. Thank you to all of you who were able to join us today. We invite you to revisit parts of the conversation, or share it with friends, with a recorded version, available here. Huge thanks to Michael Grunwald for sharing his time and his thoughts on what's changed (and what hasn't) since "The Swamp" was published in 2006. It's clear that we continue to face an uphill battle, but let's face it, he's right — “This place is paradise...we have to figure out how we can all live here sustainably.” If you enjoyed this event, please consider helping us fund the [...]

In the footsteps of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, we stand with Black Lives Matter

Marjory Stoneman Douglas was, at her core, an advocate for equality. Five decades before she founded Friends of the Everglades in 1969, she blasted corrupt politics and advocated for civil rights in her column for the Miami Herald. Marjory wrote about the injustice of “convict leasing,” a system of penal labor that overwhelmingly targeted black men in the United States, allowing a form of slavery to endure. She advocated to bring sanitary plumbing systems to poor neighborhoods of Miami. She also traveled to Tallahassee to lobby for women’s suffrage, undeterred by the unsympathetic state legislators she faced there. More fundamentally, Marjory recognized and spoke out against the devastating and multi-generational impact of slavery on black people in the United States. [...]

The Story of a River Kid

Evie Flaugh is no stranger to the wonders of Florida's waterways, or to the environmental crises that plague them. As a co-founder of the River Kidz, she's spent nearly half her life speaking up to protect and preserve them. Now a college student, Evie shares her journey as a river kid, and talks about the full circle moment when her summer internship at Friends of the Everglades offered her the chance to continue advocating in new ways for the waterways she loves as an adult. The Story of a River Kid By Evie Flaugh Growing up on one the most biologically diverse estuaries in North America, I have always had a fascination with the environment around me. My friend Naia [...]

2020-06-09T10:50:58-04:00June 9th, 2020|All Posts|

RECOVER Northern Estuary Salinity Envelope Public Comment

Ms. Ehlinger, Please find Friends of the Everglades' attached line-by-line feedback pertaining to the RECOVER Northern Estuaries Salinity Envelope Performance Metrics. We thank the Army Corps of Engineers and the whole RECOVER team for its work on these draft metrics, which are an improvement over the 2007 targets. That said, we see room for improvement if the RECOVER metrics are to stand as a true measure of CERP’s ability to restore, preserve and protect the South Florida ecosystem while balancing other water-related needs. First and foremost, Friends of the Everglades strongly opposes including any Lake Okeechobee Regulatory Releases in “Optimum” performance metrics for the St. Lucie Estuary. The St. Lucie Estuary requires ZERO cubic feet of water from Lake Okeechobee; [...]

Letter of Support To Prohibit Toxic Discharges

Friends of the Everglades submitted the following letter to Congress to express our support for a provision in the Water Resources Development Act that would prohibit the Army Corps of Engineers from discharging Lake Okeechobee water into the St. Lucie Estuary when levels of microcystin exceed 8 micrograms per liter.  

Recording Available Now! Clean Water Conversations: What’s up with the EAA Reservoir?

Thank you to everyone that joined us today for our Clean Water Conversation surrounding the EAA Reservoir. If you missed parts of the conversation or want to share this with a friend, you can find the full recording HERE. https://youtu.be/vXu-UAoBr8s A big thank you goes out to Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch and Diana Umpierre for making this a successful and informative event. Today's topic of conversation will continue to evolve. We'll be sure to pass on new information and chances for the public to weigh in on the project as we come across them. We’ll keep you posted and hope you’ll join us for the next Clean Water Conversation. By the way, this effort is funded by people like you who care about protecting [...]

Join us virtually! Clean Water Conversation: What’s up with the EAA Reservoir?

What are you doing at noon Thursday? If you’re working from home, as I am, I hope you’ll grab a sandwich and tune in live to our next Clean Water Conversation, streamed via Friends of the Everglades’ Facebook page.  The topic: What’s up with the EAA Storage Reservoir? No concept has dominated the conversation about Everglades restoration more than this project, and we have some important new developments to discuss. The $1.8 billion reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee is intended to send clean water south to the Everglades, while delivering a degree of relief from toxic Lake Okeechobee discharges to the northern estuaries. But the EAA Reservoir, as planned, is a shadow of the 60,000-acre undertaking once envisioned for the [...]

Happy #GivingTuesdayNow – A Day of Global Giving!

Today is #GivingTuesdayNow! For 24 hours, #GivingTuesdayNow is a chance for people everywhere to stand together in unity by powering the movements that they care about, even amidst all the strangeness and uncertainty resulting from COVID-19. At Friends of the Everglades, we are doubling down on virtual efforts to ensure that you remain informed and aware of advocacy opportunities from the safety of your own home. We’ve added online education resources to engage with the next generation of Everglades advocates, and we’ve banded together with experts and activists across the state to bring you a new online series of Clean Water Conversations. We’re also continuing our legacy of watchdog work, most recently by calling on members of Congress to block [...]

2020-07-01T13:58:52-04:00May 4th, 2020|Action Alerts, All Posts|

Congress must reject 20-year-old water promises to protect future of Lake Okeechobee, estuaries & Everglades

The following letter was sent by Friends of the Everglades to all Florida congressional offices requesting their rejection of the intentionally manipulative language additions that would ultimately prioritize the water supply needs for large industrial farms south of Lake Okeechobee over the health of residents living along toxic-algae plagued waterways. April 29, 2020 To the members of Florida's congressional delegation: On behalf of Friends of the Everglades, I’m writing to voice our concerns about an effort to manipulate this year’s Water Resources & Development Act (WRDA) in a manner that would be detrimental to the Everglades, the northern estuaries and Florida Bay. In an email sent Tuesday, April 28, Rep. Alcee Hastings’ staff requested other representatives sign onto a letter [...]