Recording available now! Clean Water Conversations: Northern Estuary Waterkeepers’ Toxic Discharge Update

We are grateful to all of you for joining us for our latest Clean Water Conversation: Northern Estuary Waterkeepers' Toxic Discharge Update. Today we were joined by Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani, Indian Riverkeeper Mike Conner, and Lake Worth Waterkeeper Reinaldo Diaz to get an update on the damages inflicted onto each of these northern estuaries by the recent start of Lake Okeechobee discharges. The impacts of Lake Okeechobee discharges on each of these ecosystems are devastating and far-reaching. Each time the flood gates open, local environments suffer, and the people that call these areas home are faced with exposure to dangerous cyanobacteria and tremendous economic loss. We are thankful to each of these Waterkeepers for serving as critical sources of local [...]

2020-10-23T16:13:59-04:00October 23rd, 2020|All Posts|

Friends of the Everglades stands with Maggy Hurchalla

Last week, Friends of the Everglades and our partners at Bullsugar.org signed on to a Friend of the Court Amicus Brief in support of Maggy Hurchalla. The rights secured by the First Amendment act as a powerful tool allowing the public to communicate with elected officials. A petition for review of Maggy's case by the U.S. Supreme Court has been filed by attorney Richard Grosso. Our joint amicus brief signifies our support for her and for the outcome of this fight which could severely impact concerned citizens' rights to petition their government. In Maggy's own words, "It's a long shot. The Supreme Court gets hundreds of cases submitted and accepts very few. But if no one risks losing, we all [...]

2020-10-19T13:19:38-04:00October 19th, 2020|All Posts|

Toxic Discharge Update: More Haven and Ortona Locks 10-16-20

Scenes from the More Haven and Ortona Locks on the Caloosahatchee River captured Friday afternoon, October 16. Releases from Lake Okeechobee began Wednesday, October 14 at a rate of 4,000 cfs out of S-77 west to the Caloosahatchee estuary. The Army Corps reports that releases west are being implemented in a steady release at S-77 with the local basin providing a natural watershed pulse at S-79 in addition to the lake releases. https://youtu.be/MfzqGXDVsuE https://youtu.be/5xCjH2pFNgk https://youtu.be/Xo-Eo7S6Zyc  

Toxic Discharge Update: St. Lucie Locks 10-16-20

Scenes from the St. Lucie Lock and Dam captured Friday morning, October 16. Releases from Lake Okeechobee began Wednesday, October 14 at a rate of 1,800 cfs out of S-80 east to the St. Lucie estuary. The Army Corps reports that releases east are being pulsed at S-80 in an effort to have the lowest flow days at the peak of the King Tides this week.

2020-10-16T16:53:17-04:00October 16th, 2020|All Posts, Lake Okeechobee, St. Lucie Estuary, Toxic Algae|

GiveMiamiDay2020

Support Friends of the Everglades on Give Miami Day 2020: Give Miami Day is an online giving event hosted by Miami Foundation and designed to give supporters a chance to maximize their contributions to community-building nonprofit organizations. Friends of the Everglades will participate in the 24 hours of giving, which includes a bonus pool and prize pool for participating nonprofits awarded by the Miami Foundation and their partners. Friends of the Everglades will directly receive all the contributions processed through givemiamiday.org.   Last year, Friends of the Everglades was able to exceed the goal of $10,000 on Give Miami Day. Without in-person events fueling our outreach this year, Friends of the Everglades is raising the bar to reach a goal of [...]

2020-10-16T11:58:12-04:00October 16th, 2020|All Posts|

‘Marjory Saves the Everglades’ Author Chat

When we get depressed about bad politics and the degradation of our environment, we turn our thoughts to the next generation of Everglades advocates. Young Friends of the Everglades inspire us — and today’s chat with children’s book author Sandra Neil Wallace was no exception. Sandra’s newly published book, “Marjory Saves the Everglades,” tells the story of our tireless founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Watch Sandra’s chat with Young Friends of the Everglades: Signed copies of the book are available! Click here to give one to a young environmentalist in your life. And don’t forget to check out the activity kit and curriculum guide that accompany Sandra’s book! Your donations make Young Friends of the Everglades possible. Less than 24 hours remain for [...]

ALERT: There’s toxic algae in Lake Okeechobee — and the flood gates are opening

Friends, This is the news we've been dreading. With a massive blue-green algae bloom on Lake Okeechobee, the flood gates to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries are opening this afternoon.  The video below, captured by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, illustrates the threat. https://youtu.be/SPkvviXhz00 Lake Okeechobee has been grappling with algae blooms for months. Now, with the flood gates opening to the estuaries, that algae — some of which has been confirmed toxic — may flow into the fishing holes and backyards of people along the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries.  Blue-green algae is more than unsightly — it’s a confirmed threat to human health. Scientists have linked toxins in cyanobacteria to liver disease, ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.  We know the [...]

2020-10-14T14:49:46-04:00October 14th, 2020|All Posts|

Army Corps: Hold off on Lake O discharges

Today, Friends of the Everglades asked the Army Corps of Engineers to hold off on Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries for one more week. We believe the cost-benefit analysis remains in favor of waiting, for the following five reasons: The 7-day forecast looks relatively dry, which means Lake Okeechobee’s water levels are likely to stop rising so quickly. King Tides are projected on the east coast this week, posing flooding risk that could be amplified by Lake O discharges. There are no imminent tropical-cyclone threats in the Atlantic that could bring rain to Lake Okeechobee. Florida Department of Environmental Protection is still waiting on toxicity results for water samples taken at S-308 and S-77, the [...]

Statement on general aviation at the Homestead Air Reserve Base

Below is a statement from Friends of the Everglades board member, Alan Farago, on general aviation at the Homestead Air Reserve Base. October 13, 2020 CONTACT: Alan Farago, 305-778-8765 alanfarago@me.com STATEMENT ON GENERAL AVIATION AT THE HOMESTEAD AIR RESERVE BASE A potential re-use of the Homestead Air Reserve Base (HARB), wedged between two national parks,  is back on the table. Last week Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved a resolution to negotiate a “joint use  agreement” with the U.S. Air Force for a fixed base operation (FBO) at the air base. Commissioner  Daniella Levine Cava added an amendment to the Moss resolution restricting operations to “general  aviation.” Critics note that “general aviation” may not stop cargo traffic and, on questioning, the county attorney  [...]

2020-10-13T12:38:51-04:00October 13th, 2020|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Lake Okeechobee Discharge Watch

South Florida residents are on edge as heavy rains have pushed the water level in Lake Okeechobee toward the tipping point where damaging releases to the coasts are deemed necessary to protect the Herbert Hoover Dike.  Today at 15.86 feet, the possibility of toxic discharges is more likely than it's been the last two years. Thanks to a change in operations that has lowered Lake Okeechobee levels before the rainy season, the Army Corps of Engineers has been better equipped to deal with extra rainfall like the deluge of storms that have lingered over South Florida for the past several weeks. We are hopeful that the Army Corps’ efforts to avoid discharges to the northern estuaries by finding additional southern [...]

2020-10-06T17:13:01-04:00October 6th, 2020|All Posts, Lake Okeechobee, Toxic Algae|