As you plan your year-end giving, Friends of the Everglades needs your help. Our grass-roots organization was founded in 1969 by Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Since Marjory’s passing in 1998 at the age of 108, many have attempted to appropriate her legacy, including the state of Florida.
Marjory was a fierce advocate for “doing the right thing” for the Everglades, and she knew perfectly well that powerful, wealthy polluters like Big Sugar were determined to extract every ounce of leverage from state and local jurisdictions. So what have we done?
In recent years, Friends sued the EPA under the Clean Water Act for failing to hold the state of Florida accountable to the law prohibiting phosphorous pollution of the Everglades. In 2012, Clean Water Act litigation in which we were a plaintiff with the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians resulted in an agreement to fund more than $900 million by the state and federal government in additional protection against Big Sugar’s water pollution.
Of course we didn’t do it alone. At Friends, we stand on the shoulders of those before us, of those contributing their expertise as scientists, policy experts, attorneys, and a volunteer board of directors. But it is your support that makes it possible for Friends to continue to play an important role in the Everglades’ future.
I grew up in the summer playing at the bay’s edge in a small town called Touisset, Rhode Island. Although I was a child, I vividly recall the rough-edged baymen who were the last generation in a lineage stretching back to the Pilgrims who fed families from the bounty of the bay. Some of them likely traced their ancestors to the original Tea Party in Boston Harbor. Then, I couldn’t have argued “there ought to be a law”; as an adult, however, I am reminded every day by the Everglades that our laws ought to be tougher, stronger and enforced.
Your support of Friends of the Everglades is meaningful and a critical choice in favor of enforcing federal and state laws protecting the Everglades.
I would be remiss not to highlight the role our Young Friends program plays in educating children, our next generation of environmental leaders. Your contribution will also help our board and educational staff plan and implement education on the Everglades, keeping the tight, appropriate focus on the challenges and opportunities to use Everglades restoration as a model, here in Miami-Dade County and throughout the state, for “doing the right thing”. That’s what Marjory wanted and the legacy we are committed to keep vibrant, with your help. Please be generous, today, for Friends and for the future.
Alan Farago, President