About Allie Preston

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So far Allie Preston has created 216 blog entries.

LOSOM Update: An improvement, but not a cure-all

            An improvement, but not a cure-all For more than three years, Friends of the Everglades has advocated for a better Lake Okeechobee management plan — one that prioritizes public health and prevents the kind of toxic-algae crisis that devastated Florida in 2018 and years prior. We now have a detailed draft of the new plan, courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers. In a nutshell: The Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) will be an improvement over the existing plan — but, make no mistake, LOSOM will not be a cure-all. LOSOM will reduce, but not stop harmful discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. It will increase flows south to the Everglades, [...]

Environmental organizations provide a progress report on the Blue-Green Algae Task Force recommendations implementation

In early 2019, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis created a new Blue-Green Algae Task Force — made up of highly qualified scientists from around the state charged with issuing recommendations for addressing Florida's blue-green algae crisis. In 2019, the task force released a "consensus document," outlining recommended steps to do just that. And yet, in the nearly three years since then very few have ever been implemented. Today, a press release issued by environmental organizations including Friends of the Everglades criticized Florida leaders for failing to address critical water-quality concerns by not adequately implementing the recommendations of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force and announced the debut of the Blue-Green Algae Bloom Task Force Recommendations Implementation Progress Report As it states, "during [...]

Your moment of Everglades Zen: An Ode to Mangroves

Few images feel more iconic to coastal Florida shorelines than the twisted, tumbling limbs of the mangrove. Beneath their clumping root systems, life thrives, providing physical protection for marine species that gather under, seek refuge and sustenance within, and cling to mangroves’ protruding appendages. Above the water, dense canopies provide shelter and important nesting habitat for coastal birds and mammals. The aerial root structures of mangroves have been credited with helping to reduce waves and absorb storm surge. A common sight along much of Florida’s coast, mangroves can be likened to anchors that help to stabilize coastline ecosystems and serve as a first line of defense against coastal flooding and erosion — [...]

2022-08-01T16:45:47-04:00August 2nd, 2022|Everglades Zen, Wildlife Habitat|

Questions remain about the safety of LOWRP

On August 1, 2022, Friends of the Everglades Executive Director Eve Samples submitted comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project (LOWRP) Third Revised Draft PIR/SEIS. Earlier this year, Friends submitted comments that raised concerns about the risks and rising costs associated with implementation of Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells on this unprecedented scale. As referenced in the following comments, Friends of the Everglades remains concerned that additional scrutiny is necessary to ensure that the Army Corps has the needed scientific foundation to be sure that LOWRP will not adversely affect aquatic ecosystem, will be cost-effective, and will provide the claimed benefits. As the letter states, "Myriad questions remain about LOWRP's safety and [...]

VIDEO: The fight against toxic algae continues

Many of us in Florida vividly recall recent years with highly visible toxic algae outbreaks on our waters — a reoccurring crisis that eventually prompted the creation of a new Blue-Green Algae Task Force in 2019. Despite the list of sound recommendations for combatting blue-green algae that the task force released later the same year, the issue and its root causes have remained largely unaddressed by Florida's elected leaders.  During today's Clean Water Conversation, Matanzas Riverkeeper Jen Lomberk and 1000 Friends of Florida's Haley Busch joined Friends of the Everglades' Gil Smart and Eve Samples to discuss the various ways that Florida should address the blue-green algae crisis and where we’ve so far failed in our response. Today's conversation scratched the surface of [...]

2022-07-27T16:37:37-04:00July 27th, 2022|All Posts|

The Last Burn Season Video Series: “They need to be better neighbors”

Sugarcane burning leaves communities vulnerable to air pollution, health risks and economic stress. It’s time to forge a meaningful path to a long-overdue solution. Make this the Last Burn Season.   “People should be running the government, not corporations.” — Fred Brockman The choice between sending a child to school or keeping them home to protect their health is one that many Floridians experienced for the first time as Covid-19 ravaged the country. Yet, in the Glades communities south of Lake Okeechobee, it’s a dilemma parents have faced for decades. During the 22 years that Anne Haskell taught at Glades Central Community High School, she watched families struggle when sugarcane burning in nearby fields filled the air around the school [...]

Join our live conversation on the fight against blue-green algae

Blue-green algae. It’s a danger to human health. It smells horrendous. It’s bad for business, for real estate values and for essential tourism dollars that drive the state of Florida’s clean-water economy. So what are we doing about it? More importantly, are we doing enough? In 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis created the Blue-Green Algae Task Force to address this threat. He appointed some of the best-qualified scientists in the state to serve on it. Yet, three years later, many of the task force’s sound recommendations have been ignored by Florida’s elected leaders.  No, we’re not doing nearly enough. Join Friends of the Everglades on July 27 as we talk with environmental policy experts about the lack of follow-through, and the [...]

Everglades Illustrated: This is what recovery looks like

Satellite image of the Sailfish Flats in Stuart, FL, courtesy of eyeonlakeo.com The compilation of images above shows satellite imagery of the Sailfish Flats in Stuart, Florida, during the summer months of 2018, 2019 and just recently in 2022. They tell a story of slow but sure recovery. Across Florida, the summer of 2018 was a nightmare for water. To the east and the west, a stew of toxic blue-green algae-laden water from Lake Okeechobee was discharged in both directions. People and pets got sick, marine animals died by the tons (literally), businesses suffered and the most destructive red tide in years persisted along the west coast with the help from the constant source of nutrients. In Stuart, [...]

2022-07-11T19:34:09-04:00July 12th, 2022|Everglades Illustrated, St. Lucie Estuary|

The Last Burn Season Video Series: “We’re too sick from the burning of the cane”

Sugarcane burning leaves communities vulnerable to air pollution, health risks and economic stress. It’s time to forge a meaningful path to a long-overdue solution. Make this the Last Burn Season. “Belle Glade, South Bay and Pahokee is a nice place to raise your kids, and live, and to work and to play. But we’re not able to do that, ‘cause we’re too sick from the burning of the cane.” — Hester Harrell From a hospital bed in Belle Glade, Florida, 53-year old Hester Harrell breathes slowly and deliberately. She’s no stranger to the confinement of these walls, where complications from gastroparesis, diabetes and asthma have frequently landed her over the years. As a Belle Glade native, Hester has lived in [...]

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