About Allie Preston

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So far Allie Preston has created 99 blog entries.

A pivotal moment to get LOSOM right

It’s crunch time. In less than a month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will pick a tentative plan for the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual. It’s a once-in-a-decade opportunity to finally and dramatically improve the way water is managed in South Florida — and mitigate the Sunshine State’s worsening toxic algae crisis. On June 17 the “LOSOM” Project Delivery Team and members of the public, including Friends of the Everglades, examined the latest computer modeling data showing how the new system might work. From tens of thousands of computer models, Corps engineers have selected six possible alternatives: AA, BB, CC, DD, EE1 and EE2. The Army Corps’ goal is to create an equitable plan that reduces damaging discharges [...]

2021-06-17T17:02:46-04:00June 17th, 2021|All Posts, LOSOM|

Florida Cabinet rejects State Road 836 extension order, threatening the Everglades

Today, Governor DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet voted to overturn a judge’s ruling, paving the way for a new expressway that will cut through Florida’s Everglades. Proposed as a solution for traffic congestion, Judge Suzanne Van Wyk previously found the proposal was out of compliance with Miami-Dade County’s comprehensive plan, posing a threat to sensitive Everglades wetlands and a major drinking water source for area residents. In total, the tollway is expected to shave a meager 6 minutes off the average commute time for local motorists once complete — a benefit that seems far outweighed by the potential to do great harm to state and federal lands acquired specifically for Everglades restoration. Friends of the Everglades, which supported the legal [...]

Documenting the discharges by plane — 6-8-21

https://youtu.be/U2MYrGo4rCY?t=760 With help from our partners at LightHawk, we're keeping a close eye on the toxic algae crisis in Lake Okeechobee. Aerial video, provided by pilot Howard Greenberg, maps the southern edge of Lake Okeechobee from the east coast starting at Port Mayaca to Canal Point, to Pahokee Marina, to the Moore Haven Lock and Dam on the west coast. (See flight path in the image below). In the latest flight seen here, streaks of algae were spotted in the lake around the 12:45 minute mark in the video. Though it may not look significant, it's important to remember that there are many variables that can impact algae visibility including wind pattern and sunlight. These flights will be critical for [...]

2021-06-14T16:22:36-04:00June 14th, 2021|All Posts|

“Getting LOSOM right is a test. If we pass, we may succeed at saving the Everglades.”

The following comments were made during the June 10, 2021, meeting of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board by Eve Samples, executive director of Friends of the Everglades. When our organization was founded by Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 1969, the Everglades were in dire peril: An international jetport was planned for Big Cypress, threatening to irrevocably cut off the flow of water to Everglades National Park. We won that battle, working with Friends and Allies who saw long-term value in preserving the only Everglades in the world. And today, we find ourselves at another point of inflection for the Greater Everglades. It’s become clear in recent weeks that Florida is in the throes of an escalating toxic-algae crisis. [...]

Is This Florida’s Flint?

Toxic algae in West Palm Beach drinking water raises crisis to a new level Florida is in the midst of a toxic-algae crisis. And communities that rely on water from West Palm Beach are the latest victims. On May 28, city officials warned more than 120,000 residents of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach and South Palm Beach not to drink their tap water, which was contaminated with toxins caused by blue-green algae. This is the poison Friends of the Everglades and Bullsugar.org have been warning about for years — and calling on government leaders to fix. But, time and again, polluters get preferential treatment over Floridians. Now, the poison is in drinking water. The toxin cylindrospermopsin can cause upset stomach, [...]

2021-06-09T08:41:50-04:00June 9th, 2021|LOSOM, Toxic Algae|

Everglades Illustrated: Documenting the discharges — by plane

https://youtu.be/m-7xLMGC2YI A bird's eye view of a crisis unfolding More than a 1000 feet in the air, a bright green pocket of blue-green algae is clearly visible inside the Port Mayaca Lock. It may not look like much, but it's enough to trigger PTSD for residents across Florida who've seen these views before. With many months of the rainy season still ahead, the familiar Florida algae crisis has already emerged with a vengeance — carpeting a Pahokee marina in a headline-grabbing outbreak, choking canals on the west coast, and even threatening water supply in Palm Beach County. It's not all bad. Watch the rest of this video and you'll see some breathtaking views from a perspective usually reserved for the [...]

2021-06-08T11:57:40-04:00June 8th, 2021|Everglades Illustrated|

Florida Cabinet should pull the plug on proposed Kendall Parkway

At their June 15 meeting, members of the Florida cabinet will be faced with a critical decision: Will they vote to overturn a judge's ruling, paving the way for a new expressway that will cut through Florida's Everglades? Or will they vote to uphold Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyck’s March 2020 order, which rejected the proposed extension of State Road 836/Dolphin Expressway as inconsistent with growth management policies, possibly incompatible with efforts to protect the Everglades — and destined to  only bring “meager” improvements for South Florida commuters? Today, Friends of the Everglades sent a letter to each member of the Florida cabinet urging their opposition to the new tollway which could negatively impact sensitive wetlands that provide critical [...]

Your moment of Everglades zen: United for an equitable Lake Okeechobee management plan

"A fist bump from the west coast to the east coast" When Friends of the Everglades was founded in 1969 by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, it was with the recognition that the River of Grass was not an east vs. west ecosystem, but rather an entire, interconnected ecosystem. And what’s good for the east and west coast is also good for the southern end of the Everglades. That means sending more clean water south, thereby eliminating the threat of toxic discharges to the northern estuaries and replenishing the parched Everglades with lifegiving, fresh water. The regional environments that make up the Greater Everglades ecosystem are varied and unique in makeup. Like pieces of a puzzle, each of them combines to create [...]

2021-06-02T12:00:04-04:00June 2nd, 2021|Everglades Zen, LOSOM|

Stakeholders across the state unite to request an equitable Lake Okeechobee management plan

Photo taken by the Lake Worth Waterkeeper of blue-green algae at the Lake Okeechobee Pahokee Marina on April 26, 2021 Today, Friends of the Everglades joined Everglades advocacy leaders across the state, Congressman Brian Mast (18th District of Florida), and Congressman Byron Donalds (19th District of Florida) to urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to adopt a more equitable Lake Okeechobee management plan. In order to expedite restoration efforts, aid in conservation efforts on federal lands, and protect impacted constituents and economies, the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) must send the maximum amount of water to the Everglades, Everglades National park, and Florida Bay during the dry season and eliminate harmful discharges to the St. [...]

Big Cypress must be protected from oil drilling threat

Photo by Luis G. Falcon This month Friends of the Everglades joined Center for Biological Diversity, National Park Conversation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, and more than 80 additional organizations in signing on to a letter sent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting that they object to the Burnett Oil Company, Inc.’s Section 404 Clean Water Act permit applications requesting to fill in waters of the U.S. to drill for oil in Big Cypress National Preserve. America's first national preserve, Big Cypress is part of the National Park system and a vital part of the Everglades. The proposed oil extraction activities are not in the public’s interest, and would be inconsistent with President Biden’s initiatives to combat [...]

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