VIDEO: Examining the Annihilation of Florida

Jeff VanderMeer is a realist — but that doesn't mean he's without hope for the future of wild Florida. During today's Clean Water Conversation, the bestselling author and Tallahassee resident talked with Friends of the Everglades Executive Director Eve Samples about his recent article in Current Affairs, "The Annihilation of Florida: An Overlooked National Tragedy." Jeff discussed special interests that work against environmental protection in Florida, the rapid pace of habitat loss, and the expanses of Florida's wilderness that still need to be protected. Several football fields-worth of forest and other valuable habitat are cleared every day in Florida. And we have 11 million acres of wetlands that remain vulnerable, down from 20 million acres prior to the 1800s. Jeff [...]

Join our author discussion on “The Annihilation of Florida”

The pursuit of progress can be blinding. And in Florida, it has had a devastating effect on the natural world around us. You’ve probably seen Jeff VanderMeer’s recent article, “The Annihilation of Florida: An Overlooked National Tragedy,” featured in Current Affairs. In it, he details the many environmental horrors that have come from accelerated and uninhibited growth in Florida and the challenges we are likely to encounter still in the face of climate change. Now we offer you the opportunity to hear from the author himself. In a virtual Clean Water Conversation on June 30, Jeff VanderMeer will join Friends of the Everglades executive director, Eve Samples, to discuss the alarming facts detailed in Jeff’s reporting. These threats to Florida’s [...]

2022-06-17T13:56:46-04:00June 15th, 2022|All Posts, Clean Water Conversations|

Everglades Illustrated: Eye on Toxic-Algae Season

It's summer in Florida, AKA toxic-algae season. Around the world, regional shifts in temperature and weather mark the start of fall and winter, spring and summer. But here in Florida, visitors and residents have become accustomed to another season that coincides with heavy rains and longer, hotter days of summer: toxic-algae season. In the satellite image above from National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, a neon green mass accumulates in the northwest portion of Lake Okeechobee, spanning the western shoreline in a bloom that covers 160 square miles. If you’ve lived in Florida long, or have followed the news in recent years, the image evokes a familiar wariness that has become common across the sunshine state from mid-May to mid-October, [...]

2022-06-14T10:24:20-04:00June 14th, 2022|Big Sugar, Everglades Illustrated, Toxic Algae|


This is no small victory! Senate Bill 2508 was easily the worst environmental bill we saw come out of Tallahassee this year — made up of several dangerous provisions that threatened Floridians and our environment by preserving the status quo.  We recognized the hazard this bill would pose to fragile wetlands, water management and land preservation across Florida. It had to be stopped. We issued a call to action to help us shut it down, and you did not disappoint. More than 3,500 of you sent urgent messages to Gov. DeSantis requesting a veto of this dangerous legislation.That’s in addition to more than 5,000 messages sent after the bill first emerged in February. Every one of those messages made a [...]

2022-06-08T10:57:57-04:00June 8th, 2022|All Posts, SB 2508|

Your moment of Everglades zen: Introducing our Multimedia Producer, Leah Voss

This month, we welcomed Leah Voss to the Friends of the Everglades team. In the newly created position of Multimedia Producer, Leah will help us bring Everglades issues to life through imagery and videography. Her background as a talented photojournalist and her passion for Florida’s unique environment are palpable in the work she produces, and we’re certain the stories she tells with images will bring a new strength to our mission to preserve, protect and restore the only Everglades in the world. Please join us in welcoming Leah to the team! We invite you to learn a little more about Leah, via her words and images Last week, [...]

2022-06-07T15:18:30-04:00June 6th, 2022|All Posts, Everglades Zen|

One Last Chance to Kill SB 2508

Today, Senate Bill 2508 was transmitted to Gov. DeSantis’ desk. He now has 15 days to do one of three things: sign this anti-water bill into law, veto it, or do nothing — allowing it to pass into law July 1 without his signature. The only environmentally defensible move is a VETO. “SB 2508 is a grab bag of terrible ideas, destined to result in more toxic discharges to Florida's coast and fast-tracking the destruction of crucial wetlands,” Friends of the Everglades policy director Gil Smart said. If passed, SB 2508 will have widespread negative impacts on Floridians and the state’s tourism-based economy by letting utility companies pay to expedite review permits that would destroy wetlands; and preserving status quo [...]

2022-06-02T09:28:24-04:00June 2nd, 2022|Action Alerts, All Posts, SB 2508|

South Dade boondoggle delayed to Sept. 22

Today, we celebrate a win — albeit a temporary one — for Biscayne Bay and the Greater Everglades.  Miami-Dade County commissioners voted Wednesday morning to defer an ill-conceived proposal to convert 800 acres of low-lying farmland in Homestead to a giant industrial complex.  For the second time in two weeks, developers peddling the South Dade Logistics & Technology District failed to secure enough votes to advance their environmentally irresponsible proposal. At their request, the project will return to the Miami-Dade County Commission for a final decision on Sept. 22. Wednesday’s deferral is a huge credit to almost 1,300 Friends of the Everglades supporters who emailed Miami-Dade County commissioners, along with our allies within the Hold the Line Coalition who have [...]

Help us make this The Last Burn Season

We know a picture’s worth a thousand words, and this year Friends of the Everglades has worked to visually chronicle the story of sugarcane burning in Florida. The images, seen here in the carousel above, are alarming. May marked the final days of the 2021-2022 burn season, which began in October. For the last eight months, large plumes of smoke regularly darkened the sky over Glades communities. Smoke and black ash became the regular backdrop for community and family events, encroaching on barbecues, wedding receptions, playgrounds, and roadways adjacent to burning fields. Mounting evidence from ProPublica and The Palm Beach Post’s investigative reporting, and [...]

2022-06-01T13:30:17-04:00May 31st, 2022|Action Alerts, All Posts, Sugarcane Burning|

VIDEO: Let’s make this the Last Burn Season

Colin Walkes painted a stark picture for us today, asking each of us to think what it's like to celebrate a wedding in our backyards as plumes of smoke billow in the background and black ash rains down to rest on a loved one's white dress. Though it may seem unimaginable to some, smoke as a backdrop to daily life is a familiar reality for residents of the Glades communities south of Lake Okeechobee that can last up to eight months of each year. Courageous local leaders have inspired a movement for justice to bring an end to sugarcane burning in favor of safer, sustainable, burn-free harvesting. We are grateful to Colin Walkes, Robert Mitchell and Patrick Ferguson for leading [...]

The South Dade industrial complex is a litmus test for Miami-Dade commissioners

  Today, Miami-Dade County commissioners will cast a final vote on a developers’ proposal to add almost 800 acres of rural land off Florida’s Turnpike to the Urban Development Boundary. Friends of the Everglades executive director Eve Samples traveled to Miami to deliver the following comments in opposition to the industrial complex which threatens valuable green space and Biscayne Bay restoration efforts. Chairman and Commissioners, I’m Eve Samples, executive director of Friends of the Everglades. We were founded in 1969 to fend off a dangerous development that threatened the Everglades ecosystem. Back then, it was the Everglades Jetport. Today, it is the South Dade industrial complex. This vote is a litmus test. The outcome will reflect whether your voiced support [...]

2022-06-01T13:30:32-04:00May 19th, 2022|All Posts, Hold the Line|


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