Documenting the discharges by plane – 9-24-21

Our partners at LightHawk have continued to fly surveillance flights over Lake Okeechobee regularly to help us keep an eye on the toxic algae activity within the lake. On Wednesday, pilot Howard Greenberg sent us footage from his latest flight. In the video, evidence of persisting algae blooms appears slight, but recent satellite images confirm that there's still good reason to keep our monitoring going. This summer the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee have enjoyed a much-needed reprieve from toxic Lake Okeechobee discharges — a change that communities on either coasts have been grateful for. But a big storm this time of year could still make releases to the estuaries a reality — and the Army Corps has their eyes on [...]

2021-09-24T14:32:14-04:00September 24th, 2021|All Posts, Lake Okeechobee, Toxic Algae|

Friends of the Everglades supports climate change action to protect the Everglades

Friends of the Everglades joined the Southern Alliance of Clean Energy and others in signing on to the following letter to the Florida Congressional Delegation in support of a Clean Electricity Performance Program in order to take action on climate change and protect America's Everglades. As state, the electricity sector is one of the largest contributors to carbon pollution driving climate change — and a huge consumer of water. Impacts from climate change stand to undermine the significant strides that have been made to restore America's Everglades. The letter calls for historic investment in a clean and water-smart energy future and requests swift action from the members of the Florida Congressional Delegation to cut carbon pollution in the next decade [...]

2021-09-23T13:47:11-04:00September 23rd, 2021|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Everglades Illustrated: Dangerous development threatens the Everglades

The map above tells the story of a looming threat to Biscayne Bay. Developers in Miami-Dade County are pushing to convert 794 acres of “farmland of unique importance” to 9 million square feet of industrial development. This green space sits outside the county’s Urban Development Boundary, and within Coastal High Hazard Area — which is “among the areas least suitable for urban development” due to storm surge vulnerabilities, according to county staff. Despite a scathing report by the County’s own planning and environmental staff about the dangers posed by the South Dade Technology & Logistics project, the Board of County Commissioners voted September 9 to transmit the proposal to the state for review. In a shocking display of one-sided politics, [...]

2021-09-14T14:13:30-04:00September 14th, 2021|Everglades Illustrated, Homestead Air Reserve Base|

Friends of the Everglades to Miami-Dade County: Hold the Line on current Urban Development Boundary

The following letter submitted on behalf of Friends of the Everglades outlines concerns about the application filed by Aligned Real Estate Holdings and South Dade Industrial Partners. The application is scheduled for consideration at the Sept. 9 Miami- Dade County Commission meeting. Reports, comments and recommendations of the County's own staff have detailed why this proposal would be a bad public policy choice for the County for this location and at this time. As the County works along with state and federal agencies in the herculean effort to protect the County’s existing public and private investments from sea level rise and salt water intrusion, and restore the health of Biscayne Bay, replacing 800 acres of flood prone natural land outside [...]

Your moment of Everglades Zen: The Night Sky in the Everglades

We know the bad-news reel gets old. It's good to stop and remember what we're working so hard to protect. Here's your dose of Everglades zen. The Night Sky in the Everglades Watch the video above and then see if you can come up with a single good reason that a place capable of this level of majesty isn't worth saving. Photographer Anthony Sleiman shared this compilation of time-lapse images of the night sky above different trails in Everglades National Park with us, and the end result is nothing short of breathtaking. When we asked him what motivated his work, he had this to say: "To me, the Everglades is a place full of magic, a place where time [...]

2021-09-23T13:47:33-04:00September 7th, 2021|All Posts, Everglades Zen|

Hulu presents a tribute to Friends founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Last week we told you about a new monument being built in honor of Friends of the Everglades founder Marjory Stoneman Douglas. This week, we're thrilled to share the first episode of a complementary animated mini-series produced by Hulu that tells the stories of the women that inspired the monuments. This episode, dedicated to Marjory, chronicles her life as a writer, conservationist, and "professional nuisance" as she battled powerful industries and public perception to preserve and protect the vital Everglades ecosystem. In the end, she knew that one voice was not enough. Marjory made sure to preserve the legacy of environmental advocacy she pioneered, founding Friends of the Everglades in 1969 and inspiring thousands to step up as voices of [...]

2021-09-02T16:19:15-04:00September 2nd, 2021|Marjory Stoneman Douglas|

Tell the Army Corps: Any toxic algae is too much toxic algae.

Lake Okeechobee cyanobacteria bloom 8-30-21. Photo by Ralph Arwood. First shared on Facebook by the Calusa Waterkeeper. Last week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave us some “homework.” At the end of an Aug. 25 meeting on the proposed new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual — LOSOM — the Corps asked participants to think about how much blue-green algae is too much. Specifically, the Corps asked what “indicators” might signify that poor water quality or algae blooms on Lake Okeechobee are “significant enough” to allow water managers to consider taking action? And if so, what should water managers do to reduce the risk to public health and the environment? The answers should be obvious to anyone who [...]

2021-08-31T10:32:11-04:00August 31st, 2021|LOSOM|

Exciting news to celebrate Women’s Equality Day!

Here's to the "women who did not let what people imagined they were limit who they became." — Saya Woolfalk This Women’s Equality Day, we have news to share. Of roughly 5,200 monuments in this country, fewer than 400 are dedicated to women. That imbalance inspired the video-streaming company Hulu to create three new public monuments — including one dedicated to Friends of the Everglades founder Marjory Stoneman Douglas. We are ecstatic. Hulu’s monuments will honor the contributions of three American women who dramatically shaped our culture through their commitments to inspire lasting and impactful change. In addition to the monument honoring Majory Stoneman Douglas, Hulu is creating monuments to Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Coretta Scott King. Artist mock-up [...]

2021-08-26T11:32:24-04:00August 26th, 2021|Marjory Stoneman Douglas|

VIDEO: What’s going on with red tide?

We have a system that helps us identify impaired water bodies. We have established targets for necessary pollution reduction to bring water bodies back to health. But the state of Florida is failing to crack down on polluters by adequately enforcing these rules. The results are catastrophic. Just look to the prolonged red tide event happening right now on the west coast for proof. We'd like to extend a big thanks to Jacki Lopez of Center for Biological Diversity, Justin Bloom of Suncoast Waterkeeper, and our own Gil Smart for sharing their insight and knowledge with us as we talked red tide during today's Clean Water Conversation. If you missed the event today, you can find the full recording below. And as recommended during [...]

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