Clean Water Conversation Postponed

Due to the approaching Hurricane Ian, our Clean Water Conversation about Florida Bay, originally scheduled for tomorrow is postponed in order to ensure that everyone is focused on hurricane safety this week. Please bear with us for a few days as we work out the specific details with our featured guests: Dr. Jennifer Rehage, Capt. Benny Blanco and angler Dave Preston. In the meantime, registration will remain open. Our hearts are with all Floridians as we prepare for and weather the storm in the days ahead. We look forward to connecting with you all again when the skies clear. Best of luck to all and stay safe!

2022-09-27T11:17:08-04:00September 27th, 2022|Clean Water Conversations, Florida Bay|

The Last Burn Season video series: “Isn’t our life worth it?”

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. "I don't blame the people for not having hope, but I've got hope for them. I'm standing in the gap for my people."— Kina Phillips Kina Phillips knows what it is to sacrifice. At her home in South Bay, Florida, all she has to do is look past the fence line in her backyard for a reminder of the largest agricultural influence south of Lake Okeechobee, and the risks it poses to residents of the Glades communities. Sugarcane stretches for miles into the horizon. When the cane is burned [...]

Miami-Dade County: Tell Commissioners to vote NO on the South Dade Logistics and Tech Center!

Boca Chita Key at Biscayne National Park on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Aerial support provided by LightHawk. As a resident of Miami-Dade county, we need your help to hold the line against industrial development that threatens fragile ecosystems and jeopardizes local water quality. The Aligned Holdings application in District 8 has been reduced from an 800-acre footprint to 350 acres. But that does not diminish our concerns about the proposal which lies in a flood-prone, coastal high-hazard zone that is currently being farmed. This area is important for aquifer recharge and serves as an important line of protection from storm surge and other impacts of climate change. The proposed project is a risk to ongoing efforts to [...]

2022-09-14T17:08:58-04:00September 15th, 2022|Action Alerts, Hold the Line, Stopping Sprawl|

Our fight continues in the wake of “Rural Lifestyle” vote

Residents against the Rural Lifestyle amendment protest ahead of the Martin County Commission meeting Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Stuart. Martin County is the dividing line between South Florida’s sprawl and less-intense development. On Tuesday, in a very close vote that Friends of the Everglades opposed, the commission voted to open thousands of acres of rural land to suburban-style development. Kudos is owed to Commissioners Sarah Heard and Ed Ciampi as the only two commissioners to hold the line during the vote to move forward with a new land-use designation known as “Rural Lifestyle,” marking what’s arguably the most significant change to the county’s Comprehensive Plan since it was established under the leadership of Maggy Hurchalla. The [...]

2022-09-14T16:43:23-04:00September 14th, 2022|Maggy Hurchalla Opportunity Fund, Stopping Sprawl|

Everglades Illustrated: Lake O levels and the “water shortage management band”

    It’s been a relatively dry summer. As of September 11, Lake Okeechobee stood at 12.55 feet. That’s about 2 feet lower than this time last year. Last week, the lake officially entered what’s known as the “water shortage management band” — a point where water managers can implement water restrictions if necessary and South Florida Water Management District steps in to determine release volumes from Lake O. But let’s not sound the drought alarm bells just yet. Typically the biggest concern during rainy season is that Lake O will rise too fast, threatening the integrity of the Herbert Hoover Dike and triggering damaging discharges to the northern estuaries — but that has not been the case this summer. [...]

2022-09-14T16:43:47-04:00September 13th, 2022|All Posts, Everglades Illustrated, Lake Okeechobee, LOSOM|

6 ways to improve LOSOM in the home stretch

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 toxic-algae crises while delivering more clean water to the southern Everglades. On Monday, we submitted formal comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, offering specific suggestions for improvements. Friends of the Everglades is working to ensure the stated operational intent for LOSOM translates into realized benefits when the new lake plan takes effect in 2023. Read our full letter, including six suggested improvements to LOSOM. As the letter states, the toxic-algae crises of 2013, 2016 and 2018 were avoidable catastrophes borne of water management decisions and nutrient pollution. LOSOM is poised to [...]

2022-09-12T18:05:30-04:00September 12th, 2022|LOSOM|

Protect Martin County’s Comp Plan — Tell Commissioners to Oppose “Rural Lifestyles”

Concerned citizens rallied at Martin County Commission meetings earlier this year following the passing of local environmental hero Maggy Hurchalla to oppose a newly proposed land-use designation that threatened the County’s environmentally protective Comprehensive Plan. The new “Rural Lifestyle” land use would undermine the cornerstone of Martin County’s comprehensive plan — prioritizing the environment and quality of life by maintaining responsible limits on development. Since those meetings, insufficient adjustments have been made to the proposed amendments, none of which adequately address the concern that rural lands in Martin County will be made vulnerable to sprawl. We need your help. On September 13, the proposal will be heard by the Martin County Commission once again, for a final vote. Join us [...]

2022-09-14T16:44:00-04:00September 8th, 2022|Action Alerts, Stopping Sprawl|

Presenting the Maggy Hurchalla Opportunity Fund

It’s hard to believe six months have passed since we said goodbye to Everglades hero Margaret Reno Hurchalla. Not a day goes by that we don’t remember the immense contributions and sacrifices she made in Florida for our communities and environment. As difficult as it was to think of a world without Maggy’s perseverance and inspiration, you helped us realize that her triumphant spirit lives on through Everglades advocacy and supporters. Hundreds of Maggy Hurchalla’s friends and loved ones contributed more than $25,000 cumulatively to Friends of the Everglades in the wake of her passing. Now, Friends of the Everglades is honored to announce the creation of The Maggy Hurchalla Opportunity Fund, seeded by your heartfelt contributions. Your gifts [...]

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