The following comments from Eve Samples, executive director of Friends of the Everglades, were delivered during the Nov. 20 meeting of the Project Delivery Team developing the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual for the Army Corps of Engineers: We are reminded this year of the highly variable nature of Florida’s rainfall, which can vary upwards of 40 inches a year between wet and dry years. This year, it almost felt like we had both packed into one. The Everglades were literally on fire in April, and now Eta has dropped record rainfall on us in November, leading to damaging discharges to the northern estuaries that have continued for more than a month. This year also reminds us how much [...]
Scenes from the St. Lucie Lock and Dam captured Monday morning, November 9. Last week, the Army Corps of Engineers predicted that heavy rain from Tropical Storm Eta could raise the level of Lake Okeechobee by as much as 10 inches, suggesting that up to a month more of lake discharges to the northern estuaries may be necessary. The St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries have already suffered immense damage from the current Lake Okeechobee discharges. These delicate ecosystems cannot withstand another month of harm.
The Everglades Coalition has released a resolution adamantly opposing expanded operations at the Homestead Air Reserve Base including large passenger or cargo traffic commercial aviation. EVCO is comprised of 61 organizations, including Friends of the Everglades, dedicated to the protection and restoration of America’s Everglades. Read the full resolution below. For more information about environmentalists' opposition to a proposal that could lead to commercial flights out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, read a letter submitted to Mayor Gimenez and the Miami-Dade County Commission on behalf of Friends of the Everglades by attorney Paul J. Schwiep by clicking here.
Friends of the Everglades joined Earthjustice and a number of other local, state, and national organizations in signing onto comments opposing the transfer of federal wetland permitting to the state department of environmental protection. Florida’s developers have been pushing for this handover to the state for decades. The environmental community stands steadfastly against the state's request to assume administration of a Clean Water Act Section 404 program because this would jeopardize vital natural resources at a time of unprecedented population growth combined with striking environmental degradation. Of particular concern, Florida proposes to take on the consequential responsibility of a Section 404 program without devoting an additional cent of resources to the undertaking. The proposal comes at a time when the [...]
Recording available now! Clean Water Conversations: Northern Estuary Waterkeepers’ Toxic Discharge Update
We are grateful to all of you for joining us for our latest Clean Water Conversation: Northern Estuary Waterkeepers' Toxic Discharge Update. Today we were joined by Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani, Indian Riverkeeper Mike Conner, and Lake Worth Waterkeeper Reinaldo Diaz to get an update on the damages inflicted onto each of these northern estuaries by the recent start of Lake Okeechobee discharges. The impacts of Lake Okeechobee discharges on each of these ecosystems are devastating and far-reaching. Each time the flood gates open, local environments suffer, and the people that call these areas home are faced with exposure to dangerous cyanobacteria and tremendous economic loss. We are thankful to each of these Waterkeepers for serving as critical sources of local [...]
Last week, Friends of the Everglades and our partners at Bullsugar.org signed on to a Friend of the Court Amicus Brief in support of Maggy Hurchalla. The rights secured by the First Amendment act as a powerful tool allowing the public to communicate with elected officials. A petition for review of Maggy's case by the U.S. Supreme Court has been filed by attorney Richard Grosso. Our joint amicus brief signifies our support for her and for the outcome of this fight which could severely impact concerned citizens' rights to petition their government. In Maggy's own words, "It's a long shot. The Supreme Court gets hundreds of cases submitted and accepts very few. But if no one risks losing, we all [...]
Scenes from the More Haven and Ortona Locks on the Caloosahatchee River captured Friday afternoon, October 16. Releases from Lake Okeechobee began Wednesday, October 14 at a rate of 4,000 cfs out of S-77 west to the Caloosahatchee estuary. The Army Corps reports that releases west are being implemented in a steady release at S-77 with the local basin providing a natural watershed pulse at S-79 in addition to the lake releases. https://youtu.be/MfzqGXDVsuE https://youtu.be/5xCjH2pFNgk https://youtu.be/Xo-Eo7S6Zyc
Scenes from the St. Lucie Lock and Dam captured Friday morning, October 16. Releases from Lake Okeechobee began Wednesday, October 14 at a rate of 1,800 cfs out of S-80 east to the St. Lucie estuary. The Army Corps reports that releases east are being pulsed at S-80 in an effort to have the lowest flow days at the peak of the King Tides this week.
Support Friends of the Everglades on Give Miami Day 2020: Give Miami Day is an online giving event hosted by Miami Foundation and designed to give supporters a chance to maximize their contributions to community-building nonprofit organizations. Friends of the Everglades will participate in the 24 hours of giving, which includes a bonus pool and prize pool for participating nonprofits awarded by the Miami Foundation and their partners. Friends of the Everglades will directly receive all the contributions processed through givemiamiday.org. Last year, Friends of the Everglades was able to exceed the goal of $10,000 on Give Miami Day. Without in-person events fueling our outreach this year, Friends of the Everglades is raising the bar to reach a goal of $20,000 [...]