Join our next Clean Water Conversation: Revisiting the Toxic Puzzle

2018 is a year that most Floridians will never forget. That year, widely recalled as "Toxic18," put toxic algae and its link to serious public health concerns on the map in South Florida. That year, we saw devastating consequences after another summer of toxic Lake Okeechobee discharges. People got sick, dogs died, businesses suffered, and the most destructive red ride in years persisted with help from the constant source of nutrients. Samples collected during significant cyanobacterial blooms of 2016 and 2018 and tested by Dr. Paul Alan Cox's team from the Brain Chemistry Labs in Jackson, WY found concentrations of microcystin 10,000 times greater than that allowed by the state of Ohio for recreational waters. In the years since then, [...]

2021-01-11T16:37:26-05:00January 11th, 2021|All Posts|

Fix the FLO Summit Invitation

Fix the FLO Summit Thursday, December 17, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friends of the Everglades joins the Rivers Coalition, the Florida Oceanographic Society, and the Indian Riverkeeper in welcoming virtual attendees to join the first Fix the FLO Summit using the following Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89623472723 Tune in to hear from state and federal lawmakers representing the St. Lucie Estuary region of the Greater Everglades as they communicate their plans for addressing water quality and quantity issues related to Lake Okeechobee discharges that plague our local waterways. Featured Lawmakers: - Congressman Brian Mast - State Senator Gayle Harrell - State Rep. John Snyder - State Rep. Toby Overdorf - State Rep. Dana Trabulsy We hope you will join us Dec. 17 at [...]

2020-12-15T14:38:32-05:00December 15th, 2020|All Posts, Everglades Restoration|

We can end toxic discharges

Lake Okeechobee discharges continue, but there’s an end in sight. An announcement made today by the Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that they would lessen the polluted lake releases to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. The following is the release transition plan for the Caloosahatchee River Estuary:     The first week target measured at the S-77 flood gates will be in addition to any local basin runoff. The following weeks will be measured at the S-79 and the targets will include Lake Okeechobee and local basin runoff. The following is the release plan for the St. Lucie River Estuary: While no lake water is released during the pauses for each “pulse,” local basin runoff may require flows through [...]

2020-12-11T14:52:40-05:00December 11th, 2020|All Posts, Toxic Algae|

Friends of the Everglades LOSOM PDT Comments Tell Army Corps to Fix the FLO

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 [...]

2020-11-20T14:49:17-05:00November 20th, 2020|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Toxic Discharge Update: St. Lucie Locks 11-09-20

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.

2020-11-09T15:03:55-05:00November 9th, 2020|St. Lucie Estuary|

61 Everglades Coalition organizations oppose development of Homestead Air Base

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.

2020-11-03T12:44:16-05:00November 3rd, 2020|Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Friends of the Everglades Opposes FDEP’s Application to Assume Federal Wetlands Permitting

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 [...]

2020-11-03T12:20:03-05:00November 3rd, 2020|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

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 [...]

2020-11-03T12:20:18-05:00October 23rd, 2020|All Posts, Clean Water Conversations|

Friends of the Everglades stands with Maggy Hurchalla

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 [...]

2020-11-03T12:20:51-05:00October 19th, 2020|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|
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