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Help us reform the U.S. Sugar Program

A sugarcane field burns in the distance in the Everglades Agricultural Area on Jan. 6, 2023, in Palm Beach County. We need your help. For decades, Big Sugar has received a sweet deal in the federal Farm Bill — despite its damaging influence on Florida’s water policy and pollution of our air through sugarcane burning. We have an opportunity to change that by urging lawmakers in Washington to end the sugar program in the upcoming Farm Bill. The Farm Bill, which is reauthorized every five years by Congress, covers issues such as agriculture, nutrition, conservation, forestry, and rural development. The federal government underwrites Big Sugar’s profits through the sugar program in the Farm Bill. It's an outdated [...]

WERP must meet water-quality standards in Big Cypress National Preserve

Photo credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Today, Friends of the Everglades submitted comments to the Army Corps of Engineers in the wake of concerns raised during the Feb. 28, 2023, meeting of the Project Delivery Team (PDT) for the Western Everglades Restoration Project (WERP). It's essential for WERP to meet water-quality standards in Big Cypress National Preserve. This correspondence reflects our ongoing commitment to safeguarding water quality in the Greater Everglades. Restoration cannot succeed in the long-term unless the water is clean. To read our comments in full, click the button below:  

WATCH NOW — What the LOSOM delay could mean for the northern estuaries

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0bcLGNbyYE From the desk of our Executive Director, Eve Samples, your Voice of the Everglades update: For four years, we’ve been advocating for a new Lake Okeechobee plan that addresses the risks of toxic algae and sends more clean water south to Everglades National Park. We were finally headed in that direction, with an improved (but imperfect) plan known as the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM), which was supposed to take effect this June. Unfortunately, we now have to wait about six months longer — even as another algae season is brewing. Why the wait? A federal agency known as the National Marine Fisheries Service wants to take a closer look at LOSOM’s potential impacts on red tide [...]

2023-03-21T12:39:53-04:00March 21st, 2023|All Posts, LOSOM, Voice of the Everglades|

Friends of the Everglades joins Hulu at SXSW: Bridging the Gender Gap in Public Art

Bridging the Gender Gap in Public Art panelists (from left) Brenda Berkman, of Monumental Women, Saya Woolfalk, artist, Eve Samples, Executive Director of Friends of the Everglades, and Vivi Nguyen, of Hulu. Friends of the Everglades is thrilled to be part of an exciting initiative, sponsored by Hulu, honoring the lives and spirits of three visionary women who made history. 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. The Made By Her: Monumental Women initiative, which honors the contributions to society made by Marjory Stoneman [...]

2023-03-17T15:16:26-04:00March 17th, 2023|All Posts, Marjory Stoneman Douglas|

Everglades Illustrated: Can you guess Florida’s biggest polluter?

Florida’s BMAPs (Basin Management Action Plans) are supposed to provide a framework for cleaning up the state’s most beleaguered waterways. They detail local and state commitments to reduce pollutant loading. Broken down by watersheds around the state, they contain proposed solutions, including permit limits on wastewater facilities, urban and agricultural “best management practices” and conservation programs designed to achieve pollutant reductions established by a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). But a 2022 investigation by TCPalm deduced the program wasn’t working. Why not? The chart above, featured in the latest Deep Dive from our friends at VoteWater, helps to explain it.  Total phosphorus and total nitrogen loading into nine separate sub-watersheds making up the Lake Okeechobee BMAP is broken down [...]

2023-03-15T13:17:53-04:00March 15th, 2023|Everglades Illustrated|

Experience “Passages at the Nest” — an AIRIE exhibition sponsored by Friends of the Everglades

Friends of the Everglades is a proud sponsor of Passages, a multimedia exhibition from AIRIE (Artists in Residence in the Everglades), curated by Creative Director and 2022 AIRIE fellow Cornelius Tulloch. The exhibition aims to create heightened visibility and a voice for the “River of Grass,” revealing connections found or created by AIRIE fellows in the Everglades and celebrating the stories of this natural landscape and its overlooked communities. By offering a place to contemplate the Black history of the Everglades, Tulloch and other AIRIE fellows look at the threats that climate change and urban development pose to this area, extending to the marginalized communities of south Florida and the indigenous communities and wildlife of the region. In addition to [...]

2023-03-09T12:08:51-05:00March 9th, 2023|Everglades National Park, Marjory's Circle|

Marjory’s Circle Member Spotlight: Meet David Marshall and Teri Garcia-Marshall

Marjory’s Circle launched in 2020 to sustain the legacy of our spirited founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. The group that emerged hails from all over, possessing different backgrounds and motivations, but is connected by a desire to see the Everglades protected and preserved. Meet David & Teri Name: David Marshall and Teri Garcia-Marshall Location: Miami, FL/Naples, FL Marjory’s Circle Members since: 2022 (David) and 2023 (Teri) David and Teri are longtime residents of Florida. They split time between homes on the east and west coasts, in Miami and Naples, a frequent trip that leads them by way of Alligator Alley through the heart of Florida’s Everglades. Both exude praise and appreciation for the one-of-a-kind ecosystem — expressing awe for the [...]

2023-03-09T09:28:31-05:00March 9th, 2023|Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Marjory's Circle|

Bad Bill Alert: HB 1197/SB 1240

Speak out to stop ‘Dirty Water’ bills that would undercut local rules Today marks the start of Florida's annual 60-day Legislative session — a time when lawmakers convene in Tallahassee to consider bills that will impact Floridians and the natural environment. Communities across Florida have a huge stake in clean water. But if two bills filed in the state Legislature last week become law, they will abolish local governments’ ability to fight pollution — and inevitably lead to dirtier water. House Bill 1197 (Maggard) and its Senate counterpart, Senate Bill 1240 (Burgess) would strip municipal and county governments of their authority to regulate water quality, water quantity, pollution control, pollution discharge prevention or removal, and wetlands, including delineation of [...]

Your moment of Everglades zen: Golden Hour at Anhinga Trail

As spring approaches, now is an ideal chance to take a trip to Everglades National Park before the oppressive heat of summer descends. Our multimedia producer, Leah Voss, took a recent walk along the Anhinga Trail, where she encountered scenes alive with activity as she soaked in the warm glow of a late afternoon. She captured those moments in words and images:  “Far south of the bustle of Miami, tucked inside the protective boundaries of Everglades National Park, the sun sank lower toward the horizon, blanketing the freshwater marsh of Taylor Slough with a golden light. Purple gallinules hopped across lily pads. Cormorants squawked and jostled for positions [...]

VIDEO: Stay engaged to keep lawmakers accountable this Legislative session

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKXCFA6ngkE There’s always a lot to track in Florida’s annual 60-day Legislative session. This year is no exception. During today's Friends of the Everglades LIVE, VoteWater's Gil Smart broke down the details of several bad environmental proposals looming, as well as the few silver linings that may emerge. Reps. Lindsay Cross and Anna Eskamani offered their takes on what to expect in the days ahead and praised the citizen involvement that they claimed necessary to encourage environmentally-successful outcomes. "Feedback does matter. If you have the ability to come up to Tallahassee to speak in support of good bills or against bad bills, it does make a difference," Rep. Cross said — a point that Rep. Eskamani enthusiastically agreed with. [...]