WATCH NOW — Dissecting DeSantis’ executive order

We're hearing a lot of questions about Gov. Ron DeSantis' latest executive order on the environment. Will it curtail the pollution that's plagued Florida's water and air? Will it help restore the Everglades? How exactly will the promised $3.5 billion be spent? The success or failure of this cash infusion is entirely dependent on the projects it pays for. And, on that front, DeSantis is vague in the executive order. That's why tracking the money will be essential — and we're committed to it. Watch the 3-minute video take on the order below from Friends of the Everglades executive director Eve Samples, then check out this helpful analysis from our friends at VoteWater. Exactly four years ago, DeSantis issued his first [...]

Everglades Illustrated: Persistent Red Tide

Along the coast of Southwest Florida, red tide is lingering. Through January 6, 2023, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission detected low to high concentrations in 59 samples collected from Pinellas to Charlotte County, as detailed in the image above.  Conditions have varied since October when the blooms first appeared, due to ever-changing wind and currents that move blooms inshore and offshore, as well as up and down the coast. Marine animals and residents alike are feeling the repercussions, as fish kills and respiratory irritation reported by beachgoers are linked to the persistent blooms.  In Sarasota Bay, researchers have discovered that bottlenose dolphins tracked by marine scientists will “cough” and “sneeze” when they swim through strong red tide blooms, [...]

Your moment of Everglades zen: Rare moments of all play and no work in Chokoloskee Bay

Once a year, our Friends of the Everglades staff takes a group trip to explore part of the greater Everglades ecosystem. It’s a stark contrast to our daily grind — when we can be found most often behind our computer screens, studying the details of environmental challenges, projects and policies. It’s in these moments, when we are immersed in the places we’re working so hard to protect, that we find inspiration to carry on fighting. Our recent trip to Everglades City and Chokoloskee was illuminating. We found a taste of authentic Old Florida during our stay at The Rod and Gun Club in Everglades City, a sleepy town that boasts [...]

2023-01-03T13:32:31-05:00January 3rd, 2023|All Posts, Everglades Zen|

Close out 2022 with one final gift to Friends of the Everglades!

A roseate spoonbill explores the freshwaters of the Big Cypress Swamp on Friday, Dec. 16, near Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery in Ochopee. As we move steadily toward the final days of 2022, we’ve got our eyes trained on new goals in the year ahead. In 2023, our focus will turn quickly to the looming 60-day state legislative session — a time when lawmakers consider bills that have a significant impact on Florida’s fragile environment. We expect the 2023 session, which will run from March 7 to May 5, to require in-depth analysis, citizen engagement and fast action. Rest assured, you can count on Friends of the Everglades to track important bills, highlight key players, and [...]

2022-12-22T11:19:09-05:00December 27th, 2022|All Posts, Florida Legislature, Marjory's Circle|

75 Marjory’s Circle members for 75 Years of Advocacy

Give the gift of Marjory’s Circle by dedicating a membership to a loved one this holiday season! By joining Marjory’s Circle, you’re committing to protecting one of the world's great ecosystems and sustaining the legacy of Friends of the Everglades founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Joining only takes a couple of clicks. Your membership in this special giving society drives our efforts to preserve, protect and restore the Florida you and yours know and love. As a grassroots organization with over 53 years of integrity and uncompromising loyalty to America’s Everglades, there is no better circle of Friends to be in right now. This year we celebrate both the 75th anniversary of Everglades National Park and the 75th anniversary of [...]

2022-12-20T16:34:17-05:00December 21st, 2022|All Posts, Marjory's Circle|

A Conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning author, Jack E. Davis

Dr. Jack E. Davis is a professor of history at the University of Florida, and the Rothman Family Chair in the Humanities specializing in environmental history and sustainability studies. He is the author or editor of 10 books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea. Friends of the Everglades had the opportunity to host a live conversation with Jack during our Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Luncheon on December 5, 2022, at the Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove. The conversation was especially meaningful as Jack is well-versed in the life and work of Friends of the Everglades founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, having written a 730-page biography about her more than a decade ago.  Jack is [...]

2022-12-19T09:03:33-05:00December 19th, 2022|Clean Water Conversations, Marjory Stoneman Douglas|

Friends of the Everglades 2022 Impact Report

Since our founding by Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 1969, impact and integrity have driven our work at Friends of the Everglades. It’s how we gauge our success as an organization and ensure sound stewardship of your dollars.  We're proud to report Friends of the Everglades continued that tradition this year with the following accomplishments. In 2022, we: Successfully advocated for a new Lake Okeechobee management plan that, for the first time, considers the damaging effects of toxic-algae blooms and recognizes the need to send more clean water south to the Everglades. The new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) will be finalized in 2023, and while it’s not a perfect plan, it represents overdue [...]

2022-12-15T09:00:59-05:00December 15th, 2022|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Everglades Illustrated: Sanibel Red Tide Report

Take a look at these photos from Friends of the Everglades Multimedia Producer Leah Voss. The images from a recent visit to Sanibel Island offer a sobering look at a community still very much in distress after Hurricane Ian made direct landfall along Florida’s west coast on September 28. Much of the island remains off limits to visitors as the local population continues the hard work of recovery. The latest threat exacerbating the post-storm situation hangs heavy in the air and the surrounding water — red tide. Along the shoreline, Leah described a nauseating smell and an unmistakable tickle at the back of her throat. A dead seabird laid in the [...]

2022-12-14T09:56:29-05:00December 13th, 2022|Caloosahatchee Estuary, Everglades Illustrated, Red Tide|

Honoring Tom Van Lent: 2022 recipient of our Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Everglades Restoration award

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Everglades Restoration award acknowledges contributions to science-based solutions that drive forward the central mission of Friends of the Everglades: to preserve, protect and restore the only Everglades in the world.  No person has brought about more recent advancements in Everglades-restoration science than Dr. Thomas Van Lent. Tom built a science program that provides a credible basis for advocacy — one that the entire Everglades community has leaned on as guidance for action — and has been directly involved in nearly every major Everglades issue for the past two decades, from water-quality litigation to Everglades restoration projects. Friends of the Everglades board member Alan Farago said it best when presenting Tom [...]

2022-12-08T15:30:09-05:00December 8th, 2022|Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Science-driven solutions|

Honoring Theodora Long: 2022 recipient of our Defender of the Everglades award

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Defender of the Everglades award is presented annually to a person with exemplary commitment to Friends of the Everglades’ mission to preserve, protect and restore the only Everglades in the world. This award acknowledges the recipient's significant contributions to the world of Everglades restoration and highlights someone who embodies the spirit of our founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. This year we honored Theodora Long. A respected and dedicated environmentalist, Theo serves as the Executive Director of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center — a nonprofit organization that shares heritage with Friends of the Everglades in that it was founded by Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 1969.  Theo’s esteemed stewardship was fostered in part by a longstanding [...]