Sugarcane Burning is a Public Health Threat

It’s no secret that Big Sugar has long polluted our air and our water. Now groundbreaking new research has confirmed the human toll of the industry’s pollution. An independent study by Dr. Michée Lachaud — an agricultural, environmental and resource economist associated with Florida A&M University — has linked pre-harvest sugarcane burning to a 10.8% increase in physician-diagnosed asthmas cases. A new study has established a statistically significant link between sugarcane burning and increased asthma incidence rates among low-income Florida communities, which are predominantly Black. Conducted for Friends of the Everglades by Dr. Michée Lachaud—an agricultural, environmental, and resource economist associated with Florida A&M University in Tallahassee—the study draws its conclusions by analyzing data on physician-diagnosed asthma cases alongside [...]

2024-05-30T11:42:02-04:00May 7th, 2024|Action Alerts, Sugarcane Burning|

Will this be another Lost Summer?

Friends of the Everglades Executive Director Eve Samples joined VoteWater Executive Director Gil Smart and TCPalm outdoors writer/columnist Ed Killer for a panel discussion in Stuart on Lake O discharges, the politics of clean water and the prospect of another “lost summer” in 2024. With high water levels in Lake Okeechobee and a busy hurricane season projected, the risk of harmful discharges to the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon are looming. But the May 1 event, hosted by the Council on Aging of Martin County at the Kane Center, focused on short-term and long-term solutions that we can all help advance. Friends of the [...]

Introducing Friends of the Everglades x Marsh Wear

At our core, Friends of the Everglade supporters are outdoorsmen (and women!). We've connected with countless Everglades advocates in our circle that are nature enthusiasts, fishing fanatics, paddlers, trail seekers, bird watchers and wildlife photographers. This shared enthusiasm for immersing ourselves in the places we love creates a need for the proper gear. Enter Marsh Wear. We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with outdoor apparel company Marsh Wear with the debut of (exceedingly soft and comfortable) custom Buxton Tech Shirts in four different colors. For your day in the field and on the water — you can now wear your support for Friends of the Everglades wherever you go! Shop Friends of the Everglades x Marsh Wear [...]

2024-05-30T11:42:03-04:00April 19th, 2024|Friends of the Everglades SHOP|

WATCH NOW — Floridians Deserve the Right to Clean Water

https://www.youtube.com/live/eC3CAq30C8M?si=tOQrO4sDJ8G0OCMG Thank you to Joe Bonasia, Matt DePaolis, Capt. Cody Pierce and Gil Smart for joining Friends of the Everglades today to discuss the herculean effort to put Florida's Right to Clean Water on the 2026 ballot. Simply put, elected leaders in Florida have not fulfilled their duty to enforce existing clean-water legislation. All too often, they've compounded the issue by introducing new bills that make things even worse. Gaining an enforceable, fundamental right to clean water would ensure this vital protection for the state's most valuable resource by going above our legislators' heads. As we heard today, it's an important movement that will require hundreds of thousands of signatures from registered Florida voters. Get involved today. Even if [...]

An evening at Bay Tree Lodge

Relive a memorable evening with Friends of the Everglades at Bay Tree Lodge! Special thanks to our hosts Ann and Knight Kiplinger for creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere for our conversation about the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. The fate of these cherished waters is interwoven with Friends of the Everglades' core mission to preserve, protect and restore the only Everglades in the world. [...]

2024-05-30T11:42:03-04:00April 17th, 2024|All Posts, Marjory's Circle, St. Lucie Estuary|

WATCH NOW — What happened and what’s next with Lake Okeechobee discharges in 2024

https://youtu.be/ODJ1Vjs12YI From the desk of our Executive Director, Eve Samples, your Voice of the Everglades update: Let me start with a big thank you. When we asked you to take action in response to damaging Lake Okeechobee discharges this spring, more than 1,500 of you stepped up and sent messages to water managers. Your messages, and our direct pressure, made a difference. The Army Corps of Engineers — acting on advice from the South Florida Water Management District — announced it would halt harmful Lake O flows to the St. Lucie River, Caloosahatchee River and Lake Worth Lagoon through at least June 1. Only beneficial releases will be allowed to the Caloosahatchee, which needs some lake water to maintain healthy [...]

2024-05-30T11:42:03-04:00April 16th, 2024|Lake Okeechobee, Voice of the Everglades|

VoteWater Deep Dive: STA Capacity Should Be Reserved For Water From Lake Okeechobee

Our friends at VoteWater took a deeper look at what’s happening in the Glades, and what the sugar industry could be doing to help fix the problem.  Read their latest Deep Dive below:As billions of gallons of polluted water poured out of Lake Okeechobee and into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee River estuaries and Lake Worth Lagoon, a familiar question kept being raised: Why isn’t that water going south?And a familiar answer from the South Florida Water Management District was: We’re sending as much water south as we can.The discharges that began Feb. 17 have dumped close to 60 billion gallons of lake water in the St. Lucie estuary alone. That’s more than double the almost 25 billion gallons [...]

2024-05-30T11:42:03-04:00April 11th, 2024|All Posts, Stormwater Treatment Areas|

STA capacity must be publicly addressed to fix the rigged system

We need you to speak up! On March 30, the Army Corps of Engineers closed the flood gates from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie River, Caloosahatchee River and Lake Worth Lagoon. This pause is a testament to the power of public pressure.  Thanks to important input provided by stakeholders as well as the official recommendations of the South Florida Water Management District, only beneficial releases are resuming  to the Caloosahatchee and releases to the St. Lucie River and Lake Worth Lagoon will remain paused. We are grateful to the Army Corps for listening to our concerns and adjusting Lake O flows accordingly. But even with harmful releases temporarily avoided, the problem remains. Should the wet season [...]

2024-05-30T11:42:03-04:00April 8th, 2024|Action Alerts, All Posts, Lake Okeechobee, Toxic Algae|

Calling all students! Apply now for the Karen Mashburn Environmental Scholars Program scholarship and internship

Friends of the Everglades is pleased to launch the second year of our Karen Mashburn Environmental Scholars Program scholarship and internship. Our 2023 recipient Autumn Bryan (featured in the video left) participated in class presentations with Young Friends of the Everglades, contributed to our blog, and helped develop Everglades Learning Library Kits - deployed to public libraries in 3 counties. This fall, one undergraduate or graduate recipient will be awarded $10,000 and participate in a 14-week internship at Friends of the Everglades in Stuart, Florida, for 15 hours per week. While supporting the work of the Young Friends of the Everglades program, the intern will complete a capstone project aligned to their interests and area of study.  Please [...]