Your Moment of Everglades Zen: Enliven your senses, quiet your mind

When was the last time you stepped into the cypress forest, leaving your worries and your phone at the threshold, and tapped into all of your senses?  For some Marjory’s Circle members and Friends of the Everglades staff, this slow and mindful shared experience kicked off Easter weekend Saturday morning at Riverbend Park in Jupiter.  Following forest therapy guide Kelly Bruce, the group learned how to “forest bathe” under gently swaying native Florida trees, along a meadow of wildflowers where butterflies danced, and next to a lively cypress pond brimming with life. Forest bathing, Bruce explained, offers numerous health benefits, including better sleep and immunity, and [...]

2024-05-30T11:42:03-04:00April 2nd, 2024|All Posts, Everglades Zen, Marjory's Circle|

Ask SFWMD Governing Board members to fix the rigged system

We need you to speak up! Since February 17, water managers have permitted the release of harmful discharges out of Lake Okeechobee, causing damaging declines in salinity on Florida’s east and west coasts and staining the fragile St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries and Lake Worth Lagoon with dark, polluted water. As Floridians eye the coming wet season, signs of an early algae bloom lurk in the northwest corner of the lake — a symptom that could indicate a disastrous and toxic summer ahead. This all-too-familiar scenario is the product of a rigged system.  There is a solution, and we need South Florida Water Management District Governing Board members to embrace it.  About 62,000 acres of taxpayer-funded stormwater [...]

2024-03-27T08:39:42-04:00March 27th, 2024|Action Alerts, All Posts, Lake Okeechobee, Toxic Algae|

WATCH NOW: Looking back on Florida’s 2024 session

https://www.youtube.com/live/lOzWgHOarIw?si=QHHvgT8jXCUR0iXs It's safe to say that we may all feel a bit of the 2024 legislative session PTSD that Gil Smart described today,  but today's livestream discussion also outlined some bright spots to be proud of, as well as plenty of reasons to keep fighting. Thanks to many Friends of the Everglades and other allies who contacted lawmakers, we celebrated the defeat of the worst proposals, like HB 789, through effective grassroots advocacy and collaboration with allies. But much work remains, as polluting industries continue to lobby for favors from Tallahassee lawmakers. Thanks to everyone that tuned in with us today. You can review our big takeaways from session by viewing our Post-Session Report, available now at our Legislative Accountability [...]

Honoring Betty Osceola: 2024 Marjory Stoneman Douglas Defender of the Everglades awardee

Betty Osceola, a proud member of the Panther Clan of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, receiving the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Defender of the Everglades Award from Friends of the Everglades Board President, Phil Kushlan. 2024. Each year, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Defender of the Everglades award honors an individual who demonstrates outstanding dedication to the mission of Friends of the Everglades to preserve, protect and restore the unique Everglades ecosystem. This accolade celebrates efforts of the recipient that go above and beyond to advance Everglades restoration, while also recognizing their embodiment of the enduring ethos of our organization’s visionary founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. This year we honored Betty Osceola, a proud member of the Panther Clan [...]

Friends of the Everglades 2024 Florida Legislature: Post-session report

At the beginning of Florida’s 2024 Legislative session, things looked grim. One pair of bills (House Bill 527/Senate Bill 664) took direct aim at protections for Florida’s vital wetlands. Another pair (HB 789/SB 738) sought to disenfranchise citizens who lost a challenge to a Florida Department of Environmental Protection or water management district decision. Pro-sprawl bills proliferated like, well, sprawl. And looming over it all was the prospect of a last-minute sneak attack on “strong” urban fertilizer ordinances, further extending a ban on new fertilizer limits at the local level. But the wetlands bills never got any hearings and died. The “sneak attack” on fertilizer ordinances never came. Senate Bill 738 passed but House Bill 789, sponsored by Rep. [...]

Young Friends of the Everglades inspires the next generation of Everglades advocates, one school at a time

An update from Friends of the Everglades Education and Outreach Director, Amanda Purnell: Our youth education program Young Friends of the Everglades has spent a busy spring sharing our passion for the Everglades with youth throughout South Florida. Whether in the field or the classroom, momentum is building among young scientists to protect our vital ecosystem.  In the heart of the Everglades, we spotted wildlife at Shark Valley on an open air tram tour and saw panoramic views at the observation tower. We learned Seminole history as we kayaked in Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park. We navigated the food chain as we dissected owl pellets at Tropical Audubon Society’s Bird [...]

WATCH NOW — Lake Okeechobee discharges are not a “necessary evil”

https://youtu.be/BUS0_v1IqSw?si=iJAP5wVP5sFaCHzq From the desk of our Executive Director, Eve Samples, your Voice of the Everglades update: It’s been just over a month since the Army Corps of Engineers opened the floodgates from Lake Okeechobee, causing polluted water to foul the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and the Lake Worth Lagoon. As a result, water quality and salinity levels have plummeted in these fragile estuaries. Water that should be clear now has the murky hue of Yoohoo.   It’s an ugly scene — but the most dangerous conditions still lie ahead of us. About 15% of Lake O is showing signs of an algae bloom, mostly along the western and northern shore. As the weather heats up, that bloom will expand [...]

VIDEO: Relive the energy of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Celebration!

More than 250 people gathered at The Biltmore in Miami to join Friends of the Everglades at our 3rd Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Celebration. With the event’s theme — “Be a Voice of the Everglades” — resonating through the afternoon, attendees were left inspired and energized by the words of influential speakers including Carl Hiaasen, Betty Osceola and Houston Cypress. Betty implored the audience to “Listen to the water, the air and the trees” while Carl emphasized the importance of remaining proactive, stating “Stay pissed off.” Houston poeticized a profound message, urging us to recognize that “Every step is a prayer.” We are grateful for voices like Carl, Betty and Houston, that serve as a reminder of the collective [...]

2024 Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Celebration Highlights

Thank you for joining us at our 3rd Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Celebration at The Biltmore in Miami! As we sat among friends who share a deep desire to see the Everglades persevere, Betty Osceola implored us to “listen to the water,” and Carl Hiaasen reminded us to “stay angry” as we fight to protect the iconic ecosystem that brought us all together. Evoking tenacity and dedication in keeping with the spirit of Friends of the Everglades founder Marjory Stoneman Douglas, they reminded us of our personal responsibility to honor the land by ensuring its vitality for generations to come.  It was truly inspiring to gather with so many people dedicated to the cause. We invite you to relive [...]

2024-03-08T15:27:25-05:00March 7th, 2024|All Posts, Marjory Stoneman Douglas|