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House Bill 789 amended thanks to you!

Chalk one up for the clean water cause! One of the worst bills of Florida’s legislative session is on the cusp of wholesale changes that would defang it. House Bill 789, filed by Rep. Toby Overdorf, initially sought to stifle environmental lawsuits by forcing anyone who challenges and loses a decision by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or a water management district to pay the “prevailing party’s” legal fees. There are already provisions in state law to prevent frivolous lawsuits — so the only reason we saw for this bill was to grease the skids for developers and polluters. Another problematic part of the bill was Section 4, which would have required FDEP and water management districts to conduct [...]

Tell Rep. Stevenson to keep HB 789 off her committee’s agenda

We need you to speak up! One of the worst bills of the legislative session might get its first committee hearing this week — but you can help head it off at the pass. House Bill 789, sponsored by Rep. Toby Overdorf, would force anyone who challenges and loses a Florida Department of Environmental Protection or water management district decision to pay the other side’s legal fees. It would intimidate citizens and effectively prevent them from filing a challenge, because they literally can’t afford to lose. The bill is bad for other reasons, too. It may run afoul of a federal Environmental Protection Agency proposal which states that this sort of “fee shifting” blocks access to the [...]

WATCH NOW: Wetlands and waterways on the chopping block this legislative session?

https://www.youtube.com/live/mtzUEzFoCJY?si=mwb2bPvLpU2fBBCM Florida's 2024 legislative session began today in Tallahassee — marked by a flurry of bad bills that take aim at important Everglades issues like wetlands protections and growth management.  Today's livestream led us through the worst of the worst filed bills, highlighted key players to watch and reminded viewers of the importance of citizen participation. Legislative Accountability is vitally important to environmental protection and the future of Florida. At Friends of the Everglades, we work hard to help the public understand dense policy measures and how they impact both the natural world and the human environment. As session progresses, we’ll keep our eyes trained closely on the legislation that poses the greatest threats, and we hope you'll follow [...]

Friends of the Everglades 2024 Legislative Preview

Florida’s annual 60-day legislative session begins January 9. In line with our 2024 Legislative Priorities, we offer the following analysis of bills that have been filed. JUMP TO: Protect wetlands Get serious about toxic algae Fix our failing BMAPs Don't ban fertilizer bans Smarter, controlled development Stop sugarcane burning Send more clean water south Other Priorities Priority: Protect wetlands The state must Reject any attempt to preempt local authority on wetlands. To achieve this goal, we recommend the following positions on bills pending before the Legislature: HB 527: Land and Water Management - OPPOSE Sponsor: Rep. Randy Maggard, R-54 Synopsis: Requires wetlands buffer zones established by county or municipality to be acquired through eminent domain; preempts regulation of specified [...]

Your Moment of Everglades Zen: Start your year with a trip to the Everglades!

The Everglades: Homestead to Flamingo If you’ve ever entered Everglades National Park through Homestead, you know the feeling of anticipation and joy as you get closer to the magical river of grass. Farmland soon morphs into the vast beauty of one of America’s most unique national parks,, where freshwater marsh and tree islands blend seamlessly into open pinelands and mangrove swamp, wading birds and reptiles coexist, and the subtropics reach the continental United States.  This collection of photos embodies the wonders you can find along the glorious, 38-mile stretch of State Road 9336, from the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center in Homestead all the way down to the [...]

2024-01-02T09:31:57-05:00January 2nd, 2024|All Posts, Everglades National Park, Everglades Zen|

WATCH NOW: Our gift to you this holiday season

https://youtu.be/0baSJC8wKzg From the desk of our Executive Director, Eve Samples, your Voice of the Everglades update: Dear Friends, A few months ago, I taped a scrap of paper to the wall next to my desk, where it reminds me to do something that’s essential if we are to succeed at saving the Everglades. It boils down to this: Get out into the nature you’re working to protect. “It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run [...]

2023-12-19T12:06:07-05:00December 19th, 2023|All Posts|

The first bad bills of 2024 aim to intimidate citizens

The Florida Capitol during the 2023 legislative session in Tallahassee. With weeks to go before the Florida Legislative session even begins, a pair of solid contenders for “Worst Bills of the Year” have entered the fray. And they've got an obvious goal: citizen intimidation. Our friends at VoteWater took a closer look  at these proposals Read their latest report below. WANT TO CHALLENGE AN ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION IN FLORIDA? IT COULD COST YOU With weeks to go before the Florida Legislative session even begins, a solid contender for “Worst Bill of the Year” has entered the fray. And you know that’s going to be a crowded field. Gaze upon House Bill 789 and Senate Bill 738, a pair of proposals which — if passed — [...]

2023-12-14T16:16:42-05:00December 14th, 2023|Bad Bill Alert, Florida Legislative Tracker|

Marjory’s Circle Member Spotlight: Meet Camila Quaresma-Sharp

Marjory’s Circle is a special giving society that sustains the legacy of our spirited founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. The group that emerged hails from across the country and is connected by a desire to see the Everglades protected and preserved. https://youtu.be/PZrNBSMSSC0 Meet Camila Quaresma-Sharp Name: Camila Quaresma-Sharp Location: Miami Beach, FL Member since: June 2020 Originally from Brazil, longtime Friends of the Everglades board member Camila Quaresma-Sharp is a dynamic and determined voice for the Everglades who has called South Florida home for 30 years. The nonstop growth in the bustling community of Miami where she resides provides a stark contrast to the peace and natural balance she finds when visiting the Everglades. During a walk along Anhinga Trail in [...]

2023-11-30T11:19:30-05:00December 14th, 2023|Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Marjory's Circle|

Register now for the 2024 Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Celebration!

We invite you to join us for the Friends of the Everglades Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Celebration, March 4, 2024, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, featuring keynote speaker Carl Hiaasen. Kindly RSVP by February 23, 2024. CLICK HERE TO SPONSOR THIS EVENT Registration Levels Individual Seating: $300 Patron Table: $1,500 ● Reserved seating for two ● Private sponsor reception with the author ● Sponsor listing in program and on website Host a Table: $3,000 ● Reserved table of ten with table signage ● Private sponsor reception with the author for Table Host and one guest ● Host listing in program and on website [...]

2024-02-14T16:33:48-05:00December 6th, 2023|All Posts|

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