Florida’s Secret Mercury Factory (by Alan Farago)

Remember how Big Sugar said the problem in Florida’s estuaries was septic tanks adjacent to the Indian River? They say the same about the mercury problem in the Everglades and Florida waterways: it’s someone else’s fault. Not of course that Big Sugar fails to clean up its pollution.   The same sort of wizardry applies to how Big Sugar talks about mercury. Let’s break it down: For mercury contamination to pollute aquatic ecosystems, the mercury must first be transformed to the powerful neurotoxicant methylmercury. Once methylmercury is formed, it can readily enter the base of aquatic food chains and accumulate at increasingly higher concentrations up the food chain from algae to predatory fish and ultimately to terrestrial wildlife such as [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:50-05:00June 22nd, 2017|All Posts|

Part Two: The Agony of Florida, Its Rivers, Bays, Estuaries, And Politics (from Eye on Miami)

Big Sugar controls Florida except for the rain.Managing government regulations and laws are routine costs of Big Sugar business. It takes  big money to externalize the costs of pollution, say, or to increase costs to public health as a  consequence of promoting added sugar in the American diet. Expensive as lobbying, lawyering and politicking may be, millions per year are only a  fraction of the windfall derived from government subsidies and sugar price supports. Alfie and Pepe Fanjul, Florida Crystals Floods or drought are other matters. Big Sugar can't plan for too much rain or too little, but in both cases, the effect of weather extremes is to make crop yields unpredictable. Reducing unpredictability to the maximum extent possible challenges [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:56-05:00June 14th, 2017|All Posts|

Hold the Line on the Urban Development Boundary!

Let Miami-Dade County know Transportation/Mobility is important! Every seven years, the Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) is reviewed and updated as required per Chapter 163 of the Florida Statutes, a process known as an Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR). EAR includes an evaluation of the progress the county has made in implementing the goals, objectives, policies, maps and text of the CDMP, and also recommends changes.Help shape the future of Miami-Dade County! Your vision can make a difference. Attend a workshop, take the EAR2018 Survey or email your comments.Opportunities for participation:  Take the EAR2018 survey.   Attend a Town Hall Workshop: Thursday, June 8, 6-8:30pmAfrican Heritage Cultural Arts Center 6161 NW 22 Ave, Miami, FL 33142Saturday, June 10, 10am-noonNorman and Jean Reach Park 7895 NW 176 [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:52-05:00June 9th, 2017|All Posts|

Big Sugar Q&A (By Bullsugar)

We pay billions to help sugar growers buy politicians. We should stop. The US sugar program is a sprawling, complex federal handout that too few people know about. As a result, it quietly skates by, largely unquestioned, leaving a trail of destruction and tax bills. The following Q&A is just the first step toward understanding and eventually stopping the damage this massive government subsidy enables. Sugar Program Q&A Q: Is the sugar program actually a subsidy? A: Absolutely. Although not a direct payment to growers, the program sets artificially high prices, guarantees buyers, guarantees profit, and blocks competition. Growing sugar is a zero-risk business thanks to US taxpayers. Q: What does the sugar program cost? A: A recent study found Americans [...]

2019-12-29T08:48:44-05:00June 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Part One: The Agony of Florida, Its Rivers, Bays, Estuaries, And Politics (from Eye on Miami)

  Fixing Florida’s destroyed estuaries and Everglades and Florida Bay depends on voters and taxpayers re-engaging with public officials. Case in point: how and why a vast new wetland system — at least 60,000 acres — was removed from legislation, now law, signed by Gov. Rick Scott.Before the start of the Florida legislature, Senate President Joe Negron pledged that acquiring 60,000 acres of land from Big Sugar owners was a top priority. The addition of significant additional acreage for water storage and cleansing marshes -- using lands south of Lake Okeechobee now in sugarcane production -- had been a science-based goal of Everglades restoration since at least 2000. And not just the Everglades.By the end of the session, a bill [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:34-05:00May 23rd, 2017|All Posts|

Florida AG Pam Bondi Helming Effort On Behalf Of Big Sugar To Undo 30 Years Of Federal Environmental Law Protecting The Everglades (from Eye on Miami)

  After its successful legislative session in Tallahassee, Big Sugar is deploying a novel attack in Washington against federal pollution rules settled through decades of federal litigation by environmentalists in a case once overseen by Judge William Hoeveler.Once upon a time, the Florida's governor (the late Lawton Chiles) capitulated to evidence that its non-existent enforcement against Big Sugar polluters caused the Everglades ecosystem to crash. Dexter Lehtinen, the US Attorney in Miami in the late 80's, fought on behalf of the Everglades against Florida's institutional managers: the state's wealthiest and most powerful campaign contributors US Sugar and Florida Crystals, owned by the Fanjul billionaires.Lehtinen won, and ever since the resulting federal state settlement agreement in the early 1990's, Big Sugar [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:38-05:00May 17th, 2017|All Posts|

Check out the transcript of Maggy Hurchalla’s awesome speech on the past and present of Everglades restoration!

CAN SOUTH FLORIDA SURVIVE THE LOSS OF THE EVERGLADES?   Most people who talk about the Everglades do power points with beautiful pictures with lots of arrows showing where the water goes. I'm going to wave my hands and talk. Since you are the friends of the Everglades I assume you know what the Florida peninsula looks like and where Lake Okeechobee is. You probably know that the Greater Everglades Ecosystem  stretches from Orlando through the Keys and in South Florida goes from coast to coast.   I'm not going to drag you through ancient details,but for innocent visitors today I will run quickly through what was there and what is there. Then we'll talk about today and what we [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:22-05:00May 8th, 2017|All Posts|

A summary of the good and bad in last week’s SB10 vote (by Bullsugar)

On Wednesday Senate Bill 10 to build an EAA Reservoir passed on the Senate Floor 36-3. We are enormously grateful to state Senators Joe Negron, Rob Bradley, Jack Latvala and Jose Javier Rodriguez for doing everything they could to create the best bill that was possible given sugar's aggressive opposition.  But Bullsugar is not breaking out champagne on SB10's passing.After 20+ years of effort by countless people, we should pause for a moment and be happy that finally we won something, and that we finally have some measure of recognition by Florida lawmakers that, yes -- we have a serious problem with our water management, and the solution is to store, treat and convey clean water south, rather than dump it [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:06-05:00April 18th, 2017|All Posts|

Join Us Sunday April 9th For Our 48th Annual Meeting!

2-4PM at the Doc Thomas House - we'll be honoring invited speaker and longtime Friend of the Everglades Maggie Hurchalla! It is our pleasure to invite you to the Friends of the Everglades 48th Annual Meeting Sunday, April 9th, 2017. Maggy Hurchalla is a longtime Friend of the Everglades and will be our guest speaker for the event. For her Everglades work she has received the Environmentalist of the Year Award from the Everglades Coalition, the Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation, and the National Wetlands Award sponsored by the Environmental Land Institute and the EPA. She is also included in the EVCO Hall of Fame. Friends of the Everglades will be awarding 'The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Defender [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:16-05:00March 16th, 2017|All Posts|

ACTION ALERT – Please take a minute to contact your representative to support SB10 and HB761!

5 STEPS TO HELP RESTORE THE EVERGLADES 1) CALL THE NEXT SENATE COMMITTEE STOP THIS WEEK FOR SENATE BILL 10 On Wednesday, March 8, the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources will vote on Senate Bill 10. The bill, intended to protect the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries is Senate President Negron’s initiative to purchase land in the Everglades Agricultural Area to build a reservoir to store and clean the polluted water before sending it south to the Everglades and Florida and Biscayne Bays. Please take action to help protect our water and Everglades restoration. We ask you to please call the list of legislators below this Monday and Tuesday and encourage them to support Senator Bradley’s Bill [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:03-05:00March 6th, 2017|All Posts|