SB 2508 is still a threat. Tell legislative leaders to oppose it.

The surprise attack that is SB 2508 emerged late on a Friday afternoon during Florida's annual 60-day legislative session, prompting a fast and furious reaction from the environmental community to push back. In response to that impressive effort, the Florida Senate amended the bill on February 17, stripping some of its most egregious provisions. But major concerns remain. Even amended, SB 2508 remains a mixed bag of bad proposals that undermine Florida's environmental protections and protect powerful industries — most notably Big Sugar. If enacted by the Legislature, this bill could have detrimental impacts on Florida's environment, economy, and public health. It would: Enshrine outdated water-shortage rules into state law, preserving the status quo that benefits Big Sugar at the [...]

2022-04-13T16:11:07-04:00March 3rd, 2022|Action Alerts, Florida Legislature, SB 2508|

Stop the LOSOM bait and switch

The Story The State of Florida is asking the Army Corps of Engineers for big changes to the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) that we do not support. Catch me up. LOSOM will determine when and where water flows from Lake Okeechobee for the next decade. During the LOSOM process, the Army Corps has indicated it would be responsible for dictating the movement of water from Lake Okeechobee when lake levels were above a “Water Shortage Management Line.” Once lake levels dropped below this line, control over lake flows would be passed to the state. Go on. Now, in a move that feels like an eleventh hour bait-and-switch, water supply interests are clamoring for greater state authority, demanding the [...]

2022-01-25T09:16:29-05:00January 25th, 2022|Action Alerts, LOSOM|

Friends of the Everglades end-of-year highlights

Our lives are multifaceted and we know it's tough keeping up with all the news. Here are a few recent Friends of the Everglades headlines. Stop the Burn in Glades communities. The Story. Six to eight months of the year, residents living south of Lake Okeechobee are subjected to smoke and ash as surrounding farms burn sugarcane for harvest. The harmful impacts of the “black snow,” as residents call it, create a myriad of human health threats and harm property values. That sounds bad. It is. And it gets worse. Legislation known as the Right to Farm bill passed in 2021 ultimately insulates the sugar industry from the harm it causes by shielding growers from “nuisance lawsuits.” As it stands, [...]

We need your help to stop an 800-acre development on farmland in Homestead

There's a swath of farmland in Homestead that represents some of the last remaining green space in Miami-Dade County. It's not far from Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys. It sits outside the county's Urban Development Boundary. Yet developers want to build a 794-acre industrial complex on the agricultural property — posing a needless threat to Biscayne Bay and, potentially, Everglades restoration efforts. The proposal also could create additional pressure to bring cargo jets to the nearby Homestead Air Reserve Base, a dangerous idea. Luckily, the county's own staff has wisely recommended the Board of County Commissioners deny this development application. We need commissioners to follow that advice. If you're a resident of Miami-Dade County, we're making it easy for [...]

2021-08-17T11:52:53-04:00August 17th, 2021|Action Alerts, Homestead Air Reserve Base|

Help us make public health a priority for LOSOM Alternative CC

Your voices helped us secure Plan CC as the foundation of the new Lake Okeechobee playbook. As the most balanced plan proposed, it was the right choice, offering us the greatest opportunity to protect communities from toxic algae events in the future. But we know there’s work to be done to make it a real system-wide win. As we enter the next stage of "optimization," we need your help again to make sure it's modified to benefit all of the impacted stakeholders. We've made it easy. By clicking the button below, you can send a pre-formatted letter to the Army Corps calling for specific modifications to LOSOM Plan CC that will help to provide true balance and protect our waters from future harm.

2021-07-27T08:03:52-04:00July 27th, 2021|Action Alerts, LOSOM|

Tell the Army Corps the new Lake O plan must protect Florida’s health and environment

The new Lake O plan must protect Florida's health and environment. We’ve got more work to do. That became clear this week during two important meetings about the new Lake Okeechobee plan that the Army Corps of Engineers is developing. The Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM), as it is known, will determine when and where water is moved from the 730-square-mile lake in the decade to come. LOSOM will have a huge impact on the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries, Lake Worth Lagoon, the southern Everglades and Florida Bay — all of which have suffered under the current Lake O plan, which prioritizes sugarcane irrigation over the environment and public health. The Army Corps has whittled its choices down [...]

2021-06-30T17:01:45-04:00June 30th, 2021|Action Alerts, LOSOM|

Make your voice heard — while there’s still time

This is a big one. On Tuesday, June 29, the South Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board will host a workshop on the proposed Lake Okeechobee Systems Operating Manual, the new “playbook” being developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Painstaking work over the past two years by the Army Corps has produced six “finalists,” detailed proposals to manage the lake and water flow throughout the South Florida region. SFWMD board members will hear detailed presentations on each of the six plans — AA, BB, CC, DD, EE1 and EE2 — and take public comment. That’s where you come in. None of the plans are perfect. But Friends of the Everglades — along with a coalition of other environmental [...]

2021-06-24T17:08:47-04:00June 24th, 2021|Action Alerts, LOSOM|

Tell the Army Corps to eliminate Big Sugar’s influence from LOSOM

Photo taken by the Lake Worth Waterkeeper of blue-green algae at the Lake Okeechobee Pahokee Marina on April 26, 2021 They’re at it again. Two sugarcane lobbyists have effectively written one of the plans that will dictate the management of Lake Okeechobee’s water for the next decade. As a Bullsugar supporter, you know this is unacceptable. The good news is there’s still time to stop this dangerous meddling. Join us in asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reject the “Alternative BB” plan, thereby limiting the sugar industry’s influence on the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual. Tell the Army Corps to prioritize protecting the public from toxic algae blooms, rather than protecting Big Sugar’s crop yields. [...]

2021-05-12T10:37:55-04:00May 12th, 2021|Action Alerts, Human Health and Safety, LOSOM|

Everglades Illustrated: Growing public health threat calls for bold action now.

The Everglades is vast, and restoration is complex. We're breaking it down visually for you. Growing public health threat requires bold action now. This photo could be a a glimpse into our future. The Lake Worth Waterkeeper captured the image of blue-green algae at the Lake Okeechobee Pahokee Marina on April 26, 2021 — a month shy of the official start to Florida's rainy season, and the same day that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reported the microcystin concentration at the marina had reached 860 parts per billion — 107 times more toxic than the EPA recreational limit for safe human contact. Just five days later, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the Lake Okeechobee blue-green algae bloom had [...]

Tell Gov. DeSantis and DEP to reject oil drilling in Big Cypress Inbox

Photo by Luis G. Falcon Big Cypress National Preserve — our country’s first national preserve and a cherished expanse of the Greater Everglades that’s home to threatened and endangered species — is in trouble. Permit applications were submitted by Burnett Oil Company to construct well pads and access roads in Big Cypress, as a precursor to additional permitting that could allow the company to drill there. The Everglades is already an ecosystem that has been fractured in so many ways by the activities of man. Its remnants deserve the utmost protection if we are to ensure its preservation for future generations. Join us in voicing opposition to DEP's issuance of permits that would authorize new oil exploration in the [...]

2021-02-18T16:43:53-05:00February 18th, 2021|Action Alerts, All Posts|

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