Clean Water Conversation Postponed

Due to the approaching Hurricane Ian, our Clean Water Conversation about Florida Bay, originally scheduled for tomorrow is postponed in order to ensure that everyone is focused on hurricane safety this week. Please bear with us for a few days as we work out the specific details with our featured guests: Dr. Jennifer Rehage, Capt. Benny Blanco and angler Dave Preston. In the meantime, registration will remain open. Our hearts are with all Floridians as we prepare for and weather the storm in the days ahead. We look forward to connecting with you all again when the skies clear. Best of luck to all and stay safe!

2022-09-27T11:17:08-04:00September 27th, 2022|Clean Water Conversations, Florida Bay|

VIDEO: Corps demonstrates that transparency is the best policy in shaping LOSOM

Friends of the Everglades Executive Director Eve Samples (left) and Policy Director Gil Smart (right) converse with Tim Gysan and Col. James Booth of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, during a Clean Water Conversation at the Friends of the Everglades offices in Sewall’s Point. For more than three years, Friends of the Everglades has advocated for a better Lake Okeechobee management plan — one that prioritizes public health and prevents toxic-algae crises like we've seen in years prior. Today we had a chance to speak candidly with Army Corps leaders about the specifics of the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) that will govern the way water moves in and [...]

2022-08-18T16:52:09-04:00August 18th, 2022|All Posts, Clean Water Conversations, LOSOM|

Join our live conversation on the fight against blue-green algae

Blue-green algae. It’s a danger to human health. It smells horrendous. It’s bad for business, for real estate values and for essential tourism dollars that drive the state of Florida’s clean-water economy. So what are we doing about it? More importantly, are we doing enough? In 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis created the Blue-Green Algae Task Force to address this threat. He appointed some of the best-qualified scientists in the state to serve on it. Yet, three years later, many of the task force’s sound recommendations have been ignored by Florida’s elected leaders.  No, we’re not doing nearly enough. Join Friends of the Everglades on July 27 as we talk with environmental policy experts about the lack of follow-through, and the [...]

VIDEO: Examining the Annihilation of Florida

Jeff VanderMeer is a realist — but that doesn't mean he's without hope for the future of wild Florida. During today's Clean Water Conversation, the bestselling author and Tallahassee resident talked with Friends of the Everglades Executive Director Eve Samples about his recent article in Current Affairs, "The Annihilation of Florida: An Overlooked National Tragedy." Jeff discussed special interests that work against environmental protection in Florida, the rapid pace of habitat loss, and the expanses of Florida's wilderness that still need to be protected. Several football fields-worth of forest and other valuable habitat are cleared every day in Florida. And we have 11 million acres of wetlands that remain vulnerable, down from 20 million acres prior to the 1800s. Jeff [...]

Join our author discussion on “The Annihilation of Florida”

The pursuit of progress can be blinding. And in Florida, it has had a devastating effect on the natural world around us. You’ve probably seen Jeff VanderMeer’s recent article, “The Annihilation of Florida: An Overlooked National Tragedy,” featured in Current Affairs. In it, he details the many environmental horrors that have come from accelerated and uninhibited growth in Florida and the challenges we are likely to encounter still in the face of climate change. Now we offer you the opportunity to hear from the author himself. In a virtual Clean Water Conversation on June 30, Jeff VanderMeer will join Friends of the Everglades executive director, Eve Samples, to discuss the alarming facts detailed in Jeff’s reporting. These threats to Florida’s [...]

2022-06-17T13:56:46-04:00June 15th, 2022|All Posts, Clean Water Conversations|

VIDEO: Let’s make this the Last Burn Season

Colin Walkes painted a stark picture for us today, asking each of us to think what it's like to celebrate a wedding in our backyards as plumes of smoke billow in the background and black ash rains down to rest on a loved one's white dress. Though it may seem unimaginable to some, smoke as a backdrop to daily life is a familiar reality for residents of the Glades communities south of Lake Okeechobee that can last up to eight months of each year. Courageous local leaders have inspired a movement for justice to bring an end to sugarcane burning in favor of safer, sustainable, burn-free harvesting. We are grateful to Colin Walkes, Robert Mitchell and Patrick Ferguson for leading [...]

VIDEO: “SB 2508 isn’t a water bill — it’s an anti-water bill”

Friends of the Everglades board member Dave Preston called it like it is in today's Clean Water Conversation: "SB 2508 isn't a water bill. It's an anti-water bill." Though it's true that early amendments to the bill carved out some of the original bad provisions, significant threats in the remaining language warrant strong and continued opposition in the days ahead. Gov. DeSantis has until June 30 to sign, veto, or quietly allow this bill to pass without signature, leaving us with a short window of opportunity to advocate for the only acceptable option to support Florida's environment, economy and people: VETO.  Big thanks to Dave, Matt Depaolis of Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation and our own policy director Gil Smart for [...]

2022-04-27T14:49:07-04:00April 27th, 2022|Clean Water Conversations, SB 2508|

VIDEO: Protecting two national parks requires making the right call in Homestead

Our longtime board member Alan Farago summed it up earlier today: "We’re in a fight to protect and preserve what we have and not to just let the goal posts change whenever it's politically convenient." During today's Clean Water Conversation, we tackled development pressure in Homestead — an area that is uniquely situated between Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park and includes some of the last remaining expanses of green space in Miami-Dade County. This pressure is not new. Two decades ago, Friends of the Everglades strongly opposed expanded aviation at the Homestead Air Reserve Base, leading to an eventual rejection of commercial aviation by the Air Force. Now, we're working to combat new plans for more air traffic [...]


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