Dr. Jack E. Davis is a professor of history at the University of Florida, and the Rothman Family Chair in the Humanities specializing in environmental history and sustainability studies. He is the author or editor of 10 books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea. Friends of the Everglades had the opportunity to host a live conversation with Jack during our Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Luncheon on December 5, 2022, at the Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove. The conversation was especially meaningful as Jack is well-versed in the life and work of Friends of the Everglades founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, having written a 730-page biography about her more than a decade ago. Jack is [...]
Florida has a long history of treating the symptoms of a problem instead of the root causes. A lingering algae bloom in Florida Bay, fed by an excess of nutrients, is just the latest example. During today's Clean Water Conversation, we heard from fisheries scientist Jenn Rehage, Florida Keys fishing guide Steve Friedman and avid angler Dave Preston on the current conditions in Florida Bay, the importance of addressing water-quality issues proactively and at the source, and possible impacts on the Bay from Hurricane Ian that may still be yet to come. Harmful algae blooms are increasingly prevalent in Florida. Today's conversation scratched the surface of one of Florida's most challenging environmental problems and underscores the state's inadequate response [...]
NEW DATE: Our Clean Water Conversation about Florida Bay, originally scheduled for September 28, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 12. We have much to discuss, including Hurricane Ian's impact on a lingering algae bloom that had been troubling Florida Bay. Our featured guest list has grown to include Islamorada fishing guide Steve Friedman who serves as Commodore to the Florida Keys Guides Association. He'll join leading fisheries scientist Dr. Jennifer Rehage, full-time Everglades and Biscayne National Park fishing guide Benny Blanco and Friends of the Everglades board member Dave Preston for a live discussion about current conditions in Florida Bay. This live conversation will be streamed directly to our Facebook page and our YouTube channel from 12 - 1 p.m. on Wednesday, [...]
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!
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]