SB 2508 preserves the status quo. DeSantis can still #KilltheBill

Take a look at the image above. It’s emblematic of the status quo that has allowed Lake Okeechobee’s water to be mismanaged in a way that benefits special interests — especially giant sugarcane corporations — while triggering toxic-algae blooms and depriving the Everglades of water. Senate Bill 2508 preserves that status quo.  If Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to follow through on his promise to address Florida’s water crisis, he must veto it.  Specifically, SB 2508 threatens to: Constrain environmental improvements that could be achieved through the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM).  Undermine years of work to correct a failing water-management system by perpetuating the harmful “hold and dump” practices of the existing Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS 08). [...]

Everglades Illustrated: The Scientific Uncertainty of ASR

Photo Credit: South Florida Water Management District The Scientific Uncertainty of ASR Each of the red outlines in the map above indicates a proposed cluster of aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) wells. Pitched as an answer to water-storage needs north of Lake Okeechobee, the wells’ feasible use within Everglades restoration and exorbitant cost have been at the center of heated debate in Florida’s environmental community. Proponents claim the technology offers a way to store large volumes of water deep in the aquifer — water that would otherwise pour untreated into Lake Okeechobee. But scientific concerns abound. Some experts say they’re inefficient and won’t have enough capacity to relieve toxic discharges, and they warn that metals dissolved in the [...]

Interview with Everglades Activist Maggy Hurchalla

Maggy Hurchalla was an Everglades activist who worked with Friends of the Everglades for many years, even working directly with our founder Marjory Stoneman Douglas. She was a wealth of freely-shared information and a fierce advocate of Florida's environment. She was a spirited adventurer and an accomplished kayaker that could put paddlers half her age to shame. And she was one of the greatest storytellers we've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Maggy passed away on February 19, 2022, leaving a tremendous hole in the heart of Florida's environmental community who looked to her as a leader of conservation advocacy until her final days. She is greatly missed by many, and we carry on the work to protect Florida's wild [...]

2022-04-07T12:22:07-04:00April 6th, 2022|All Posts, Everglades Restoration|

ASR wells are still the subject of vast scientific uncertainty

Photo credit: South Florida Water Management District Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) refers to the process of recharge, storage, and recovery of water in an aquifer. ASR is the central component of the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project (LOWRP) as presented in the draft PIR, accounting for roughly 85% of the costs. ASR has long been the subject of considerable scientific uncertainty. Questions surrounding its feasible use in Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) projects date back to an evaluation by the National Academy of Sciences in 2001 which identified five areas of major uncertainty that needed to be addressed before it was clear that ASR would be viable on a regional scale in CERP: 1) operations to protect [...]

2022-04-07T12:21:45-04:00April 5th, 2022|All Posts, Everglades Restoration, U.S. Congress|

Your moment of Everglades Zen: Successful restoration looks like this

We know the bad-news reel gets old. It’s good to stop and remember what we’re working so hard to protect. Here’s your dose of Everglades zen. Take a look at the 11-second video above. Posted to Twitter by Shannon Estenoz, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Park, it offers a glimpse of the completed restoration of the Kissimmee River from a channelized canal back to historic, winding oxbows. Twenty-two years after construction began, the project represents progress our founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, would be proud of. She spoke vehemently about the disastrous impacts that removing the serpentine curves of the Everglades’ headwaters would have on the entire flowing ecosystem from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes to [...]

2021-08-03T15:44:10-04:00August 3rd, 2021|All Posts, Everglades Restoration, Everglades Zen|

Fix the FLO Summit Invitation

Fix the FLO Summit Thursday, December 17, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friends of the Everglades joins the Rivers Coalition, the Florida Oceanographic Society, and the Indian Riverkeeper in welcoming virtual attendees to join the first Fix the FLO Summit using the following Zoom link: Tune in to hear from state and federal lawmakers representing the St. Lucie Estuary region of the Greater Everglades as they communicate their plans for addressing water quality and quantity issues related to Lake Okeechobee discharges that plague our local waterways. Featured Lawmakers: - Congressman Brian Mast - State Senator Gayle Harrell - State Rep. John Snyder - State Rep. Toby Overdorf - State Rep. Dana Trabulsy We hope you will join us Dec. 17 at [...]

2020-12-15T14:38:32-05:00December 15th, 2020|All Posts, Everglades Restoration|

WATCH: Big Agriculture fights to keep status quo

Members of Congress met last week for a hearing on the Everglades and water management in Florida. During the hearing, Congresswomen Debbie Mucarsel-Powell asked all 5 witnesses if they support how water is currently managed in Lake Okeechobee. Here's how the vote stacked up: NO: Elizabeth Jolin, Captain, The Bay and Reef Company of the Florida Keys NO: Chauncey P. Goss, II, Chairman, South Florida Water Management District Governing Board NO: Noah Valenstein, Secretary, Florida Department of Environmental Protection NO: Shannon Estenoz, Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs, The Everglades Foundation YES: Gary Ritter, Assistant Director of Government and Community Affairs, FL Farm Bureau Federation One of these is not like the others... Watch the full Everglades hearing here: [...]

2020-09-28T14:56:21-04:00September 28th, 2020|All Posts, Everglades Restoration, U.S. Congress|

Friends of the Everglades submits congressional testimony on Everglades restoration, water management in Florida

Today at 11 a.m., members of Congress will host a virtual hearing on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and water management in Florida. Tune in here to watch five witnesses appear before the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Friends of the Everglades submitted the following congressional testimony in advance of this important hearing to drive home two main points: Human health must be a top priority for the Army Corps of Engineers, particularly when it comes to protecting people from the threat of toxic algae; and we need an EAA Storage Reservoir that is truly effective. Click here to view the testimony in full. 

Recording Available Now! Clean Water Conversations: Revisiting “The Swamp”

Did you miss today's Clean Water Conversation featuring author of "The Swamp," Michael Grunwald? No worries! We've got you covered. Thank you to all of you who were able to join us today. We invite you to revisit parts of the conversation, or share it with friends, with a recorded version, available here. Huge thanks to Michael Grunwald for sharing his time and his thoughts on what's changed (and what hasn't) since "The Swamp" was published in 2006. It's clear that we continue to face an uphill battle, but let's face it, he's right — “This place is paradise...we have to figure out how we can all live here sustainably.” If you enjoyed this event, please consider helping us fund the [...]


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