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Federal toxic-algae standards would protect human health

Friends of the Everglades joined the Center for Biological Diversity and other allies in a formal request filed May 30, 2024 with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that seeks new, enforceable standards for cyanotoxins under the Clean Water Act. Cyanotoxins in blue-green algae blooms pose an acute threat to public health, with scientific research linking them to liver disease and neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS and Alzheimer’s. Despite the known and unknown dangers, the state of Florida’s approach to monitoring harmful algal blooms and issuing public alerts has been inadequate, characterized by fragmented and reactive measures. With this petition, we’re asking the EPA to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to do what the state of Florida has [...]

Hot off the presses — Friends of the Everglades 2023 Annual Report

Your Impact Unveiled "Produce something lasting, something that people will be able to hold in their hands a hundred years from now." — Marjory Stoneman Douglas Each year, thousands of hours of advocacy, research and education by our team at Friends of the Everglades are reflected in our annual report. It's a testament to what YOU helped us accomplish. In 2023, we championed science-led solutions to protect water quality, spotlighted injustice and introduced more young minds than ever to the magic of the Everglades. Our annual report — hot off the presses — is a snapshot of the dedication and passion of our staff, board of directors and volunteers, as well as a signal of the potential [...]

Shoreline armoring protects private property over Florida’s public beaches

Friends of the Everglades joined the Surfrider Foundation, Center for Biological Diversity and the Sea Turtle Conservancy in signing onto the following letter in opposition to to the Extension of the Hurricane Restoration Reimbursement Grant Program. The program in question provides grants to eligible private beachfront property owners to carry out dredge and fill projects (“sand placement”), as well as temporary and permanent armoring projects to protect their private properties. As the letter states, "Shoreline armoring only protects upland private property. It does not protect the public beach or mitigate public beach erosion. In fact, shoreline armoring adversely impacts beaches and public trust tidelands by exacerbating erosion. It also results in “coastal squeeze,” as sea levels rise... referring to [...]

2024-01-31T15:07:02-05:00January 31st, 2024|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

WERP water quality concerns remain

Today, Friends of the Everglades submitted comments to the Army Corps of Engineers in response to the Western Everglades Restoration Project Draft PIR/EIS. Our comments reflect our continued concern that this project must meet water-quality standards so as not to adversely impact water quality in the ecologically delicate region of the Western Everglades, including Big Cypress National Preserve. In part, the letter states, "Restoration cannot succeed over the long term unless the water is clean — nor can it succeed if water quantity, timing, and distribution are distorted to dodge the responsibility for clean water. The proposed Western Everglades Restoration Plan falls short because of the decision to pass the water-quality problems to the next generation, which simply perpetuates the [...]

Northern reservoir could address critical storage needs if concerns are addressed

Friends supports CERP and the restoration of the Everglades. Storage is an essential component to Everglades restoration, and most of the benefits of CERP are contingent on storage. Therefore, we take a keen interest in the North of Lake Okeechobee reservoir, known as the Lake Okeechobee Component A Reservoir (LOCAR). Friends of the Everglades has reviewed the DEIS in detail, and we have several concerns that need to be addressed before we would be able to support the project. As such, we have requested several changes to the DEIS prior to its finalization, outlined in the following comments submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers. Outlined concerns include: Include LOSOM and other CERP Projects To Accurately Assess Estuary Benefits Include [...]

Friends of the Everglades 2023 Impact Report

Two core values guide our work at Friends of the Everglades: integrity and impact. Since our founding in 1969 by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, these principles have served as our moral compass as we advance our mission to preserve, protect, and restore the only Everglades in the world. That work started with our first campaign, to kill the Everglades Jetport (we won!), and we continue today across the Greater Everglades ecosystem.  Today, we’re proud to share our 2023 Impact Report, with the grateful recognition that YOU powered this important work. If you have donated recently, we thank you for helping us achieve these results. If it’s been a while, we invite you to make a contribution today — knowing Florida’s [...]

2023-11-07T13:08:02-05:00November 7th, 2023|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

An open letter from our Board in support of Dr. Tom Van Lent

We’re standing up for scientific integrity in the Everglades Dr. Tom Van Lent is among the most knowledgeable scientists in the world when it comes to America’s Everglades. In recent months we have been proud to work alongside him in his new role as Senior Scientist for Friends of the Everglades, where his expertise informs and sharpens our mission to save this unique ecosystem.  Yet this week, on May 10 and 11, Dr. Van Lent faces a hearing on criminal contempt charges brought against him by his former employer, the Everglades Foundation. Because we respect the Everglades Foundation’s history as a nonprofit colleague with decades of experience advocating for protection of the Everglades and South [...]

2023-05-08T16:05:46-04:00May 8th, 2023|Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Friends of the Everglades joins call to veto HB 1191

Photo credit: Sierra Club On May 1, Friends of the Everglades joined Sierra Club and more than 30 other organizations in sending a letter to Governor DeSantis requesting that he veto HB 1191 - Use of Phosphogypsum. Phosphogypsum is the radioactive waste from processing phosphate into phosphoric acid for fertilizer. This bill would permit the use of phosphogypsum in Florida road construction. As the letter states, "While HB 1191 would require the Florida Department of Transportation to complete a study on the feasibility of phosphogypsum for road construction, the unreasonably short study period ending on April 1, 2024, cannot even begin to thoroughly review the health and safety consequences. To even begin the study would be a tremendous [...]

WERP must meet water-quality standards in Big Cypress National Preserve

Photo credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Today, Friends of the Everglades submitted comments to the Army Corps of Engineers in the wake of concerns raised during the Feb. 28, 2023, meeting of the Project Delivery Team (PDT) for the Western Everglades Restoration Project (WERP). It's essential for WERP to meet water-quality standards in Big Cypress National Preserve. This correspondence reflects our ongoing commitment to safeguarding water quality in the Greater Everglades. Restoration cannot succeed in the long-term unless the water is clean. To read our comments in full, click the button below:  

Friends of the Everglades 2022 Impact Report

Since our founding by Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 1969, impact and integrity have driven our work at Friends of the Everglades. It’s how we gauge our success as an organization and ensure sound stewardship of your dollars.  We're proud to report Friends of the Everglades continued that tradition this year with the following accomplishments. In 2022, we: Successfully advocated for a new Lake Okeechobee management plan that, for the first time, considers the damaging effects of toxic-algae blooms and recognizes the need to send more clean water south to the Everglades. The new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) will be finalized in 2023, and while it’s not a perfect plan, it represents overdue [...]

2022-12-15T09:00:59-05:00December 15th, 2022|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|