Remembering Maggy Hurchalla — We lost a legend

Maggy’s impact on Florida’s conservation movement cannot be overstated. She’s the reason developers can’t fill in wetlands in Martin County, and the reason I-95 bends away from Stuart. During her 20 years as a Martin County commissioner, she helped craft development rules that made the community a leader in the state for environmental preservation. Her advocacy was fueled by a deep love for Florida’s wilderness. She kayaked as often as she could, and spoke about the Everglades to anyone who would listen. Those of us who had the honor of joining Maggy for a paddle gained a new appreciation for the magic of mangrove tunnels, and we were often treated to a recitation of poetry by Maggy. She was inspiringly [...]

2022-02-20T11:11:05-05:00February 20th, 2022|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

SB 2508: “How could Florida let this happen again?”

https://youtu.be/QGThHiUGxMY "How could Florida let this happen again?" In an egregious display of disregard for our state’s waterways, the Florida Senate Appropriations Committee voted in favor of Senate Bill 2508 today in Tallahassee. It’s a toxic stew of bad proposals that undermine Florida’s environmental protections and protect powerful industries — most notably Big Sugar. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ben Albritton, a citrus farmer, deflected pointed criticism from environmental groups, including Friends of the Everglades, and many fishing guides who attended the hearing to object. Albritton claimed opponents had been “misled” about the true intent of the bill — but he failed to dispel our concerns. The video above of Friends of the Everglades policy director Gil Smart outlines several of [...]

Letter to the Army Corps: Keep LOSOM fair and balanced

On January 21, 2022 we submitted a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers on behalf of Friends of the Everglades, Calusa Waterkeeper, Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, Florida Oceanographic Society, and Conservancy of Southwest Florida articulating concerns regarding the South Florida Water Management District's proposal to create a 1.5 foot buffer zone in the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). During the LOSOM process, the Army Corps of Engineers 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, management deference would be passed to the state. Now, in a move that feels like an eleventh hour bait-and-switch, [...]

2022-01-21T17:03:40-05:00January 21st, 2022|Friends of the Everglades Statements, 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, [...]

Miami-Dade County Urged to Protect Exisiting Urban Development Boundary

On December 7, Friends of the Everglades joined Tropical Audubon Society and Everglades Law Center in sending letters to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources to express concerns regarding the application to expand the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) in Miami-Dade County to create the South Dade Logistics and Technology District (SDLTD). We have many concerns regarding this application, not least of which is the threat it will pose to Everglades National Park, Biscayne Bay, and existing and future Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Projects and goals. The environmental damages caused by the construction of the proposed SDLTD are disqualifying and we urge the Board of County Commissioners to deny the application. To read the [...]

Friends of the Everglades presents Stories From the Sawgrass

You're invited! Join Friends of the Everglades December 15, 2021, from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. for a virtual storytelling event with Miccosukee poet and activist Reverend Houston Cypress, environmental advocate Maggy Hurchalla and Friends of the Everglades board member and Glades community activist Robert Mitchell. The happy-hour event, Stories from the Sawgrass, is free to our Marjory’s Circle members, and additional tickets are available to the public for $25. Stories from the Sawgrass is our way of thanking our Marjory’s Circle members for their support of our work to preserve, protect and restore the only Everglades in the world. If you'd like to become a Marjory's Circle member, sign up today and we'll send you a discount code making your [...]

2021-12-06T10:29:21-05:00December 6th, 2021|Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Give Back on Give Miami Day!

It's Go Time! Early Giving has officially launched at GiveMiamiDay.org! Now through Thursday at 11:59 p.m., you can support Friends of the Everglades during our most impactful online-giving event of the year: The Miami Foundation’s Give Miami Day. We invite you to make a contribution to help protect, preserve and restore the only Everglades in the world. You don’t have to live in Miami to participate. Donations between $25 and $10,000 will help Friends of the Everglades qualify for a bonus gift! Last year, our supporters raised over $14,000 for Friends of the Everglades during the Give Miami Day virtual event. You can support us again this year by checking out our champion pages and making a donation towards their [...]

2021-11-15T09:21:53-05:00November 15th, 2021|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Friends of the Everglades supports climate change action to protect the Everglades

Friends of the Everglades joined the Southern Alliance of Clean Energy and others in signing on to the following letter to the Florida Congressional Delegation in support of a Clean Electricity Performance Program in order to take action on climate change and protect America's Everglades. As state, the electricity sector is one of the largest contributors to carbon pollution driving climate change — and a huge consumer of water. Impacts from climate change stand to undermine the significant strides that have been made to restore America's Everglades. The letter calls for historic investment in a clean and water-smart energy future and requests swift action from the members of the Florida Congressional Delegation to cut carbon pollution in the next decade [...]

2021-09-23T13:47:11-04:00September 23rd, 2021|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Friends of the Everglades to Miami-Dade County: Hold the Line on current Urban Development Boundary

The following letter submitted on behalf of Friends of the Everglades outlines concerns about the application filed by Aligned Real Estate Holdings and South Dade Industrial Partners. The application is scheduled for consideration at the Sept. 9 Miami- Dade County Commission meeting. Reports, comments and recommendations of the County's own staff have detailed why this proposal would be a bad public policy choice for the County for this location and at this time. As the County works along with state and federal agencies in the herculean effort to protect the County’s existing public and private investments from sea level rise and salt water intrusion, and restore the health of Biscayne Bay, replacing 800 acres of flood prone natural land outside [...]

Miami-Dade County should deny application to expand Urban Development Boundary

As a member of the Hold the Line Coalition, Friends of the Everglades signed on to the following letter urging Miami-Dade County Commissioners to "deny and do not transmit" an application filed by the Aligned Real Estate Holdings LLC and South Dade Industrial Partners LLC that would allow for the building of a 794-acre industrial complex on agricultural property that sits outside of the county's Urban Development Boundary. The development not only represents unnecessary threats to Biscayne Bay and Everglades National Park, but also could create additional pressure to bring cargo jets to the nearby Homestead Air Reserve Base. The County's own Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources' Planning staff wisely recommends that this application be denied. We could not [...]