Introducing Friends of the Everglades at Stetson University

Introducing Friends of the Everglades at Stetson University   First-ever campus chapter features student-led initiatives to advance mission to preserve, protect and restore the only Everglades in the world. Friends of the Everglades is thrilled to announce Stetson University as the home of our first-ever campus chapter featuring student-led initiatives to advance the mission originally set in 1969 by our founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Located in DeLand, the Stetson campus sits in the St. John's watershed just north of the headwaters of the Greater Everglades ecosystem. This fixture of advocacy near the northernmost region of Florida’s River of Grass further cements Friends' resolve to tackle water issues that plague the state holistically, and speaks to the powerful inspiration of Everglades [...]

Friends of the Everglades joins request urging Interior’s Haaland to reject oil-drilling in Big Cypress

Friends of the Everglades joined Center for Biological Diversity in the request outlined below, sent on behalf of more than 100 conservation groups and businesses, urging Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to reject oil drilling in Big Cypress. More Than 100 Conservation Groups, Businesses Urge Interior’s Haaland to Reject Oil-drilling in Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve Preserve Provides Vital Everglades Habitat for Endangered Florida Panthers WASHINGTON— More than 100 conservation groups and businesses urged the U.S. Department of the Interior today to deny requests to drill for oil in Big Cypress National Preserve. The preserve, which is part of the greater Everglades region and a unit of the National Park System, provides vital habitat for endangered Florida panthers and Florida bonneted [...]

2021-03-30T11:50:42-04:00March 30th, 2021|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Friends of the Everglades LOSOM PDT Comments 3-22-21

Comments from Friends of the Everglades Executive Director Eve Samples made at the March 22, 2021, meeting of the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) Project Delivery Team. The new lake plan will have widespread impacts on the Greater Everglades ecosystem. Col. Andrew Kelly put it well when he said “this is the tough part" of the LOSOM process. This is where the Army Corps of Engineers will have to make some challenging decisions about the new management plan for Lake Okeechobee. It will be a difficult balancing act, with plenty of opportunities (and perhaps excuses) to avoid taking needed action to prevent public exposure to toxic-algae blooms. However, we at Friends of the Everglades implore the Army Corps to [...]

2021-03-22T16:52:15-04:00March 22nd, 2021|Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Everglades Forever Act calls for additional Lake O water sent south

The following comments were sent to the South Florida Water Management District by Friends of the Everglades Executive Director, Eve Samples, following last week's governing board meeting. Governing Board members, During yesterday's Governing Board meeting, there was some debate about whether the 1994 Everglades Forever Act (EFA) was designed to send additional Lake Okeechobee water south through the STAs. I'm writing to offer some historical facts to support the case that the EFA in fact did: 1. The text of the EFA states: "A comprehensive program to revitalize the Everglades shall include programs and projects to improve the water quantity reaching the Everglades Protection Area at optimum times and improve hydroperiod deficiencies in the Everglades ecosystem. To the greatest extent [...]

2021-03-16T11:09:13-04:00March 16th, 2021|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

TCPalm Columnist Gil Smart joins Friends of the Everglades as Director of Policy

Gil Smart is no stranger to the fray. During his more than 30 years as a journalist, he investigated complex subjects and crafted insightful arguments to help people understand difficult topics. The environment is a subject he dove into time and time again. As a columnist at TCPalm, Gil wrote about pollution of the northern estuaries and the Greater Everglades, calling out the exploitation of the state’s natural resources. He’s raised an editorial eyebrow many times to Florida’s woefully inadequate water-management system, noting its continual infliction of damage on local communities and the statewide economy. His fiery columns have dug deep, and ruffled feathers along the way. Friends of the Everglades founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, spent the early days of [...]

2021-03-05T09:35:41-05:00March 5th, 2021|Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Friends of the Everglades joins statewide environmentalist opposition to “Combating Public Disorder” bills

Stuart, FL, 2016: One of many rallies for the river hosted across the state over the past several years. Environmental battles in Florida would not be what they are today without the public's ability to rally, protest, march, sign wave, and gather in vigils to fight for the state's natural resources. Friends of the Everglades stands with 35 organizations committed to protecting the right to exercise free speech and peaceable assembly to preserve the environment and are therefore opposed to the “Combating Public Disorder” bills (HB1/SB484). These bills could limit grassroots mobilization that has long served as a powerful tool for influencing decision makers and driving policy to protect Florida's natural resources that in turn buoy the health [...]

Friends of the Everglades urges US Air Force to reject commercial aviation at Homestead Air Base

Construction of the Everglades Jetport (another ill-conceived airport proposal near Everglades National Park) was halted in 1970 — after a single runway was built. Now a familiar threat resurfaces at Homestead Air Reserve Base. Friends of the Everglades stands in unity with several environmental advocacy groups against Miami-Dade County's overtures to enter a Joint Use Agreement enabling non-military aviation at Homestead Air Reserve Base, due to the environmental and economic impacts articulated in the attached letter. Friends has been involved closely in efforts to protect and restore the sensitive ecosystems near the base and have watched with concern the County's recent efforts to use the HARB facility for industrial purposes. It is clear to us that opening up [...]

Friends of the Everglades Opposes Changes to Miami-Dade’s Urban Development Boundary

The following comments, opposing changes to Miami-Dade County's urban development boundary (UDB), were submitted on behalf of Friends of the Everglades by attorney Richard Grosso. CLICK HERE to read the comments in full. Repealing the systematic approach to UDB amendments that has existed for years would  greatly harm the comprehensive part of comprehensive planning in Miami-Dade County. The  UDB is the cornerstone of the County’s land use planning approach that is so necessary to protect  its fragile and increasingly scarce farmland, Biscayne Bay and Everglades national parks and  ecosystems. Considering UDB amendment applications on a consistent schedule allows for a  holistic approach to planning and reflects the fact that such amendments should be rarely granted.   To change this long-standing approach [...]

Friends of the Everglades LOSOM PDT Comments Tell Army Corps to Fix the FLO

The following comments from Eve Samples, executive director of Friends of the Everglades, were delivered during the Nov. 20 meeting of the Project Delivery Team developing the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual for the Army Corps of Engineers: We are reminded this year of the highly variable nature of Florida’s rainfall, which can vary upwards of 40 inches a year between wet and dry years. This year, it almost felt like we had both packed into one. The Everglades were literally on fire in April, and now Eta has dropped record rainfall on us in November, leading to damaging discharges to the northern estuaries that have continued for more than a month. This year also reminds us how much [...]

2020-11-20T14:49:17-05:00November 20th, 2020|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

61 Everglades Coalition organizations oppose development of Homestead Air Base

The Everglades Coalition has released a resolution adamantly opposing expanded operations at the Homestead Air Reserve Base including large passenger or cargo traffic commercial aviation. EVCO is comprised of 61 organizations, including Friends of the Everglades, dedicated to the protection and restoration of America’s Everglades. Read the full resolution below. For more information about environmentalists' opposition to a proposal that could lead to commercial flights out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, read a letter submitted to Mayor Gimenez and the Miami-Dade County Commission on behalf of Friends of the Everglades by attorney Paul J. Schwiep  by clicking here.