‘Clean Waterways Act’ is incremental at best — and we need more from Florida policymakers

Statement from Eve Samples, executive director of Friends of the Everglades, on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of the Clean Waterways Act (Senate Bill 712) on June 30, 2020: “The Clean Waterways Act is incrementalism at best. It does too little to curtail polluters, and too little to protect Floridians from the harmful effects of toxic algae blooms that have devastating effects on human health and the state’s economy. What’s worse: The bill was amended to preempt local governments from passing ‘Rights of Nature’ initiatives that could have empowered citizens to protect the natural ecosystems in their own communities. Senate Bill 712 does some incremental good by tightening up rules and penalties for septic and sewer systems — but it falls [...]

In the footsteps of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, we stand with Black Lives Matter

Marjory Stoneman Douglas was, at her core, an advocate for equality. Five decades before she founded Friends of the Everglades in 1969, she blasted corrupt politics and advocated for civil rights in her column for the Miami Herald. Marjory wrote about the injustice of “convict leasing,” a system of penal labor that overwhelmingly targeted black men in the United States, allowing a form of slavery to endure. She advocated to bring sanitary plumbing systems to poor neighborhoods of Miami. She also traveled to Tallahassee to lobby for women’s suffrage, undeterred by the unsympathetic state legislators she faced there. More fundamentally, Marjory recognized and spoke out against the devastating and multi-generational impact of slavery on black people in the United States. [...]

RECOVER Northern Estuary Salinity Envelope Public Comment

Ms. Ehlinger, Please find Friends of the Everglades' attached line-by-line feedback pertaining to the RECOVER Northern Estuaries Salinity Envelope Performance Metrics. We thank the Army Corps of Engineers and the whole RECOVER team for its work on these draft metrics, which are an improvement over the 2007 targets. That said, we see room for improvement if the RECOVER metrics are to stand as a true measure of CERP’s ability to restore, preserve and protect the South Florida ecosystem while balancing other water-related needs. First and foremost, Friends of the Everglades strongly opposes including any Lake Okeechobee Regulatory Releases in “Optimum” performance metrics for the St. Lucie Estuary. The St. Lucie Estuary requires ZERO cubic feet of water from Lake Okeechobee; [...]

Letter of Support To Prohibit Toxic Discharges

Friends of the Everglades submitted the following letter to Congress to express our support for a provision in the Water Resources Development Act that would prohibit the Army Corps of Engineers from discharging Lake Okeechobee water into the St. Lucie Estuary when levels of microcystin exceed 8 micrograms per liter.  

Congress must reject 20-year-old water promises to protect future of Lake Okeechobee, estuaries & Everglades

The following letter was sent by Friends of the Everglades to all Florida congressional offices requesting their rejection of the intentionally manipulative language additions that would ultimately prioritize the water supply needs for large industrial farms south of Lake Okeechobee over the health of residents living along toxic-algae plagued waterways. April 29, 2020 To the members of Florida's congressional delegation: On behalf of Friends of the Everglades, I’m writing to voice our concerns about an effort to manipulate this year’s Water Resources & Development Act (WRDA) in a manner that would be detrimental to the Everglades, the northern estuaries and Florida Bay. In an email sent Tuesday, April 28, Rep. Alcee Hastings’ staff requested other representatives sign onto a letter [...]

Earth Day Reflections

Friends, I’m writing you this Earth Day from my back patio, where I’m savoring the gift of a breezy late-spring afternoon. I hope you’re able to safely enjoy the outdoors today, too. Even if you’re stuck indoors during this period of quarantine, we can offer a few ways to honor the planet on this 50th anniversary of Earth Day: Help protect the endangered Key deer by signing our petition. When you’re done, share the petition and our Young Friends of the Everglades learning materials with the students in your life. Get educated about Lake Okeechobee by reading our Earth Day guest column published in The Palm Beach Post, Sun Sentinel, The News-Press, The Daytona Beach News-Journal and TCPalm. The Invading [...]

2020-07-01T13:58:23-04:00April 22nd, 2020|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Toll Road Extension Through the Everglades Defeated

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, March 30, 2020 Media Contacts: Ana Lima, Tropical Audubon Society, (917)921-9291, communications@tropicalaudubon.org Laura Reynolds, Friends of the Everglades and Hold the Line Coalition Organizer, (786) 543-1926, lreynolds@conservationconceptsllc.org  Hold the Line Coalition cofounders prevail in SR-836 Extension legal challenge — Judge Rules Against Miami-Dade County plans to extend SR-836 beyond the Urban Development Boundary, into the Everglades  An administrative law judge has ruled against Miami-Dade County’s proposed SR-836 extension outside of Miami-Dade County’s Urban Development Boundary (UDB) intruding into the Everglades. The ruling clearly is the death knell for the planned 14-mile, 6-lane toll road. The sole justification for the tollway - that it would improve congestion - was flatly rejected based on the evidence. Therefore, we [...]

2020-07-01T13:59:57-04:00March 30th, 2020|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|