Miami Herald op-ed: A vicious legal battle is the result of putting politics over science

The following op-ed was published in the Miami Herald on January 22, 2024. As scientists with collectively more than five decades of experience in the Everglades, we know the critical importance of transparency in science. Restoring the Everglades is the most complex ecosystem restoration project on the planet. It’s expected to cost taxpayers $23 billion (and counting). The merits or shortcomings of any Everglades project must be openly vetted to ensure the public interest is served.  The crux of that vetting is science.  Withholding or distorting science to fit politically palatable outcomes does not serve the greater good. The open exchange of research, models and data is the accepted gold standard.  That’s why the legal action brought by the [...]

2024-01-29T15:21:16-05:00January 29th, 2024|Everglades Restoration, Science-driven solutions|

Everglades in the News: The New York Times spotlights the truth about toxic algae

The front page of Monday’s New York Times spotlighted a threat we contemplate every day at Friends of the Everglades: Lake Okeechobee, still full from Hurricane Ian’s deluge last fall, is now brimming with fertilizer-fueled toxic algae. That toxic algae is likely to be discharged east toward the Atlantic and west toward the Gulf of Mexico as the lake rises this rainy season, posing a threat to our environment, economy, and public health. It’s a crisis we’ve been working to resolve for years, as the government-supported sugarcane industry continues to occupy about a half-million acres south of Lake Okeechobee — impeding true restoration of the River of Grass. The story also highlights Friends of the Everglades’ commitment to science-backed solutions [...]

Spotlight On: Stormwater Treatment Areas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iAQdfAEZi4 What's an STA anyway? On the fringes of the Everglades Agricultural Area, south of Lake Okeechobee, sit tens of thousands of acres of man-made wetlands called stormwater treatment areas, or STAs. These marshes, managed by the South Florida Water Management District, were designed to use native and non-native aquatic vegetation to clean water of damaging fertilizer runoff from surrounding agricultural land and the polluted Lake Okeechobee, before the clean, fresh water flows south to nourish the River of Grass. They are a crucial tool for Everglades restoration and for protecting coastal estuaries. The STAs are arguably the most effective Everglades-restoration projects ever built by man — because they emulate Mother Nature. That said, their full strength will be [...]

2023-01-31T08:44:44-05:00January 31st, 2023|Science-driven solutions, Spotlight On|

Honoring Tom Van Lent: 2022 recipient of our Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Everglades Restoration award

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Everglades Restoration award acknowledges contributions to science-based solutions that drive forward the central mission of Friends of the Everglades: to preserve, protect and restore the only Everglades in the world.  No person has brought about more recent advancements in Everglades-restoration science than Dr. Thomas Van Lent. Tom built a science program that provides a credible basis for advocacy — one that the entire Everglades community has leaned on as guidance for action — and has been directly involved in nearly every major Everglades issue for the past two decades, from water-quality litigation to Everglades restoration projects. Friends of the Everglades board member Alan Farago said it best when presenting Tom [...]

2022-12-08T15:30:09-05:00December 8th, 2022|Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Science-driven solutions|