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 [...]

Will this be another Lost Summer?

Friends of the Everglades Executive Director Eve Samples joined VoteWater Executive Director Gil Smart and TCPalm outdoors writer/columnist Ed Killer for a panel discussion in Stuart on Lake O discharges, the politics of clean water and the prospect of another “lost summer” in 2024. With high water levels in Lake Okeechobee and a busy hurricane season projected, the risk of harmful discharges to the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon are looming. But the May 1 event, hosted by the Council on Aging of Martin County at the Kane Center, focused on short-term and long-term solutions that we can all help advance. Friends of the [...]

An evening at Bay Tree Lodge

Relive a memorable evening with Friends of the Everglades at Bay Tree Lodge! Special thanks to our hosts Ann and Knight Kiplinger for creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere for our conversation about the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. The fate of these cherished waters is interwoven with Friends of the Everglades' core mission to preserve, protect and restore the only Everglades in the world. [...]

2024-04-17T19:50:39-04:00April 17th, 2024|All Posts, Marjory's Circle, St. Lucie Estuary|

VoteWater Deep Dive: STA Capacity Should Be Reserved For Water From Lake Okeechobee

Our friends at VoteWater took a deeper look at what’s happening in the Glades, and what the sugar industry could be doing to help fix the problem.  Read their latest Deep Dive below:As billions of gallons of polluted water poured out of Lake Okeechobee and into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee River estuaries and Lake Worth Lagoon, a familiar question kept being raised: Why isn’t that water going south?And a familiar answer from the South Florida Water Management District was: We’re sending as much water south as we can.The discharges that began Feb. 17 have dumped close to 60 billion gallons of lake water in the St. Lucie estuary alone. That’s more than double the almost 25 billion gallons [...]

2024-04-11T10:42:48-04:00April 11th, 2024|All Posts, Stormwater Treatment Areas|

STA capacity must be publicly addressed to fix the rigged system

We need you to speak up! On March 30, the Army Corps of Engineers closed the flood gates from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie River, Caloosahatchee River and Lake Worth Lagoon. This pause is a testament to the power of public pressure.  Thanks to important input provided by stakeholders as well as the official recommendations of the South Florida Water Management District, only beneficial releases are resuming  to the Caloosahatchee and releases to the St. Lucie River and Lake Worth Lagoon will remain paused. We are grateful to the Army Corps for listening to our concerns and adjusting Lake O flows accordingly. But even with harmful releases temporarily avoided, the problem remains. Should the wet season [...]

2024-04-10T19:51:40-04:00April 8th, 2024|Action Alerts, All Posts, Lake Okeechobee, Toxic Algae|

Your Moment of Everglades Zen: Enliven your senses, quiet your mind

When was the last time you stepped into the cypress forest, leaving your worries and your phone at the threshold, and tapped into all of your senses?  For some Marjory’s Circle members and Friends of the Everglades staff, this slow and mindful shared experience kicked off Easter weekend Saturday morning at Riverbend Park in Jupiter.  Following forest therapy guide Kelly Bruce, the group learned how to “forest bathe” under gently swaying native Florida trees, along a meadow of wildflowers where butterflies danced, and next to a lively cypress pond brimming with life. Forest bathing, Bruce explained, offers numerous health benefits, including better sleep and immunity, and [...]

2024-04-02T11:01:25-04:00April 2nd, 2024|All Posts, Everglades Zen, Marjory's Circle|

Ask SFWMD Governing Board members to fix the rigged system

We need you to speak up! Since February 17, water managers have permitted the release of harmful discharges out of Lake Okeechobee, causing damaging declines in salinity on Florida’s east and west coasts and staining the fragile St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries and Lake Worth Lagoon with dark, polluted water. As Floridians eye the coming wet season, signs of an early algae bloom lurk in the northwest corner of the lake — a symptom that could indicate a disastrous and toxic summer ahead. This all-too-familiar scenario is the product of a rigged system.  There is a solution, and we need South Florida Water Management District Governing Board members to embrace it.  About 62,000 acres of taxpayer-funded stormwater [...]

2024-03-27T08:39:42-04:00March 27th, 2024|Action Alerts, All Posts, Lake Okeechobee, Toxic Algae|

Friends of the Everglades 2024 Florida Legislature: Post-session report

At the beginning of Florida’s 2024 Legislative session, things looked grim. One pair of bills (House Bill 527/Senate Bill 664) took direct aim at protections for Florida’s vital wetlands. Another pair (HB 789/SB 738) sought to disenfranchise citizens who lost a challenge to a Florida Department of Environmental Protection or water management district decision. Pro-sprawl bills proliferated like, well, sprawl. And looming over it all was the prospect of a last-minute sneak attack on “strong” urban fertilizer ordinances, further extending a ban on new fertilizer limits at the local level. But the wetlands bills never got any hearings and died. The “sneak attack” on fertilizer ordinances never came. Senate Bill 738 passed but House Bill 789, sponsored by Rep. [...]

2024 Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Celebration Highlights

Thank you for joining us at our 3rd Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Celebration at The Biltmore in Miami! As we sat among friends who share a deep desire to see the Everglades persevere, Betty Osceola implored us to “listen to the water,” and Carl Hiaasen reminded us to “stay angry” as we fight to protect the iconic ecosystem that brought us all together. Evoking tenacity and dedication in keeping with the spirit of Friends of the Everglades founder Marjory Stoneman Douglas, they reminded us of our personal responsibility to honor the land by ensuring its vitality for generations to come.  It was truly inspiring to gather with so many people dedicated to the cause. We invite you to relive [...]

2024-03-08T15:27:25-05:00March 7th, 2024|All Posts, Marjory Stoneman Douglas|

Tell lawmakers to kill HB 789/SB 738

We need you to speak up! All session long, we’ve been cautiously watching House Bill 789/Senate Bill 738, sponsored by Rep. Toby Overdorf and Sen. Danny Burgess.  We sounded the alarm — and you responded — in order to successfully kill two dangerous proposals in the original versions of the bills. It was a small, noteworthy victory. The bill is less bad now, but it’s still bad news. Friends of the Everglades remains very concerned about a remaining provision in the bill that would prohibit citizens from suing polluters for personal injury or economic damages, if the event that caused the injuries was duly permitted or authorized by a government agency.  Sounds to us like a backdoor way [...]