The South Dade industrial complex is a litmus test for Miami-Dade commissioners

  Today, Miami-Dade County commissioners will cast a final vote on a developers’ proposal to add almost 800 acres of rural land off Florida’s Turnpike to the Urban Development Boundary. Friends of the Everglades executive director Eve Samples traveled to Miami to deliver the following comments in opposition to the industrial complex which threatens valuable green space and Biscayne Bay restoration efforts. Chairman and Commissioners, I’m Eve Samples, executive director of Friends of the Everglades. We were founded in 1969 to fend off a dangerous development that threatened the Everglades ecosystem. Back then, it was the Everglades Jetport. Today, it is the South Dade industrial complex. This vote is a litmus test. The outcome will reflect whether your voiced support [...]

2022-05-19T09:30:15-04:00May 19th, 2022|All Posts|

Everglades Coalition Asks DeSantis to Veto SB 2508

This week, the Everglades Coalition sent a letter to Gov. DeSantis requesting that he veto SB 2508. Sixty-one organizations make up the coalition devoted to restoration, preservation, and protection of the Greater Everglades. The letter applauds DeSantis's early opposition to the nefarious introduction of SB 2508 and strongly urges him to reject the remaining threats left in the bill, which would preserve the status quo that has led to toxic algae blooms in Florida. This united front from Florida's leading voices in Everglades restoration represents a critical mass of opposition to what has been recognized as one the worst environmental bills to emerge from Tallahassee. Private citizens can add their voice to the fight by clicking here to send DeSantis [...]

2022-05-13T16:49:20-04:00May 13th, 2022|All Posts|

Save the Deep-sea Oculina Coral reefs from trawling

Friends of the Everglades joined 37 organization in signing a letter asking NOAA to oppose the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s proposed Amendment 10 to the Coral, Coral Reefs, and Hard Bottom Fishery Management Plan which would allow shrimp trawlers to destroy the last deep-sea Oculina reefs off Florida. As the letter states, The Oculina Bank off the east coast of central Florida is the only known place in the world where deep-sea Oculina varicosa form reef structures. This one-of-a-kind ecosystem supports marine life throughout the region well beyond the reef itself. A single 12-inch coral can host up to 2,000 animals, including small fish, crabs, shrimp, and mollusks—many of which are food for higher trophic levels. Oculina Bank is [...]

2022-05-10T17:12:23-04:00May 10th, 2022|All Posts|

Miami-Dade County should reject application to expand the Urban Development Boundary

Friends of the Everglades joined Tropical Audubon Society, Everglades Law Center, Audubon Florida, and National Parks Conservation Association  in sending a letter to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commission to express our concerns and strong opposition regarding the application to expand the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) to create the South Dade Logistics and Technology District. Three areas of particular concern include: The SDLTD proposal lacks detailed analyses and would create unacceptable risks to wetlands, flood protection, floodplain management and our regional water supply. The promised economic benefits of the SDLTD amendment application are not real and the costs are greatly understated. The proposal is dramatically inconsistent with the Miami-Dade Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) and its long-held planning policies. The [...]

2022-05-05T11:15:25-04:00May 5th, 2022|All Posts|

Your moment of Everglades zen: Evan Wexler brings Friends of the Everglades 2021 annual report to life

We know the bad-news reel gets old. It’s good to stop and remember what we’re working so hard to protect. Here’s your dose of Everglades zen. Each year, Friends of the Everglades puts together an annual report to document our accomplishments and support from the previous year. It’s an essential tool for conveying impact and helping supporters understand the value of their contributions. There is one piece of the project that is particularly fulfilling — choosing the images that help bring it to life. Because the Everglades is a remote and wild destination, it isn’t uncommon for supporters to admit to us that they haven’t actually spent a ton of time out there in this unique ecosystem. That’s where images come [...]

An easy action you can take in honor of Earth Week

It’s #EarthWeek! In honor of the 52nd annual Earth Day this Friday, we’ve got an easy action you can take to protect Florida’s water. If you follow our work closely, perhaps you’ve already asked Gov. Ron DeSantis to Veto SB 2508 — a dangerous bill that has sweeping implications for Floridians and our environment because it preserves the status quo. But we’ve only got a small window of time to stop this bad bill from becoming law, so even if you’ve already sent a message, we still need your help to spread the word. If you haven’t already, please send a letter to Gov. DeSantis right now asking him to VETO SB 2508. If you’ve already done so, please commit [...]

2022-04-19T12:58:50-04:00April 19th, 2022|Action Alerts, All Posts, SB 2508|

Martin County Commissioners should oppose “Rural Lifestyle” Amendment

Friends of the Everglades executive director Eve Samples delivered the following comments opposing the "Rural Lifestyle" Amendment to Martin County’s comprehensive plan at the Martin County Board of County Commissioners meeting on April 19, 2022. I’m Eve Samples, executive director of Friends of the Everglades, which was founded in 1969 by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and is now headquartered in Stuart.  Our organization, which is dedicated to protecting the Everglades and its connected waterways — including the St. Lucie River — stands with our allies at 1000 Friends of Florida in opposing the proposed “Rural Lifestyles” amendment to Martin County’s comprehensive plan.  We thank Commissioners Sarah Heard and Stacey Hetherington for voting against this concerning amendment during its first public hearing [...]

SB 2508 preserves the status quo. DeSantis can still #KilltheBill

Take a look at the image above. It’s emblematic of the status quo that has allowed Lake Okeechobee’s water to be mismanaged in a way that benefits special interests — especially giant sugarcane corporations — while triggering toxic-algae blooms and depriving the Everglades of water. Senate Bill 2508 preserves that status quo.  If Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to follow through on his promise to address Florida’s water crisis, he must veto it.  Specifically, SB 2508 threatens to: Constrain environmental improvements that could be achieved through the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM).  Undermine years of work to correct a failing water-management system by perpetuating the harmful “hold and dump” practices of the existing Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS 08). [...]

Friends of the Everglades joins amicus brief opposing tollroad extension through the Everglades

On April 7, 2022, Friends of the Everglades joined an amicus brief in support of an appeal by Tropical Audubon Society to overturn the Florida Cabinet's approval of Miami-Dade County's proposed SR-836 extension. If built, the tollway extension would breach the county’s Urban Development Boundary (UDB) and intrude into a 13-mile stretch of Everglades Wetlands, formally known as the Bird Drive Basin. In 2020, we celebrated an administrative judge’s ruling against the proposed extension highway, which cited threats to wetlands and Everglades restoration and exposed the claimed transportation benefits of the tollway as being unsupported by the evidence. The ruling was a win for Miami-Dade County residents, Everglades restoration, Florida's drinking water supply, and crucial habitat for birds and other wildlife. [...]

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