Bad Bill Alert: HB 359 would punish citizens who challenge comprehensive plan amendments

Residents against the Rural Lifestyle amendment protest ahead of the Martin County Commission meeting Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Stuart. As the paving of Florida continues and often haphazard growth leapfrogs across the landscape, a proposed new law would supercharge sprawl by punishing citizens who dare question it. House Bill 359, titled “Local Government Comprehensive Plans,” was filed this week by Rep. Wyman Duggan, a Republican from Jacksonville. The bill stipulates that anyone who loses a legal challenge to a comprehensive plan — or comprehensive plan amendment — must pay the winner’s attorney fees and costs. Current law allows the winning party to recover court costs in cases filed by citizens who allege a development order violates [...]

Your moment of Everglades zen: Rare moments of all play and no work in Chokoloskee Bay

Once a year, our Friends of the Everglades staff takes a group trip to explore part of the greater Everglades ecosystem. It’s a stark contrast to our daily grind — when we can be found most often behind our computer screens, studying the details of environmental challenges, projects and policies. It’s in these moments, when we are immersed in the places we’re working so hard to protect, that we find inspiration to carry on fighting. Our recent trip to Everglades City and Chokoloskee was illuminating. We found a taste of authentic Old Florida during our stay at The Rod and Gun Club in Everglades City, a sleepy town that boasts [...]

2023-01-03T13:32:31-05:00January 3rd, 2023|All Posts, Everglades Zen|

Close out 2022 with one final gift to Friends of the Everglades!

A roseate spoonbill explores the freshwaters of the Big Cypress Swamp on Friday, Dec. 16, near Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery in Ochopee. As we move steadily toward the final days of 2022, we’ve got our eyes trained on new goals in the year ahead. In 2023, our focus will turn quickly to the looming 60-day state legislative session — a time when lawmakers consider bills that have a significant impact on Florida’s fragile environment. We expect the 2023 session, which will run from March 7 to May 5, to require in-depth analysis, citizen engagement and fast action. Rest assured, you can count on Friends of the Everglades to track important bills, highlight key players, and [...]

2022-12-22T11:19:09-05:00December 27th, 2022|All Posts, Florida Legislature, Marjory's Circle|

75 Marjory’s Circle members for 75 Years of Advocacy

Give the gift of Marjory’s Circle by dedicating a membership to a loved one this holiday season! By joining Marjory’s Circle, you’re committing to protecting one of the world's great ecosystems and sustaining the legacy of Friends of the Everglades founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Joining only takes a couple of clicks. Your membership in this special giving society drives our efforts to preserve, protect and restore the Florida you and yours know and love. As a grassroots organization with over 53 years of integrity and uncompromising loyalty to America’s Everglades, there is no better circle of Friends to be in right now. This year we celebrate both the 75th anniversary of Everglades National Park and the 75th anniversary of [...]

2022-12-20T16:34:17-05:00December 21st, 2022|All Posts, Marjory's Circle|

Friends of the Everglades 2022 Impact Report

Since our founding by Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 1969, impact and integrity have driven our work at Friends of the Everglades. It’s how we gauge our success as an organization and ensure sound stewardship of your dollars.  We're proud to report Friends of the Everglades continued that tradition this year with the following accomplishments. In 2022, we: Successfully advocated for a new Lake Okeechobee management plan that, for the first time, considers the damaging effects of toxic-algae blooms and recognizes the need to send more clean water south to the Everglades. The new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) will be finalized in 2023, and while it’s not a perfect plan, it represents overdue [...]

2022-12-15T09:00:59-05:00December 15th, 2022|All Posts, Friends of the Everglades Statements|

Support Friends of the Everglades on Give Miami Day!

The most impactful online-giving event in South Florida is upon us! Friends of the Everglades is excited to participate once again in Give Miami Day on November 17! Please show your support of our mission to preserve, protect and restore the only Everglades in the world by donating online at: everglades.org/givemiamiday2022. There has never been a more important time to safeguard our fragile Everglades and the surrounding environment. This year, we have: • FOUGHT an 800-acre industrial development on low-lying farmland in Homestead, near Biscayne Bay. • ADVOCATED for a new Lake Okeechobee water-management plan to prioritize public health & fragile ecosystems. • RALLIED to end sugarcane burning & convert to green harvesting. Your Donations Power Our Work! Meet [...]

2022-11-14T08:30:22-05:00November 3rd, 2022|All Posts|

Floridians deserve the Right to Clean Water

Join us in demanding clean and healthy water in Florida! The "why" is simple and obvious. The current system has failed our most basic expectations, risking or harming our most basic needs. Clean water should not be vulnerable to state-sanctioned pollution. To correct this systemic flaw, the Florida Right to Clean Water movement is working to amend the Florida Constitution to include a fundamental right to clean and healthy waters, setting out clear standards, priorities and consequences should a state executive agency violate this right. Floridians must band together to demand responsible governance and accountability when it comes to our most important natural resource. The goal is steep and we need your help. More than 800,000 physically signed petitions must [...]

Clean Water Conversation Rescheduled for October 12

NEW DATE: Our Clean Water Conversation about Florida Bay, originally scheduled for September 28, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 12. We have much to discuss, including Hurricane Ian's impact on a lingering algae bloom that had been troubling Florida Bay. Our featured guest list has grown to include Islamorada fishing guide Steve Friedman who serves as Commodore to the Florida Keys Guides Association. He'll join leading fisheries scientist Dr. Jennifer Rehage, full-time Everglades and Biscayne National Park fishing guide Benny Blanco and Friends of the Everglades board member Dave Preston for a live discussion about current conditions in Florida Bay. This live conversation will be streamed directly to our Facebook page and our YouTube channel from 12 - 1 p.m. on Wednesday, [...]

2022-10-05T09:00:59-04:00October 5th, 2022|All Posts, Clean Water Conversations, Florida Bay|

The Last Burn Season video series: “Isn’t our life worth it?”

Sugarcane burning leaves communities vulnerable to air pollution, health risks and economic stress. It’s time to forge a meaningful path to a long-overdue solution. Make this the Last Burn Season. "I don't blame the people for not having hope, but I've got hope for them. I'm standing in the gap for my people."— Kina Phillips Kina Phillips knows what it is to sacrifice. At her home in South Bay, Florida, all she has to do is look past the fence line in her backyard for a reminder of the largest agricultural influence south of Lake Okeechobee, and the risks it poses to residents of the Glades communities. Sugarcane stretches for miles into the horizon. When the cane is burned [...]

Everglades Illustrated: Lake O levels and the “water shortage management band”

    It’s been a relatively dry summer. As of September 11, Lake Okeechobee stood at 12.55 feet. That’s about 2 feet lower than this time last year. Last week, the lake officially entered what’s known as the “water shortage management band” — a point where water managers can implement water restrictions if necessary and South Florida Water Management District steps in to determine release volumes from Lake O. But let’s not sound the drought alarm bells just yet. Typically the biggest concern during rainy season is that Lake O will rise too fast, threatening the integrity of the Herbert Hoover Dike and triggering damaging discharges to the northern estuaries — but that has not been the case this summer. [...]

2022-09-14T16:43:47-04:00September 13th, 2022|All Posts, Everglades Illustrated, Lake Okeechobee, LOSOM|

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