Our lives are multifaceted and we know it’s tough keeping up with all the news. Here are a few recent Friends of the Everglades headlines.
Stop the Burn in Glades communities.
Six to eight months of the year, residents living south of Lake Okeechobee are subjected to smoke and ash as surrounding farms burn sugarcane for harvest. The harmful impacts of the “black snow,” as residents call it, create a myriad of human health threats and harm property values.
That sounds bad.
It is. And it gets worse. Legislation known as the Right to Farm bill passed in 2021 ultimately insulates the sugar industry from the harm it causes by shielding growers from “nuisance lawsuits.” As it stands, anyone living outside of a half-mile radius is unable to pursue legal action for damages from a variety of farming operations, including “particle emissions.” Read that as: smoke from sugarcane burning. In other words, residents in harm’s way can’t ask a court to decide if they deserve protection.
But there’s good news.
State Rep. Anna Eskamani and state Sen. Gary Farmer introduced a bill in November that would repeal “particle emissions” from the list of protected activities in the Right to Farm bill. You can join us in asking state lawmakers to support this repeal. Use the button below to send a pre-formatted letter to your legislators today.
This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s about the rights of Floridians to protect themselves from polluters.
Calling all educators!
Our founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, knew that educating kids as the next generation of Everglades advocates would be the key to preserving this one-of-a-kind ecosystem. Last week, we unveiled a project that we’ve been working on quietly for months.
Our new Everglades Learning Exploration Kit was delivered to our pilot school, Royal Palm Elementary in Miami-Dade County, and is now available on our website (free of charge!) to all teachers and home-schoolers. Designed to meet cross-curricular standards suitable for fourth- and fifth-grade use, this unique educational tool will inspire and educate students as they learn about the only Everglades in the world.
Our gift to you.
It’s giving season and this one’s for you! We’ve just debuted a new portion of our website, dedicated to the nitty-gritty details of the wild, wonderful Everglades. Thanks to the generosity of author Tom Lodge, excerpts from his latest book, “The Everglades Handbook: Understanding the Everglades,” will live permanently on our site as a resource to all who want to dive deeper into the details of this truly unique ecosystem. Readers can expect to find information covering different environments and the flora and fauna that inhabit them, weather patterns and man-made influences that shaped its current state, and the monumental restoration efforts launched to preserve it for years to come.