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 with the award at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Luncheon on December 5, 2022: “Everglades restoration is the most comprehensive, costly and difficult ecosystem project ever undertaken. For his role shaping this progress, Tom has earned our admiration and respect.”

At Friends of the Everglades, our work, education and persuasion depends on fact and science. There is no progress unless facts are on our side. Tom’s contributions to the Everglades can not be overstated. We are continually grateful for all that he has achieved and look forward to working with him for many years to come.