FOX 35: Rare whale found dead in Everglades National Park waters

FOX 35: February 6th, 2019.

MIAMI (AP) - A rare whale was found dead in the waters of Florida's Everglades National Park. In social media posts, park officials said the Bryde's whale carcass was recovered Wednesday. The young adult male was 38 feet (12 meters) long and weighed nearly 30 tons (25 metric tons).

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Team Everglades -

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno ruled for the Everglades and against the SFWMD's motion to vacate a 1992 federal consent decree that prevents the pollution of phosphorus in the Everglades.

Among other things, the order sets thresholds for the amount of phosphorous in the Everglades, an ingredient in fertilizer from the vast sugar-growing regions to the north that promotes unhealthy plant growth, choking off life in the sprawling wetlands marsh.

Big Sugar has been fighting this federal oversight since 1992 and tried, once again, to be released from scrutiny by using a rogue board at the District to do their bidding one last time. Remember, we have a new Governor, Ron DeSantis, who has called for each and every board member’s resignation for bad behavior.

We are grateful to all the organizations, especially our partners, who stood alongside us. We are especially grateful to Judge Federico Moreno, who looked at the case and applied the law fairly and reasonably. And in doing so, the people – along with all the critters who call the Everglades home – won.

Stick with us!

Kimberly Mitchell, Executive Director

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If we can put a man on the moon...

Team Everglades-

In 1961, President John Kennedy stood before Congress and the nation to issue a profound declaration – that before this decade is out, we would land man on the moon and return him safely to Earth.

Within six years, the Saturn V, the world’s most powerful rocket – still, to this day – was designed and began safely launching humans to moon’s orbit. And before the decade was out, we had landed men on the moon and watched them splash down safely into the South Pacific nine days later.

Our nation will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo XI, that first moon landing this year. Earlier this week, my family celebrated the 48th anniversary of my own father’s historic moonwalk.

These big things are a poignant reminder that Americans can do anything we set our minds to. We have an enormous task at hand – saving our waterways and America’s Everglades – but we have it within us to achieve the goals. In fact, we have no option but to do so.

Whether we are poised for greatness or failure depends on the men and women, whose responsibility it is to get this accomplished, caring enough about our future by doing the right thing today.

In his inaugural speech on January 8, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis proclaimed: “I will lead the efforts to save our waterways. We will fight to restore our Everglades and we will never ever quit. We won’t be cowed and we won’t let the foot draggers stand in our way.”

Floridians will need all our legislators to demonstrate the same political will. It will be up to all of us – millions of Floridians – insisting they do.

We’ve got quite a year ahead.

Stick with us!

Kimberly Mitchell, Executive Director

 

In the news

On July 20, 1969, humans walked on another world for the first time in history, achieving the goal that President John F. Kennedy  set in 1961, before Americans had even orbited the Earth.

MIAMI HERALD: 50 years ago we walked on the moon

We’ve known this day was coming for decades. We’ve funded research, supported politicians, worked against politicians, pleaded and cajoled to stop it. Lately, we’ve committed to waking the masses. And it's working.

Millions of Floridians are standing up. The Governor is standing up. Now, we must push the Legislature to follow suit.

FOX 4: Report says Florida's coasts, waterways are at a crossroad

“We can generally spot explosions of cyanobacteria in water because it produces it signature blue-green slime, but scientists have not tested the air near these blooms in Florida – until now. The initial findings showed all who were tested had liver toxin in their noses.”

FOX 13: Florida's toxic algae crisis grows as toxins found in air concern researchers

Fantastic editorial: “Today, paradise is spoiled. And we voters have ourselves to blame. We continue to elect Republicans and Democrats, alike, who are more beholden to the interests of business than the interests of ordinary voters.

We are left with choking algal blooms, dying fish populations, red tide and human health concerns.”

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Maxwell: Let's save the paradise that is Florida 

“Officials theorized the dolphins were healthy before ingesting fish poisoned by red tide from an offshore bloom, said Blair Mase, a marine mammal stranding coordinator for NOAA.” Without a complete 180 in priorities, this only grows worse from here. The Florida Legislature better get onboard with the Governor.

NEWS PRESS: Eight dolphins found stranded in Lee County

Big Sugar likes massive amounts of water from Lake O when it wants it, and absolutely no water when it wants none. Everything and everyone else suffers as a result.

Enter Governor Ron DeSantis and Congressman Brian Mast, and the Corps is willing to revise the water release schedule. Nice.

WPTV: Army Corps of Engineers set to revise management of Lake Okeechobee

 


ABC 7: New scholarship offered for FGCU students studying water quality

ABC 7: Written by Annie Hubbel. February 7, 2019.

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Captains for Clean Water is investing in Southwest Florida's future!The group is giving a scholarship to Florida Gulf Coast University. The $25,000 endowed scholarship will help students majoring in Marine and Ecological Sciences at FGCU study Florida's water quality. The endowment is in honor of Brett McKinstry, who passed away from cancer last year.

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FOX 4: Report says Florida's coasts, waterways are at crossroads

FOX 4: February 6, 2019.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A new report says Florida's coasts and waterways are at a crossroads following a year when both were traumatized by red tide and blue-green algae.The report released Wednesday by the Ocean Conservancy provides a synopsis of Florida's water problems and a summary of solutions.

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FOX 13: Florida's toxic algae crisis: Toxins found in air concern researchers

FOX 13: Written by Craig Patrick. February 7, 2019.

 - Governor DeSantis ran on the promise of protecting our environment. Since his inauguration in January, DeSantis has ordered significant changes to improve water quality and has emphasized environmental protection as a top priority. Environmentalists and scientists applaud his efforts, particularly in light of new research that suggests the toxic water crisis may be more extensive than previously thought. 

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NEWS PRESS: Fear, anger, health worries, cautious optimism at discussion on how the Army Corps should manage Lake Okeechobee

News Press. Written by Amy Bennet Williams. February 5th, 2019.

It was standing room only as an energized crowd of moms and mayors, storekeepers and biologists gave the Army Corps of Engineers an earful Tuesday. The Corps, which is in charge of Lake Okeechobee, is hosting a series of meetings around its watershed to listen to citizens about how it manages the third largest lake within the continental United States.

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NBC 2: Brian Mast files bill aimed at hold Army Corp accountable for Lake O releases

NBC 2: Written by Elizabeth Eisele. February 4th, 2019.

STUART, Fla. - Florida Congressman Brian Mast has introduced legislation aimed at making the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to notify communities affected by discharges of water contaminated by toxins. The Toxic Health Threat Warning Act would require tests to determine if discharged water contains blue-green algae. If that water is contaminated, the Corp would need to notify the public, local governments before releasing the water. 

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TAMPA BAY TIMES: Maxwell: Let’s save the paradise that is Florida

Tampa Bay Times: Written by Bill Maxwell. February 1, 2019.

Many old Florida natives like me used to believe we were living in paradise, a special place “full of flowers,” as Juan Ponce de Leon had observed. Our peninsula was mostly pristine and undeveloped, more sand dune than pavement, more earthy green than kitschy pastels, more shoreline than seawall.

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If we can put a man on the moon…

1971: The crew of Apollo 14 blasted off atop a Saturn V on January 31, 1971. Less than 6 years after JFK issued a national challenge, the most powerful rocket – still, to this day – was designed and safely launched 24 astronauts to the moon. Americans did this 50 years ago. We most certainly can fix a fatally-flawed water management system now.

2019: “I will lead the efforts to save our waterways. We will fight to restore our Everglades and we will never ever quit. We won’t be cowed and we won’t let the foot draggers stand in our way.” –Governor Ron DeSantis Inaugural Speech (January 8, 2019)

Interesting tidbit: Our executive director’s father, Edgar Mitchell, was onboard Apollo 14, becoming the sixth human to walk on the moon 5 days later.

 



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