Welcome to Everglades Trust

The Everglades comprise the largest subtropical wetland ecosystem in North America and are recognized as one of the most important on the planet. They are a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve.

Home to more than 80 endangered species of plants and animals, they are the source of the water supply for one out of every three Floridians (8 million people). The Everglades are the nexus of our water-based tourism economy, the economics this great system generates and makes possible exceed anything else in Florida.

Along with the Everglades Foundation, the Trust was founded in 1994 by the late George Barley. Today his legacy is carried on by his wife, Mary, and a dedicated Board of Directors, staff and volunteers. Our advocacy is backed up by overwhelming sound science and research. The Everglades Foundation is a world-renowned leader in the science and engineering of the Everglades. The Everglades Trust is the political science of the Everglades. And, unfortunately, there is a whole lot of politics embedded in the Everglades. 

The Trust and all those we partner with insist that local, state and federal lawmakers take meaningful and timely action to preserve and restore America’s Everglades. Through grassroots initiatives and legislator education, the Trust ensures lawmakers are held accountable to their constituents to save and protect the Everglades.

  • Latest from the Everglades Review

    "Captured" Regulators Turned Sugar Lobbyists

    Team Everglades-  A tactic used by the sugar industry to keep their pollution and harmful practices unregulated to any practical extent is to “capture” the regulators. They do this by getting real cozy and friendly with those charged with regulating their activities, and then, eventually, they offer them a job. The regulators go to work for the very industry they were supposed to be regulating. In economics, this is called Regulatory Capture. The concept of Regulatory Capture is easy to understand once you know what to look for and can be dangerous to the public when executed.  It's not just the outsized campaign contributions injected into the world of politics by Big Sugar, they rely on these experts to prolong the bleeding of the public’s resources to ensure private gain for themselves. This is by no means exclusive to the sugar industry – scores of industries use this tactic. The tobacco industry famously manipulated science and prolonged debate for decades doing this. The oil and chemical industries are also notorious for this behavior. But in Florida, for our waterways and the Everglades, the deep pockets of Big Sugar ensure ample salaries and incentives to hire the top brass at these agencies when they’re ready to leave the public sector. Then, poof, the regulator has switched sides. Now, the charade continues allowing Big Sugar to introduce them to elected officials and the political process as “the experts.”
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    Toxic Algae Contaminates the Public's Drinking Water

    Team Everglades- For sugar giant's West Palm Beach Headquarters, the chickens of contaminated drinking water have come home to roost. Congratulations to Florida Crystals and US Sugar, the proud parents of today's sprawling, toxic 500-square mile cyanobacteria bloom in our 700-square mile Lake O. Yes, there are aunts and uncles of industrial agriculture in the Kissimmee chain of lakes, and distant second cousins twice removed of agricultural runoff inputs east and west of Lake O, but there is only one Big Sugar daddy. As inevitable as night following day, the historic, never-before-seen levels of cyanobacteria toxins in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach’s drinking water has triggered Florida Crystal's PR machine. Yesterday, West Palm Beach residents reported phone calls from opinion-seeking pollsters asking if they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Florida Crystals. If your answer was "unfavorable" they asked you if "sustainability" practices would change your opinion. They also asked how long you've lived in West Palm Beach. That seems like an odd question, doesn't it? Here's why they're asking you. If you've lived here since the 1970s, you'd know the sugarcane fields that ring the southern edge of Lake Okeechobee grew from less than 50,000 acres to over 500,000 acres today. If you've lived here since the 1970s, you'd know Florida Crystals and US Sugar aka Big Sugar, have back-pumped the polluted water from their massive cane fields into Lake O and the Everglades for decades – with the blessings of past Florida Governors, Water Management Districts and DEP Secretaries alike. It wasn't until they were sued in federal court that dumping straight into the Everglades was curtailed and back-pumping into the Lake would happen only under rare circumstances. But the damage, the never-say-die legacy pollution, had already been done. The barn door was legally (partially) closed long after the cyanobacteria bloom herd of horses had galloped away. Like a Frankenstein monster seeking its creator, the toxic bacteria has traveled to the drinking water supply of the City of West Palm Beach, headquarters of Florida Crystals and backyard to US Sugar. And one of them is calling around to find out how many villagers in West Palm Beach know what a pitchfork is and how to use it.
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