We have momentum in addressing the heart of Everglades restoration – moving clean freshwater south from Lake O and south of Tamiami Trail – but we cannot rest on our laurels. The pressures from outside forces don’t take days off, so neither do we.
In this Everglades Review, you will read a fairly accurate update on Everglades restoration from Florida Trend Magazine. You will get the opportunity to weigh in on a once-in-a-decade operating guide for water in Lake Okeechobee with the Army Corps of Engineers, and you’ll get a peek at what some of our partners in this restoration effort are up to.
The fight to save and protect the Everglades, three vital coastal estuaries, and the drinking water supply for 8 million Floridians will never be easy. The desire to make money off the backs of our natural systems is as old as time. Compounding that is today’s political climate and lax campaign finance laws, which allow greater access for special interests to have their way.
The antidote to Big Money? An informed and loud citizenry.
The breadth of knowledge that today’s Floridian has about these ecosystems exceeds anything we’ve seen before. We do need more citizens speaking up and we need to move faster.
With your voice advocating and demanding it, we are optimistic your children and their grandchildren will be able to appreciate these wild places and recognize what it means to be a Floridian.
Stick with us!
Wednesday, Feb 24: Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, in partnership with the Everglades Foundation, will be hosting a virtual panel discussion, focused on the importance of the EAA Reservoir as a keystone project of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is writing the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM), and we have a rare opportunity to make our voices heard. Water levels in Lake Okeechobee are currently managed under a flawed system that favors two sugar baron families over the drinking water supply for 9 million Floridians, our waterways and America’s Everglades, forcing polluted lake discharges to both coasts every year.
Miami Commissioner Ken Russell met with Lee County officials on the Caloosahatchee River last week to discuss state-wide water issues and opportunities for cross-county collaboration. "We could be working together to advocate for that Lake O water to head south instead of out to the west to the Caloosahatchee and east to the St. Lucie,” he said. “So the goal is to build relationships and help however we can.”
Would a little less rainfall each year or warmer temperatures impact South Florida and the Everglades? Should we be concerned? These are important questions that scientists are trying to address for many areas across the globe.
When NASA weighs in on Big Sugar's harmful and archaic practices, you know change can't be too far behind. The damage done to human health and the environment so the sugar cartel can cheaply harvest 800-square miles of sugarcane each and every year is profound and completely avoidable.
Though U.S. Sugar and Florida Crystals, along with their teams of lobbyists and lawyers, impede progress at every turn, Governor DeSantis and the Governing Board of the SFWMD remain undeterred. This is a very good day for the Everglades and three nationally-important coastal estuaries.
We finally have momentum in addressing the heart of Everglades restoration – moving clean freshwater south. We've been close before only to see the boys of sugar march us backwards. Floridians cannot allow that to happen again. Onward!