Does Florida's right hand know what its left hand is doing?

Left hand, please meet right hand.

This year’s record manatee die-off in Florida has spurred officials to take the drastic step of feeding the beloved animals to save them from starvation. Manatees rely mainly on seagrass beds to sustain them throughout the winter, many of which have been smothered by pollutants. Fertilizer runoff, discharged wastewater, and climate change have caused thick algae blooms that block out the sunlight seagrass needs to survive. 

Simultaneously, the Florida Legislature is contemplating allowing developers to destroy seagrass beds where they want to build in exchange for making other environmental improvements somewhere else. Not only do manatee rely on these beds, seagrass is the source of life in our oceans and waterways. There cannot be any justification for going forward with this legislation.

No shame in Big Sugar's game.

Happening Now: As the sugar barons continue to fight attempts to force them to modernize, the heinous and archaic practice of preharvest burns continues. Every single year, 400,000 acres of sugarcane in the Everglades, along with their toxins, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are lit on fire because it's cheaper and easier than mechanical harvesting. The human and environmental toll it takes is enormous. Kudos to Senator Gary Farmer and Rep. Anna Eskamani for taking on the issue, again.

And, back to inspiration.

It's tough to read about the state of affairs for our waterways and Everglades, and the debauchery of the sugar industry in Florida contributing to their demise, we know. For our own sanity, we go out of our way to find images and stories that inspire us AND things that make us LOL. We share an office favorite below. Enjoy.

EVERGLADES CALL TO ACTION 

 
 

A revolution of thinking must occur in our state, not with pitchforks, but with every lawmaker concerned about our water and our waterways. From the quality of our water to the quantity and the directional flow of water, protecting our most important resource is the pressing issue of our time.

Only the Florida Legislature can fix the majority of what ails our waterways. Now is a good time to let them hear from you.

Email & Tweet Them Here

 

MUST-SEES OF THE WEEK

 
 

Un-happy holidays from U.S. Sugar (a parody) 

It's that time of year again... Time for nonstop U.S. Sugar holiday ads beaming into millions of homes in South Florida, painting a rosy picture of grandmothers baking sugar cookies with their sweet little grandchildren. They are meant to dull the senses so maybe, just maybe, we will forget all that nasty business about toxic algae, red tide, dead animals and sea life, droughts, fires, water restrictions, and frightening science reports. We’ve created our own version, a parody if you will, to ensure Floridians do not forget. 

Must watch Everglades Trust's Version

 
 
 

Wildlife officials move to feed starving manatees in experimental conservation approach

"Wildlife officials emphasize that they’ll be the ones doing the supplemental feeding, noting that individuals should not start tossing lettuce into manatee gather spots. Giving food to wild animals can disrupt migration patterns or spread disease, for example, so it’s best to leave it to the experts."

“Under no circumstances do we want people feeding manatees. It’s illegal, and remains so.”

Read Now in Smithsonian Magazine

 
 
 

Bill aims to repeal some special protections for sugar growers

They face an uphill battle, but we are very proud of State Representative and State Senator Gary Farmer for taking on this issue. Keep in mind, this is all about Big Sugar (not farmers) - an industry that is also killing the Everglades, destroying our coastal estuaries, yet is subsidized by Florida and the American taxpayers.

Watch Now on WPTV

 
 
 
 

The money-soaked secrets of Britain’s swankiest hotel and its celebrity guests

Pepe Fanjul of Florida Crystals lives a life of luxury, thanks in large part to the taxpayers. Meanwhile, those same taxpayers are forced to endure or pay to clean up his mess. Quite the gig. Maybe the "swanky hotels" help him sleep better at night.

“Some guests come to stay so often that the hotel stores their possessions. One of these is the sugar magnate Jose ‘Pepe’ Fanjul, who has stayed at the London hotel for 300 nights over the past decade. Mr. Fanjul sees the hotel as a home away from home, for whenever he stays, he finds his dozens of suits and hats all positioned in exactly the same places as when he previously visited.”

Read Now in Vigour Times

 
 
 

Harmful algae blooms on the agenda for next Blue-Green Algae Task Force meeting 

"Is there a way to better address presumed compliance from agriculture? On paper, everything looks great, but we still see high loads going into Lake Okeechobee and we don’t see lower limits of phosphorus going into the lake." This will be a hot topic for the meeting of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force. You can listen in and participate by registering here.

Read Now in News-Press

 
 
 

Sen. Gary Farmer & Rep. Anna Eskamani want to hold sugarcane burners accountable

There is a reason state representative Anna Eskamani is a Trust favorite. Not only do we admire her for standing up to "powerful" interests like Big Sugar, but she also is not shy about calling out her fellow Democrats for their unwillingness to do so.

Read Message from Rep Eskamani and Senator Farmer

 
 
 

Bill to allow seagrass mitigation banks clears State House committee

On what planet?! Honestly, we cannot think of a more maniacal piece of legislation. This would allow developers to destroy seagrass beds in areas they want to build - in exchange, the developer would contribute to other projects where seagrass beds have been destroyed - from developers and pollution.

Read Now in Home Town News Brevard

 

AHH, SOME INSPIRATION

 
 

"We choose to go to the moon." JFK's moonshot

"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win."

As Floridians and Americans, do we have it within ourselves to do the hard things still?

Watch Now on Youtube


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