The Good. The Captains.

One of the Trust’s foundational commitments is and will always be to share the good, the bad and the ugly as it relates to the Everglades and waterways. And we will never, ever sugar-coat it.

My last few updates have focused on the ugly – those who stand in the way of fixing this mess (you know who you are, Big Sugar). But for this week’s update, we want to focus on the good. The mighty good.

One of our partners – Captains for Clean Water – is in the running for the prestigious Eagle Rare Life Award from Garden & Gun Magazine. This award celebrates those who lead a rare life, demonstrating courage, leadership, survival, devotion, character, and heroism. We're asking for your help. 

As boat captains and fishing guides, Chris Whitman and Daniel Andrews saw firsthand the degradation of Florida’s waters and have gone on to become unlikely leaders in a movement started before they were even born. With their local fisheries fouled, and no solution in sight, they set aside their rods and reels and charted a course of change.

Since 2016, Captains for Clean Water has been crisscrossing the state working tirelessly to raise awareness and educate Floridians and politicians alike on what it will take to fix our ailing waters. Their courage in the face of adversity and their devotion to Florida's water quality and America's Everglades is awe-inspiring. From Fort Myers to Tallahassee, to our nation’s Capitol, the Captains are men and women on a mission.

Yes, they laugh at my suggestion that they should wear capes, but Chris and Daniel are superheroes in the truest sense of the word.

Now, we can help them further their mission – our mission – with one easy click. Vote HERE. And, we can vote early and vote often! until December 6th. So, I am asking all of our friends, family and supporters to weigh in on this one.

Keep in mind, your support here for Captains is plowed back into the battle of our lifetime and works to broaden our base of advocates. We can't think of more worthy advocates or a worthier cause to support.  

Stick with the Captains and us!

Kimberly Mitchell
Executive Director  

A rare life, indeed. All six finalists are worthy, but only one is our partner in the fight to save the Everglades - Captains For Clean Water. Your support here for Captains is plowed back into the battle of our lifetime and broadens our base of advocates. Please cast a vote today.

Vote Now For the Eagle Rare Life Award - Captains for Clean Water

From the collapsing Everglades to toxic blue-green algae blooms, to red tide and brown tide, to high fecal counts in our oceans, Floridians of all stripes are waking up to the man-made causes of these broken systems. But knowledge isn’t meaningful if it doesn’t result in action. Stay awake. This is your home.

Captains For Clean Water started out as a group of fishing guides that “had enough” of Florida’s poor water management practices. They discovered the solution has been delayed for decades because of a lack of political will and public awareness. Now, they work like we work every single day – to save Florida’s waterways and America’s Everglades.

WATCH NOW: The Captains describe the problem and solution.

“Could we actually be moving toward progress with clean water in Florida? It sure feels like it. Something is very different."

"We have a governor who gets it. We have a congressman who fights for clean water. We have an Army Corps leader who listens to us now. We have a governing board at the South Florida Water Management District that isn't satisfied with the status quo. We have state legislators who understand our issue. There is real cooperation and productive dialogue occurring.” – Ed Killer, TCPalm

TC PALM: Clean water project by Army Corps and South Florida Water Management District brings hope

As we honor and remember all who have served this nation, we could not say it better than Captains For Clean Water does here.

America's Everglades - A Soldier's Sanctuary

This is brilliant (thank you, Ed Killer) and something all Floridians need to understand.

“The record heat is becoming a trend. Global warming, climate change, a natural cycle of our planet's weather — call it what you want — it's just plain hot and getting hotter every year.”

TC PALM: Climate change: Species migration in Florida and beyond is causing environmental problems

Though not directly related to the Everglades – where agricultural runoff is the primary source of pollution – we agree with this OpEd.

For waterways throughout Florida, existing systems for the disposal of human waste, along with failing sewer systems, is the biggest threat we face. Loathe to anger ratepayers, too many local politicians have allowed water and sewer systems to degrade, and in too many instances, fail.

SUN SENTINEL: Fix Florida’s sewage and harmful algae bloom problems | Opinion

Bucking the sugar lobby and defying their arrogant lawsuit, the Army Corps stands firm on their revised lake schedule. It’s (past) time to reprioritize water users so there is no question going forward: the humans, the environment and then sugar.

NAPLES NEWS: Army Corps not concerned about falling Lake Okeechobee levels as dry season hits

We were in Ft. Myers this week to celebrate one of our partners, Captains For Clean Water, opening their new offices with help from the Community Foundation. Not as cool as their regular office - out on the water - but this place is definitely special. Pay a visit if you're in town.

Match meant-to-be: Local nonprofit fighting water crisis moves into new building in downtown Fort Myers

Cleaning up agricultural basin runoff is a good thing, for sure. But a better plan moving forward will be to prevent the polluted runoff from making its way into State waters to begin with. The Governor is pushing for reform and regulations. Will the Legislature support him, or will powerful interests win again?

TC PALM: Cleaner water coming to St. Lucie River, Indian River Lagoon as SFWMD opens C-44 project

Nothing will survive if Big Sugar calls the shots for our water in what has for decades been a “Heads they win – Tails we lose” arrangement. Everglades restoration is all about balance. We're just beginning to see what balance looks like and it's refreshing.

NAPLES NEWS: Army Corps not concerned about falling Lake Okeechobee levels as dry season hits

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