America’s Everglades have many things to be thankful for this year. I’d like to share with you the highlights.
We are thankful for those in the trenches. For you, for our partners and for all the advocates – scientists and citizens – who stay engaged and don't back down from the fight. We are pushing an enormous boulder uphill and cannot do it without you.
We are thankful for a Governor and First Lady who have staked their legacy on Everglades restoration. Governor DeSantis said it best at his swearing-in back in January – "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." – and he has not let up on the gas pedal since.
We're thankful for inspired leadership. From the most amazing board of governors ever assembled to lead the South Florida Water Management District to the talented and passionate Secretary of Environmental Protection, Noah Valenstein, we have good people at the helm.
We're thankful for progress. This year brought the end of one of sugar’s leases. Building filtration marshes and the reservoir in the EAA is now the top priority. We are hopeful for shovels in the ground before year end. The bridging of Tamiami Trail and the removal of the roadbed is in its last phase and for the first time in 100 years, water can flow south under the Trail into the southern part of the system.
We're thankful for legislative heroes. A growing number of men and women in the Legislature are recognizing the importance and value of Everglades restoration. Leaders like Senators Rob Bradley (R) and Jose Javier Rodriguez (D) and State Reps. Chris Sprowls (R) and Anna Eskamani (D).
We're grateful we have Congressional leaders. Congressmen Brian Mast and Francis Rooney have worked tirelessly to usher in a new paradigm for the future of Florida’s waterways and Everglades – against all odds.
In the history of Everglades restoration, there has never been a better year. My sincerest hope is that next year’s Thanksgiving note will be even brighter.
Thank you for sticking with us! We at the Trust wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.