You Roared, They Listened
For months, we have called on you to make your voice heard. Tens of thousands of emails and tweets later, the Army Corps of Engineers heard you. For the first time ever, balance has been brought to the system of managing water in Lake Okeechobee. Before today, two sugar baron families called all the shots – leaving the Everglades and both coasts of Florida imperiled. We have been told by the Army Corps they have never received as much input from the public as they have during this LOSOM process. Combined with voices from other groups of advocates, like Captains for Clean Water and Friends of the Everglades, Floridians roared.
No Seagrass, No Life
Most Floridians don’t appreciate the importance of seagrass beds. They maintain water clarity, provide shelter for fish, shellfish, and crustaceans, use their roots to stabilize bottom sediment and provide a food source for birds and sea life. In a word, they are powerhouses. Statewide, the damage from industrial agriculture pollution and failing municipal sewer systems to these vital ecosystems has been profound. It breaks our hearts but does not surprise us to see the visible carnage through the loss of so many manatee.
No Pressure, No Diamonds
It’s tough to read about the state of affairs for our waterways and Everglades, and the debauchery of the sugar industry in Florida, 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
Statewide, the damage from industrial agriculture pollution and failing municipal sewer systems to our waterways is destroying the essence of life for these ecosystems – seagrass – taking with them all the things we hold dear. Only the Florida Legislature can fix the majority of what ails our waterways. Now is a good time to let them hear from you.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
New LOSOM plan reduces harmful releases from Lake Okeechobee into SWFL waters, announcement from Governor DeSantis | ABC-7 News
Dovetailing with more balanced rules for managing Lake O, Governor Ron DeSantis announced his request to the Legislature for an additional $960 million in next year’s budget for the Everglades and to protect Florida’s water resources.
Daniel Andrews, with Captains For Clean Water, describes it well: “This money, not only is it record, but it’s directed where it’s needed. That’s something we haven’t seen in the past. We’re putting this money toward projects that give us the highest ROI that are going to stop the discharges and get more water flowing south. That’s really incredible.”
Army Corps of Engineers makes major Lake Okeechobee announcement | CBS-12 News
For the first time ever, the imperative of balance has been brought to the equation of managing water in Lake Okeechobee. Before now, two sugar baron families called all the shots – leaving the Everglades, the drinking water supply for all of South Florida, and the economy and ecology of both coasts of Florida imperiled.
Going forward, the new rules for Lake O will send triple the amount of clean freshwater to the Everglades and greatly reduce the amount of polluted discharges to the coasts.
What changed? Two things: The public ROARED during the LOSOM process, and the Army Corps listened. Now, to get the critical infrastructure built and we will all breathe sighs of relief. Stick with us!
Manatee graveyard: Florida surpasses grim milestone of 1,000 manatee deaths in 2021 | The Palm Beach Post
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Monica Ross, a senior research scientist at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium who oversees the tracking and monitoring of released manatees, assists in rescues and has researched the animals for over 30 years.
She saw the first hint of what was to come in January. A manatee was floating sideways, drifting as it stared helplessly up at her. That happens when they are starving and lacking energy, she said.
Manatee deaths have slowed, but experts are bracing for a deadly winter. Here’s why. | TC Palm
“Some manatees that survived barren moonscapes earlier this year didn’t last long. In carcasses examined this spring from some that swam away from the lagoons to continue foraging, effects of starvation had taken their fatal toll. Many still recovering from starvation and malnutrition earlier this year will soon gather in warm-water areas where the seagrass to eat remains in short supply.”
Marco Rubio and Daniella Levine Cava say: Restore the Everglades to protect our drinking water – and Florida’s future | Miami Herald
We get excited about bipartisanship. It means a big ugly problem is about to be addressed. US Senator Marco Rubio, a staunch Republican, and Miami-Dade County’s Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, a progressive Democrat, have teamed to halt two proposed projects that, if allowed, will imperil the Everglades and the drinking water for South Florida.
Florida Could Get $5 Billion For Everglades Restoration Soon, But There’s A Catch | Miami Herald
In a political world filled with hyper-partisanship, at least if you watch certain news outlets, we find hope for the Everglades. The largest restoration effort of its kind ever undertaken on the planet, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and US Senator Marco Rubio share our frustration of the lack of funding from our federal partner. They are fighting for the $5 billion that is desperately needed – right now! – but it will come down to decisions by the Army Corps. So, we need to let the Army Corps hear from all of us.
Five Of The Worst Foods For The Environment | The National News
Of note, most on this list are not actually food, merely cash crops. Also of note, they are talking about the demise of the Everglades in news reports in the UAE. Neither are admirable distinctions.”The many negative effects of sugar production include the loss of natural habitats, intensive use of water, heavy use of agrochemicals, run-off liquid waste, and air pollution.”
Documentary Recommendation: Murder Of A Small Town | WPTV Channel 5
Best-selling author James Patterson shines a bright light on real people, dealing with tough conditions, in three little sugar towns in western Palm Beach County – Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay. Big Sugar and politicians who enable them have left these towns and their people “drowning in every way.” You can rent the documentary, Murder of a Small Town, on Amazon for $1. We highly recommend it. And you can do something right now to help.