Senate Bill 10 Implementation Schedule

Last month marked a major legislative victory for Everglades restoration, the culmination of the hard work of many lawmakers, individuals, companies and organizations. Still, there is much work to be done, and we need to keep the pressure on to ensure that the legislation – calling for building a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to store, clean and convey freshwater – becomes a reality.

Below is a timeline of important milestones to ensure Senate Bill 10 is implemented in a timely manner and the reservoir is built.

We have won a major victory, but now is not the time for complacency. Thank you for helping us keep the pressure on to ensure a brighter future for the Florida Everglades.

Governor Scott Signs Senate Bill 10 Into Law

Last week, Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 10 into law, clearing the way for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to store, clean and properly convey freshwater. The historic occasion was the culmination of an extended effort by thousands of organizations, companies and individuals and was led through the Florida Legislature by Senator Joe Negron. I extend my deepest gratitude to everyone who played a part in pushing this legislation through. It marks an important step in the fight to restore the Everglades. Days later, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast introduced federal legislation to help expedite the process.

Despite this significant progress, we must remain vigilant to ensure that this legislation is implemented in a timely manner, and that the many other planned components to restore the Everglades are also put in place. Strong forces still oppose our progress, and we must continue to fight them at every turn and present a united front as the Now or Neverglades coalition, currently 60,500 strong.

This moment could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of each and every one of you. Thank you for your support of the Now or Neverglades coalition, and for your continued work to help us save the Everglades.

We Have News From Tallahassee!

We have news from Tallahassee! The Florida Senate and House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 10 yesterday, paving the way for a much needed EAA Reservoir. This was an incredibly important day for the Everglades and the future of Florida’s water!

Thanks to people like you – fishing guides, anglers, business owners, homeowners and people from around the country – Florida’s legislators heard from the people about why sending water to the EAA reservoir is so important.

Each and every one of you who took the time to sign the Now or Neverglades Declaration and contact elected officials played a part in bringing this legislation so far.

We appreciate the House and Senate working together to create and pass this bill. Now it is headed to Governor Scott’s desk. We are so close!

Thank you for all your support and everything you have done to help us protect Florida’s water. But our work is not over. This is not the first time the Everglades was declared saved. We must remain vigilant to ensure that the EAA reservoir has enough storage, treatment and conveyance to restore health to our estuaries. Our Now or Neverglades effort is more important than ever, and we can’t rest on our laurels until the the water is flowing south.

But today, let’s celebrate our historic achievement! YOU made this happen. Thank you.

Take Action! Call Your State Representative Today.

We are so very close to getting the most important part of Everglades restoration in place – a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to store, clean and properly convey freshwater south to the Everglades and Florida Bay and reducing toxic discharges out the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie Estuaries.

Thanks to your efforts, Florida Senators received thousands of phone calls urging them to vote yes on the bill, and our Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of it.

At this critical time, we turn our efforts to the Florida House of Representatives, asking them simply to pass the bill intact – no more amendments! No more complex, unrelated pork barrel political trading. We ask them to just do the right thing for the future of Florida’s quality of life, health, economy and environment.

Please take two minutes TODAY to make these important calls to the committee chair, vice-chair and your representatives.

It will make a world of difference for Everglades restoration. They need to hear from you before the committee meets on Monday!

Below are phone numbers for Rep. Matt Caldwell (Chair) and Rep. Charlie Stone (Vice-Chair). Please call them. Your county Representative’s number is also listed. Please call them as well.

It’s truly Now or Neverglades for all of us.


Contact your representatives TODAY and tell them to pass Senator Negron’s water bill with no amendments!

Representative Matt Caldwell, Chair, (R)- part of Lee County
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5079

Representative Charlie Stone, Vice-Chair, (R)- Levy and part of Marion County
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5022

Committee Members By County

Alachua County – Representative Clovis Watson, Jr. (D)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5020

Bay County – Representative Brad Drake (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5005

Broward County – Representative Kristin Jacobs (D)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5096

Collier County – Representative Bob Rommel (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5106

DeSoto County – Representative Ben Albritton (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5056

Duval County – Representative Jay Fant (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5015

Glades County – Representative Cary Pigman (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5055

Hardee County – Representative Ben Albritton (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5056

Highlands County – Representative Cary Pigman (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5055

Hillsborough County – Representative Wengay M. “Newt” Newton, Sr.(D)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5070

Representative Dan Raulerson (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5058

Holmes County – Representative Brad Drake (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5005

Jackson County – Representative Brad Drake (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5005

Manatee County – Representative Wengay M. “Newt” Newton, Sr. (D)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5070

Marion County – Representative Clovis Watson, Jr.
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5020

Miami-Dade County – Representative Barbara Watson, Democratic Ranking Member, (D)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5107

Representative Holly Raschein (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5120

Monroe County – Representative Holly Raschein (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5120

Okaloosa County – Representative Jayer Williamson (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5003

Okeechobee County – Representative Cary Pigman (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5055

Orange County – Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (D)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5049

Palm Beach County – Representative Joseph Abruzzo (D)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5081

Representative Matt Willhite (D)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5086

Pasco County – Representative Amber Mariano (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5036

Pinellas County – Representative Chris Latvala (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5067

Representative Wengay M. “Newt” Newton, Sr. (D)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5070

Polk County – Representative Ben Albritton (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5056

Representative Colleen Burton (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5040

Representative Neil Combee (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5039

Santa Rosa County – Representative Jayer Williamson (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5003

Sarasota County – Representative Wengay M. “Newt” Newton, Sr. (D)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5070

Seminole County – Representative Scott Plakon (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5029

St. Lucie County – Representative Cary Pigman (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5055

Volusia County – Representative Patrick Henry (D)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5026

Representative David Santiago (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5027

Walton and Washington Counties – Representative Brad Drake (R)
Tallahassee office: (850) 717-5005

NowOrNeverglades Sportfishing Day TOMORROW

Last week, fishing guides gathered in Islamorada on a windy day, spelling out the word “HELP” with flats skiffs, yet another plea for change from some of those most affected by the ongoing water crisis in South Florida. I recently wrote a piece about how much I’ve seen the South Florida fishery change since I started fishing down here in the 1970s. For those who are on the water daily making a living, the changes are profound and heartbreaking.

Tomorrow, many captains and anglers from around Florida are taking days off of work to travel to Tallahassee to make their voices heard, imploring lawmakers to follow what was outlined by the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan in 2000 and build the reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to help store, clean and properly convey fresh water, sending more water south to Florida Bay.

Whether or not you are able to attend tomorrow’s event, I thank you for your support of the Now or Neverglades movement. We have come a long way in our fight for Everglades restoration, and it is the grassroots effort of people like you that is making an indelible impact.


Tomorrow at 4 pm at the Edison Restaurant in Tallahassee, hundreds will gather to make our collective voices heard. Together we will meet with legislators from our districts and from all parts of Florida. We will also hear from Senator Negron and other legislators regarding the importance of southern storage to reduce the discharges and bring water south to the Everglades & Florida Bay. We hope to see you there!

Register Now

If you can’t join us in Tallahassee, TEXT the word WATER to 52886 and help us make a difference!

Now Is Not The Time To Let Up

Since forming the Now or Neverglades coalition a year ago, tens of thousands of individuals, conservation organizations and companies have stepped up and shown their support by signing the Now or Neverglades Declaration. The momentum is swinging in our favor, with bills recently filed in both the Florida Senate (SB10) and House (HB761) to expedite a project to stop discharges into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers and send Lake Okeechobee water south where it can be stored, cleaned and properly conveyed, with more water heading south to Everglades National Park, Florida Bay and the Florida Keys. This is the common-sense solution we need, based on the recommendation of over 200 Everglades scientists, to help alleviate the water crisis our state currently faces.

Now is not the time to let up, as strong forces are still working to ensure this legislation doesn’t pass. I thank you for your past support, and I ask you to take action again, by ensuring that everyone you know has signed the Now or Neverglades Declaration. With that simple action, you can be a part of changing the course of history and saving the national treasure that is the Everglades.

Through this newsletter, I look forward to keeping you updated on the ongoing efforts of the many individuals, conservation organizations and companies working hard to secure a brighter future for the Florida Everglades.

Keep The Momentum

Thanks for your tremendous support on Senate Bill 10, you went above and beyond. By the end of the day, thousands of concerned Floridians like us had e-mailed the Governor and their legislators. They’re paying attention.

That was just the first of many bridges to cross in securing funding to buy the land, construct the southern reservoir, and reduce the toxic discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

There is even more great news to share! Representative Thad Altman has filed House Bill 761, and SB 10 just unanimously passed its first committee in the Senate.

Let’s accelerate our momentum even more to bring the water south to the Everglades and Florida Bay where it is desperately needed. Others are competing for the project’s funding, and the bills won’t pass unless officials in Tallahassee hear from their constituents.

Please click here to e-mail your legislators and spread the word on social media? If you already contacted them for SB 10, will you contact them a second time and let them know you support BOTH bills?

Count Me In

Our coalition of supporters is counting on you to contact your officials and let them know you support SB 10 and HB 761.

Senate Bill 10 Will Help

The awesome support over 40,000 of us have shown by believing in the Now or Neverglades Declaration has moved the bar up another notch. We have GREAT NEWS to share!

Earlier today, Senator Rob Bradley filed Senate Bill (SB)10 to help expedite the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir.

As you well know this is a priority project for all who care about our drinking water, estuaries, the Everglades, and Florida Bay.  The reservoir will reduce the algae-causing discharges into our coastal estuaries and provide badly needed fresh water to rehydrate the Everglades and Florida Bay.

We are now one step closer to achieving this goal, but there is more heavy lifting to do.

Please take this opportunity to reiterate your support for the bill by emailing your legislators today.

It’s a simple message:  Support SB10!  With just a few clicks, in half a minute you can email your local legislators and Governor Scott.

Take Action Now

Thanks again for your heartfelt support and our message is really making a difference.

Looking Ahead To 2017

On behalf of the founders of the Now or Neverglades Declaration, I want you wish each of you Happy Holidays and a Healthy New Year!

As 2016 comes to a close in our lives as Everglades and clean water warriors, we must ask ourselves – what is ahead?

This year began with toxic, algal blooms in South Florida waters (including our coastal communities and Florida Bay) – yet ends with hope for what is to come next.

We have found an Everglades champion in Joe Negron. In August, in front of a standing room of business leaders, environmentalists and local residents, Florida Senate President Joe Negron announced his plan to move forward with the much-needed EAA Reservoir.

The Weather Channel recently produced a piece that backs up the facts and truth behind the Lake Okeechobee problem at ToxicLake.com , and what’s at stake.

Also this month, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress (CISRERP), a non-governmental body charged with providing Congress with independent and objective scientific information, released its sixth biennial review on the progress of Everglades restoration.

The 2016 findings underscored declarations by more than 200 scientists that critical water storage outlined in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is falling far behind what is needed to protect this one-of-a-kind ecosystem.

We are gambling with Florida’s future. What the people of Florida want now is action. Senate President Negron’s plan to buy land for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee is the key to getting restoration back on track.

We also continue to grow our grass roots army, with close to 40,000 signatures on the #NowOrNeverglades Declaration.

Thank you for being part of the movement. This is just the beginning, so we ask that you stay along with us for the ride, because the best is yet to come.

We will restore America’s Everglades for future generations!

Momentum Is On Our Side

I continue to be overwhelmed by your passionate support! Tens of thousands of individuals, companies, conservation organizations, public figures and politicians have joined you in endorsing the common sense #NoworNeverglades Declaration to fix our failed water policies.

In response to the current water crisis, on August 9th, Florida Senate President-Designate Joe Negron announced his plan to expedite the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir to store water that can be sent south into the Everglades and Florida Bay and thereby helping protect the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.

Early last fall lack of fresh water delivery to Florida Bay resulted in too much salinity which was the principal cause of a 40,000-acre seagrass die off. It was the same reason Florida Bay had collapsed in the 1990s. As scientifically predicted an algae bloom would surely follow the seagrass die off and two weeks ago a massive bloom began in the Everglades National Park.

To make matters worse, the water Florida Bay so desperately needs is dumped untreated to the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers east and west of Lake Okeechobee, resulting in widespread environmental and economic harm in those areas. All three estuaries require clean fresh water in the right amounts at the right times, or they will continue to suffer.

Yet today, hope is restored and momentum is on our side. Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” What is happening today is proof positive of this sentiment.

You, the anglers, homeowners, business leaders and parents were part of the inaugural voices pressing for change by signing the #NoworNeverglades Declaration to fight for estuaries – from Fort Myers, Stuart and the Keys, and I offer my heartfelt thanks. Together, we must keep fighting to fix the problem once and for all by restoring the flow of clean, fresh water to the Everglades, Florida Bay and the Florida Keys.

Today, please share and re-share the declaration far and wide to protect our livelihoods, our water supply and America’s Everglades.