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!

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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 , 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.