ABOUT US

Bullsugar.org is a grassroots organization founded by Stuart residents in August 2014 on the belief that stopping the damaging discharges to our coasts and restoring the Everglades is not a science or engineering problem. The science has been known for decades. Our problem is a political problem — and it requires a political solution.

Using social media we are spreading the word that the only way to stop the destructive discharges and restore clean fresh water flows to Florida Bay is to acquire land in the EAA to reconnect Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. The River of Grass has been dammed and diverted to both coasts. Until the flow is restored southward, all three estuaries — east, west and south — will continue to suffer, impacting Florida’s tourism & real estate economy.

Bullsugar.org aims to empower voters to take back our water and government. Future generations of Floridians deserve a healthy River of Grass and clean water.

OUR MISSION

The law is not protecting us from toxic blooms. We can change that.

The PROTECT Florida Act (H.R. 3324) proposes to make public health and safety the primary consideration for the management of the Central and Southern Florida Project. Public health and safety is defined as managing Lake Okeechobee and the Central and Southern Florida system to:

  • Minimize the potential of toxic cyanobacteria blooms;
  • Prevent discharges containing cyanobacteria or related toxins;
  • Ensure the integrity and stability of the Herbert Hoover Dike;
  • Maintain all provisions of applicable State, Federal, and Tribal water quality laws;
  • Ensure necessary water volume and quality reaches the Everglades.

Under this definition, the health and safety of communities east and west of the lake will be given equal priority to the rest of Florida for the first time.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Bullsugar distributed more than 2,500 “Vote Water” yard signs; people from around the stated asked to print their own. Voters from coast to coast proudly displayed non-partisan commitments to support toxic discharge reduction, Everglades restoration, and every citizen’s right to clean water.

Clean water found its political voice in 2018 as Bullsugar provided state wide voter guides for the primary and general elections, highlighting the
most competitive races with a clear difference in candidates. Analysis was based on responses to Bullsugar’s candidate questionnaires, voting records, personal interviews, public statements, and campaign contribution sources. The effort’s influence was clear when all gubernatorial candidates (except for eventual upset loser Adam Putnam) pledged to run sugar-free campaigns, and later when agriculture commissioner favorite Matt Caldwell invested in anti-Bullsugar attack ads before his own upset loss to Bullsugar-endorsed Nikki Fried.

In an era where competing narratives crowd out the truth, Bullsugar built a loyal social media audience by defining ourselves as a credible source of information. We communicate with more than 330,000 followers every day, but more important, our engagement levels reached all-time highs during the 2018 election season and continue to climb. More people than ever are reading and reacting to our messages, especially to Bullsugar original content.
Bullsugar’s newsletter and blog helped a growing list of subscribers understand the political, scientific, medical, and technical dimensions of Florida’s fight for clean water, from independent scientists’ analysis of project plans, to water quality reports and medical researchers’ guidance on toxic blooms. Readers have come to expect Bullsugar to deliver the unvarnished truth, provide readable analysis that makes complex issues clear, and flag opportunities to speak up and take action.
When we can’t find coverage for important stories, Bullsugar has the resources and talent to do it ourselves. From primary research on Everglades flooding, drainage and water consumption to first-hand accounts of sugarcane burning and the fight to save dogs poisoned by Lake Okeechobee discharges, our original reporting has had an impact.

Bullsugar’s communications team is also an asset to mainstream news producers, helping journalists source and report stories for national media like The Atlantic, NPR/All Things Considered, and Politico as well as top-tier TV, radio, and print outlets across Florida. Bullsugar appeared in more than 40 stories this year and helped produce dozens more to raise awareness of the problems and the solutions to our water crisis.

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