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Speak Up For Your Community at LOSOM Public Workshop!

Thousands of voices stood up for our waterways during the LOSOM scoping meetings at the beginning of the year. We need your help again. Treasure Coast residents have the opportunity to make their voices heard at tomorrow's LOSOM public workshop hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A change in operational management this year specifically addressed growing concerns about dangerous health impacts related to cyanobacteria exposure. The deviation from the current Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS) allowed the Corps to lower Lake Okeechobee before the rainy season, resulting in a much-needed reprieve from large-scale, toxic discharges so far this summer.   Your input at the meeting this week will help the Corps develop new guidelines, called the Lake Okeechobee System Operating [...]

2019-12-19T06:12:51-05:00September 16th, 2019|Uncategorized|

New Precedent Established in Florida’s Fight For Clean Water

Plan for the worst and hope for the best is a philosophy that hasn’t always figured into Florida water management. But why not?  As recent events have shown, we become more capable of lending greater security to human health and safety and our environment when we prepare for worst-case scenarios. This new line of thinking has us on the brink of an amazing shift in water policy--and that could change everything about how we manage water. Recent operational management by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District displays exactly the kind of prioritized thinking that Bullsugar supporters and Floridians impacted by toxic discharges have advocated and hoped for. Before a change in Hurricane Dorian’s [...]

2019-12-19T06:12:52-05:00September 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Dorian Recovery: How You Can Help

Here in South Florida, we dodged a bullet. Our neighbors in the Bahamas were not as lucky. Leadership by Rep. Brian Mast and the Army Corps lowered lake levels before this year’s rainy season. As Hurricane Dorian crept closer, state and federal water managers expressed confidence in their ability to manage heavy rainfall expected on and around Lake Okeechobee. Pre-storm discharges were not called for, but they warned residents to be prepared for large releases to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers in the storm's wake. As of now, those discharges remain at bay. A change in Dorian's track spared Florida from the rainfall that was projected to leave the lake hovering near 17 feet. As Dorian continues up the coast, taking aim [...]

2019-12-19T06:12:57-05:00September 5th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Hurricane Dorian Information Resources

Please stay safe and look after your neighbors as Hurricane Dorian tracks toward Florida. Thanks to a change in operational management that lowered lake levels before the rainy season this year, the Army Corps feels better equipped to deal with extra rainfall. We can only hope now that those efforts are enough to help protect everyone in harm's way, but managing for emergencies like this has to be the norm, not the exception.  All people in Florida are vulnerable to storms like this. We need a water management system that provides better protection for everyone here, and we need a solution that does more to safeguard all families, all homes, and all communities, all year long. As we work towards that solution, we stand [...]

2019-12-19T06:12:58-05:00August 29th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Join us at this year’s Dirty River Jam!

The 4th Annual Dirty River Jam benefitting Friends of the Everglades is coming to Jensen Beach, Florida! Mark your calendar for October 5th 12-11pm in downtown Jensen Beach to let the good times roll and join us in the fight for clean water. A message from the Dirty River Jam event committee: I’m sure you’re aware of the ongoing fight for clean and healthy water. For decades, the local folks of Martin county have worked together to Save Our River. One of our biggest fundraisers for awareness and education has been The Dirty River Jam. We’ve hosted three very well attended, successful events in the past.  This year we are going to have Dirty River Jam 4.  If you’re not familiar with the Jam [...]

2019-12-19T06:12:58-05:00August 27th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Is EAA Irrigation a Higher Priority Than Human Health?

There’s something new in the air in South Florida communities along the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. And believe it or not, this time it’s not cyanobacteria--it’s hope.   Floridians have enjoyed this summer, largely free of discharges, thanks to efforts by the Army Corps to keep Lake O lower. Operational changes specifically address growing concerns about dangerous health impacts related to cyanobacteria exposure. After repeated requests for greater transparency and solutions to Florida’s water crisis, our government is proposing an immediate change to the management of Lake Okeechobee to protect the health and human safety of all Floridians. That sounds like a win that everyone can get behind... Right?  Not so fast. At the beginning of the month, U.S. Sugar [...]

2019-12-19T06:13:00-05:00August 22nd, 2019|Uncategorized|

Experts Say the EAA Reservoir Won’t Work

It won’t work. A newly published, peer-reviewed scientific evaluation of the EAA Reservoir plan is calling for a dramatic shift in design to ensure that good intentions don’t just end up polluting our waters and making us and our Everglades more sick, later. Conclusions reached in the independent analysis, “Comments on the Current Reservoir Plan for Solving Harmful Algal Blooms and Restoring the Florida Everglades,” published in Elsevier, a peer-reviewed journal on environmental engineering, are clear: "There is insufficient detail on water quality in the plan relative to water volume and flow. The flow south to the Everglades will increase by 76% but the project shows only an 11% increase in treatment wetlands of 6,500 acres to improve water quality directly. This [...]

2019-12-19T06:13:04-05:00August 15th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Why Aren’t There More Clean Water Champions?

At last month’s House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee hearing on the Water Resources Development Act, two voices stood out in a crowded room to speak for the decades-long decline of South Florida’s waterways. Congressman Brian Mast, a Republican from the Treasure Coast’s District 18, doggedly pressed the Army Corps of Engineers about operational decisions that risked human health, until a stark admission was added to the public record for the first time. The willful and knowing poisoning of communities was hardly a shock to residents impacted by Lake Okeechobee discharges, but the admission, straight from the mouth of the Corps, set a new precedent in Florida’s fight for clean water. Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsal-Powell, a Democrat representing the state’s iconic Florida Keys [...]

2019-12-19T06:13:03-05:00August 8th, 2019|Uncategorized|

This is What Winning Looks Like

13 months ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers didn’t track toxic algae in Lake Okeechobee discharges. Today, they are changing the way they manage the lake specifically to prevent harmful health effects from toxic algae. This is huge news, and we are grateful to all who have helped us keep the pressure on.  This is the biggest change that we’ve seen in the management of Lake Okeechobee waters in over a decade. Even the sugar industry seemed surprised. In response, U.S. Sugar filed a lawsuit opposing government action to protect communities from toxic algae discharges. Now is not the time to lose momentum. We need your help to keep fighting for Floridians. Please consider chipping in $25 or become a [...]

2019-12-19T06:13:06-05:00August 6th, 2019|Uncategorized|

The Salvation of a Clean Water Summer

Ohana Surf Shop is one of dozens of local businesses on the Treasure Coast that has struggled. After discharge years cost the shop thousands of dollars in surf lessons and paddleboard excursions, we caught up with them to get a first-hand account of what this year’s clean water summer really means for a small, family-owned business. Short answer: Everything. During the summer of 2016--when the water in the St. Lucie River was too toxic to touch--Ohana owners Tara and Jordan Schwartz bought a converted school bus, thinking it was insurance. If they couldn’t make a living putting people on their home waters, they’d bus clients up or down the coast where the water was clean. It worked for a while. [...]

2019-12-19T06:13:07-05:00August 1st, 2019|Uncategorized|