Fix Our Water: Florida's Water Crisis
The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust have worked hard over the last few months to bring attention to the disaster affecting much of Florida's natural coastal environments. The changes in freshwater flows out of Lake Okechobee have had a devastating effect on estuarine and marine habitats.
Please read this appeal from our friends at the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) and use the quick and convenient tools they have provided to add your voice to the thousands of others that are demanding immediate and long-term action to help save the affected areas and their fisheries which are crashing as a direct result of the issues outlined below.
To really understand this crisis and its root causes, clink on the video link to see Dr Aaron Adams from BTT explaining the details and the steps needed to rectify the problems and then make sure you sign the online declaration. We have signed up to support this very important effort and hope you will too.
Paul Sharman - Editor-in-Chief - Fish and Fly Ltd
The water crisis in Florida is growing. Billions of gallons of polluted and nutrient-rich water continue to be dumped out of Lake Okeechobee into the estuaries. A state of emergency has been declared in Martin, St. Lucie, Lee and Palm Beach counties because of the spreading toxic algae blooms that are devastating to fish, wildlife and people. Seagrass continues to die in Florida Bay because of a lack of freshwater. Seagrass and oysters in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers are dead from too much freshwater. Apalachicola's oyster reefs have been destroyed. The Indian River Lagoon experienced a massive fish kill and seagrass is dying. Satellite imagery shows that the water from the polluted discharges from Lake Okeechobee are reaching as far as Georgia. Send a message to your government representatives via the link at the bottom of the page and please make sure you sign the Now or Neverglades Declaration below!
It's worth taking 15 minutes to watch this video and learn about the issues from Dr. Aaron Adams, BTT's Director of Science and Conservation.
What needs to happen? Appropriate freshwater flows need to be restored!
- The plans to make this happen are in place - known as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project or CERP - they just haven't been adequately funded or implemented as promised and need to be implemented immediately.
- The state needs to purchase the land to create reservoirs to store and clean the freshwater. In 2014, 75% of Florida voters voted to buy the land through Amendment 1, so the money is available.
- The state needs to implement strategies to reduce the amount of nutrients in freshwater entering the estuaries.
- Natural freshwater flows (the timing, amount, locations) need to be restored.
- Land needs to be purchased to create filter marshes to filter nutrients from the freshwater entering estuaries.
- Once freshwater flows are addressed, habitat restoration must occur.
Take Action Today!
>>Click here to sign the 'Now or Neverglades' declaration!
Contact your local, state, and federal elected representatives via the form below and tell them to fast-track CERP, purchase the land to create reservoirs to store and clean freshwater, and implement strategies to reduce nutrients and contaminants in the freshwater entering the estuaries. Stay tuned to btt.org, Facebook, and Instagram for updates.
PLEASE NOTE: In order for the message in the form below to be sent to the Florida representatives, you must be a resident of Florida. IF YOU ARE NOT, you can still contact one of the representatives via the links below.
- Contact Governor Rick Scott: http://www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/email-the-governor/ (850) 488-7146
- Contact Florida's U.S. Senators: U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (FL) https://www.billnelson.senate.gov/contact-bill U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (FL) http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-senator-rubio?p=Contact
- Find and Contact Your U.S. Representatives: http://www.house.gov/representatives/#state_fl
- Find and Contact Your State Senators and Representatives: https://www.flsenate.gov/senators/find or http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx
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