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Everglades

Jose Melendez, who lives in San Francisco, was visiting Miami about a week before the Super Bowl. He said he’s planning to cheer on his team from afar.

“I’m not going. I can’t afford it. It’s too expensive,” he said with a laugh, wearing a bright red 49ers jersey at the Super Bowl LIVE Experience, a free festival that the local host committee organized.

 

A $1.4 trillion spending package signed by President Donald Trump includes a holiday gift for the Everglades: $200 million.

Sugar Field Burning Plagues Poor Florida Towns With Soot

Dec 1, 2019
Man setting sugar cane field on fire on purpose.
Florida State Archives

For residents of the Glades, a string of poor, predominantly African American rural towns dotting the southern shore of Florida's Lake Okeechobee, the beginning of the annual sugar cane harvest in October means the arrival of "black snow."

Officials say Florida trappers have captured a record-setting python as part of a growing effort that encourages hunters to remove the invasive snakes from the Everglades.

Florida agencies are increasing the number of python huntersand the amount of land they're allowed to hunt on. 

The new executive director of the environmental group Friends of the Everglades is not that impressed with Gov. Ron DeSantis' environmental record thus far. 

Trump Says He'll Push For $200 Million For Everglades Work

May 14, 2019
A horizon shot of the Everglades.
Wikimedia Commons

President Donald Trump says his administration will seek $200 million for federal work on watershed restoration in the Everglades this year. 

A Burmese python was captured in this photo beneath the nest of white ibis in Everglades National Park near Tamiami Trail.
Sophie Orzechowski / UF/IFAS

Researchers say invasive Burmese pythons are threatening wading bird nests in the Florida Everglades. 

South Florida water managers dove into Everglades restoration in back to back meetings this week.

In the Florida Everglades, a team of invasive species researchers got more than it bargained for – a 17-foot-long python, plus 73 developing python eggs.

On Friday, Big Cypress National Preserve announced in a post to Facebook that its team of researchers had discovered the largest python ever to be removed from the swamp.

The pregnant female weighed 140 pounds, though presumably some of that was egg weight.

NPR

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ state budget proposal puts $50 million dollars toward Florida’s ailing springs, even as existing springs money sits unspent. 

An update is expected this week in a legal dispute over Everglades restoration.

Preparations are underway for a long-anticipated reservoir project meant to help restore the Everglades and prevent toxic blue-green algae outbreaks around Florida’s coasts.

The South Florida Water Management District has started surveying areas where it can expand canals that run south of Lake Okeechobee. The canals will help move lake water south to an Everglades reservoir.

While disagreements in Congress have led to a government shutdown, there was at least one topic both the House and Senate were able to agree on before closing their doors last week.

A bill honoring an icon in Florida’s conservation movement was passed last Friday. The measure, sponsored by Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, renames the “Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge” in Palm Beach County to the “Nathaniel P. Reed Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge."

Nathaniel Pryor "Nat" Reed was a long-time environmentalist and outdoor enthusiast from Florida.

Historic Decade-Old Everglades Deal Dies Quietly

Dec 18, 2018

A decade-old billion-dollar deal in which the state would have bought out the nation’s largest sugar cane producer and restored the Everglades’ historic flow is dead.

The South Florida Water Management District voted quietly to terminate a remaining option of the 2008 agreement in which the state would have bought out U.S. Sugar Corp.

Central Florida water management district board member Dan O’Keefe says the decision to terminate the deal was authorized by a 2016 legislative measure to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.

Governor-elect Ron Desantis’s environmental transition team is focusing on water quality and supply. But when climate change didn’t come up in the team’s discussions, advocates for environmental protection took action.

A new front in the ongoing battle between Everglades restoration and Florida’s sugar industry has opened up. This time, it’s over a planned water reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. Environmentalists are suing to block an extension of sugar leases they say could delay construction.


Environmental groups and state water managers are sparring over land for an Everglades restoration project to help with Florida’s algae blooms, following a controversial vote last week by the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District.

Officials say a Florida trapper has captured a record-setting python as part of a program to remove the invasive species from the Everglades.

Trump Signs Off On Major Reservoir Project

Oct 24, 2018

Construction of a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee that state lawmakers envision as a way to help a region beset by toxic algae blooms was part of a wide-ranging water bill signed Tuesday by President Donald Trump.

CNN

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum's meeting in Tampa Sunday night turned into more of a brawl than a debate.

The Everglades Trust’s endorsement of Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is startling some environmentalists and political observers.

One of the Everglades Trust’s three board members opposed the endorsement in an interview with The Gainesville Sun. Jon Mills told the paper he will support Democrat Andrew Gillum.

Other environmental groups like the Sierra Club are endorsing Gillum.

Florida Conservation Voters calls Gillum, “the only candidate with the leadership skills and vision to protect Florida’s environment.”

A project intended to help address blue-green algae outbreaks took a major step forward Wednesday as the U.S. Senate passed a bill that includes a proposal for an Everglades water storage reservoir.

Senators approved the bill, which includes many other water-related projects nationwide, by a margin of 99-1.

Florida officials say an invasive and destructive agricultural pest has been eradicated from Miami-area farmlands.

Call it much-needed traffic relief for Kendall residents or the "Everglades Snakeway" -- but it's on its way to completion.

The U.S. Geological Survey, USGS, is collecting DNA to track a new snake hybrid in the Everglades.

Everglades advocates are telling Congress to get moving on a major restoration project needed to help prevent future algae blooms like the ones currently choking inland and coastal waterways in Florida. 

As they address environmental issues on the campaign trail, Florida’s gubernatorial candidates are all for doing what is necessary to eliminate toxic algae outbreaks and for preserving natural springs and rivers.

Last week, Gov. Rick Scott ordered a state of emergency for seven counties around Lake Okeechobee as a result of toxic algae blooms. Now the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from the lake because the algae has spread to both Florida coasts, hurting home values, tourism and local businesses. 

A man who championed Everglades restoration and inspired decades of Florida conservationists died Wednesday during a fishing trip, according to his family.

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