Save Our Paradise Here’s What You Can Do by Eric Eikenberg
Besides providing fresh drinking water to over 8 million Floridians and tourists, America’s Everglades is home to 78 endangered or threatened species and has been
designated a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve and a Wetland of International Importance. Only 50% of the historic Everglades ecosystem exists today, and what’s left is on life support.
Decades of flood control measures to accommodate agriculture and development have diverted more than half the fresh water that once flowed into the Everglades from Lake Okeechobee, leaving the “River of Grass” a parched basin in the dry season. Further
south, the lack of fresh water alters the salinity level of Florida Bay, jeopardizing one of the world’s most cherished sport fishing spots.
We have made progress, particularly in the last few years, in securing the funds for Everglades restoration projects. Portions of the northern Everglades are receiving flows for the first time in a century because new bridges along Route 41, the Tamiami Trail,
now allow the unobstructed flow of water to the south. Still, the fight goes on.
Everglades restoration is among the world’s biggest and most extensive environmental public works efforts, with 68 separate restoration projects — each of which must be funded on a year-to-year basis by a 50-50 federal-state match. As such, we must be relentless in our efforts in both Tallahassee and Washington each year to secure the necessary funding.
It will take many years and a sustained commitment to full funding in order to complete. However, we are making progress and we know the investment is worth it. How can you get involved? Easy. The best way is to support the work of The Everglades Foundation, (https://evergladesfoundation.org) the premier science-based organization fighting to restore America’s Everglades.
Our scientists, with doctorates in fields ranging from biology to economics, are the “go to” source for Everglades information by politicians and news organizations alike. Our advocacy efforts have already mobilized over 64,000 Everglades Advocates — folks across Florida and in every state and Congressional District — who make sure lawmakers in
Tallahassee and Washington never forget how much America’s Everglades mean to all of us.
Perhaps most importantly, our “Everglades Literacy” program is reaching the next generation of advocates, so far training 3,500 teachers in 21 school districts and reaching more than 100,000 students across Florida.
Best of all, because all operating expenses of The Everglades Foundation are borne by our Board of Directors, every dollar you donate will be used for programs, not for operational costs.
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