Everglades Foundation

Everglades Foundation

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

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

A plan to build a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee was approved by federal budget officials on Tuesday, as part of an effort to reduce blue-green algae blooms on Florida's coasts.

The roughly $1.6 billion dollar reservoir project will now pass from the White House Office of Management and Budget to the U.S. Senate, where it's expected to be funded as part of a water resources bill.

Martin County Health Department

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency for seven counties experiencing blue-green algae blooms, including Palm Beach County.

The blooms are in large part due to water discharges from Lake Okeechobee. They can cause fish die-offs and respiratory irritation in humans. And it's not the first time the foul-smelling blooms have prompted an emergency declaration: in the summer of 2016, at the peak of the July tourist season, the blooms closed beaches and fishing businesses.

USGS via Wikimedia Commons

A reservoir project that could help address water challenges in the Everglades is one step closer to being built.

Congressional committees on Thursday approved a bill that, if passed, would authorize construction of a $1.4 billion water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. The reservoir would help reduce water discharges from Lake Okeechobee that contribute to algae blooms on Florida’s coasts; it would also increase water flow south to Florida Bay.

Allen Eyestone, Palm Beach Post

The South Florida Water Management District announced Thursday that its board has approved handing off a design for a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to its federal partner.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will now begin reviewing the tentatively selected reservoir plan which, in conjunction with a state restoration strategies plan, provides 350,000 acre-feet of above-ground storage.

Tom Hudson / WLRN

Water, water everywhere, but a lot of it’s contaminated.

That’s a theme of World Water Day 2017, which took place Wednesday. It extends to South Florida, where high phosphorus levels in the Everglades contribute to harmful algae blooms and cattails that dominate native sawgrass.

Kate Stein / WLRN

If you scoop a glassful of water from the heart of the Everglades, that water is as pure and clear as the water that flows from your tap.

That’s because chances are good your tap water comes from the Everglades.

One in three Floridians -- more than eight million of us -- gets drinking water from the Biscayne Aquifer a few feet below the southeastern Everglades. The ecosystem acts as a natural filter, removing excess nutrients and keeping out seawater.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Let’s start with what we’re losing: 

One of the most biologically diverse places on Earth, from sawgrass to cypress trees, apple snails to alligators. The historic home of Florida’s Miccosukee and Seminole tribes. A national park.

The ecosystem that ensures fresh drinking water for more than 8 million Floridians.

Everglades advocate Marjory Stoneman Douglas talked about all this in an interview in 1983.

USGS, via Wikimedia Commons

A proposal to build a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee could create more than 39,000 jobs, according to a study released Tuesday by the Everglades Foundation.

Martin County Health Department

A bill to build water storage reservoirs south of Lake Okeechobee was introduced in Florida’s legislature on Thursday, formalizing a controversial plan by Senate President Joe Negron.

Central Everglades Plan Headed To President Obama

Dec 12, 2016
Carl Juste / Miami Herald

A bill that’s a major step toward restoring the Everglades’ natural water flow is on its way to President Obama.

 

Amy Green / WMFE

Teams from Delray Beach and the University of Idaho are the first finalists in a $10 million competition aimed at identifying ways of removing excess nutrients from waterways.

The Everglades Foundation’s four-year competition targets phosphorus, the nutrient behind harmful algae blooms like those plaguing the Indian River Lagoon and other Florida waterways.

The foundation’s Tom Van Lent says the Delray Beach team’s proposal relies on a natural ocean mineral while the University of Idaho’s is based on a plant scrubbing water clean.

Peter Haden / WLRN

A group concerned about the Florida’s water is taking its message on the road.

The Now-or-Neverglades bus tour rolled through the Town of Palm Beach on Monday. The Everglades Foundation kicked off the 12-day road trip last week to drum up support for building a water storage reservoir in the Everglades Agriculture Area - southwest of Belle Glade.

USGS, via Wikimedia Commons

For two decades, Florida has had an annual limit on how much phosphorous can flow out of the Everglades Agricultural Area -- a region of farmland south of Lake Okeechobee. Farmers and sugar-growers must release at least 25 percent less phosphorous than they did before the limit.

 

Until this year, farmers haven’t had much trouble making this goal, which was established in 1996 by the Everglades Forever Act. They have a near-perfect record of exceeding the 25 percent reduction standard -- often by as much as 40 percentage points.