Everglades Coalition 2018

Everglades Coalition 2018 in Martin County

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Martin County

Everglades Coalition 2018 in Martin County


Here is the official press release. I’m so humbled to be able to attend and see history in the making! If you read this is what is going to happen. Our beloved Alligator Ron Bergeron said it best when talked about why its so important to Save the Everglades. In order to Save the ocean you must save the Everglades. In order to save the Everglades you have to fix the issue with the northern estuaries. It’s all one big picture and the puzzle is coming together. There are no sides. There is only “we.” This is us! #EVCO2018

Friday, January 12,2018

Plenary I Making the Connection: Southern Everglades Restoration and the Estuary Solution •

“Plantation Ballroom 9:00am The Everglades community has long embraced the need to “send it south.” The ability to send clean water south depends on the success of a suite of projects in South Dade to improve flow and distribution into Everglades National Park, including the Modified Water Deliveries Project, C-111 South Dade, C-111 Spreader Canal, the Central Everglades Project, and bridging Tamiami Trail. What will it take to get the water right for the southern Everglades, and what hangs in the balance? This includes direct benefits needed for Florida Bay and the Keys communities that depend on clean water, as well as relief for the northern communities desperately seeking a safe outlet for the overflow that burdens the coastal estuaries.

The amount of water flowing into Everglades National Park will remain the limiting factor for overall ecosystem until we get it right. Moderator: Ansley Samson, Everglades Law Center Panelists: Ron “Alligator” Bergeron, Bergeron Everglades Wildlife Foundation; Cara Capp, National Parks Conservation Association; Steve Friedman, Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association; Lt. General Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Brandon Tucker, South Florida Water Management District Governing Board.

Here are some tweets and postsAlligator Ron “You can’t save the ocean unless you save the Everglades. Saving the Everglades restoration is about getting water to the Everglades and to Florida Bay and to address discharges to east and west. The water must flow to Florida Bay or it will die.”

Plenary I Making the Connection: Southern Everglades Restoration and the Estuary Solution Photos

 Power of Grassroots to Influence Growth Decision Makers

Elliott Amphitheater 1:30pm Growth is a constant and compounding stressor related to most issues affecting the Everglades. Growth paves over or needed to restore the Everglades. It increases the negative impacts of sea level rise, flooding, limited water resources, and loss of conservation land, wildlife habitats and corridors.

Whether challenging growth within or at the edges of the remaining Everglades or introducing citizen-driven local initiatives to conserve land and water resources, the voices of citizens have proven a powerful force in defeating incompatible development and supporting responsible alternatives compatible with restoration goals.

Opportunities and challenges for grassroots engagement within current growth laws will be discussed. Moderator: Scott Zucker, Audubon Society of the Everglades Panelists: Emily Bonilla, Orange County Commissioner and Save Orange County; Celeste De Palma, Audubon Florida; Richard Grosso, Nova Southeastern University; Laura Reynolds, Friends of the Everglades; Holly Schwartz, former Lee County Assistant City Manager and Environmental Policy Management Director


 Power of Grassroots to Influence Growth Decision Makers Photos


“Expanding the Dialogue for a Just and Equitable Path Forward •

Photos and video

Plantation Ballroom 3:00pm The Everglades restoration dialogue has been almost exclusively held between environmentalists, the sugar industry, and state and federal agencies; this has been to the exclusion of the voices most directly affected, on a daily basis, by the environment and politics in and around the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA).

If the Everglades is indeed for everyone, then we must include those other voices in the discourse as equal partners. The restoration of the Everglades can benefit all stakeholders but we must expand the dialogue immediately if we are to achieve Everglades restoration in an inclusive, just, equitable, and sustainable way. Moderator: Cris Costello, Sierra Club Panelists: Paul Carlisle, Glades County Administrator; Michael Frank, Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; Steve Messam, Leadership Development Specialist, Wisdom Chasers Enterprise LLC, Belle Glade; Cherise Maples, Seminole Tribe of Florida Environmental Resource Management Department; Antonio Tovar, PhD, Farmworker Association of Florida”


Congrats to Betty Osceola for receiving John V. Kabler Grassroots Organizing Award Photo: Cyndi Lenz Congrats to Betty Osceola for receiving John V. Kabler Grassroots Organizing Award
Photo: Cyndi Lenz

Jan 13,2018

Keeping the EAA Reservoir on Track: SB10 and Beyond •

Plantation Ballroom 9:00am The legislative process is often referred to as “sausage making” because it can be messy and difficult to watch. Implementation, however, is where the rubber truly meets the road, and since the passage of Senate Bill 10 in 2017, a robust network of organizations, agencies and policymakers have worked at a breakneck pace to deliver on the promise of an Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir that will store at least 240,000 acre-feet of water, provide relief harmful discharges to the Northern estuaries, and send clean water south to the Everglades and Florida Bay.

Panelists will provide a progress report just days after the South Florida Water Management District submits its preliminary findings to the Florida Legislature and discuss a path forward to ensure a project is built and can deliver benefits. Moderator: Mark Perry, Florida Oceanographic Society Panelists: Florida Senate President Joe Negron; Drew Bartett, Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Eric Eikenberg, Everglades Foundation

Keeping the EAA Reservoir on Track: SB10 and Beyond Photos


B) River Warriors: Impact and Significance of the Indian River Lagoon Grassroots Movement • Elliott Amphitheater
The lost summers of 2013 and 2016 along the St. Lucie estuary and the Indian River Lagoon have been the crucible in which the “send water south” campaign and the passage of Senate Bill 10 by the Florida Legislature in 2017 were stoked. Grassroots forces in the community impacted by harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges year after year were mobilized — passionate and strong. Community groups, private citizens, business owners, health professionals, teachers, parents, and students were involved, all committed to finding a solution to the water crisis that has plagued our greatest shared resource — our water. Come hear the stories of the “River Warriors” in the hometown that called them each to action.

Moderator: Maggy Hurchalla, River Warrior and Everglades Coalition Hall of Fame Member
Panelists: Marty Baum, Indian Riverkeeper; Michael Connor, Fishing Guide; Kenny Hinkle, Activist and Videographer;

Gayle Ryan, Activist; Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, Former Mayor of the Town of Sewall’s Point, River Kidz Volunteer Administrator, Blogger, and Member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission

“I just want to say that the environmental activists of the State of  Florida thanks the River Warriors for being such incredible, honorable role models.” Cris Costello Florida Sierra Club

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, Capt Mike Connor and Indian River Keeper Marty Baum #EVCO2018

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, Capt Mike Connor and Indian River Keeper Marty Baum #EVCO2018

Here is the separate post-River Warriors at #EVCO2018

River Warrior  Photo Gallery


For most of the conference I did not attend the meals. Saturday morning I noticed the speaker would be Carl Hiaasen. I just felt I could not pass up the opportunity to be in the same room with one of my favorite writers. Carl does not disappoint. He basically talked about everything we all talk about every day but with such hilarity. Humor really is the best antidepressant. Hiaasen is better than Prozac. Video is here.

Two very serious but hopeful days. Thank you so much Cris Costello for making this happen. The Sierra Club did a fantastic job. I cannot remember leaving a conference more inspired to forward and be even more mindful that we all must go forward and make sure our Everglades are saved.



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