everglades

Amy Green / WMFE

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reversing its stance and now says it must follow a schedule calling for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee in 2021.

The corps had said it could accelerate the project aimed at improving water flow after toxic algae blooms last year prompted emergency declarations in four counties.

Colonel Jason Kirk now says the reservoir must wait.

Amy Green / WMFE

U.S. Sugar Corp. says it would honor a previous agreement putting land south of Lake Okeechobee toward Everglades restoration.

U.S. Sugar staunchly has opposed a reservoir on the land, aimed at improving water flow after toxic algae blooms last year prompted emergency declarations in four counties.

But spokeswoman Judy Sanchez says if the Legislature approves the plan the company would honor a previous agreement authorizing the state to buy 153,000 acres.

Negron Water Plan Picks Up Other Projects Across The State

Mar 8, 2017
Amy Green / WMFE

A controversial plan to speed construction of a 60,000-acre reservoir on farmland south of Lake Okeechobee --- to reduce the risk of more "guacamole-thick" water appearing in Treasure Coast communities --- was expanded Wednesday to include water projects in other parts of the state.

And the measure (SB 10), now called the "Coast-to-Coast Comprehensive Water Resource Program," might not be done growing, its sponsor said.

Wading bird nests in the Everglades were at their lowest number last year since 2008.

Kate Stein / WLRN

The Tamil word for python is "malaippāmpu." Translated literally, it means "mountain snake."

But two Tamil-speaking snake trackers from India, who are in South Florida to help with the region's python problem, think "water snake" would be a more appropriate name.

Sugar Farmers ‘At War’ With Senate President Negron

Mar 7, 2017

Farmers and agricultural businesses south of Lake Okeechobee said Monday that Senate President Joe Negron is at "war" with them in his push for state lawmakers to back a $2.4 billion reservoir project.

Amy Green / WMFE

Karson Turner reaches into a grassy row of sugar cane. He grips a stalk, jointed like bamboo, and breaks it, revealing the sweetness inside.

"This will go into the mill, which you can just about see if you take about 20 steps backward you can see the smokestacks. And those get grinded, that raw sucrose that gets pushed out becomes the basis of table sugar that you and I consume all the time," says Turner. 

Amy Green / WMFE

Among the cow pastures and citrus groves of Florida's heartland north of Lake Okeechobee, patches of wetlands serve as kidneys for the Everglades.

"It filters out all of the impurities, in this case we're talking about nutrients, phosphorous in particular," says Ernie Marks of the South Florida Water Management District.

Marks steps through the grass framing the expanse of reeds and rushes. The vegetation sieves from the water the nutrient responsible for toxic algae blooms. Wading birds like egrets flap among the cabbage palms.

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.

Negron Tries To Boost Case For Water Proposal

Mar 3, 2017

It is "highly unlikely" Florida will get federal officials to turn over control of water releases from Lake Okeechobee, and the state will not get repaid if it advances money to fix the lake's Herbert Hoover Dike, Senate President Joe Negron advised senators on Thursday.

The Trump Administration is rolling back a federal rule that protects small waterways like wetlands and creeks. One expert says the move could leave more Florida farmers and conservationists stuck in court battles.

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.

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

A quarter century after the state promised to clean up polluted farm water fouling the Everglades in a historic federal court order, water managers say its time to end the judicial oversight.

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