There are many players in the world of Everglades Restoration politics and policy; today I will briefly talk about the Everglades Coalition (http://evergladescoalition.org), not to be confused with the Everglades Foundation, (http://www.evergladesfoundation.org).
You probably already know that it is the Everglades Coalition that is holding its 30th Annual Conference this week in Key Largo, Florida.
The easiest way to think about a “coalition” is in terms of our very own Rivers Coalition. The Rivers Coalition, (http://riverscoalition.org), like the Everglades Coalition, is a membership of organizations as opposed to individuals. 501c3 (tax exempt organizations) vary depending on how they are set up, nonetheless, a “coalition” is generally an alliance of like-minded organizations, whereas a “foundation” usually has individuals serving on a board focusing on raising money.
Organizations represent sometimes hundreds of people under one umbrella, so coalitions are very strong.
The Everglades Coalition, has been around since 1985, as is a major player in setting the direction of Everglades restoration; according to their website:
The Everglades Coalition is an alliance of more than 50 local, state and national conservation and environmental organizations dedicated to full restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes into Lake Okeechobee, through the “River of Grass,” out to Florida Bay and the Keys.
So how does the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon play into this?
Well, we are the “Northern Everglades,” (http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20protecting%20and%20restoring/other%20everglades).
And of course, as well all know, historically, our water flowed south creating the “Everglades” until in early 1900s, when agricultural and development interests, through the help of the state and federal governments, drained the lands south and around Lake Okeechobee by building the St Lucie Canal and finishing the already started Caloosahatchee Canal as well as many others. It was a different world then. People did not think in terms or realize they were linked to their environment. It was a brutal world–one of “man over nature.” We cannot blame them, they were just trying to survive and build our county, nonetheless, those days are over, we must change our world, as today we have a different world view.
When that water was cut off, and it must be noted it really has been cut off more every year since the early 1900s, the Everglades and all its plenty, its gifts started dying…this includes water supply for South Florida and the weight of fresh water to combat sea level rise in today’s world.
On a positive note, isn’t it wonderful that the Everglades Coalition entitled their conference SEND IT SOUTH!
Thank you for this.
And yes, it is time! 100 years of destruction has had its day. With the strength of the coalition in 2015, this message, SEND IT SOUTH, once again will be heard loud and clear in Tallahassee and around the state and world. Just in time for the legislative committee meetings going on in Tallahassee this week!
—-River Warriors and all river advocates, thank you, as I believe it was you, with your thousands that has inspired the theme of this conference.
I’ve read that TC Palm will be reporting, and independently I will be blogging starting Thursday from Key Largo. Maybe I’ll get to see you there?
Whether you are there are not, you will be there in spirit.
We are making progress!
So for fun, go outside and shout loud and clear:
SEND IT SOUTH!
And when you scream it, know, that you are finally being heard.
EC’s link to conference program: (http://evergladescoalition.org/EVCO%202015%20Program-2.pdf)