News

Fake News Attacks Attempt to Divide Everglades Restoration Factions

The fake news industry kicked off the new year in style. A flurry of misinformation from US Sugar’s Judy SanchezJanet Taylor’s “Glades Lives Matter,” the Sunshine State News, the Okeechobee News and others introduced the following stories (in no particular order):

  • Scientists are planning to flood Belle Glade and Clewiston
  • Everglades restoration is a front to eradicate farming
  • Toxic algae blooms don’t come from Lake Okeechobee
  • Federal agencies are killing off endangered species
  • Water can’t flow south into the Everglades in wet years
  • Florida Bay doesn't need any more freshwater than it gets now
  • Lake Okeechobee would be clean without pollution from the north
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Fake News Attacks Attempt to Divide Everglades Restoration Factions

The fake news industry kicked off the new year in style. A flurry of misinformation from US Sugar’s Judy SanchezJanet Taylor’s “Glades Lives Matter,” the Sunshine State News, the Okeechobee News and others introduced the following stories (in no particular order):

  • Scientists are planning to flood Belle Glade and Clewiston
  • Everglades restoration is a front to eradicate farming
  • Toxic algae blooms don’t come from Lake Okeechobee
  • Federal agencies are killing off endangered species
  • Water can’t flow south into the Everglades in wet years
  • Florida Bay doesn't need any more freshwater than it gets now
  • Lake Okeechobee would be clean without pollution from the north
Read more

Don't Blame the Sparrow

Endangered Species Act Does Not Affect Lake Okeechobee Discharges

By Peter Girard

As Florida officials deflect blame for this year’s toxic algae disaster, the most ridiculous scapegoat they’ve found is a sparrow. This should be funny, but instead it spotlights a coordinated campaign of disinformation to distract the public from the reasons our estuaries are collapsing.

Billions of gallons of Lake Okeechobee were discharged into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries

The accused culprit is the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow, which nests in grassy high ground in the Everglades, called marl prairie. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have worked with state officials to regulate the amount of water sent to the sparrow’s nesting grounds in the spring, to give the birds a chance to breed. But their efforts don’t stop water from being sent into Everglades National Park. In fact, this year they moved more water than ever through the S-333, a spillway connecting Water Conservation Area (WCA) 3A to the park through the L-29 canal.

Nevertheless South Florida Water Management District representatives claimed in November that the state can’t discharge water to the park between February and August, and that the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries would regularly be “bombed” with discharges from Lake Okeechobee as a result. This isn’t true.

Luis Alejandro, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers chief, water management section, confirmed that state and federal authorities sent unprecedented volumes of water from WCA 3A into the northest portion of Everglades National Park. In fact, the wettest January on record since 1932 gave the Corps a chance to test its capacity to convey water to the park through Shark River Slough, thanks to a temporary allowance for more water to flow through the L-29 canal, which parallels the Tamiami Trail. “We were able to relay about 115,000 acre feet via S-333 that we couldn’t have sent before the deviation,” Alejandro said.

ACOE_South Florida System

Alejandro estimated that the increase more than compensated for—and potentially doubled—the amount of water that could have been conveyed through two gates at the western edge of the WCA 3A, S-12A and S-12B, which remained mostly closed to direct water away from the sparrows’ nesting grounds. Even in the rainiest dry season in decades, actions taken to protect the birds didn’t restrict the agencies’ ability to send water into Everglades National Park.

That didn’t stop Water Management District representatives from complaining publicly that federal partners shackle the state with a single-species management policy that devastates hundreds of other species, and that the sparrow didn’t historically live in the area being protected in the first place. None of that is true.

Bob Progulske, Everglades program supervisor with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service explained the agency’s approach to protecting the sparrow as well as other Everglades species, endangered or not. “We are not managing a single species. We manage habitats, and the marl prairie is itself endangered. Our goal is to preserve the entire ecosystem.”

Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

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Bullsugar.org Names Water-friendly Political Candidates in All Florida Counties

bullsugar.org/vote: Voter guides highlight fight for Everglades restoration, support Patrick Murphy over Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate. 

September 27, 2016 – Stuart, FL – Bullsugar.org, a 501c4 non-profit dedicated to stopping destructive discharges into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries and restoring the flow of clean freshwater to the Everglades, today announced the publication of voter guides for all Florida counties. The guides identify political candidates, including both republicans and democrats, that support legislative action to address Florida’s water management crises and pursue science-based solutions to revitalize Florida’s waterways.

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Once Again, Rick Scott Dismisses Opportunity To Address Toxic Algae Crisis

Stuart, FL – Bullsugar.org, a 501c4 based in Stuart, is asking Governor Rick Scott to address the toxic algae crisis by signing the “Now or Neverglades Declaration” and today released video of their direct ask to Scott at the ICAST 2016 sport fishing trade show in Orlando, which the Governor promptly refused.

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BullSugar.org Adds Its Voice to Growing Chorus Calling for Sugar Reform

Screen_Shot_2016-07-01_at_10.48.11_AM.pngWashington, DCToday, the Coalition for Sugar Reform announced that BullSugar.org has added its name to the growing list of organizations that want Congress to reform the U.S. sugar program. BullSugar.org is dedicated to protecting Florida’s waterways, which have been devastated by massive sugar-producing operations that are subsidized by the federal sugar program.

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Bullsugar.org Writes Letter Regarding Representative Caldwell Bias & Lake Okeechobee Learning Collaborative

FORT MYERS, Fla.June 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a letter from Kenny Hinkle Jr., On Behalf of Bullsugar.org, to Mayor Randy Henderson of Fort Myers, Florida:

Dear Mayor Henderson,

I write to you on behalf of the 127,000 and growing followers of Bullsugar.org.  Bullsugar.org is a non-profit 501(c)4 founded in August 2014 on the belief that stopping the damaging discharges to our coasts and restoring the Everglades is not a science or engineering problem. The science has been known for decades. Our problem is a political problem -- and it requires a political solution.

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