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Mosquito Lagoon Guide Calls it Quits, In Face of Ecosystem Collapse

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Long-time Mosquito Lagoon guide, Billy Rotne recently found himself faced with a choice of moral and financial significance: Continue adding pressure to a system in peril, risking shared responsibility for its fast-increasing decline, or walk away from a cherished location and dependable source of income in favor of protecting and advocating for its future. Rotne has dedicated his career to navigating all corners of the lagoon, putting clients of all levels of expertise on giants as they snake across the shallow water flats. That effort has earned him the pleasure of knowing the fragile ecosystem as few people do. More recently its given him a front row seat to its undeniable deterioration. Rotne describes the situation unfolding before his own eyes and his difficult decision to leave.    

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Mosquito Lagoon Guide Calls it Quits, In Face of Ecosystem Collapse

Billy3.jpg

Long-time Mosquito Lagoon guide, Billy Rotne recently found himself faced with a choice of moral and financial significance: Continue adding pressure to a system in peril, risking shared responsibility for its fast-increasing decline, or walk away from a cherished location and dependable source of income in favor of protecting and advocating for its future. Rotne has dedicated his career to navigating all corners of the lagoon, putting clients of all levels of expertise on giants as they snake across the shallow water flats. That effort has earned him the pleasure of knowing the fragile ecosystem as few people do. More recently its given him a front row seat to its undeniable deterioration. Rotne describes the situation unfolding before his own eyes and his difficult decision to leave.    

Billy2.jpg

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Coastal Conservationists, We’re On Our Own

Tony Friedrich has a warning for Florida fisherman: No one has your back. Friedrich has spent the better part of his life fighting a mostly uphill battle over the Chesapeake. He has watched a national treasure slowly degrade and coastal communities suffer in the absence of a united voice for conservation. He sees Florida heading in the same direction.

Dead zones and hypoxia are taking a massive toll on Chesapeake Bay fisheries

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The Dirty Politics of Clean Water

Karl Wickstrom, founder of Florida Sportsman, was a champion of clean water before most of us knew we needed to fight for it. He's heard enough empty political promises to recognize the tricks, and he knew right away where the latest was headed.

Indian River Afternoon. Photo by Kristof Reuther.

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Time for Sugar to Clean Up its Own Pollution?

Mark Perry of Florida Oceanographic Society says this all better than we could. Scientists estimate that the Everglades reservoir plan needs another 6,500 acres to work properly, and the sugar industry warns any expansion better come from public land. This is after Florida turned 60,000 acres into filtration for the industry's pollution and invested billions to help it meet legal requirements. Despite some Florida lawmakers' push to extend corporate welfare to billionaire sugar families, more people are asking whether it's finally time to wean the industry off public assistance.

Dead grassflats scoured bare by discharges to the St. Lucie River. Photo by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

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Scientists Grade the Everglades Reservoir Plan: F

It doesn’t work. The first scientific evaluations of Florida’s EAA reservoir plan were publicly released last week, and the findings are bleak: it can’t operate at full capacity without violating pollution standards. But it wouldn’t take much to fix it.

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Who Paid the Price for Sugar's Record Year?

Florida’s sugar industry just posted one of the best years in its history, even as the Everglades and virtually everyone in South Florida suffered one of the worst. It’s not a coincidence. Managing water in Florida means picking winners and losers. When there’s a drought, losers go thirsty. When it rains, losers drown. In 38 years of public records, sugar has yet to lose.

The Everglades flooded in 2017 while neighboring sugarcane fields stayed dry

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SFWMD Can't Find More Public Land. It's Up to Us.

The map below might be the best possible illustration of how little the public--taxpayers and voters--matter to the people who control our water.

State water managers couldn't find enough public land to expand the EAA reservoir plan. Can you?

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How the Nation Sees Florida's Water Crises

People around the country are watching Florida. They know about our water issues. They know our estuaries are collapsing. They know the Everglades are dying. And they want to help.

Famed fly tyer Tom Baltz signs the Now Or Neverglades Declaration at the Bullsugar-Patagonia Booth at The Fly Fishing Show

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