BTT to hold presentation on February 2: Your presence is requested

BTT to hold presentation on February 2: Your presence is requested

To the Editor:

Now or Neverglades! No words have ever meant more in the history of Everglades restoration.

With the passage last spring of SB10, we won a hard-fought victory to begin restoring the Everglades by returning much-needed freshwater flow south to Florida Bay and ending damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Although this landmark legislation was cause for great celebration, we knew that much work remained in the planning process to follow. Unfortunately, our greatest fears about what might emerge from that process have been realized.

Based on a thorough scientific review, we can only conclude that the report issued by the South Florida Water Management District falls short in its response to a decades-long crisis in the Everglades. By all accounts, SFWMD’s plans do not create sufficient capacity in the proposed reservoir to store and effectively filter water in volumes necessary to achieve restoration objectives. It is simply too small.

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust believes we can do better. We call on Governor Rick Scott to send SFWMD back to the drawing board and to direct the agency to use all tools and resources available to it from SB10 to design a reservoir that works. We urge Governor Scott to make this project the centerpiece of his environmental legacy by ensuring that a dynamic, effective reservoir is established without undue delay – and not let it become another restoration effort lost in the swamps of special interests and bureaucracy. We encourage you to add your voice, too. Follow this link for contact information and other guidance on calling and writing the Governor’s Office.

Every tool, every resource, every option provided by SB10 must be tapped to ensure our success. The health and vitality of our coastal communities – people and nature – as well as our state’s tourism-driven economy and world-class fisheries hang in the balance. Please call today!

Bonefish Tarpon & Trust events provide flats anglers with a great opportunity to learn more about BTT efforts to conserve bonefish, tarpon, permit and their flats habitats. This year we will host our 9th annual BTT Boca Grande event on Friday, Feb. 2 beginning at 6 p.m. You can enjoy cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres, live music and a program on BTT’s ongoing tarpon research and its critical importance to the future of adult tarpon populations. Silent auctions and raffles for lodge trips, guide trips, fishing gear and unique experiences, as well as other exciting items, will round out the night. You can get your tickets a bonefishtarponturst.org.

Jim McDuffie,
President Bonefish & Tarpon Trust