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Take Back Our Everglades!

Take Back Our Everglades!
Take Back Our Everglades!

That, simply, is the right thing to do.


Take it back.

When all the shouting, sugar rage and complicated excuses finally quiet down once again, the Monster remains. He laughs at us.

The Monster's birth name is the Everglades Agricultural Area. His nickname, Big Sugar.

More powerful than a speeding bullet, and dripping with cash (subsidized by the public), he seems unstoppable.

Of course, that's exactly what they told us about runaway gill nets a decade ago. Unstoppable.

And yet a constitutional amendment by the people sure enough wiped out the gill nets, by a 72 percent vote. It was revolutionary.

Some folks are asking why we can't do the same thing to stop the drainage machine that allows sugar farming. Sugar fields replace the naturally wet Everglades. The drainage causes horribly polluted water to be sent east and west, where it inflicts countless millions of dollars of damages. Blue-green algae is the latest scourge.

Stop the big drain and you stop sugar.

The basic problem is not well understood, which is precisely the way Big Sugar (and many officials) want it.

Fact is the EAA cancer invisibly has grown to an amazing and largely unrealized size that intensifies the phosphorous/nitrogen/runoff pollution to an extent not forecast even a generation ago.

The drained sugar land spreads over 574,720 acres now. Many of us recall it being 200,000 acres. That's what it was, in 1973. Sugar is far larger now than the entire Lake Okeechobee.

The EAA was completed in 1962 with a labyrinth of canals and control devices. Supposedly, it was to ruin Fidel Castro's own sugar gardens. Instead, Fidel also laughs, as we prop up an unneeded crop and ruin our own Everglades.

Meanwhile, an $8 billion plan to restore the 'Glades limps along with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, a number of very sharp experts don't think the reservoirs and deep-well projects will do the job very well.

Also, a policy decision to require a much lower lake level (see Zone D Diet at FS.com) is a must for the shorter term.

But the improvements would still leave us with the EAA Monster of our own creation.

Should we stop him? Is a fantasy of a truly renewed Everglades worth pursuing? How do you feel about it?

Take Back does have a good ring.

Take Back Our Everglades.

FS




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