ROAD TRIP TO RESTORATION
“THEY LINE UP TO SIGN UP”
by Eric Eikenberg
CEO, The Everglades Foundation
The #NowOrNeverglades Bus Tour rolled in to Orlando and Winter Park, Florida, yesterday, where students at the University of Central Florida and Rollins College proved themselves to be well-informed about Florida’s water crisis and Everglades restoration — and determined to do something about it.
At the UCF campus in Orlando, we were greeted by hundreds of undergraduates who stood in line to sign the #NowOrNeverglades Declararation — just like it was a Disney attraction.
Small wonder. Of all Floridians, this is the group whose lives will be most affected by the rising tides of blue-green algae, droughts and the continuing slow death of America’s Everglades. They know the facts, they understand what is at stake and they will stand shoulder-to-shoulder to demand action.
While our staff and volunteers gathered signatures, Dr. Steve Davis and I enjoyed a cordial meeting with the editorial board of the Orlando Sentinel, one of Florida’s most influential news organizations.
We ended our busy day yesterday at Orlando’s Bass Pro Shops, where we met anglers and outdoors hobbyists for whom Everglades restoration is a passion.
Among the many folks we met was a commercial fishing guide who told us that he has watched Lake Okeechobee deteriorate for at least 30 years. He signed the #NowOrNeverglades Declaration — and he took copies to share with other anglers and fishing guides back home, near Clewiston.
“They need to flush it out,” he told us. “The water has to move south.”
Next stop: Tampa Bay.