WATCH: #NowOrNeverglades Bus Tour Kick Off
I’m writing to you from the road today, as yesterday we officially reached the halfway mark of our #NowOrNeverglades “Road Trip to Restoration” Bus Tour!
So far, we’ve traveled over 1,200 miles crisscrossing Florida in an effort to educate the public on the importance of the Everglades to this state; and, specifically in support of building the critical Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.
There have been a few memorable stops on the tour: tremendous enthusiasm on the campus of the University of Central Florida in Orlando (UCF), where students from all over Florida were engaged on this issue and eager to sign the #NowOrNeverglades Declaration.
Bass Pro Shops has opened up their retail stores to this cause, and their customers have welcomed us with open arms, as they spend their days and weekends on the water and understand the importance of protecting waterways.
I met Michael Hudzina from Palm City at the Florida Atlantic University vs. Western Kentucky football game in Boca Raton. Michael has a home on the water in Palm City and experienced firsthand the toxic algae this summer.
He and his wife were visibly moved by the bus and our passionate plea to engage the public on Everglades restoration. To view highlights from our UCF School visit, please view our video by clicking here or on the image below.
In addition to collecting signatures, the bus tour is also highlighting the next generation. We’ve unveiled the first four recipients of our “Everglades Champion Schools,” which are schools across Florida whose teachers have been trained on our curriculum and have taken it back to the classroom. Our visit to Pine Jog Elementary School yesterday in West Palm Beach makes the long days all the more worth it. To view highlights from our Pine Jog Elementary School visit, please view our video by clicking here or on the image below.
Stop after stop, armed with clipboards, The Foundation staff and volunteers are colleting petitions, and the army of supporters for the EAA Reservoir is growing. The team is even able to set up for a press conference – podium, speakers and cameras – all in 20 minutes!
The hectic pace and lack of sleep is part of the urgency with this issue. Billions of gallons of polluted water have plagued Florida for over 200 days this year alone. The plan and money are in place as we wait for elected leaders to act. That’s why we’ve released an Action Plan to guide elected leaders in implementing the next steps for the EAA Reservoir. To view our Action Plan, please click here.
We’ve stopped in major cities – Orlando, St. Pete Beach, Tampa, Clearwater, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach and Coral Gables, so far – and the outpouring of support from these communities has been overwhelming. We are now entering our Southwest Florida leg – the bus pulled into Naples this morning, followed by Bonita Springs, Estero, Ft. Myers and Sanibel, before we head to the International Boat Show this weekend in Ft. Lauderdale.
As we head into the next six days of the tour, we hope that we can continue to count on your help.
If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to help by doing the following:
- ACT by adding your name to the #NowOrNeverglades Declaration. There are three easy ways for you to sign – visit EvergladesFoundation.org/NoworNeverglades-Declaration, add your face to our Pictition mosaic at Pictition.org/NoworNeverglades or text WATER to 66866.
- SHARE the word about the tour by sharing EvergladesFoundation.org/NoworNeverglades-Bus-Tour on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to use the hashtag #NowOrNeverglades!
- GIVE at EvergladesFoundation.org/Giving to help our message reach the farthest as we continue on the bus tour and afterward.
All of us here at The Everglades Foundation are excited about where this journey has taken us so far and we look forward to continuing to meet with Floridians across the state. Each of us has a definite stake in moving forward with the EAA Reservoir, and we sure appreciate you doing your part! Thanks again for your support.
Chief Executive Officer
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