Twenty years after we settled our first lawsuit in Florida, one thing is crystal clear: Without litigation, the Everglades would be left with whatever protection the agencies and the Florida Legislature would be willing to provide under pressure from Big Sugar and other powerful polluters. In other words: not much.
Litigation has empowered the community to press for real restoration gains and has forced governments to deliver. These truths were reinforced earlier this month at the 27th annual meeting of the Everglades Coalition sponsored by Earthjustice this year.
A lot of heavy hitters came to the conference, including Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and senior members of the Interior Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
I was especially proud of all the accolades heaped on our lead Florida attorney, David Guest, who is revered by the people we work with on matters concerning the Everglades, among many other Florida environmental issues. Other members of David’s legal team—Monica Reimer and Alisa Coe—were praised to the heavens as well. Check out our special report on what these tenacious fighters have accomplished over the last two decades.
A great white egret in the Everglades. (Amir / Flickr)
An Everglades waterway. (B. Chauncey Davis / Flickr)
An alligator floats in the Everglades. (Amir / Flickr)