Big Sugar Summit: Captain Friedman, "Let's Find a Solution."

Islamorada captain Steve Friedman represented Florida Bay Forever and Monroe County during the Big Sugar Summit held in West Palm Beach on Saturday August 21. 

Hosted by the Sierra Club, community leaders gathered to talk about a problem facing all Floridians: restoring the Everglades in the shadow of Big Sugar. 

Young minds listen and learn. Environmental stewards of the future start early!

Young minds listen and learn. Environmental stewards of the future start early!

Panelists explored solutions ranging from how to get the community involved, how to levy consumers and taxpayers, how to take down the federal sugar subsidy, and even alternatives to the current practice of sugar cane burning. 

This was an engaged, frustrated, but willing crowd who was able to work on coming together for consensus building. 

Captain Steve was in his element as he richly described his Florida Bay "office" and the changes he has seen over the years as a professional fishing guide. He paired his talk with a photo collage rivaling the best of Nat Geo! His Jumping tarpon, smiling bonefish and dancing turtle slide show drove home his main points: 

  • We have a problem that is out of sight and out of mind to most visitors and residents, but 40,000 acres of dead seagrass don't lie.
  • If we don't speak up NOW, we are going to have a bigger problem in the future. 
  • This environmental problem is a political one. We need to hold our politicians accountable for good policy. 
  • Good policy means to prioritize buying EAA land to send water south.

See Captain Steve's full talk here and of course, JOIN US, to make your voice heard with Florida Bay Forever.