Orvis Leaders Signed the “Now or Neverglades Declaration,” and So Should You


Florida’s fragile estuaries and coastal environments are awash in disgusting, damaging algae.
Photo via bullsugar.org

This is the week that the national media have finally started reporting on the incredible algae blooms along both Florida coasts, although a call to action started to go out as early as February. (See ” “Blackwater” Discharges Threaten Florida’s Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie Inlet.”) The cause of this disaster is discharges of untreated fresh water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. Traditionally, this water flowed southward, through the Everglades.


The Everglades historically flowed south. Today, high water is diverted east and west to coastal communities.
Illustrations courtesy of US Army Corps of Engineers

The results of this water diversion are increased salinity in Florida Bay and the Keys, and decreased salinity along both coasts–spreading outward from the two estuaries. Back in March, more than 200 respected Everglades scientists signed a petition that read, in part:

As a scientist working in the Everglades, it is my scientific opinion that increased storage and treatment of fresh water south of Lake Okeechobee, and additional flow from the lake southward, is essential to restoring the Everglades, Florida Bay, and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries.

Organizations such as bullsugar.org and Captains for Clean Water—grassroots organizations led by concerned citizens and members of the sportfishing industry—as well as Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, the Everglades Foundation, and Audubon Florida have been demanding that the state of Florida acknowledge indisputable science and work toward real solutions to the water crisis. (This article in the Miami New Times offers a good summary.) To that end, bullsugar.org launched the “Now or Neverglades Declaration” this morning, as a means for collecting signatures of concerned citizens from around the world to put pressure on Florida politicians to do the right thing.


President Bill McLaughlin, CEO Perk Perkins, Director of Brand Marketing Simon Perkins, and Wingshooting Marketing Manager Charley Perkins (L to R) added their signatures to the Declaration.
Photo by Tom Rosenbauer

Orvis’s top executives made a point of having a signing ceremony to show that the company is 100% behind the goals outlined in the Declaration:

  1. To stop the damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries;
  2. To restore the flow of clean, fresh water to Everglades National Park, Florida Bay and the Florida Keys;
  3. To improve the health of Lake Okeechobee;
  4. To protect the drinking water for 8 million Floridians living in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties; and
  5. Identify and secure land south of the lake without delay, before development in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) or other uncertainties condemn our waters to irrevocable destruction.

Whether you are an angler who loves to cast for bonefish, snook, permit, redfish, tarpon, or any of the other game fish that inhabit these fragile ecosystems, or you are simply a concerned citizen who doesn’t want to see an ecological treasure destroyed, please sign the “Now or Neverglades Declaration” and share it through social media. The more people that we can get to sign the Declaration, the more pressure we can put on lawmakers to break down the political obstacles to progress.

Click here to read and sign the Declaration.


Add your signature to those of the Orvis team by clicking here.

18 thoughts on “Orvis Leaders Signed the “Now or Neverglades Declaration,” and So Should You”

  1. We are losing our reasons for coming to Florida, wonderful beaches, good fishing and boating, clean air, Please Help!

  2. Stop then pollution now. I don’t care how much it costs or what you have to do or who has to give up their farm or what sugar business suffers. We can not survive without clean water. Tourism will end wildlife will be destroyed crops won’t grow and all the scum n algae n fertilizers will eventually end up in the ocean. Not to mention dead fish manatees gators lizzards frogs birds snakes rats and every other creature including us who need clean water. Then will come the hordes of flies etc.

  3. To stop the damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries;
    To restore the flow of clean, fresh water to Everglades National Park, Florida Bay and the Florida Keys;
    To improve the health of Lake Okeechobee;
    To protect the drinking water for 8 million Floridians living in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties; and
    Identify and secure land south of the lake without delay, before development in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) or other uncertainties condemn our waters to irrevocable destruction.

  4. End the discharges that are polluting our waterways and recreational areas. Please do whatever is necessary to clean up any damage already caused.

  5. Have read, signed and shared every way possible! Thanks for fighting the good fight!

  6. This process of diverting water should not only be illegal it is ruining an ecosystem if someone went into the Big Cypress National Preserve and removed a cypress tree they can be fined why is it okay to ruin the entire ecosystem for the interest love farming

  7. The Ag Cartel of Florida is destroying the possibility that we can fish in this state in the future ,their behavior has been reckless at best .We watch SFWMD board members float from the Board of US Sugar , Florida Crystals
    then back again in a never ending cycle of destruction of our resources .

  8. Thank you, living on the Caloosahatchee, I can’t wait to fish your gear in clean water again. The problem is big agriculture, specifically Big Sugar, has been using Lake Okeechobee as their private cesspool. This is accomplished by buying off our State Legislature. $100K to Governor Scott recently, huge contributor to Marco Rubio. The Governor has replaced the Water Authority with his hand picked scientists. This from a Governor who has forbidden anyone in state government from uttering the words “Climate Change” or Global Warming.

    Thank you again

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