Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a weekly roundup of the most pressing conservation issues important to anglers. Working with our friends at Trout Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, The Everglades Foundation, Captains for Clean Water, Bullsugar.org, and Conservation Hawks (among others), we’ll make sure you’ve got the information you need to understand the issues and form solid opinions.
If you know of an important issue–whether it’s national or local–that anglers should be paying attention to, comment below, and we’ll check it out!
1. South Florida Plagued by Algae and Fish Kills
The rolling disaster that we’ve been chronicling in South Florida continues unabated, as huge and disgusting algae blooms continue to choke inland waterways and red tides and fish kills plague the coasts. The good news is that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has finally sent its report to Congress approving the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project. Now the project can be considered in the upcoming Senate vote on the Water Resources Development Act.
That means that it’s time to contact your senator, to ask him or her to authorize the EAA Reservoir. This is a chance when folks who don’t live in Florida can really help the cause.
Captains for Clean Water has made it very easy for you to make your voice heard. Please, complete the form to e-mail your Senators.
2. Alaska Governor Wants to Press “Pause” on Pebble Mine
Last Friday, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers urging that they suspend the environmental impact statement (EIS) until the Pebble Partnership can provide proof that the mine would be “feasible and realistic.”
Click here to read more and to watch an interview with Andy Mack, Commissioner of the Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources.
3. Conservationist Nat Reed’s Incredible Legacy
On July 11, one of the country’s most important conservation voices fell silent, as Nathaniel Reed passed away at the age of 84. Reed, who served as a deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior for presidents Nixon and Gerald Ford, was one of the architects of the Endangered Species Act, worked to pass the Clean Water Act, and was vice chairman of The Everglades Foundation.
Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation, paid tribute to Reed in an email to the organization’s members:
Last week, we lost a true Everglades champion and one of the Everglades Foundation’s founding members, Nathaniel P. Reed, who passed away on Wednesday, July 11th. He dedicated his life to public service and the protection of natural resources, helping establish The Everglades Foundation and serving on the Board of Directors for 25 years.
He served six Florida Governors and two U.S. Presidents. As Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and National Parks, his legacy includes the Endangered Species and Clean Water Acts, pressing for land protection in Alaska, and defending redwoods in California. He served Florida proudly for 14 years as a member of the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District, helping solidify the agency’s legacy as a leader in Everglades restoration. His leadership transformed the environmental culture, values, and public policies of our state and nation.
He was an avid outdoorsman with an unparalleled passion for restoring the Everglades. He was a master of words, bastion of principle, and a constant provider of sound counsel. He had irreverent wit that was matched equally by kindness. His encouragement to do what is right and never give up has inspired generations of conservationists. What he gave to America’s Everglades is beyond measure. Reporter Craig Pittman of the Tampa Bay Times (click to read article) did a remarkable job detailing Nathaniel’s contributions.
Former and current public officials and environmental leaders mourned the loss of Nathaniel along with us. Here is what some of them had to say. We take comfort in the fact that Nathaniel’s impact on the Everglades and beyond was known, appreciated, and admired by so many. ,