Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a 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. Anglers and Hunters Call for Permanent Protections for Bristol Bay
On Monday, April 26th, Orvis along with twenty-five of the largest fishing and hunting businesses and organizations in the country sent a letter to the Biden Administration calling for permanent protections for the people and fish-based resources of Bristol Bay. Signed by Orvis president ASimon Perkins and his counterparts at the other companies, the letter argues that “Without permanent protections for the region, the Bristol Bay region’s world-class fisheries, waters, and fish-based cultures will remain at great risk.” It then specifically asks the President and the EPA to do two things: Defend the Corps’ decision to deny the permit application and direct the EPA to restrict mining in Bristol Bay under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act.
2. Algae Blooms on Lake Okeechobee Threaten Both Coasts of Florida
Five years ago, in the summer of 2016, blooms of toxic algae along the Florida coast captured the attention of the nation. Fueled by discharges from Lake Okeechobee, these blooms threatened the health and well-being of residents and gravely damaged the tourism economy. What’s happening on Lake Okeechobee right now has many scared that we are in for a repeat . . . or even worse. Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg was at the lake the morning, where he said, “The smell alone is devastating.”
If that toxic water is dumped down the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers, it threatens the estuaries around Pine Island Sound in the west and Stuart in the east.
3. Check Out the Land and Water Conservation Fund Map
Want to know what projects near you are funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)? The new project map tracks information on projects funded through LWCF over the program’s history, to the greatest extent possible. These include fee and easement acquisitions by federal, state and local public agencies and state and local park development projects. It’s a cool way to see how such legislation translates to real-world conservation efforts.