Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a (mostly) 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. Construction Starts on Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir
Almost three years ago, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill to fund the creation of a deep-water reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. But that was just one step toward the reality of a reservoir to store water until it can be cleaned and sent south into the Everglades. Last Friday afternoon, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finally approved a permit for the project, and Monday morning, work got underway on a man-made marsh.
This project is 20 years in the making, and it’s worth popping some corks to celebrate. But the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir Project is just a small part of the overall Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (CERP) passed in 2000. There is a lot more work to do, but we are heading in the right direction.
2. Alaska Governor Writes Letter in Support of Pebble Mine
Last week, it was revealed that the State of Alaska wrote a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking them to stick to its rushed review of the Pebble project’s permit–even amid the COVID-19 crisis–calling the mine “important to Alaskans.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, Alaskans have overwhelmingly opposed Pebble for nearly a decade, and opposition is even higher, around 85%, in the Bristol Bay region, where the prosposed mine would be built.
More Pebble News:
- Pebble Mine’s “Woefully Inadequate” Plan to Compensate for Destroying Salmon Habitat, from Hakai Magazine.
- Judge Halts Pursuit of Bristol Bay Protections, on savebristolbay.org.
3. Nestle wins legal challenge to Michigan groundwater extraction
Despite a huge public outcry and legal challenges from Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Judge Dan Pulter okayed Nestle’s plans to withdraw up to 576,000 gallons of groundwater per day from the headwaters of two trout streams in Osceola County, Michigan. The state of Michigan issued the permit based on modeling data, rather than on-site data, and local citizen scientists claim that the dewatered streams no longer support trout.
It seems like common sense to anyone who spends time around headwater streams that taking so much groundwater would have an adverse effect on the resource, but it seems that a spreadsheet claims otherwise. Whom would you believe?