Wednesday Wake-Up Call: 05.15.24

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 UnlimitedBackcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation PartnershipThe Everglades FoundationCaptains for Clean WaterVoteWater.orgBonefish & Tarpon Trust, and Conservation Hawks (among others), we’ll make sure you’ve got the information you need to understand the issues and form solid opinions.

1. Make Your Voice Heard to Stop Lawsuit That Threatens Everglades Restoration

Big Sugar is suing over a critical restoration project, the EAA Reservoir, in a move that threatens Everglades restoration and the future of Florida’s waters. The lawsuit could establish the EAA Reservoir as a personal, taxpayer-funded water supply for the sugar industry, instead of its intended use: to restore the natural Everglades flow by storing, cleaning, and sending more beneficial water south.

The EAA Reservoir is the single most impactful restoration project designed to provide large-scale relief to all of south Florida’s waterways. If Big Sugar wins the lawsuit, it could upend years of restoration progress and increases the risk of:

  • More toxic coastal discharges
  • More harmful algal blooms and massive fish kills
  • Billions of dollars of economic impact
  • Tens of thousands of jobs lost
  • The fate of a National Treasure

Our partners at Captains for Clean Water are urging the United States Sugar Corporation, Okeelanta Corporation (Florida Crystals), and the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida to WITHDRAW their lawsuit over the EAA Reservoir, and we need your voice!

Click here to make your voice heard!

2. Anglers Must Demand Action on Climate Change

Yesterday, the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) released a report written for anglers, by anglers, to kick off a nationwide campaign to inspire and empower anglers and the recreational fishing industry to demand progress toward climate-ready fisheries. The report, titled “For Tomorrow’s Fish: Anglers Are the Key to Climate-Resilient Fisheries,” documents how climate change is disrupting fishing experiences and explores how anglers are best positioned to call for climate-resilient fisheries that are healthy, sustainable, and abundant.  

“This is a call to arms for an angler-led movement that can help turn the tide and protect the future of fishing,” said Lucas Bissett, Executive Director of AFFTA. “From changing habitats to shifting fish populations and behavior, we can’t ignore the realities we’re seeing out on the water. As long-time stewards of our country’s waterways who are seeing these impacts firsthand, anglers have the power to make a real difference in the fight for climate-resilient fisheries – for our sport, way of life, and industry.” 

There is a long legacy of shared responsibility among anglers to protect the health of the ocean, our rivers and streams, and other vital marine habitats. The report highlights how anglers, who are witnessing the impacts of climate change day to day, are uniquely in tune with the realities occurring on their fishing grounds and possess specialized knowledge that can provide insights for adapting and managing U.S. fisheries to account for climate change. 

The report details how climate change affects fish behavior, abundance, productivity, and habitat, disrupting the success and sustainability of fishing experiences coast to coast. Sea level rise and warming waters are pushing essential fish habitats to the brink, destroying places legendary sportfish need to survive. Some fish are more abundant in certain areas and obsolete in others, directly impacting the success and sustainability of fishing experiences.

Communities that rely on fishing-related activities are seeing extreme weather, stronger, less predictable storms and flooding that are damaging critical fishing and coastal infrastructure like docks, boats, local businesses, and coastal roads and neighborhoods. These climate impacts are posing never-before-seen challenges for anglers such as declines in the availability of baitfish, productivity of fish populations, and habitat health. Fishing experiences are suffering as a result, meaning long-held fishing traditions and opportunities for future generations of anglers are at risk. 

The report is supported by more than two dozen leading outdoor brands and organizations such as Orvis, Patagonia, Far Bank, Mayfly, Bajio, and more. The release of the report kicks off the For Tomorrow’s Fish campaign that will elevate the voices of anglers and empower them to demand progress toward climate-resilient fisheries. 

Click here to learn more and to download the report

Click here for an article on the report in Hatch Magazine

3. Bringing Back the Bear River Cutthroat

This new film by Trout Unlimited tells the story of the decades of work by numerous organizations, including TU, the Western Native Trout Initiative, federal and state agencies and local partners, to recover the Bear River cutthroat, while working closely with ranching communities on the river to ensure reliable—and often easier—access to the water they need to thrive.

Click here for more information on tu.org

4. Atlantic Salmon Federation Names New CEO

After an extensive international search led by a panel of the Atlantic Salmon Federation Directors from both the U.S. and Canada, Louie Porta has been selected as the next President and Chief Executive Officer of ASF.

Porta, an experienced conservationist, is the founder of Oceans North, Canada’s largest ocean-focused charity. As Executive Director at Oceans North, Porta embraced a community-first approach, empowering individuals to take responsibility for the well-being of natural spaces.

Porta will begin his role this summer, working closely with outgoing CEO Bill Taylor until September 30th when Bill formally steps down. Taylor will stay on with ASF as a senior advisor and fundraiser.

“Bill’s legacy from 29 years as CEO is the recognition of ASF as the global leader in wild Atlantic salmon conservation and research,” remarked Brian Porter, Chair of ASF’s Canadian Board of Directors. “After decades of decline, Atlantic salmon returns to North America have stabilized and are increasing in many regions. Bill and the ASF team have played a significant part in this achievement.”

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is a world-leading science and advocacy organization with headquarters in New Brunswick, Canada. Represented at prominent forums, ASF is a family of more than 25,000 members and volunteers passionate about conserving and restoring wild Atlantic salmon. We conduct research on wild salmon throughout the North Atlantic, perform complex river restoration projects, and advocate for legislation that will help to protect wild Atlantic salmon.

Click here to learn more on asf.ca

2 thoughts on “Wednesday Wake-Up Call: 05.15.24”

  1. Big Sugar’s lawsuit against Everglades restoration is a major setback. Let’s push for its withdrawal to protect our waters. Climate change is disrupting fisheries, and anglers must advocate for resilience. Kudos to Trout Unlimited for their work on Bear River cutthroat recovery!

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