AWE Advocates for Western Everglades Restoration and Preservation

Why Preserve and Restore the Western Everglades?

Listed Wildlife Species in SW Florida

% More Listed Wildlife Species in SW FL than SE FL

Bird Species in SW FL

A healthy balance of saltwater and freshwater and of phosphorus and nitrogen flowing to the estuaries minimizes red tide events.

Courtesy Constantine

Native trees and vegetation inhabiting the Everglades, as well as subtle elevational gradients and sedimentation accumulating over geologic time, slow the flow of water and provide flood attenuation.

© Gulfshore Life

Our quality of life and the economic well-being of our communities depend on our rivers, estuaries and coastal waters and on the ground waters which supply our drinking water. Our estuaries feed and protect hatchling fish, including some of our most important gamefish and commercial fisheries.

© MCreative

Our Coastal Waters are Impacted By:

  • Local runoff
  • “Dumps” of nutrient-rich water from Lake Okeechobee into water flowing westward
  • Flows from the “bone valley” phosphate mining country North of us
  • Decades of federal canal projects to drain water efficiently & directly to the sea

© Jean Hall

  • Loop currents in the Gulf of Mexico, which bring red tide and sometimes oil spill-laden waters or sewage spills from the North to Southwest Florida’s nearshore waters
  • Filling and building on the wetlands needed to recharge the aquifers holding our potable water

AWE Advocates for Long-Term Progress:

  • Restore natural water flows and science-based water quality levels
  • Find funding to transition single family homes from septic to sewers
  • Reuse and recharge water as a defense to sea level rise and salt water intrusion
  • Protect our existing high-quality beaches and coastal ecosystems

© FL Gulf Coast University

  • Build pumps, filters and water supply areas to reduce nutrient loading into our estuaries and to better manage the timing and amount of flow of water from Lake Okeechobee
  • Support solid planning and smart growth, including transition from fossil fuels
  • Create the political will and financial appropriations to execute restoration projects which will benefit Southwest Florida.

Project Highlight: Harmony Beach, Lee County

Courtesy Lee Conservation 20-20

Thanks to Lee County’s Conservation 20/20 for approving the application to purchase the square-mile Harmony Ranch. AWE urges Lee County to finalize this purchase.

Part of the larger Caloosahatchee River Watershed Restoration Plan, this purchase will magnify benefits to the Caloosahatchee River Estuary by storing and cleaning water from the River and possibly from an even larger planned reservoir upstream.