Advocacy in motion
Sarah Ashton and Jim Metzler, co-chairs of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge Advocacy Committee, attended a quarterly meeting of the Everglades Coalition on April 27. The agenda item of most interest to the refuge was a discussion of the recent America’s Everglades Summit led by Everglades Foundation Chief Operating Officer Shannon Estenoz, which was the organization that sponsored the event. Several U.S. senators, including Florida’s Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, along with many U.S. congressmen, including Francis Rooney, spoke at the summit about the criticality of restoring the Everglades. Estenoz also discussed the ongoing evaluation of the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir feasibility study that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is undertaking. It is important that the Corps finish its evaluation quickly, so that funding for the project can be included in the 2018 Water Resources Development Act.