Adequate and clean water is the liquid heart of Florida. The Florida Wildlife Federation, working with its conservation allies, is an active supporter in cleaning up Florida's impaired waters, especially our fabled freshwater springs and rivers. Clean water is essential to our environment, our wildlife, our economy and us. Pollution and degradation now threaten our fresh, estuarine and marine waters that provide vital habitat for our fish and wildlife. As eco-tourism grows, we must protect and enhance special places such as Wekiva and Silver Springs and the Apalachicola River and Bay.
The Indian and Caloosahatchee Rivers, as well as world-renowned Lake Okeechobee, are under severe environmental pressure. Water flows have been drastically altered to the detriment of our ecology and our residents. FWF has striven for years on the state federal and local levels to fix these critical problems, by advocacy and, when necessary, by litigation.
In 2013, FWF provided testimony to the State Senate Select Committee on the Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee Basin. We encouraged the Legislature to address both short and long-term solutions to unnaturally high water in the Lake and the subsequent discharges which create tremendous pollution problems for associated estuaries and damage the Everglades system.
FWF also emphasizes environmental education, especially for our youth, and seeks to instill Floridians and visitors alike with a water stewardship ethic.