The state of Florida is attempting to close down the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Palm Beach County. The Refuge was created to stop the sugar industry dumping dirty water. The U.S. Department of Justice has enforced water quality laws and ordered sugar industries to clean up their act.
Loxahatchee comes from the Seminole meaning “River of Turtles.” The Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is a mosaic of wet prairies, sawgrass ridges, sloughs, tree islands, cattail communities, and a 400-acre cypress swamp. The refuge provides essential wildlife habitats for King Rail, Limpkin, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, White and Glossy Ibis, Sandhill Crane, threatened Wood Storks, and endangered Everglade Snail Kites – home for 250 species of birds and two turtles, Peninsula Cooter and Florida Softshell.
Your immediate involvement is critical to our success in preventing the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge from becoming instead a state water management property – a great loss for wildlife and for all of us.
Please join with us in writing to Governor Scott and take a moment to write a personal comment. We’ll review with light edits so you sound your best and organize by town, state, country. We have discovered presenting a cacophony of different voices at once from across the nation and beyond is most persuasive of decision-makers.
Dear Governor Scott,
We are deeply concerned with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) initiating a process to revoke the agreement between the State of Florida and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This state action would eliminate The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. The land would no longer be managed to protect wildlife.
We urge you to stop the Florida agency, SFWMD, from revoking the license agreement. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has met all aspects of the agreement, except for the eradication of an invasive climbing fern. Lygodium is believed to have first entered Florida in Martin County in 1965. The plant has flourished and is today choking trees in Palm Beach County including the Loxahatchee.
Loxahatchee comes from the Seminole meaning “River of Turtles.” Thanks to responsible stewardship by federal and state authorities working together, Peninsula Cooter and Florida Softshell turtles dwell in the refuge today.
The Great Florida Birding Trail of the Loxahatchee NWR is a gateway site and a national treasure cherished by families living in all fifty states plus Canada. In addition to signatures, many of us have taken the time to write personal comments giving voice to why we care. Our reasons are as varied as walking a board walk in the largest remaining remnant of a cypress strand separating the pine flatwoods and Everglade marshes, to recalling from a distance the legacy of Congressman Clay Shaw’s conservation leadership protecting the Loxahatchee.
We urge you to honor the agreement and steady-on with the collaborative management of the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.