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  • Writer's pictureFrank Landrian

We must SAVE the Everglades!


The Biscayne Times has covered the health of Biscayne Bay multiple times in recent months. Clean water and healthy ecosystems support our economy not only in Miami-Dade, but in the entire state of Florida.

In fact, Biscayne Bay-related activities account for nearly $64 billion in economic output, $23.3 billion in residential income, 448,000 jobs, and $3.9 billion in tax revenue for the county. The impact that the Everglades ecosystem has on our clean water economy is another impactful example of the importance of restoring and protecting it.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the 16 counties within the Everglades ecosystem contributed $683 billion to Florida’s economy in 2021, making it an integral part of the state’s overall economic health, totaling $1.29 trillion. This financial impact underscores the necessity of preserving the delicate balance within the Everglades.

Beyond the raw economic figures, the Everglades serves as the lifeblood of our region, protecting the water we drink, our recreational experiences and even our resilience to natural disasters. It is a dynamic network providing tangible benefits to residents and visitors.

In our pursuit of understanding the value of these resources, various organizations, including academic, governmental, private and nongovernmental entities, have conducted studies. Their findings shed light on the multifaceted advantages the Everglades bestows upon us:

·     In 2021, more than 4.8 million visits to Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park and Everglades National Park contributed more than $390 million to Florida’s GDP.

·     A 2020 study conducted by the Balmoral Group for the Coastal and Heartland National Estuary Partnership revealed that residential homes near major waterways and conservation lands in the Caloosahatchee River watershed benefited from an increase in value exceeding $2 billion.

(The Everglades Foundation)

Paul Hindsley, Ph.D.

·     A 2019 study by The Everglades Foundation revealed that recreational fishing in Florida Bay had a staggering $439 million economic impact on the local economy.

·     Research conducted in 2019 by UC Santa Cruz, Risk Management Solutions, Hiscox and The Nature Conservancy demonstrated that South Florida mangroves were crucial in averting $1.5 billion in storm damage during Hurricane Irma.

These studies underscore the irreplaceable value of the Everglades to our community’s well-being, emphasizing the need for continued restoration efforts. Furthermore, projects supporting the health of Biscayne Bay are components of an overarching Everglades restoration plan. As stakeholders in this vibrant region, it is our collective responsibility to advocate for policies that ensure the sustained health and prosperity of the Everglades.

Paul Hindsley, Ph.D., is chief economist for The Everglades Foundation. Launched in 1993, the foundation works to restore and protect the Florida Everglades through science, advocacy and education, and is positioned as one of the most influential players in the fight to preserve and restore one of the world’s most unique wetlands.

The Biscayne Times has covered the health of Biscayne Bay multiple times in recent months. Clean water and healthy ecosystems support our economy not only in Miami-Dade, but in the entire state of Florida.

In fact, Biscayne Bay-related activities account for nearly $64 billion in economic output, $23.3 billion in residential income, 448,000 jobs and $3.9 billion in tax revenue for the county. The impact that the Everglades ecosystem has on our clean water economy is another impactful example of the importance of restoring and protecting it.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the 16 counties within the Everglades ecosystem contributed $683 billion to Florida’s economy in 2021, making it an integral part of the state’s overall economic health, totaling $1.29 trillion. This financial impact underscores the necessity of preserving the delicate balance within the Everglades.

Beyond the raw economic figures, the Everglades serves as the lifeblood of our region, protecting the water we drink, our recreational experiences and even our resilience to natural disasters. It is a dynamic network providing tangible benefits to residents and visitors.

In our pursuit of understanding the value of these resources, various organizations, including academic, governmental, private and nongovernmental entities, have conducted studies. Their findings shed light on the multifaceted advantages the Everglades bestows upon us:

·     In 2021, more than 4.8 million visits to Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park and Everglades National Park contributed more than $390 million to Florida’s GDP.

·     A 2020 study conducted by the Balmoral Group for the Coastal and Heartland National Estuary Partnership revealed that residential homes near major waterways and conservation lands in the Caloosahatchee River watershed benefited from an increase in value exceeding $2 billion.

(The Everglades Foundation)

Paul Hindsley, Ph.D.

·     A 2019 study by The Everglades Foundation revealed that recreational fishing in Florida Bay had a staggering $439 million economic impact on the local economy.

·     Research conducted in 2019 by UC Santa Cruz, Risk Management Solutions, Hiscox and The Nature Conservancy demonstrated that South Florida mangroves were crucial in averting $1.5 billion in storm damage during Hurricane Irma.

These studies underscore the irreplaceable value of the Everglades to our community’s well-being, emphasizing the need for continued restoration efforts. Furthermore, projects supporting the health of Biscayne Bay are components of an overarching Everglades restoration plan. As stakeholders in this vibrant region, it is our collective responsibility to advocate for policies that ensure the sustained health and prosperity of the Everglades.

Paul Hindsley, Ph.D., is chief economist for The Everglades Foundation. Launched in 1993, the foundation works to restore and protect the Florida Everglades through science, advocacy and education, and is positioned as one of the most influential players in the fight to preserve and restore one of the world’s most unique wetlands.

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