Bozeman, Montana – Simms Fishing Products, the preeminent manufacturer of waders, outerwear, footwear and technical apparel heads to the sunshine state to raise awareness, and funds towards restoring, and protecting the Florida Everglades.
The labyrinth of mangrove forests, sawgrass marshes and cypress swamps known as the Everglades is one the most diverse and unique fisheries in the country. For decades, anglers have been drawn to not only the tarpon and snook that reside here, but also the mystic and lore of this South Florida jungle. Watermen who originally navigated this backcountry maze and unlocked its many secrets have become legends, and so have their stories from those early days. The Everglades needs our help, and needs our help fast.
Water mismanagement issues have plagued the Everglades for decades. Now, more than ever, these issues threaten to completely strangle this fragile, one-of-a-kind ecosystem. Damming, ditching and draining, has drastically changed the traditional flow of the river of grass, Lake Okeechobee’s natural runoff of fresh water that once supplied, and balanced the Everglades. In order to protect this resource, we have to reestablish the traditional flow and send the water south once again.
“The Everglades is one of those places that’s far too valuable and more importantly, too special to lose,” says Simms Executive Vice President of Marketing, Al Perkinson. “Florida’s water management issues have been going on long enough. The time is now to implement real solutions that will restore and protect Florida’s estuaries. If we don’t, places like the Everglades simply will not survive.”
The Everglades is the first eastern effort and sixth stop in Simms 2017 Save Our Streams campaign. During the month of September, Simms will offer a limited edition T-Shirt (available in Men’s and Women’s) designed by Jorge Matinez, a Florida native who grew up just north of Everglades National Park. Martinez, a graduate of the Miami School of Art and Design is a diehard angler, fly/lure designer and passionate conservationist. A portion of every T-Shirt sale available through Simms’ retail partners and http://www.simmsfishing.com/sos will benefit Captains for Clean Water, a non-profit organization that spawned from a group of fishing guides based out of Ft. Meyers, Florida who “had enough” of Florida’s poor water management practices. Captains for Clean Water fights to eliminate harmful, large-scale Lake Okeechobee discharges into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie River estuaries by restoring the natural flow of Lake Okeechobee, sending its water south, back into the Everglades and Florida Bay.
“The Florida Everglades are at a vital crossroads,” says Captains for Clean Water’s founder, Captain Daniel Andrews. “Recent legislation – that we helped pass – provides light at the end of the tunnel for the River of Grass. Captains for Clean Water is proud to partner with Simms via Save Our Streams to raise awareness to science-based solutions to Florida’s water crisis.”
About Simms Fishing Products: Established in 1980, Montana-based Simms is the Preeminent manufacturer of waders, outerwear and technical apparel in fishing. The full line of Simms gear is available at specialty and large format retailers nationwide as well as www.simmsfishing.com.
John Frazier, Community Specialist