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
This ad, an open letter from Orvis CEO Perk Perkins, ran in the Miami Herald yesterday:
Dear Governor Scott and members of the Florida Legislature,
You stand at the threshold of being able with your leadership to solve a problem that has existed for decades and is accelerating in its destruction of one of the world’s great ecological treasures. There is a tipping point in every battle when a fight is won or lost, and in regard to the Everglades we are there. The very nature of southern Florida and this irreplaceable ecosystem hangs in the balance both environmentally and economically. The Everglades ecosystem supports 1.3 million jobs and represents $109 billion dollars to Florida’s economy in recreation and tourism by the very nature of its beauty, but that ecosystem is collapsing and Florida must act now to save it. History will be made here, one way or the other.
There is an answer. The opportunity has never been better to enact a long-term permanent solution to the tragic decline of the Everglades. Climatic, scientific, economic, and political forces are all in place and this must happen now or we may lose our best chance to save it. More than 200 Everglades scientists agree that increased storage, treatment, and conveyance of water south of Lake Okeechobee is necessary as a long-term solution to both the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries, and the increasing damage to Florida Bay and the Everglades. Seventy-five percent of Florida voters approved Amendment 1 to fund the acquisition of the land necessary.
The legislation to guide this effort is in play with Senator Bradley’s SB 10 and Representative Altman’s HB 761. We need your leadership to see this through.
As the CEO of The Orvis Company we commit 5 percent of our pretax profits to conservation and to date have raised more than $20 million dollars with our customers in our commitment to protect our natural resources. This year we are focused on total devotion to the Now or Neverglades Campaign. Our customers have the wealth, power, and influence to accomplish far beyond what we as a company could ever do, and our goal is to inspire and focus them on this campaign. With your leadership we have the opportunity and the duty to bring to bear all the resources necessary to save this unique and spectacular ecosystem, a symbol of Florida, and the engine for a substantial piece of Florida’s economy. Please act now for the good of your state, your residents, and all of us who love the natural wonder that is Florida.
CEO, The Orvis Company, Inc.
Want to help? Tell Florida’s leaders to support SB 10 to build the EAA Reservoir. Text the word “WATER” to 52886.