Big Cypress National Preserve is our country’s first national preserve — a cherished expanse of the Greater Everglades that’s home to threatened and endangered species. So it was disconcerting when an oil company applied for Florida permits this year to construct well pads and access roads in Big Cypress National Preserve, a potential precursor to additional permitting that could allow the company to drill there.
The company’s seismic testing operations in 2017 and 2018 severely damaged wetlands and cypress trees in the delicate ecosystem, an area critical to sending fresh water south to Everglades National Park, and a crucial habitat for the endangered Florida panther and other imperiled species.
Join us live Feb. 25 from 10-11a.m. on Facebook or YouTube for a Clean Water Conversation featuring a discussion of the value of Big Cypress — to the Everglades, tribal and other frontline communities, public water supply, tourism, wildlife, and the economy. Houston Cypress of Love the Everglades, Alison Kelly of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Jacki Lopez of Center for Biological Diversity will weigh in to discuss the concerns, communicated by letter to state and federal agencies. Learn how you can help stop drilling in Big Cypress by joining this conversation.
Houston R. Cypress is a Two-Spirit Poet, Artist,and Activist from the Otter Clan of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida. He resides on the Miccosukee Reservation in the River of Grass region of the Greater Everglades, an area called by his community: KAHAYATLE, which can be translated as "Shimmering Water." Houston is committed to supporting his society of clans by assisting in cultural preservation, environmental protection, community outreach, business development, media & event production, and strengthening sovereignty.
Alison Kelly practices environmental and energy law. By using advocacy, administrative processes, and litigation, she works to protect communities and wild places from the impacts of fossil fuel development. Prior to joining NRDC, Ms. Kelly was a regulatory enforcement attorney with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District. She has a bachelor of science degree in forest resources conservation from the University of Florida, a J.D. from Nova Southeastern University, and a master of laws in environmental law from Georgetown University. She works out of NRDC’s Washington, D.C., office.
Jaclyn Lopez is a Florida native and holds a master of laws degree in environmental and land-use law from the University of Florida, a J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Arizona. Jaclyn coordinates campaigns in the Southeast and Caribbean, focusing on protecting imperiled species and ecosystems. She has presented, written, and taught courses on environmental law and policy issues.
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