Conservation Featured

TU and BTT team up to produce 'Everyone in Between'

New film highlights challenges faced by the Bristol Bay watershed and the Everglades

Two great American landscapes face unprecedented threats from very different sources, but both have a bright future if the right decisions are made at the right time.

At Trout Unlimited we’re very familiar with the effort to protect Bristol Bay, Alaska, from the perils posed by the planned Pebble Mine. Situating the world’s largest open-pit mine at the headwaters of the planet’s most important salmon runs is a monumentally bad idea.

We’re less familiar with the plight of the Florida Everglades, the “sea of grass” that drains the southern third of the Sunshine State and provides habitat for everything from redfish and snook to tarpon, bonefish and even permit. The threat facing the Everglades is existential — the lush Florida lowland swamp is being starved of fresh water because polluted irrigation water from Lake Okeechobee is being diverted into rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean rather than being allowed to filter naturally through the ‘glades and into Florida bay at the southern tip of the state. The result of the water diversions include toxic algae blooms in estuaries on both of Florida coasts, threatened drinking water supplies, fish kills and persistent red tides.

We know the solutions to both of these significant challenges. To protect Bristol Bay, the Pebble Mine must remain a bad idea, and never become a reality. For the Everglades, it’s all about water management, and dealing with polluted runoff from sugar plantations around Lake Okeechobee.

Together with Captains for Clean Water, Trout Unlimited and the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust have teamed up to produce the new film, “Everyone in Between,” which looks at both of these challenges through the eyes of angler, guide and conservationist Capt. John Landry.

TU members and supporters are likely up to speed on the efforts to protect Bristol Bay from Pebble Mine, but the Everglades issue might be less familiar. Check out the Captains for Clean Water website and get up to speed on this vital issue that is taking its toll on what of America’s greatest treasures. Then, reach out to those who represent you in the House and the Senate and let them know that clean water, intact habitat and great fishing all go together.

By Chris Hunt.