The readers’ forum

Save the Everglades, save our water

 

Eighty-five years ago Friday, the Tamiami Trail opened to much fanfare. Showgirls on horses, civic boosters in hats and hundreds of Model Ts paraded down the two-lane road that promised untold riches. Miami businessman Frank Jaudon, the “Father of Tamiami Trail,” ran full-page newspaper ads offering to turn wetlands south of the road into oil fields, sugar plantations and subdivisions. People were in high spirits on April 26, 1928. Within 18 months, Jaudon’s fanciful dreams would sink into the sawgrass. The Great Depression had begun.

Tamiami Trail has cut off the main source of fresh water for the southern Everglades for almost a century. The devastation brought to the land, water and wildlife of Everglades National Park and Florida Bay is immense. But scientists say it’s about to get infinitely worse. Climate change and sea-level rise present an existential threat to the Everglades and our drinking water. Experts say the only way to fight salt water is with fresh water. And the only way to do that is by elevating the Tamiami Trail.

Last week traffic was rerouted onto the first of what will be a series of bridges to restore water flow across the Tamiami Trail. In March, former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar cut the ribbon on a one-mile bridge. Now the National Park Service is planning for the next two-and-a-half-mile span, part of a total of 6.5 miles of bridging. This “Everglades Skyway” is the centerpiece of restoration.

Miami-Dade County must make building the Everglades Skyway its top priority. Without it, our water supply and the Everglades will vanish. Few foresaw economic collapse in the frenzy of the Roaring ’20s, but we can clearly see an ecological collapse on the horizon. It’s up to us to decide whether we want to change the future.

Jonathan Ullman, South Florida/Everglades representative, Sierra Club, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • Can’t blame LeBron

    LeBron James knew he could not win a ring in Cleveland, so he brought his talents to South Beach. You can’t blame him for that. It was terrible for his hometown. He accomplished his dream and gave Miami and Florida a great ride.

  • Obama can’t win

    Hundreds of children are voluntarily turning themselves in to the U.S. Border Patrol, at the Mexican border. They actively seek out the Border Patrol to turn themselves in. They present no violent threat that requires additional armed personnel to protect the Public Safety.

  • Where’s Israeli peace?

    I read with dismay the letter from Audrey Bomse, of Jewish Voice for Peace, which suggested that the end of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank was the way to peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category