Dear Friend of the National Parks,

Spring has sprung! We’re seeing native wildflowers bloom and warm rains starting to bring lush regrowth across our forests and wetlands. We hold high hopes that the significant progress we've seen unfold in 2021 – for park ecosystems and communities alike - will continue. Read on to hear how NPCA is hard at work bringing about positive advances for our parks, and sharing online park-learning opportunities for students this summer.

On the flip side, we are also seeing imminent threats looming over our parks and their surrounding ecosystems. NPCA is hard at work facing those threats – including an egregious proposal to construct new oil developments in the Everglades. Your continued care for these issues facing our parks, as well as your voice and support, help NPCA remain steadfast in our mission to preserve parks for current and future generations.

Florida's entire Congressional delegation came together calling for Everglades funding
NPCA is calling on President Biden to triple the federal investment in Everglades restoration. Increased funding would allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to advance key projects that would store, treat, and flow clean water south to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. NPCA's Sun Coast team worked closely with our park champions in Congress to amplify this opportunity to invest in the Everglades – our efforts helped ensure that Florida’s entire Congressional Delegation wrote to President Biden to request $725M for restoration in this year's federal budget. Investing in the Everglades is a win-win-win for South Florida: safeguarding our water supply, strengthening climate resilience and creating quality jobs.

Everglades threatened by new oil development proposed in Big Cypress National Preserve
Earlier this year, Burnett Oil Company released requests to carry out industrial scale new oil development – including construction of oil well pads and miles of oil access roads – inside Big Cypress National Preserve. NPCA launched into action to oppose this egregious proposal that could harm endangered wildlife including Florida panthers and impair waterflows of vital Everglades headwaters. The oil company’s proposal also seeks to drill into drinking water aquifers below Big Cypress and extract a minimum of 60 million gallons a month to run their industrial oil development– this is comparable to the household needs of over 90% of the total population of Naples, Florida. NPCA helped bring together over 100 organizations and businesses in calling upon DOI Sec. Haaland to block the request to drill for new oil in the Everglades. Our regional team helped raise the issue to Everglades champions in Congress, who on April 26th sent a letter urging the National Park Service to fully evaluate the issue and work towards a long-term resolution of the oil threat by pursuing an acquisition process for the mineral rights. If authorized to proceed, this could become the first new oil development inside a national park unit to happen under the watch of the climate-focused current administration. NPCA continues to closely track and advocate against this threat.

Partnering to bring a national park lens to climate education for students in Florida
NPCA is excited to grow our partnership with The CLEO Institute, a climate-focused nonprofit organization, by partnering to help bring a national park lens into CLEO’s Climate Action Lab program this summer. Serving students across the state of Florida, the Climate Action Lab seeks to educate and empower students with knowledge of climate science and tools for advocacy. NPCA will share resources, such as our report on Climate Change & Florida’s National Parks, with participants. If you know a high school student that may be interested in the 10-day virtual summer program, learn more here.

New leadership role for NPCA to help bring benefits to marine wildlife and resources!
NPCA is excited to take on a leadership role in the newly established Florida Keys and South Florida Ecosystem Connectivity Team, which will advise Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary managers about restoration opportunities and ecosystem threats that may impact the Sanctuary’s treasured marine resources.

Everglades Biodiversity Fellows help assess regional biodiversity, and speak out
NPCA’s Sun Coast Region is hosting two Everglades Biodiversity Fellows, early-career conservation professionals that are helping to assess regional biodiversity and highlight numerous endangered species that national parks are critical to protecting.

"Working with NPCA, I'm grateful that my efforts will have real-world impacts in expanding conservation efforts. It is so inspiring to work with experts in environmental and conservation advocacy, and it has been so interesting to see the great work that goes on behind the scenes to protect our National Parks and the species that call them home." - Domingo Cortinez, NPCA Everglades Biodiversity Fellow

Learn more about our parks on our webpageattend an upcoming NPCA event or take action to protect parks.

Thank you for all you do, and I hope you will stay connected with us at NPCA. Your support means so much!

Warm regards,




Melissa E. Abdo, Ph.D.
Regional Director, Sun Coast

PS. Have feedback on this e-newsletter? Email us at [email protected].

Photos, from top: Early morning over Everglades National Park © SimonSkafar via iStock | An oil pad and road near Raccoon Point in the Big Cypress National Preserve (January 2019) © Jonathan Milne, LightHawk | © The CLEO Institute | Leatherback sea turtle hatchling ©  Herve06, iStock | Roseate spoonbills, © Haniel Pulido of Falcon Shots