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  April 2013 - The Everglades one-mile bridge is only the beginning.

It was finally real. After two decades of advocacy by the Sierra Club and others, the ribbon was cut on a one-mile bridge over Tamiami Trail. Cars will be sailing over the bridge in about a month. The old road will be removed and parts of the River of Grass will flow free again for the first time in 85 years. This is just the beginning. The next 2.6 mile span, currently being designed by the National Park Service, will be part of 6.5 miles of total bridging, known as The Everglades Skyway, that will restore fresh water to Shark River Slough, the main-artery of Everglades National Park.

March 19, 2013 was a celebration of what is real; no longer confined to the pages of a glossy brochure, an on-line petition, or a plea to the President. For Skyway advocates, it has been a long, hard, road but the long walk across the new bridge seemed to make time disappear.

But time is what is in short supply for the Everglades. The realities of human-induced climate change and sea level rise are finally beginning to set in. The timetables of bureaucracies must synchronize with the timetables of physics.

The Skyway is our best weapon to stave off the effects of sea level rise. The road must be lifted quickly and sufficient clean water must pass underneath so fresh water can hydrate the aquifer and the soil. Otherwise, Everglades National Park will fall to the salt-water sea. These are not the words of doomsayers. These are the words of scientists. And not some distant future. Probably in your lifetime.

While much attention was placed yesterday on the benefits to wildlife, as scores of wading birds flew overhead, the unspoken truth was the bridge is about so much more. It's about the very survival of the Everglades.

- Jonathan Ullman, South Florida/Everglades Representative,
Sierra Club

Let the water flow!
Tamiami Trail (US highway 41) cuts through Shark River Slough, one of the Everglades' deepest and most important water passageways. Scientists say flow must be restored by elevating Tamiami Trail if Everglades restoration is to succeed. The Everglades Skyway Coalition supports the National Park Service's proposal to build 5.5 miles of bridging in addition to a one-mile bridge now under construction. These bridges, which we cumulatively refer to as the "Everglades Skyway," are key to returning the historic water sheet flow through parched Everglades National Park and into Florida Bay. The Skyway will be beneficial to wildlife by reducing habitat fragmentation and preventing road kill. The project will create jobs and increase tourism while raising Everglades awareness at the same time. Best yet, the cumulative 6.5-mile Skyway will serve as a visible symbol of Everglades restoration. The Everglades Skyway Coalition believes that Everglades restoration cannot happen without the full 6.5-mile Skyway.

Read more about the National Park Service's Tamiami Trail Next Steps plan here.
Supporters of the Skyway

City of Coral Gables
City of Miami
City of Miami Beach
City of Miami Gardens
City of North Miami
Town of Miami Lakes
Miami-Dade County Metropolitan Planning Organization
Monroe County
1000 Friends of Florida
Audubon of Florida
Biscayne Gardens Civic Association
Builders Association of South Florida
Chamber South
Clean Water Action
Council of Garden Club Presidents of Dade County
Dade Heritage Trust
Defenders of Wildlife
Izaak Walton League
Everglades Coalition
Everglades Foundation
Everglades Law Center
Everglades Trust
Florida Biodiversity Project
Florida Federation of Garden Clubs
Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council
Friends of the Everglades
Miami-Dade Citizens Transportation Advisory Council
Miami-Dade Green Party
Miami Lakes Garden Club
National Parks Conservation Association
National Resources Defense Council
Operation Green Leaves
Soroptimist International of Coral Gables
Tropical Audubon Society
Urban Environment League
World Wildlife Fund
Surfrider Foundation, Miami Chapter
South Beach Hotel and Restaurant Association
Sustain Ventures
Coral Gables Congregational Church
Village of Pinecrest, FL


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