Belle Glade, Fla. – EAA Farmers, a coalition of family farmers and farming businesses in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), celebrate the South Florida Water Management District’s (SFWMD) announcement today that farmers in the EAA achieved water-quality goals for the Everglades with a 66% phosphorus reduction in Water Year 2022, more than two times better than the goal.

“For more than 25 years, EAA farmers have sent clean water to the Everglades as part of our Best Management Practices program,” said Eric Hopkins of Hundley Farms. “There’s a reason why farmers in the EAA play a leading role in integrating environmentally sustainable practices in our farming; it’s because our land is our legacy and we must preserve it with great care, so that we can continue to feed families for generations to come.”

This significant accomplishment by EAA farmers was announced today at the SFWMD governing board meeting.

“Restoring America’s Everglades involves all stakeholders who live, work and play in the South Florida Region. As part of this overall effort, the SFWMD supports the implementation of the EAA Best Management Practice (BMP) Program,” said SFWMD in a letter to EAA landowners.

The SFWMD also said performance requirements have been met each year since 1996 with an average long-term phosphorus reduction of 57 percent.

 “Despite a year of significant challenges, including severe and damaging weather, the hard-hit impact of inflation, and working to overcome the lasting effects of the pandemic, EAA farmers are proud to have still gone above and beyond to provide clean water to the Everglades, and our successes have clearly been demonstrated through science and data,” added Hopkins.

The EAA Best Management Practices program is nationally recognized for its success helping to restore the Everglades. Farmers in the EAA implement the program at their own expense, in addition to paying a one-of-a-kind Agriculture Privilege tax of $25-per-acre that funds Everglades restoration projects – a tax that is unique to EAA farmers, as no other farmer in America pays a special tax to supply homegrown food.

Source: SFWMD – “EAA BMP phosphorus reduction performance”

About EAA Farmers

EAA Farmers is a coalition of mostly family-owned farms and farming businesses who provide farming education and advocate for the protection of homegrown food and local farmland. By joining our voices together, we are effective advocates on issues important to the economic viability of farms in the EAA.