press release
1/11/12 03:00PM

Interior Secretary Salazar to attend Everglades Water Supply Summit

On January 17 and 18, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Gov. Rick Scott, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham, Golf legend Jack Nicklaus and Chuck Todd of NBC News will join business, government and conservation leaders in Tallahassee for the Everglades Water Supply Summit.

On January 17 and 18, 2012, the Everglades Foundation will be hosting a first of its kind event in Tallahassee - The Everglades Water Supply Summit. The importance of this discussion is highlighted by the bi-partisan participation of state and national political leaders who believe in the need to restore America’s Everglades and to secure Florida’s water supply.


Among those participating in the discussion will be: U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Senate President Mike Haridopolos, Sen. Paula Dockery, Sen. Jack Latvala, State Rep. Will Weatherford, South Florida Water Management District Executive Director Melissa Meeker, West Palm Beach City Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Hershel Vinyard, Everglades Foundation Chairman Paul Tudor Jones II, and other business and environmental leaders.


The moderator for the event is NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd. A Florida native, Todd is NBC’s political director as well as host of the morning MSNBC show, The Daily Rundown. Todd appears frequently on the NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, and other programs as a political analyst. Before joining NBC, Todd was editor-in-chief of The Hotline.


Our sense of urgency has never been greater. In 2011, Florida suffered from one of the worst droughts in the state’s history. It was the third drought in ten years and meteorologists are predicting another drought in 2012.


Due to the lack of fresh water flowing into the Everglades, saltwater intrusion has begun to threaten South Florida’s water supply. Drought-induced toxic algae blooms harmed the Caloosahatchee River and the economy that depends on the river. Earlier this year, the city of West Palm Beach and the town of Palm Beach were within days of running out of water. In Palm Beach County, a war over scarce water supplies is looming.


During the Everglades Water Supply Summit, participants will focus on the need to provide a secure and reliable water supply for the 7 million Floridians who depend on the Everglades ecosystem as their main source of fresh drinking water.


The Everglades Water Supply Summit follows the successful 2010 America’s Everglades Summit in Washington, D.C. that featured top state and federal leaders, as well as hundreds of supporters of the Everglades. Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw hosted a forum on the challenges facing Everglades restoration.


“The success of our Washington summit demonstrated that legislators and policy leaders are eager to participate in discussions about how to improve and enhance our fresh water supply,” said Kirk Fordham, Everglades Foundation CEO. “We look forward to bringing that discussion to Tallahassee at a time when legislators will be in session making critical decisions about the future of Everglades restoration.”


The Everglades Water Supply Summit will be a high-energy, entertaining, multi-media event. The Water Supply Summit will also feature a performance by recording artist Gavin DeGraw, at The Moon, on the evening of January 17.

“Our approach is to enlighten, educate and entertain,” said Fordham. “We’re particularly excited about having singer/songwriter Gavin DeGraw perform at The Water Supply Summit. DeGraw’s albums have topped the charts and he will bring excitement and energy to the summit.”


Media should register to attend this event on the event website:


Summit Kick-off Luncheon

January 17 - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center

555 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, FL


Water Supply Summit

January 17 - 2 p.m.

Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center

555 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, FL

This event has limited seating. Attendees must request tickets during registration.


Everglades Jam Reception

January 17 - 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The Moon

1105 East Lafayette Street, Tallahassee, FL

Unwind with fellow Floridians over good food, drinks and a live performance by platinum recording artist Gavin DeGraw.

Everglades Jam Performance by Gavin DeGraw


January 17 - 7 to 9 p.m.

The Moon

1105 East Lafayette Street, Tallahassee, FL

Legislative Briefing Breakfast

January 18 - 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center

555 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, FL


Capital Lobby Day

January 18 - 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center

555 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, FL

A day of briefings, meetings and advocacy to save Florida's Everglades.

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