About the Everglades Law Center
Our mission is to advocate, negotiate, and when necessary, litigate to protect and restore the South Florida ecosystem.
The Everglades Law Center is a nonprofit law firm dedicated to representing the public interest in environmental and land use matters.
Working with more than thirty national, state and local environmental and conservation groups, our firm utilizes litigation, advocacy and policy development to protect and sustain this region’s unique and irreplaceable ecosystems and communities. Our attorneys are uniquely positioned throughout the Everglades ecosystem and handle a wide range of environmental matters, including land use, wetlands permitting, endangered species, public lands, and sustainable energy development.
Once considered to be America’s last frontier, the Everglades and South Florida have been degraded by irresponsible water development and management practices as well as other inappropriate development. In the past, South Florida’s unique flora and fauna took a back seat to private development. The Everglades Law Center now fights to keep the River of Grass flowing and the voice of the general public heard.
Leaders in environmental affairs, we advocate for a healthy and safe human environment. In addition to promoting public safety and health, our team prioritizes the conservation of Florida’s natural treasures. Florida is home to over a hundred endangered and threatened species including the critically imperiled Florida panther, grasshopper sparrow, and Everglades snail kite. It is our philosophy to make parties, whether that is governmental or non-governmental entities, accountable to the general public. Our job is to enhance government transparency, insure that government agencies and third parties closely examine the impacts of their actions, and provide our clients (as well as those without a human voice) their day in court. Our team of legal experts and conservationists work tirelessly to ensure that future generations have an opportunity to marvel at South Florida’s irreplaceable ecosystems.
We were founded in 1995 as a response to human activities that have decimated the Everglades.
From its headwaters north of Lake Okeechobee to the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, the Florida Everglades is an integral part of our ecology, culture and economy.
Recognized as a World Heritage Site, the Everglades provides habitat for over 67 endangered and threatened species. The Everglades is home to countless wading birds, diverse flora and fauna, and is the only place in the world where the American Alligator and American Crocodile co-exist in the wild. With tens of thousands of people visiting from around the world each year, the Everglades also serves an important role in Florida’s economy. Unfortunately, while considered a national treasure, overdevelopment, polluted runoff, ditching, mining and other human activities have resulted in the loss of approximately half of the Everglades wetlands, the wading bird population has been reduced by about 90 percent, and populations of rare species found nowhere else in the world – including the iconic Florida panther – have been decimated.
In response to these threats, the Everglades Law Center was founded to provide high quality legal assistance to advocate, negotiate, and, when necessary, litigate to protect and restore the ecosystems of the Florida Everglades. Since our inception in 1995, our legal team has stopped the expansion of nearly 20,000 acres of lime rock mines in the Everglades Agricultural Area, prevented the construction of a commercial airport that would have been located between two national parks, and successfully challenged numerous developments that violated Florida’s growth laws. Our legal challenge led to the relocation of a major biotech campus from the edge of the Everglades – where it would have threatened restoration efforts – to a location adjacent to a state university and city life. Our lawyers negotiated an agreement with a major public utility to keep electrical transmission lines out of Everglades National Park, and we’ve held off efforts to pump water needed for Everglades restoration deep underground by the use of deep injection wells. We’ve prevented a harmful proposal to deepen and widen the Lake Worth Inlet that would have destroyed corals and critical seagrass beds for manatees and we continue to work to improve water quality and prevent development within the Lake Worth Lagoon where development interests are seeking to bulkhead and fill environmentally sensitive but privately-owned submerged lands.
The Everglades Law Center team brings more than five decades of legal expertise in its work with over thirty national, state, and local environmental and conservation groups. Our attorneys are uniquely positioned throughout the Everglades ecosystem and handle a wide range of environmental matters, including land use, wetlands permitting, endangered species, public lands, and sustainable energy development. Building on over two decades of success, we look forward to providing our partners with the top-notch legal services, on-the-ground analysis, and thoughtful leadership they expect from us for many years to come.