Our Impact

ELC by the Numbers

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Number of non-profit organizations advocating for the environment in South Florida that ELC represented and partnered with pro bono from 2020 through 2022

  • Miami Waterkeeper
  • The People’s Economic and Environmental Resiliency (“P.E.E.R.”) Group
  • University of Miami Environmental Justice Clinic
  • Tropical Audubon Society
  • Friends of the Everglades
  • 1000 Friends of Florida
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation
  • Conservancy of Southwest Florida
  • Everglades Coalition
  • Everglades Foundation
  • Islamorada Chamber of Commerce
  • Sanibel Captiva  Chamber of Commerce
  • Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association
  • Florida Bay Forever
  • Captains for Clean Water
  • Audubon Florida
  • Audubon Society of the Everglades
  • Reef Environmental Education Foundation (“REEF”)
  • Lake Worth Waterkeeper
  • Florida Oceanographic Society
  • Rivers Coalition
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Sierra Club
  • Surfrider
  • Apalachicola Riverkeeper
  • Kissimmee Waterkeeper
  • Matanzas Waterkeeper
  • St. Johns Riverkeeper
  • Suncoast Waterkeeper
  • Tampa Bay Waterkeeper
  • CLEO Institute
  • Sustainable Palm Beach County
How long ELC has been representing the critical ecosystems and species of south Florida, and the communities that depend on them
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Number of years of combined attorney experience specifically focused on the protection of the south Florida environment

Since our inception in 1995, ELC attorneys have been diligently working to protect our critical natural resources. Some of our wins include stopping the expansion of nearly 20,000 acres of lime rock mines in the Everglades Agricultural Area, preventing the construction of a commercial airport that would have been located between two national parks, and successfully challenging numerous developments that violated Florida’s growth laws. Our work 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.

360+ species of birds make their winter home in the Everglades ecosystem

39 native Florida species that may occur in the Everglades ecosystem are federally listed as threatened or endangered, or are candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA)

The sea level around Florida is up to 8 inches higher than it was in 1950

Sea level along the U.S. coastline is projected to rise, on average, 10 – 12 inches (0.25 – 0.30 meters) in the next 30 years (2020 – 2050), which will be as much as the rise measured over the last 100 years (1920 – 2020). Some of the highest amounts of sea level rise are expected on the east and Gulf coasts in the United States: Rise in the next three decades is anticipated to be, on average: 10 – 14 inches (0.25 – 0.35 meters) for the East coast; 14 – 18 inches (0.35 – 0.45 meters) for the Gulf coast. For planning purposes, the county relies upon the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact’s Unified Sea Level Rise Projection for Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact. By 2040, sea levels are expected to be 10 to 17 inches higher than 2000 levels. Based on the 5-year moving average, the observed sea level rise at the Key West tide gauge from 2000 to 2017 is 3.9 inches.

The economic value of the Lake Worth Lagoon

According to a study commissioned by ELC, the overall economic value of the Lake Worth Lagoon is $5.37 billion, representing the combined one time value plus the present value of ongoing economic benefits and spending derived from the Lake Worth Lagoon over 25 years (through about 2045). (PFM Group Consulting LLC)

Economic value of restoration of the Everglades

The economic value of Everglades restoration investments, as described in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan: An economist’s  “best estimate is that restoration will generate an increase in economic benefits of approximately $46.5 billion in net present value terms. The range of this estimate can be as high as $123.9 billion. Assuming an $11/5 billion cost of restoration, we estimate that the benefit: cost ratio of 4.04 for full CERP implementation. We stress that these results do not capture the full value of the Everglades system, but simply estimate the value of the marginal change in ecosystem services resulting from ecosystem restoration.” (Mather Economics)