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Battleground Everglades, a new original South Florida PBS series

Last Updated by Dan Mergens on

For Immediate Release
January 22nd, 2018
Jeneissy Azcuy, Communications Director


Miami, FL— South Florida PBS (WPBT & WXEL) announces the premiere of a new original series, Battleground Everglades, on February 7th at 7:30 PM on WPBT and February 8th at 8:00 PM on WXEL. Additionally, South Florida PBS will be hosting a special preview at the Delray Beach, Crest Theater on Thursday, January 25th at 6 PM. 

Battleground Everglades explores the struggle to save one of the world's most revered wetlands: Florida's Everglades. Devastated by a century of drainage and development, the entire Everglades watershed is suffering from man-made pollution, habitat destruction and species decline. Many of these challenges are also facing other wetlands and waterways across the nation. 

“It has been said that if we can save the Everglades, maybe we can save the planet. This South Florida PBS special series shows the Everglades as the battleground of ideas and intentions in dealing with the fragile environment that we depend upon for life itself. We believe it is vitally important to let the public know and see what is at stake and what it means to them, our region and the nation,” stated Bill Scott, South Florida PBS Executive Vice President.

This series follows one of the most dramatic chapters in the long history of Everglades restoration. An enormous outbreak of toxic algae choked delicate estuaries and rivers on Florida's East and West coasts in 2016. From the outcry of environmentalists, to the political fight with powerful agricultural interests, Battleground Everglades takes an in-depth look at all sides of these critical moments. 

Battleground Everglades also examines other threats to Florida’s ecosystem, including sea level rise, invasive plants and animals destroying delicate habitats and native species, and the struggle to restore Lake Okeechobee, the liquid heart of the Everglades system. 

Hosted by Charles J. Kropke, author and well-known Everglades expert, the series showcases dramatic challenges and innovative solutions to restore this World Heritage Site. As more and more countries battle algae outbreaks and enormous environmental issues, the Everglades is poised to become a beacon of learning and hope.

Below is the description of the first episode which premieres on February 7th at 7:30 PM on WPBT and on February 8th at 7:30 PM on WXEL.

Algae Explosion

In the summer of 2016, portions of Florida's East and West coasts were blanketed with toxic, foul-smelling blue-green algae. National news media reported the extensive economic and environmental damage. Residents worried about reports linking toxic algae with potential damage to human organs and neurological systems. Delicate estuaries, the critical nurseries for important marine life, lost invaluable oyster beds, sea grasses and more. 

The unprecedented scale of this environmental disaster launched a major battle between Florida legislators, residents, environmentalists and agricultural interests. Deciding how to address the algae problem would likely affect the decades-long, $13 billion Everglades restoration effort. 

Algae Explosion explores many sides of this dramatic event, and the fight that ensued over how to redirect Florida’s deeply compromised water flow. The Battleground Everglades team interviewed iconic Everglades environmentalists, scientists with opposing viewpoints and the Florida Senate President who spearheaded groundbreaking legislation to help save the environment in his district. 

Battleground Everglades is made possible by Eleanor Goldstein Interactive Learning & Technology, LLC.  Additional support provided by the James E. Lewis Revocable Living Trust.

Media is invited to attend the special preview of the episode titled, “Invasive Species” on January 25th at 6:00 at the Crest Theater in Old School Square. Please RSVP at jazcuy@southfloridapbs.org.


About South Florida PBS

South Florida PBS, Florida’s largest public media company, connects organizations and institutions across our region and preserves South Florida's history.  Leading the way in this global society, SOUTH FLORIDA PBS serves diverse communities from Key West to the Sebastian Inlet and from the Atlantic Ocean west to Lake Okeechobee. SOUTH FLORIDA PBS is committed to creating and presenting unique arts, education and cultural heritage programming, and serves as a model for telling unique local stories across a wide variety of media platforms.