The evening will begin at 7 p.m. with remarks from The Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg and Mr. and Mrs. Durst. Renowned conservation photographer Mac Stone, author of the award-winning book "Everglades: America's Wetlands," will take guests on a visual journey of the wetlands: a series of photographs showcasing the natural beauty of this wild and endangered habitat. A reception with light fare by NOMA co-founder Claus Meyer will follow. Lonnie Quinn, CBS 2 and WLNY 10/55’s Chief Weathercaster, will emcee the evening's program.
America's Everglades are the largest subtropical wilderness reserve in North America, the fresh water supply to nearly eight million Floridians, and home to over 70 threatened or endangered species. Nearly 100 years of diking, damming and development has reduced the wetlands to nearly a third of its original size, and contributed to the current widespread toxic algae blooms that have resulted in two states of emergencies since 2016.
"Florida is being ravaged by a perennial algae crisis that is destroying our beaches, fisheries, tourism and real estate industries," said Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg. "New York, like Florida, is facing a similar challenge with toxic algae blooms affecting bodies of water both in the city and upstate. Our two states share so many important cultural and economic connections, so it’s only natural that we should come together in the interest of protecting one of the last truly unique wildernesses in the country – America’s Everglades – and preserving the integrity of our water."
The Dursts, who are pioneers in sustainable building, are long-time supporters of The Everglades Foundation.
“Toxic algae blooms are not just an issue for the Everglades, but for all our waterways, lakes, ponds and coastal waters,” said Douglas and Susanne Durst. “We are proud to support the Everglades Foundation as they fight this scourge and provide invaluable insight and information to communities across the world dedicated to eradicating this problem.”