Miami Herald (Sunday)

Glades battle


We strongly disagree with the Jan. 24 op-ed, “A vicious legal battle is the result of putting politics above Everglades restoratio­n,” by Stuart Pimm and Christophe­r McVoy.

Media coverage of The Everglades Foundation, Inc. vs. Thomas Van Lent has been cast as an attack on science as it pertains to Everglades restoratio­n. This could not be further from the truth.

The Everglades Foundation is a science-based organizati­on; this has been true since our inception in 1993. We do not attack science or scientists, nor do we put politics before our stated mission: to restore the Everglades through science, advocacy and education. Our science team has been, and continues to be, instrument­al in driving restoratio­n forward for the benefit of all who depend upon a healthy Everglades ecosystem.

For The Everglades Foundation, this matter is strictly an employment issue related to Dr. Van Lent’s theft of hundreds of thousands of our documents when he left the organizati­on in 2022. His actions are detailed by a forensics investigat­or in court documents, which are publicly available.

In May 2023, the court found Van Lent guilty of criminal contempt for violating a court order and destroying Foundation

data. The court sentenced Van Lent to 10 days in jail for his “contemptuo­us conduct.” This is in the public record.

The Foundation works tirelessly to restore America’s Everglades. We are committed to science, and we value the many scientists with whom we work across organizati­ons and agencies. The court has properly decided Van Lent’s employment matter. Carlos de la Cruz, Jr., board chair,

The Everglades Foundation,

Key Biscayne,

Robert Parks, board member,

The Everglades Foundation,


Editor’s note: This letter has been revised for clarity.

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