Follow the Water
Four people investigating the soil in the Everglades
Essential Water Storage:

The team explores the site of the future Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir.

When most people think of the Everglades, they picture the sawgrass wetlands and mangroves at the southern tip of Florida. What they don’t realize is that the health of this incredible ecosystem is dependent upon events far to the north. Historically, the Everglades received a steady supply of fresh water from a massive watershed that begins near Orlando, but over the past century—in the name of flood control and agriculture—man has interrupted that flow, most notably at Lake Okeechobee. As a result, the amount of water that reaches Florida Bay, at the southern tip of the state, is less than half of what it should be.


The main goal of Everglades restoration is to send more fresh water south, but this is not as simple as it may sound. Simon and Hannah Perkins—cousins who are part of the third generation of the Perkins family to run Orvis—traveled the length of the Everglades watershed, talking to scientists, conservationists, and fishing guides to see firsthand the work being done and to explore what the future may hold.

A map of the Everglades Watershed with Shingle Creek, Kissimmee River, Lake Okeechobee, Tamiami Trail Bridges, Everglades National Park, and Florida Bay

Meet the Team


Simon Perkins

Simon Perkins

Simon Perkins is the president of Orvis and the third generation of the Perkins family to lead the company. He is a former fly-fishing and wingshooting guide, devoted father and husband, passionate angler and hunter, and like his cousin Hannah, lifelong conservationist.

Hannah Perkins

Hannah Perkins

Hannah Perkins is part of the Women's Product Development team at Orvis. She is a third-generation family owner of the company and has a lifelong passion for the outdoors and conservation.

Capt. Benny Blanco

Capt. Benny Blanco

Capt. Benny Blanco is a fishing guide, the host of Guiding Flow TV, a Captains For Clean Water ambassador, and a fierce advocate for Everglades restoration.

Capt. Daniel Andrews

Capt. Daniel Andrews

Capt. Daniel Andrews is a former fishing guide who left the business to become a co-founder and executive director of Captains For Clean Water.

Mike Cheek

Mike Cheek

Mike Cheek is a staff environmental scientist/avian ecologist at the South Florida Water Management District, who has worked extensively on Kissimmee River restoration.

Lawrence Glenn

Lawrence Glenn

Lawrence Glenn is director of the Water Resources Division at the South Florida Water Management District. He supervises scientific monitoring to evaluate ecological conditions in the District’s lakes, rivers, estuaries, and Greater Everglades, including Florida Bay.

Dr. Stephen Davis

Dr. Stephen Davis

Dr. Stephen Davis is the chief science officer at The Everglades Foundation. For the past dozen years, his efforts have been focused on Everglades restoration, ecosystem health, and impacts of sea-level rise.

Dr. Sparkle Malone

Dr. Sparkle Malone

Dr. Sparkle Malone is an assistant professor at Florida International University, whose research explores questions related to ecosystem conditions, sustainability, and vulnerability to climate extremes.

Dr. Jennifer Rehage

Dr. Jennifer Rehage

Dr. Jennifer Rehage is a coastal and fish ecologist and associate professor at Florida International University, who studies how alterations to freshwater flows and related effects influence fish and the recreational fisheries they support in the Everglades and south Florida.

Three people fishing off a small boat on a green ocean

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