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FCC News Brief - September 16, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo on September 16th

FCC News Brief

Florida’s best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds

September 16, 2016




Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel
– “Development at the current pace could gobble up too much of Florida’s farmland and natural areas over the next half century, according to a report…Suburbia threatens to cover nearly double the amount of land now claimed by neighborhoods and shopping centers, according to the Florida 2070 report. The study calls for allowing more intense development within or near already urbanized areas and also setting aside more land, through government land buys or other measures, to be preserved for farming and conservation…The idea behind the report is to show elected leaders and other policymakers how the decisions they make on new building plans have a serious, cumulative impact, according to 1000 Friends (of Florida). The results of the report show that ‘what may seem like small conservation and development decisions we make today have significant, long-term ramifications,’ said Young, of 1000 Friends.” Read Florida’s building boom should put more homes on less land, study says

Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Would you still live in Florida if the population was 33.7 million, up from about 20 million today, and a third of the state’s land was covered with rooftops, roads and other development?...Houses, businesses and roads will swallow up several million acres of farms and habitats, unless development densities are increased, the study found. And that could mean costlier roads, drinking water, drainage and sewer systems. But even modest increases in development densities could save huge swaths of land and money, the study found, without sacrificing jobs. ‘I’d say the most critical message is that sprawl is wasteful,’ said Peggy Carr, a professor at UF’s GeoPlan Center, who worked on the analysis. ‘Land is finite.’…[The study] used…GIS…to examine two scenarios for 2070, comparing them to 2010. The first scenario continues current patterns...[The] alternative scenario accommodates the same population growth but increases development density in each county by 20 percent to save more farmlands, wetlands and wildlife. It also adds lands on the proposed Florida Forever Acquisition lists and lands identified as Priorities 1 and 2 in the Florida Ecological Greenways Network…The 1000 Friends report calls for more funding for greenways and wildlife corridors…” Read Study: A third of Florida will be covered in development by 2070

Zach Murdock reports for the Herald Tribune – “The Florida 2070 report…[examines] the state’s development trends and possible effects decades from now. The report finds the central region of the state- stretching from Sarasota County to Orlando- is likely to see the greatest increase in development during that time…In nearly every way, the study and its conclusions mirror the growing unease about development in Sarasota County that has come to permeate nearly every political discussion at every level in the area. Earlier this month, development and population growth were named the biggest issue facing Sarasota County for the third year in a row…It is already a primary election issue of the lone race for the County Commission and is expected to be pivotal in the spring Sarasota municipal election…[Current trends] can be mitigated by promoting infill and redevelopment…and by promoting conservation purchases…” Read Florida in 2070: Sprawling growth and booming population

Public News Service reports – “Florida Republicans, Democrats, Green Party supporters and many others have found something on which they all agree- their opposition to Amendment 1…[C]ritics argue it is deceptive and would allow utilities to penalize solar customers by doing away with net metering. Pamela Goodman, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, says both the wording and timing are confusing, as voters just last month overwhelmingly approved Amendment 4, providing tax breaks to people who install solar panels on their homes. ‘We urge voters to get the facts and not be fooled by this attempt to reverse…the will of their vote for solar expansion,’ she states. The pro-Amendment 1 campaign has raised close to $20 million, much of it from the state’s utilities, including Duke Energy, Florida Power and Light, Gulf Power and Tampa Electric Company.” Read Groups Say Solar Amendment Would Block the Sun

Jerome R. Stockfisch reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Phosphate provides an element indispensable for the large-scale food production that keeps the world’s 7 billion people from starving. For more than a century, U.S. production has centered almost exclusively in one area: 2,000 square miles southeast of Tampa. Today, after a wholesale shakeout of the phosphate production industry, multiple environmental crises and doomsday predictions that the resource would be soon exhausted, the largest integrated phosphate producer in the world and the last one standing in Florida’s “Bone Valley” is expanding…Mosaic goes before Manatee County Commission…seeking a…expansion of its existing…Wingate mine. The permitting process for a…expansion of the…South Pasture mine in Hardee County is also under way. The company is also planning two new mines: Ona…in Hardee; and DeSoto…in the county of the same name. When mining does start, it won’t be pretty. Enormous…earth-moving machines…remove a 10- to 50-foot layer of soil…What remains is a wasteland…Two dozen mounds of phosphogypsum, the slightly radioactive byproduct of fertilizer manufacturing, rise over Central Florida. Some of the mounds tower 200 feet and cover 500 acres. In a century, no one has figured out a viable use for the product…[T]he government began requiring mining companies to reclaim the hacked-up moonscapes they left behind when phosphate ore is mined out…Mining opponents say that in reality, there’s no way to restore mines to their pre-mining state…Mosaic’s efforts to return mined land to productive uses or natural landscapes go beyond federal, state and local regulations, said spokeswoman Jackie Barron.” Read Digging in: Phosphate producer Mosaic is in it for the long haul

Jess Swanson reports for Broward Palm Beach New Times – “[E]nvironmentalists…fear runoff from [Waste Management Inc.’s] Monarch Hill Landfill near Coconut Creek in unincorporated Broward County will pollute drinking water with toxins… ‘Garbage juice,’ or leachate, is the runoff that pools around a landfill. It can contain high salinity, chemicals, heavy metals, and radioactive materials. For years, Waste Management has sent its leachate from Monarch Hill…to the county’s deep injection well about a mile away. Now the company has applied for a permit to dispose of the waste water with its own deep-water injection well…More than a hundred (Broward residents) showed up in opposition to the plan…They worry not just about the hazards to the drinking water but also contend the permit would allow other agencies to truck in thousands of gallons of waste water…There are currently 35 other deep-injection wells in Broward County. They’re operated by the county or cities. Waste Management currently operates two similar deep injection wells in Miami and Okeechobee.” Read Deep-Water Injection Well in Coconut Creek Will Pollute Drinking Water, Residents Say

Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Lawyers for the Seminole Tribe, Martin County, the city of Miami and the pulp and paper industry told an administrative law judge…that Florida rushed through new, very complex criteria for more than 80 water toxins without properly notifying the public…In response to DEP’s motion to dismiss the case…arguments focused on who filed what, when and how, whether DEP properly notified the public…and whether petitioners met various deadlines for challenging the rule…[A]rguments did not address the substance of the new water toxin criteria, but whether the case should move forward…The deadline to petition for an administrative hearing on the new water toxin rule was…Aug. 5, DEP says, 10 days after the Environmental Regulation Commission passed the rule…The Seminole Tribe filed its petition Aug. 8, with the city of Miami and others joining later. But the tribe argues that DEP filed a ‘notice of change/withdraw’…on Aug. 4 that made significant changes to the rule, which should have extended the deadline.” Read Petitioners state case on new Florida water toxins rule

Palm Beach Post Editorial Board writes – “The agency charged with environmental restoration, water supply and flood protection in 16 counties is taking a jarringly adversarial tone that smacks of a political war room…When Eric Draper, Audubon’s executive director, urged the water management district board…to dip into its own funds, even if it meant abandoning a planned rollback of the property tax millage rate, the agency responded with a full-throated email blast: ‘Audubon wants to raise your taxes to pay for the federal government’s failure to control invasive plants…’ Oh, please. Holding taxes at the same rate is not the same as raising taxes. And the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which manages the state-owned refuge, is not primarily responsible for a condition that is overtaking the tree islands; no more than a tenant is responsible for fixing the apartment building roof after a hurricane….” Read Water district wields heavy hand against Audubon

 

 

 

From Our Readers

The information in this section is forwarded to you at the request of some of our readers. Inclusion in this section does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the FCC.

 


Petitions

Now or Neverglades Declaration

Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

Save the Biggest Wetland Mitigation Bank in the U . S . A . from Development

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state




Making Connections

Gulf Restoration Network’s Johanna de Graffenreid wants to help citizens/environmental groups interested in opposing the Sabal Trail Pipeline. Contact her at johanna@healthygulf.org.

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

September 9-18 – Attend The Real Truth About Health Conference in Orlando. The conference looks at food, health, and the environmental impact of what we eat. For more information, click here.

September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

September 17, 11:00 am – Attend Solar: Unlimited Energy for the Sunshine State. Discover why solar energy is important and how it impacts health, climate change, jobs, and your wallet. Presenters from the Suwannee-St. Johns Group of the Sierra Club will give examples of solar installations, cost-benefits, returns on investments, and the possible impacts of upcoming legislation. The event will be held in the Dunnellon Public Library in Dunnellon.

September 21, 12:00 pm – Listen to 1000 Friends of Florida’s free webinar on alternative development scenarios for Florida in 2070. Moderate projections indicate that by 2070, Florida’s population will reach approximately 33.7 million residents, close to 15 million more people than in 2010. For more information and to register, click here.

September 23, 10:00 am – Attend the ShORE (Sharing Our Research with Everyone) Indian River Lagoon Symposium at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach. Undergraduate research students and professional scientists will present their most recent findings on the lagoon. Speakers include Dr. George Burgess, international shark research expert from UF; Dr. Brian LaPointe, marine research scientist with HarborBranch; and Duane DeFreese, Executive Director of the Indian River Lagoon Council. For more information and to register, click here.

September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

September 24, 10:00 am  Join former U.S. Senator Bob Graham and Florida’s conservation community at “Speak up for Florida Forever,” a call to action to preserve and protect Florida’s natural lands and working landscapes. This free family-friendly event will take place at Camp Milton Historic Preserve (1225 Halsema Rd. N. Jacksonville, FL 32220) and features prominent speakers, live music, guided tours of Camp Milton’s biodiverse nature trails and boardwalk, family activities, and dozens of exhibitors. In addition to learning about the importance of preserving natural lands, guests will also be able to enjoy a glimpse into life during the Civil War with presentations by historical period reenactors and Civil War artillery demonstrations. For more information, click here.

September 27, 6:30 pm – Attend Solar: Unlimited Energy for the Sunshine State. Discover why solar energy is important and how it impacts health, climate change, jobs, and your wallet. Presenters from the Suwannee-St. Johns Group of the Sierra Club will give examples of solar installations, cost-benefits, returns on investments, and the possible impacts of upcoming legislation. The event will be held at Gruff’s Tap and Grill (12084 S Williams St) in Dunnellon.

September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

October 5-6 – Attend the 8th Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit in West Palm Beach. For more information, click here.

October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. For more information, click here.

November 2-4 – Attend Florida’s inaugural class to train WERS verifiers in Maitland. The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) is a new tool in the field of residential assessment for water conservation. For more information and to register, click here.

 

 

Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick e-mail and we will include it for you.

We hope you enjoy this service and find it valuable. Our goal is to provide you with the latest environmental news from around the state. Our hope is that you will use this information to more effectively and frequently contact your elected representatives, and add your voice to the growing chorus of Floridians concerned about the condition of our environment and the recent direction of environmental policies.

Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free).

Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed.

Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

For more information on the FCC visit www . floridaconservationcoalition . org

Speak Up for Florida Forever

By Gladys Delgadillo on September 15th

Speak Up for Florida Forever

Saturday, September 24th, 2016 at 10am - 4pm

Location: Camp Milton Historic Preserve, 1225 Helsema Rd. N. Jacksonville, FL 32220

Florida Blue presents Speak Up for Florida Forever.

Preserving environmentally significant lands naturally helps to clean our waters, recharge our aquifers, provide wildlife habitat and enhance our quality of life. We must fund Florida Forever or risk losing Florida’s remaining natural places and the ecosystem services they provide.

Join former U.S. Senator Bob Graham and Florida’s conservation community at “Speak up for Florida Forever,” a call to action to preserve and protect Florida’s natural lands and working landscapes. This free family-friendly event will take place at Camp Milton Historic Preserve and features prominent speakerslive musicguided tours of Camp Milton’s biodiverse nature trails and boardwalk, hands-on educational programs for children and familiesfood trucks, and environmental exhibitors. In addition to learning about the importance of preserving natural lands, guests will also be able to enjoy a glimpse into life during the Civil War with presentations by historical period reenactors andCivil War Artilery Demonstrations (Cannon!).

Parking is available at Camp Milton, however we encourage you to ride your bike to the event on the beautiful Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail. 

This event is being brought to you by the Florida Conservation Coalition in partnership with 1000 Friends of Florida, North Florida Land Trust, Timucuan Parks Foundation, St Johns Riverkeeper, Defenders of Wildlife, and Florida Wildlife Corridor. Florida Blue has generously agreed to help sponsor this community event.

Please email any questions to Gladys at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com

FCC News Brief - September 5, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo on September 5th

FCC News Brief

Florida’s best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds

September 5, 2016


Tom Phillips, Fiona Harvey, and Alan Yuhas report for The Guardian – “The United States and China, the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, have announced they will formally ratify the Paris climate change agreement...In Washington, the Republican-controlled Congress has questioned Obama’s legal right to ratify the accord by decree, noting that the constitution grants the senate a role of ‘advice and consent’ in making treaties. But the chamber does not ratify treaties, and the US also has increasingly relied on ‘executive agreements’ since the second world war. Those agreements are not submitted to the Senate but are also considered binding in international law. The Paris agreement…must be ratified by 55 countries, representing 55% of global emissions, in order to come into force. The news that the world’s top two emitters- who are together responsible for about 38% of emissions – would formally ratify the deal is therefore a major step towards achieving that.” Read Breakthrough as US and China agree to ratify Paris climate deal

Josh Lederman reports for the Associated Press – “ ‘When we protect our lands, it helps us protect the climate of the future,’ Obama said, joined by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, California Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif….Addressing leaders of island nations later…in Honolulu, Obama urged countries large and small to unite behind a common effort on climate and to ‘row as one,’ arguing that no nation can tackle the issue itself.” Read At Lake Tahoe, Obama links conservation to climate change

The TC Palm Editorial Board writes – “The Army Corps of Engineers is in no hurry to revise its water regulation schedule for Lake Okeechobee. Though more than $870 million has been spent on strengthening the dike since 2001, corps officials say they won’t know if the lake can hold more water until work on the south side of the dike is completed, which is scheduled for 2025…The corps has not committed to increasing lake levels…once the rehab project is finished…The St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon could get a degree of relief if the corps were to update the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS) – the complicated formula it uses to decide if and when to release lake water to the estuaries. One of the recommendations in the March 2015 report by the University of Florida Water Institute was to ‘substantially revise’ the LORS…Corps officials said…they plan to start looking at adjusting LORS in 2022.” Read $870 million spent on Herbert Hoover Dike, but no relief for estuaries

The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “Joe Negron is the right person at the right time with the right idea to help deal with Florida’s water crisis…Though we agree more focus is needed north of the lake, and understand the concern of farm communities, we take exception with [U.S. Sugar’s] other arguments…Negron would use money from the Legacy Florida bill he sponsored this year…Negron acknowledges his plan is ‘a piece’ of the overall water-quality plan. Projects to hold water north of the lake are needed and underway. Phasing out septic tanks, as Gov. Rick Scott has proposed, would help. Cleaning up Lake Okeechobee, however, will take decades, even if efforts to the north succeed. Without a southern outlet, regular pummeling of the estuaries would be inevitable.” Read To save the Everglades, go south

Eric Draper writes for the Sun Sentinel – “[F]low of water south of the Everglades is blocked by sugarcane production, which benefits from free government flood control and taxpayer funded irrigation. Everglades restoration depends on using some sugarcane land to store water that otherwise harms Atlantic and Gulf estuaries. Storage will allow more fresh water to be released to Florida Bay…Audubon Florida, along with the Everglades Foundation and many Florida businesses and citizens support following through on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan approved by Congress…to allow more water from Lake Okeechobee to be stored, treated and sent south, using more of the land just south of the Lake. Why send Lake…water south? That is where it originally went.” Read Water debate puts Florida’s natural treasures at risk

Jack Bouboushian reports for Courthouse News Service – “The National Park Service’s plan to reduce the protected wilderness area and allow more than 130 miles of off-road vehicle trails in the Big Cypress National Preserve met with approval from the 11th Circuit…Six environmental groups challenged this reduction in the lands determined eligible for wilderness protection and filed lawsuits in 2011…Plaintiffs included the National Parks Conservation Association and John Adornato III, one of its directors; the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility; the Florida Biodiversity Project, the Sierra Club; the South Florida Wildlands Association…They claimed, ‘NPS has found that once ORV use displaces soils, there are no natural mechanisms capable of restoring the natural topography. As a result, the damage can be permanent, effectively altering hydrology and promoting unnatural vegetation succession.’ Plaintiffs also asserted NPS’s plan threatens the habitat of the Florida panther and the eastern indigo snake. But a federal judge ruled in favor of the government in 2013, and the 11th Circuit affirmed…” Read Enviros Lose Fight Over Big Cypress Preserve

Citrus Chronicle reports – “Another phase of Save Crystal River’s ambitious public-private restoration of King’s Bay began last week… ‘The success of the pilot project is indisputable,’ Moore (president of the nonprofit community-advocacy group) said…Moore said SCR will continue to lobby state lawmakers for additional funding to clean four more regions of King’s Bay over the next seven years…” Read After success, a sequel

Jimmy Conner writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “I’m convinced it was my vote against the Cemex proposal that prompted the expenditure of more than $100,000 in anonymous money from political-action committees in an effort to discredit me. I believe a huge 2-square-mile sand mine would steal our water, harm the environment and make our roads much more dangerous with their large, heavy trucks. Given that the vote against the sand mine was 3-2, Cemex only needs one more vote to have its way. I believe Breeden will be that vote…” Read Sand mine would harm environment

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Our Readers

The information in this section is forwarded to you at the request of some of our readers. Inclusion in this section does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the FCC.

 


Petitions

Now or Neverglades Declaration

Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

Save the Biggest Wetland Mitigation Bank in the U . S . A . from Development

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state


Making Connections

Gulf Restoration Network’s Johanna de Graffenreid wants to help citizens/environmental groups interested in opposing the Sabal Trail Pipeline. Contact her at johanna@healthygulf.org.

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

September 6, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The September class will focus on springs advocacy: local, state, national.

September 7, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales & Wild Tales: The Florida Black Bear: In the Line of Fire with Fred Bohler at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Fred will talk about the natural history of the Floirda black bear, the events that led up to the hunt, the 2015 hunt, and the future of the Florida black bear. For more information, click here.

September 9-11 – Attend the PowerShift Southeast 2016 in Orlando. Power Shift brings young climate leaders together as a movement- building the organizing skills, shared excitement, and strong relationships needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a just, clean energy-powered future. For more information and to register, click here.

September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

September 21, 12:00 pm – Listen to 1000 Friends of Florida’s free webinar on alternative development scenarios for Florida in 2070. Moderate projections indicate that by 2070, Florida’s population will reach approximately 33.7 million residents, close to 15 million more people than in 2010. For more information and to register, click here.

September 23, 10:00 am – Attend the ShORE (Sharing Our Research with Everyone) Indian River Lagoon Symposium at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach. Undergraduate research students and professional scientists will present their most recent findings on the lagoon. Speakers include Dr. George Burgess, international shark research expert from UF; Dr. Brian LaPointe, marine research scientist with HarborBranch; and Duane DeFreese, Executive Director of the Indian River Lagoon Council. For more information and to register, click here.

September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

September 24, 10:00 am Join former U.S. Senator Bob Graham and Florida’s conservation community at “Speak up for Florida Forever,” a call to action to preserve and protect Florida’s natural lands and working landscapes. This free family-friendly event will take place at Camp Milton Historic Preserve (1225 Halsema Rd. N. Jacksonville, FL 32220) and features prominent speakers, live music, guided tours of Camp Milton’s biodiverse nature trails and boardwalk, and dozens of exhibitors. In addition to learning about the importance of preserving natural lands, guests will also be able to enjoy a glimpse into life during the Civil War with presentations by historical period reenactors. For more information, contact Gladys Delgadillo at (850) 222- 6277 X 107 or floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. For more information, click here.

November 2-4 – Attend Florida’s inaugural class to train WERS verifiers in Maitland. The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) is a new tool in the field of residential assessment for water conservation. For more information and to register, click here.

 

 

Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick e-mail and we will include it for you.

We hope you enjoy this service and find it valuable. Our goal is to provide you with the latest environmental news from around the state. Our hope is that you will use this information to more effectively and frequently contact your elected representatives, and add your voice to the growing chorus of Floridians concerned about the condition of our environment and the recent direction of environmental policies.

Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free).

Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed.

Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

For more information on the FCC visit www . floridaconservationcoalition . org

FCC News Brief - September 3, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo on September 4th

FCC News Brief

Florida’s best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds

September 3, 2016


Susan Salisbury reports for my Palm Beach Post – “A tax exemption for businesses installing solar systems and other renewable energy equipment was overwhelmingly approved by Florida voters Tuesday as part of the state constitution…Next, the Legislature must enact formal enabling legislation that will spell out the details…Hoysradt (CEO of Vinyasun, a solar energy equipment supplier) said low-to-middle income homeowners may benefit form the rules to exempt solar energy from the state’s tangible personal property tax because those taxes have applied to leased solar systems. ‘With a leased system, it would provide them with a fixed payment that is lower than their current energy bills while generating clean, renewable energy,’ Hoysradt said. And if more people install solar panels, the thinking is that more jobs will be created.” Read Florida voters overwhelmingly approve solar tax exemption

John Cassani writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli…and Senator Alan Hayes…supported the concept that Florida has enough land in public ownership, despite the popular voter backed Amendment…These ongoing drivers of growth and land conversion are largely responsible for the widespread impairment of Florida’s waters, with vast implications for the state’s economy and human health…Publicly owned conservation land cleans water more efficiently, offsetting the cost of acquisition, management and tax revenue lost by providing numerous additional services associated with biodiversity, carbon sequestration, water recharge and supply, flood control, fisheries and a tourism based economy worth billions of dollars annually.” Read Will current restoration projects sustain Florida?

John Romano writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “The South Florida Water Management District has gotten into a handful of skirmishes this year…The executive director called the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service a bunch of ‘tin-eared bureaucrats,’ and the agency described a Caloosahatchee River Watch group forum as ‘one-sided detractors in pursuit of an agenda without facts to support it’ even before the forum was held. There was also a dust-up with Audubon Florida and a disagreement with a former county commissioner in Lee County…An attorney for the Everglades Law Center made a public records request, seeking…email addresses…This was a perfectly legal and, frankly, run-of-the-mill request. Except the water management district responded by sending emails to everyone…saying they had reason to be fearful for their privacy and suggesting the attorney could be selling the list to outside groups. ‘What they’re doing is attempting to silence detractors,’ Interlandi said… ‘Their approach is contrary to the way our government should be operating.’ A spokesman for the district [said]…that the agency was simply alerting people that their email address had been obtained…[T]he agency’s email was unnecessary because everyone on the list had already been alerted to the possibility.” Read State agency plays bully when it doesn’t get its way in Florida

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “Gov. Rick Scott wants to fill an opening on the South Florida Water Management District with Miami attorney Federico Fernandez. Fernandez…will fill the seat of Sandy Batchelor, who was appointed to the board by former Gov. Charlie Crist…and reappointed by Scott...Batchelor, a Miami philanthropist with a law degree and a master’s degree in forest conservation, was the lone board member this year to oppose tax cuts pushed by Scott.” Read Scott picks Bacardi attorney to fill water manager seat

The Herald Tribune reports – “The governing board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District approved the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on more than 1,088 acres of Triangle Ranch in the upper Myakka River watershed…Swiftmud executive director Brian Armstrong said ‘This purchase increases the connectivity of conservation lands in the watershed.’ The district partnered on the acquisition with the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast…Triangle Ranch is listed on the Florida Forever list of crucial properties to protect in Florida. Regulators said it is essential to the protection of the Myakka wetlands, the Myakka River’s water quality and biodiversity, as well as flood protection…More than 120 species of birds and numerous animals – from the endangered Florida panther to the threatened crested caracara- live on Triangle Ranch.” Read Water district votes to fund conservation easement in Manatee

Preston Robertson writes for the Palm Beach Post – “Florida Wildlife Federation has been…pushing for action on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and taking private polluters, state agencies and the federal government to court when we believed our laws were being violated, especially the Clean Water Act. We have sued the South Florida Water Management District, which was backed by the sugar industry, over back-pumping of dirty water into Lake Okeechobee from agricultural land south of the lake. We have litigated against the Corps of Engineers when it shifted essential water resources from the Caloosahatchee River to irrigation projects. These cases take time, and even if we prevail at the trial level, lengthy appeals follow. Years of inaction go by as the problems get worse…We need to stop the pollution at its source- especially run-off upstream from the lake…We need to move clean Lake Okeechobee water south. We need to put property owners on central sewer and eliminate septic tanks from sensitive areas…We need to strongly support incoming Senate President Joe Negron’s efforts to purchase land south of the lake, and the Now or Neverglades petition.” Read Algae blooms a disaster many years in the making

Samantha Page reports for Think Progress – “Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)…is facing a tight reelection race but has emerged as one of the House’s most outspoken advocates of climate change. Curbelo recently became the first Republican in the 2016 campaign cycle to be supported by EDF Action… ‘He’s fighting to restore the Everglades…,’ the ad says. ‘Curbelo also fought to keep our kids safe from toxic chemicals and is addressing climate change to protect our coastlines.’ Earlier this year, Curbelo launched the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, a formal group with a mission to ‘educate [House] members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk…’ Members can join only in bipartisan pairs.” Read Environmental Group Backs Republican Florida Congressman in New Ad

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “[T]he U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans to conduct a periodic review of 22 endangered and threatened species in the Southeast, taking a look at how efforts to save them have fared. They are seeking public comment to determine whether the animals should be removed from the list or given more protection. The agency also agreed to speed up its review of the alligator snapping turtle under a settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity…The largest freshwater turtle in North America, it can be found in Florida, mostly in the Panhandle. Across the U.S., numbers have dropped by 95 percent, with recent surveys showing they have likely disappeared from Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee.” Read Feds will weigh if alligator snapping turtle is in peril

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Our Readers

The information in this section is forwarded to you at the request of some of our readers. Inclusion in this section does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the FCC.

 


Petitions

Now or Neverglades Declaration

Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

Save the Biggest Wetland Mitigation Bank in the U . S . A . from Development

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state


Making Connections

Gulf Restoration Network’s Johanna de Graffenreid wants to help citizens/environmental groups interested in opposing the Sabal Trail Pipeline. Contact her at johanna@healthygulf.org.


Upcoming Environmental Events

September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

September 6, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The September class will focus on springs advocacy: local, state, national.

September 7, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales & Wild Tales: The Florida Black Bear: In the Line of Fire with Fred Bohler at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Fred will talk about the natural history of the Floirda black bear, the events that led up to the hunt, the 2015 hunt, and the future of the Florida black bear. For more information, click here.

September 9-11 – Attend the PowerShift Southeast 2016 in Orlando. Power Shift brings young climate leaders together as a movement- building the organizing skills, shared excitement, and strong relationships needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a just, clean energy-powered future. For more information and to register, click here.

September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

September 23, 10:00 am – Attend the ShORE (Sharing Our Research with Everyone) Indian River Lagoon Symposium at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach. Undergraduate research students and professional scientists will present their most recent findings on the lagoon. Speakers include Dr. George Burgess, international shark research expert from UF; Dr. Brian LaPointe, marine research scientist with HarborBranch; and Duane DeFreese, Executive Director of the Indian River Lagoon Council. For more information and to register, click here.

September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

September 24, 10:00 am Join former U.S. Senator Bob Graham and Florida’s conservation community at “Speak up for Florida Forever,” a call to action to preserve and protect Florida’s natural lands and working landscapes. This free family-friendly event will take place at Camp Milton Historic Preserve (1225 Halsema Rd. N. Jacksonville, FL 32220) and features prominent speakers, live music, guided tours of Camp Milton’s biodiverse nature trails and boardwalk, and dozens of exhibitors. In addition to learning about the importance of preserving natural lands, guests will also be able to enjoy a glimpse into life during the Civil War with presentations by historical period reenactors. For more information, contact Gladys Delgadillo at (850) 222- 6277 X 107 or floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. For more information, click here.

November 2-4 – Attend Florida’s inaugural class to train WERS verifiers in Maitland. The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) is a new tool in the field of residential assessment for water conservation. For more information and to register, click here.

 

 

Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick e-mail and we will include it for you.

We hope you enjoy this service and find it valuable. Our goal is to provide you with the latest environmental news from around the state. Our hope is that you will use this information to more effectively and frequently contact your elected representatives, and add your voice to the growing chorus of Floridians concerned about the condition of our environment and the recent direction of environmental policies.

Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free).

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Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

For more information on the FCC visit www . floridaconservationcoalition . org

Charter Members

FOUNDER and CHAIRMAN
Bob Graham, Former Governor of Florida and U.S. Senator

VICE CHAIRMEN
Nathaniel  Pryor Reed, Former Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Former Chairman SFWMD, Founder and Chairman Emeritus 1000 Friends of Florida 
And
Com. Lee Constantine, Seminole County Commissioner and Former State Senator, State Representative and Mayor of Altamonte Springs

AUDUBON FLORIDA

Eric Draper, Executive Director

CONSERVANCY OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA
Rob Moher, President
Jennifer Hecker, 
Director of Natural Resource Policy

FLORIDA WILDLIFE FEDERATION
Manley Fuller, President
Martha Musgrove, Board Member
Preston Robertson, General Counsel and VP for Conservation

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
Pam Goodman, President

1000 FRIENDS OF FLORIDA

Victoria Tschinkel
, Board Member and former Secretary of Department of Environmental Regulation
Ryan Smart, President

Charles Pattison, Policy Director 
Roy Rogers, Board Member

SIERRA CLUB
Craig Diamond
Frank Jackalone, Senior Organizing Manager

ST. JOHNS RIVERKEEPER
Lisa Rinaman, Riverkeeper
Jimmy Orth
, Executive Director

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
John Robert Middlemas, Chair
Janet Bowman, Director of Legislative Policy and Strategy

TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND
Greg Chelius, Florida State Director
Will Abberger, Director Conservation Finance

INDIVIDUALS
Lester Abberger 
John Finlayson, Agriculturist, Jefferson County, former Chairman SRWMD
Bill Kerr, Environmental Consultant, Brevard County, former Chairman SJRWMD
Gary Kuhl, Former Executive Director, SWFWMD 
Jay Landers, Former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, Former Director of the Department of Natural Resources

Allan Milledge, Former Chairman ELMs Committee and SFWMD
Auley Rowell, Agriculturist, Taylor County, former Chairman of SRWMD 
Earl Starnes, Former Dade County Commissioner, Former Director of the Division of State Planning
Sonny Vergara, Former Executive Director, SWFWMD and SJRWMD
Estus Whitfield, Former Principal Environmental Advisor to 5 Florida Governors

Mailing Address


Florida Conservation Coalition

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