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FCC News Brief - July 26, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 17 hours ago

FCC News Brief

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

July 26, 2016

 

Ross McCluney writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “New record-high global temperatures almost monthly. Storms increasing in frequency and severity. Droughts more frequent and longer lasting. These are becoming the new norms on our planet…It’s all a consequence of our changing climate. A global scientific consensus has formed that we must reduce and eventually stop the combustion of fossil fuels…The best way would be not to extract the fuels in the first place. The new mantra is ‘Keep it in the ground.’ If we hope to maintain a reasonably good version of today’s energy-intensive industrial society, we can replace the fossil fuel energy with clean and renewable natural sources, including wind and solar energy…In addition to helping customers reduce their electricity bills, reduce pollution for a more sustainable energy future and be more energy self-sufficient, Amendment 4 will encourage more solar companies to operate in Florida and create new jobs that support the local economy.” Read Promote solar, vote yes on Amendment 4

The News-Press Editorial Board writes – “Two years ago, in a 143-page report (options to Reduce High Volume Freshwater Flows to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries and Move More Water from Lake Okeechobee to the Southern Everglades) was as in-depth and complete as any on our water crisis…The report is considered the environmental bible for many government and environmental groups because of its thoroughness and recognition of the scientists who prepared it…Land buys north and south of the lake to create another 1 million acre feet of storage…are crucial…especially north of the lake to hold and clean polluted water before it enters Lake Okeechobee…The report also noted the importance of decades of planning and solutions already provided for in key environmental plans for the south Florida ecosystem…A main focus of the report was the need to improve water quality plans that aren’t doing enough to meet FDEP-approved total maximum daily loads of nitrogen and phosphorus into our waterways and the need to be more aggressive with ‘field-verified agricultural and urban Best Management Practices,’ as well as strategic placement of storage treatment areas…” Read Uniting over water

Daniel Andrews writes for News Press – “The ongoing mismanagement of Lake Okeechobee’s waters threatens not only the vitality of our river, bays, and beaches; but is also threatening our local economy. The blue green algae blooms…are symptoms of a broken system, catering to special interests at the expense of all Floridians. Science-based solutions are available –right now- to solve the water crisis…Several organizations fighting for clean water collaborated and drafted the Now or NeverGlades Declaration, which asks the state of Florida to…use Amendment 1, along with other funds, to identify and secure land south of the lake without delay; before development in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) or other uncertainties condemn our waters to irrecoverable destruction. This solution would not eliminate farming or harm the Glades communities. The declaration was first signed by Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen…We encourage all elected officials to sign…” Read A captain’s view of water mismanagement

The St. Augustine Record Editorial Board writes – “[T]he plan will divert a sizable portion of the toxic lake water from the Indian River by allowing 9 million gallons a day of it into Brevard County’s Canal 54- then into what’s called the Stick Marsh impoundment to the west. This is arguably the finest bass fishing in the country and home to dozens of species of wild water birds that call the 6,500-acre impoundment home…[W]hen the new load from Okeechobee gets to Stick Marsh, that overflow flows straight to the St. Johns River’s headwater basin...This action does nothing to solve the problem, but it might take a little pressure off the dying Indian River…It’s metaphorically kicking the environmental can down the road. Except, in this instance, it may be kicking a very real algal time bomb up the St. Johns River…If the algae can travel 260 miles intact in the pure saltwater of the open ocean, how much worse might it be in the 90-degree, creeping current of the already nutrient-rich…waters of the St. Johns River?” Read Plan diverts algal discharge our way

James Call reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “The summer heat has produced visible algae blooms in Lake Killearn and at least four other Leon County lakes. The infestation…is not as dramatic as the outbreak in central Florida’s Lake Okeechobee. But local scientists say it poses a threat to Wakulla Springs.” Read Algae blooms a blight in Leon lakes

Amy Sherman reports for Politifact – “A nasty-looking toxic algae bloom…has oozed into political races, including U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Democratic primary. Her opponent, Tim Canova…says that Wasserman Schultz shares in the blame for the algae…In Florida, Big Sugar has given generously to state and local politicians and to federal candidates, including Wasserman Schultz…In 2003, then state Sen. Wasserman Schultz voted to delay for seven years the requirement for sugar companies to clean up polluted discharges that had hurt the Everglades…In June 2013,…the House and Senate voted on sugar amendments that would have scaled back the industry’s benefits. The amendments failed in both chambers with Wasserman Schultz voting ‘no.’ Most of the Florida delegation voted against the amendment, including both of Florida’s senators Marco Rubio, a Republican, and Bill Nelson, a Democrat…She has supported a clean water rule proposed by the EPA..” Read Tim Canova attacks Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s record on Big Sugar

Jeff Burlew reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Florida Democrats in Congress are blasting a Department of Environmental Protection proposal to allow higher amounts of certain carcinogenic chemicals into the state’s surface waters…The Democrats asked the ERC to reject the proposal. And they called on Gov. Rick Scott to fill two vacant positions on the seven-member board set aside for local government and environmental community representation…DEP Secretary Jon Steverson responded to criticism…saying… ‘I’ve been in contact with the federal EPA, which has confirmed every change is in line with its own recommendations,’… ‘Furthermore, each and every criterion protects Floridians…’” Read Democrats in Congress blast DEP water plan

Jeffrey Rissman writes for the Daily Climate – “To tax or not to tax-that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the lungs to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous emissions, Or to take arms against a sea of polluters…” Read To Tax or Not to Tax

 

 

 

 

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

 

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 .

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

July 26, 6:30 pm – Attend the Climate Justice Committee’s meeting at 3105 W. Waters Ave in Tampa to discuss strategies to tackle our climate crisis and put pressure on elected officials to deliver solutions in Florida.

July 28, 6:00 pm – Attend an information session to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in the St. Petersburg area. FL Sun and League of Women Voters want to teach you about co-ops and solar power. The meeting will be held at 330 5th Street North in Saint Petersburg. For more information, click here.

August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

August 2, 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 August class will focus on springs stresses: groundwater pumping, fertilizers, wastewater disposal, and recreation.

August 6, 2:00 pm – Attend “Using GIS for conservation, preservation, recreation and restoration in Fred George Basin,” a presentation by Dr. Christine Ambrose, a GIS specialist and biologist. This is part of the Wildwood Preservation Society Lecture Series. The lecture will be given at 3043 Capitol Circle NW in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

August 6, 5:30 pm – Attend Grasssroots Summit to Stop Sabal Trail in Gainesville. Speakers will educate participants on the pipeline. For more information, click here.

August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please 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 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 & 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 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.

 

 

 

 

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 - July 25, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 1 day ago

FCC News Brief

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

July 25, 2016

 

Lisa Rinaman writes for The Florida Times Union – “Fish consumption is one of the primary pathways to exposure to…dangerous chemicals, and Floridians are eating a lot more fish than originally estimated when the current criteria were developed. The more fish we eat, the more chemicals we ingest. Raising the pollution limits for dozens of chemicals, as DEP is proposing, will only further increase our chances of cancer and other health problems. In addition, DEP failed to consider the potential health effects from exposure to more than one chemical. Unfortunately, we’re all exposed daily to a toxic soup of chemicals from multiple sources. Exposure to more than one contaminant at the same time can ‘produce a cumulative or even synergistic toxicity.’…A recent international study concluded that even some chemicals considered non-carcinogenic may increase cancer risk when present in the environment in certain mixtures with other chemicals.” Read Florida’s leaders are siding with polluters over the environment

Ray Bellamy writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “As a former member of the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC), I am troubled by proposed changes to Florida’s water quality standards for allowable toxic limits. I cannot recall an instance when the Department of Environmental Regulation, as it was then called, proposed weakening environmental standards. The now-named Department of Environmental Protection, perhaps influenced by ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ rhetoric, is proposing just that for the carcinogen benzene and other toxins. A weakened ERC is to decide whether to approve the proposed more permissive limits on Tuesday. I saw ‘weakened,’ since two of the seven ERC commission slots – the ones usually reserved for an environmentalist and a local government representative – have not been appointed by our governor…Commissioners representing industry are to rule…Residents of Florida may attend Tuesday’s ERC meeting…The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at the DEP offices at 3900 Commonwealth Blvd. If you can’t attend, you can contact the individual ERC members…” Read Floridians have lots of reasons to distrust DEP

Linda Young writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “On Tuesday, “Don’t Expect Protection” will ask the Environmental Regulation Commission to approve an increase in the amount of cancer-causing chemicals that can be dumped in Florida’s waters designated for drinking-water supplies, shell-fishing, swimming and fishing…Florida’s DEP has suddenly moved the vote to next week, instead of in September, when it was originally planned. If people don’t know about the meeting, they can’t complain or show up. Also, the Environmental Regulation Commission, appointed by the governor, is short two members…These vacant seats are for a representative of the environmental community and someone else representing local governments. Perhaps Scott would appoint only people who would support his policies, but shouldn’t these constituencies have someone in their corners?” Read Put kibosh on move to foul drinking water

Click Orlando reports – “Clean water advocates say the rule would weaken state water quality criteria…The Florida Department of Environmental Protection insists that it is not lowering standards but is using more robust risk models and more Florida-specific data than the EPA…The proposed rule sets ‘stringent and protective criteria for 39 chemicals that currently have no limits,’ DEP says…DEP’s criteria would be stricter than EPA’s guidelines for cyanide, beryllium and several other chemicals in drinking water supplies. But most of the proposed state criteria would be weaker than EPA’s guidelines…Conservation groups worry that the state will allow levels higher than EPA guidelines for compounds such as…PCBs…Production of PCBs was banned in 1979, and EPA calls them ‘probably human carcinogens.’ Childhood exposure to PCBs has been linked to reduce IQ and impaired growth and motor skills…Pulp and paper mills are the primary source of most of the two dozen carcinogens on the state’s list…” Read Florida mulls new standards on water toxins

Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “To ease the algae stress on the Indian River Lagoon, regional water managers this week decided to pump 6,300 gallons of water a minute at Canal 54 along Brevard County’s southern border, west to the Stick Marsh, instead…Reversing the water will divert some 9 million gallons per day of flow from the C-54 to the St. Johns River through the St. Johns Water Management Area, a popular bass fishing spot also called “Stick Marsh.”.” Read St. Johns diverts canal water away from lagoon

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “Facing one of the worst nesting years on record, federal wildlife and water managers…announced new measures to protect the Cape Sable seaside sparrow and hasten Everglades restoration…[T]he changes could also lead to more flooding on conservation land popular with hunters…The plan also speeds up the schedule for moving more water down the L-29 canal into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay…The agencies worked out the measures with partners including the South Florida Water Management District, Summa (chief of planning and environmental policy for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Jacksonville) said… ‘For them to say we were part of the process other than paying us for work that needed to be done is absolutely false,’ said SFWMD spokesman Randy Smith…The state’s two largest environmental groups, the Everglades Foundation and Florida Audubon, praised the new measures. ‘Water mismanagement is the root cause of the algae blooms and seagrass die-offs, and has driven the Cape Sable seaside sparrow to the brink of extinction,’ Everglades Foundation Vice President Tom Van Lent said… ‘The solution is to accelerate restoration projects,’” Read New Glades rules protect sparrow, might lead to soggy hunting grounds

Brittany Bedi reports for WCTV – “Wakulla Springs…along with eight others…are being awarded more than $15 million for preservation, conservation, and cleanup for the springs and areas that drain into them. There are two projects affecting Wakulla springs. The first is a sewer system for Woodville, serving roughly 1,500 homes that are currently using septic tanks. The second project is a ‘septic-to-sewer’ project that will connect up to 130 homes and move sewage through the city of Tallahassee’s sewage system…The funding in the Northwest Florida Water Management District is part of $56.6 million in statewide funding from Governor Scott’s Legacy Florida Bill.” Read Wakulla Springs among $15.3 million conservation projects

Wes Siler writes for Outside Online – “The GOP’s justifications for stealing our public land holds no water. And the thing is: historically, the Republican Party would agree.” Read Fact-Checking the GOP’s Plan to Steal Your Public Land

 

 

 

 

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

 

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 .

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

July 25, 7:00 pm – Attend “Why Aren’t Florida’s Water Laws Protecting Florida’s Water?” led by two attorneys, Heather Culp (Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute) and Traci Deen (Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School). The event will be held at High Springs New Century Woman’s Club in High Springs and is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call (386) 454- 0415.

August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

August 2, 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 August class will focus on springs stresses: groundwater pumping, fertilizers, wastewater disposal, and recreation.

August 6, 2:00 pm – Attend “Using GIS for conservation, preservation, recreation and restoration in Fred George Basin,” a presentation by Dr. Christine Ambrose, a GIS specialist and biologist. This is part of the Wildwood Preservation Society Lecture Series. The lecture will be given at 3043 Capitol Circle NW in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

August 6, 5:30 pm – Attend Grasssroots Summit to Stop Sabal Trail in Gainesville. Speakers will educate participants on the pipeline. For more information, click here.

August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please 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 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 & 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 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.

 

 

 

 

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 - July 24, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 2 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

July 24, 2016

 

Rachel Silverstein writes for the Miami Herald – “The Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC)…is considering adopting a new rule, proposed by DEP, that would allow higher limits for dozens of cancer-causing chemicals…Gov. Rick Scott’s DEP is accepting the likelihood that more Florida citizens might develop cancer with these new exposure limits, using a carcinogenic “chemical risk calculation” that is 10 times (or sometimes 100 times) higher than the current rule allows…The risk factors increase for people who eat Florida-caught seafood more than once per week…Critically, the body that will ultimately decide whether to adopt or reject DEP’s proposed rule changes, the ERC, is currently missing appointees in two of its seven seats- the environment seat and the local government seat…Governor Bob Graham and 50 environmental groups recently sent Governor Scott a letter…urging him to fill these two seats before the ERC’s critical vote on the DEP’s rule changes. Governor Scott conspicuously ignored their request and a week later, pushed the ERC vote forward from a date in “early fall” to July 26th, the same day as a much-publicized meeting on the outflows from Lake Okeechobee that caused the Treasure Coast catastrophe…Furthermore, none of the three workshops that DEP held about the rule change were located south of Stuart…In response, local elected officials State Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Mayors Philip Stoddard and Cindy Lerner, and City Commissioner Ken Russell, have sent a letter to DEP Secretary Steverson asking to postpone this meeting until the vacant ERC seats are filled and public hearings are held in south Florida, and to grant more time for public comment.” Read State of Florida wants to add more dangerous chemicals to our water

Ron Littlepage writes for The Florida Times Union – “[T]here are 2.6 million septic tanks in Florida…State attempts at regulations have failed miserably. In 2010, the Legislature approved a bill that required septic tanks be inspected at least every five years. Not even one septic tank was inspected because of that law as legislators bowing to complaints from the tea party delayed implementation of the law when it met in special session later in 2010 and then killed the measure completely in 2011…Septic tanks that fail is one of the reasons that dozens of streams in Jacksonville are polluted…But even a functioning septic tank is ineffective at removing nitrogen from the waste water. That was the conclusion of a study by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection…Meanwhile…the Florida Department of Health continues to issue permits for about 6,000 new septic tanks a year.” Read Florida is flushing away its clean water

Jenny Rowland reports for Think Progress – “The Republican platform committee [drafted] the document that defines the party’s official principles and policies. [Included] is an amendment calling for the indiscriminate and immediate disposal of national public lands…[This would leave] national parks, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, and national forests apparently up for grabs and vulnerable to development, privatization, or transfer to state ownership…Delegates also approved an amendment aimed at curbing the Antiquities Act of 1906, a law which has protected national monuments ranging from the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon…The delegates also passed language specifying that the Republican Party believes that the sage grouse, prairie chicken, and the gray wolf should be exempt from the protections of the Endangered Species Act.” Read GOP Platform Proposes to Get Rid of National Parks and National Forests

The TC Palm Editorial Board writes – “Businesses are being lost; a way of life is being lost. People are beginning to fear not just for the health of our estuaries and beaches, but for the health of their children…Treasure Coast Newspapers’ Editorial Board has suggested a number of steps that would take us in the right direction…: 1. Get the money right. 2. Buy the land…[A]n independent study by the University of Florida…concluded that reducing discharges and meeting the Evergades’ need for more water ‘will require between 11,000 and 129,000 acres of additional land between Lake Okeechobee and Everglades National Park...3. Start talks now…[W]e must launch immediate talks with stakeholders, including the sugar industry, to shape this long-term fix…Treasure Coast Newspapers’ Editorial Board has called for a discharge “summit,” while state Sen. Joe Negron…has been speaking with scientists, environmentalists and the agricultural industry about ways to end the discharges. 4. Rally around a leader. The talks require a point person…5. More public health data…Right now, doctors have inadequate protocols for testing or reporting waterborne illnesses such as Vibrio vulnificus, which has taken lives in the Indian River Lagoon…6. Proactive leaders.” Read Saving our waterways, in six steps

Palm Beach Post Editorial Board writes – “True, most of today’s nutrient-rich runoff comes from north of the lake. But that’s ignoring what everyone now agrees is the long-term solution: buying land south of the lake. Yes, that solution also must include Scott’s better-late-than-never budget proposal to create a voluntary program encouraging residents on hundreds of thousands of septic systems to connect to sewer systems…” Read Long-term plan to fix algae blooms needs Big Sugar backing

Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “Conditions in the algae-plagued St. Lucie River appear to be improving slightly thanks to lower Lake Okeechobee discharge rates that include two no-flow days a week, say local environmental scientists.” Read St. Lucie River showing slight improvement; lower Lake Okeechobee discharges may be reason

CleanEnergy.org reports – “The Southern Environmental Law Center…recently released a report entitled Solar For All: What Utilities Can Do Right Now to Bring Solar Within Reach for Everyday Folks. SACE supports the report, and we are working hard with SEC and other allies to help make solar more accessible for low-to-moderate income (LMI) families across the Southeast.” Read Solar For All Report Offers Solutions to Help Disadvantaged Southeastern Communities Harness the Sun

Katie Herzog writes for Grist – “Here’s something we don’t get to say very often here at Grist…: Good news, humans! Remember the hole in the ozone layer? Well, three decades after countries started banning the chemicals destroying it, the ozone layer in on the mend…” Read Ozone hole not so holey anymore

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

July 25, 7:00 pm – Attend “Why Aren’t Florida’s Water Laws Protecting Florida’s Water?” led by two attorneys, Heather Culp (Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute) and Traci Deen (Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School). The event will be held at High Springs New Century Woman’s Club in High Springs and is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call (386) 454- 0415.

August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

August 2, 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 August class will focus on springs stresses: groundwater pumping, fertilizers, wastewater disposal, and recreation.

August 6, 2:00 pm – Attend “Using GIS for conservation, preservation, recreation and restoration in Fred George Basin,” a presentation by Dr. Christine Ambrose, a GIS specialist and biologist. This is part of the Wildwood Preservation Society Lecture Series. The lecture will be given at 3043 Capitol Circle NW in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

August 6, 5:30 pm – Attend Grasssroots Summit to Stop Sabal Trail in Gainesville. Speakers will educate participants on the pipeline. For more information, click here.

August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please 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 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 & 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 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.

 

 

 

 

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 - July 23, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 3 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

July 23, 2016

 

Scott Maxwell writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “I have a problem with the entire position of commissioner of agriculture- one of the most outdated, wasteful, suck-up-to-special-interests positions this state has ever created. Seriously, the position is little more than a taxpayer-subsidized…marketing tool designed to promote produce. And we don’t need to elect someone for that. Nowadays, people…run for commissioner of agriculture…because they want to run for something else. You get into office to theoretically regulate and work with agriculture interests, grocery stores and power companies- and then subsidize your political ambitions with money from agriculture interests, grocery stores and power companies. Such is the case with Putnam, whose 2018 gubernatorial aspirations are widely known…Aside from Putnam’s $128,000 annual salary, he has also subsidized his campaign with tax dollars, taking a combined total of more than $1 million in public financing to help him air ads in 2010 and 2014…[This is] about streamlining government, saving tax dollars and doing administrative duties with less political influence.” Read It’s time for Florida to ax elected Agriculture post

Bob Norman reports for Local 10 News – “ ‘(Taxpayers are) being ripped off….’ [Gene Kulsmeier said.] His company had a contract to plant grass on levels at one of six stormwater treatment areas…He said that almost immediately he had realized that some of the contractors working on…Stormwater Treatment Area 1 East, or STA-IE, were building shoddy levees, using sand that had been dug out and large rocks for the embankments, rather than the compactible soil called for in the contracts…The federal government conducted its own investigation that substantiated his most serious claims…When the levees were pushed into service in late 2004 for Hurricane Jeanne, they failed, which was not a surprise…During the past 10 years, STA-1E has been plagued with problems, including the failure of all of its 43 culverts…[The] repairs…cost in excess of $70 million…In a 2011 motion, [the U.S. government] claimed the Corps was at fault for polluting the bordering Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge due to STA-1E’s ‘significant construction defects.’” Read Local 10 investigation finds shoddy construction, massive waste in Everglades project

Robert Knight writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Unfortunately, the proposed septic-tank plan is unlikely to solve the continuing water quality problems caused by the dumping of polluted Lake Okeechobee discharges to the estuaries. Approximately 70 percent of the pollution load comes from discharges of nitrogen-and phosphorus-laden runoff from farms and ranches. With a price tag of about $15,000 each, septic tank connections will be paid by taxpayers, while agricultural producers are asked only to implement inexpensive best management practices with no verification or enforcement…No region of Florida is immune to…nutrient pollution woes…Florida’s government needs to direct pollution control measures at their origin, both agricultural and urban. Only by effectively addressing all activities that generate nutrient-laden waste can Florida prevent the increasingly evident water quality impairment from spreading from one water body to the next.” Read North, South Florida vie to be most polluted

Devin Golden reports for Sport Fishing – “Costa Sunglasses launched a video campaign titled #FixFlorida, which was made to raise awareness of Florida’s poor water quality and issues with the Everglades.” Read Costa Raising Awareness of Poor Water Quality in Florida

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “Less than a week after South Florida water managers unveiled a quick fix to bring more fresh water to wilting Florida Bay, Monroe County commissioners joined the outcry demanding faster work to repair the Everglades and move water south…[The County’s] resolution urges the state to buy land but not at the expense of ongoing projects. The Central Everglades Planning Project, which has been authorized by Congress but so far not funded, is expected to restore about 65 percent of the flow heading south and into Florida Bay, even without the land, said Mayor Heather Carruthers…But environmentalists say for the project to work, land south of the lake needs to be in place to store and clean water.” Read Monroe County urges faster fixes for Florida Bay

Christopher Curry reports for The Gainesville Sun – “[T]he FDEP granted the Florida Springs Council and the Suwannee-St. Johns Group Sierra Club a six-month extension of the deadline to file a legal challenge against the basin management action plan, or BMAP, for the Middle and Lower Suwannee. The state and the two environmental groups will use that time to try to reach common ground on the state’s proposed plan to…reach the maximum acceptable pollution level…[T]he two…environmental organizations could end up launching the first administrative law challenge against a BMAP…In a joint statement, the two…groups said they feel the BMAP does not comply with state law requirements, including those in the water bill passed last session…At some points along the river, nitrate levels have to be cut by up to 92 percent to hit the target pollution level…The FDEP and the water management districts are pumping tens of millions of dollars of public monies, including funds set aside by the 2014 Amendment One referendum, into those projects to split costs with private businesses and local governments.” Read Enviro groups, state seek to work out differences on Suwannee cleanup

Linda Young writes for the Pensacola News Journal – “The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)…will ask for final approval from the Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC) to increase the amount of almost two dozen carcinogens that polluters can dump in our waters used for drinking, fishing and swimming…The list…includes almost 90 toxic chemicals- both cancer-causing and noncancer-causing, but still toxic to our bodies and capable of causing birth defects kidney and liver disease and worst…If you want to attend the meeting it is in Tallahassee at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Florida DEP office, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd. If you can’t attend, you can contact the five ERC members (two seats are vacant)… Read Chemicals in your fish

Kate Bradshaw writes for Creative Loafing – “Experts in both environmental policy and GOP campaign messaging weighed in on the…suggestion that the Republican platform recognize the need to address climate change as well as the impacts of pollution…In Florida, some Tea Party activists have joined with environmentalists to promote cheaper, easier access to solar power- an uphill climb in a climate where electricity utilities that don’t want to see their profits drop have heavy influence on the regulatory body, the Public Service Commission…Mark Pischea, a GOP political strategist, said from an electability standpoint, especially when it comes to younger voters, incorporating conservation into the party platform is a matter of survival…Alex Bozmosi is the director of strategy and operations with the energy and enterprise initiative. He distributed paper Teddy Roosevelt masks…He said the masks were to remind Republicans of their conservationist roots, and that they need to debate with Democrats not whether pollution and climate change are a problem, but how to go about addressing them.” Read In Cleveland, pro-environment Republicans warn of political bloodbath over 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

 

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

July 25, 7:00 pm – Attend “Why Aren’t Florida’s Water Laws Protecting Florida’s Water?” led by two attorneys, Heather Culp (Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute) and Traci Deen (Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School). The event will be held at High Springs New Century Woman’s Club in High Springs and is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call (386) 454- 0415.

August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

August 2, 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 August class will focus on springs stresses: groundwater pumping, fertilizers, wastewater disposal, and recreation.

August 6, 2:00 pm – Attend “Using GIS for conservation, preservation, recreation and restoration in Fred George Basin,” a presentation by Dr. Christine Ambrose, a GIS specialist and biologist. This is part of the Wildwood Preservation Society Lecture Series. The lecture will be given at 3043 Capitol Circle NW in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

August 6, 5:30 pm – Attend Grasssroots Summit to Stop Sabal Trail in Gainesville. Speakers will educate participants on the pipeline. For more information, click here.

August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please 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 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 & 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 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.

 

 

 

 

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

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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