News and Announcements

FCC News Brief - July 24, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Sunday, July 24th, 2016 @ 10:25am

  • 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

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 @ 8:37am

  • 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

FCC News Brief - July 22, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, July 22nd, 2016 @ 9:06am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 22, 2016

     

    Client Focused Media shares – “North Florida Land Trust has finalized a major project that identifies the most valuable land in North Florida…Among other benefits, these lands provide the water we drink and the air we breathe, provide needed fisheries, prevent flooding, provide recreational opportunities and are critical to maintaining a healthy community. The price to acquire the land is $216,516,934, but the ecosystem benefits are $413, 430, 739.” Read North Florida Land Trust releases Preservation Portfolio

    The Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “If Scott and other state leaders are as worried as they should be about the growing risk that Florida’s serial water crises could permanently damage the state’s economy, they’ll finally tackle a list of priorities that they’ve neglected until now, including: - A credible statewide policy to control the use of agricultural fertilizer. – A comprehensive, well-funded plan to reduce pollution from septic tanks and wastewater-treatment systems. – An upgrade, after some 30 years, of stormwater-management standards. – A restoration of the budgets and activities of the water-management districts.” Read Toxic water crisis: A Florida finale of horror or leadership?

    Ed Killer writes for the TC Palm – “[W]hat happened recently between [the South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service] is cause for concern for all taxpayers…According to Larry Williams, state director for the…Service, there has been a misunderstanding…10 nesting pairs (of snail kites)…actually could benefit from higher water levels (in the Kissimmee River)…The water surrounding the nests helps prevent raccoons and other scavenging predators from getting to the eggs and chicks…Williams said these types of problems did not generate this type of interagency animosity in the past. But since Antonacci took over the reins at the district…, partnerships between [SFWMD] and others have been dissolving. ‘It seems like the water management district is working more in isolation than it used to,’ Williams said…All I know is that few are being served by this political paralysis…Antonacci, Williams and their two agencies must come together now and get this issue resolved.” Read  Agency cooperation a must for solutions

    Amy Bennett Williams reports for the News-Press – “A grim-faced Bud Nocera told Rubio, ‘Fort Myers Beach (is) in a recession…Businesses are down anywhere from 25 to 40 percent. People are getting laid off. Businesses are closing,’ said Nocera, the island village’s chamber of commerce president. ‘…[Y]ou guys need to understand how bad it really is.’…Rubio focused on the Water Resources Development Act bill, which would authorize the Central Everglades Planning Project, due for a vote in September. Rubio repeatedly turned questions away from other potential solutions – sending more water south of the lake, acquiring more property for storage, mandating septic repairs- back to the water bill. ‘It’s been stuck in limbo for a long time,’ Rubio said. ‘…My biggest worry is…if we add something new on top of it, my colleagues…are going to say, ‘Well, obviously this plan you want to pour billions of dollars into must not be very good, because you’re saying you’ve got to do something in addition to it.’ I’m worried about distracting…Once we’ve got the process rolling, if there’s more to be done, we’ll move on. But I don’t want us to…mess up on our chance to get this done once and for all.’…[T]he South Florida Water Management District announced it was taking $2.6 million from its reserves to deal with South Florida’s algae emergency declared by Gov. Rick Scott…It will go to several projects on the state’s east coast, including water storage on public land and better management of stormwater runoff at publicly owned properties in the St. Lucie Estuary.” Read Officials give Marco Rubio an earful on region’s water woes

    Emilia Hitchner reports for The St. Augustine Record – “Increasing development, especially along coastal areas, is seriously threatening [the migrating least tern] and eliminating its breeding and nesting habitat… ‘A lot of people think if we get rid of their habitat, they’ll just go somewhere else,’ Farrell (a Northeast Florida Audubon associate) said. ‘Unfortunately there have been a lot of studies to show that doesn’t really happen. What happens is that they die.’ A survey by the North American Breeding Bird Survey shows nearly an 88 percent decrease in least tern populations in the past 50 years…Farrell said even the most common birds are being threatened by scattered developments. ‘We don’t think about common species because we’re used to having them in large numbers,’ Farrell said. ‘But woodpeckers, for example, are being affected. As we get rid of our older trees and larger stands of forests where they build their nests, we could start losing them. And it’s a chain effect because Eastern bluebirds use cavities made by woodpeckers.’” Read St. Johns County’s growth affecting animals, too

    Adam Vaughan reports for The Guardian – “Ban Ki-moon’s climate change envoy has accused the UK and Germany of backtracking on the spirit of the Paris climate deal by financing the fossil fuel industry through subsidies…The criticism comes as Theresa May’s government has come under fire at home and abroad for its leadership on climate change after it abolished the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Senior figures such as the outgoing UN climate change chief have urged the UK not to abandon its climate change commitments as it leaves the EU…Robinson’s intervention comes as a group of international statesmen and women including her, Kofi Annan and Desmond Tutu, known as the Elders, released a statement saying they had ‘major concerns’ about action by leaders since the Paris agreement…They also said that governments needed to adopt carbon pricing…Furthermore, the Elders said they were concerned that the world’s top 10 biggest greenhouse gas emitters had not yet ratified the Paris deal. The US and China have both pledged to ratify the deal this year, which only comes into force once at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified.” Read UN criticizes UK and Germany for betraying Paris climate deal

    John D. Graham writes for The Hill – “From my experience working on environmental issues in the George W. Bush administration and now at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, here’s what I recommend as a conservative Republican platform on climate change: - Adopt a tax on greenhouse gas emissions throughout the economy that would rise over time so business and consumers have time to convert to sustainable activities…It would be a ‘revenue neutral’ tax…but the revenue wouldn’t stay in the government…Instead, the money would go back to U.S. citizens either as a tax break or, preferably, in a quarterly dividend check. – Establish a tax at the border on products imported to the U.S. from countries with weak environmental standards.” Read A constructive GOP platform on climate change

    Eduardo Porter writes for The New York Times – “Hoping to slow the burst of new renewable energy on its grid, [Germany] eliminated an open-ended subsidy for solar and wind power and put a ceiling on additional renewable capacity. Germany may also drop a timetable to end coal-fired generation…Instead, the government will pay billions to keep coal generators in reserve, to provide emergency power at times when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine…Renewable sources are…driving out other energy sources that are still necessary to maintain a stable supply of power. In Southern Australia…the spiking prices of electricity when the wind wasn’t blowing full-bore pushed the state government to ask the power company Engie to switch back on a gas-fired plant that had been shut down…[R]enewables are helping to push nuclear power, the main source of zero-carbon electricity in the United States, into bankruptcy.” Read How Renewable Energy is Blowing Climate Change Efforts Off Course

     

     

     

     

    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 21, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, July 21st, 2016 @ 9:23am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 21, 2016

     

    Christine Stapleton reports for my Palm Beach Post – “[The South Florida Water Management] district bought hundreds of thousands of acres of mostly farmland and built water conservation areas and massive wetlands (south of Lake Okeechobee)…[T]he district…began construction of the world’s largest man-made reservoir…[T]he…A1 reservoir would…provide the storage needed to protect the estuary from discharges from the lake. But two years and $272 million into construction, the…District suddenly ordered work on the reservoir halted…A month later, then Gov. Charlie Crist…announced his…plan…The Miccosukee Tribe filed a lawsuit to force the district to finish the reservoir…Ironically, the Everglades Foundation – now leading the effort to build a reservoir south of the lake- supported legal efforts to abandon construction of the A1 reservoir in favor of buying U.S. Sugar land…[R]epresentatives of the state’s top environmental groups said they supported buying more land south of the lake but were non-committal about whether the district should fulfill its…U.S. Sugar option or buy land elsewhere. ‘Let’s start planning,’ said Cara Capp, Everglades restoration planning director at the National Parks Conservation Association…But that plan already exists, opponents of the land buy say: The Central Everglades Planning Project…The (Everglades) [F]oundation…says CEPP ‘is about conveyance and flow’ and does not replace the need for a reservoir south of the lake…There is another storage option south of the lake that doesn’t require additional land: Build a version of the original A1 reservoir, which morphed into a shallow water basin as part of a legal settlement after the district halted construction. It could be re-engineered into an above-ground reservoir. Or, a reservoir and cleansing project could be designed using the A1 reservoir and 15,000 acres next to it…land the district already owns…Even if there were a reservoir, water managers say moving water south to rehydrate the Everglades is far more complicated than opening flood gates and turning on pumps.” Read Will a reservoir south of Lake O save the St. Lucie Estuary?

    TC Palm shares Sierra Club’s News Release – “You must stop releasing Lake Okeechobee water east to the Indian River Lagoon, southeast to the Lake Worth Lagoon, or west to Fort Myers and the Gulf of Mexico. You must take emergency action to move that water south into the sugar fields. And you must start planning now for storage, treatment, and conveyance in the EAA for the purpose of Everglades Restoration…The state’s tourism brand is tainted…Beaches are closed. As the algae spreads, home values are plummeting. It’s a taking, depriving residents of the value of their property…Gov. Rick Scott is squarely to blame…The sugar industry must share some adversity in this time of emergency. Why is it okay to flood the estuaries, but not the land planted in sugar?” Read Sierra Club issues statement to Gov. Scott, SFWMD on algae crisis

    Alex Butler reports for the Miami Herald – “South Miami’s City Commission unanimously passed a resolution in support of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s calling for the use of eminent domain to obtain the necessary land for Everglades restoration…Stoddard, a Florida International University biology professor, [said]: ‘[Scott’s] staff tried to divert attention from the real problem, which is phosphorus pollution of the agricultural lands, and they were blaming it on septic tanks in areas where that doesn’t drain into those estuaries.’ He continued: ‘Sen. Rubio came in by boat and pronounced it to be a problem in septic tanks. That very day, NASA released photos showing that the problem is originating in Lake Okeechobee…’” Read South Miami mayor: ‘Sugar barons have bought’ Florida government

    Janet Taylor writes for Florida Politics – “For five generations, my family has called Clewiston home. We…care about our neighbors, which is why we have been concerned about the ongoing blue-green algae crisis to the north. Based on the scientific data, we know the algae is not caused by water from farms south of the lake…We also know that despite the calls from vocal activists to purchase U.S. Sugar’s land, South Florida Water Management District scientists and engineers do not recommend taking additional farmland south of the lake out of production, because storage and treatment are more critically needed to the north, where 95 percent of the water and the nutrients come from…In spite of all this science, an alarming number of activists are still calling for the government to buy up our land, flood our communities, and send dirty water down south…For every acres of sugarcane that is lost, our jobs are lost in the fields, in the factories and in supporting jobs in every one of our communities. That takes food out of our children’s mouths and threatens the roofs over their heads.” Read Harming Glades communities not the solution to water crisis

    Ed Killer reports for the TC Palm – “[T]he South Florida Water Management District Governing Board…[submitted] permit requests to the Army Corps of Engineers to begin the work required to change ditches and water control structures necessary to move…water south. The move, expected to cost the district between $1.8 and $3.3 million, could flow as much as 6.5 billion gallons per year of clean fresh water…into Florida Bay. [They passed] two resolutions, one advises the Florida Legislature to adopt Gov. Rick Scott’s…Initiative, which…encourages residents in blue-green algae affected communities to shift from septic…to sewer…The other…urges Congress to appropriate…funding…to complete repair…of the Herbert Hoover Dike…Mark Perry of Florida Oceanographic Society…doesn’t think [these measures will help] in any noticeable way.” Read South Florida Water Management District moving in step with governor’s wishes

    Mitch Perry reports for Florida Politics – “The League of Women Voters in Florida is…putting their political muscle behind supporting one solar constitutional amendment on the ballot next month, while opposing another such measure in November…[T]hey’re also going to organize solar co-ops to negotiate steep discounts on rooftop solar for homeowners across the state.” Read League of Women Voters going all in on solar power in Florida this year

    Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “First it drives them insane. Then it kills them. A toxic algae has been poisoning birds throughout the South. Now it’s lurking in Florida’s freshwater lakes. This is not the same as the…toxic blue-green algae plaguing Florida’s east coast…This one could be worse.” Read Toxic algae lurks in Florida’s lakes, threatening eagles and other birds

    RT reports – “[The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the Tropical Audubon Society] filed a lawsuit against Florida Power & Light Co., operator of the Turkey Point nuclear facility, saying that the company violated the Clean Water Act by discharging contaminants from the plant, impacting nearby drinking water…Environmental groups said FPL’s assurances that it is improving the situation at Turkey Point have fallen flat…The lawsuit comes…after the state of Florida agreed to grant FPL a deferral over charging customers to cover costs for developing two new reactors at this site, and…after FPL entered a consent order with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, promising to take steps to clean the pollution over the next decade.” Read Florida nuclear plant operator sued for polluting drinking water

     

     

     

     

    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 21, 11:00 am – Participate in a Live Interactive Broadcast on the toxic algal blooms in Florida. In part 1, a panel of experts will discuss the problem and then the group will breakout into an interactive session facilitated by Circle of Blue journalists.  During part 1, learn about the $10 million George Barley Water Prize to support innovative solutions to reduce phosphorus. Register and find more information here.

    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 20, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 @ 8:59am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 20, 2016

     

    A.G. Gancarski writes for Saint Peters Blog – “Graham, the current Democratic U.S. Representative from Florida’s 2nd Congressional District, took Scott to task in a letter…Graham writes that she is ‘disappointed to see that, instead of advocating comprehensive solutions to this disaster,’ Scott’s letter blames President…Obama and advocates only a partial solution- maintaining and repairing Lake Okeechobee’s Herbert Hoover Dike… ‘Your administration has ignored sea level rise, weakened water-quality standards, and dismantled environmental standards,’ Graham continued. After advancing the idea that Scott could be the first governor in modern times who ‘actively worked to harm Florida’s environment,’ Graham offered a call to action, with four tangible steps Scott could take…The first step: to call a special session of the Legislature, focused on ‘short and long-term solutions to improve our water quality and prevent future algae blooms,’…The second step: to replace ‘political appointees’ on the Southwest Florida Water Management Board with ‘scientists, engineers, and conservationists.’…The third step: work with the Legislature and local governments to clean up and replace failing septic tanks…The fourth step [is to use] Amendment One…money to buy land ‘south of the lake…” Read Gwen Graham fires back at Rick Scott, calls for special session to deal with algae disaster

    Brian E. Crowley writes for the Crowley Political Report – “It is time to stop blaming Big Sugar. Yes, Big Sugar is winning. It owns the governor’s office, the cabinet, and the Florida Legislature. It has power over much of Florida’s congressional delegation…And, nothing they do is illegal. Sugar simply plays the game of politics better than their opponents…Perhaps it is time to blame the environmentalists…The sugar industry is united. Its goal is simple…Environmentalists often are not united. While they may all talk about stopping algae blooms, saving America’s Everglades, rivers and springs, there is a tendency to go their separate regional ways. Each part of the state has its own environmental concerns. Each fights to get money from the same state pot of dough. Each jealousy guards its own circle of influence…While there are billionaires and millionaires in the environmental community who give generously, there is rarely an effort to identify environmentally friendly candidates and support them. Perhaps even more important, there is little effort to make a concerted effort to defeat incumbents who opposed the environmental agenda. There is no price for the most incumbents who defy the environmentalists. There is a huge price in opposing sugar. Nothing illustrates that better than passage of the Water and Land Conservation Amendment.” Read It is Time to Stop Blaming Big Sugar

    Melissa E. Holsman reports for the TC Palm – “What to do about the algae crisis…bubbled up as a top issue for Republicans seeking Florida House District 54, which represents Indian River County and a small part of northern St. Lucie County. While two candidates are eager to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee to store its excess water, two others questioned that politically charged initiative.” Read Candidates split on buying land south of Lake Okeechobee to help Indian River Lagoon

    Stephen Hudak reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “The battle over the Econlockhatchee River, a fight to keep urban development from spreading east of the winding river, was won…by developers who want to build 4,000 homes in the Lake Pickett area. Commissioners, who sat through more than seven hours of testimony-an overwhelming majority of it opposed to two proposed megadevelopments-voted 4-3 to change the county’s comprehensive land-use plan to allow the projects in an area considered to be largely rural…Some raised concerns about increased traffic on congested roads and potential water shortages. ‘Once we breach the urban boundary line, we can’t go back,’ said Shawn Bartelt, a member of the League of Women Voters, which opposed the projects…Saathoff’s (the developer’s) supporters argue that the urban-service boundary…was breached years ago, pointing out that residential developments like Cypress Lake Estates were approved on water and sewer lines stretched across the Econ for new elementary and middle schools.” Read Sprawl foes lose battle over Econ River growth

    Scott Powers reports for Florida Politics – “The Orange County Board of Commissioners voted 4-3…to support two new developments, dubbed by county planners as Lake Pickett South and Lake Pickett North, that will allow thousands of new homes to be built east of the Econlockhatchee. The approvals required changes in the county’s land use comprehensive plan that had for more than a decade held that the eastern portion of the county – still largely but not entirely rural, and still largely an ecologically sensitive region – would see no more urban sprawl from the burgeoning Orlando metropolis…With [the Lake Pickett South development], the commission approved text changes to the county’s comprehensive plan to allow for it. The board also approved the map amendment. The actual rezoning was pushed to a September meeting to allow for some additional conditions to be placed on the development, as requested by the board. With [the Lake Pickett North development], the commissioners voted to transmit it to state officials to review to see if it is compatible to the county’s land use plans. Actual rezoning would have to come somewhere down the line.” Read Orange County opens door to development east of Econ

    Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “Manatee deaths linked to pollution have resumed in the algae-stricken Indian River lagoon of Brevard County…Since the end of May, eight manatee carcasses have been recovered… ‘We are still narrowing down the cause, but the hypothesis is still that the change of vegetation that the manatees are eating makes them susceptible to complications in their guys,’ said Marine de Wit, lead veterinarian at the Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in St. Petersburg. ‘It gives them acute shock.’ The mortalities began in July 2012 when the Indian River, already ailing from pollution, was crippled with an outbreak of microscopic algae,…wiping out sea grass on which manatees forage. De Wit said 166 manatees, including eight recovered in recent weeks, have been found with little or no sea grass in their stomachs. Instead, their digestive systems were filled with a large type of algae commonly known as seaweed…[U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service] is considering reclassifying manatees… ‘Their habitat is far from secure, which means their ability to recover is far from certain,’ Tripp (director of science and conservation at Save the Manatee Club) said.” Read Manatee deaths resume in Indian River

    Deborah Strange reports for The Gainesville Sun – “The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced…that 35 springs projects will receive more than $56.5 million for restoration, the most money ever provided for the state’s springs…Florida House Bill 989…appropriated $50 million annually for state spring restoration, protection and management projects.” Read Springs get record funding for restoration

    Antonio Fins writes for my Palm Beach Post – “The algae crisis is an environmental story, yes, but it’s also an economic story… ‘It’s the business class that has to effectively make a difference,’ said Erik Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation…The key issues business groups usually talk about are housing, education, taxes, transportation, etc….By contrast, I bet this question hasn’t been heard much Do you have enough water in Florida? Not enough water, or too much of it in the wrong places, is at the heart of the algae mess. It’s a similar concern across Florida…” Read Florida algae woes impact businesses, prompt call for action

     

     

     

     

     

    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

    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 21, 11:00 am – Participate in a Live Interactive Broadcast on the toxic algal blooms in Florida. In part 1, a panel of experts will discuss the problem and then the group will breakout into an interactive session facilitated by Circle of Blue journalists.  During part 1, learn about the $10 million George Barley Water Prize to support innovative solutions to reduce phosphorus. Register and find more information here.

    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 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 19, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, July 19th, 2016 @ 9:13am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 19, 2016

     

    Dothan first reports – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) invites counties and other local governments to submit proposals so the agency can effectively distribute state funding for reducing bear conflicts...The $825,000 in funding will be dedicated to programs that…can demonstrate a measurable reduction in human-bear interactions. Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature invested $500,000 in this fund…Sixty percent of the $500,000…must go to local governments which have passed ordinances to reduce human-bear conflicts…Applications will be evaluated based on several factors including: -Does the municipality have an ordinance…that requires residents and businesses to keep trash and other attractants secure from bears?... – What is the likelihood the project will result in a community-wide reduction of human-bear conflicts? Local governments are strongly encouraged to consult with FWC staff to discuss options and implementation before submitting their applications…Leading up to the submission deadline, the FWC will continue to meet with local governments to encourage and support efforts to enact bear-wise ordinances.” Read FWC invited communities to submit proposals for $825,000 in bear-conflict reduction funding

    The Tallahassee Democrat Editorial Board writes – “Gov. Rick Scott’s idea for replacing leaking septic tanks is a good start…State legislators passed a law in 2010 requiring inspection of all septic tanks every five years. They also outlawed land application of septic tank waste. But the next year- Scott’s first session as governor- legislators backed down in the face of a sustained backlash against the usual $400 cost of tank inspection. They repealed that requirement, except when tanks are altered or replaced, and indefinitely postponed the ban on land application of waste. Now, nobody knows how many septic tanks are leaking…[W]hy stop with the South Florida counties…? Why not go statewide with matching money- or even full state funding of septic-tank replacement…?...The DEP’s Wakulla Basin Management Plan identifies nitrates from human waste escaping about 14,000 septic systems in Leon and Wakulla counties. Just over half of the nitrates flowing into Wakulla Springs come from septic tanks.” Read Why not Wakulla Springs?

    ABC 13 reports – “As massive algae blooms continue to devastate aquatic ecosystems in Florida, one company has technology that it says can eat the harmful organisms right out of the water. Florida-based Ecosphere Technologies has deployed a machine capable of removing the thick, green sludge from thousands of gallons of water per minute…The company is currently using the machine in the water…in Jensen Beach…Officials expect the waterway to be clear of algae within a week.” Read Machine Can Eat Algae Out of Contaminated Florida Waterways

    Aleese Kopf reports for Palm Beach Daily News – “Palm Beach (Town Council) members directed staff to work with the Everglades Law Center and South Florida Water Management District to draft a resolution urging legislators to expedite study of a plan to build water storage reservoirs south of Lake Okeechobee. A project to store water in the Everglades Agricultural Area has been on the books for a decade but is low on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ list of Everglades projects. The Corps isn’t scheduled to begin planning for the project until 2021, followed by three years of design…Antonacci (executive director of South Florida Water Management District) said his agency is working on projects to store and treat water north of the lake to prevent future blue-green algae blooms…. ‘We need to hold water in places where it’s not going to harm the lake, clean it, and return it to the system. We own 105,000 acres of land just north of Lake Okeechobee. We are waiting for the plans to be drawn up, for the agreements to be made, and for the right place and the right time to build those reservoirs.’” Read Algae outbreak: Palm Beach encourages fast action to improve water quality

    Kimberly Miller and Jennifer Sorentrue report for my Palm Beach Post – “South Florida Water Management District officials said sending out water intermittently is meant to help normal tidal fluxes recharge salinity levels in the lagoon, which can inhibit…algae growth…While spacing apart releases has occurred for years with Lake Okeechobee discharges into the St. Lucie Estuary, it is a new practice for the C-51 canal, which carries water from the lake but also runoff from other areas, including Palm Beach County’s western communities… ‘If you are having heavy rains, you can’t really do this…,’ said Randy Smith, a district spokesman…Robbins (Environmental Resources Management director for Pam Beach County) said the pulse releases are designed to discharge water from the C-51 during an outgoing tide. The change would allow algae to move more quickly through the lagoon, and eventually flow out of an inlet where it would not survive in ocean water.” Read Staggered Lake O flow aims to reduce algae risk on Lake Worth Lagoon

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “[In] 1996…68 percent of Florida’s voters supported requiring the industries contributing to Everglades pollution to be ‘primarily responsible’ for paying their share of the damage...[The constitutional amendment] was not self-executing, and the 1997 Legislature refused to implement it…It took the Legislature seven years to implement “polluter pays,” but it found a way to effectively neuter it in 2003. Lawmakers capped the 1994 Everglades Agricultural Privilege Tax that was imposed on sugarcane growers at $25 per acre…and declared that it satisfied the constitutional requirement. By 2012, a study by the Everglades Foundation found that 76 percent of the phosphorus entering the Everglades Agricultural Area came from the agricultural lands south of Lake Okeechobee, but through the agriculture tax and phosphorus-reduction programs they have financed, the industry has paid only 24 percent of their share of the cleanup costs…In 2001, the state agreed to goals set by the Everglades Forever Act, reducing phosphorus in water to natural levels…or face federal sanctions. But by 2003, regulators determined the water quality in Lake Okeechobee wasn’t going to meet the standard so they recommended pushing back the deadlines…[L]eading lawmakers developed a bill to establish a new deadline: 2026…By all accounts, the industry has since worked hard to reduce phosphorus levels from its farms, especially since 2009 when it ceased routine back pumping of nutrient-laden water into the lake.” Read Sugar’s decades-long hold over Florida Everglades came with a price

    Patrick Murphy writes for the TC Palm – “When I took office in 2013, massive discharges from Lake Okeechobee started flowing into our waterways with toxic algae following. Experiencing the ‘Lost Summer’ firsthand, my office and I have dedicated ourselves to working to protect our waterways and our environment…I continue to call on the state to use Amendment 1 funds for land acquisition and conservation efforts to help send more clean water south…” Read If we don’t take more action, 2016 could become the ‘Dead Summer’

    Patricia Mazzei writes for the Miami Herald – “U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami introduced a bill…that would widen the scope of coral-reef research to include ‘the impacts of ocean acidification, warming seas and invasive species.’ The law would also allow the federal government to more quickly respond to problems like coral disease and bleaching, and give agencies a more active role in restoring reefs. The GOP has been reluctant to take on sea-level rise, but the issue is unavoidable for South Florida Republicans with coastal districts, such as Ros-Lehtinen and Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who signed on to the coral bill. Both face opponents who have stressed climate change as a key issue.” Read Ileana Ros-Lehtinen files bill to study rising seas’ effects on coral reefs

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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.

    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.

    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 18, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, July 18th, 2016 @ 10:44am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 18, 2016

     

    David Fleshler reports for the Sun Sentinel – “A vast area drains into Lake Okeechobee, where water laden with phosphorus has fertilized the growth of horrific algae blooms that have been discharged to the ocean…The problem has been building up over decades, and defies easy solutions…[E]nvironmentalists point to decades of overdevelopment and lax regulation of agriculture, saying the state never forced farms, cities and other sources of phosphorus to reduce it sufficiently to allow the lake to recover…Although many environmentalists blame “Big Sugar,” the cane fields of U.S. Sugar and Florida Crystals around the southern rim of the lake today account for only a small percentage of its phosphorus. About 37 percent comes from land to the north that drains into the Kissimmee River, according to a 2015 report by the South Florida Water Management District. This includes vegetable farms, citrus groves, cattle ranches, dairy farms and neighborhoods as far north as the Orlando suburbs…Only 5.8 percent came from the lands where the sugar fields are located, along with towns and other kinds of farms…While the sugar industry’s discharges to the lake are minimal compared to other sources, that wasn’t the case in the past. A 1992 study found that sugarcane fields and sugar mills accounted for 28 percent of the lake’s phosphorus. ‘There is a historic load of phosphorus already in Lake Okeechobee that came from the sugar farms,’ Draper (Executive Director of Audubon Florida) said. ‘There is a current load…coming from the sugar farms. We have had longstanding plans to move some of the water to the sugar farm land, and the sugar industry went from being favorable to that strategy to lobbying against it.’” Read Algae problem stems from decades of Lake Okeechobee pollution

    CBS Miami reports – “Federal wildlife officials are criticizing Florida’s decision to fight a massive algae bloom by temporarily holding more water north of Lake Okeechobee because the rising water is threatening 10 nests of an endangered [snail kite]…The snail kite has been on the endangered species list since 1967. They…live almost entirely on apple snails, a supply that is dwindling because of depleted water in the Everglades. There are about 400 breeding pairs left in Florida, but the bird also exists in Central and South America and the Caribbean. ‘We wanted to…[have] a discussion about how water might be moved to the direr floodplain using water control structures to hold water there rather than sending it to Lake Okeechobee,’ Larry Williams, the service’s state supervisor, said…’That would in my view solve for several dilemmas protecting our citizens and business owners in the south, as well as nesting snail kites to the north. Unfortunately, we never got the chance to have that conversation.’” Read Florida’s Algae-Fighting Plan Criticized by Feds Over Bird

    John Moran writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “A long time ago our political leaders saw clearly that Florida was headed down an unsustainable path. ‘Ecological destruction in Florida is nothing less than economic suicide,’ declared Gov. Reubin Askew in 1971. A year later the Legislature passed landmark water management reforms, widely hailed as a national model of wise governance. The decades passed, the pendulum swung and a new message- casting Florida’s environmental protection and growth management laws as irksome impediments- was packaged and propelled with a megaphone that only deep pockets can buy…And now we have the 2016 water bill- widely seen as a giveaway to Big Ag and Big Business: so many words, so little protection. Nature is resilient but only to a degree. Florida is a place where 2 million people make daily choices around water that seem entirely ‘reasonable’ to them. We have seen the net result of all that reasonableness and it is not a pretty picture. This is the Tragedy of the Commons writ large.” Read It’s our water, and we need to take ownership

    Anthony Man reports for the Sun Sentinel – “The toxic blue-green algae bloom…is spurring Florida politicians to act- to score political points for themselves and to blame their opponents for the environmental disaster. Sounding authoritative on television and appearing responsive to a crisis is a top priority, a task made easier because the scientific details and decades of policy decisions that shed light on what’s happening are complex. ‘We’ve never been able to get politicians to take real action to protect Florida’s waters, and now that a catastrophic bloom is occurring everyone says…they want to try to fix it,’ said Bradley Marshall, a Florida-based attorney with Earthjustice…‘The real question is are they going to try to do anything that will have a real impact. I remain skeptical that once these blooms dissipate that they’ll do anything to prevent the next bloom,’ he said.” Read Amid stench of algae crisis, politicians smell opportunity

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “Gov. Rick Scott is once again shifting blame, misidentifying the problem and proposing the wrong solution for the massive algae bloom that is coating beaches and making Florida look like the wrong place to spend a summer vacation. Scott and the Legislature need to get serious before polluted waters take an even heavier toll on public health, tourism and property values. They can start by buying land to help clean up the Everglades, and by spending money and adopting regulations to clean up farming, septic tanks and other practices that contribute to the decline of Florida’s environment…Any septic tank inspection and replacement program must be mandatory and adequately funded by the state. Lawmakers need to revisit the massive water bill they passed this year and institute new water standards and cleanup deadlines. State leaders should do what they can to persuade Congress to end federal price supports for sugar, which subsidize a dirty industry and force taxpayers to clean up the ecological mess.” Read Real solutions for ending algae blooms

    Jill Dillon writes for the Cape Coral Daily Breeze – “[Charlie Crist’s] efforts to clean up our polluted estuaries by buying up sugar land south of Lake O for treatment and rediretion of the water ended abruptly with Jeb Bush, and the tipping point has come with Governor Rick Scott and his bag man, Matt Caldwell, House District 79 in Lee County…At Governor Scott’s behest Caldwell spearheaded the Water Policy Bill of 2016 that, according to area environmentalist Ray Judah, ‘undermined water resources protection from Apalachicola Bay to the Florida Keys.’ Caldwell is up for reelection in November, running against John Scott, environmentalist…Let’s start a new tipping point: Support John’s campaign.” Read Vote for water quality

    Jessica Lipscomb reports for Miami New Times – “Four Miami-Dade commissioners have suggested an idea so new it doesn’t appear any other city has implemented it: Create new “impact fees” that would require developers to basically pay for their portion of the burden of sea-level-rise-related costs…After holding public workshops and soliciting input from the business community, (Commissioner) Levine Cava tells New Times it would be at least a year before any new fees would be added, if the idea moves forward.” Read Miami-Dade Could Ask Developers to Pay for Climate Change Costs

    Corbin Hiar reports for E&E Publishing, LLC – “The Eastern puma, which hasn’t roamed the Northeast in nearly 80 years, is finally poised to be removed from the endangered species list. The big cat is extinct, right?...What if the cougar…didn’t exist in the first place? That’s what some scientists enlisted by the Fish and Wildlife Service to review the delisting proposal for the Eastern puma are suggesting. They argue that for thousands of years, only one species of cougar roamed North America…Endangered Species Act experts worry their feedback could also have serious implications for the endangered Florida panther—another cat that has been long…considered a cougar subspecies…If FWS concludes that Florida panthers are no different from the cougars found in the West, the 100 to 180 cats left in the Sunshine State could be removed from the endangered species list. Delisting would put the remaining cougars in Florida at further risk from development and the deadly automobile traffic that accompanies it….Even with federal protections, Florida panthers are struggling to survive. The wide-ranging species now lives in about…5 percent of its historical range.” Read Endangered Species: Eastern Puma Questions put Florida Panther 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.

     

    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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.

    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.

    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 13, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 @ 11:15am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 13, 2016

     

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “[T]he political group FloridaStrong launched a petition calling on Rep. Dana  Young, a Republican from Tampa and House majority leader, to ‘stand up to Big Sugar and address Florida’s toxic water crisis..FloridaStrong also criticized Young for other actions, including supporting a bill that included a pre-emption on local regulation of oil and gas hydraulic fracturing and, in the group’s view, undermining 2014’s Amendment 1…Young…is running for state Senate this year.” Read Corps maintains reduced discharges in Lake O, group takes aim at Rep. Young

    The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “If the governor wanted to show that he is serious about ending the destructive cycle, he would go to Martin County. He would meet with the angry county commissioners and residents, especially owners of businesses that depend on clean waterways…Reducing septic tanks would help, but Scott’s proposal is voluntary, and in 2012 he killed a septic tank inspection program. This year, he signed legislation that eases water-quality monitoring…So if Scott visited Martin County, he would need to say that he favors a new approach- sending more water south. He would tell his handpicked South Florida Water Management District director to include storage reservoirs south of the lake in the agency’s Lake Okeechobee Watershed study with the corps.” Read Here’s how Scott should deal with algae crisis

    Ed Hall draws for Forbes – “The massive, toxic algae bloom currently swirling around the peninsula of Florida has its origins in an ongoing cycle of political manipulations, kickbacks, loosening of environmental and water regulations, an aging water-transfer infrastructure in and around Lake Okeechobee, and a Governor in the pocket of Big Sugar.” View How Corruption Caused a Toxic Water Crisis in Florida

    Codi Kozacek reports for Circle of Blue – “The problems in South Florida also mirror an increase in the frequency and intensity of toxic algal blooms globally…The oxygen-starved “dead zones” that accompany large blooms of algae are spreading as well, totaling more than 400 globally. One of the most prominent, the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, is expected to cover an area the size of Connecticut this summer…Both the blooms and the dead zones are triggered by excess amounts of phosphorous and nitrogen, two nutrients found in fertilizers, sewage, stormwater runoff, and industrial discharges…Water temperatures and intense storms linked to climate change are expected to further drive nutrient pollution and algal blooms. ‘…There are too many people, too much food production, too much fertilizer on the landscape,’ Bill Mitsch, director of the Everglades Wetland Research Park at Florida Gulf Coast University, [said]… ‘It’s going to be haunting us for a long time.’…While some efforts have focused on reducing phosphorus runoff from agricultural lands in the Lake Okeechobee watershed, scientists say the legacy phosphorus contained in the lake’s sediments- as much as 300 years’ worth- would pose a problem even if farmers reduced runoff to zero…Finding the space and finances to build all these wetlands (to clean the water and send it south), called Stormwater Treatment Areas, is yet another challenge. Florida has already constructed…57,000 acres of STAs south of Lake Okeechobee.” Read Toxic Algae Flourish As Everglades Solution Eludes Florida

    Kimberly Miller reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Lake Okeechobee stood at 14.93 feet above sea level…. ‘One big storm would be a bad situation, really bad,’ said Paul Gray, a scientist with Audubon Florida and Lake Okeechobee expert… ‘…[W]e are in the rainy season right now and have a lot of concerns, because the consequences of a breach in the dike are widespread loss of homes, businesses and potential loss of life,’ [Campbell, spokesperson for the Corps, said.]” Read Why drain Lake O? One storm could push it to its limits

    Eric Staats reports for the Naples Daily News – “[The FWC proposes] to expand a Critical Wildlife Area in Rookery Bay between Naples and Marco Island. The expansion is on a list of 15 important wading bird sites around Florida…The designations usually come with buffer areas to keep boaters away from nesting and roosting sites to minimize disturbance that can mean the difference between successful nesting seasons and no nesting season. Wading bird nesting in general is on the decline in South Florida…The problem is birds move around. Birds no longer use the original nesting island covered by the CWA. They have moved between two other nearby mangrove islands. The proposed expansion would take in the other islands…” Read Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation proposes protections for Rookery Bay wading bird nesting spot

    John Schwartz reports for The New York Times – “By just about any measure, the movement to battle climate change has grown so large that the truths of Al Gore’s decade-old movie now seem more mainstream than inconvenient…But the movement that started with a straightforward mission…is feeling growing pains. What may seem like a unified front has pronounced schisms, with conflicting opinions on many issues, including nuclear power and natural gas, that are complicating what it means to be an environmentalist in this day and age…[A] split is growing between the large, traditional environmental groups that try to work with companies and the scrappy campaigners who stand proudly outside.” Read Another Inconvenient Truth: It’s Hard to Agree How to Fight Climate Change

    Sean Kinane reports for WMNF – “(Sarasota County) Commissioners approved changes to the comp plan…During public comment on the Comprehensive Plan changes, Cathy Antunes with Citizens for Sarasota, accused Commissioners of being in the pocket of a handful of developers, including one that’s running for U.S. Senate, Republican Carlos Beruff…Environmentalists are concerned that the changes to Sarasota County’s comp plan could make development easier. In a phone interview…Andy Mele, vice chair of the Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club group, gives an example of 4.5 acres of wetlands where Whole Foods wants to build a grocery store… ‘This wetland may be surrounded by blacktop, but, it is still fully connected and all its functions are fully intact…’” Read Environmentalists object to Sarasota comp plan changes

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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 13, 6:00 pm Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Susan Glickman, the Florida Director of The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Emily Gorman, with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Learn about Amendment 4, which is on the primary ballot this August and efforts to compel leaders across the U.S. to commit to 100% clean and renewable energy for all. For more information, click here.

    July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC 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.

    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.

    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 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 12, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 @ 9:11am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 12, 2016

     

    Thomas Hawkins reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “[O]ne principle runs through [Orange County’s comprehensive] plan as its organizing idea: Concentrate development within cities and preserve rural lands…The central concept helps protect Orange County’s environment and quality of life…[Today], the Orange County Commission will again consider changing the law to allow development of more than 4,000 new homes in the Lake Pickett area…The changes…would go against the current policy of protecting rural lands…[T]he Lake Pickett development proposals would consume 1,386,000 gallons of fresh water every day. Central Florida’s groundwater is already over-allocated with severe consequences for Florida’s springs…Within the property being studied for development are wetlands, surface waters and important wildlife corridors….Roads that are already congested…would be among those choked with new traffic.” Read Say NO to Lake Pickett sprawl, says 1000 Friends of Florida

    Randy Schultz writes for Sun Sentinel – “As Florida’s latest environmental crisis has blossomed, Gov. Rick Scott has done what he does in every crisis: blame someone else…The main problem is that Florida bases environmental policy on the interests of farmers…Audubon of Florida Executive Director Eric Draper agrees that the state has kept Everglades Agricultural Area fields as dry or wet as the farmers want them, and when. Audubon and others last year asked the South Florida Water Management District to exercise its option on nearly 47,000 acres of land from U.S. Sugar that could hold lake water sent south. The water district board…rejected the idea…[T]he main argument against the deal was that the district didn’t have a plan for the land…In April, Audubon and other environmental groups asked the water district and the corps of engineers to plan a reservoir for that land as part of their Lake Okeechobee Watershed study. On May 11…the water management district’s executive director, Peter Antonacci, blew them off…[T]his year the governor signed legislation that relaxes water-quality rules for areas north of Lake Okeechobee.” Read To get rid of toxic algae, end farms’ special status

    Carl Hiaasen writes for the TC Palm – “As for the governor’s ‘state of emergency,’ it’s barely just a piece of paper. The agencies in charge are officially in ‘observation mode.’ I’m not kidding.” Read Florida Gov. Scott clueless in lake crisis

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “[T]he governor said he will propose a voluntary program to encourage residents to switch from septic…to central sewers. But some environmentalists who want the state to purchase land south of Lake Okeechobee to move water into the Everglades see Scott’s proposal as a distraction…But Brian Lapointe, a research scientist at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, said a study he conducted in 2015 found that wastewater from septic tanks causes algae blooms to grow significantly on their way from Lake Okeechobee to the east and west coasts… ‘I think his claim that septic tank runoff is a major contributor to pollution in the Caloosahatchee and Indian River Lagoon is an accurate statement,’ said Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida. ‘The more accurate statement is the algae blooms are a result of discharges from Lake Okeechobee.’” Read Some environmentalists decry Scott’s proposal to combat algae blooms

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “NASA satellite photography has tracked a massive algae bloom in the lake since early May. Videos and photographs by news organizations…also clearly show bright green algae flowing out of the lake, along the C-44 (St. Lucie) Canal and into the river…Even a pre-eminent researcher who calls septic systems ‘one of the primary sources’ of pollution in the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon agrees. ‘There’s no challenging the fact that the algae is coming from Lake Okeechobee,’ said Brian Lapointe, a research professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute…He said there would be no algae blooms in the river without the discharges…Lapointe puts it this way: Lake discharges caused the river algae bloom, but septic system runoff ‘greatly exacerbated it.’…The South Florida Water Management District disagrees, claiming there have been algae blooms without discharges…Treasure Coast Newspapers made multiple requests for…documentation (of the blooms that occurred in a year without discharges); but (spokesman) Smith never provided it, saying only that district scientists remember it.” Read Scientists agree: Lake Okeechobee discharges, not septic systems, cause algae blooms

    Kimberly Miller reports for my Palm Beach Post – “There are multiple types of freshwater algae, most of which do not make toxins, and can be beneficial as food for zooplankton and other organisms. Blue-green algae are actually a…cyanobacteria- and the majority of blue-green algae types are not toxic. Cyanobacteria can be found everywhere, even in deserts…Even if a cyanobacteria is not toxic, it can still cause problems when it is present in large amounts by reducing oxygen levels in water, which can lead to fish kills…Algae are in every water body in the world, are naturally occurring and, in normal amounts, are no reason for alarm.” Read Is Lake O water ‘toxic’? Why so much algae? Straight talk from experts

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “[Speak Up Wekiva!, a] group seeking to block black bear hunting in Florida quietly…filed a motion of voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit after state wildlife officials voted to delay the next hunt by a year… ‘…I had a good conversation with Nick Wiley today,’ O’Neal (group president and candidate in a state Senate primary in Central Florida) said… ‘We spoke about moving forward in a cooperative effort with bear ordinances in the remainder of the 14 most active counties (with bear-human conflicts).’…[FWC] is spending $825,000 in its current budget to offer incentives for those counties and their cities that develop ordinances to requiring that trash be secured and removing other attractants for bears. O’Neal said there also is a possibility of selling black bear “Sponsorships” to offset the loss of revenue from not selling permits for a bear hunt. ‘The mechanics of that would need to be worked out,’ O’Neal said. ‘But the pro-bear side is more than willing to prove that live bears are worth more to Floridians than dead bears.’” Read Anti-bear hunt group drops suit after conciliatory state decision

    James Call reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “State Acquisition and Restoration Council staff members will…be surveying more than 17,000 acres of rolling sand hills, hardwoods, and marshes to see if the swath of wild north Florida is worthy of being included on the Florida Forever priority list as conservation land. The property is called the Bluffs of St. Teresa…and takes in much of the land between Tate’s Hell and Bald Point State Park…The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ [is interested] in selling the tract of Franklin County land… ‘We’re all environmentalists here…,’ said Franklin County Commissioner Joseph Parrish. ‘But there’s a concern when you take another 17,000 acres off the tax rolls.’ Parrish said more than 88-percent of Franklin County is already owned by government.” Read Mormons offer 17,000 acres for state conservation

     

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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 12, 2:00 pm – Attend the Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting in Orlando where the Commission will decide whether or not to allow urban development in the Rural Service Area. This is the final approval needed for the Lake Pickett South project. For more information, click here.

    July 12, 3:00 pm – Attend Leon County’s Board of County Commissioners Meeting where bear-human conflict in Leon County will be discussed. The meeting will be held at 301 S. Monroe St. in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Gladys at (760) 877- 8012.

    July 13, 6:00 pm Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Susan Glickman, the Florida Director of The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Emily Gorman, with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Learn about Amendment 4, which is on the primary ballot this August and efforts to compel leaders across the U.S. to commit to 100% clean and renewable energy for all. For more information, click here.

    July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC 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.

    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.

    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 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 11, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, July 11th, 2016 @ 9:20am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 11, 2016

     

    Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “Gov. Rick Scott said…he will push for more money next year to get rid of septic tanks along the Indian River Lagoon. Scott’s plan would add more money to a 50-50 matching state grant program with counties and municipalities to get properties voluntarily off septic and help governments build wastewater systems to curb pollution entering waterways. The money will be part of his 2017-18 proposed state budget and needs legislative approval…Incoming Florida Senate President Joe Negron…is working on a proposal he plans to present to the Legislature next year to reduce discharges by moving lake water south into the Everglades. He praised the governor’s efforts, but said he doesn’t want that to take the focus away from buying land needed for his plan.” Read Gov. Rick Scott proposes more money for septic to sewer conversions to help Indian River Lagoon

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “Only one tenth of one percent of all Florida utility customers owned a renewable generating system in 2015…In December 2014, the PSC slashed its energy-efficiency goals by more than 90 percent at the behest of the utility industry…The commission also ended the solar rebate program at the end of 2015…Environmental groups have tried and failed to get the PSC to strengthen its energy efficiency rules in Florida to match other states. They argue that conservation measures would save customers money if utility companies don’t have to keep building expensive new power plants to meet the demand for new electricity…Florida’s utilities have aggressively fought to retain control of solar energy generation in the state. They pumped more than $7 million into a plan to keep from the November ballot a plan to allow customers who generate their own renewable energy from entering into purchase agreements to sell their power to neighboring customers, bypassing the utility.” Read What percent of the electricity customers in the Sunshine State own a renewable system? Think tiny

    Terry Brant writes for The Gainesville Sun – “The ecological disaster in the St. Lucie River and the Caloosahatchee River, including the Everglades…is a toxic warning to taxpayers and voters that they cannot trust Gov. Rick Scott or the Legislature, who have allowed poor water policies to poison and degrade Florida’s most valuable resources. Scott implemented his agenda of promoting big business donors by killing growth management, stacking the water management districts, signing harmful legislation, setting in motion a political ideology that has ignored science and fact, and killing responsible government efforts to address environmental problems…If our governor and state legislators have forgotten that 74.96 percent of Floridians voted to require them to protect our environment, voters should remind them of that fact when they run for re-election or higher office by giving them the opportunity to find another job.” Read A toxic warning to Florida voters

    Rob Moher writes for Medium – “The science clearly shows that acquisition of a portion of EAA lands to add over a million additional acre feet of storage and treatment is essential if we are to ever be able to stop the harmful discharges to our estuaries. Such an acquisition would hardly put Florida’s sugar industry out of business as it would require a relatively small portion of the existing sugar producing lands. We are spending billions of state and federal tax dollars to accelerate major Everglades restoration projects, but if the water cannot be cleaned and allowed to flow south to those projects, they will not be able to provide their full ecological benefit…The Governor…should…direct the state Department of Environmental Protection to set nutrient pollution standards for both Nitrogen and Phosphorus…for all upstream flowing waters flowing down into Lake Okeechobee…” Read Florida’s Water Issues: Time for Talk is Over

    Ron Littlepage writes for The Florida Times Union – “The world now knows how shabbily we in Florida have treated the precious gifts of nature we were given…It’s because [the algae blooms have] taken place in a heavily promoted area popular with tourists that the national media have focused on this latest embarrassment for Florida. But such embarrassments have been taking place for years in out-of-the-way places far from the Treasure Coast…[A] Koch paper mill…put 40 million gallons of polluted effluent a day into the Fenholloway River, turning it into the most polluted river in Florida. The wastewater…created a 10-sqaure-mile dead zone in the Gulf…But in the Big Bend of Florida, there are no news helicopters documenting the damage being done.” Read Florida’s dirty laundry is in view for all

    Stuart Korfhage reports for The St. Augustine Record – “To place a dollar amount on preservation, the [North Florida Land Trust] used studies on the monetary value of ecosystem services…Those benefits fall under a number of categories, including removal of air pollutants and greenhouse gases; protection from storms, floods and droughts; regulating water supply; building organic soils for farming and forestry; removing nutrients and contaminants from waterways; maintaining native habitats and wildlife; and the production of food and fiber.” Read North Florida Land Trust targets 112k acres for preservation

    Sammy Mack reports for WUSF – “McGeehin is an epidemiologist who spent more than 30 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He developed the CDC’s Climate Change Program…[He said:] We have seen some of the most severe heat waves globally in the last 20 years than we’ve ever seen in the history of man…In those heat waves, we are seeing thousands of people dying. In Europe in 2003, we saw 45,000 people die…As we change the environment through climate change, we are changing where the mosquito lives. So we are seeing the mosquitoes that carry vector-borne diseases move into areas and populations that they haven’t been in before. So in addition to the fact that mosquito-borne diseases cause millions of deaths around the world we’re seeing them move into populations that have no immunity to it.” Read Epidemiologist: Climate Change Is a Health Crisis

    Fox 13 reports – “[W]ith the summer comes the challenge of keeping pets away from the poisonous Bufo toad, also known as a…Cane toad. The…toads are non-native…being brought to the U.S. and released into sugar cane fields to help control pests…Bufo toads secrete a poisonous toxin from the glands above their eyes. If a cat or dog tries to bite down on one, the poison will cause pain, profuse salivation and possibly death, if not treated right away…Bufo toads do not have any natural predators in the U.S…” Read Protect pets from poisonous Bufo toads

     

     

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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 12, 2:00 pm – Attend the Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting in Orlando where the Commission will decide whether or not to allow urban development in the Rural Service Area. This is the final approval needed for the Lake Pickett South project. For more information, click here.

    July 12, 3:00 pm – Attend Leon County’s Board of County Commissioners Meeting where bear-human conflict in Leon County will be discussed. The meeting will be held at 301 S. Monroe St. in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Gladys at (760) 877- 8012.

    July 13, 6:00 pm Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Susan Glickman, the Florida Director of The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Emily Gorman, with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Learn about Amendment 4, which is on the primary ballot this August and efforts to compel leaders across the U.S. to commit to 100% clean and renewable energy for all. For more information, click here.

    July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC 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.

    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.

    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 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 8, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, July 8th, 2016 @ 1:05pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 8, 2016

     

    Sarah Owen Gledhill writes for The St. Augustine Record – “In July, the St. Johns County Commission will hear rezoning requests for platted lots…in…an area with a critically eroding shoreline. It is low-lying and has no available sewer or water service. These lots are also located in a Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) Unit. [T]he Act...helps [to] protect critical, undeveloped coastal habitats, reduces the public’s exposure to catastrophic storm damages…and helps to protect and buffer the built environment. CBRA…has saved…American taxpayers billions of dollars…The taxpayer costs to maintain basic services to these areas will increase dramatically with sea level rise, as will the cost of insurance. If the price of insurance goes up due to a rise in sea level, homeowners may decide to simply not insure or under-insure the home, which could put the burden of storm recovery right back on the taxpayer. The National Flood Insurance Program is already more than $23 billion in debt…” Read Time for a sea of change

    Jennifer Sorentrue reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Pollution from population growth and urban development – not water releases from Lake Okeechobee – is the primary cause of the foul-smelling slime…an expert in algae blooms said…Brian La Pointe, an expert in algae blooms and a research professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute…questioned whether slowing the discharges would help much. He said septic tanks, sewage systems and other nutrient-laden pollutants have fueled the widespread algae blooms…Bill Louda, a research professor at Florida Atlantic University’s chemistry department, said diverting water south into the Everglades would be devastating…LaPointe agreed…Instead, LaPointe said legislators should focus on regulations for septic tanks and require sewage treatment facilities to reduce the amount of nitrogen in the effluent.” Read Who’s to blame for algae mess? Experts say urban growth, not Lake O

    Skyler Swishes reports for the Sun Sentinel – “Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s tourism marketer, has been in ‘crisis communication mode,’ working to dispel any perception that Palm Beach County’s…beaches are…coated in…neon-green slime, said Ashley Svarney, the organization’s public relations director…The problem is visitors unfamiliar with Florida are associating photos of the Treasure Coast with Palm Beach County, Svarney said. The governor…extended the state of emergency from Martin and St. Lucie counties to also include Palm Beach County…Big dollars are at stake…Lured by beautiful blue water…nearly 7 million people visited Palm Beach County in 2015, producing more than $7 billion in economic impact…More algae is expected to come into Palm Beach County now that water managers are directing more algae-laden water from Lake Okeechobee into the West Palm Beach Canal, which discharges into the Lake Worth Lagoon just south of downtown West Palm Beach.” Read Palm Beach County tourism community wants to clear up algae bloom perceptions

    Ansley Samson writes for the Miami Herald – “The problem is the same one we have been dealing with for decades: the need…to ‘get the water right’ in terms of quantity, quality, timing, and distribution. And the solution is also the same one we’ve had for decades: the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, or CERP…We have the path forward; our challenge is how quickly we can implement it.” Read What really harms Florida Bay

    Alex Leary reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “GOP primary opponent Carlos Beruff issued a release laced with links to news articles and columns about Rubio’s absence on the water issue…Rubio did pay a visit to the area before—as critics complained he was MIA – and he had advocated along with Sen. Bill Nelson for the Central Everglades Planning Project. Rubio also pushed Republican colleagues to prioritize Everglades restoration…But Rubio has also faced criticism for not doing enough. ‘He has largely abandoned Florida and those who pay his salary,’ read a TCpalm editorial in 2015.” Read Rubio’s environmental focus has critics asking, Where were you before?

    Ariella Phillips reports for The Florida Times Union – “Following last month’s decision by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to postpone bear hunting season this year, groups opposed to future hunts say they’re not done advocating for the animals…The [groups’]…main focus will be to work with the 14 counties…that have the most bear-human interactions to pass trash ordinances, said Lisa Sapp, a volunteer with Stop The Florida Bear Hunt…Chuck O’Neal, director of Speak Up Wekiva, an environmental organization that has advocated against bear hunts, and a candidate for state Senate District 11…said if elected…he’ll push for an amendment to make wildlife commissioners elected, not appointed by the governor. If necessary, he’ll also push for a referendum on bear hunting. The commission will invest $825,000 for communities to reduce bear-human conflicts…” Read After hunt postponement, bear advocates plan continued fight

    The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction reports – “The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr. Robert Glasser…hailed as ‘a major breakthrough’ the announcement by Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Canada, President Barack Obama, USA, and President Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico, that they will take sweeping action to achieve 50% clean power generation by 2025 and cooperate on reducing disaster risk…Mr. Glasser said: ‘…The commitments to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2020, to reduce black carbon and to prohibit the use of high-global warming hydrofluorocarbons all speak to a serious political commitment to reducing the risk from future extreme weather events.’” Read Canada, Mexico and USA announce ambitious plans to fight climate change and cooperate on disaster risk reduction

    Yessenia Funes writes for Color Lines – “We’re all-too familiar with the concept of gentrification-when a crumbling, low-income neighborhood improves due to new investment and becomes so desirable that longtime residents are priced out by more affluent, and often Whiter, people. A new Fusion article takes the phenomenon a step further by considering how displaced people of color are relocating to areas that are closer to industrial pollution. In turn, they get hit with health problems like asthma.” Read Inside ‘Environmental Gentrification’

     

     

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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 8, 5:00 pm – Participate in a peaceful protest against the Lake Pickett Developments/Land Use Changes. The protest will be held outside the Orange County Admin Building in Orlando. For more information, click here.

    July 12, 2:00 pm – Attend the Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting in Orlando where the Commission will decide whether or not to allow urban development in the Rural Service Area. This is the final approval needed for the Lake Pickett South project. For more information, click here.

    July 12, 3:00 pm – Attend Leon County’s Board of County Commissioners Meeting where bear-human conflict in Leon County will be discussed. The meeting will be held at 301 S. Monroe St. in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Gladys at (760) 877- 8012.

    July 13, 6:00 pm Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Susan Glickman, the Florida Director of The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Emily Gorman, with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Learn about Amendment 4, which is on the primary ballot this August and efforts to compel leaders across the U.S. to commit to 100% clean and renewable energy for all. For more information, click here.

    July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC 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.

    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 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.

    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 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 7, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, July 7th, 2016 @ 10:20am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 7, 2016

     

    Nicole Valdes reports for WINK News – “A man from the United Kingdom who’s visited Southwest Florida with his family at least once a year for the past decade said he contracted a staph infection from a recent swim off Sanibel and won’t be coming back unless ongoing water problems are fixed. James Bellows said a doctor told him he had a water-based staph infection and warned him against swimming anywhere north of Naples… ‘All this horrible, greeny pus started oozing out of my leg,’ Bellows said…A woman…said she picked up a life-threatening infection from contaminated water near Fort Myers Beach…Florida Power and Light agreed to store 2 billion gallons of water per month for at least three months…” Read Water-based infection turns longtime tourist away from SWFL

    9 News reports – “Video of a manatee swimming in a Florida canal chocked with thick algae has gone viral…The Palas family filmed the manatee and then used a garden hose to clean it and give it fresh water to drink. ‘Imagine trying to breathe in that, that is so horrendous,’ Adam Palas can be heard saying…The Palas family has…said their daughter wears a mask to play outside due to the risks from the toxic algae.” Read Family hose off manatee swimming in algae-chocked Florida canal

    Jeff Ostrowski reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Sandwiched between bustling Palm Beach County and sprawling St. Lucie County, Martin County long has distinguished itself as a place that takes a measured approach to growth and adopts a protective attitude toward the environment…Yet as a toxic algae bloom intensifies, it’s Martin County and not one of its faster-growing neighbors that has borne the brunt of an ecological crisis…Even without growth driving the local economy, Martin County has prospered. Its per capita income was $54,078 in 2014, one of the highest figures in the state…Martin County’s unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in May, below the state average…But Martin County business owners wonder if they can survive the black eye caused by blue-green algae.” Read In environmental irony, slow-growth Martin County hit with algae

    Les Neuhaus reports for The New York Times – “[T]he Baskins- whose 22-month-old daughter, like Ms. Baskin, suffers from asthma- and their neighbors are not so happy these days. In the water of the inlet of their subdivision in Northriver Shores, an inch-thick layer of bubbling ooze and slime emits a stench so overwhelming that none of the neighbors go outside… ‘…I think our governor and local politicians are to blame. This isn’t the first time this has happened, but it’s definitely the worst,’ [said Ms. Baskin.] At play are many of the forces that define modern Florida: competing environmental, residential and agricultural interests, a failure by state officials to invest in managing the demands of growth, finger pointing between state and federal officials… ‘Normally there are kids playing outside,’ [Ms. Baskin] said. ‘But not right now- it’s a ghost town.’” Read Reeking, Oozing Algae Closes South Florida Beaches

    Diane Roberts writes for Florida Politics – “The Corps could fix the dike tomorrow, but the water in the lake would still be infested with cyanobacteria. It would still contain 20 times the toxins deemed tolerable by the World Health Organization. It could still cause liver damage, severe rashes and respiratory distress. It would still be destroying the Everglades…Why is this water so foul? Because Scott’s political clients have been allowed to pollute all they please, pumping untreated wastewater into the second-largest freshwater lake in the contiguous 48 states…Big Sugar- one of the biggest polluters- is a top contributor to Scott’s political committee…[T]he state has recently made it easier for polluters to dump crap into Florida waters. Since Scott signed Big Ag’s comprehensive water bill into law…this year, all polluters have to do is claim they’re following “best management practices.” And what does that mean? Why, whatever Big Ag says it means! So the dirty water’s on the Florida Legislature. And on Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who sees any attempt to enforce the Clean Water Act…as sinister federal overreach. And on Rick Scott.” Read Rick Scott’s breathtaking hypocrisy on water pollution

    The Jacksonville Business Journal reports – “[T]he St. Johns has its own toxic algae blooms…due to runoff, said St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman. Rinaman said the Riverkeeper is now running toxicity screens on areas…which had fish kills… ‘In Jacksonville, we have a fertilizer ordinance that is not actively enforced. That would be very helpful,’ she said. ‘Additionally, we’re working hard in the state to protect the existing protections…’ She added that this problem could be made worse by dredging: If salinity increases in the St. Johns, which the Riverkeeper has said would happen with dredging, then that submerges wetlands, which filter the water… ‘It’s a death by 1,000 cuts,’ she said. ‘We’re continuously permitting more pollution in the water and weakening what’s in place…’” Read St. Johns River showing its own toxic algae blooms

    Carole Fader reports for The Florida Times Union – “In October 2014, the city of South Miami passed a resolution 3-2 to split the state into two states – North Florida and South Florida –with South Florida becoming the 51st state…Vice Mayor Walter Harris told the City Commission that Tallahassee wasn’t providing South Florida with proper representation, or addressing its concerns when it comes to sea-level rising…” Read Call it ‘Flexit’: The 51st state of South Florida?

    Coral Davenport reports for The New York Times – “Mrs. Clinton has avoided mention of the one policy that economists widely see as the most effective way to tackle climate change…: putting a price or tax on carbon dioxide emissions…John Podesta, a former senior counselor to Mr. Obama who is now the chairman of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, is an architect of both the Obama and Clinton climate change plans. In crafting them, Mr. Podesta, an ardent environmentalist and a seasoned political operative, sought to take substantive action to reduce emissions without turning to Congress, where climate legislation would likely again be doomed…Veterans of the Obama administration are still smarting from the president’s…“cap-and-trade” plan [that] died in Congress in 2010, and contributed to Democrats’ loss of the House majority that year… ‘The overwhelming view of the people who have looked at this is that there’s no way to get to the 2050 (Paris) goal, and probably the near-term goal, without a carbon price,’ said Jessica Tuchman Mathews, a former president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace…[E]xperts say [Hilary’s] approach…would also probably reach a point of diminishing returns because the Obama regulations have already affected the two most polluting industries.” Read Hillary Clinton’s Ambitious Climate Change Plan Avoids Carbon 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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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 12, 3:00 pm – Attend Leon County’s Board of County Commissioners Meeting where bear-human conflict in Leon County will be discussed. The meeting will be held at 301 S. Monroe St. in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Gladys at (760) 877- 8012.

    July 13, 6:00 pm Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Susan Glickman, the Florida Director of The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Emily Gorman, with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Learn about Amendment 4, which is on the primary ballot this August and efforts to compel leaders across the U.S. to commit to 100% clean and renewable energy for all. For more information, click here.

    July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC 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.

    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 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.

    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 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 6, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 @ 10:45am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 6, 2016

     

    Katie Mettler reports for The Washington Post – “In some places, the water seems to be growing thick, furry mold…On Thursday, the Corps announced it would cede to the pressure, beginning a ‘pulse release’ Friday that will reduce output levels…But managing Okeechobee’s water levels is a necessary evil, one that could save thousands of human lives. That’s why the dike was built in the first place. Hurricanes in 1926 and 1928 assaulted the region, flooding small towns around the lake’s edge where mostly poor, minority farm workers lives; 2,500 people were killed. The 1928 hurricane inspired the storm in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”” Read This disgusting, ‘guacamole-thick’ goop is invading Florida’s coastline

    Kate Bradshaw writes for Creative Loafing – “The green slime invading waterways…is linked to fertilizer use in the sugar fields surrounding Lake Okeechobee...While cities and counties in Florida have for years tried to limit fertilizer pollution by banning residential use during the summer rainy season, the state Department of Agriculture seems poised to do something much to the contrary: eliminate a requirement that fertilizer companies report to the state Department of Agriculture on how many tons fertilizer they are selling.” Read Seriously?!: Amid coastal sliming, Florida may ditch fertilizer rules

    Meghan McRoberts reports for WPTV – “Blue-green algae has been coating Treasure Coast waterways for weeks. Now, it’s not only the sight that is making stomachs turn, but the smell…[T]he smell is unprecedented. It’s forcing some people not only out of the water, but out of their own backyards and into their homes to get away from the stench…Shane Ireland lives more than 100 years from the water. ‘Even when I walk the dog down the end of the street, I’m getting a whiff down there,’ Ireland said… ‘I mean…you can kick the can down the road so far and this is the end result. They don’t do anything. Everybody has been talking about getting things done for the past 30 years,’ Ireland said. ‘It seems the most logical thing is what we voted for in 2014. We voted to have money put to buy the land…south,’ Grove (a resident on the river) said…” Read Stench from algae blooms in Martin County forcing people inside their homes

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “Gov. Rick Scott’s state of emergency declaration over blue-green algae in the St. Lucie River is having an effect…Here’s a look at what the governor ordered the water district to do, what it’s actually doing and what the effects will be.” Read Analysis: Scott’s state of emergency full of directives, actions and effects

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “The governor declared a state of emergency for Martin and St. Lucie counties after a massive algae bloom in the St. Lucie River prompted beach closings on the Atlantic Coast…This is all well and fine, but Scott is only reacting to a crisis long in the making. And worse, he is using other people’s misery to score political points…This governor fought the federal government for years over the state’s clean-water standards. He decimated the water management districts, cut environmental enforcement, rejected a plan by former Gov. Charlie Crist to buy sugar land for water storage and signed into law a bloated water resources bill that will encourage sprawl. Scott has not called on Congress to eliminate U.S. price supports for sugar, which force taxpayers to both subsidize the industry’s dirty practices and then pay for the cleanup of the Everglades…If Scott wants to fix the problem, he should work with Congress to stop contributing to it.” Read The real algae bloom crisis

    Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson…called on the state to buy land south of the lake to make way for reservoirs and canals to clean water and send it into the Everglades instead of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. He said the money should come from Amendment 1…If sugar growers, who own much of the land south of the lake, aren’t willing sellers, Nelson offered a solution. ‘There’s something called eminent domain,’ he said…U.S. Sugar Corp. signed a 2010 agreement with the state to sell its land in parcels, but lobbied against the sale when environmentalists pushed the Legislature to allocate money to buy one of the parcels in 2015…Nelson is using the issue as a ‘distraction’ from the fact the federal government hasn’t paid for its share of Everglades restoration projects, Negron (incoming Florida Senate President) said…Scott is expected to challenge Nelson for his seat in the 2018 election.” Read Sen. Nelson supports use of eminent domain for sugar land to reduce Lake O releases

    The KVJ Morning Show shares Watch an original song about blue-green algae

    Chris Gerbasi reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “An overflow crowd of more than 400 people filled a Villages recreation center this week for County Commission meeting. About 40 of them spoke in opposition to the Fern Spring project…The Southwest Florida Water Management District issued a permit…(for the project) that would allow SWR (Spring Water Resources) to pump an average of 496,000 gallons of water per day from the upper Floridan aquifer for 20 years. The permit allows for an average of 892,800 gallons a day during the highest water-use month…While the Sumter commissioners had no role in the permit process, residents urged them…to support their effort to get an administrative hearing before the water-management district…Members of the group (Protect Our Water) believe there is no demand for the water project, and that it is potentially hazardous to the quality of the aquifer, would generate pollution and truck traffic and could create sinkholes…The commission took no action on the residents’ request.” Read Opponents of Sumter water-drilling project vow to continue to fight

     

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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 12, 3:00 pm – Attend Leon County’s Board of County Commissioners Meeting where bear-human conflict in Leon County will be discussed. The meeting will be held at 301 S. Monroe St. in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Gladys at (760) 877- 8012.

    July 13, 6:00 pm Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Susan Glickman, the Florida Director of The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Emily Gorman, with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Learn about Amendment 4, which is on the primary ballot this August and efforts to compel leaders across the U.S. to commit to 100% clean and renewable energy for all. For more information, click here.

    July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC 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.

    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 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.

    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 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 1, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, July 1st, 2016 @ 8:55am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 1, 2016

     

    Alyssa Hyman reports for WPTV – “Wednesday dozens of frustrated residents packed a task force that was meeting at the South Florida Water Management District. The meeting room was so full it was standing room only. Residents held signs and posters and even made t-shirts…All of them were demanding solutions and alternatives to the massive Lake Okeechobee discharges into the St Lucie Estuary. A majority wants the state to move forward with buying land and sending the water south toward the Everglades… ‘I can’t believe people have allowed this to happen in our state. Where children can’t swim in the ocean,’ said one upset resident. ‘We will not be a quiet voice now. It is time…They cannot ignore us anymore,’ said Tamlyn Willard, a Jupiter mother.” Read Upset residents attend South Florida Water Management District meeting

    Rich Campbell writes for the TC Palm – “It’s time for us who love the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon to admit we’ve made a colossal mistake, for decades, with respect to the discharges of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee: We’ve asked- and expected- politicians to fix the problem…Our activism is second to none…Government do something? The same elected officials who accept campaign donations from Big Sugar? The same officials who make the lagoon an issue at election time, then have to be browbeaten to fund lagoon-related projects? Folks, the joke is on us. The blue-green algae…is a symptom. Government is the problem…We must band together and pursue solutions independent of government. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation…raised $150 million…Imagine what could be accomplished if all the disparate lagoon-related organizations joined forces? Or if the private sector were suddenly mobilized to help end the discharges?” Read Blue-green algae choking our waterways is a symptom; government is the problem

    Emilio Vergara writes for SWFWMD Matters – “[A]nyone who thinks it was the Governing Board of the (Southwest Florida Water Management) District that made the decision to place [Brian Armstrong as Executive Director] has not been paying attention…Street rumor has it that Brian’s appointment is the handy work of…Scott’s transition team sub-committee chairman on regulation and the guy who oversaw development of the committee’s plan to take down Florida’s nationally respected environmental regulatory protection mechanisms,…Doug Manson. Rumor also has it that Brian…was under consideration for the job years ago…but the thought was that his executive management experience was too thin. So, he was spirited away to get that experience as assistant executive director at the DEP Tampa office…and then brought back to SWFWMD as the assistant ED in waiting…Problem is…it’s the governing board’s responsibility to fill the position, not political operatives from Tallahassee who couldn’t give a wit less about Florida’s natural systems.” Read Oddly immune to the fire, Brian Armstrong, new ED at SWFWMD

    Oliver Milman reports for The Guardian – “An area of southern Florida has been hit by an ‘unprecedented’ outbreak of blue-green algae, causing miles of waterways and beaches to be swamped with foul-smelling toxins that have caused skin rashes among residents and raised concerns over the fate of marine mammals…Drum (manager of ecosystem restoration at Martin county) said there was no known way to effectively clean up the algal bloom.” Read Florida declares state of local emergency over influx of ‘God-awful’ toxic algae

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider diverting water south to the Everglades rather than sending it to coastal estuaries…Nelson…also asked the Corps to evaluate storage options within the entire water system and suggested that the state use Amendment 1 dollars to get projects started. Meanwhile, the South Florida Water Management District issued a “Myth vs. Fact” document…suggesting that other sources of nutrients, including septic tanks, may be feeding the algae bloom. And the district again dismissed the idea that buying farm land south of Lake Okeechobee for water storage could have prevented algae…Rep. Gayle Harrell…presented…a letter signed by six Republican legislators calling on the Corps…to halt the discharges from Lake Okeechobee…Harrell called for buying land south of Lake Okeechobee and using money from HB 989, the “legacy Florida” bill…for water storage.” Read Nelson, GOP legislators ask Corps to take action on Lake O discharges

    Jeremy Wallace reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “With another $100,000 donation earlier this month, the US Sugar Corporation has become one of Gov. Rick Scott’s top financial supporters…By far the biggest donor to Scott since the start of 2015 remains the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which has donated $790,000 to Scott’s committee. Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts; Floridians for a Stronger Democracy (a  political committee with ties to Associated Industries of Florida); and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeffrey Binik have also given $200,000 or more to Let’s Get to Work…The financial activity comes despite Scott being term limited and unable to run for re-election. While some have suggested Scott is aiming to run for the U.S. Senate in 2018, Scott has refused to say publicly whether he is considering taking on U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat.” Read Another $100K donation from US Sugar to Gov. Rick Scott

    The Gainesville Sun Editorial Board writes – “This month, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources passed a measure that would allow the federal government to transfer national forest land to states…Our state’s voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1 in 2014 to ensure land conservation was well funded, only to have lawmakers ignore their intentions and spend most of the money on other uses. Gov. Rick Scott’s administration and the Legislature have directed repeated assaults on public lands. They have sought to put golf courses in state parks; increase cattle grazing, logging and hunting in parks; and surplus public land for sale to private interests. These efforts keep coming despite the benefits that public lands provide…The Outdoor Alliance cited 35 bills introduced in Congress last year alone to seize and sell of public lands…Our nation had a long history of bipartisan support for land conservation. Only in recent years have some conservatives turned against the idea…Stop federal and state lawmakers from selling our national heritage to the highest bidder.” Read Don’t sell off our public land

    Michael D. Bates reports for the Citrus County Chronicle – “If the name Gary Kuhl is familiar, it’s probably because he was a fixture in Citrus County government for years. He headed up the public works department from 1994 to ’96 and was county administrator from 1996 to 2000. Since then, Kuhl has served in various positions, including Hillsborough County Water Resources Team administrator and Hernando County administrator. Today, Kuhl…is semi-retired and works part-time as executive director of the nonprofit Save Crystal River Inc. His interest in photography blossomed about seven years ago, and that passion has grown…He was [the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s] executive director for five and a half years and later was operations director… ‘Gary is one of the best people and environmentalists I’ve had the pleasure to know,’ said Smart (president of 1000 Friends of Florida)…” Read Pictures worth 1000 friends

     

     

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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 5, 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 July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

    July 12, 3:00 pm – Attend Leon County’s Board of County Commissioners Meeting where bear-human conflict in Leon County will be discussed. The meeting will be held at 301 S. Monroe St. in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Gladys at (760) 877- 8012.

    July 13, 6:00 pm Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Susan Glickman, the Florida Director of The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Emily Gorman, with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Learn about Amendment 4, which is on the primary ballot this August and efforts to compel leaders across the U.S. to commit to 100% clean and renewable energy for all. For more information, click here.

    July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC 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.

    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 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.

    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 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 - June 30, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, June 30th, 2016 @ 9:52am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    June 30, 2016

     

    Mitch Perry reports for Florida Politics – “This fall, Floridians will vote on Amendment One, the controversial solar power initiative…While it’s strongly backed by the public utility companies in the state, it seems to be extremely popular with the public, with the measure getting 77 percent support. Only seven percent oppose the measure, with another 16 percent undecided. Frank Orlando, political scientist and director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, says the politics of Amendment 1 are ‘interesting because it is being supported by the large energy companies. Editorials have railed against the bill, but as of yet, opponents haven’t mobilized to stop the measure.’ The Florida Supreme Court approved the amendment’s language by a slim 4-3 majority earlier this year…Justice Barbara Pariente wrote in her opinion that the measure is ‘masquerading as a pro-solar initiative…actually seeks to constitutionalize the status quo.’…Floridians who participate in the Aug. 30 primary election will get the opportunity to vote on a different solar power amendment, this one listed as Amendment Four. That measure…would exempt solar power equipment on homes from being counted toward a house’s value for property tax purposes…Amendment 4 is supported by 68 percent of the public, opposed by only 7 percent, with 25 percent unsure.” Read Poll shows solar power amendment backed by utilities gets 77% support from Floridians

    Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “A marine preserve in Biscayne National Park – a key piece of a new management plan 15 years in the making and designed to protect Florida’s dwindling reef tract- may be derailed by a new bill proposed by Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio. The bill, proposed Friday and fast-tracked through a committee hearing, would undo the preserve and require the National Park Service to consult with Florida wildlife managers, who opposed the preserve. But environmentalists say the rare move by Congress sets a dangerous precedent ‘that would block the National Park Service from doing its legal authority to protect America’s national park,’ said Caroline McLaughlin, Biscayne program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association.  Approved last year, the park plan underwent more than a dozen public hearings and received more than 43,000 comments. Ninety percent of those favored the preserve…The…preserve would also play a part in a  growing network of preserves intended to restore the region’s threatened fish populations, where 17 different species are down 70 percent.” Read Florida senators move to undo Biscayne National Park preserve

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “Algae blooms are killing fish in the St. Lucie River; we’re just not seeing the bodies pile up, a marine biologist said… ‘June is a big month for sea trout to spawn at Hell’s Gate in the St. Lucie,’ he said… ‘They’re not there because the salinity is too low; and the salinity is too low because of the discharges.’” Read Biologist: Fish dying under St. Lucie River’s layer of algae

    Eric Chaney reports for The Weather Channel – “Gov. Rick Scott has declared an emergency as Florida’s Treasure Coast becomes less of a treasure due to bright blue-green algae blooms taking over waterways and beaches. [Scott’s order declares] an emergency in Martin and St. Lucie counties…Algae samples taken June 14-15 from the lake contained more than 20 times the amount of toxins considered hazardous by the World Health Organization…The Corps is stuck between a rock and a hard place, spokesperson John Campbell told WPTV, and that releasing the water from Lake Okeechobee is the ‘lesser of two evils.’ ‘Holding the water back in the lake accelerates the rise and puts us in a position that the people that live and work around the lake face an increased flood risk,’ he said.” Read Florida Governor Declares Emergency as Treasure Coast Beaches, Waterways Become Covered in Algae

    Ryan Benk reports for WJCT – “The North Florida Land Trust is launching one of its most ambitious plans yet- it’s aiming to preserve more than 12,000 acres at once. The trust is asking businesses and philanthropists for help raising the estimated $215 million required… ‘You either receive the ecosystem benefits that nature’s providing you naturally or you start paying hundreds of millions of dollars for stormwater treatment facilities or wastewater treatment facilities,’ [Jim McCarthy, executive director of the land trust] said…But, he said, none of this would be necessary if state lawmakers fully funded Florida’s land acquisition program: Florida Forever.” Read North Florida Land Trust Launches ‘Preservation Portfolio’ Project to Buy 12,000 Acres of Land

    Anne Lindberg reports for the Saint Peters Blog – “Members of the board that oversees public transportation in Pinellas agreed last week to buy two electric buses for a pilot program, if the county commission decides to purchase a charging station for the vehicles. Now activists who once targeted the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority have set their sights on Pinellas County commissioners. The immediate goal: Convince commissioners to agree to spend about $590,000 of the $7.1 million it received from the BP oil spill settlement for the charging station… ‘We believe there is no more appropriate use of the funds than to help the county’s transit system move to an era of no more oil,’ said Phil Compton, a senior organizing representative for the Sierra Club Florida’s Healthy Air Campaign.” Read Activists take crusade for electric buses to Pinellas County commissioners

    Alan Farago writes for the Huffington Post – “Massive toxic algae blooming…, coating public health, tourism, business and real estate on both Florida costs with dangerous scum, is the real consequence to taxpayers and voters of losing their bet on Republican leadership: Gov. Scott, Senate President Joe Negron, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam, state representative Matt Caldwell, US Senator Marco Rubio, and all the insiders and cronies they corralled to serve on boards like the water management districts and Public Service Commission…It wasn’t too long ago…that sober minds in the Republican and Democratic parties understood whatever their differences, attention must be paid to the public interest. In time, the GOP’s lock on both houses of the legislature and the executive mansion boiled down to a myopic confidence that the best way to protect people was to allow corporate interests to take over the functions of government.” Read How Florida Republicans Became Losers

    Jeremy Hance writes for The Guardian – “Given that many climate change impacts are happening far quicker than scientists anticipated, conservationists may need to consider moving more speedily and aggressively to protect an increasing number of climate-vulnerable species….[C]ontroversial actions, such as assisted migration for species, must be considered…[C]onservationists may also need to become more vocal about dealing with the underlying cause of climate changes: burning fossil fuels. The longer global society goes without transforming itself, the more extinction will become inevitable. And if the loss of the Bramble Cay melomys proves anything, it’s that we may not have as much time as we think.” Read ‘Devastated’: scientists too late to captive breed mammal lost to climate change

     

     

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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 5, 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 July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

    July 12, 3:00 pm – Attend Leon County’s Board of County Commissioners Meeting where bear-human conflict in Leon County will be discussed. The meeting will be held at 301 S. Monroe St. in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Gladys at (760) 877- 8012.

    July 13, 6:00 pm Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Susan Glickman, the Florida Director of The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Emily Gorman, with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Learn about Amendment 4, which is on the primary ballot this August and efforts to compel leaders across the U.S. to commit to 100% clean and renewable energy for all. For more information, click here.

    July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC 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.

    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 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.

    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 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 - June 29, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 @ 11:17am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    June 29, 2016

     

    Bill DiPaolo reports for the Palm Beach Post – “After listening for three hours of cantankerous, impatient and frustrated complaints from local residents, the Martin County Commission…wants the Army Corps of Engineers to close the locks between Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River. ‘The smell is so bad it will make you gag. We have red eyes and scratchy throats…,’ said Mary Radabaugh, one of about 250 people that overflowed the Marin County Commission chambers for the early-morning emergency meeting. However, the Army Corps doesn’t expect to suspend the flow, spokesman John Campbell said…Asking Florida and the federal government to declare a state and federal disaster area in Martin County was also approved by the commission. ‘This is our Deep Water Horizon. It’s time the federal and state government understand how God-awful the problem is here,’ Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith said… ‘We’ve had rashes on our hands. We’re losing thousands of dollars. I want this fixed,’ Bruce Hrobak, owner of Billy Bones Bait & Tackle, demanded of the commission.” Read As smell, sight of algae persists in TCoast, public demands solutions

    Jennifer Sorentrue reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Concern about shorelines is on the rise…just days away from one of the most popular beach getaway weekends – the Fourth of July holiday. Some Martin County beaches are off limits due to a widespread algae bloom. The…algae…has been spotted in waterways and canals across much of South Florida…No swimming advisories were also placed on four beaches in the panhandle’s Okaloosa County…due to elevated bacterial readings in water quality tests. State officials also monitoring an algae bloom near Jacksonville.” Read Algae bloom, bacterial spike close several South Florida beaches

    Kevin Powers writes for the TC Palm – “Recent opinions published by this newspaper have suggested that purchasing thousands of acres south of Lake Okeechobee for water storage is the only viable solution for reducing the lake releases that have affected the St. Lucie River this year. However, storage all around the lake…coming from projects already in the works is the long-term solution…The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board is using the University of Florida Water Institute’s 2015 study to guide its efforts in creating more storage in the region’s water management system. The study estimates a need for 200,000 acre-feet of storage in the St. Lucie watershed and another 1 million acre-feet ‘distributed north and south of Lake Okeechobee.’” Read SFWMD board is ‘continually evaluating the best options’ for storing water

    Todd Wilkinson reports for National Geographic – “In the age of the Anthropocene, is it really possible, long-term, to sustain growing numbers of human beings and wildlife…on landscapes already crowded- and likely to be left literally shrunken in decades ahead…?...Fleming, senior Florida representative for Defenders of Wildlife…says strong evidence suggests that most (bear-human) conflicts come from bears wandering into the suburbs and becoming habituated to eating human trash, seed in bird feeders, and pet food. Bears that rely on unnatural edibles become more aggressive and can present a threat to people and property…(FWC Chairman) Yablonski agrees that with hunting temporarily taken off the table, the main focus should now be on how to decrease conflicts…[B]ears…endure in scattered sub-populations geographically isolated from one another and that increases the chances of small clusters of bears disappearing…Yablonski says there are still federal and state public lands in Florida suitable for bears and he believes that achieving connectivity between isolated sub-populations is possible…Within 30 years, Florida’s human population…is conservatively projected to add another seven million people…More than bullets, the real enemy of bears is sprawl…[I]f climate change scenarios play out, rising seas will force people to leave coastal areas and resettle in the Florida interior, squeezing the last bastions of sound bear habitat even more.” Read Dead Cubs, Illegal Baiting Lead to Bear Hunt Suspension

    Keith Morelli reports for Florida Politics – “The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board…selected Brian Armstrong as executive director…He previously was the assistant director for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Southwest District, where he restructured the district’s operations by reducing costs, including staff layoffs, and improving internal operating performance. Armstrong is a licensed professional geologist who earned his Bachelor of Science degree and his master’s degree in hydrogeology from the University of South Florida.” Read Personnel note: SWFTMD announces new executive director

    Sara Ganim reports for CNN – “Eighteen million Americans live in communities where the water systems are in violation of the law. Moreover, the federal agency in charge of making sure those systems are safe not only knows the issues exist, but it’s done very little to stop them…More than 5,300 water systems in America are in violation of the EPA’s lead and copper rule…What’s worse…the EPA is also aware that many utilities ‘game the system,’ using flowed or questionable testing methods in order to avoid detecting high levels of lead. That means there could be many more communities violating the laws…And the public has no idea. Even Flint, a city with the most notorious case of lead in water discovered, is still not listed as having violated the EPA’s lead and copper rule.” Read 5,300 U.S. water systems are in violation of lead rules

    Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “[S]everal South Florida utilities [are] among the largest in the nation that reported violations of the U.S. Lead and Copper Rule… ‘Lead exposure can decrease a child’s cognitive capacity, can cause behavioral problems and can limit a child’s ability to concentrate,’ said NRDC scientist Kristi Pullen-Fedinick.” Read Group raises alarm over lead in drinking water

    Laura Paddison reports for The Guardian – “Britain’s decision to leave the European Union was not a vote against climate change, nor was it a vote against the innovation key to fighting climate change, UN climate chief Christina Figueres told an audience of business and policymakers at the annual Business  Climate summit in London...” Read Brexit is not a vote against climate change says UN’s climate chief

     

     

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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 5, 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 July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

    July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC 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.

    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 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.

    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 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 - June 28, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 @ 11:55am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    June 28, 2016

     

    Jake Galvin and Dan Christensen report for Florida Bull Dog – “In an escalating effort to block the…Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline, opponents are asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to examine allegations that information about potential environmental hazards was overlooked… ‘There is significant evidence…of sinkholes, springs and the underground transmission of water for many miles that were not included in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Final Environmental Impact Statement,’ said U.S. Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr., D-Ga…Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been both a key Sabal Trail backer and a stockholder in the project’s majority owner, Spectra Energy. In 2013, Scott signed into law a pair of bills designed to speed up permitting for the project…[T]he Scott-appointed Florida Public Service Commission unanimously approved construction of Sabal Trail…[T]he Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which reports to Scott, decided that Sabal Trail…was ‘clearly in the public interest.’ In Georgia, however, Sabal Trail has met resistance….While a trio of north Florida counties…sent letters…requesting a…supplemental environmental impact statement, (U.S. Rep.) Yoho (R-Gainesville) believes Sabal Trail is safe and should move forward.” Read Push to block Sabal Trail gas pipeline looks to enlist U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    State Sen. Jeffrey Brandes writes for the Pensacola News Journal – “This year, the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that will give voters the opportunity to clear the way for more solar energy in our state. This issue will appear as Amendment 4 on the August 2016 primary election ballot…Amendment 4 will expand an exemption that currently exists in law for residential properties to…commercial customers that choose to install solar. The passage of Amendment 4 will spur tremendous investments in renewable energy…The great news is that everyone will have the opportunity to vote on this amendment, regardless of their political affiliation. If you are registered to vote, you can support this important issue by voting early, absentee or at the polls on Aug. 40, 2016. Like most constitutional ballot amendments, the wording is complex but the effect is simple: more solar, more jobs, and more affordable energy options.” Read Florida should lead in solar production

    Jeff Gill reports for the Gainesville Times – “[A] trial in Washington over water sharing between Georgia and Florida may not mean the end of the decades long ‘water wars.’…The Army Corps of Engineers is working on a final version of operating plans for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin… ‘That can always be the subject of litigation,’ said Clyde Morris…Ralph I. Lancaster, a Maine lawyer appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the case, would preside over the trial, which would be held in U.S. District Court. He ‘doesn’t have the authority to rule (in the case),’ Morris said. ‘He will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court, then it’s up to justices to actually render an order.’” Read Oct. 31 trial in DC may not end states’ water battle

    Maggy Hurchalla writes for the TC Palm – “The South Florida Water Management District Hazardous Algae Blooms site notes that in Lake Okeechobee monitoring indicates high toxin levels have been measured when there is no apparent bloom. The toxin doesn’t go away when the algae dies. Researchers measuring toxin levels in sediments in shallow eutrophic lakes (think Lake Okeechobee) found toxins persisted in sediments…We have [BMAA]. We don’t know how much. The state doesn’t test for it. It has been proven to cause a neurological disease…similar to…ALS…Those who are being exposed need to know what’s happening. We need to ask the governor and the president to immediately create a state/federal research team to explore the health threats from cyanobacteria in Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River estuary. We need to ask the Legislature to require monitoring and treatment to reduce phosphorus flow to Lake Okeechobee from all directions. Voluntary “best management practices” have not worked. Untreated pumped discharges to the lake are still going on.” Read Don’t dismiss dangers of algae in our waterways

    Andrew Ruiz reports for WPTV – “Commissioners in Martin County will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday in response to the algae crisis. People are demanding answers, but the county is caught in the cross-hairs and says there isn’t much they can do about the discharges from Lake Okeechobee…It is likely the Martin County Commission will request that [Gov. Rick Scott] declare a state of emergency.” Read Martin County holding emergency meeting over algae Tuesday

    Wayne Washington reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Fritz, one of the five voters whose support led to the creation of Palm Beach County’s newest city, is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail on a battery charge for allegedly attacking his girlfriend…The Seminole Pratt Whitney address (owned by Minto Communities) is listed in elections records as being shared by Fritz, Rinaldi, Kara Crump, William Guevara and Phillip Everett, the five whose voters were all that was necessary to convert the Seminole Improvement District into Palm Beach County’s 39th city in an election made possible under a law passed by the Legislature in 2012. Westlake’s founding has generated anger from those who worry it means unchecked growth in an area known for horses and dirt roads…Fritz…agreed to serve as one of [the new city’s] transitional council members…[Locals] blame Minto for the incorporation of the new city, which they fear will bring more traffic and change to their rural lifestyle…Incorporation could open the door to a larger project than the one Minto laid out in plans it presented to the county.” Read Founding council member for new city of Westlake in jail

    Joanna Klein reports for The New York Times – “Algae changes snow’s albedo, or how much light, or radiation, its surface reflects back into the atmosphere…[A] new study estimated that blooms of snow algae can lead to an albedo decrease of 13 percent over the course of an Arctic melt season, compared with clean snow…Just how much melting this will account for, or how much that may affect sea level rise…is still to be determined…Current climate models take into account how soot from forest fires, dust from the Sahara or even increased water content (which slightly darkens snow to blue) affect albedo, but they have yet to measure biological effects, like that of algae.” Read Watermelon Snow: Not Edible but Important for Climate Change

     

     

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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 5, 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 July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

    July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC 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.

    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 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.

    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 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 - June 27, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, June 27th, 2016 @ 9:45am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    June 27, 2016

     

    Sue Carlton writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “Nuisance bears? How about nuisance humans with their all-too available garbage? How about the nuisance paving over of too much wildlife habitat in this state?...The surprise reprieve (from the bear hunt) is good news for bears and also for people who want to keep as much of the good in our state as we can. It gives us a chance to talk solutions, like putting bear-proof garbage cans in places they’re needed to keep animals from scavenging too close to humans. It lets us consider ideas like buffer zones between places bears already roam and new housing or retail developments.” Read Carlton: Bears 1, Hunters 0

    Mona Shand reports for the Public News Service – “Without changes in the way electricity is produced and how it is used, Floridians will likely see a nearly 17 percent increase in their electric bills over the next 15 years, according to a new study…The report finds that implementing the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan could halt that increase, saving the average Florida household more than $2,600 over the same period…The report also finds that by reducing emissions, the plan…would improve the nation’s health, preventing thousands of illnesses, premature deaths and hospital admissions each year.” Read Report: Clean Energy Plan Will Cut Electric Bills

    Peter Schorsch reports for Florida Politics – “Shortly after Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio announced he would run for re-election, the environmentalist group League of Conservation Voters took him to task for his positions on the environment and said he was ‘wrong for Florida.’” Read Conservation group takes Marco Rubio to task, calls him ‘wrong for Florida’

    C.T. Bowen writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “Williams…was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Pasco County that brought a settlement 16 years ago requiring the county to step up its environmental stewardship. Commissioners approved one of the final pieces…creating a wildlife corridor ordinance intended to let animals traverse protected land connecting existing preserves…[S]till a bone of contention is the ability to narrow the originally proposed 2,200-foot corridor…by as much as 75 percent. The corridor route also can be moved. It helped to appease objecting property owners. ‘Flexibility? That’s not a good thing,’ said Williams. ‘Especially for panthers. They travel huge distances, and there needs to be enough room.’… ‘Do we want to live in native Florida or in a state that is nothing more than a variation of cookie-cutter communities?’” Read Activist wonders: Native Florida or cookie-cutter communities?

    Fox 4 reports – “Officials say a Florida panther has been found dead in southwest Florida…A total of 27 Florida panthers have been found dead in 2016, with 21 road fatalities.” Read Panther found dead on southwest Florida property

    Christian Spiler, Mitch Hutchcraft, and Garrett Wallace, Alico Inc. write – “One element of the HCP that has been grossly distorted is the incidental take permit. Contrary to what has been said, an incidental take permit in no way allows for the intentional killing of an imperiled species…[A]s property owners, we believe that are many benefits that come with the HCP that strike the right balance between the need for future development and conservation.” Read Setting the record straight on what the HCP does do, and doesn’t

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “With its future nuclear construction plans on hold, and plans to seek a major rate increase, Florida Power & Light has asked to take a break from charging customers for nuclear plant development next year. Meanwhile…[FPL] has said that the clean-up efforts (at Turkey Point) could cost about $50 million in the first year alone and could increase the typical customer bill 25 to 50 cents a month….[The] rate increase…could increase customer bills by 27 percent. If the PSC approves the full rate increase, a customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours a month will see base rates increase by $14.67 a month to $71.67 by June 2019.” Read FPL offers to skip nuclear fee- but rate hike is still looming

    Nicole Orttung reports for The Christian Science Monitor – “NASA just released designs for a plane that will test cutting-edge, zero-emission airplane propulsion technology…The global aviation industry is responsible for 2 percent of human-induced CO2 emissions, about the same as Germany’s total emissions, and the industry’s CO2 emissions are predicted to triple by the middle of the century if flight volumes grow as anticipated. But the aviation industry…in February agreed to the first binding limits on carbon dioxide emissions…Airbus hopes to be selling passenger planes powered by hybrid engines by 2030…and said it’s been spurred…by stricter European emission rules…Solar Impulse, a privately-finances solar-powered aircraft, completed a 5-day flight…relying exclusively on solar power…” Read Clean skies ahead? NASA unveils electric plane

     

     

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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 5, 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 July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

    July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC 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.

    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 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.

    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 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 - June 24, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, June 24th, 2016 @ 11:52am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    June 24, 2016

     

    Angie Schmitt writes for Streets Blog USA – “Information about [TBX’s] finances is hazy, and Florida DOT has proven that its traffic projections for toll road projects are worthless…If the highway widenings are built, Governor Rick Scott’s state DOT will seize properties to ram through the new lanes. Of the residents who’ll be uprooted, 80 percent are black or Latino…Sprawling development is sure to follow. ‘You would see a weakening of the trend toward the revitalization of in-town neighborhoods and instead new housing stock farther and farther from the urban core,’ said Thomas Hawkins of the smart growth advocacy group 1000 Friends of Florida.” Read Massive Highway Expansion Threatens to Destroy Tampa Neighborhoods

    Caitlin Johnston reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization voted 12 to 4 shortly after 2 a.m…to keep the divisive $6 billion road project known as TBX…in its long-term funding plans…[There has been] mounting opposition from Central Tampa neighborhoods and groups like 1,000 Friends of Florida…An estimated 500 people flooded the county’s headquarters…[S]peakers opposed to the project outnumbered those in favor by a 2:1 ratio…Some of the challengers sported T-shirts and pajama pants, while many of the champions stood in suits and ties…[S]tudents, entrepreneurs and teachers spoke out against the project while executives and former DOT officials advocated for its continuation. ‘These are people who are paid to be here…,’ Seminole Heights resident and business owner Nikki Rice said… ‘It is time now to consider your constituents.’…[P]ublic comment lasted seven hours…TBX will add…toll lanes to 90 miles of previously free roads…When traffic in the main lanes is at its worst, it could cost…$2 to travel a single mile in the express lane…[T]he…vote allows the project to move forward, but in no way…prevents officials from opposing it in the future…DOT has told local officials that if they remove TBX from Hillsborough’s long-range plan, the billions the state would allocate for the project…would be used to add toll lanes to highways in other parts of Florida.” Read In wee hours, Hillsborough leaders approve Tampa Bay Express, keep it in long-term plan (w/video)

    Naples Daily News reports – “An endangered Florida panther [was] struck by a vehicle near Ave Maria…[P]anther deaths are on a record-setting pace. The FWC has found 21 roadkill panthers, mostly in Southwest Florida, out of a total of 26 overall panther deaths reported.” Read Florida records its 21st roadkill panther death for 2016

    Chad Gillis reports for News Press – “Florida will not allow black bear hunting in 2016…Human-bear conflicts are at the heart of the decision, although the state admitted prior to last year’s hunt that hunting bears does nothing to reduce the number of human-bear conflicts in an area…Maria Bolton-Joubert…said many FWC commissioners have a conflict of interest because they work in the real estate and development industries. She…added that she and others are working to change state laws to require FWC commissioners be elected instead of appointed by the governor…Whitey Markle with the Florida Sierra Club said he thinks the hunt is part of an overall plan to further develop Florida. Gov. Rick Scott, Markle said, wants to push out wildlife to make room for more gated communities and shopping malls… ‘When we hear estimates that aren’t final, I’m not sure that is good enough for the people of Florida,’ said Bergeron, the only FWC commissioner to vote against both the black bear hunt and the state’s equally controversial panther position paper.” Read No Florida black bear hunt this year

    Amy Coombs reports for EOS – “As climates change over the next century, many species of plants and animals will be forced to change their habitat ranges to survive. According to the first continent-wide geospatial study of climate connectivity- a measure of the migratory routes between warm and cool zones- only 2% of the eastern United States contain the connected green space needed for animals to find new homes… ‘The East Cost is in dire shape because habitat is already in very small patches,’ says study author Jenny McGuire… ‘By tracing connectivity across coastal and mountainous regions, we can see areas where restoration work would significantly expand connectivity in the East’ [said Ackerly of the University of California, Berkeley.]” Read Habitat Fragmentation Prevents Migration During Climate Change

    Robert Walton reports for Utility Dive – “Florida Power & Light has proposed purchasing a…coal-fired plant it has contracts with for the next nine years, shutting it down and saving customers $129 million in the process, SNL Energy reports…Closing down the…facility…would halt more than 657,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, FPL said.” Read Florida Power & Light proposes buying and shuttering 330 MW coal plant

    First Post writes – “Under the Paris agreement, all parties, including regional economic organizations like EU and their member states, each member state individually and the EU as a whole, will be responsible for the allocated emission level. Brexit…[means] that EU, as well as Britain, has to notify its revised pledge. This would mean renewed consultations with the remaining 27 EU countries…[The Paris agreement will enter into force] when 55 parties to the Convention, accounting for at least an estimated 55 per cent of the total GHG emissions, have ratified the protocol…China and the US together account for nearly 40 percent of global GHG emissions. The EU, which has a 10 percent share, is therefore key to making the Paris agreement work. The process of revising pledges is likely to delay this at a time when urgency and ambition to address climate change is of paramount importance…[R]ight wingers who are doggedly fighting…immigration are not far from the likes of Australia’s Tony Abbott or Canada’s Stephen Harper- who had just walked out of the Kyoto Protocol- 15 years after its implementation began.” Read Brexit: Referendum results may impact Paris climate change agreement

    Sumter County Times reports – “At its June meeting the (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation) Commission recommended staff move forward with efforts to establish a suite of new Critical Wildlife Areas and modify five existing CWAs. CWAs are established by the FWC…to protect important wildlife concentrations from human disturbance during critical periods of their life cycles, such as breeding, feeding or migration…All of the proposed CWAs would protect shorebirds, seabirds or wading birds except the Withlacoochee Caves, which would protect southeastern myotis and tricolored bats….Staff are working with landowners, stakeholders and partners like Audubon Florida to further develop the proposed boundaries and closure dates. The FWC will also hold public workshops…” Read FWC moving forward with statewide conservation effort

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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

    June 25, 2:00 pm – Attend “The Beautiful Life of a Dead Tree: The Most Important Tree in the Woods,” a presentation by Jim Stevenson (Florida Springs Expert), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    June 25, 4:00 pm - Attend Green Hands Sustainability Fest at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Enjoy live music, food trucks, non-profit outreach, and kids’ activities. At 8:30 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.

    June 26, 4:00 pm – Attend Green Hands Sustainability Soiree at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. There will be a wine and cheese reception and live music from Chelsea Saddler. At 6:00 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.

    July 5, 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 July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

    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 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.

     

     

     

    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 - June 23, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 @ 1:01pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    June 23, 2016

     

    Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “In a surprise move, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted 4-3 late Wednesday  to hold off on having a second bear hunt later this year…Leading the charge for the delay…was Commissioner Ron Bergeron, who was the lone no vote last year… ‘We have to do what’s best for the bears,’ he said, urging the staff to provide scientific answers to some of the questions raised during the hearing, as well as seeing how better garbage-can management and habitat protection may work out. He said he wanted to ensure the state was allowing the hunting of bears that were excess to the habitat, not just allowing hunting for the sake of hunting…Elizabeth Fleming of Defenders of Wildlife, who had urged commissioners to hold off on a second hunt for a year, said the way the first hunt went had hurt the agency’s credibility. By waiting a year, the commissioners showed that they are listening to the public and paying attention to the need for other measures to deal with the bear population, Fleming said…[She] said she’s sure that next year the commissioners will be even more determined to schedule a hunt for 2017.” Read Good News, bears! No hunting for you in Florida this year

    Gray Rohrer reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “There will not be a state-sanctioned bear hunt this year…The 4-3 vote came after more than eight hours of public testimony at the meeting in the Panhandle town of Eastpoint, with most speakers opposed to a second bear hunt in as many years. Opponents of the hunt said it isn’t necessary and although numbers are increasing in the state, bears are still an imperiled species in Florida… ‘The problem in Florida is not an excess of bears but an excess of trash,’ said Kate MacFall, Florida state director of the Humane Society…Other anti-hunt speakers insisted…more studies and examinations of bear population estimates are needed…FWC is providing grants to communities to help provide bear-resistant trash cans, banning harvesting palmetto berries…on state lands and increasing warnings for homeowners who fail to secure garbage cans…” Read No bear hunt this year, state officials say

    Jeff Gill reports for Gainesville Times – “A trial is set to begin Oct. 31 over allegations that Georgia residents are drinking up too much water before the resource reaches Florida…However, the case won’t reach that stage if the states settle out of court. Florida and Georgia have said they’re actively engaged in mediation efforts.” Read Oct. 31 trial date set in Georgia-Florida water wars case

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “Algae blooms in the St. Lucie River are getting more numerous, and a massive bloom in Lake Okeechobee apparently is getting more toxic.” Read Massive Lake Okeechobee algae bloom getting more toxic

    Nuclear Street News reports – “Florida Power & Light (FPL) said that it had reached an agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection through a detailed Consent Order that finalizes a long-term plan to remove hypersaline water from underneath and near the cooling canal system at the Turkey Point Power Plant 20 miles south of Miami…The plan is expected to cost FPL $50 million in the first year alone.” Read Florida Power & Light, State of Florida, Have Plan to Refresh Canal System

    Susan Salisbury reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Florida Power & Light Co.’s $1.33 billion rate increase will come totally from its customers, and the company is seeking to raise various fees as well as the amount it charges for electricity to accomplish that.” Read FPL rate case: Customer service charge could increase 27 percent

    Tom Randall reports for Bloomberg – “The way we get electricity is about to change dramatically, as the era of ever-expanding demand for fossil fuels comes to an end- in less than a decade. That’s according to a new forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that plots out global power markets for the next 25 years. Call it peak fossil fuels, a turnabout that’s happening not because we’re running out of coal and gas, but because we’re finding cheaper alternatives. Demand is peaking ahead of schedule because electric cars and affordable battery storage for renewable power are arriving faster than expected, as are changes in China’s energy mix…The costs of wind and solar power are falling too quickly for gas ever to dominate on a global scale…Already, in many regions, the lifetime cost of wind and solar is less than the cost of building a new fossil fuel plants, and that trend will continue. But by 2027…building new wind farms and solar fields will often be cheaper than running the existing coal and gas generators…Without additional policy action by governments, global carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector will peak in the 2020s and remain relatively flat for the foreseeable future. That’s not enough to prevent the surface of the Earth from heating more than 2 degrees Celsius...” Read The World Nears Peak Fossil Fuels for Electricity

    Richard Conniff writes for The New York Times – “[C]onservatives used to be almost by definition conservationists, focused on preserving our shared heritage from destructive influences...Theodore Roosevelt [and other wealthy big game hunters] went on to save the bison from extinction, greatly expand the national park system, and help establish both the National Wildlife Refuge System and the United States Forest Service. The Lacey Act, still our most important law against wildlife crime, was largely their doing…[M]ost of the credit for protecting [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] belongs to Dwight D. Eisenhower, who also signed the nation’s first air pollution control law. Richard M. Nixon…[established] the Environmental Protection Agency and [enacted] the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act…George H.W. Bush…began to take conservation in a new market-based direction, pushing through a cap-and-trade system…that enabled industry to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, which causes acid rain, far more quickly and cheaply than anyone imagined possible. So what does it take to bring conservatives back, after a quarter-century of their reflexively treating even the mention of environmental issues as a treasonous attack on business and the nation?” Read Dear Conservatives, You Can Go Green Again

     

     

    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.

     



    Job Postings

    The North Florida Land Trust is seeking a Land Protection Specialist

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.


    Petitions

    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

    Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

    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

    June 23, 6:30 pm – Attend Tampa Climate Justice Committee Potluck & Politics Movie Night at 3105 W Waters Ave, Tampa, FL 3314-2865 Suite 107. The featured movie is “This Changes Everything,” which presents portraits from Montana’s Powder River Basin, the Albert Tar Sands lands, the coast of South India, etc. For more information, contact Debbie King at (813) 500- 1763 or debbie@organizeflorida.org

    June 25, 2:00 pm – Attend “The Beautiful Life of a Dead Tree: The Most Important Tree in the Woods,” a presentation by Jim Stevenson (Florida Springs Expert), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    June 25, 4:00 pm - Attend Green Hands Sustainability Fest at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Enjoy live music, food trucks, non-profit outreach, and kids’ activities. At 8:30 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.

    June 26, 4:00 pm – Attend Green Hands Sustainability Soiree at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. There will be a wine and cheese reception and live music from Chelsea Saddler. At 6:00 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.

    July 5, 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 July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

    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 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.

     

     

     

    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

** The Florida Conservation Coalition has included a “one-click option” to help those who want a convenient way to reach those who need to be contacted, but it is technically impossible to make this function with all email clients. There will also be a downloadable and printable text version that can be copied into your email, but you will have to also place the addresses individually.  We are sorry for the additional time that this second option might require but that is the state of current technology.**


Florida Conservation Coalition

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