News and Announcements

Martin County Passes Resolution Requesting Amendment 1 Funding for Land Acquisition in Florida

E-mail sent by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, February 5th, 2016 @ 6:12pm

Dear FCC Members,

With the Florida Conservation Coalition’s encouragement, Martin County has adopted a resolution (attached) urging the Florida Legislature to allocate $300 million annually from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (Amendment 1 funds) to the Florida Forever program for conservation land acquisition. This resolution is an important step toward protecting Florida’s natural areas and the vast natural resources and economic benefits they provide. We applaud Martin County’s accomplishment and urge other counties to follow in its footsteps.

Sincerely,
Estus Whitfield
Florida Conservation Coalition

Oppose State Lands SB 1290 (Sen. W. Simpson)/HB 1075 (Rep. Caldwell)

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, February 5th, 2016 @ 3:22pm

  • Oppose State Lands SB 1290 (Sen. W. Simpson)/HB 1075 (Rep. Caldwell)



    Dear FCC Members,

    Despite your calls and emails, Senate Bill 1290 will be heard in the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee on Tuesday, February 9th, at 1:30 p.m.

    Please call and write the members of this committee (see below) and ask them to vote no on SB 1290. To use our template, click here.

    The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee is the first of three committee stops for SB 1290. HB 1075 has only one committee stop left, State Affairs, and it has not yet been placed on the agenda for that committee.



    About SB 1290/HB 1075:

    Florida’s protected state lands, purchased over the past three decades via the wildly popular Florida Forever program and its predecessor programs, are under attack. The Governor and Legislature are planning to sell conservation lands and are promoting changes in management that are detrimental to Florida’s wildlife and waters. In addition, this legislation would gut funding for land conservation by allowing Florida Forever funds to be spent on local water projects, instead of acquiring land and development rights as intended. We must stop this bad bill now!

    The following provisions in SB 1290/HB 1075 threaten Florida’s ability to acquire, preserve and manage state conservation lands:

    - Section 5 and Section 6 allow the State to surplus and sell state lands when it determines that the land's short-term management goals are not being met, if it is not actively managed by any state agency, or if a management plan has not been completed. Failure to meet short-term management goals, an incomplete management plan, or lack of active management may be a direct result of inadequate land management funding by the Legislature, or other temporary or avoidable situations, and should not be used as an excuse to dispose of conservation lands. Instead, the Legislature should ensure adequate funding for the management of Florida's conservation lands.

    - Section 6 also directs the Division of State Lands to review all state-owned conservation lands every ten years to determine whether any can be surlused. This is a duplicative and unnecessary provision since each land management plan requires a review for surplus on a roating basis when the management plan is updated.

    - Section 8 allows private land owners who own land contiguous to state-owned lands to exchange it for the state-owned land, including state park land, if the state is given a permanent conservation easement over both parcels in the exchange. Conservation easements are often less protective of the environment than the management plans for state-owned land, resulting in practices that diminish the conservation values of the lands. Placing state lands in private ownership also reduces the ability of the state to comprehensively manage conservation lands. Finally, this type of exchange will often result in the loss of public access to lands that are currently owned by the state, diminishing the recreational value of the land. This daunting prospect would have a significantly negative impact on such beloved places as Paynes Prairie State Park and Myakka River State Park were they to be placed into private ownership under this provision.

    - Section 14 allows money from Florida Forever, the state's premiere land acquisition program, to be used to fund all water resource development hardware, including the construction of treatment, transmission, and distribution facilities. Utilizing Florida Forever funds for the socnstruction of water supply infrastructure is currently prohibited under state law. This change comes on the heels of Floridians overwhelmingly approving Amendment 1 in an effort to restore funding for land aquisition. With billions of dollars needed for local water infrastructure projects around the state, this provision could readily exhaust the funds set aside in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, leaving inadequate funding available for acquiring conservation land, and negating the benefits of Amendment 1.

    - Sections 15, 17, 21 and 22 allow state lands to be managed for conservation OR
     recreational purposes, deleting the requirement that state lands be managed in accordance with the purpose for which they were acquired. This could result in conservation lands being managed solely for recreational purposes, which might include converting natural lands into golf courses and other such inappropriate uses, harming the conservation value of the lands and betraying the original intent of acquiring the lands.

     

    If you love Florida's state lands, speak up for them today. Call or email the members of the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee (see below) and ask them to oppose SB 1290! To use our template, clickhere.




    Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee Members


    Charles Dean

    Dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov  

    (850) 487-5005

    Wilton Simpson

    Simpson.wilton.web@flsenate.gov

    (850) 487-5018

    Thad Altman

    Altman.thad.web@flsenate.gov  

    (850) 487-5016

    Greg Evers

    Evers.greg.web@flsenate.gov

    (850) 487-5002

    Alan Hays

    Hays.alan.web@flsenate.gov  

    (850) 487-5011

    Travis Hutson

    Hutson.travis.web@flsenate.gov  

    (850) 487-5006

    David Simmons

    Simmons.david.web@flsenate.gov

    (850) 487-5010

    Christopher L. Smith

    Smith.chris.web@flsenate.gov  

    (850) 487-5031

    Darren Soto

    Soto.darren.web@flsenate.gov  

    (850) 487-5014

     
       
         

    Thank you, as always, for your work. Without direct contact by voters, the legislators will only be speaking with the special interests promoting these terrible changes.

    Sincerely,

    Estus Whitfield

    Florida Conservation Coalition



Oppose State Lands SB 1290 (Sen. W. Simpson)/HB 1075 (Rep. Caldwell)

E-mail sent by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, February 5th, 2016 @ 12:57pm

Dear FCC Members,

Despite your calls and emails, Senate Bill 1290 will be heard in the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee on Tuesday, February 9th, at 1:30 p.m.

Please call and write the members of this committee (see below) and ask them to vote no on SB 1290. To use our template, click here.

The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee is the first of three committee stops for SB 1290. HB 1075 has only one committee stop left, State Affairs, and it has not yet been placed on the agenda for that committee.



About SB 1290/HB 1075:

Florida’s protected state lands, purchased over the past three decades via the wildly popular Florida Forever program and its predecessor programs, are under attack. The Governor and Legislature are planning to sell conservation lands and are promoting changes in management that are detrimental to Florida’s wildlife and waters. In addition, this legislation would gut funding for land conservation by allowing Florida Forever funds to be spent on local water projects, instead of acquiring land and development rights as intended. We must stop this bad bill now!

The following provisions in SB 1290/HB 1075 threaten Florida’s ability to acquire, preserve and manage state conservation lands:

- Section 5 and Section 6 allow the State to surplus and sell state lands when it determines that the land's short-term management goals are not being met, if it is not actively managed by any state agency, or if a management plan has not been completed. Failure to meet short-term management goals, an incomplete management plan, or lack of active management may be a direct result of inadequate land management funding by the Legislature, or other temporary or avoidable situations, and should not be used as an excuse to dispose of conservation lands. Instead, the Legislature should ensure adequate funding for the management of Florida's conservation lands.

- Section 6 also directs the Division of State Lands to review all state-owned conservation lands every ten years to determine whether any can be surlused. This is a duplicative and unnecessary provision since each land management plan requires a review for surplus on a roating basis when the management plan is updated.

- Section 8 allows private land owners who own land contiguous to state-owned lands to exchange it for the state-owned land, including state park land, if the state is given a permanent conservation easement over both parcels in the exchange. Conservation easements are often less protective of the environment than the management plans for state-owned land, resulting in practices that diminish the conservation values of the lands. Placing state lands in private ownership also reduces the ability of the state to comprehensively manage conservation lands. Finally, this type of exchange will often result in the loss of public access to lands that are currently owned by the state, diminishing the recreational value of the land. This daunting prospect would have a significantly negative impact on such beloved places as Paynes Prairie State Park and Myakka River State Park were they to be placed into private ownership under this provision.

- Section 14 allows money from Florida Forever, the state's premiere land acquisition program, to be used to fund all water resource development hardware, including the construction of treatment, transmission, and distribution facilities. Utilizing Florida Forever funds for the socnstruction of water supply infrastructure is currently prohibited under state law. This change comes on the heels of Floridians overwhelmingly approving Amendment 1 in an effort to restore funding for land aquisition. With billions of dollars needed for local water infrastructure projects around the state, this provision could readily exhaust the funds set aside in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, leaving inadequate funding available for acquiring conservation land, and negating the benefits of Amendment 1.

- Sections 15, 17, 21 and 22 allow state lands to be managed for conservation OR
 recreational purposes, deleting the requirement that state lands be managed in accordance with the purpose for which they were acquired. This could result in conservation lands being managed solely for recreational purposes, which might include converting natural lands into golf courses and other such inappropriate uses, harming the conservation value of the lands and betraying the original intent of acquiring the lands.

 

If you love Florida's state lands, speak up for them today. Call or email the members of the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee (see below) and ask them to oppose SB 1290! To use our template, click here.




Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee Members


Charles Dean

Dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov  

(850) 487-5005

Wilton Simpson

Simpson.wilton.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5018

Thad Altman

Altman.thad.web@flsenate.gov  

(850) 487-5016

Greg Evers

Evers.greg.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5002

Alan Hays

Hays.alan.web@flsenate.gov  

(850) 487-5011

Travis Hutson

Hutson.travis.web@flsenate.gov  

(850) 487-5006

David Simmons

Simmons.david.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5010

Christopher L. Smith

Smith.chris.web@flsenate.gov  

(850) 487-5031

Darren Soto

Soto.darren.web@flsenate.gov  

(850) 487-5014

 
   
     

Thank you, as always, for your work. Without direct contact by voters, the legislators will only be speaking with the special interests promoting these terrible changes.

Sincerely,

Estus Whitfield

Florida Conservation Coalition

FCC News Brief - February 5, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, February 5th, 2016 @ 9:10am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    February 5, 2016

     

     

    The Gainesville Sun Editorial Board writes – “Floridians saw six years ago what happens when their well-being is put at risk for the sake of oil and gas industry profits. But rather than learn from the mistakes of the BP oil spill, state lawmakers seem determined to repeat them. And this time, instead of polluting the Gulf of Mexico, the drilling practice being considered could poison our drinking water supply…The House rejected amendments to [HB 191] that would have required the disclosure of cancer-causing chemicals used in fracking and monitoring of the practice’s effect on pregnant women. Worse yet, [HB 191 and SB 318] would prohibit local municipalities from imposing their own bans…Dozens of cities and counties have already passed resolutions banning fracking or urging the Legislature to do so…Protests…across the state…showed widespread concern about the dangers of fracking…The oil and gas industry contributed at least $443,000 to the political committees of top Republicans since the last election…The top contributor seeks a permit for fracking in Naples…Florida’s hydrology and geology make it particularly prone to the dangers of Fracking…The potential costs of fracking far outweigh oil and gas industry profits.” Read Florida should ban fracking

    Jonathan Petramala reports for WTSP – “ ‘We all need to call Senator Lee, he chairs the appropriations committee, and tell him not to bring [SB 318] up,’ said Dr. Lynn Ringenberg, President of Physicians for Social Responsibility…Senate Bill 318 is in the appropriations committee. Opponents say the bill is a senate version of pro-fracking legislation…A similar bill passed in the House last week…Protests have been organized throughout the state since that bill passed in the House.” Read Activists protest fracking in Florida

    Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “HB 1361 eliminates state review of new Developments of Regional Impact – subdivisions so large they could affect roads and other public facilities in multiple counties – as long as they are compatible with a local comprehensive plan…Sponsor Rep. Mike LaRosa…made several changes to the legislation…One of them gives local governments a say when a developer wants to make changes to a DRI’s approved land use that would cause more traffic or any impact to public facilities…Ryan Smart, president of the conservation group 1,000 Friends of Florida, was pleased with the changes to the bill. But he’s still concerned about eliminating the state review of large developments because it doesn’t give neighboring communities a say on a project that affects them…The House Local Government Affairs Subcommittee approved HB 1361 unanimously…A similar Senate version, SB 1190, cleared a committee last week.” Read Bill relaxes development regulations

    Karl Fortier reports for Fox 4 – “Contact between bears and people have been increasing, according to Florida Fish & Wildlife officials. That’s despite a controversial hunt in October 2015, held in an attempt to stabilize Florida’s growing black bear population… ‘We think that’s primarily due to loss of habitat,’ said Amber Crooks, of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples. ‘We’ve been seeing a lot of habitat being eaten up by development.’…Crooks recommends following FWC’s advice: secure your trash in locked containers, and avoid leaving pet food in your yard or lanai-bears can easily crash through the screen. ‘Because if a bear is attracted to their yard, due to bird feeders or trash or pet food, that bear could become a habituated nuisance bear,’ Crooks said.” Read FWC: nuisance bear calls still common after bear hunt

    Ben Brasch reports for News Press – “Wildlife officials…recovered the second dead panther carcass this year from the roads of Lee County.” Read 2nd panther found dead in Lee this year, 5th in Southwest Florida

    Scott Powers reports for Florida Politics – “A bipartisan group led by Florida’s U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings and Mario Diaz-Balart introduced bills…intended to green-light Everglades restoration projects by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers…Their new proposal would allow the Corps to pursue the $1.9 billion Central Everglades Planning Project, which is designed to direct water flow away from Lake Okeechobee or the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, and into the Everglades…Usually projects such as CEPP would be included in a broader water resources bill Congress passes every few years, but this legislation would allow it- and any other project the Corps clears in the next five years- to immediately begin moving forward, Nelson’s office stated.” Read Bill Nelson, Alcee Hastings, Mario Diaz-Balart Introduce Everglades Bills

    Puneet Kollipara reports for Science – “Analysts have long argued that nations aiming to use wind and solar power to curb emissions from fossil fuel burning would first have to invest heavily in new technologies to store electricity produced by these intermittent sources…But a study…suggests that the United States could, at least in theory, use new high-voltage power lines to move renewable power across the nation, and essentially eliminate the need to add new storage capacity. This improved national grid, based on existing technologies, could enable utilities to cut power-sector carbon dioxide emissions 80% from 1990 levels by 2030 without boosting power prices, researchers report…in Nature Climate Change…The…hurdle to realizing the study’s vision of a national grid…may be persuading policymakers, utilities investors, and landowners that it’s a good idea, says Susa Tierney, a former U.S. assistant secretary of energy under President Clinton who’s currently an energy consultant at the Analysis Group in Boston.” Read Better power lines would help U.S. supercharge renewable energy, study suggests

    Chad Gillis reports for News Press – “Wetlands...[are] some of the most valuable lands in Florida: They filter our drinking water, provide wildlife habitat and protect coastal areas from the devastating effects of hurricanes and tsunamis. But these systems are increasingly being lost to development, and they need more protection here in the Sunshine State and around the world.” Read Scientists: Wetlands need protection

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

    Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager



    Petitions

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

     

    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.

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    February 6, 9:00 am- Attend Fire in the Florida Ecosystem, a lecture and demonstration of how fire is important to Florida’s natural habitats, presented by Kevin Main, Land Manager at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact kmain@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x253.

    February 6, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Belleview Branch, Marion County Library. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    February 8, 1:30 pm – Attend Manatee Sierra Club’s Conservation Committee Meeting at the Bradenton Library (1301 Barcarrota Blvd.) in Bradenton. Discuss local environmental issues and plan priorities for 2016. Contact Sandra Ripberger for more information at (941) 794- 3878 or sandrarip@yahoo.com

    February 9, 12:00 pm – Participate in Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s webinar, “Rights of Nature & Community Rights: What are they? Are they being implemented?” To register (48 hours in advance) and for more information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu.

    February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

    February 13, 10:00 am – Attend the 23rd Party in the Park, the Treasure Coast’s first and foremost environmental festival, at Ft Piere Inlet State Park in Ft Pierce. The festival is free and includes food, activities for children and adults, and entertainment by Flint Blade.

    February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

    February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 28, 1:30pm, Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

    March 1 – Participate in No Meat March. Take the pledge to go meat-free for 31 days and enjoy the support of an online community with many resources. Find more information here.

    March 5, 11:00 am – Attend Northeast Florida Veg Fest at Riverside Park in Jacksonville. The day-long event will feature live music, dynamic speakers, cooking demonstrations, beer garden, kids’ zone, pie-eating contest, exceptional freebies, raffles, scavenger hunt, and much more! Find more information here.

    March 15, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Dunnellon Branch of the Marion County Library in Dunnellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 16, 12:00 pm – Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Committee: A “Community Rights” Amendment for protecting human and ecological health. This webinar is part of The Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s Protecting Our Common Home series. For registration or further information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu. Please RSVP at least 48 hours before each program. Directions for participation will be sent to you.

    March 19, 10:00 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Central Ridge Library in Beverly Hills. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 24, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Ocala Main Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 26, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Freedom Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Forest Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 6, 12:00 pm - April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Reddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     

     

     

     

    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.

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

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

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

2016 Legislative Session Bill Summaries, February 4, 2016

E-mail sent by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, February 4th, 2016 @ 1:53pm

2016 Legislative Session Bill Summaries, February 4, 2016

 
Note:  This is a summary of pending legislation, and is provided as a service of the Florida Conservation Coalition to our members.  To date, the FCC has identified the top pieces of legislation as priorities.

 
 

Priority Legislation

 
SB 552 (Sen. Dean) / HB 7005 (Rep. Caldwell): FCC sent an action alert on this bill requesting amendments be made to strengthen the bill. SB 552 was passed by the Senate and the House without amendments. An FCC letter requesting a veto of the bill, signed by Senator Graham and several environmental organizations, stated that this legislation leaves the people, businesses, and environment of Florida unprepared to meet the water challenges of the 21st century. It urged Governor Scott to veto this bill, send it back to the Legislature, and ask them to send him a bill that focuses more on water conservation and providing stronger mechanisms for controlling pollution at its sources now.

Current Status: Governor Scott signed SB 552 into law on January 21, 2016.

 
SB 1290 (Sen. W. Simpson)/ HB 1075 (Rep. Caldwell): These bills threaten Florida’s ability to acquire, preserve and manage state conservation lands.

The following provisions in these bills are of greatest concern:

- Section 5 and Section 6 allow the State to surplus and sell state lands when it determines that the land's short-term management goals are not being met, if it is not actively manageed by any state agency, or if a management plan has not been completed. Failure to meet short-term management goals, an incomplete management plan, or lack of active management may be a direct result of inadequate land management funding by the Legislature, or other temporary or avoidable situations, and should not be used as an excuse to dispose of conservation lands. Instead, the Legislature should ensure adequate funding for the management of Florida's conservation lands.

- Section 6 also directs the Division of State Lands to review all state-owned conservation lands every ten years to determine whether any can be surplused. This is a duplicative and unnecessary provision since each land management plan requires a review for surplus on a roating basis when the management plan is updated.

- Section 8 allows private land owners who own land contiguous to state-owned lands to exchange it for the state-owned land, including state park land, if the state is given a permanent conservation easement over both parcels in the exchange. Conservation easements are often less protective of the environment than the management plans for state-owned land, resulting in practices that diminish the conservation values of the lands. Placing state lands in private ownership also reduces the ability of the state to comprehensively manage conservation lands. Finally, this type of exchange will often result in the loss of public access to lands that are currently owned by the state, diminishing the recreational value of the land. This daunting prospect would have a significantly negative impact on such beloved places as Paynes Prairie State Park and Myakka River State Park were they to be placed into private ownership under this provision.

- Section 14 allows money from Florida Forever, the state's premiere land acquisition program, to be used to fund all water resource development hardward, including the construction of treatment, transmission, and distribution facilities. Utilizing Florida Forever funds for the construction of water supply infrastructure is currently prohibited under state law. This change comes on the heels of Floridians overwhelmingly approving Amendment 1 in an effort to restore funding for land acquisition. With billions of dollars needed for local water infrastructure projects around the state, this provision could readily exhaust the funds set aside in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, leaving inadequate funding available for acquiring conservation land, and negating the benefits of Amendment 1.

- Section 15, 17, 21, and 22 allow state lands to be managed for conservation OR recreational purposes, deleting the requirement that state lands be managed in accordance with the purpose for which they were acquired. This could result in conservation lands being managed solely for recreational purposes, which might include converting natural lands into golf courses and other such inappropriate uses, harming the conservation value of the lands and betraying the original intent of acquiring the lands.

Current Status: HB 1075 has one committee stop left in the House. SB 1290 has not been placed on the agenda for its first Senate committee.

Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation; Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government; Appropriations

House Referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee (Passed); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (Passed); State Affairs Committee

 
Environmental Appropriations

In 2014, Florida voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 1 to ensure dedicated funding for managing and acquiring conservation lands. Following the disappointing funding allocations for environmental priorities such as land acquisition and springs protection in the 2015 Legislative Session, the FCC will be closely monitoring the appropriations process and funding proposals in 2016. This year, the FCC is asking the Florida Legislature to allocate $300 million from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (Amendment 1 dollars) to the Florida Forever program for land acquisition. The FCC is actively working with counties across Florida, asking them to pass resolutions that support this request.

Appropriations could be shaped by several bills discussed below. SB 1168/HB989 would dedicate $200 million from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF), or 25% of the total amount in the LATF, to Everglades restoration. SB1290/ HB1075 would allow Florida Forever funds to be used for construction of water treatment, transmission, and distribution facilities. To date, no bills have been filed guaranteeing funding for the Florida Forever program or land conservation and acquisition outside of the Everglades.

 
 

Other Environmental Legislation of Interest

 
Water

 
SB 1400 (Sen. Gibson)/ HB 1159 (Rep. Antone): These bills create the Water Oversight and Planning Board. The Board is authorized to oversee regional water supply and water quality planning, flood protection planning, and environmental restoration. The board includes two members appointed by the Governor, several industry-minded members, and only one representative from an environmental organization. The stated purposes of this bill are basic functions of the water management districts. This board would appear to replace or override the authority of the Districts and further weaken the autonomy and independence of the water management districts.

Current Status: Not on agenda for any committees.

Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation; Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government; Appropriations

House Referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee

 
SB 658 (Sen. Evers)/ HB 851 (Rep. Drake): Legislation banning the land-spreading of waste material from septic tanks was passed in 2010. These bills repeal that ban on the land application of septage, allowing nutrient pollution from septic tanks to continue to spread into our waterways.

Current Status: HB 851 has passed all House committees and has been added to the Second Reading calendar on the House floor. SB 658 has not been placed on a Senate committee agenda.

Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation; Health Policy; Fiscal Policy

House Referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee (Passed); State Affairs Committee (Passed)

 
SB 318 (Sen. Richter)/ HB 191 (Rep. Rodrigues): Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a type of “high pressure well stimulation” (HPWS) that utilizes high pressure, significant amounts of fresh water, and potentially hazardous chemicals to fracture the underground strata and increase production and recovery of oil and gas. Due to Florida’s geology, several other types of well stimulation techniques will also be used in this state. According to these bills, the definition of HPWS does not apply when rock is incidentally fractured by a well stimulation treatment, yet, by definition, HPWS is a well stimulation treatment that fractures rock.

These bills provide funding and require a study regarding HPWS in Florida, require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop rules for regulating HPWS, and impose a moratorium on HPWS permits until the study is complete and the rules have been ratified.  The bills also allow well operators to withhold information on the chemicals they’ve used in their operations for 60 days after the operation and then explicitly prevent public disclosure of many of these chemicals. Additionally, these bills pre-empt local governments from banning any well stimulation treatments, even if they have existing bans in place.

These bills are very controversial; they are opposed by several conservation organizations, local governments, and media, and supported by the petroleum industry.

Current Status: The House passed HB 191, with amendments, on 1/27/2016 by a 73-45 vote.

Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (Passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government (Passed); Appropriations

House Referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resource Subcommittee (Passed); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (Passed); State Affairs Committee (Passed)

 
Conservation

 
SB 570 (Sen. Dean): This bill eliminates state park entrance fees for one year. $27.3 million would be allocated to the State Park Trust Fund within the DEP to fund state parks for one year.

Current Status: There is no companion bill for SB 570 in the House.

Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (Passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government (Passed); Appropriations.

 
Growth Management

 
SB 7000 (Sen. Simpson): Development projects that impact communities outside the jurisdiction of the local government which approves the project must currently go through the “state coordinated review process.” This bill would eliminate this requirement for new projects if the land use proposed by the developer is consistent with the existing comprehensive plan and zoning requirements of the approving municipality.

Current Status: This bill has passed through all of its committee stops in the Senate. It does not have a companion bill in the House.

Senate Referrals: Community Affairs (Passed); Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development (Passed); Fiscal Policy (Passed)

 
SB 1190 (Sen. Diaz de la Portilla)/ HB 1361(Rep. Mike La Rosa): These bills originally allowed existing Developments of Regional Impact (DRI) to change their plans without approval by the Department of Economic Opportunity or the applicable local government. Additionally, these bills reduce the acreage required for a development to qualify as a Sector Plan.

Two positive changes these bills were approved by the House and Senate. The first protects the ability of local governments to decide whether to approve or deny changes to existing DRIs that seek to reduce density, height or intensity. The second requires that land use changes to an essentially built out DRI must be approved by the local government and that the developer must demonstrate that the exchange will not result in a net increase in impacts to public facilities.

Current Status: SB 1190 has two remaining committee stops and HB 1361 has one final committee stop.

Senate Referrals: Community Affairs (Passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development; Fiscal Policy

House Referrals: Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee (Passed); Local Government Affairs Subcommittee (Passed); Economic Affairs Committee

 
SB 584 (Sen. Brandes)/ HB 929 (Rep. Ahern): These bills provide matching grants to local governments for projects that would reduce flood hazard risks. It also authorizes the Florida Communities Trust to take a leadership role over flood mitigation projects and allows the Trust to acquire and dispose of real and personal property or specified interest to reduce flood risk when necessary.

A concern with this bill, as originally filed, was that it could allow for increased funding of coastal armoring projects that would harm coastal habitats and threaten endangered sea turtle nesting sites. The bill has been amended to only allow the development of natural or green infrastructure which eliminates this concern.

The House essentially stripped all policy and funding from HB 929 before passing it in the Insurance and Banking Subcommittee.

Current Status: Neither bill is on a committee agenda.

Senate Referrals: Community Affairs (Passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development (Passed); Appropriations

House Referrals: Insurance & Banking Subcommittee (Passed); Economic Affairs Committee

 
Regional Environmental Financing

 
SB 770 (Sen. Simpson)/ HB 447 (Rep. Raschein): These bills, known as the “Florida Keys Stewardship Act,” provide funding mechanisms for projects to protect the Florida Keys including land acquisition, water quality improvement projects, alternative water supply projects, and projects which mitigate the negative impacts of new development on hurricane evacuation times.

Current Status: Neither bill is on a committee agenda.

Senate Referrals: Community Affairs (Passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government; Appropriations

House Referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (Passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee

 
SB 1168 (Sen. Negron)/ HB 989 (Rep. Harrell): These bills state that either 25% or $200 million of funds in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, whichever quantity is smaller, will be provided for projects in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Projects that reduce harmful water discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries are given priority.

None of the bills currently filed this session provide funding from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for acquisition of conservation lands and needs in other parts of the state.

Current Status: Neither bill is on a committee agenda.

Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation; Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government; Appropriations

House Referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (Passed); Appropriations Committee

 
Wildlife

 
SB 1674 (Sen. Sachs): This bill makes the disposal of “bear-attracting garbage” outside of bear-resistant containers in “high human-bear conflict areas” punishable by a fine of up to $500.

Current Status: This bill does not have a companion in the House and is not on any committee agendas.

Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation; Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government; Appropriations

 
SB 1096 (Sen. Soto)/ HB 1055 (Rep. Pafford): These bills set up a revolving fund for local governments to provide bear-resistant garbage receptacles to their constituents. They protect natural black bear food sources on state lands by prohibiting the harvesting of saw palmetto berries and the timbering of acorn-producing trees. They call for controlled burns to encourage the growth of trees and plants that provide natural sources of food for black bears in an effort to prevent black bears from entering residential areas in search of food.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has continually stated that trash management is the most effective way of reducing bear-human conflict. As long as bears have access to human attractants like trash, bird feed, and pet food, they will continue to enter residential areas placing both humans and bears at risk.

Current Status: Neither bill is on a committee agenda.

Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation; Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government; Appropriations

House Referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee

 
Climate Change/ Renewable Energy

 
SB 838 (Sen. Evers)/HB 639 (Rep. Diaz, M.) : These bills prevent the state from implementing or planning to implement regulations that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from stationary sources in Florida in order to comply with the federal Clean Power Plan. The state would not be allowed to take these actions until the U.S. Congress passes legislation limiting carbon dioxide from existing stationary sources or a federal court upholds the Clean Power Plan. If the current litigation of the proposed EPA regulation results in the rules being upheld, and Congress fails to pass legislation to the contrary, sources in Florida would be required to comply with the federal law.

Current Status: Neither bill is on a committee agenda.

House Referrals: Energy & Utilities Subcommittee (Passed); Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee; Regulatory Affairs Committee

Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation; Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities; Fiscal Policy

 
SB 170 (Sen. Brandes)/ HB 195 (Rep. Rodrigues and Rep. Berman): These bills propose an amendment to Florida’s Constitution to provide limited ad valorem tax breaks for properties with renewable energy devices. The amendment is set to expire in 2036.

Current Status: SB 170 is not on a committee agenda. HB 195 has been added to the Second Reading Calendar on the House floor.

Senate Referrals: Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities (Passed); Community Affairs (Passed); Finance and Tax (Passed); Appropriations

House Referrals: Energy & Utilities Subcommittee (Passed); Finance & Tax Committee (Passed); Regulatory Affairs Committee (Passed)

 
Miscellaneous

 
SB 306 (Sen. Bullard) / HB 143 (Rep. Richardson): These bills give coastal municipalities with fewer than 100,000 residents the authority to begin pilot projects to regulate or ban plastic bags within their jurisdiction. Pilot projects are temporary and reports from the project are to be submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection.

Current Status: Neither bill is on a committee agenda.

Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (Passed); Community Affairs; Fiscal Policy

House Referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee; Business & Professions Subcommittee; Local Government Affairs Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee

 
 SB 400 (Sen. Hays) / HB 561 (Rep. Combee): These bills authorize the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection to establish and delete divisions and offices within the Department as the Secretary deems fit.

Current Status: Neither bill is on a committee agenda.

Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (Passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government (Passed); Appropriations

House Referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee (Passed); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee

FCC News Brief - February 4, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, February 4th, 2016 @ 9:07am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    February 4, 2016

     

     

    Burt Eno writes for Ocala Star Banner – “What’s wrong with [the water] bill? Simple. It doesn’t conserve water and it doesn’t prevent water from being polluted with nitrates. As a result, we are going to see a continuance of depletion of our aquifer and growth of algae in our rivers, streams and springs. This comes from overpumping of ground water and continued deposition of nitrates from fertilizers, animal waste and septic tanks. Our state agencies have recently derived reports for minimum flows and levels, plans for limiting nitrate pollution, and best management practices for agricultural operations. Unfortunately, these limits and plans have no teeth, no enforcement. They cannot achieve their desired outcomes. Recognizing that, 1000 Friends of Florida, Sierra Club, Florida Springs Council and other major environmental organizations tried to offer amendments to the water bill to include some measures of conservation and pollution control enforcement. Our legislators didn’t listen.” Read New law does little to help water crisis

    Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “[I]f legislators truly appreciate the value- and vulnerability- of Florida’s water supply, and the potential that Crisafulli highlighted for choices today to have consequences far into the future, they’ll vote down a bill that would pre-empt local regulations or bans on…hydraulic fracturing…While some local regulations on businesses operating statewide, such as wage and benefit mandates, are ill-advised or impractical, state lawmakers shouldn’t rule out local efforts aimed at protecting public health and the environment…Senators who understand how careful they need to be with Florida’s water supply, and who believe in home rule, will reject this bill.” Read Don’t block local limits on fracking

    Isadora Rangel reports for TC Palm – “The Legislature hasn’t changed its mind on how to use land and water conservation money, despite cries from conservation groups that Amendment 1 not be used for routine expenses as it was last year…A coalition of environmental and civic groups drafted Amendment 1 because of cuts to Florida Forever, which used to get roughly $300 million per year until the economic recession… ‘I think the (Florida Forever) funding in the Senate budget is a good start but I think we need to incease it,’ [Senate President-elect Joe Negron] said.” Read House, Senate again budget Amendment 1 money for operating expenses

    Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “Florida is poised to approve the rise of a trash mountain in wetlands of the St. Johns River, a project that history may eventually identify as helping to farther a new city near Orlando.” Read Deseret Ranches fights Brevard landfill, other invaders

    Kimberly Miller reports for Palm Beach Post – “Water managers struggled this past week to keep up with record-setting rainfall, and were eventually forced to back pump polluted water into environmentally sensitive Lake Okeechobee to prevent flooding in the Glades…Back pumping, which dumps stormwater into Lake Okeechobee without any cleaning to reduce fertilizer and other pollutants, is allowed solely for flood control purposes under emergency conditions that are defined in a Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit. Only eight back-pumping events have been necessary using the permitting process since 2008…” Read Record rains strain canals and Lake Okeechobee

    Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel – “The South Florida flooding risk from Lake Okeechobee rising faster than expected has convinced federal officials to potentially dump twice as much lake water out to sea as once planned...While dumping lake water to the east and west coasts is good for protecting the dike that guards against flooding, that influx of lake water can harm coastal fishing grounds and lead to algae blooms that make water unsafe for swimming.” Read Lake Okeechobee draining to double; aim is to ease South Florida flood risk

    Dana C. Bryan writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “They say that the state parks have always cut trees, grazed cattle and allowed hunting. This is a half-truth designed to deceive you. For the record, trees have been cut in state parks, but always for restoration purposes…And yes, grazing has been allowed as an interim management measure, but only on improved pastures that came into the system with larger acquisitions. Now, DEP has told state parks to allow cattle on natural communities like prairies. State parks have never done this before and should not start now.” Read Florida State Parks should remain natural and protected

    Russell L. Meyer writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “Religious institutions and citizens of all faiths know that we have a moral duty to be stewards of the Earth, and to protect it from the disastrous effects of climate change. That’s why the Florida Council of Churches has joined with many other Florida religious organizations to demand bold action from our officials and candidates on building a clean alternative economy, in pursuit of a nationwide goal of powering America with more than 50 percent clean energy by 2030.” Read Faith communities unite for action on 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.

    Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager



    Petitions

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

     

    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.

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    February 6, 9:00 am- Attend Fire in the Florida Ecosystem, a lecture and demonstration of how fire is important to Florida’s natural habitats, presented by Kevin Main, Land Manager at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact kmain@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x253.

    February 6, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Belleview Branch, Marion County Library. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    February 8, 1:30 pm – Attend Manatee Sierra Club’s Conservation Committee Meeting at the Bradenton Library (1301 Barcarrota Blvd.) in Bradenton. Discuss local environmental issues and plan priorities for 2016. Contact Sandra Ripberger for more information at (941) 794- 3878 or sandrarip@yahoo.com

    February 9, 12:00 pm – Participate in Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s webinar, “Rights of Nature & Community Rights: What are they? Are they being implemented?” To register (48 hours in advance) and for more information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu.

    February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

    February 13, 10:00 am – Attend the 23rd Party in the Park, the Treasure Coast’s first and foremost environmental festival, at Ft Piere Inlet State Park in Ft Pierce. The festival is free and includes food, activities for children and adults, and entertainment by Flint Blade.

    February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

    February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 28, 1:30pm, Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

    March 1 – Participate in No Meat March. Take the pledge to go meat-free for 31 days and enjoy the support of an online community with many resources. Find more information here.

    March 5, 11:00 am – Attend Northeast Florida Veg Fest at Riverside Park in Jacksonville. The day-long event will feature live music, dynamic speakers, cooking demonstrations, beer garden, kids’ zone, pie-eating contest, exceptional freebies, raffles, scavenger hunt, and much more! Find more information here.

    March 15, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Dunnellon Branch of the Marion County Library in Dunnellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 16, 12:00 pm – Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Committee: A “Community Rights” Amendment for protecting human and ecological health. This webinar is part of The Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s Protecting Our Common Home series. For registration or further information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu. Please RSVP at least 48 hours before each program. Directions for participation will be sent to you.

    March 19, 10:00 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Central Ridge Library in Beverly Hills. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 24, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Ocala Main Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 26, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Freedom Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Forest Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 6, 12:00 pm - April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Reddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     

     

     

     

    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.

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

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

FCC News Brief - February 3, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 @ 10:33am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    February 3, 2016

     

     

    Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “In 2000…Florida passed a law hailed as a landmark…: the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act. The legislation ordered up a strategy to deal with decades of pollution pouring into the lake…Lawmakers…set a January 2015 goal to sharply reduce damaging nutrients…The deadline passed unmet. So this month, the Florida Legislature rammed through another law, hailed once again as a landmark…but disappointingly familiar to environmentalists…[T]he latest overhaul of state water…policy…simply deletes the deadline and sets another, at least 20 years down the road. And the rules for enforcing the new plan remain uncertain, requiring another round of legislative approval. ‘I’ve had an increasing sense of déjà vu,’ said former Gov. Bob Graham… ‘Nobody knows how this is going to play out, but this bill certainly isn’t futuristic in terms of protection and restoration of our water…,’ said Estus Whitfield, who served as Graham’s environmental adviser, as well as his Republican successor. ‘It’s just a continuation of past actions. Almost every deadline that has been set to clean up Lake Okeechobee and reduce pollution runoff has been extended. This is not the first time they have extended it, and it may not be the last.’…According to an audit [of the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act], no one ever bothered to enforce ‘best management practices,’ despite a requirement that those pollution-reduction programs be revised if they were not working.” Read Florida’s ‘landmark’ water law sure looks familiar

    Scott Maxwell writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “[Here’s] what the politicians hope you’ll miss- their cycle of costly behavior. They allow pollution, bill you for the cleanup and then do it all again.  To think about it another way, imagine I was standing in your front yard about to pour a gallon of gasoline on your front lawn. You ask me not to do it because it will kill your grass. I ignore you and do it anyway. Your grass dies. So then I take $50 from your wallet to replace the turf- and call a big press conference to celebrate my commitment to green grass…The (water) law theoretically sets standards but calls on businesses to police themselves. It’s nebulous on fines, penalties, inspections cleanup timelines. (In the 134-page bill, it often says enforcement ‘may’ happen, rather than ‘shall.’)…With [the fracking] bill – whose fate now rests in the Senate- the House set up a framework to allow more chemicals to be injected into our land without serious safeguards or provisions to track the impact. Think about that. In one bill, we have the Legislature spending tens of millions of tax dollars to clean up mess in our water while passing a new bill that won’t tell us what new messes they’re allowing. It’s the cycle all over again. And you are always the one who pays.” Read Florida’s environmental policies cost you plenty

    Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “Here are some highlights of the (Senate budget) proposal, which still needs to clear the full Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate floor before the chamber negotiates a final budget with the House. The Legislature has until March 11 end of the legislative session to pass a budget. $4.2 million: That’s roughly how many Amendment 1 dollars would pay for routine expenses similar to the ones that were the target of two pending lawsuits filed by environmental groups over the Legislature’s use of the measure last year. $22.3 million: That’s proposed for the Florida Forever program to buy land for state parks and habitat preservation. Although it’s slightly more than the $17.4 million approved last year, that’s still a disappointing figure for environmentalists…$82 million: This also is a disappointing figure for Everglades restoration, said Eric Draper, Audubon Florida executive director. But that number has to increase if the Legislature passes a bill by Rep. Gayle Harrell and Senate President-elect Joe Negron…to make sure the lesser of $200 million or 25 percent of Amendment 1 dollars go into Everglades restoration.” Read Proposal still uses Amendment 1 money for routine expenses

    Maggy Hurchalla writes for the Miami Herald – “Florida Bay hasn’t fully recovered from the 1990’s crash where the sea grass died and the bay turned to pea soup…Scientists say it’s about to happen again…The solution: Send more water south from Lake Okeechobee. Sea level is rising…The solution: Send more water south from Lake Okeechobee…The Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries are ‘in imminent danger of collapse’ from Lake O discharges…The solution: send more water south…If we want to save South Florida, we need to commit to the initiative to use $300 million a year of Amendment 1 revenues to buy environmental lands. We can’t demand money for the Everglades and ignore the springs and rivers and beautiful wild places outside the Everglades ecosystem. Some 75 percent of Florida voters said to use Amendment 1 money to buy land. We need to get the legislature to listen to them…It needs to come from the grass roots of every community in South Florida by getting everyone to call their state representatives and by getting every city and county to invite their legislative delegation to discuss using Amendment 1 revenues to buy land in the rest of Florida as well as the Everglades.” Read Is there hope for South Florida’s water?

    Jim Turner reports for Palm Beach Post – “The Senate confirmed Gov. Rick Scott’s environmental secretary Thursday after Democrats argued the Florida Department of Environmental Protection isn’t following its ‘core mission.’” Read Florida Senate signs off on DEP secretary

    Donald Anderson, Benne Hutson, John Lain, Dale Mullen, and James Thornhill report for JDSUPRA Business Advisor – “There are several significant regulatory and legal actions involving water issues that are expected to unfold in 2016. Each has the potential to significantly impact the regulated community and all bear watching in 2016.” Read 2016 Water Outlook

    University of Central Florida shares – “Because Florida’s human population increased by more than 40 percent [from 1992 to 2012]…researchers expected to find that artificial light levels had increased, too. But…they found that nighttime levels had decreased for more than two-thirds of the… .62-mile sections of Florida beach that were examined. Some 14 percent had increased, and the rest hadn’t changed. ‘Sea turtle populations are doing pretty well in Florida, and it may be due in part to our coastal management,’…” Read Satellites show Florida beaches becoming darker, and that’s good for sea turtles

    Tropical Audubon Society shares – “After an 8-year tenure marked by milestone achievements for South Florida wildlife and habitat, Executive Director Laura Reynolds has leveraged her considerable advocacy experience at the helm of Tropical Audubon Society (TAS) to launch Conservation Concepts, LLC.” From Press ReleaseExecutive Director Laura Reynolds spreads her professional wings, launches Conservation Concepts consultancy




     

     

     

     

     

    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.

    Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager



    Petitions

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

     

    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.

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    February 4, 6:30 pm potluck social, 7:00 pm meeting – Attend Sierra Club Adventure Coast Committee Meeting in Spring Hill. For more information e-mail sierraadventurecoastcc@gmail.com or call (352) 277- 3330.

    February 6, 9:00 am- Attend Fire in the Florida Ecosystem, a lecture and demonstration of how fire is important to Florida’s natural habitats, presented by Kevin Main, Land Manager at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact kmain@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x253.

    February 6, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Belleview Branch, Marion County Library. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    February 8, 1:30 pm – Attend Manatee Sierra Club’s Conservation Committee Meeting at the Bradenton Library (1301 Barcarrota Blvd.) in Bradenton. Discuss local environmental issues and plan priorities for 2016. Contact Sandra Ripberger for more information at (941) 794- 3878 or sandrarip@yahoo.com

    February 9, 12:00 pm – Participate in Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s webinar, “Rights of Nature & Community Rights: What are they? Are they being implemented?” To register (48 hours in advance) and for more information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu.

    February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

    February 13, 10:00 am – Attend the 23rd Party in the Park, the Treasure Coast’s first and foremost environmental festival, at Ft Piere Inlet State Park in Ft Pierce. The festival is free and includes food, activities for children and adults, and entertainment by Flint Blade.

    February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

    February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 28, 1:30pm, Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

    March 1 – Participate in No Meat March. Take the pledge to go meat-free for 31 days and enjoy the support of an online community with many resources. Find more information here.

    March 5, 11:00 am – Attend Northeast Florida Veg Fest at Riverside Park in Jacksonville. The day-long event will feature live music, dynamic speakers, cooking demonstrations, beer garden, kids’ zone, pie-eating contest, exceptional freebies, raffles, scavenger hunt, and much more! Find more information here.

    March 15, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Dunnellon Branch of the Marion County Library in Dunnellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 16, 12:00 pm – Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Committee: A “Community Rights” Amendment for protecting human and ecological health. This webinar is part of The Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s Protecting Our Common Home series. For registration or further information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu. Please RSVP at least 48 hours before each program. Directions for participation will be sent to you.

    March 19, 10:00 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Central Ridge Library in Beverly Hills. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 24, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Ocala Main Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 26, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Freedom Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Forest Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 6, 12:00 pm - April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Reddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     

     

     

     

    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 a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Floridas land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

Oppose State Lands SB 1290 (Sen. W. Simpson)/ HB 1075 (Rep. Caldwell)

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016 @ 10:57am

  • Dear FCC Members,

    We have been very concerned about bills which would result in damaging changes to state land management in Florida.

    HB 1075 passed the Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee on February 1 and is headed for its final committee of reference, State Affairs. Please contact the members of this committee (see below) and ask them to oppose this bad bill. To use our template, click here.

    The Senate bill has not been calendared for its first committee of reference, Environmental Preservation and Conservation. Please contact the chair, Senator Dean (see below), and urge him not to agenda the bill. To use our template, click here.


    Florida’s protected state lands, purchased over the past three decades via the wildly popular Florida Forever program and its predecessor programs, are under attack. The Governor and Legislature are planning to sell conservation lands and are promoting changes in management that are detrimental to wildlife. We know from the success of Amendment 1 that conservation of important natural lands still has the utmost significance to the vast majority of Floridians. These lands are the places where our natural heritage is conserved and protected, including wildlife, their habitat, and our precious water resources. They also provide public recreation for our exploding population and are integral to our economy and way of life.

    The following provisions in HB 1075/ SB 1290 threaten Florida’s ability to acquire, preserve and manage state conservation lands:

    - Section 5 and Section 6 allow the State to surplus and sell state lands when it determines that the land’s short-term management goals are not being met, if it is not actively managed by any state agency, or if a management plan has not been completed. Failure to meet short-term management goals, an incomplete management plan, or lack of active management may be a direct result of inadequate land management funding by the Legislature, or other temporary or avoidable situations, and should not be used as an excuse to dispose of conservation lands. Instead, the Legislature should ensure adequate funding for the management of Florida’s conservation lands.

    - Section 6 also directs the Division of State Lands to review all state-owned conservation lands every ten years to determine whether any can be surplused. This is a duplicative and unnecessary provision since each land management plan requires a review for surplus on a rotating basis when the management plan is updated.

    - Section 8 allows private land owners who own land contiguous to state-owned lands to exchange it for the state-owned land, including state park land, if the state is given a permanent conservation easement over both parcels in the exchange. Conservation easements are often less protective of the environment than the management plans for state-owned land, resulting in practices that diminish the conservation values of the lands. Placing state lands in private ownership also reduces the ability of the state to comprehensively manage conservation lands. Finally, this type of exchange will often result in the loss of public access to lands that are currently owned by the state, diminishing the recreational value of the land. This daunting prospect would have a significantly negative impact on such beloved places as Paynes Prairie State Park and Myakka River State Park were they to be placed into private ownership under this provision.

    - Section 14 allows money from Florida Forever, the state’s premiere land acquisition program, to be used to fund all water resource development hardware, including the construction of treatment, transmission, and distribution facilities. Utilizing Florida Forever funds for the construction of water supply infrastructure is currently prohibited under state law. This change comes on the heels of Floridians overwhelmingly approving Amendment 1 in an effort to restore funding for land acquisition. With billions of dollars needed for local water infrastructure projects around the state, this provision could readily exhaust the funds set aside in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, leaving inadequate funding available for acquiring conservation land, and negating the benefits of Amendment 1.

    - Sections 15, 17, 21 and 22 allow state lands to be managed for conservation OR recreational purposes, deleting the requirement that state lands be managed in accordance with the purpose for which they were acquired. This could result in conservation lands being managed solely for recreational purposes, which might include converting natural lands into golf courses and other such inappropriate uses, harming the conservation value of the lands and betraying the original intent of acquiring the lands.

    If you love Florida’s state lands, speak up for them today. Call or e-mail the members of the House State Affairs Committee (see below) and ask them to oppose HB 1075! Then call or e-mail the chair of the Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee, Senator Dean (see below), and urge him not to agenda SB 1290. To use our templates, click here to write the House State Affairs Committee and here to write Senator Dean.




    House State Affairs Committee Members


    Matt Caldwell

    Matt.caldwell@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717- 5079

    Neil Combee

    neil.combee@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717-5039


    Dwayne Taylor

    Dwayne.taylor@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717- 5026

    Ben Albritton

    ben.albritton@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717-5056


    Michael Bileca

    Michael.bileca@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717- 5115

    Bob Cortes

    Bob.cortes@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717- 5030

    Travis Cummings

    travis.cummings@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717-5018


    Brad Drake

    Brad.drake@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 718- 0047

    Reggie Fullwood

    Reggie.fullwood@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717- 5013

    Matt Gaetz

    Matt.gaetz@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717- 5004

    Tom Goodson

    Tom.goodson@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717- 5050

    Shawn Harrison

    Shawn.harrison@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717- 5063

    Mike La Rosa

    Mike.larosa@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717- 5042

    Amanda Murphy

    Amanda.murphy@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717- 5036

    Ray Pilon

    ray.pilon@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717-5072


    Jake Raburn

    jake.raburn@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717-5057


    Irving Slosberg

    Irving.slosberg@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717- 5091

    Clovis Watson

    clovis.watson@myfloridahouse.gov

    (850) 717-5020

         

     

     
     

    Senator


    Charles Dean

    Dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov

    (850) 487- 5005

     
       

    Thank you, as always, for your work. Without direct contact by voters, the legislators will only be speaking with the special interests promoting these terrible changes.

    Sincerely,
    Bob Graham

    Founder and Chairman, Florida Conservation Coalition

FCC News Brief - February 2, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016 @ 9:21am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    February 2, 2016

     

     

    Miami Herald Editorial Board writes – “The original (water) bill began as an ambitious plan to clean up Florida springs, rivers and lakes and protect aquifers. But it became so flawed in the legislative process that former Florida senator and governor Bob Graham sent a letter to Gov. Scott imploring him not to sign the bill…Mr. Graham, one of Florida’s best governors, said he’s not giving up and neither should Floridians…The flawed water policy, coupled with diversion of Amendment 1 money, leaves voters’ hopes for the state’s life-sustaining water resources high and dry. Thanks, Tallahassee.” Read New Florida law endangers our water supply

    Caitlin Granfield reports for WLRN – “The new (water) law allows farms and agriculture companies to voluntarily report their waste releases and runoff into Lake Okeechobee and surrounding watersheds. If they choose not to, they’ll have to pay for water testing.” Read Water Polluters Will Police Themselves Thanks to New ‘Honor Code’ Bill

    Drew Wilson reports for Florida Politics – “A bill that would fund Everglades restoration efforts with up to $200 million a year cleared the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Thursday with a  unanimous vote…HB 989, sponsored by Republican Reps. Gayle Harrell and Matt Caldwell, would get the money from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, the destination for the 2014 land conservation amendment  funds.” Read Everglades Restoration Bill Unanimously Passes House Committee

    Phil Ammann reports for Florida Politics – “[T]he Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government…released its budget recommendations Thursday…Hays’ budget recommendation matches DEP and Scott with $50 million for springs restoration projects, while increasing land acquisition spending significantly over what was requested. The Senate budget plan devotes $82.6 million to land acquisition, compared to only $63 million suggested by the DEP and Governor. However, the Senate budget seeks to give Florida Forever $22.3 million, about the same amount asked for by Scott and the DEP…FDACS’ budget also includes about $2.8 million for implementing agriculture best management practices statewide, as well as eight additional staffers for the Office of Water Policy…” Read Senate recommends 3.6 billion to environmental agencies in 2016-17 budget 

    Eric Staats reports for the Naples Daily News – “In a move that could delay or even kill an oil company’s plans for seismic testing in the Big Cypress National Preserve, a skeptical U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson called Friday for the Interior Department to take a more in-depth look at the idea.” Read U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson calls for more thorough review of oil company’s seismic testing plan in Big Cy

    Wayne Washington reports for the Palm Beach Post – “[T]he (Palm Beach County) Commission’s moves – approving three requests for land use changes in the Agricultural Reserve, giving preliminary approval for a new rule freeing small landowners in the reserve from having to meet preservation requirements and backing a request for additional light industrial activity in an area designated for agriculture and Everglades restoration farther north – underscores that this Commission is more open to development than were predecessors of recent years…Environmentalists and preservationists said allowing commercial development without requiring that some land be set aside for preservation runs counter to the theme of the Agricultural Reserve.” Read Commission votes could open western areas to more development

    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Florida environmental officials intend to permit a new landfill for Space Coast construction waste, yard trash and other waste. But conservationists say the planned landfill off U.S. 192, along Brevard County’s western border, will fill more than 187 acres of wetlands.” Read Florida intends permitting new west brevard landfill 

    David G. Savage repots for the Los Angeles Times – “[A] West Virginia-Texas state coalition urged Roberts and the high court to issue an order that puts the Obama initiative on hold for several years while its legality is fought out in the lower courts…How the high court responds to the emergency request could prove crucial to both sides. If the justices agree with the state challengers, it would halt EPA’s enforcement of its most significant climate change initiative until after Obama leaves office. However, if the justices turn down the request, it will clear the way for EPA to require all the states to submit plans by September on how they will sharply reduce their carbon pollution.” Read Supreme Court is urged to halt Obama’s climate change rules

     

     

     

     

    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.

    Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager



    Petitions

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

     

    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

    February 2, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at UWF Auditorium in Pensacola. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 4, 6:30 pm potluck social, 7:00 pm meeting – Attend Sierra Club Adventure Coast Committee Meeting in Spring Hill. For more information e-mail sierraadventurecoastcc@gmail.com or call (352) 277- 3330.

    February 6, 9:00 am- Attend Fire in the Florida Ecosystem, a lecture and demonstration of how fire is important to Florida’s natural habitats, presented by Kevin Main, Land Manager at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact kmain@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x253.

    February 6, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Belleview Branch, Marion County Library. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    February 8, 1:30 pm – Attend Manatee Sierra Club’s Conservation Committee Meeting at the Bradenton Library (1301 Barcarrota Blvd.) in Bradenton. Discuss local environmental issues and plan priorities for 2016. Contact Sandra Ripberger for more information at (941) 794- 3878 or sandrarip@yahoo.com

    February 9, 12:00 pm – Participate in Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s webinar, “Rights of Nature & Community Rights: What are they? Are they being implemented?” To register (48 hours in advance) and for more information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu.

    February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

    February 13, 10:00 am – Attend the 23rd Party in the Park, the Treasure Coast’s first and foremost environmental festival, at Ft Piere Inlet State Park in Ft Pierce. The festival is free and includes food, activities for children and adults, and entertainment by Flint Blade.

    February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

    February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    February 28, 1:30pm, Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

    March 1 – Participate in No Meat March. Take the pledge to go meat-free for 31 days and enjoy the support of an online community with many resources. Find more information here.

    March 5, 11:00 am – Attend Northeast Florida Veg Fest at Riverside Park in Jacksonville. The day-long event will feature live music, dynamic speakers, cooking demonstrations, beer garden, kids’ zone, pie-eating contest, exceptional freebies, raffles, scavenger hunt, and much more! Find more information here.

    March 15, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Dunnellon Branch of the Marion County Library in Dunnellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 16, 12:00 pm – Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Committee: A “Community Rights” Amendment for protecting human and ecological health. This webinar is part of The Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s Protecting Our Common Home series. For registration or further information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu. Please RSVP at least 48 hours before each program. Directions for participation will be sent to you.

    March 19, 10:00 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Central Ridge Library in Beverly Hills. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 24, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Ocala Main Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 26, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Freedom Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Forest Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 6, 12:00 pm - April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Reddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

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

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

Oppose State Lands SB 1290 (Sen. W. Simpson)/ HB 1075 (Rep. Caldwell)

E-mail sent by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, February 1st, 2016 @ 5:19pm

Dear FCC Members,

We have been very concerned about bills which would result in damaging changes to state land management in Florida.

HB 1075 passed the Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee on February 1 and is headed for its final committee of reference, State Affairs. Please contact the members of this committee (see below) and ask them to oppose this bad bill. To use our template, click here.

The Senate bill has not yet been calendared for its first committee of reference, Environmental Preservation and Conservation. Please contact the chair, Senator Dean (see below), and urge him not to agenda the bill. To use our template, click here.

Florida’s protected state lands, purchased over the past three decades via the wildly popular Florida Forever program and its predecessor programs, are under attack. The Governor and Legislature are planning to sell conservation lands and are promoting changes in management that are detrimental to wildlife. We know from the success of Amendment 1 that conservation of important natural lands still has the utmost significance to the vast majority of Floridians. These lands are the places where our natural heritage is conserved and protected, including wildlife, their habitat, and our precious water resources. They also provide public recreation for our exploding population and are integral to our economy and way of life.

The following provisions in HB 1075/ SB 1290 threaten Florida’s ability to acquire, preserve and manage state conservation lands:

- Section 5 and Section 6 allow the State to surplus and sell state lands when it determines that the land’s short-term management goals are not being met, if it is not actively managed by any state agency, or if a management plan has not been completed. Failure to meet short-term management goals, an incomplete management plan, or lack of active management may be a direct result of inadequate land management funding by the Legislature, or other temporary or avoidable situations, and should not be used as an excuse to dispose of conservation lands. Instead, the Legislature should ensure adequate funding for the management of Florida’s conservation lands.

- Section 6 also directs the Division of State Lands to review all state-owned conservation lands every ten years to determine whether any can be surplused. This is a duplicative and unnecessary provision since each land management plan requires a review for surplus on a rotating basis when the management plan is updated.

- Section 8 allows private land owners who own land contiguous to state-owned lands to exchange it for the state-owned land, including state park land, if the state is given a permanent conservation easement over both parcels in the exchange. Conservation easements are often less protective of the environment than the management plans for state-owned land, resulting in practices that diminish the conservation values of the lands. Placing state lands in private ownership also reduces the ability of the state to comprehensively manage conservation lands. Finally, this type of exchange will often result in the loss of public access to lands that are currently owned by the state, diminishing the recreational value of the land. This daunting prospect would have a significantly negative impact on such beloved places as Paynes Prairie State Park and Myakka River State Park were they to be placed into private ownership under this provision.

- Section 14 allows money from Florida Forever, the state’s premiere land acquisition program, to be used to fund all water resource development hardware, including the construction of treatment, transmission, and distribution facilities. Utilizing Florida Forever funds for the construction of water supply infrastructure is currently prohibited under state law. This change comes on the heels of Floridians overwhelmingly approving Amendment 1 in an effort to restore funding for land acquisition. With billions of dollars needed for local water infrastructure projects around the state, this provision could readily exhaust the funds set aside in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, leaving inadequate funding available for acquiring conservation land, and negating the benefits of Amendment 1.

- Sections 15, 17, 21 and 22 allow state lands to be managed for conservation OR recreational purposes, deleting the requirement that state lands be managed in accordance with the purpose for which they were acquired. This could result in conservation lands being managed solely for recreational purposes, which might include converting natural lands into golf courses and other such inappropriate uses, harming the conservation value of the lands and betraying the original intent of acquiring the lands.

If you love Florida’s state lands, speak up for them today. Call or e-mail the members of the House State Affairs Committee (see below) and ask them to oppose HB 1075! Then call or e-mail the chair of the Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee, Senator Dean (see below), and urge him not to agenda SB 1290. To use our templates, click here to write the House State Affairs Committee and here to write Senator Dean.





House State Affairs Committee Members


Matt Caldwell

Matt.caldwell@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717- 5079

Neil Combee

neil.combee@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717-5039


Dwayne Taylor

Dwayne.taylor@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717- 5026

Ben Albritton

ben.albritton@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717-5056


Michael Bileca

Michael.bileca@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717- 5115

Bob Cortes

Bob.cortes@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717- 5030

Travis Cummings

travis.cummings@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717-5018


Brad Drake

Brad.drake@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 718- 0047

Reggie Fullwood

Reggie.fullwood@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717- 5013

Matt Gaetz

Matt.gaetz@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717- 5004

Tom Goodson

Tom.goodson@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717- 5050

Shawn Harrison

Shawn.harrison@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717- 5063

Mike La Rosa

Mike.larosa@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717- 5042

Amanda Murphy

Amanda.murphy@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717- 5036

Ray Pilon

ray.pilon@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717-5072


Jake Raburn

jake.raburn@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717-5057


Irving Slosberg

Irving.slosberg@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717- 5091

Clovis Watson

clovis.watson@myfloridahouse.gov

(850) 717-5020

     




Senator


Charles Dean

Dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487- 5005

 
   

Thank you, as always, for your work. Without direct contact by voters, the legislators will only be speaking with the special interests promoting these terrible changes.

Sincerely,

Bob Graham

Founder and Chairman, Florida Conservation Coalition

FCC News Brief - January 28, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, January 28th, 2016 @ 10:09am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    January 28, 2016

     

     

    John Pacenti reports for Palm Beach Post – “A renowned Miami researcher of ALS says new findings show that the devastating neurological disease may have an environmental factor in Florida. ‘We find that the addresses of patients are not randomly distributed over the state,’ said Dr. Walter Bradley of the University of Miami’s School of Medicine…Bradley and a team of scientists are searching for ALS hotspots in Florida in places that might be in close proximity to the lakes and shallow seas that have frequent toxic algae blooms, and other sources of pollutants in the environment like landfills.” Read Miami researchers say environmental toxin may increase ALS

    Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster reports for Florida Politics – “The state House passed a controversial measure to regulate fracking, despite significant opposition from Democrats who said the practice could harm the state’s natural resources. The House voted 73-45 after more than an hour of passionate debate to approve the bill (HB 191), with just a few Republicans joining Democrats in opposing it. ‘Yesterday, over 27 counties said they wanted to ban fracking yet you are up here representing your county and you’re just going to push that green button just because your leadership says ‘do it,’’ said Rep. Larry Lee… ‘It’s wrong.’” Read House Approves Controversial Fracking Bill, Despite Opposition from Democrats

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “The Florida House smacked down a series of Democratic amendments aimed at weakening a bill that prohibits local governments from banning high pressure well stimulation…The bill, HB 191…is being pushed by the oil and gas industry. But it is also vigorously opposed by environmental groups and 41 cities and 26 counties…According to an analysis by the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau, the oil and gas industry contributed at least $443,000 to the political committees of top Republican lawmakers since the last election. The top contributor, the Barron Collier Companies, which wants a permit to use hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and gas in Naples, steered $178,000 to lawmakers since December 2014, including $115,000 since July…One amendment by Jenne, to study the impact of the fracking chemicals on pregnant mothers, unborn babies and other human health, won the support of at least one Republican, Rep. Matt Gaetz…Another amendment, to require the disclosure of any chemical, such as benzene, used in the fracking operation that is also considered a carcinogen. As Jenne delivered an impassioned plea to urge the chamber not to ‘inject cancer into the soil’ and noted ‘that the state gives millions a year to cancer screening and many people volunteer to defeat cancer,’ many of his colleagues ignored him…” Read House rejects attempts to impose health restrictions on oil and gas fracking

    Ron Littlepage writes for The Florida Times Union – “Why do we even bother sending legislators to Tallahassee? Powerful business interests make all of the important decisions…The (water) bill was touted as providing protections for our dying springs and dwindling water supplies. It doesn’t. Water conservation, the best way to reverse what’s happening in Florida, was left out, pollution reduction goals were pushed off far into the future, by which time Florida could be out of clean water and our springs dead, and Big Ag will get to act as its own watchdog with no penalties for failing to do what’s right…The oil and gas industry, which sends copious amounts of cash to the campaign accounts of legislators, is in favor of fracking. Never mind that with Florida ground zero for sea-level rise, we should be looking for completely clean alternative energy sources to reduce greenhouse gases. And never mind that when fracking runs awry, which will surely happen sometime, Florida’s water supply and environment will absorb another damaging blow…The (fracking) bill is promoted as a way to set statewide standards for fracking…What the bill does is take away the rights of local goernments to control what goes on in their backyards.” Read When it comes to clean water or big bucks, the Legislature always chooses the cash

    Brittany Wallman and Dan Sweeney report for the Sun Sentinel – “Broward County commissioners outlawed fracking Tuesday, even as a fracking friendly bill continued forward progress in the state Legislature…In other action, Broward commissioners Tuesday: …[a]greed to update the county’s Climate Change Action Plan and ordered staff to implement its recommendations for reducing regional carbon emissions and strengthening resilience to the effects of climate change.” Read Broward outlaws fracking

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “A bill to remove the requirement that judges award attorney fees to people who successfully challenge state or local governments for violating the state’s public records law unanimously passed a Senate committee Tuesday, continuing the fast-paced progress of a measure that First Amendment advocates say will ‘gut’ the foundations of the state’s 40-year-old Sunshine Law…Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, said she is aware of about five people…who are chronic abusers of the public records laws and her organization also wants to find a way to stop them but the bill goes too far and will have a chilling effect on the general public…She noted that ‘there is no enforcement mechanism in Florida’s public records law, so when government violates our right, our only option is to file suit in civil court.’” Read Bill undermines Florida’s public records law, opponents charge

    Martha Musgrove writes for the Sun Sentinel – “I’m going out to buy a “Duck Stamp” – just to show support for National Wildlife Refuges and the concept of public lands…I’m not happy…that Congress didn’t come up with the money that South Florida’s Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge needs to halt an invasion of Melaleuca…and Old World climbing fern…As the district’s executive director, Peter Antonacci, points out, the federal government has been suing the district since 1988 to enforce water-quality standards the district can’t quite meet…Until water-quality standards are met and invasive species are ‘under control,’ no one ‘wins.’” Read Wildlife refuges on front line of land and water wars

    WFLA reports – “[T]housands of starfish [washed up on] the shoreline…Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials say different environmental factors including temperature change or the recent case of red tide could have played a role in the starfish washing ashore.” Read Thousands of starfish wash ashore on Florida beach

     

     

     

     

    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.

    Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager



    Petitions

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

     

    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

    January 28, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Sarasota. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Find more information here and register here.

    January 28-30- Participate in the Florida Interfaith Climate Action Network 2016 National Assembly at the Northland Church in Longwood. Find more information and register here. To participate in the Climate Action Bazaar contact Jan Booher at JJLBooher@comcast.net. For more information about Sponsorship Opportunities, contact Russell Meyer at RMeyer@floridachurches.org

    January 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Tampa. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Register here.

    January 30, 9:00 am – Participate in the Great Invader Raider Rally. Remove coral ardisia in Loblolly Woods. Bring a shovel or machete if you have either. Meet at the end of NW 25 Terrace. Following the morning’s work, the city has a celebration for volunteers at Morningside. There is food, music, free T-shirts, prizes, exhibits, and more. Contact Fritzi Olson if you have questions or plan to attend at (352) 215- 7554 or aar@currentproblems.org.

    January 30, 1:30 pm – Attend West Orange Solar Co-op’s public information session at West Oaks Branch Library (1821 E. Silver Star Rd.) in Ocoee to learn about solar and the co-op process. Businesses and homeowners with residences in Orange County west of Interstate 4 or nearby cities (including Clermont and Maitland) are invited to join the co-op. Register here.

    January 30, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lakeland. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 1, 6:30 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at Sun-Ray Cinema (1028 Park St) in Jacksonville. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 2, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at UWF Auditorium in Pensacola. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 4, 6:30 pm potluck social, 7:00 pm meeting – Attend Sierra Club Adventure Coast Committee Meeting in Spring Hill. For more information e-mail sierraadventurecoastcc@gmail.com or call (352) 277- 3330.

    February 6, 9:00 am- Attend Fire in the Florida Ecosystem, a lecture and demonstration of how fire is important to Florida’s natural habitats, presented by Kevin Main, Land Manager at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact kmain@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x253.

    February 6, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Belleview Branch, Marion County Library. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    February 8, 1:30 pm – Attend Manatee Sierra Club’s Conservation Committee Meeting at the Bradenton Library (1301 Barcarrota Blvd.) in Bradenton. Discuss local environmental issues and plan priorities for 2016. Contact Sandra Ripberger for more information at (941) 794- 3878 or sandrarip@yahoo.com

    February 9, 12:00 pm – Participate in Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s webinar, “Rights of Nature & Community Rights: What are they? Are they being implemented?” To register (48 hours in advance) and for more information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu.

    February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

    February 13, 10:00 am – Attend the 23rd Party in the Park, the Treasure Coast’s first and foremost environmental festival, at Ft Piere Inlet State Park in Ft Pierce. The festival is free and includes food, activities for children and adults, and entertainment by Flint Blade.

    February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

    February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 28, 1:30pm, Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

    March 1 – Participate in No Meat March. Take the pledge to go meat-free for 31 days and enjoy the support of an online community with many resources. Find more information here.

    March 5, 11:00 am – Attend Northeast Florida Veg Fest at Riverside Park in Jacksonville. The day-long event will feature live music, dynamic speakers, cooking demonstrations, beer garden, kids’ zone, pie-eating contest, exceptional freebies, raffles, scavenger hunt, and much more! Find more information here.

    March 15, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Dunnellon Branch of the Marion County Library in Dunnellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 16, 12:00 pm – Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Committee: A “Community Rights” Amendment for protecting human and ecological health. This webinar is part of The Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s Protecting Our Common Home series. For registration or further information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu. Please RSVP at least 48 hours before each program. Directions for participation will be sent to you.

    March 19, 10:00 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Central Ridge Library in Beverly Hills. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 24, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Ocala Main Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 26, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Freedom Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Forest Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 6, 12:00 pm - April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Reddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     

     

     

     

    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 a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Floridas land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - January 27, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, January 27th, 2016 @ 7:18am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    January 27, 2016

     

     

    Oliver Milman reports for The Guardian – “Water authorities across the US are systematically distorting water tests to downplay the amount of lead in samples, risking a dangerous spread of the toxic water crisis that has gripped Flint, documents seen by the Guardian show. The controversial approach to water testing is so widespread that it occurs in ‘every major US city east of the Mississippi’ according to an anonymous source with extensive knowledge of the lead and copper regulations.” Read US authorities distorting tests to downplay lead content of water

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “House Democrats criticized [HB 191 (the fracking regulation bill)] and filed 22 amendments on Monday…Meanwhile on Monday, the Senate companion bill, SB 318, passed its second committee stop with an amendment supported by the Florida League of Cities….The amendment adopted Monday provides for local zoning regulations while continuing to provide for oil and gas regulation only at the state level…The bill passed the subcommittee and has one more committee stop. Bill supporters include the Florida Petroleum Council and Associated Industries of Florida…During an earlier press conference, Rep. Mark Pafford…the House Democratic leader, noted that the Legislature favored local control of development decisions in 2011. But he said local control loses when it goes up against special interests that want fracking.” Read House Dems vow opposition, file amendments to fracking bill

    John Kennedy reports for Palm Beach Post – “Rep. Evan Jenne…who is sponsoring…legislation that would ban fracking in Florida, condemned House Republican leaders. He said the election-year push for more fracking was designed merely to placate the oil and gas industry, a steady GOP contributor. Jenne said the House will ‘do anything, if it’s going to help their backers make a buck.’” Read Democrats and industry critics condemn fracking bill as threat to health, environment

    Brad Buck reports for IFAS News – “University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers believe they’re on the verge of helping conserve the popular but endangered Ghost Orchid, a plant that’s often poached. ‘We’ve successfully developed procedures to culture plants from seeds in the lab and then successfully acclimatize them into our greenhouse,’ said Michael Kane, professor of environmental horticulture at UF/IFAS. ‘We’ve also obtained a high survival and vigorous re-growth rate when they’re planted back into the wild.’” Read UF/IFAS scientists preserve the endangered Ghost Orchid

    Patricia Mazzei reports for the Miami Herald – “Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush have given little priority to climate change on the Republican presidential campaign trail, and a group of South Florida mayors have had enough.” Read South Florida mayors press Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush on climate change

    Timothy O’Hara reports for Keys News – “[Monroe County] has embarked on several initiatives in the past several years to prepare for sea level rise, such as raise roads and county facilities such as fire stations to lift them out of flood zones. Following the fall king tides, the county has embarked on pilot programs in Key Largo and Big Pine Key to mitigate flooding from tidal influences…At the same time, it has reduced its energy consumption by roughly 20 percent in recent years and plans to reduce it another 20 percent…” Read County commission to discuss sea level rise issue

    Mitch Perry reports for Florida Politics – “Tampa Bay area Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor filed an energy bill that she says will spur investment and research in widespread distributed energy technology, such as rooftop solar. ‘Energy efficiency and renewable sources are at the heart of our clean energy future,’ said Castor. ‘We can create jobs by unleashing American ingenuity to cut carbon pollution, and generate local energy and savings. American businesses should help produce and sell the energy of the future.’” Read Kathy Castor Files Bill to Spur Investment, Research in Energy Tech

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “Wilcox has joined the chorus of opponents to the bills by Sen. Rene Garcia…and Rep. Greg Steube…that would give judges the discretion to determine if government agencies will pay the legal fees of a lawsuit when the agencies are found in violation of the law…Also opposed is the Sunshine Coalition, a group of public records advocates led by the First Amendment Foundation. The Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times are members of the foundation.” Read Advocates warn that bill will chill challenges to excessive charges for public records

     


     

     

     

    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.

    Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager

    Petitions

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

     

    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

     

    January 28, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Sarasota. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Find more information here and register here.

    January 28-30- Participate in the Florida Interfaith Climate Action Network 2016 National Assembly at the Northland Church in Longwood. Find more information and register here. To participate in the Climate Action Bazaar contact Jan Booher at . For more information about Sponsorship Opportunities, contact Russell Meyer at

    January 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Tampa. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Register here.

    January 30, 9:00 am – Participate in the Great Invader Raider Rally. Remove coral ardisia in Loblolly Woods. Bring a shovel or machete if you have either. Meet at the end of NW 25 Terrace. Following the morning’s work, the city has a celebration for volunteers at Morningside. There is food, music, free T-shirts, prizes, exhibits, and more. Contact Fritzi Olson if you have questions or plan to attend at (352) 215- 7554 or aar@currentproblems.org.

    January 30, 1:30 pm – Attend West Orange Solar Co-op’s public information session at West Oaks Branch Library (1821 E. Silver Star Rd.) in Ocoee to learn about solar and the co-op process. Businesses and homeowners with residences in Orange County west of Interstate 4 or nearby cities (including Clermont and Maitland) are invited to join the co-op. Register here.

    January 30, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lakeland. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit

    February 1, 6:30 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at Sun-Ray Cinema (1028 Park St) in Jacksonville. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit

    February 2, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at UWF Auditorium in Pensacola. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit

    February 4, 6:30 pm potluck social, 7:00 pm meeting – Attend Sierra Club Adventure Coast Committee Meeting in Spring Hill. For more information e-mail or call (352) 277- 3330.

    February 6, 9:00 am- Attend Fire in the Florida Ecosystem, a lecture and demonstration of how fire is important to Florida’s natural habitats, presented by Kevin Main, Land Manager at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact  or call 863-465-2571 x253.

    February 6, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Belleview Branch, Marion County Library. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    February 8, 1:30 pm – Attend Manatee Sierra Club’s Conservation Committee Meeting at the Bradenton Library (1301 Barcarrota Blvd.) in Bradenton. Discuss local environmental issues and plan priorities for 2016. Contact Sandra Ripberger for more information at (941) 794- 3878 or

    February 9, 12:00 pm – Participate in Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s webinar, “Rights of Nature & Community Rights: What are they? Are they being implemented?” To register (48 hours in advance) and for more information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at .

    February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

    February 13, 10:00 am – Attend the 23rd Party in the Park, the Treasure Coast’s first and foremost environmental festival, at Ft Piere Inlet State Park in Ft Pierce. The festival is free and includes food, activities for children and adults, and entertainment by Flint Blade.

    February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or

    February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

    February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or .

    February 25, 11:30 am – Attend From Pensacola to Paris and Back to learn about Earth Ethic’s Executive Director’s trip to Paris for the UN Climate Change Conference. Event will be held at 239 N Spring Street. For more information and to RSVP, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

    February 28, 1:30pm - Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact  or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

    March 1 – Participate in No Meat March. Take the pledge to go meat-free for 31 days and enjoy the support of an online community with many resources. Find more information here.

    March 5, 11:00 am – Attend Northeast Florida Veg Fest at Riverside Park in Jacksonville. The day-long event will feature live music, dynamic speakers, cooking demonstrations, beer garden, kids’ zone, pie-eating contest, exceptional freebies, raffles, scavenger hunt, and much more! Find more information here.

    March 15, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Dunnellon Branch of the Marion County Library in Dunnellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 16, 12:00 pm – Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Committee: A “Community Rights” Amendment for protecting human and ecological health. This webinar is part of The Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s Protecting Our Common Home series. For registration or further information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at . Please RSVP at least 48 hours before each program. Directions for participation will be sent to you.

    March 19, 10:00 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Central Ridge Library in Beverly Hills. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net

    March 24, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Ocala Main Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 26, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Freedom Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Forest Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net 

    April 6, 12:00 pm - April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Reddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at or (904) 388- 1506.

     

     

     

     

    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 

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

    For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org

FCC News Brief - January 26, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 @ 10:17am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    January 26, 2016

     

     

    Mitch Perry reports for Florida Politics – “Consumers for Smart Solar, the utility backed constitutional amendment…has gathered…more than 11,000 beyond the required 683,149 valid petitions to get on the November ballot… ‘Not only did we reach the required valid petitions milestone, we have also now met the petition threshold in 14 congressional districts to certify the amendment to the ballot,’ said Jim Kallinger, co-chair of Consumers for Smart Solar…Meanwhile, Floridians for Solar Choice maintained their opinion that Consumers for Solar Choice’s initiative will never make it on the ballot this fall…A Court opinion is expected by April 1.” Read Consumers for Smart Solar Claims it Has Enough Signatures to Qualify for Ballot

    Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “Money voters approved for land and water preservation could be used to buy pumps and pipes for water supply projects under a bill advancing in the Legislature…The bill reads that state-owned land must be used for ‘conservation or recreation’ purposes, rather than the purpose for which it was acquired. The use of the word ‘or’ raises concerns conservation lands could be turned into recreation lands, said Sierra Club lobbyist David Cullen…The bill requires the state to sell a property if it’s not meeting the goals for which it was acquired…With dwindling funding for land management, the state might get rid of good conservation land, environmentalists said. The state should focus on giving more money to manage it, they said.” Read Bill could allow Amendment 1 money to buy pipes, pumps

    Jennifer Hecker writes for Context Florida – “Legislation should be passed this session to suspend the use of all oil-well stimulation until there is rigorous and independent Florida-specific science to outline their potential risks. Only then can science-based decisions be made and regulations crafted. We cannot let the profit of a few come before the basic health and safety of the public and the protection of our water. These bills (SB 318/ HB 191) fall short of providing the protections needed. Floridians deserve more.” Read Separating Myths from Reality on Fracking in Florida

    Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and Jim Tatum write for the Ocala Star Banner – “[O]il companies are allowed to inject proven carcinogens into or adjacent to our underground drinking water resources. How can the EPA allow this? Witness the power of money and politics…[T]he federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 wrote in an exemption, which we now call the “Halliburton Loophole,” which releases the industry from requirements in the underground injection control (UIC) program of the SDWA (Safe Drinking Water Act) and other EPA protections, namely the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act…Harvard Law School recently evaluated FracFocus and found it to be unreliable and of little value, since the information it disseminates is not vetted. It may even do more harm than good, as critics suggest it is used as a shield by some companies to ostensibly show compliance and concern for public health, when in reality they are disclosing nothing since it is voluntarily submitted and not checked.” Read What’s so bad about fracking?

    Arek Sarkissian reports for the Naples Daily News – “The amendment, which is scheduled to be heard Monday by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government, would allow local governments to apply local land use rules to industrial areas where fracking would occur. The change means cities and counties could enforce ordinances on fracking sites, such as hours of operation, lighting and proper barriers to the areas, so long as they do not prevent the drilling process. The current version of SB 318 makes no mention of land use requirements, and it still pre-empts fracking bans bassed in 2015 by cities and counties across the state…Sen. Charlie Dean…voted in favor of a change to the bill filed by state Sen. Darren Soto…during a committee meeting last week that would have completely removed the pre-emption language, but it failed.” Read Proposed amendment offers local governments limited say in fracking, but not power to prohibit

    Eryn Dion reports for Panama City News Herald – “ ‘Wakulla is virtually a biological desert,’ Stevenson (former biologist for the Department of Environmental Protection and the State Park System) told members of the Audubon Society during a recent talk… ‘Even the fish have left.’…[M]an-made issues have drastically changed the ecology of the springs over the last 18 years…Springs in northern Florida are especially vulnerable to pollution because of the karst bedrock, or porous limestone with direct access to aquifers. Water from a toilet flush in Tallahassee…ends up in Wakulla Springs 56 days later and even with wastewater treatment, nitrates remain. Stormwater, which contains road chemicals and fertilizer, often is never treated…” Read Group looks to save endangered Wakulla Springs

    Dave Trecker writes for the Naples Daily News – “With Florida’s population growing at a rate of nearly 1,000 people a day…the state’s water supply is coming under scrutiny…The Environmental Protection Agency says Florida will need $16.5 billion in funding over the next 20 years just to maintain its current drinking water infrastructure. Even with that funding, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam estimates the state will face a billion-gallon-a-day freshwater shortfall by 2030. The warning signs are here already. The U.S. Geological Survey reports groundwater levels have dropped nearly 7 feet in Lee County in the last 20 years. Many shallow aquifers are tapped out…We are misusing our surface water as well, polluting it with abandon…The Gulf of Mexico is not immune, already registering the largest dead zone in the world, affecting millions of acres of marine life…State lawmakers can always buy land with Amendment 1 money to protect water sources…The…solution is cleaning up what we have…” Read Fresh water in Florida is going, going…

    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Brown tide’s back in the Indian River Lagoon, reinforcing concerns the algae that first bloomed here in 2012 might become a permanent, deadly fixture…District officials hope as water temperatures dip, the brown tide will die off. But if the bloom lasts into spring, it could further thwart seagrass recovery, this time during a crucial period for the lagoon’s most important plant…Seagrass is the linchpin of the lagoon food web. It’s the manatee’s main diet. Mutton snapper, lane snapper, gag and red grouper, spotted sea trout, blue crabs and other marine life depend on the grass for habitat. Studies have shown one acre of seagrass can support as many as 10,000 fish.” Read Brown tide returns to Indian River Lagoon

     

     

     

    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.

    Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager



    Petitions

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

     

    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

    January 28, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Sarasota. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Find more information here and register here.

    January 28-30- Participate in the Florida Interfaith Climate Action Network 2016 National Assembly at the Northland Church in Longwood. Find more information and register here. To participate in the Climate Action Bazaar contact Jan Booher at JJLBooher@comcast.net. For more information about Sponsorship Opportunities, contact Russell Meyer at RMeyer@floridachurches.org

    January 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Tampa. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Register here.

    January 30, 9:00 am – Participate in the Great Invader Raider Rally. Remove coral ardisia in Loblolly Woods. Bring a shovel or machete if you have either. Meet at the end of NW 25 Terrace. Following the morning’s work, the city has a celebration for volunteers at Morningside. There is food, music, free T-shirts, prizes, exhibits, and more. Contact Fritzi Olson if you have questions or plan to attend at (352) 215- 7554 or aar@currentproblems.org.

    January 30, 1:30 pm – Attend West Orange Solar Co-op’s public information session at West Oaks Branch Library (1821 E. Silver Star Rd.) in Ocoee to learn about solar and the co-op process. Businesses and homeowners with residences in Orange County west of Interstate 4 or nearby cities (including Clermont and Maitland) are invited to join the co-op. Register here.

    January 30, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lakeland. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 1, 6:30 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at Sun-Ray Cinema (1028 Park St) in Jacksonville. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 2, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at UWF Auditorium in Pensacola. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 4, 6:30 pm potluck social, 7:00 pm meeting – Attend Sierra Club Adventure Coast Committee Meeting in Spring Hill. For more information e-mail sierraadventurecoastcc@gmail.com or call (352) 277- 3330.

    February 6, 9:00 am- Attend Fire in the Florida Ecosystem, a lecture and demonstration of how fire is important to Florida’s natural habitats, presented by Kevin Main, Land Manager at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact kmain@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x253.

    February 6, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Belleview Branch, Marion County Library. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    February 8, 1:30 pm – Attend Manatee Sierra Club’s Conservation Committee Meeting at the Bradenton Library (1301 Barcarrota Blvd.) in Bradenton. Discuss local environmental issues and plan priorities for 2016. Contact Sandra Ripberger for more information at (941) 794- 3878 or sandrarip@yahoo.com

    February 9, 12:00 pm – Participate in Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s webinar, “Rights of Nature & Community Rights: What are they? Are they being implemented?” To register (48 hours in advance) and for more information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu.

    February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

    February 13, 10:00 am – Attend the 23rd Party in the Park, the Treasure Coast’s first and foremost environmental festival, at Ft Piere Inlet State Park in Ft Pierce. The festival is free and includes food, activities for children and adults, and entertainment by Flint Blade.

    February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

    February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 28, 1:30pm, Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

    March 1 – Participate in No Meat March. Take the pledge to go meat-free for 31 days and enjoy the support of an online community with many resources. Find more information here.

    March 5, 11:00 am – Attend Northeast Florida Veg Fest at Riverside Park in Jacksonville. The day-long event will feature live music, dynamic speakers, cooking demonstrations, beer garden, kids’ zone, pie-eating contest, exceptional freebies, raffles, scavenger hunt, and much more! Find more information here.

    March 15, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Dunnellon Branch of the Marion County Library in Dunnellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 16, 12:00 pm – Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Committee: A “Community Rights” Amendment for protecting human and ecological health. This webinar is part of The Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s Protecting Our Common Home series. For registration or further information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu. Please RSVP at least 48 hours before each program. Directions for participation will be sent to you.

    March 19, 10:00 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Central Ridge Library in Beverly Hills. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 24, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Ocala Main Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 26, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Freedom Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Forest Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 6, 12:00 pm - April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Reddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     

     

     

     

    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 a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Floridas land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - January 25, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, January 25th, 2016 @ 9:33am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    January 25, 2016

     

     

    Ocala Star Banner Editorial Board writes – “If we didn’t know better, we would have thought the Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott had achieved a major milestone for our state this week with the governor’s signing of Florida’s new water policy on Thursday…But Senate Bill 552 falls far short of any semblance of serious water policy…(Former Governor Bob) Graham is right – the bill does nothing to curb water consumption and little to slow the flow of pollutants into our rivers, lakes and springs…Not only does it loosen pollution enforcement standards, it actually allows Big Ag to monitor itself The bill relies on…”best management practices” that set goals for large water users- but they have decades to meet the goals, there are no penalties or fines written into the law and no provisions are in place to add inspectors to make sure farmers and industry are adhering to the best practices…The excuse many lawmakers and environmental backers gave for not opposing SB 552 was that it was better than last year’s awful bill, and they hope it will be improved over time. That is what passes for important policy-making in the Florida Legislature. It is better than awful…[O]nce again the people of Florida were sold out.” Read Water policy fails Floridians

    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Algae blooms may be slowly eating away at our memories. Chronic exposure to a commonplace algae toxin…increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a new study suggests…Humans aren’t the only mammals at risk. BMAA toxin may also be harming the neurological health of dolphins, manatees and other wildlife, causing them to wander far astray from usual routes….[Recent research] found levels of BMAA in (Indian River) lagoon dolphin tissues similar to what is seen in brains of humans with Alzheimer’s disease…Seafood remains the main concern. But because of a lack of data, there are no consumption guidelines specific to BMAA.” Read Brain-tangling algae lurks in Florida waters

    Erin Sullivan writes for Orlando Weekly – “The House version of the (fracking) bill (HB 191, filed by Rep. Ray Wesley Rodrigues…who once filed another bill that would help fracking companies keep info about what chemicals they used under wraps) has already sailed through three committees and its first and second reading. It’s scheduled for a third reading on the Special Order Calendar on Jan. 26. The [Senate’s] version of the bill…is still in committee…The bills cover only hydraulic fracturing…That’s not the kind of fracking that actually takes place in Florida… ‘…It’s a huge deal, because they say we’ll have a study before we frack, but they won’t be studying the right thing.’… ‘I think some of our legislators may truly be concerned about fracking in Florida and may think they are doing something good here, but they aren’t because it does not actually cover what we need to cover. So I call it faux regulation, and I am certain that industry is intentionally doing it.’…If you’re concerned about fracking…contact your elected representatives. Senators, in particular…have expressed some concerns about how fracking could impact the state.” Read Florida House to vote on bill that would lay groundwork for fracking

    Zac Anderson reports for HT Politics – “The team is in place and ready to go if Manatee County homebuilder Carlos Beruff decides to run for the U.S. Senate as a Republican…Detert is leaving the Legislature to run for the Sarasota County Commission and the decision last week by Senate leaders not to appeal a cirtcuit court ruling on the Senate map means Detert’s seat will keep its current configuration, which includes the homes of all four GOP candidates seeking the post.” Read Team in place if Beruff runs

    Nicole Rodriguez reports for TC Palm – “A roadblock put up by environmentalists could delay or halt construction of the Crosstown Parkway Bridge. A representative for the Lakela’s Mint Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society and local chapter of the Audubon Society filed a petition by the South Florida Water Management District, casting uncertainty on the future of the project.” Read New challenge arises for Port S. Lucie’s Crosstown Parkway Bridge

    Lee Williams reports for The Ledger – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission official who supervised two former staffers charged with stealing money from youth programs now faces allegations that he wasted thousands of dollars meant for those same programs, while ignoring deadly safety concerns at another commission range where people were hit by stray rounds, according to a report by the agency’s inspector general.” Read New questions arise about Florida Wildlife agency’s youth spending

    Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “If Orlando International Airport was a city, it would rank as Central Florida’s second-largest, boasting a population of 104,000 daily passengers and 18,000 workers...With its ravenous appetite for energy, water and other resources, and as a prodigious contributor to greenhouse gases that scientists fear will bring disastrous warming of the planet, Orlando International wants to make its environmental footsteps greener.” Read Orlando airport aims for greener environment

    Tia Mitchell reports for The Florida Times Union – “A meeting of legislators with districts along the St. Johns River turned tense…when Rep. Charles Van Zant sharply criticized Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman and her position on proposed dredging…The Riverkeeper, Port Authority and JAX Chamber held a press conference in January 2015 to announce that they agreed to return the Ocklawaha to a free-flowing river in exchange for ending all legal challenges to the port dredging project…Since the, the coalition has largely abandoned the plan and there have been no requests for state funding to breach the dam.” Read Rodman Dam controversy casts shadow over St. Johns River Caucus meeting

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

    Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager



    Petitions

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

     

    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

     

    January 28, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Sarasota. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Find more information here and register here.

    January 28-30- Participate in the Florida Interfaith Climate Action Network 2016 National Assembly at the Northland Church in Longwood. Find more information and register here. To participate in the Climate Action Bazaar contact Jan Booher at JJLBooher@comcast.net. For more information about Sponsorship Opportunities, contact Russell Meyer at RMeyer@floridachurches.org

    January 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Tampa. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Register here.

    January 30, 9:00 am – Participate in the Great Invader Raider Rally. Remove coral ardisia in Loblolly Woods. Bring a shovel or machete if you have either. Meet at the end of NW 25 Terrace. Following the morning’s work, the city has a celebration for volunteers at Morningside. There is food, music, free T-shirts, prizes, exhibits, and more. Contact Fritzi Olson if you have questions or plan to attend at (352) 215- 7554 or aar@currentproblems.org.

    January 30, 1:30 pm – Attend West Orange Solar Co-op’s public information session at West Oaks Branch Library (1821 E. Silver Star Rd.) in Ocoee to learn about solar and the co-op process. Businesses and homeowners with residences in Orange County west of Interstate 4 or nearby cities (including Clermont and Maitland) are invited to join the co-op. Register here.

    January 30, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lakeland. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 1, 6:30 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at Sun-Ray Cinema (1028 Park St) in Jacksonville. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 2, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at UWF Auditorium in Pensacola. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 4, 6:30 pm potluck social, 7:00 pm meeting – Attend Sierra Club Adventure Coast Committee Meeting in Spring Hill. For more information e-mail sierraadventurecoastcc@gmail.com or call (352) 277- 3330.

    February 6, 9:00 am- Attend Fire in the Florida Ecosystem, a lecture and demonstration of how fire is important to Florida’s natural habitats, presented by Kevin Main, Land Manager at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact kmain@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x253.

    February 6, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Belleview Branch, Marion County Library. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    February 8, 1:30 pm – Attend Manatee Sierra Club’s Conservation Committee Meeting at the Bradenton Library (1301 Barcarrota Blvd.) in Bradenton. Discuss local environmental issues and plan priorities for 2016. Contact Sandra Ripberger for more information at (941) 794- 3878 or sandrarip@yahoo.com

    February 9, 12:00 pm – Participate in Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s webinar, “Rights of Nature & Community Rights: What are they? Are they being implemented?” To register (48 hours in advance) and for more information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu.

    February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

    February 13, 10:00 am – Attend the 23rd Party in the Park, the Treasure Coast’s first and foremost environmental festival, at Ft Piere Inlet State Park in Ft Pierce. The festival is free and includes food, activities for children and adults, and entertainment by Flint Blade.

    February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

    February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 28, 1:30pm, Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

    March 1 – Participate in No Meat March. Take the pledge to go meat-free for 31 days and enjoy the support of an online community with many resources. Find more information here.

    March 5, 11:00 am – Attend Northeast Florida Veg Fest at Riverside Park in Jacksonville. The day-long event will feature live music, dynamic speakers, cooking demonstrations, beer garden, kids’ zone, pie-eating contest, exceptional freebies, raffles, scavenger hunt, and much more! Find more information here.

    March 15, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Dunnellon Branch of the Marion County Library in Dunnellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 16, 12:00 pm – Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Committee: A “Community Rights” Amendment for protecting human and ecological health. This webinar is part of The Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s Protecting Our Common Home series. For registration or further information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu. Please RSVP at least 48 hours before each program. Directions for participation will be sent to you.

    March 19, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Freedom Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    March 24, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Ocala Main Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Forest Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     

     

     

     

    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 a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Floridas land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - January 22, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, January 22nd, 2016 @ 1:40pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    January 22, 2016

     

     

    CORRECTION ISSUED: Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “Correction: An earlier version of this story inaccurately reported that Audubon Florida and the Everglades Foundation backed the bill. The groups worked to write legislation but never endorsed the final bill.” Read Bob Graham calls for Gov. Rick Scott to veto sweeping water reforms

    Tristram Korten reports for FCIR – “The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is not enforcing laws against companies responsible for hazardous materials pollution or collecting the fines it could from polluters, according to a study released Thursday by [the Florida chapter of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility].” Read Study: Florida Not Regulating Hazardous Waste Polluters

    William March reports for NBC Miami – “Environmental groups say some enforcement provisions in the water bill to prevent pollution and restore natural flows contain loopholes and would be delayed in taking effect. ‘At the end of the day too many concessions were made to industry groups,’ said Ryan Smart of 1000 Friends of Florida, one of several environmental groups that asked members to send Scott messages urging him to veto the bill. Former Gov. Bob Graham weighed in on the bill… ‘This bill doesn’t prepare Florida for the future,’ he said, citing estimates that Florida’s population could double or triple this century.” Read Gov. Scott Signs Bill on Water Resources, Disability Education

    Melissa Ross reports for Florida Politics – “Despite statewide pleas to veto it, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Thursday a water policy bill decried by the state’s environmentalists but loved by agriculture interests. St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman joined the chorus of critics blasting the move as one of short-term expediency at the expense of the long-term goal of protecting Florida’s waterways…[F]ormer Gov. Bob Graham also called on Scott to veto the sweeping water reform measure, saying it ‘blatantly’ favors special interests and ties the hands of local water management districts.” Read St. Johns Riverkeeper Blasts Rick Scott, Legislature Over Water Policy Bill

    John Kennedy reports for Palm Beach Post – “[Rep. Caldwell’s] sweeping proposal raised fresh concerns about what could be included in land management plans and how some acreage could be traded or leased to private companies. Others also warned they opposed parts of the legislation which they said could authorize use of voter-approved Amendment 1 environmental dollars on pipes, pumps and other hardware for water projects. Caldwell…said he was willing to continue working with environmental groups including Audubon Florida, Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy on easing concerns with the legislation.” Read State conservation lands bill watched warily by environmentalists

    News Service of Florida reports – “A fracking bill sponsored by a Southwest Florida state rep is headed to the House floor…David Cullen, a lobbyist for the Sierra Club, said there are ‘better ways to get the energy Florida needs’ without exposing the state to the risks of fracking.” Read “Fracking bill” ready for vote by Florida House

    Tim Croft reports for The Star – “The Florida Department of Environmental Protection last week advertised its notice of intent to issue permits for seismic testing for oil and gas on land in Gulf and Calhoun counties.” Read DEP issues notice to permit oil testing

    Timothy Cama reports for The Hill – “President Obama…rejected an attempt by congressional Republicans to overturn his landmark regulation asserting federal power over small bodies of water. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule, dubbed the Clean Water Rule or “waters of the United States,” would ensure that water used for drinking, recreation, economic development and other purposes is kept safe, Obama said in a message to Congress…” Read Obama vetoes GOP attempt to block water rule

    Melissa Montoya reports for News Press – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are reporting two panther deaths so far in 2016. The latest panther was killed by a vehicle in Lee County…The big cat was an 8-month old female.” Read Two panther deaths reported this year

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

    Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager



    Petitions

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

     

    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

    January 23, 10:00 AM Attend Festival in the Woods at Picayune Strand State Forest to learn from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist, the Principal Project Manager at the South Florida Water Management District and a wildlife ecologist from Milliken Forestry Co. There will also be free lunch, guided hikes and bike tours, children activities like horse rides and a bounce house, and more. Contact Melinda Avni at or (239) 690- 8031 for more information.

    January 23, 3:00 pm – Attend the Rally to Save Our Parks at the First Magnitude Brewery (1220 SE Veitch St) in Gainesville. The mission of the rally is to make it clear to legislators that people do not want hunting, grazing, or logging in state parks. Come early at 2:00 pm if you’d like to make a sign to carry during the march up Main St. Whitey Markle and the Swamprooters will play and Jim Stevenson, Leslie Kemp Poole, and Pat Harden will be speaking.

    January 24, 1:30 pm, Attend Scrub Bugs, for a guided nature walk with Dr. Mark Deyrup, Entomologist at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Dr. Deyrup is a renowned expert on Florida ants and other insects. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. Be sure to wear shoes appropriate for walking in deep sand. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    January 28, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Sarasota. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Find more information here and register here.

    January 28-30- Participate in the Florida Interfaith Climate Action Network 2016 National Assembly at the Northland Church in Longwood. Find more information and register here. To participate in the Climate Action Bazaar contact Jan Booher at JJLBooher@comcast.net. For more information about Sponsorship Opportunities, contact Russell Meyer at RMeyer@floridachurches.org

    January 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Tampa. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Register here.

    January 30, 1:30 pm – Attend West Orange Solar Co-op’s public information session at West Oaks Branch Library (1821 E. Silver Star Rd.) in Ocoee to learn about solar and the co-op process. Businesses and homeowners with residences in Orange County west of Interstate 4 or nearby cities (including Clermont and Maitland) are invited to join the co-op. Register here.

    January 30, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lakeland. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 1, 6:30 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at Sun-Ray Cinema (1028 Park St) in Jacksonville. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 2, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at UWF Auditorium in Pensacola. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 6, 9:00 am- Attend Fire in the Florida Ecosystem, a lecture and demonstration of how fire is important to Florida’s natural habitats, presented by Kevin Main, Land Manager at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact kmain@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x253.

    February 6, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Belleview Branch, Marion County Library. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    February 8, 1:30 pm – Attend Manatee Sierra Club’s Conservation Committee Meeting at the Bradenton Library (1301 Barcarrota Blvd.) in Bradenton. Discuss local environmental issues and plan priorities for 2016. Contact Sandra Ripberger for more information at (941) 794- 3878 or sandrarip@yahoo.com

    February 9, 12:00 pm – Participate in Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s webinar, “Rights of Nature & Community Rights: What are they? Are they being implemented?” To register (48 hours in advance) and for more information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu.

    February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

    February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

    February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 28, 1:30pm, Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

     

     

     

     

    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 a 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 - January 21, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, January 21st, 2016 @ 10:18am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    January 21, 2016

     

     

    Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “The chorus demanding Gov. Rick Scott veto a sweeping water policy hastily passed by the Florida Legislature last week just got a little louder. On Wednesday, Bob Graham, former U.S. senator and Florida governor, called the 134-page bill a ‘purposeful effort to weaken protection’ of state waters increasingly threatened by pollution, waste and increased consumption. In a letter to Scott, Graham said the bill ‘blatantly’ favors special interests, ties the hands of local water management districts and mostly ignores two key measures in protecting water: conservation and rules to stop pollution at its source… ‘The guiding light ought to be conservation. We can’t grow ourselves out of the challenge of 40 million people wanting access to the same water quantity that Florida has historically had,’ Graham told the Herald…” Read Bob Graham calls for Gov. Rick Scott to veto sweeping water reforms

    Palm Beach Post Editorial Board writes – “Today, Gov. Rick Scott will sign Senate Bill 552…He will sign it despite a four-page letter from former Gov. Bob Graham urging him to send it back to the Legislatuer for something better…We wish that he wouldn’t…Sen. Jeff Clemens…echoed many of his colleagues when he told the News Service of Florida that there will be efforts in future years to correct ‘deficiencies’ pointed out by environmental groups in the bill…Opponents would be wise to now focus on three things: working with lawmakers and others to fix parts of the bill they find lacking; finding money to make sure the bill’s enforcement components work; and lobbying for Amendment 1 money for…land acquisitions. As Putnam said, SB 552 is just a step in meeting Florida’s future water needs. We shouldn’t stop here.” Read Water bill to become law, focus now on fixing it

    Amy Green reports for WMFE – “Former Florida Gov. Bob Graham wants Gov. Rick Scott to veto a bill lawmakers say would rescue the state’s troubled waterways…Graham says the bill would weaken protection of Florida’s water resources. The former governor joins environment groups opposing the bill and sent Scott a letter detailing his disapproval. Graham says the state’s waterways are polluted and overtapped.” Read Former Florida Gov. Bob Graham Calls for Water Bill Veto

    Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “Gov. Rick Scott plans to sign a water policy bill Thursday…despite veto pleas from some environmentalists and a former governor.” Read Gov. Scott to sign water bill despite veto pleas from former Gov. Graham, environmentalists

    Jeff Burlew reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Anti-fracking activists poured into the Capitol on Wednesday to push for a ban on the controversial drilling technique and speak out against bills that would regulate it. And some brought along bottles of their own discolored drinking water, which they said was contaminated with harmful chemicals from fracking operations…The Democrat-backed bills they’re supporting…would ban fracking statewide…But none of the bills have been heard in committee so far this session…Sen. Darren Soto…said more than half of Florida’s population lives in cities and counties that have passed fracking bans or similar measures. And he pointed out the GOP bills would render the bans moot… ‘It’s a clear case of a small, well-connected industry running a bill against what is in the interests and the opinions of the majority of Floridians,’ said Soto…Dr. Lynn Ringenberg, president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, said scientific studies point to fracking as a factor in premature births, developmental issues and other health problems.” Read Fracking activists dare lawmakers to drink their water

    Martin E. Comas reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “A little more than a month ago, Seminole county enacted a new ordinance that requires residents living mostly west of Interstate 4 to secure their trash, bring in their pet-food bowls and not hang their bird feeders so that a bear can paw at them…But now homeowners in The Woodlands…are asking county officials to exclude their neighborhood from the new restrictions and the West Seminole County Urban Bear Management Area. They say they have never seen a bear in their community.” Read Residents seek exclusion from bear rules

    The Guardian reports – “Opponents (of SB 318 and HB 191) fear that removing the rights of cities and counties to prohibit fracking, and voiding the dozens of resolutions already passed by them, would make it easier for the oil industry to obtain permits to drill in the ecologically fragile Everglades. That, they say, would threaten the habitat of numerous species of wildlife in the so-called River of Grass and move heavy drilling equipment closer to residential areas. In particular, they fear that the controversial drilling practice…could lead to the seeping of toxic chemicals into the porous limestone bedrock throughout the Everglades, and into the underground Biscayne Aquifer that is the only source of fresh water for more than three million people in south Florida… ‘For every barrel of oil produced, 10 barrels of permanently hazardous, toxic water is produced [and] there is no safe or approved method to treat the potentially millions of gallons of backflow waste water. Florida has a supply of oil and gas that would supply the world market for four days but the toxins produced in the process could last more than 100 years.’” Read Environmentalists warn of disaster for Everglades if oil fracking bill passes

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “A House committee unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that would remove the requirement that government officials who intentionally violate the state’s public records law pay attorneys fees when citizens take them to court.” Read Lawmakers advance bill that opponents say will ‘gut’ public records law

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

    Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager




    Petitions

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

     

    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

     

    January 21 – Attend Florida Reef Resilience Program’s day-long FREE 10-Year Anniversary Symposium at the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood. Speakers from The Nature Conservancy, NOAA, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, University of Miami, FDEP and other groups will discuss the importance of Florida’s coral reefs, reef management, data applications and tools, current issues, and the Program’s future direction. Reception will follow. Find out more and register here.

    January 23, 10:00 AM Attend Festival in the Woods at Picayune Strand State Forest to learn from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist, the Principal Project Manager at the South Florida Water Management District and a wildlife ecologist from Milliken Forestry Co. There will also be free lunch, guided hikes and bike tours, children activities like horse rides and a bounce house, and more. Contact Melinda Avni at or (239) 690- 8031 for more information.

    January 23, 3:00 pm – Attend the Rally to Save Our Parks at the First Magnitude Brewery (1220 SE Veitch St) in Gainesville. The mission of the rally is to make it clear to legislators that people do not want hunting, grazing, or logging in state parks. Come early at 2:00 pm if you’d like to make a sign to carry during the march up Main St. Whitey Markle and the Swamprooters will play and Jim Stevenson, Leslie Kemp Poole, and Pat Harden will be speaking.

    January 24, 1:30 pm, Attend Scrub Bugs, for a guided nature walk with Dr. Mark Deyrup, Entomologist at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Dr. Deyrup is a renowned expert on Florida ants and other insects. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. Be sure to wear shoes appropriate for walking in deep sand. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    January 28, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Sarasota. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Find more information here and register here.

    January 28-30- Participate in the Florida Interfaith Climate Action Network 2016 National Assembly at the Northland Church in Longwood. Find more information and register here. To participate in the Climate Action Bazaar contact Jan Booher at JJLBooher@comcast.net. For more information about Sponsorship Opportunities, contact Russell Meyer at RMeyer@floridachurches.org

    January 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Tampa. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Register here.

    January 30, 1:30 pm – Attend West Orange Solar Co-op’s public information session at West Oaks Branch Library (1821 E. Silver Star Rd.) in Ocoee to learn about solar and the co-op process. Businesses and homeowners with residences in Orange County west of Interstate 4 or nearby cities (including Clermont and Maitland) are invited to join the co-op. Register here.

    January 30, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lakeland. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 1, 6:30 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at Sun-Ray Cinema (1028 Park St) in Jacksonville. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 2, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at UWF Auditorium in Pensacola. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 6, 9:00 am- Attend Fire in the Florida Ecosystem, a lecture and demonstration of how fire is important to Florida’s natural habitats, presented by Kevin Main, Land Manager at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact kmain@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x253.

    February 6, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Belleview Branch, Marion County Library. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    February 8, 1:30 pm – Attend Manatee Sierra Club’s Conservation Committee Meeting at the Bradenton Library (1301 Barcarrota Blvd.) in Bradenton. Discuss local environmental issues and plan priorities for 2016. Contact Sandra Ripberger for more information at (941) 794- 3878 or sandrarip@yahoo.com

    February 9, 12:00 pm – Participate in Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s webinar, “Rights of Nature & Community Rights: What are they? Are they being implemented?” To register (48 hours in advance) and for more information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu.

    February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

    February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

    February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 28, 1:30pm, Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

     

     

     

     

    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 a 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 - January 20, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 @ 4:25pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    January 20, 2016

     

     

    Justin Gillis reports for the New York Times – “Scientists reported…that 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history by far, breaking a record set only the year before- a burst of heat that has continued into the new year and is roiling weather patterns all over the world.” Read 2015 Was Hottest Year in Recorded History, Scientists Say

    Audrey Peterman writes for the Huffington Post – “I returned to the (Everglades Coalition) conference to find that the Coalition is still focused almost exclusively on protecting the lands and processes of the western undeveloped Everglades…[I]t was a shock to walk into the Biltmore…and find many of the same people of the same demographic makeup (99% white in one of the most racially diverse areas of the country) having the same conversation about buying land and restoring water flow in the ‘Glades. In this case, ‘cultural lag’ might refer to our inability to respond to the new environmental reality- that we can protect nothing in South Florida without dealing with sea level rise and its well documented consequences in the near-term of 15 years.” Read ‘Body Bags’ Haunt My Vision at Everglades Conference

    John Bachman reports for Action News Jax – “Last week, state lawmakers passed a water bill revising Florida’s water policy. State Sen. Aaron bean represents Northeast Florida. He tried to attach an amendment to the water bill requiring more studies of the St. Johns before allowing more water get pulled downstream…Bean’s amendment failed, but he said he’s working to get those studies done in other ways.” Read Lawmaker wants St. Johns River study done before pulling water to Orlando

    Maggy Hurchalla writes for the Palm Beach Post – “[A]ll the money in the world won’t save the Everglades if we don’t send water south from Lake Okeechobee…Floridians need to insist that $300 million of the Amendment 1 money goes into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for land acquisition statewide…The bad “Water Bill” has to be fixed…The Army Corps of Engineers and the SFWMD need to jump-start a process now to identify how to send the water south. The fight over the U.S. Sugar option is over. Let’s go forward. It’s an election year. If your representative won’t support those…things, find someone else to vote for who will.” Read Point of View

    Lauren Ritchie writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “After 18 months of debate over a natural-gas pipeline that would rip through a corner of south Lake County, the federal Environmental Protection Agency on Oct. 26 slammed the plan with 30 pages of objections…Recently, however, the EPA affixed its lips to the company that wants to build the pipeline and commenced to smooch…Amazing how those serious concerns simply evaporated.” Read EPA does about face on pipeline warnings

    Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “With a controversial water policy bill headed to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk, some are now focusing on finding enough money in the state budget to enforce the new law and to carry on restoration projects…Cleaning up waterways such as the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon will…depend on the implementation of Amendment 1…” Read With water bill passed, focus is on budget and Amendment 1

    Mary Hrenda writes for the Bradenton Herald – “Manatee County commissioners approved an amended operating permit for Mosaic’s 11,908-acre Four Corners phosphate mine…Mosaic is required to augment the county water supply ‘to offset the reduction in flow in the Manatee River resulting from the operation of the mine.’ It’s extremely disappointing that Manatee County would permit implementation of a mining plan that would diminish our public water supply…[W]e are in a water use caution area, because of salt water intrusion into the Floridan aquifer along the coast. The reason for the salt water intrusion is over pumping of the Florida aquifer. Instead of approving more pumping from the Floridan aquifer, the county should be finding ways to conserve the water in the aquifer to stop saltwater intrusion…Finally, while Mosaic is offering to replace the water it is removing from our public water supply, it is decreasing the flow in the upper Manatee River and doing nothing to remedy that.” Read Phosphate mining costs Manatee County future water supply

    Sandra Ripberger writes for the Bradenton Herald – “Manatee County commissioners should reject…expansion by the phosphate strip-mining giant Mosaic…Donations to museums and construction of environmental centers won’t make up for the damage that mining will do to the Myakka River and its watershed. It’s unprecedented that more than 750 acres of pristine wetlands, streams and wildlife habitat will be destroyed…Residents near the Wingate Creek mine have long reported severe health issues because they consume well water and are exposed to dust near the mine. The few jobs that mining brings are dwarfed by the number that will be eliminated when fields are removed from agriculture. Land values go down in mined areas and the economy is depressed…Phosphate mining is allowed to use 69 million gallons a day in our Water Use Caution area.” Read Reject more phosphate mining in Manatee County and spare environment, save jobs

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

    Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager




    Petitions

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

     

    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

     

    January 21 – Attend Florida Reef Resilience Program’s day-long FREE 10-Year Anniversary Symposium at the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood. Speakers from The Nature Conservancy, NOAA, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, University of Miami, FDEP and other groups will discuss the importance of Florida’s coral reefs, reef management, data applications and tools, current issues, and the Program’s future direction. Reception will follow. Find out more and register here.

    January 23, 10:00 AM Attend Festival in the Woods at Picayune Strand State Forest to learn from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist, the Principal Project Manager at the South Florida Water Management District and a wildlife ecologist from Milliken Forestry Co. There will also be free lunch, guided hikes and bike tours, children activities like horse rides and a bounce house, and more. Contact Melinda Avni at or (239) 690- 8031 for more information.

    January 23, 3:00 pm – Attend the Rally to Save Our Parks at the First Magnitude Brewery (1220 SE Veitch St) in Gainesville. The mission of the rally is to make it clear to legislators that people do not want hunting, grazing, or logging in state parks. Come early at 2:00 pm if you’d like to make a sign to carry during the march up Main St. Whitey Markle and the Swamprooters will play and Jim Stevenson, Leslie Kemp Poole, and Pat Harden will be speaking.

    January 24, 1:30 pm, Attend Scrub Bugs, for a guided nature walk with Dr. Mark Deyrup, Entomologist at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Dr. Deyrup is a renowned expert on Florida ants and other insects. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. Be sure to wear shoes appropriate for walking in deep sand. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    January 28, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Sarasota. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Find more information here and register here.

    January 28-30- Participate in the Florida Interfaith Climate Action Network 2016 National Assembly at the Northland Church in Longwood. Find more information and register here. To participate in the Climate Action Bazaar contact Jan Booher at JJLBooher@comcast.net. For more information about Sponsorship Opportunities, contact Russell Meyer at RMeyer@floridachurches.org

    January 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Tampa. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Register here.

    January 30, 1:30 pm – Attend West Orange Solar Co-op’s public information session at West Oaks Branch Library (1821 E. Silver Star Rd.) in Ocoee to learn about solar and the co-op process. Businesses and homeowners with residences in Orange County west of Interstate 4 or nearby cities (including Clermont and Maitland) are invited to join the co-op. Register here.

    January 30, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lakeland. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 1, 6:30 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at Sun-Ray Cinema (1028 Park St) in Jacksonville. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 2, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at UWF Auditorium in Pensacola. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 6, 9:00 am- Attend Fire in the Florida Ecosystem, a lecture and demonstration of how fire is important to Florida’s natural habitats, presented by Kevin Main, Land Manager at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact kmain@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x253.

    February 6, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Belleview Branch, Marion County Library. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    February 8, 1:30 pm – Attend Manatee Sierra Club’s Conservation Committee Meeting at the Bradenton Library (1301 Barcarrota Blvd.) in Bradenton. Discuss local environmental issues and plan priorities for 2016. Contact Sandra Ripberger for more information at (941) 794- 3878 or sandrarip@yahoo.com

    February 9, 12:00 pm – Participate in Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s webinar, “Rights of Nature & Community Rights: What are they? Are they being implemented?” To register (48 hours in advance) and for more information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu.

    February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

    February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

    February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 28, 1:30pm, Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

     

     

     

     

    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 a 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 SB 552 Veto Request

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 @ 12:18pm

  • Dear FCC Family,

    We have worked for years to protect Florida's waters. This session, we wrote and called our legislators asking for common sense amendments to improve and strengthen SB 552. The Legislature sent SB 552 to Governor Scott without any amendments. Now, FCC founder and chairman, former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham, on behalf of the Florida Conservation Coalition and additional organizations, is requesting that Governor Scott veto SB 552. His letter is attached.

    Thank you to everyone who has called and written Governor Scott asking for him to veto SB 552. Please consider calling his office now if you haven't done so already. His telephone number is (850) 488- 4441.

    Thank you for your continued committment to Florida's environment.

    Best,

    Gladys

Contact Governor Scott and Ask Him to Veto SB 552

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 @ 9:29am

FCC News Brief - January 19, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 @ 9:14am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    January 19, 2016

     

     

     

    Carl Hiaasen writes for the Miami Herald – “Touted as an environmental breakthrough, the water policy bill passed last week by the Florida Legislature is actually a major win for polluters and the politicians they own. Enforcement of clean-water rules is basically being replaced by the honor system…The Senate passed it with nary a single dissenting vote, reluctant Democrats saying this year’s version was better than last year’s awful bill, which didn’t pass. Even some environmental groups went along with the rewrite, asserting that it was the best they could hope for. Which is just sad.” Read Polluters win again in the state Legislature

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “Florida Power & Light on Friday asked the Public Service Commission to allow it to raise rates…by 23.7 percent by 2019…The request comes on the heels of the company spending more than $3.4 million in campaign funds to stave off competition from the solar industry by mounting a campaign to keep a constitutional amendment off the November ballot…The PSC has the final say over the rate request but the current panel of governor-appointed commissioners has consistently sided with FPL on its controversial requests. The company is…one of the most active campaign contributors in the state…The company said the rate hike is needed to help FPL cover the $1.3 billion needed for a natural gas-fired power plant proposed in rural Okeechobee County…The last time FPL had a rate hearing…the PSC rejected all but $75 million of the company’s request…After that, FPL officials and lobbyists pressured the Legislature to replace four of the five commissioners who voted against their rate increase.” Read Update: FPL seeks 24 percent increase in electric rates; public counsel vows to fight it

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “Under…SB 318, a version of which is also moving in the state House, state regulators would conduct a…one-year study to determine what impact the chemicals used in the fracking process would have on the state drinking-water supply and then write new rules regulating the practice, beginning in 2017. The regulations would include how the contaminated water and chemicals will be disposed of and the study will consider the potential for water contamination once a well has been plugged…[T]he Senate included a provision that will require testing of ground water before and after the drilling occurs and require that any rules developed by state officials get a vote of approval from the Legislature…Todd Sack, a Tallahassee physician who has served on the environmental health committees of the Florida Medial Association and American Medical Association said both organizations have adopted policies opposing natural gas fracking…‘This bill will interfere significantly with the ability of physicians to care for their patients,’ he said...The Conservancy of Southwest Florida warned that the bill does not regulate all types of well-stimulation and said it fears that millions of gallons of drinking water will be used for the activity.” Read Senate advances fracking bill but imposes new testing and legislative review

    TC Palm Editorial Board writes – “Big Cypress is home to several threatened or endangered species, including the Florida panther, wood stork and red-cockaded woodpecker. The…preserve…provides clean water to the Everglades…The cumulative economic impact from the preserve in 2014 was $129.7 million…Sadly, this treasured place is being threatened…The National Parks Conservation Association and other groups have requested a full-scale environmental impact study (regarding the proposal by Burnett Oil Co. to conduct seismic exploration on 70,000 acres in the preserve). Treasure Coast Newspapers’ Editorial Board endorses this request.” Read National Park Service should reject seismic testing in Big Cypress National Preserve

    Sally Swartz writes for the Palm Beach Post – “In February, St. Lucie Conservation Alliance and the Indian Riverkeeper will appeal U.S. District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks’ ruling against the groups. They want the (Crosstown Parkway) bridge built in a better place that won’t destroy wetlands or cross preserve land Florida bought to save forever.” Read Officials foolishly forge ahead with Crosstown Parkway Bridge

    Harold T. Sansing writes for the Ocala Star Banner – “Can we, as citizens and witnesses to Florida’s natural beauty, possibly ignore the loss in the physical and natural biological diversity that make up the properties of one of our most scenic riverine areas in Northeast Florida and justify all losses over a gross 50-year-old political mistake?” Read Rodman a political, ecological mistake

    Sarah Kaplan reports for The Washington Post – “[I]n a swath of recent cases, many [animal] die-offs boil down to a common problem: the animals’ environments are changing, and they’re struggling to keep up...It’s not only animals that are at risk…A study released…last month predicted that climate change would cause massive die-offs of the American southwest’s coniferous trees, like junipers and pinon pines, within the next half century…Mass Mortality Events (MMEs)…seem to be happening at an increased rate for birds, marine invertebrates and fish since the 1940s…These die-offs matter not just because of the inherent value of the creatures involved,…but because whole ecosystems may depend on that species to survive. MMES… ‘can reshape the ecological and evolutionary trajectories of life on Earth.’” Read In pitiful animal die-offs across the globe- from antelopes to bees to seabirds- climate change may be culprit

    Kate Gibson reports for CBS News – “The World Economic Forum…began ranking global risks just over a decade ago. And this year, the environment has reached the top of the list. The failure to mitigate climate change and adapt to it was named as the risk with the greatest potential impact in 2016 in the survey of nearly 750 experts, who assessed 29 separate global dangers for both impact and likelihood over a 10-year horizon…Environmental risk was viewed as having greater potential damage than weapons of mass destruction, which ranked second; water crises, which placed third; large-scale involuntary migration, which came in fourth; and severe energy price shocks, which came in fifth.” Read Climate change called world’s biggest economic risk

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

    Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager



    Petitions

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

     

    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

    January 21 – Attend Florida Reef Resilience Program’s day-long FREE 10-Year Anniversary Symposium at the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood. Speakers from The Nature Conservancy, NOAA, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, University of Miami, FDEP and other groups will discuss the importance of Florida’s coral reefs, reef management, data applications and tools, current issues, and the Program’s future direction. Reception will follow. Find out more and register here.

    January 23, 10:00 AM Attend Festival in the Woods at Picayune Strand State Forest to learn from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist, the Principal Project Manager at the South Florida Water Management District and a wildlife ecologist from Milliken Forestry Co. There will also be free lunch, guided hikes and bike tours, children activities like horse rides and a bounce house, and more. Contact Melinda Avni at or (239) 690- 8031 for more information.

    January 23, 3:00 pm – Attend the Rally to Save Our Parks at the First Magnitude Brewery (1220 SE Veitch St) in Gainesville. The mission of the rally is to make it clear to legislators that people do not want hunting, grazing, or logging in state parks. Come early at 2:00 pm if you’d like to make a sign to carry during the march up Main St. Whitey Markle and the Swamprooters will play and Jim Stevenson, Leslie Kemp Poole, and Pat Harden will be speaking.

    January 24, 1:30 pm, Attend Scrub Bugs, for a guided nature walk with Dr. Mark Deyrup, Entomologist at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Dr. Deyrup is a renowned expert on Florida ants and other insects. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. Be sure to wear shoes appropriate for walking in deep sand. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    January 28, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Sarasota. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Find more information here and register here.

    January 28-30- Participate in the Florida Interfaith Climate Action Network 2016 National Assembly at the Northland Church in Longwood. Find more information and register here. To participate in the Climate Action Bazaar contact Jan Booher at JJLBooher@comcast.net. For more information about Sponsorship Opportunities, contact Russell Meyer at RMeyer@floridachurches.org

    January 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories in Tampa. The FREE event features four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Register here.

    January 30, 1:30 pm – Attend West Orange Solar Co-op’s public information session at West Oaks Branch Library (1821 E. Silver Star Rd.) in Ocoee to learn about solar and the co-op process. Businesses and homeowners with residences in Orange County west of Interstate 4 or nearby cities (including Clermont and Maitland) are invited to join the co-op. Register here.

    January 30, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lakeland. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 1, 6:30 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at Sun-Ray Cinema (1028 Park St) in Jacksonville. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 2, 7:00 pm – Attend Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker at UWF Auditorium in Pensacola. “Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. Toxic coal ash stored across Florida poses exactly these risks.” Event is FREE but RSVP is required. Visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

    February 6, 9:00 am- Attend Fire in the Florida Ecosystem, a lecture and demonstration of how fire is important to Florida’s natural habitats, presented by Kevin Main, Land Manager at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, in Venus. Meet at the Learning Center. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact kmain@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x253.

    February 6, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Belleview Branch, Marion County Library. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    February 8, 1:30 pm – Attend Manatee Sierra Club’s Conservation Committee Meeting at the Bradenton Library (1301 Barcarrota Blvd.) in Bradenton. Discuss local environmental issues and plan priorities for 2016. Contact Sandra Ripberger for more information at (941) 794- 3878 or sandrarip@yahoo.com

    February 9, 12:00 pm – Participate in Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s webinar, “Rights of Nature & Community Rights: What are they? Are they being implemented?” To register (48 hours in advance) and for more information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu.

    February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

    February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

    February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    February 28, 1:30pm, Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

    February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

     

     

     

     

    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 a 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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