News and Announcements

FCC News Brief - September 27, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 @ 11:52am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    September 27, 2016




    Bob Graham and Ryan Smart write for the Florida Times Union – “For those of us who call Florida home, our natural areas are not only our heritage but the foremost legacy that we will leave to our children and grandchildren…Today, however, funding for land conservation has slowed to a trickle at the same time that Florida is losing natural and working lands at an alarming rate. Florida 2070, a new report by 1000 Friends of Florida,…shows that the…projected increase in population can be accommodated…while permanently protecting nearly half of Florida from development…[T]he Northeast Florida Timberland and Watershed Reserve Florida Forever project…stretches from the Etoniah Creek State Forest…to the Nassau River north of Jacksonville. Acquisition of the remaining 83,000 acres of this project will preserve habitat for keystone species like the Florida black bear and gopher tortoise…and protect and restore land, water and wetland ecosystems. Northeast Florida’s legislators should make the protection of these lands a top priority for the 2017 legislative session.” Read Celebrate Florida’s natural wonders

    Gladys Delgadillo writes for the League of Women Voters of Florida Blog – “Florida water crisis news stories flood our media outlets…We are in the midst of the 6th mass extinction event in the world’s history…Climate change is predicted to bring more frequent and intense weather events, sea level rise, and rising temperatures…Our last special places…are being polluted and bulldozed over each day. We can protect our quality of life- the reason so many tourists flock to our state annually- by preserving open spaces…Now is the time to look to the future and join together in our calls to return Florida Forever funding to historic levels.” Read We Need You to Speak Up for Florida Forever

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “Opponents hoping to overturn a controversial rule to allow higher concentrations of toxic chemicals into Florida’s water were dealt a setback…when an administrative law judge dismissed a series of complaints because they missed the deadline for filing the challenge. The groups, which included the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the City of Miami, Martin County and the Florida Pulp and Paper Association, must now decide if they will challenge the ruling at the District Court of Appeal…At a meeting of the Martin County Commission…commissioners voted unanimously to hire Florida International University toxicologist Gary Rand to determine the impact the increased concentration of more than 70 chemicals will have on the county’s fragile estuaries…But the commissioners also warned there will ‘be a cost’ to their litigation, saying that officials at the Department of Environmental Protection have warned them that if they continue to sue they will lose access to grants the county had hoped to receive to address its water-quality problems, including money for septic tank improvements and coral reefs…The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has filed a Clean Water Act challenge against Florida Power & Light for the chemical discharges in its cooling canals at the Turkey Point nuclear plant…[They are] urging Miami-Dade and Monroe counties to consider intervening in the appeal process with Marin County and the City of Miami because ‘many of the chemical constituents found in the cooling canal system are proposed to be relaxed’ under the rule.” Read Judge won’t halt rule to allow increased toxins in Florida water

    Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “For three weeks, Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials kept mum about a phosphate mine’s 300-foot-deep sinkhole that dumped 215 million gallons of contaminated water into the state’s aquifer…Now Gov. Rick Scott has changed what’s required. Effective immediately, Scott…wants DEP to come up with a new rule requiring the owner or operate of any facility – including a city or county government – ‘to provide notification of incidents of pollution within 24 hours to DEP, local governments and the general public through the media.’ Scott said he was taking this step because of the delay in reporting the sinkhole incident to neighbors of the Mosaic plant in Mulberry and the delay in St. Petersburg officials reporting the tens of millions of gallons of sewage that the city’s aging wastewater system released into Tama Bay after Hurricane Hermine…The governor said he will also propose legislation next year to turn that requirement into state law.” Read After 3-week delay telling public about contaminated sinkhole, Gov. Rick Scott wants faster notice

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “As incoming Senate budget chairman, GOP Sen. Jack Latvala says he will carry Sen. Joe Negron’s proposal for an Everglades…reservoir ‘to the finish line’ in 2017, but he also says the chamber will consider a range of options…Latvala said they talked about a ‘multifaceted program’ that includes support for Gov. Rick Scott’s proposal to connect homes on septic tanks to sewer systems.” Read Latvala: ‘Wide range of options on Everglades to be considered

    Public News Service reports – “Research shows Florida’s industrial sector could save big and create jobs by making energy-efficiency upgrades, especially with the state’s untapped solar potential…[I]ndustrial energy-efficiency upgrades could save manufacturers close to $300 billion on utility bills, while cutting as much carbon dioxide as closing 46 coal-fired power plants…Right now, the fate of the Clean Power Plan is in the hands of the U.S. District Court of Appeals, which today begins oral arguments on the legal challenge to the plan.” Read Reports Find Big Savings for Industrial Energy-Efficiency Upgrades

    Ryan Benk reports for WJCT – “St. Petersburg is facing scrutiny over its recent decision to pump 20 million gallons of sewage from an overloaded treatment plant into Tampa Bay. One national environmental organization is warning: similar overflows could become more common as the climate changes.” Read National Climate Group Warns More Florida Storm-Related Sewage Overflows to Come

    Fred Hiers reports for the Daily Commercial – “Silver Springs State Park…continues to be the subject of disagreement concerning what the visitor experience should include. Park manager Sally Lieb and environmentalists envision a passive outdoor place where wildlife thrives and people quietly connect with nature…But even as Lieb protects the…property she knows she must address the demands of those who want the park open to swimming, active recreation and large-scale entertainment that would attract thousands of people at a time…Some local elected officials think the park is underutilized and overprotected.” Read Silver Springs State Park is at a crossroads

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

Speak Up for Florida Forever Event

E-mail sent by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, September 26th, 2016 @ 2:35pm

Dear FCC Members,

On Saturday, hundreds of people and over 20 conservation organizations elevated the call for the State of Florida to conserve more land and fund Florida Forever at historic levels. Former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham and Florida Senator Audrey Gibson, among other notable speakers, lamented current funding levels for the state’s preeminent land preservation program and spoke eloquently about why natural lands are so important to Florida’s economy and way of life.

Thank you to all of you who joined us on Saturday. If you could not attend but would like to learn a little more about Saturday’s event, please see this fantastic interview News 4 Jax aired with Marc Hudson, the land protection director of the North Florida Land Trust.

We will continue in our quest to make sure environmentally sensitive lands are protected for future generations of Floridians. Please email Jane Atkinson at fccadvocacy@gmail.com if you would like to be more involved.

Best,
Gladys

FCC News Brief - September 16, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, September 16th, 2016 @ 10:19am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    September 16, 2016




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

Speak Up for Florida Forever

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, September 15th, 2016 @ 10:45am

  • Speak Up for Florida Forever

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

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

    Florida Blue presents Speak Up for Florida Forever.

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

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - September 5, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, September 5th, 2016 @ 5:51pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    September 5, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state


    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - September 3, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Sunday, September 4th, 2016 @ 11:24am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    September 3, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state


    Making Connections

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


    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

Speak Up for Florida Forever

  • Saturday, September 24th, 2016 at 10am - 4pm
    Location: Camp Milton Historic Preserve, 1225 Helsema Rd. N. Jacksonville, FL 32220

    Florida Blue presents Speak Up for Florida Forever.

    Preserving environmentally…

FCC News Brief - August 29, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, August 29th, 2016 @ 4:30pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 29, 2016




    Jim Ash reports for WFSU – “Amendment 4 would cut property and equipment taxes to encourage more businesses and homeowners to switch to solar power. The idea is such a no-brainer, Democrats and Republicans in the Florida Legislature had no problem putting it on the ballot. More than 200 business and environmental groups are behind Amendment 4, so supporters didn’t bother paying for an expensive TV campaign. The grass roots strategy is working…Florida is a closed primary state, but anyone can vote on the amendment…Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s Susan Glickman says Amendment 4 sells itself because it blends environmental protection with economic growth. ‘The solar industry is creating jobs at 12 times the rate of the national average and one in 83 jobs is in the solar industry.’…Glickman says Amendment 4 supporters are waiting before launching their Amendment 1 attack.” Read Polls Suggesting A Bright Future for Amendment 4

    Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “The biggest environmental repair ever fully completed in Florida was celebrated recently with little fanfare…It took decades for state and federal agencies to rehabilitate a span of St. Johns River birthplace more than double the size of Orlando…Agricultural damage to Florida’s longest river had been epic but…that was met with an equally epic quest from what is now a bygone era of environmental stewardship. ‘If we were starting from scratch, I doubt the project would have a prayer of gaining traction in today’s political climate,’ said Maurice Sterling, who…had been in charge of the project… ‘Forty years ago, it was an act of sheer audacity for a then-fledgling agency like St. Johns water district to propose such a bold and expensive initiative,’ said Sterling, now retired… ‘The water districts are a shadow of what they used to be,’ said Eric Draper, Audubon Florida president…Dean (a former St. Johns water management district director) camped out in Tallahassee in the 1980s, urging lawmakers to approve an increase in district taxes to buy farmland for St. Johns restoration…[W]ater districts in recent years have been assertive about cutting taxes…Sonny Vergara, director of the St. Johns district during early years of river restoration, said today’s districts will remain feeble…until the public revolts.” Read St. Johns River restoration touted as greatest in Florida

    Erin Clancy writes for WLRN– “Only when perfect conditions are met- just enough flooding, just enough fires- will the male (Cape Sable Seaside) sparrow sing and nesting begin. Finding suitable nesting ground has been difficult for the discerning little bird over the past 100 years. First they contented with repeated attempts in the early 1900s to drain the Everglades. Next came the major hurricanes of 1935, 1960 and 1992. Then more recent attempts to restore traditional water flows in the Everglades brought untimely flooding of the nesting grounds. Now the species faces saltwater intrusion caused by rising seas…that will further alter vegetation and potential habitat. As a consequence of evolving conditions…the sparrow has sought out new suitable habitat, away from its traditional…nesting grounds. In the process, its numbers have diminished significantly…The Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow’s designated critical habitat and nesting grounds now lie in an area of traditional southern water flows, smack in the middle of the Everglades…Should the prospect of disturbing one sensitive species hold hostage the restoration of an entire ecosystem…?” Read A controversial bird- should Everglades Restoration hinge on a single species?

    Gil Smart writes for the TC Palm – “On several occasions, I’ve praised the enviro-activist group Bullsugar, which tends to be a little hard-core…[O]urs is an age of pessimism. Faith in public institutions has been falling…If [you do] not (have faith) – what do you do with that? Sure, you try to vote the politicians seen as stifling change out of office, and maybe you succeed in some cases. But the sugar industry, which funds many of those politicians, is powerful. It has lots of money. So maybe, no matter how hard you try, the status quo endures. Isn’t that where we’re at now?...Writes Linker: ‘People who believe their lives are likely to get worse over time tend not to accept that fate complacently. On the contrary, pessimists often end up searching for and tempted by would-be saviors- individuals or movements who promise to break the pattern of decline. But because the status quo is implicated in the decline, the individuals or movements that inspire the greatest hope for improvement are the ones who threaten to do the most damage to the established order of things…Pessimism is a potent incubator of political radicalism.’…[W]hen a political system proves itself incapable of delivering improvement, when the conditions that fueled the anger persist or even worsen- maybe it can only escalate. I’d like to think…we can avoid that. But…there has to be reason for optimism…” Read Our water wars are getting personal

    TC Palm Editorial Board writes – “[A]s green waves of algae were cresting upon our shores, (Governor) Scott asked the federal government for help…[H]e blamed [them] for causing the algae problem…saying the feds had reneged on a responsibility to maintain the dike around Lake Okeechobee. Nevermind that the Army Corps of Engineers has never committed to holding more water in the lake even if the dike is fixed…[T]he Federal Emergency Management Agency turned down the request...As FEMA spokesman Rafael Lamaitre pointed out, Scott himself has boasted that state revenue is up by $1.2 billion this year. So Florida has enough money to take care of its own problems. Scott…appealed this denial. That’s good…Our region is still reeling from the algae crisis, and will be for some time; this is indeed a disaster, and federal aid…could be a boon…Scott’s attempts to blame and shame the federal government are disingenuous and counterproductive…Moreover, Scott’s continued insistence that fixing the dike will fix the problem is alarming…Army Corps officials have said…that the rehab project will allow the corps to operate the dike with less risk. It won’t automatically allow for lake levels to rise…” Read Gov. Scott’s finger-pointing counterproductive on algae crisis

    WFTV9 reports – “Bears and other wildlife rely on palmetto berries for food, but some are illegally harvesting them…In August alone, there have been 41 citations issued statewide for illegal berry pickers and 26 warnings…Eyewitness News spotted people illegally picking berries when we were out reporting on this story. Florida Highway Patrol said the berry pickers are also stopping along the side of the road on Interstate 95 in Volusia County. ‘We have also received complaints from construction companies working the I-95 corridor that they are stopping in their construction zones and it’s creating a safety hazard,’ said Kim Notes with the Florida Highway Patrol…If people are caught picking berries on state land, they could face a second-degree misdemeanor.” Read People illegally harvesting palmetto berries, FWC says

    Oliver Milman reports for The Guardian – “There is a new crusade by some lawmakers, dubbed the “anti-parks caucus”, to unlock more public land to drilling and other development. This is a sharp divergence from the broad consensus forged since Roosevelt, a Republican, spurred the expansion of America’s network of national parks almost 110 years ago…Developers have sniffed the wind of change and chanced their arm…A toxic brew of underinvestment, political vindictiveness and climate change are challenging Roosevelt’s legacy…While the political landscape has tilted, public support for national parks remains rock solid. It’s almost impossible to find an issue that 95% Americans agree on, but polling suggests this is the level of support for federal government protection of national parks…It will cost nearly $12bn to patch up all of the creaking infrastructure in national parks, at a time when a recent study found Congress has trimmed the budget of the NPS about 15% over the past 15 years…Eight in 10 voters would be prepared to pay more in taxes to preserve national parks… ‘We know that healthy, intact ecosystems are fundamental to the health of our wildlife- and our nation,’ (Interior Secretary) Jewell said. ‘But if their integrity is undermined by a haphazard web of transmission lines, pipelines and roads, where does that leave us 50 years from now? Or 500? What we need is smart planning, on a landscape=level, irrespective of manmade lines on a map. We need to take a holistic look at an ecosystem…to determine where it makes sense to develop, where it makes sense to protect the natural resources, and where we can accomplish both.’” Read The political crusades targeting national parks for drilling and exploitation

    Andrea Stetson writes for Coastal Life – “This is mating season for manatees and it is not that uncommon for people to see them on local beaches…A female can be in heat for up to three weeks, and Tripp (director of science and conservation for Save the Manatee Club) said the males are relentless in their pursuit. So when she gets too tired, she comes ashore for a break…She said the female is resting when she is on the beach so it is very important that people don’t try to push the manatees back in the water. ‘People don’t understand that. When they see dolphins or whales on the beach it means they need help,’ Tripp said. ‘This is not the same.’” Read Mother Nature at work: It’s manatee mating season

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 26, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, August 26th, 2016 @ 4:30pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 26, 2016




    The Citrus County Chronicle Editorial Board writes – “Florida’s springs are slowly dying…Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute Director Robert Knight…pointed out…that money is flowing for restoration. However, little is being done to publicly vet how those dollars are being spent or whether they have been successful. He points out that there is no overriding strategy to restoration…According to Knight, the state spent $33 million this year to move people off septic tanks and onto sewer but during that same time period 9,000 more septic tanks were allowed to be put in, which is nine times the amount being taken off.” Read Long-range plan needed to protect state’s great springs

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “[T]he district accused Audubon Florida in a news release of seeking to raise taxes to pay for invasive plant control in a federal wildlife refuge. When an Everglades Law Center lawyer…asked the district for a list of news release recipients, the district sent a memo warning that their email addresses could be sold… ‘It is a shame that the SFWMD continues to attempt to bully into submission anyone and everyone who expresses a difference of opinion from theirs,’ Interlandi (the lawyer from the Everglades Law Center) said…In March, Antonacci accused a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee with threatening district officials with arrest over water management affecting the endangered snail kite, an accusation that the federal agency denied…In May, the district accused Caloosahatchee Riverwatch in advance of holding a forum consisting of ‘one-sided detractors’ who were critical of a South Florida reservoir project, called the C-43 Reservoir. ‘The district’s bullying in a public forum backed by public money did not feel right especially since our concerns with reservoir design and performance stemmed from the district’s and ACOE’s own studies and reports,’ John Cassani, the group’s technical committee chairman, said…” Read Environmentalists cite ‘bullying’ pattern by water management district

    Dave Dunwoody reports for WUWF – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has signed an agreement with a trash and recycling firm, aimed at reducing human-bear conflicts in Northwest Florida. The memorandum of understanding with the firm Waste Pro USA comes after FWC…voted against holding a bear hunt this year…Yablonski says securing trash is the best way to prevent human-bear interactions…FWC has secured $825,000 from the Legislature to help pay for…bear-proof containers. But if local governments refuse to match the funds, residents and business owners may be stuck with the tab for the containers.” Read Bear Proof Garbage Cans Coming to Northwest Florida

    Jim Waymer and Malcolm Denemark report for Florida Today – “One eel could be seen stretching toward the surface, gasping for air. One small fish made a final death leap out of the water, before sinking and dying. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has received more than 30 reports from Brevard County involving fish kills believed associated with an ongoing algae bloom in the Banana River and northern and central Indian River over the past month.” Read Fish kills speckle Indian River Lagoon

    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “New research…suggests chemicals used in fracking and other gas and oil operations increase risk of miscarriages, reduced male fertility, prostate cancer, birth defects and preterm birth by disrupting hormones… ‘…the researchers concocted the most unlikely scenario- continuous exposure to chemicals at high concentrations- and then tried to pass it off as plausible,’ said Katie Brown, a spokeswoman for Energy in Depth, a program of Independent Petroleum Association of America…Knowledge is incomplete for most of the 1,000 chemicals used in unconventional oil and gas operations such as fracking, and industry does not have to disclose all the chemicals they use…The new (water) criteria (approved by the ERC)…would have to be approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has indicated it intends to OK the new criteria.” Read Study: Fracking chemicals in water raise fertility risks

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “A fracking bill may have died in the last legislative session, but the controversial oil and gas extraction process is playing a role in several legislative and congressional campaigns. Some Democrats are accusing others in the primary of supporting fracking, which environmentalists say is a threat to groundwater...Former Sen. Rod Smith…has taken out a television ad criticizing his November election opponent, Republican Rep. Keith Perry, for supporting fracking. Smith cites Perry’s floor vote for the fracking bill, HB 191…Rep. Rene Plasencia…voted for the fracking bill…” Read Fracking issue lurks in primary races after death of bill last legislative session

    Lauren Ritchie reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “[T]he fight over the level of water in the Clermont chain of lakes is poised to explode again…Managing lake levels is not the child’s play that some think it is…Emerald Lakes is Lake County’s poster child for bad growth management…” Read Fight over lake levels brews in south Lake

    Steve Bousquet reports for the Miami Herald – “For years, a small group of top Florida political leaders quietly prodded the federal government to be more aggressive in rooting out political corruption in the state capital. The bipartisan group, led by Florida’s senior statesman, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, got a polite thank you from the U.S. Department of Justice- and nothing more. Dismayed by the amount of special interest money in Tallahassee, Graham was joined by…former U.S. Attorney Roberto Martinez, a Republican adviser to two Florida governors; former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux…, a Republican lawyer who was chief of staff to former Gov. Charlie Crist; and…Dan Gelber…a former federal prosecutor and legislator…The budgets of the 20 elected state attorneys are set by the Legislature. More than 1,800 lobbyists were registered to lobby the Legislature in 2016…Gelber, who served in the House and Senate from 1998 to 2010, cited yet another problem: term limits. By shortening the careers of legislators, Gelber said, term limits have shifted power and institutional knowledge to the world of lobbying, which he described as ‘a shadow government of complete mercenaries.’” Read Florida leaders call for crackdown on public corruption go unheeded

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 25, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, August 25th, 2016 @ 5:03pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 25, 2016




    Paula Dockery writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “A decade ago, the governor and other elected officials focused on water quality, Everglades’ restoration and land acquisition by spending $300 million a year under Florida Forever. There was a long-term commitment to protect and restore Florida’s natural resources and quality of life. Despite warnings from scientists, local governments and the environmental community, there was a major shift in the mindset and actions of elected officials. Florida Forever funding disappeared, water management budgets were slashed and the Department of Community Affairs…was abolished. Improperly installed or maintained septic tanks have leached into our water bodies. Natural systems that filter polluted surface waters have been altered. Water-treatment projects, restoration projects, and land acquisition have slowed to a trickle. Regulations have been slashed, and the state has fought the federal government over water-quality standards…Negron’s plan doesn’t solve all of the state’s water woes, but it’s a concrete proposal- more constructive than pointing fingers and shrugging shoulders. Kudos to incoming Senate President Joe Negron for having the guts to tackle the problem and to incoming House Speaker Richard Corcoran for indicating willingness to consider Negron’s proposal.” Read A gutsy plan to end stench, algae: Way to go, Joe Negron

    William March reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “A few local legislators find themselves in touchy positions with a proposal by incoming state Senate President Joe Negron to spend $2.4 billion to buy land south of the Everglades…First, there’s Sen. Jack Latvala…who as incoming Senate appropriations chairman would have to find the money. ‘I’m supportive of the concept, but I haven’t looked at the numbers on any of this stuff yet,’ Latvala said…Meanwhile, Rep. Dana young, in a tight race for the Senate District 18 seat, has been criticized by environmental groups for accepting large contributions from Big Sugar and, they contend, opposing a land purchase. Two weeks ago, asked about a land purchase…Young said the environmental groups ‘are absolutely off the point on this.’ But, after Negron’s proposal, she said she meant only that buying U.S. sugar land the state had considered before was wrong because it’s too far west. Buying land south of Lake Okeechobee, as Negron proposes, might be okay, she said.” Read Negron’s proposal puts locals in touchy positions

    Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “Florida Senate President-elect Joe Negron acknowledged he will have to spend a lot of political capital to push through the proposal he announced this month…First, he must persuade his fellow Republican state lawmakers to allocate the state’s $1.2 billion share next year. Some of those represent areas of Florida with their own environmental problems and have strong ties to the sugar industry. Even harder will be persuading Congress to give the same amount…Sugar will be the top change to the proposal, said Frank Jackalone, the Sierra Club’s senior field organizing manager for Florida. He added sugar growers might try to inflate the price of their land.” Read Joe Negron’s plan to reduce Lake Okeechobee discharges faces challenges

    Jeff Burlew reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “The city of Miami...[is] joining the legal fight against proposed new surface water standards approved…by the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission. The city…said the new standards…would result in more pollution and higher health risks to residents… ‘The department has justified its loosening restrictions on the permissible levels of carcinogens in Florida surface waters by asserting that its scientific model is valid, without offering any justification for the need for loosening the standards to begin with,’ the city said…Linda Young, executive director of the Florida Clean Water Network…noted that the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee…wrote DEP…saying its public notice on the new standards was ‘incomprehensible to members of the general public’ in violation of statutes…The city of Miami filed its own action but also filed to intervene in the Seminole Tribe challenge, which prompted objections from the state…[T]he Florida Pulp and Paper Association Environmental Affairs filed its own legal challenge…The association said DEP relied on a flawed methodology in developing its new limits, which could affect how much wastewater paper mills are allowed to release.” Read More join legal fight over water pollution limits

    Beth Kassab writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “If the necessary 60 percent of voters answer yes on Amendment 4, there is wide agreement from the pro-business Florida Chamber of commerce to the tree-hugging Sierra Club that Florida’s solar market would improve. Al Sharpton, who flew into Miami…to rail against the amendment, is a rare exception…[H]is press conference veered into a strange and terse exchange with reporters when he couldn’t explain how the amendment would harm people. The whole thing smacked of an activist who was woefully uninformed about what he was advocating against…Walmart happens to have 365 solar systems at stores across more than a dozen states and Puerto Rico. But none are in Florida…Companies like Walmart aren’t investing in solar...in Florida because it doesn’t make financial sense for them right now. So no current property tax revenue from those companies is at risk from Amendment 4. But the amendment could mean the start of more solar activity on the part of business.” Read Eyes on solar tax break for a greener Florida

    Michal Kranz reports for WLRN – “As freshwater leaves the Everglades…it enters Biscayne National Park…The park itself is unlike any other in the country- 95 percent of it is in the Atlantic Ocean. While much of its water is salty, freshwater is crucial for the bay’s abundant corals and seagrasses. Park ranger Gary Bremen says water used to flow into the bay through underwater springs…[U]rban development along Florida’s southwest coast has cut off Biscayne from the ecosystem that once fed it – the swath of wetlands that stretches from Lake Okeechobee to Everglades National Park. Today, the canal system that has replaced the springs is not enough to keep up with the bay’s increasing salinity…[A]mid the blue-green seagrasses dart streaks of white sand where boats ran aground, leaving the underwater ecosystem unable to recover…Despite its shallow waters, Biscayne Bay yields large sea creatures like barracudas and marlins…[W]hen the National Park Service announced it was establishing a marine reserve in part of the bay where fishing would be prohibited, controversy…ensued.” Read In Biscayne National Park, South Florida Communities Mix with Pristine Wildlife

    Amy Green reports for WMFE – “The Center for Biological Diversity (Center) says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that more than 400 plants and animals may deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). But the group says the federal agency never issued final decisions, leaving some species in limbo for up to seven years. The Center…issued a 60-day notice of its intent to sue. The group points to a recent study that found it can take up to 12 years to list a plant or animal under the [ESA]. The federal law requires the process to take two years.” Read Suit Threatened Over Failed Protection of Species Including Florida Sandhill Crane

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “Oil spills recognize no international borders or regulatory boundaries. They show no mercy for tourism economies or pristine beaches…It’s critical that U.S. officials remain engaged with Cuba over who controls a portion of the gulf and what drilling might take place there and that the federal government preserves and extends a drilling moratorium that protects the gulf waters closest to Tampa Bay…With regard to the Eastern Gap negotiations, it is critical that the United States continue to develop relationships with Cuba rather than turn back the clock as Sen. Marco Rubio and other Republican hard-liners prefer. If the United States cannot persuade Cuba to avoid or severely limit oil drilling in the gulf waters the island will control, it can at least share technology and expertise to prepare to jointly deal with any spills or rig explosions that would threaten Florida. That requires cooperation…” Read Keep oil drilling away from Florida

     

     




     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state



    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 24, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 @ 11:42am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 24, 2016




    Lester Abberger writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “[W]e should…celebrate the conservation legacies of Theodore Roosevelt and his distant cousin Franklin Roosevelt…In…1903, TR created by executive order, now much maligned in some quarters, the nation’s first wildlife refuge: Pelican Island…in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon. During…his presidency, TR did more for wilderness protection than all his predecessors combined, creating 55 wildlife refuges, quadrupling the nation’s forest reserves and establishing five national parks…FDR’s conservation legacy…was even more pervasive: 140 national wildlife refuges, 29 national forests and 24 national parks. These sites include Florida’s Everglades National Park and the Ocala, Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee national forests…FDR recognized that land protection alone would not suffice. Through the Civilian Conservation Corps and other Depression-Era job-creating entities, billions of dollars were poured into maintenance, infrastructure improvements and other efforts to increase access and to enhance visitors’ experiences. Florida’s contemporary political leaders have unprecedented opportunities to create their own conservation legacies. And, they have the support of 4,230,858 of their fellow citizens who voted in 2014…to adopt the Florida Water and Land Legacy Amendment…” Read Florida’s natural legacy must be protected

    Wayne Washington reports for my Palm Beach Post – “West Palm Beach took its fight against the extension of State Road 7 before an administrative law judge…arguing that the project would harm endangered species like the snail kite. The city has long argued that the project- backed by the state Department of Transportation, Palm Beach County and permitted earlier this year by the South Florida Water Management District- also would threaten its primary source of drinking water, Grassy Waters Preserve. But county officials say the…project is needed to handle increased traffic from several massive developments coming on line…Many of Ibis’ residents oppose the…project, fearing it will invite construction of even more residential developments in their midst… Lisa Interlandi…said in an email to The Palm Beach Post.‘…The proposed alignment is literally under two feet of water. It runs right through critical wetlands…’” Read Hearing begins on West Palm fight against extension of State Road 7

    Jim Ash reports for WFSU – “[T]he state says the (Seminole) tribe just missed a 10-day legal deadline. But in briefs filed Monday, tribe attorneys say the clock started running August 4th, when the state changed a public notice for a hearing. Clean Water Network activist Linda Young says the state is avoiding the real issue…Miami Dade…is asking to join the suit. Judge Bram Canter has set two-days of hearings beginning September 6, but he could rule on the deadline issue any day.” Read Deadline Dispute Threatens Seminole Water Challenge

    Peter Schorsch reports for Florida Politics – “[Negron’s] proposal is painfully short on details, says a recent editorial in the Fort Myers News-Press…There are multiple issues…First, it would continue an over-reliance on federal funds…The land is now owned by Florida Crystals, King Ranch and U.S. Sugar; none of which are interested in selling at this time- although [News-Press] suggests officials with Crystals are considering Negron’s offer. Another critique is that Negron could be wildly underestimating the overall cost of the land, as well as construction of the storage facility. Some put the total price tag at more like $4 billion. Few doubt the need for additional water storage, but what Negron suggests would ultimately hold only about one-quarter of the discharge… ‘There is currently no clean water component to this storage facility,’ the News-Press also points out… ‘We ask Negron to clarify whether his proposal would be additional money from Amendment 1 funds or from existing Legacy Florida funding,’ the editorial suggests.” Read News-Press editorial says Joe Negron Everglades plan needs work, more details

    Jessica Salmond reports for the Cape Coral Daily Breeze – “ ‘It would be great…if they got it passed.’ Fort Myers Beach Mayor Dennis Boback summarized what most others said about a…plan presented by Florida Sen. Joe Negron to buy 60,000 acres south of Lake Okeechobee… ‘It’s good news,’ [City of Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane] said. ‘I know the public wants details but it’s premature because you have to engineer this. It’s an infrastructure project. You have to design it, you need scientists, you need all the people involved.’…Ruane has been spearheading a movement to get local governments to appeal to the state about the need to accelerate the plan to redirect Lake O water south… ‘I hate to see “Big Sugar” go, because they employ a lot of people, but so do we and we’re losing that economy,’ said Cape Coral City Councilmember Rick Williams. ‘Especially with tourism down by the beach.’…The federal funding is something incumbent Lee County Commissioner Larry Kiker isn’t going to hold his breath about- Kiker was involved in a congressional hearing in 2013…to get $1.2 billion for Florida’s water quality issues, and that money still hasn’t been granted. ‘Frankly, my concern…when you ask the government for another $1.2 billion- they haven’t funded the last billion,’ he said.” Read Officials, activists, warily hopeful on Negron’s plan

    Brion Blackwelder and Marc Yaggi write for the Sun Sentinel – “Shocking images of…toxic algae in Florida focused national attention on how…nutrient pollution can cause tremendous economic damage to tourism, boating and fishing industries, and severe danger to public health and wildlife. If history is any guide, the disturbing spectacle…isn’t likely to lead to solution. Nutrient pollution, largely from industrial-scale agriculture, has long been an enormous water pollution problem in the nation…[W]aterways in all 50 states are impacted by nutrient pollution…Disturbing images visible from space have yet to inspire any solutions for Lake Erie’s massive algal blooms, which forced the shutdown of Toledo’s drinking water supply in 2014, or for the unprecedented, toxic algal bloom stretching from central California to the Alaska Peninsula, which caused fishery and shellfish closures in multiple states. And we still don’t have a solution to the decades old Gulf of Mexico dead zone…The problem has not been solved because the state government and corporate agribusiness’ hired guns have worked hand-in-hand to aggressively oppose pollution reduction efforts under the Clean Water Act and state laws…Florida’s state government has undermined pollution control efforts for more than a decade…It is imperative that state and federal leaders stop bowing to industry pressure and start enforcing our clean water laws.” Read Big Agriculture chocking our waterways

    Science Daily shares – “The study…offers the first-ever map of underground drainage systems that connect fresh groundwater and seawater… ‘We’re all pretty familiar with the idea that rain falls on land and flows out to the ocean in rivers, but…rainfall…(also) spills into the ocean below sea level,’ Sawyer said…The study identified 12 percent of the continental U.S. coastline—including the northern Gulf Coast from Mississippi to the Florida Panhandle…where the…drainage systems make the ocean most susceptible to freshwater contamination from septic tanks and fertilizer runoff. There, excess nutrients in the water can cause harmful algal blooms…[A]nother 9 percent of coastline—including Southeastern Florida…are especially susceptible to…contamination from sea to land…In these areas, saltwater intrudes inland and infiltrates the fresh groundwater supply…The study found that…canals capture water that would otherwise flow underground and out to sea…which increases the likelihood of saltwater intrusion.” Read Hidden pollution exchange between oceans and groundwater revealed

    Vince Beiser writes for The New York Times – “Believe it or not, we use more [sand] than any other [natural resource] except water and air. Sand is the thing modern cities are made of. Pretty much every apartment block, office tower and shopping mall from Beijing to Lagos, Nigeria, is made at least partly with concrete, which is basically just sand and gravel stuck together with cement. Every yard of asphalt road that connects all those buildings is also made with sand. So is every window in every one of those buildings. Sand is the essential ingredient that makes modern life possible. And we are starting to run out…To get the sand we need, we are stripping riverbeds, floodplains and beaches…In places where onshore sources have been exhausted, sand miners are turning to the seas. This often inflicts terrible costs on the environment…In Indonesia, some two dozen small islands are believed to have disappeared since 2005 because of sand mining. In Vietnam, miners have torn up hundreds of acres of forest to get at the sandy soil underneath. Sand miners have damaged coral reefs in Kenya…” Read The World’s Disappearing Sand

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 23, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 @ 9:58am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 23, 2016




    Fred Grimm writes for the Bradenton Herald – “A deluge of benzene, beryllium, trichloroethane, dichloroethylene and other known carcinogens ought to blend nicely with the stinking layers of Day-Glo green algae…Or with the massive fish kills…The new hazard-chemical rules complement the…black foaming paper-mill effluent that…has left a 10-square mile dead zone at the mouth of the Fenholloway River…The ERC…must assume that Florida waterways have become so adulterated that no one much cares about a couple of dozen more hazardous pollutants. Not in a state that frequently warns swimmers away from waters with high levels of enteric bacteria, attributable to fecal contamination…[B]oosted by global warming, vibrio vulnificus, AKA “flesh-eating bacteria,” menaces swimmers in brackish coastal waters, especially when fresh-water releases…mess up the salt-water ratio…Denker (of Waters Without Borders) suspects that the commission majority was in a rush to adopt the new rules to accommodate a paper mill on the Fenholloway River.” Read Cancer-causing chemicals will go nicely with toxic algae, flesh-eating bacteria

    Kate Bradshaw writes for Creative Loafing – “[Amendment 4] does two things. First, it would allow businesses that install rooftop solar to subtract the value of their solar panels from the overall value of their property when calculating property taxes. There’s already such a policy in place for homeowners who installed their systems before 2013, but this extends the exemption to homeowners who have done so since, as well as to commercial property tax owners.  Second, the amendment exempts solar equipment form the tangible personal property tax…A huge concern about cutting taxes is always going to be the loss in revenue needed by governments to help citizens meet their basic needs…But the solar industry is so small in Florida that tax dollars ‘lost’ from the Amendment 4 tax break would be negligible…” Read Explain Like I’m 5: The solar amendment on Florida’s August ballot

    Ron Littlepage writes for The Florida Times Union – “Will Florida ever learn? Not likely…[I]t’s déjà vu all over again. For decades, the Georgia-Pacific paper mill in Palatka, now owned by the Koch brothers, dumped its polluted effluent into Rice Creek. When treating the creek as a sewer was no longer tenable, the solution was to pipe the wastewater to the middle of the St. Johns River. When a study raised questions about how that effluent was affecting the river, it was ignored and replaced by a friendlier interpretation. Now another paper mill…also owned by the Koch brothers wants to pipe the effluent it has been dumping into the Fenholloway River about 25 miles farther downstream and about a mile and a half from the Gulf of Mexico. There’s already a 10 square mile dead zone in the Gulf thanks to the mill’s pollution.” Read Has Gov. Scott ever met a polluter he didn’t want to help?

    Kimberly Miller reports for my Palm Beach Post – “’The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service solemnly promised…that it would use its ‘best efforts’ to acquire dedicated funds to control the invasive exotic plant infestation in the refuge,’ water management Executive Director Peter Antonacci wrote in a…letter. ‘The service has not only failed to control the invasive exotic plant infestation, but also ignores its contractual obligations.’…[T]he district said it will cost $5 million for five years to bring the refuge into compliance- money the district says the wildlife service has not requested… ‘Our governing board is left to wonder how your agency can justify ‘best efforts’ that stop short of actually asking Congress for the money to solve the invasive species problem,’ Antonacci wrote… ‘I think cancelling a national wildlife refuge as a way to express displeasure with an agency for missing one out of 13 performance measures is pretty darn extreme,’ said Eric Draper, executive director at Audubon Florida, who questioned whether there was another motive in trying to end the lease…The refuge is at the heart of a years-old lawsuit that requires the state to ensure clean water is flowing into that land… ‘No more wildlife refuge, no more federal jurisdiction over water quality.’” Read Florida, feds wage land battle over an Everglades-killing fern

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “The science and economics behind mitigation banking is suspect enough. But a proposal to cut back 40 acres of mangrove by Manatee County builder and U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff raises serious questions about the practice and political influence in the state’s Department of Environmental Protection…The DEP’s history under this governor of acting as a political tool rather than an advocate for Florida’s natural resources speaks to the need for a fresh look at this case. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which announced last month it is considering a federal permit for Beruff’s bank, should examine whether the project truly serves a public purpose. If anything, the standards for these mitigation banks should be toughened, both for the environment and public confidence in government.” Read A sweet DEP deal for Carlos Beruff

    Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel – “U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson says he’s the Senate candidate who can best tackle toxic algae plaguing Florida…Grayson said his work in Congress helped secure more money for the National Estuary Program…Grayson said he backs the effort pushed by coastal communities and environmental groups – and Murphy- for the state to buy farmland south of Lake Okeechobee…State leaders should ‘represent the will of the people’ and use Amendment 1 money…Agricultural interests, such as the influential sugar industry, should do more to solve the pollution problem, but so should urban areas still using polluting septic tanks, Grayson said – pointing to neighborhoods in his own district that still use septic tanks instead of sewer lines.” Read Grayson says he can deliver help for Florida’s algae problem  

    Jennifer Ludden reports for NPR – “Travis Rieder tries to…question the assumptions of a society that sees having children as good, throws parties for expecting parents, and in which parents then pressure their kids to ‘give them grandchildren.’…He asks how old [students] will be in 2036, and, if they are thinking of having kids, how old their kids will be. ‘Dangerous climate change is going to be happening by then,’ he says…[W]ithout dramatic action, climatologists say, the world is on track to hit 4 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century, and worse beyond that…4 degrees of warming would be ‘largely uninhabitable for humans.’ ‘It’s gonna be post-apocalyptic movie time,’ he says…[S]lowing population growth could eliminate one-fifth to one-quarter of all the carbon emissions that need to be cut by midcentury to avoid that potentially catastrophic tipping point…[T]he metric tons saved when a person chooses to have one fewer child: 9,441.” Read Should We Be Having Kids in the Age of Climate Change?

    Oliver Milman reports for The Guardian – “As the National Parks Service has charted the loss of glaciers, sea level rise and increase in wildfires spurred by rising temperatures in recent years, the scale of the threat to US heritage across the 412 national parks and monuments has become starkly apparent…The Statue of Liberty is at ‘high exposure’ risk from increasingly punishing storms. A national monument dedicated to abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who will be enshrined on a new $20 note, could be eaten away by rising tides in Maryland…Rising temperatures could mean no more glaciers in Glacier national park, no more Joshua trees in Joshua Tree national park…The remaining 65 groves of huge sequoia trees in California, among the largest living things on the planet, could be decimated by a warmer, drier climate…The grizzly bears of Yellowstone like to feast on the cone seeds of the white bark pine, a species under attack from the mountain pine beetle. If warming winters fail to kill off the beetle, the bears will have to find another food source, impacting others species. A lack of snow for denning will affect bears and wolves; warming river waters will force out the salmon.” Read Climate change will mean the end of national parks as we know them

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 18, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, August 18th, 2016 @ 3:39pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 18, 2016

    Hillary Clinton writes for Florida Today – “Clean water is a basic right of all Americans, and Floridians deserve for their water to be safe to drink, their beaches to be safe to swim and their waterways to be safe to fish. But recent years have seen Florida facing one environmental crisis after another. Rising sea levels are already causing the streets of Miami Beach to flood at high tide, and saltwater is intruding on drinking water wells…The algae has closed beaches, forced residents to stay indoors and cost the economy millions in lost tourism and fishing dollars- and not for the first time. Meanwhile, on Gov. Rick Scott’s watch, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has pursued fully 70 percent fewer enforcement cases than before the took office- and 88 percent fewer cases aimed at keeping drinking water clean…Just a few weeks ago, the Scott administration quietly pushed through changes to water quality criteria that, if allowed to stand, would dramatically increase the level of carcinogens permitted in Florida’s water…Scott’s administration canceled a long-planned purchase of tens of thousands of acres of agricultural land south of the lake…The governor’s friend and preferred presidential candidate Donald Trump shares his view that climate change is a hoax…Floridians deserve better. I have been outspoken throughout this campaign about the need to upgrade our drinking and wastewater infrastructure…[W]e need to improve monitoring and enforcement of our public health standards…As president, I would double our efforts to restore the Everglades and protect clean water…[W]e can’t elect leaders who don’t believe in science. That’s a risk Americans – and Floridians- just can’t afford to take.” Read Floridians deserve clean water

    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “More than one in eight public water systems in Florida have pollution-related violations, many involving chemical or fecal contamination that can pose health risks, according to a new report by a nonprofit government watchdog group. But water enforcement under Gov. Rick Scott has dried up to ‘almost undetectable levels,’ says Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. In its report, entitled “Don’t Drink the Water- Collapse of Florida’s Safe Drinking Water Enforcement Program,” PEER examined data from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees drinking water…PEER’s report found:…- DEP opened only five enforcement cases in 2015 and assessed fines in only two… ‘Now would be the absolute worst time to suspend federal oversight of Florida’s very sick safe drinking water program.’ PEER cited toxic algal blooms, saltwater intrusion…and depletion of groundwater aquifers as rising threats to clean water. ‘The number of potable water assessments has declined steadily since 2010 to a point that it is all but nonexistent in Florida,’ PEER’s report states. ‘This is the worst performance in the Department’s history dating back to 1988. None of the districts improved their performance in 2015…’” Read Nonprofit blasts Florida drinking water enforcement

    Scott Powers reports for Florida Politics – “The Progressive Democrats Caucus has endorsed environmental activist Chuck O’Neal in the Orlando-based Senate District 11 race. O’Neal…[has] a longtime history of work on issues ranging from protection of Florida springs and aquifers, to bear habitat, to directing the efforts of the League of Women Voters of Florida in passing 2014’s Amendment 1- Florida’s water and land legacy amendment.” Read Progressive Democrats Caucus endorses Chuck O’Neal in SD 11 race

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “The South Florida Water Management District is reviewing proposals from six large-tract landowners to pull water out of canals that otherwise would flow into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, which would cost $45.4 million of the $47.8 million the 2016 Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott approved for more water storage projects…The district would cover construction costs and pay landowners annual “rent,” which would have to be negotiated and approved by the Legislature each year…[S]uch projects get a cool response from environmentalists who claim they divert money and attention away from permanent fixes. They say the priority should be building large projects on government-owned property…The district’s Inspector General J. Timothy Beirnes agreed, saying in a November 2014 audit that dispersed water management projects should be seen as “short-term strategies” and “complements to regional projects,” such as reservoirs. Opponents also see the multimillion-dollar projects as corporate welfare to large landowners who typically are large political donors.” Read South Florida Water Management District considers $46 million water storage proposals

    Kate Stein reports for WLRN – “For two decades, Florida has had an annual limit on how much phosphorus can flow out of the Everglades Agricultural Area…Farmers and sugar-growers must release at least 25 percent less phosphorous than they did before the limit…Dr. Melodie Naja, chief scientist for the Everglades Foundation, pointed out that in 1996, the first year of full implementation of the reduction program, farmers released 68 percent less phosphorus—well above the 25 percent required reduction. ‘In just the first compliance year…that’s really very high,’ Naja said…Naja said there’s also a problem with using a standard based on averages. ‘Basically, the bad neighbors are counting on the good neighbors to achieve the 25 percent.’…She also recommended that individual farms be held accountable for the amount of phosphorus they release. ‘We need to target those specific hotspot areas,’ Naja said.” Read Environmentalists Call for Reduction of Phosphorus Released South of Lake Okeechobee

    Center for Biological Diversity shares – “A group of environmental organizations and America’s largest trade organization for recreational divers filed suit in federal court…to seek protections for coral reefs in Fort Lauderdale. The corals, in and around Port Everglades, are threatened by a proposed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging and port expansion to make way for larger…sized vessels. Port Everglades is about 30 miles north of the Port of Miami, where the Corps recently deepened and widened the Miami Harbor Channel, a project that proved disastrous for the coral reef in the area.” Read Port Everglades Project Would Repeat Environmental Destruction Caused by PortMiami Dredging

    Scott Powers reports for Florida Politics – “U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy won the endorsement of the League of Conservation Voters in his race for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat… ‘The truth is, we don’t have 10, 15 years to get this right,’ Murphy said. ‘Climate change is a real threat and Florida is directly impacted…’…For the algae bloom and the Everglades, Murphy talked about continuing to funnel billions of money into long-term plans to redirect water through Florida into the Everglades, as it was naturally 150 years ago… ‘Patrick Murphy constantly teamed up with Republicans to force President Obama to approve Keystone XL, all while voting to expand fracking and Gulf oil drilling. Alan Grayson vocally opposed all three,’ Grayson Campaign Manager Michael Ceraso stated in a news release…” Read Patrick Murphy gets League of Conservation Voters endorsement

    Sara Barczak writes for cleanenergy.org – “Here are the facts about FPL’s Turkey Point nuclear plant units 3-4 – There is NO other place in the world that uses an unlined, porous industrial sewer to cool water for an operating nuclear plant…- This grand experiment is failing and polluting ground water and the waters of Biscayne Bay…We contracted with engineering expert Bill Powers of Powers Engineering and recently released an in-depth report that recommends building mechanical draft cooling towers as an affordable practical solution…Despite years of data proving that FPL has violated its operating permits, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection continues to allow FPL to operate on an expired permit at Turkey Point and has failed to take the necessary actions to protect Biscayne Bay from ongoing leaks from the cooling canal system. This is why we, along with Tropical Audubon Society and Friends of the Everglades, filed a Clean Water Act lawsuit last month.” Read Environmental Leadership? New Study Provides Facts and Solutions for FPL’s Turkey Point Open Industrial Sewer 

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit


    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 17, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 @ 12:25pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 17, 2016




    Jeff Burlew reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “The Florida Environmental Regulation Commission signed off on…new limits (on toxic chemicals) over the objection of environmental groups and others…[T]he Seminole Tribe of Florida [challenged] it in administrative court. Among other things, the tribe said the state failed to give a full 28 days of public notice as required by law before the ERC convened. Now…the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the ERC [are saying] the tribe’s challenge should be dismissed because it was filed outside a 10-day window. The tribe’s petition says it was filed electronically on Friday, Aug. 5, which would have been the last day it could have been filed. But DEP…says it was filed after 5 p.m…” Read DEP says Seminole water challenge filed too late

    Jerry Iannelli writes for the Miami New Times – “Last month, Florida’s Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC) took the alarming step of changing state rules to allow more cancer-causing chemicals in Florida’s water…Almost 20,000 people would like to see that plan reversed. A two-week-old Change.org petition…has gathered 19,403 signatures…Malory Spier…started the petition drive after helping her mother bear cancer earlier this year. ‘I’m a Floridian, and my mother just finished chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,’ she writes on the petition. ‘My eyes have been opened to the many places carcinogens lurk- they’re everywhere, and now they’ll be in our water and seafood!’…Speir…hopes her petition catches the EPA’s eye…” Read 20,000 People Ask Florida to Rethink Plan Allowing More Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Water

    Kathy Prucnell reports for Islander Reporter – “Long Bar Pointe LLLP…, controlled by developers Carlos Beruff and Larry Leiberman, is seeking to operate a (mitigation) bank…Beruff is running for the U.S. Senate in the GOP August primary. More than 100 emails poured into the federal agency before public comment closed…The bank could be the first to operate alongside an active development and the first to allow mangrove trimming…Beruff can pay himself as the bank operator to perform mitigation he’s required to perform by state and local regulators…And although the DEP permit would require a conservation easement, which, when recorded, should protect the property against future development, it also will exempt Beruff’s mitigation site from property taxes…Sewall construction and dredging of a mangrove-lined 2-mile stretch of Sarasota Bay shoreline may be just a permit away. Long Bar Pointe LLLP filed a…permit application…to allow for the activity between a proposed mitigation bank and a large-scale development.” Read Long Bar mitigation bank faces federal review

    Eliot Kleinberg reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Palm Beach County commissioners…formally urged Congress to find the money to finish fixing the Lake Okeechobee dike….[M]any other issues are vying for Congress’ limited pot of money…Negron’s proposal to buy land, for example, would require asking Congress to approve a matching federal grant to about $100 million…Michelle McGovern, director of outreach for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, told the commission both Nelson and Rubio have made the dike a top priority.” Read Palm Beach County commissioners to feds: Fix Lake Okeechobee dike now

    Paul Guzzo reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “A few hundred miles from the west coast of Florida is a 7,700-sqaure-mile area of the Gulf of Mexico known as the Eastern Gap, thought to be rich with oil but with no clear owner. The U.S., Cuban and Mexican governments are now negotiating how to split the area among the three nations. Once that happens, each country can drill for oil in its allotted portion. But for Cuba, this could also open its entire side of the Gulf for oil exploration, including the region directly on the other side of the maritime border from the Tampa Bay area. This worries elected officials who support the current drilling moratorium that covers much of the U.S. side of the eastern Gulf- including within 234 miles of Tampa Bay- that is meant to protect the area from spills…This energy source could be more important to Cuba than ever.” Read Advocates of gulf-oil drilling ban worried by talks with Cuba

    Mary Ellen Klas writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “In a press release proclaiming that South Florida residents should “Get the Facts,’ the South Florida Water Management District moved from neutral regulator to attack dog…using a press release to criticize Audubon of Florida for disagreeing with the district’s decision to rollback property taxes instead of paying for invasive species control in the Arthur Marshall National Wildlife Refuge… ‘It is not an appropriate or smart strategy to say to Congress, which is cutting its budget and struggling with a federal deficit, to spend that money when you are not willing to increase the amount of money you are spending to control [invasive species],’ [Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida] said…Last year, as property values rose another $21 million in the district, the former head of the SFWMD, Blake Guillory, proposed ending the practice of cutting back taxes…to keep the district from dipping into reserves to pay for its projects. Within two weeks, the board of governors reversed the decision and Guillory was forced to resign…The district’s… “Get the Facts” did not mention all the facts, including that…the district wants $25 million over three years from Congress…and that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has an annual budget of $1 million for exotic plant control and has spent another 41 million over the last three years for invasive plant control at the refuge… ‘I can’t recall a state agency targeting a non-profit organization before,’ said Jonathan Ulman of Sierra Club of South Florida… ‘…[T]hese emails are entirely inappropriate. The agency has become an attack dog, rather than a public service.’” Read Water regulators attack Audubon of Florida over tax talk

    Associated Press reports – “[A] Florida panther has been found dead from an apparent vehicle strike in…Collier County…A total of 30 Florida panthers have been found dead in 2016, with 23 road fatalities.” Read Panther found dead in southwest Florida

    CJRedd writes for Historic City News – “[A] bear may decide to visit your yard if it offers a menu of good things to eat…An overflowing garbage can, a big bowl of uneaten dog food or a generously filled bird feeder- all look and smell tasty to a bear. Remember the bear…can smell something a mile away. But this problem is fairly easy to fix. Indeed learning to be “bear wise” about what attracts bears to your yard is a key component of living without conflicts with bears in Florida. The efforts that you take to make your yard less attractive to bears are important for the safety of pets, children and adults. Yet these same efforts also help conserve the lives of bears. Once you prevent bears from getting access to human sources of food, they are likely to stop coming into your neighborhood…” Read Is Your Yard a Restaurant for Bears?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 16, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 @ 10:39am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 16, 2016




    Bill Mckibben writes for New Republic – “Enemy forces have seized huge swaths of territory; with each passing week, another 22,000 square miles of Arctic ice disappears…In the past few months alone, our foes have used a firestorm to force the total evacuation of a city of 90,000 in Canada…and floods to threaten the priceless repository of art in the Louvre. The enemy is even deploying biological weapons to spread psychological terror: The Zika virus…has shrunk the heads of newborn babies across an entire continent…And as in all conflicts, millions of refugees are fleeing the horrors of war…World War III is well and truly underway. And we are losing…Over the past few years, record-setting droughts have helped undermine the brutal strongman of Syria and fuel the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria…For years now, climate scientists and leading economists have called for treating climate change with the same resolve we brought to bear on Germany and Japan in the last world war…America needs 295 solar factories of a similar size (to SolarCity in Buffalo) to defeat climate change – roughly six per state- plus a similar effort for wind turbines.” Read A World at War: We’re under attack from climate change- ad our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “There always has been one essential element for any Everglades cleanup plan: buying farmland near Lake Okeechobee to clean the water and move it south…[I]ncoming state Senate President Joe Negron has jump-started the conversation by calling for $2.4 billion in state and federal spending to buy farmland south of the lake. This would be a significant breakthrough toward cleaning the Everglades, curbing the pollution harming the environment and economy along the coasts, and adding of billions of gallons to the waters supply in fast-growing South Florida…There is no more appropriate use of [Amendment 1] funds…Negron is clearly tending to his district…But his proposal would benefit all of Florida…[B]onding would be an appropriate tool for speeding this project along.” Read A promising land-buying idea for Everglades cleanup

    Eve Samples writes for the TC Palm – “Everything this year is [political strategy]. That doesn’t mean we should dismiss [Negron’s] plan. Here are four reasons it is viable: 1. Florida Crystals is at the table this time…Gov. Charlie Crist…excluded [Florida Crystals] from negotiations. That meant the deal had immediate opposition from one of the most politically powerful families in the country: the Fanjuls, who control Florida Crystals….In a 2010 letter to the editor…an executive with Florida Crystals claimed the company supported the idea of reconnecting Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades and had ‘offered the necessary land to the state.’ ‘The state never responded to our offers but doggedly pursued a transaction with U.S. Sugar,’ company Vice President Gaston Cantens wrote in the letter...Negron identified two…parcels as options- and Florida Crystals owns a large chunk of both.” Read Negron’s plan to buy 60,000 acres of sugar land is politics – and it just might work

    Stephen Hudak reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “East Orange County residents, including a commission candidate and others opposed to development east of the Econlockhatchee River, have filed an appeal challenging the Lake Pickett projects. The appeal asks an administrative judge to nullify the county commission’s narrow 4-3 vote…to approve a land-use policy that could allow developers to build more than 4,000 homes on 2,800 acres. The group contends the land-use change violates Florida statutes. The controversial vote has become an issue in commissioner Ted Edwards’ re-election bid as he voted for the change despite an outcry from residents…Petitioners also include University of Central Florida professor Kelly Semrad, Marjorie Holt of the Sierra Club, and Corner Lakes Homeowners Association…” Read Sprawl foes appeal Lake Pickett ruling

    Christopher Curry reports for The Gainesville Sun – “Sabal Trail secured the final permits Thursday to seek authorization to start construction. That’s when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized permits that allow the companies partnering on the pipeline…to discharge dredged and fill material into water bodies, such as wetlands, during construction. The permit requires The Sabal Trail partnership to buy credits from…wetlands mitigation banks…Last fall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated some 1,200 acres would be destroyed or impacted during construction. The EPA later…made a 180-degree turn and dropped significant environmental concerns over the project that included whether the potential for sinkholes and damage to the aquifer had been downplayed by Sabal Trail and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In some cases, the impacts to wetlands are considered temporary, even though areas could take up to 50 years to revegetate….The Army Corps of Engineers did not grant a request from the Madison County Commission…to further review potential environmental impacts of Sabal Trail’s main line…” Read Army Corps of Engineers Oks permits for Sabal Trail in Florida

    Sean Rossman reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Wakulla County commissioners – in a nod to environmental advocates- unanimously approved two resolutions…aimed at cleaning Florida’s waters…[T]he commission passed a resolution opposing a pipeline that would spill waste from the Foley Cellulose paper mill closer to the Gulf of Mexico…(Commissioner) Thomas’ resolution requests DEP or the Florida Cabinet void the ERC vote. It would also establish a Clean Water Citizens Advisory Committee made up of non-elected community stakeholders to advise the Wakulla County Commission on ways to keep state waters healthy.” Read Wakulla resolutions oppose pipeline, toxin standards

    Florida Today Editorial Board writes – “Amendment 4 on your primary election ballot would exempt from property taxes the value of renewable-energy equipment such as solar panels installed by homeowners and businesses. We recommend you vote “yes.”...Amendment 4 has been studied and endorsed by organizations of all kinds: the Florida Chamber of Commerce…Florida Realtors, Progress Florida…the Sierra Club…How often does that happen? ‘Florida has no income tax, but higher property tax, and that has interfered with the market for solar,’ said Stephen Smith, executive director of the southern Alliance for Clean Energy. ‘Amendment 4…passed the Legislature unanimously.’…Does solar energy belong in the…Constitution? There’s no alternative, if Florida wants to offer the same property-tax breaks statewide.” Read Yes on Amendment 4 for tax break on solar

    TC Palm reports – “[T]he Martin County Commission has formally invited Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to visit Martin County and tour [the] deteriorating waterways. Commissioners have extended the invitation via letters sent to the candidates’ campaign headquarters and through an online petition, which is gaining support…In the communication, commissioners explain why the next president of the United States must address this situation; the severity of the water crisis is immeasurable.” Read Martin County Commission calls on presidential candidates to tour local waterways

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 15, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, August 15th, 2016 @ 8:56am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 15, 2016




    Jacqueline Weaver reports for The Ellsworth American – “[There was a] boom in sugar cane farming following the embargo on sugar from Cuba… ‘The major ecological change was that the grass in the Everglades changed from saw grass to cattails from the phosphorus runoffs of the sugar operations,’ (Nathaniel) Reed said. Biologists say the cumulative impact of cattails changes the microscopic life of the marsh water and kills invertebrates and higher forms of life, including fish. Reed…recently completed a book…on his years in the government in the Nixon and Ford administrations. ‘The basic foundation of environmental law was laid down then,’ he said. Reed was an important, early participant in the last large land withdrawal in the nation’s history- the Alaska Land Wilderness Act. He was the prime mover behind the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which, among other things, helped persuade President Richard Nixon to ban the pesticide DDT…Currently Reed is concerned about Florida’s failure to honor the voter approved Amendment 1…Reed said the solutions are evident… ‘We want to use one of these canals to hook up with a very large reservoir,’ he said.” Read Noted environmentalist and Everglades advocate to speak in Winter Harbor

    Mary Ellen Klas and Jack Suntrup report for the Tampa Bay Times – “U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said…that he is not prepared to support a proposal unveiled this week by…Joe Negron to spend $2.4 billion in state and federal money to buy sugar land south of Lake Okeechobee…Rubio…said he will not support federal funds for more projects until the state and federal government ‘finish the Central Everglades Planning Project because we’re not going to get both….We are in a competition with 49 other states for water money…’…[A]ccording to a 2015 report by the University of Florida Water Institute…CEPP ‘produces only relatively modest improvements in high flow conditions [to offset discharges from Lake Okeechobee] and almost no improvement in very high flow conditions for the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee.’ The report also noted that even using the most optimistic assumptions, CEPP is not estimated to be complete for a minimum of 24 years…Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida, said Negron’s plan is important to work in tandem with the Central Everglades Planning Process. ‘CEPP is more about treatment and conveyance. The Negron proposal is about storage,’ he said… ‘CEPP is not designed to take water from the Lake in the wet season, so storage is needed.’…Draper said that…delaying the purchase of land for storage…could exacerbate the damage to coastal areas ‘for at least a decade’…Draper noted that Congress in 2000 committed to funding for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan…and it calls for the purchase of land to store and clean phosphorus-laden water before releasing it into Everglades National Park. A project in the plan, known as “EAA reservoirs and storage” calls for storing roughly 120 billion gallons of water, the same as Negron’s proposal, and is scheduled for planning in 2020. ” Read Rubio: Negron’s plan to buy sugar land for water storage should wait

    Kimberly Miller reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Wendy Graham, director of the University of Florida’s Water Institute and co-author of a 2015 study on reducing fresh water flows into the estuaries, said an additional 1 to 1.4 million acre-feet of storage is needed above what existing projects call for. And that storage can be either north or south of the lake, she said. ‘I would say efforts should be focused on wherever 300,000 to 400,000 acre-feet (97 to 130 million gallons) of storage, treatment and conveyance can be added to the system most expeditiously,’ she said. ‘Financial, political, economic and logistical constraints will control this, not science or engineering constraints.’” Read Sugar growers surprised by plan for Lake Okeechobee water

    Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “For all the things that change in South Florida…one thing has remained remarkably constant: pollution in Lake Okeechobee. In 1985, 500 metric tons of phosphorus flowed into the lake. Last year, the total was 450 tons. In the years between, amounts of the damaging nutrient went up and down but nearly always remained three to four times higher than a target the state set in 2000…Critics say state law favors “best management” goals for many agricultural operations instead of enforceable standards, and include loopholes like one allowing largely unregulated use of treated sewage sludge, high in nutrients, on farm fields. Meanwhile, suburbs that produce even more phosphorus than farms continue to expand around booming Orlando. And this year, after failing to meet the law’s 2015…state lawmakers simply set a new deadline- for 20 years from now. Rep. Matt Caldwell…who sponsored the law, told the Miami Herald at the time that the blown deadline was never meant for fixing the lake, just coming up with a plan…But Estus Whitfield, who served under governors Bob Graham, Bob Martinez and Lawton Chiles on Everglades clean-up, said lawmakers are engaging in revisionist history. The goal was always to cap lake pollution, he said. ‘That was pretty clear.’…Then there is that legacy phosphorus…Over the years, multiple ways to remove it from the lake bottom muck – treating it with chemicals, dredging it out and burying it, even converting the lake into a kind of phosphate mine- have been considered and rejected. No one has come up with a realistic solution, affordable or otherwise…And, as if conditions weren’t bad enough, there is increasing evidence that climate change could fuel more toxic algae blooms.” Read Lake Okeechobee: a time warp for polluted water

    Tiffanie Reynolds reports for The Florida Times Union – “When [Nicole Crosby and Gary Coulliette] learned…the Ponte Vedra Corp…put in a rezoning application to build a 77-home subdivision on The Outpost…they went into action. Both…said any development on the land would not only impact the numerous species of wildlife that call The Outpost home but will also affect the ecosystems of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. The reserve surrounds The Outpost on three sides, with Guana Lake on the east and wetlands that pare part of the Guana River State Wildlife Management Area on the south and west…Florida Audubon and the North Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club…support Crosby and Coulliette’s efforts, and will work with them as they and other residents lobby the St. Johns County Commission to deny the rezoning request…Building so many homes along waterways that play a role in providing fresh water in Florida also contributes to loss of water quality throughout the state, [Chris Farrell, Northeast Florida policy associate of Audubon Florida] said…North Florida Land Trust Executive Director Jim McCarthy said the wetlands and forests of The Outpost are important for flood retention and water filtration…Wetlands in and around The Outpost are part of the reserve’s natural water filtration system, taking out pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus…North Florida Land Trust calculated that The Outpost has an ecosystem value of $588,810 per year. McCarthy said he wants to work with the Ponte Vedra Corp. to preserve the property.” Read Proposed 77-home development Vista Tranquila sparks opposition from residents, conservation groups

    Bart Bibler writes for Florida Today – “The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has not revised the Surface Water Quality Standards in over 20 years, although they are required to conduct a review every three years. The DEP has just adopted a revision weakening criteria for 15 toxic chemicals…Some of these criteria have been increased by greater than a thousand fold! Four of these chemicals are known carcinogens. While 39 new criteria were approved, DEP chose not to set standards for 20 pollutants that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provided proposed criteria for…All of the new criteria that DEP did set are weaker than EPA recommends for Florida to maintain a one in a million cancer risk level. The DEP uses…the “Monte Carlo” probabilistic method…[which] derives an average…from a wide array of far-fetched scenarios, rather than the appropriate number to protect the most sensitive populations (i.e. children, native cultures who consume more fish, etc.). For instance, the…average human weight [used was] 226 pounds! This does not protect children or lighter-weight adults. The toxicological basis for each chemical criterion…did not consider endocrine disrupting effects or synergistic effects. The DEP has lowered its assumption of Floridian’s fish consumption rate several times during their surface water quality standards revision process.” Read Why Florida’s new water standards don’t protect health

    Paul Brinkmann reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “For the vast majority of property owners along the path of the Sabal Trail pipeline, it’s all over but the crying- and arguments about money. About 25 properties in Central Florida, and 135 more in the Southeast, were hit by eminent-domain federal lawsuits filed…by the pipeline company. Judges in the Central Florida cases have now issued preliminary injunctions handing most of the properties over to the pipeline.” Read Sabal Trail pipeline project seizes most Florida properties

    Mary Bowerman reports for USA Today – “Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation [Commission has] an important message…[D]on’t paint the shells of turtles and gopher tortoises… ‘The paint can hinder their ability to absorb vitamins they need from the sun, cause respiratory problems, allow toxic chemicals into the bloodstream and more,’ according to wildlife officials…Gopher tortoises are a threatened species and it is against the law to kill or harass [them]…” Read Wildlife Officials: Seriously, stop painting turtle shells

     

     

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 12, 2015

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, August 12th, 2016 @ 12:23pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 12, 2016




    Jim Turner reports for The News Service of Florida – “Two Panhandle lawmakers and a county commissioner objected…to a $2.4 billion proposal by incoming Senate President Joe Negron to buy 60,000 acres of farmland south of Lake Okeechobee…In a joint release, state Sen. Greg Evers…state Rep. Mike Hill…and Santa Rosa County Commissioner Bob Cole announced plans to build a coalition against what they see as a potential shift of money away from protecting waters in North Florida…Evers said… ‘We need plans that address our entire state’s water issues and not just one area. Sen. Negron’s proposal is shortsighted; it will cost billions of dollars, take decades, and still not fix South Florida’s problem. It will, however, put the rest of the state’s conservation dollars at risk.’” Read Negron land-buying plan draws Panhandle foes

    Chad Gillis reports for the News Press – “Negron…proposed setting aside $2.4 billion to buy farm lands south of Okeechobee and turn some of the land into water storage reservoirs for Everglades restoration. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said it is willing to start the planning process for such a reservoir as soon as the water management district agrees to the project. State water managers, however, have refused to move forward on the project…Water district officials have said it’s important to concentrate on projects already on the board, some of which have already been delayed…The district is in the middle of its budgeting process for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Last year people asked that the district raise taxes (about $6 per household) in order to speed up water quality projects. Instead, the district went with a lower tax rate and is expected to have a smaller budget for next year, falling from about $750 million to about $726 million.” Read Water district meeting goes from budget to land purchase discussion

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “The (Seminole Tribe’s) lawsuit effectively delays the ability of state regulators to submit the rule to the federal Environmental Protection Agency for approval… ‘This rule will not reach EPA for many months now,’ said Linda Young, president of the Florida Clean Water Network in a letter to supporters. ‘Our focus will be on getting the public educated on what’s happening and getting people to speak out against increasing toxic chemicals in our waters and the fish we eat.’…A hearing was…set…for Sept. 6 and 7, and environmentalists hope the judge will either order the Department of Environmental Protection to reverse the rule, or order a new hearing to revise it.” Read Toxic water rule delayed after Seminole Tribe sues

    The Bradenton Times Editorial Board writes – “Long Bar Pointe developer Carlos Beruff has convinced the state to permit a mitigation bank that he wants to use to help him destroy local wetlands…The permit is being challenged by Suncoast Waterkeeper Inc., Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH), and TBT publisher Joseph McClash, who served 22 years as a Manatee County Commissioner…However, Beruff also needs to get a permit from the Army Corp of Engineers because he wants credits for a mitigation bank to destroy federal wetlands and sea grass…with his proposed project…The public has until August 13…to comment. Here are some reasons we think they should reject the permit application: 1. The mitigation bank will have a 120-foot break in the most natural shoreline along Sarasota Bay. This break is the location that Beruff has proposed a new boat channel…This break…will prevent wildlife from using this natural corridor and have adverse impacts on wildlife and the wetlands…5. The mitigation bank would create additional flood hazards by not maintaining in the existing natural state, the existing shoreline.” Read Public Should Comment on Beruff’s Long Bar Pointe Mitigation Bank Threat

    Susan Glickman writes for the Sun Sentinel – “It’s a hard fact that Florida is dangerously over reliant on a single fuel source for generating power…Natural gas accounts for almost 70 percent of the fuel Florida Power & Light uses to generate the electricity it sells to captive customers. It’s never good to be that dependent on one resource for meeting demand, and they are planning to build more gas plants. That dependency can lead to price spikes, supply interruptions as well as increasing dangerous carbon pollution that drives climate change impacts. We ought to be diversifying our energy mix into lower-risk energy choices like solar power. Although Florida has the best solar resource east of the Mississippi, it currently generates well less than 1 percent of its power from solar. We can help change this statistic by passing Amendment 4, which is on the August primary ballot…Solar power…has zero emissions and does not require precious water resources…The Amendment 4 tax exemption for solar power is the most immediate action Florida voters can take to jump start meaningful solar power development.” Read Amendment 4 saves money and protects consumers

    Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel – “Fear of foreign plants invading the Everglades has state leaders threatening to fire the federal government as operators of the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. But booting the feds could leave state taxpayers picking up a $25 million bill just to get started tackling fast-spreading trees and vines that could overwhelm the Everglades…State officials have long maintained that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service…needs to get more money from Congress to pay for killing exotic plants such as melaleuca trees and Old World Climbing Fern that ruin dwindling Everglades habitat…[T]he South Florida Water Management District board…called for taking control of the refuge away from the…Service…Environmental groups have raised concerns about the district’s move, saying losing federal control over the refuge won’t help state and federal efforts to save what remains of the Everglades…Eric Draper, executive director of…Audubon Florida…said instead of breaking ties with the federal government, the water management district should help pay for tackling more of the exotic plant problem on land that the state owns. ‘You have the power to do something, rather than send a letter,’ Draper told the district’s board…In addition to the environmental risk, the spread of…invading plants threatens to spoil the more than $3 billion investment that state and federal taxpayers have made in Everglades restoration.” Read Feds face eviction notice from Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

    Sean Rossman reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Wakulla County fishermen, ardent environmentalists and their elected leaders formed a rough outline of how they plan to beat back a planned Taylor County pipeline that would send millions of gallons of wastewater into the Gulf of Mexico. The group, led by Wakulla County Commissioner Howard Kessler and Leon County Commission Chairman Bill Proctor, met…[and] discussed Georgia-Pacific’s plan to expel effluent from its Foley Cellulose paper mill…Since 1954, the mill has dumped the effluent directly into the Fenholloway River, which leads to the Gulf. The plan worries clean water advocates and politicians, who say the pipeline would further threaten Gulf sea life, its fishing industry and tourism. The administrative order (from DEP) says building the pipeline is the only way to restore the Fenholloway to a body of water suitable for recreation, fishing and wildlife…Commissioner Bill Proctor already has sent letters to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.” Read Officials, residents sketch pipeline gameplan

    Michelle Nijhuis writes for The New Yorker – “A new commentary in the journal Nature reveals that many species are threatened less by climate change than by overexploitation…[and] conversion of habitat to farmland and timber plantations…[T]he current causes of species loss appear to be inversely proportional to the media attention- and, to some extent, the research and funding attention- they receive… ‘We know what kind of mechanisms we need to put in place, and we know how and where to establish protected areas,’ Brooks said…Knowing what to do and being able to do it are two different things, and the political obstacles to agricultural reform and poaching protections – local, national, and global- are often enormous.” Read Are Conservationists Worrying Too Much About 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.

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 11, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, August 11th, 2016 @ 1:27pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 11, 2016




    Jeff Burlew reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “The battle over new limits on toxic chemicals that can be dumped into Florida’s surface waters isn’t over yet. The Seminole Tribe of Florida is seeking to invalidate a decision last month by the Environmental Regulation Commission to approve the controversial standards. The tribe…says the state fell short of a statutorily required 28-day notice before the ERC meeting was held. It also says the new standards fail to protect subsistence fishermen from exposure to the toxic compounds. ‘The proposed rule…adversely affects the Seminole Tribe and its members who continue to exercise their customary and traditional…fishing…and frogging rights on millions of acres of lands and waters across South and Central Florida,’ the tribe said…Young said her organization is sending action alerts to its members, asking them to sign petitions demanding Gov. Rick Scott appoint three new members to the seven-member ERC….She…wants Scott to replace one of the ERC members, Craig Varn, who is DEP’s former general counsel but serves in a seat set aside for a lay person. ‘They are just playing fast and loose with Florida laws,’ Young said. ‘They’re playing fast and loose with public health. And we’re not going to stand for it.’” Read Seminole Tribe challenges water pollution limits

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “In what environmentalists are calling a significant breakthrough in Everglades restoration efforts, incoming Senate President Joe Negron leapfrogged over agricultural industry opposition and…called for a massive…state and federal land-buying program to buy sugar land to store water south of Lake Okeechobee...The idea- to store and clean phosphorus-laden water before releasing it into Everglades National Park- has been demanded by environmentalists for the past 16 years, but efforts to buy the land needed for the project have been sidelined… ‘All the evidence that I see confirms what I’m here to announce today: We must buy land south,’ Negron said…Negron…announced that ending the discharges and finding the funds for the land-buy south of the lake would be his ‘No. 1 personal priority.’ He urged the sugar companies who own the land to be open to the water-cleaning marshes ‘to make this reservoir happen.’…The sugar industry ‘has already lost more than 100,000 acres of farmland in the past 20 years for restoration,’ wrote Florida Crystals Corporation and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida. ‘The real price of today’s proposal is the loss of jobs and economic activity in the Glades communities.’…Negron proposes purchasing one of two 60,000-acre land parcels that ‘provide the most promise’ because they are situated near existing canals… ‘He is responding to his constituents…he surveyed the interests groups, the agency and he has done his research,’ Draper (of Audubon of Florida) said.” Read Top lawmaker calls for buying up sugar land to clean Everglades

    The Herald Tribune reports – “Florida Crystals said that while it will listen to [Negron’s] plan, the company says Negron did not mention his proposal during a meeting last week. The Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, which represents independent farmers in the area, said it opposes the plan. ‘Taking another 60,000 acres of productive…farmland out of (production) will without a doubt close down our sugar mill and put us out of business,’ said Barbara Miedema, the group’s vice president…Brian LaPointe, an algae researcher at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, has long been opposed to such plans, saying scrubbing the water of so much nitrogen would be nearly impossible. The nitrogen-laden water would eventually flow into the Florida Bay, killing its seagrass and its coral, he said. He said that happened in the 1990s when a similar plan was tried…. ‘…The funds for this land purchase could be spent better, such as for water storage and treatment north of Lake Okeechobee where it would protect not only Lake Okeechobee, but also the downstream estuaries in Martin and Lee counties.’” Read Florida Senate leader proposes $2B Lake Okeechobee cleanup

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “One significant factor is missing from state Sen. Joe Negron’s plan to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee and stop discharges…say environmental scientists. The water sent south to the Everglades has to be clean. Negron’s plan…calls for water stored in a…reservoir to flow through existing man-made marshes, called stormwater treatment areas, en route to Everglades National Park. Right now, and during most rainy seasons when there are Lake O discharges, those stormwater treatment areas are full of water flowing off farmland south of the lake…With that caveat, scientists say Negron’s plan will work…Negron’s plan is consistent with the findings of a University of Florida Water Institute study of ways to stop the discharges, said Wendy Graham, the institute director, as long as it includes ways to get clean water to the Everglades. ‘However…the devil is in the details, which are not yet available,’ Graham added. Negron’s plan is not ‘the end-all for solving the problem, but it’s a giant first step,’ said Nathaniel P…Reed…a former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the dean of Treasure Coast environmentalists.” Read Okeechobee discharges must clean Everglades-bound water

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “Alabama, Florida and Georgia have been battling in federal court since 1990 over water from the river system…The states have been operating under a veil of secrecy since 2010 when they requested a confidentiality order from a federal judge…Tonsmeire, of the Apalachicola Riverkeeper…said the secrecy involving the case is hampering efforts to raise awareness about the threats facing Apalachicola Bay. He said his group had requested a study of how physical alterations to the river were affecting fishery habitat but state officials limited the scope of the study because of concerns about the legal case…Tonsmeire said the waterway is facing critical decisions in the coming months, both related to the Supreme Court trial and the Corps of Engineers manual update. ‘We don’t know what kind of negotiations they got going on among the states or behind closed doors with the governor,’ he said.” Read Apalachicola River video link killed by lawyers as secrecy hangs over Florida-Georgia water battle

    Mike Magnoli reports for CBS 12 – “Polyfluoroalkyls’ are chemicals used in firefighting foam and industrial manufacturing. A new report from The Journal of Environmental Science and Technology indicates…polyfluoroalkyls are in the drinking water of more than 6 million Americans…Southeast Florida is noticeably in a risk zone. The chemicals have been linked to cancer and high cholesterol. A second report from the group EHP-Environmental Health Perspectives finds that exposure to the chemicals seems to contribute to reduced immune system functions in children. Health experts and state officials are now calling on the EPA to toughen up clean water standards.” Read 6 million Americans at risk due to chemicals in drinking water

    Paula Dockery writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “Solar-energy supporters…know a bad constitutional amendment, sponsored by the utilities, is coming. They also know that it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing- it looks harmless but is up to no good. You can relax; that’s not the one on Florida’s Aug. 30 primary ballot. But don’t let your guard down completely; the deceptive amendment rears its ugly head on the November general election ballot.” Read Solar: ‘Yes’ in August – but ‘no’ in November

    Timothy Cama reports for The Hill – “A federal appeals court is upholding the Obama administration’s accounting of the costs of greenhouse gas emissions as applied to a Department of Energy (DOE) regulation. In a unanimous decision…the court specifically backed the so-called social cost of carbon, President Obama’s administration-wide estimate of the costs per metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere…It’s the first time a court has considered the legality of the carbon accounting…” Read Court backs Obama’s climate change accounting

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

    August 11, 6:00 pm – Attend The Big Bend Environmental Forum at the Tallahassee City Commission Chambers in Tallahassee. Local candidates will be asked about their positions on environmental issues before the August 30th primary election. Candidates running for District 2 Leon County Commissioner, Seats 1 & 2 Tallahassee City Commissioner, Districts 8 & 9 State Representative, and school board candidates will participate. Come early (5:15 pm) to meet the candidates and the environmental groups hosting the forum.

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here.

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 9, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 @ 11:24am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 9, 2016




    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Florida waters are growing greener, saltier and more toxic in some parts, according to a new report on the state’s waters. The report from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection shows a mixed bag for the state’s water, with many trending toward more frequent toxic algae blooms, fueled by rising nitrates from farm and residential fertilizers, sewage, pet waste and other human-related sources…[A]s Florida’s population grows, so does the challenge of keeping the state’s waters clean…Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper…[said,] ‘It’s not just an environmental issue, it’s an economic issue. It’s much more cost-effective to stop pollution at its source.’…Nitrates remain the biggest issue in surface waters that get significant inputs of groundwater, especially springs….Almost 70 percent of the 2.9 million acres Florida’s lakes and estuaries DEP assessed were “impaired.”…DEP’s report showed roughly 50 percent of Florida’s lake area may have elevated levels of chlorophyll a, indicating algae fed by nitrogen and phosphorus from human activities…Among other actions, the report cites DEP plans to take the following actions:…- Promote low-impact development and practices such as green roofs, pervious pavements and stormwater harvesting; - Implement numeric nutrient criteria to address excess nitrogen and phosphorus in surface water from sources such as septic tanks, runoff, livestock waste, and increased fertilizer use on farm and urban landscapes…In 1950, Florida’s…residents used about 1.5 billion gallons per day of fresh ground water and surface water…[W]ater consumption is projected to increase to 9.3 billion gallons per day by 2020.” Read Half of Florida lakes’ surface have ‘elevated’ algae levels

    Chad Gillis and Ben Brasch report for News-Press – “Two Florida panthers were found dead in Southwest Florida…One was a 4-year-old female struck and killed by a vehicle…in Collier County and the other was a 10-year-old male…in Hendry County whose cause of death is unknown. This makes the 28th and 29th overall documented death of 2016, and the 22nd road kill…” Read Two panthers found dead in one day make 29th of 2016

    NBC 2 reports – “[N]ew numbers show [manatees] are dying off at a record rate this year. FWC is recommending the addition of more “slow zones” across Collier in hopes of reversing the trend…Researchers have recorded about 6,300 manatees living in Florida’s waterways, which is up nearly 500 percent from 25 years ago. The number of boats on the water has also increased…One of the areas targeted for slower boat traffic is Moorings Bay…Environmentalists for years have been pushing for slower boat speeds there, where manatees are a common sight…Thw FWCS’s…recommendations must be approved by the governor’s Conservation Commission board. A final vote will take place in November.” Read FWC wants more ‘slow zones’ in Collier waterways

    Sacha Pfeiffer reports for the Boston Globe – “[T]he 11-member Massachusetts congressional delegation is urging US Representative Lamar Smith, a climate change skeptic, to stop pressuring state Attorney General Maura Healey over her investigation into whether Exxon Mobil knew decades ago of the link between fossil fuels and global warming. In a letter to the Texas Republican…the delegation – led by Representative Katherine Clark and Senator Elizabeth Warren – denounced subpoenas Smith sent to Healey…and environmental groups as ‘an unprecedented, invalid exercise of congressional authority’ meant to harass their recipients…Healey and others are looking into whether Exxon intentionally misled the public and investors about the impact of climate change. They also allege Exxon tried to block government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Read Mass. Delegation condemns climate change subpoenas

    Kerry Gallo writes for PATH blog - "[A]n unexpected outbreak of anthrax has been wreaking havoc for nomadic reindeer herders in a remote region in Siberia…The outbreak is being blamed on climate change, which experts believe caused the deadly anthrax spores to reemerge after decades frozen in permafrost…As the effects of climate change become more profound, disease outbreaks are likely to become more unpredictable…" Read Climate change leads to anthrax outbreak in Siberia

    Himanshu Goenka reports for International Business Times – “In the Cold War era, the U.S. has built military outposts at various strategic locations to counter the perceived Soviet threat, including nuclear installations…The now-largely autonomous Danish territory of Greenland housed multiple U.S. military bases, some of which have since been abandoned…Camp Century was one such base…It was assumed that the camp’s infrastructure and waste would simply be covered by ice for eternity…However, citing climate change, a study…argues otherwise. Its authors say: ‘Net ablation would guarantee the eventual remobilization of physical, chemical, biological and radiological wastes abandoned at the site’…As the possibility of pollutants, thought to be sequestered away for eternity, reemerging from their cryogenic vault becomes more real, countries involved are likely to shift political and legal liabilities to avoid being the host for future potential toxic exposure.” Read Climate Change Could Reveal Toxic Waste from Former US Military Base in Greenland

    Patrick Winn reports for USA Today – “The president of the Philippines…wants to make one point abundantly clear. [The] horrors of climate change are the fault of big nations, such as China and India, and rich ones such as the United States. President Rodrigo Duterte is now issuing an ultimatum to nations that have been ‘destroying the climate.’ You can pay poor countries (like the Philippines) to forego cheap, dirty fossil fuels. Or…Duterte contends that the Philippines…must junk the treaty and turn to dirty but cheap energy…[T]he Philippines…leads a league of 40-plus countries that are highly vulnerable to global warming.” Read Philippines president calls rich countries hypocrites on climate change

    Jason Hickel writes for The Guardian – “As important as clean energy might be, the science is clear: it won’t save us from climate change…[T]he burning of fossil fuels only accounts for about 70% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The remaining 30% comes from a number of causes. Deforestation is a big one. So is industrial agriculture, which degrades the soils to the point where they leach CO2. Then there’s industrial livestock farming which produces 90m tonnes of methane per year and most of the world’s anthropogenic nitrous oxide. Both of these gases are vastly more potent than CO2 when it comes to global warming. Livestock farming alone contributes more to global warming than all the cars, trains, planes and ships in the world. Industrial production of cement, steel, and plastic forms another major source of greenhouse gases, and then there are our landfills, which pump out huge amounts of methane – 16% of the world’s total…The root problem is the fact that our economic system demands ever-increasing levels of extraction, production and consumption. Our politicians tell us that we need to keep the global economy growing at more than 3% each year- the minimum necessary for large firms to make aggregate profits…Our more optimistic pundits claim that technological innovations will help us to de-couple economic growth from material throughput. But sadly there is no evidence that this is happening…[W]e have robust evidence that [GDP growth] doesn’t make us any happier, it doesn’t reduce poverty, and its “externalities” produce all sorts of social ills: debt, overwork, inequality, and climate change. We need to abandon GDP growth as our primary measure of progress, and we need to do this…as part and parcel of the climate agreement that will be ratified in Morocco later this year.” Read Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

    August 11, 6:00 pm – Attend The Big Bend Environmental Forum at the Tallahassee City Commission Chambers in Tallahassee. Local candidates will be asked about their positions on environmental issues before the August 30th primary election. Candidates running for District 2 Leon County Commissioner, Seats 1 & 2 Tallahassee City Commissioner, Districts 8 & 9 State Representative, and school board candidates will participate. Come early (5:15 pm) to meet the candidates and the environmental groups hosting the forum.

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here.

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 8, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, August 8th, 2016 @ 3:13pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 8, 2016




    Warren Wright reports for Fox 4 – “Children in Southwest Florida are at higher risk for cancer compared to the rest of the state. That’s the word from some highly respected journals in pediatric cancer. But the Florida state Department of Health remains silent on the issue…Pretty much everywhere South of Lake Okeechobee children living in South Florida are three times more likely to get diagnosed with cancer. The first study was published in 2010, four more followed…All these studies do is identify a hot zone. They don’t determine what’s the cause. But one study does point out: ‘these findings are suggestive of environmental risk factors in our area.’…The conservation group “Friends of the Everglades” is frustrated FDOH has yet to take any action.” Read Pediatric Cancer risk in Southwest Florida

    Scott Maxwell writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “I had just posted my column about Florida’s water woes (“Florida’s water woes are bad and getting worse. Do you care?”) when I received emails from two legislators…State Reps. Jason Brodeur and Rene Plasencia took issue with my description of their votes for a controversial fracking bill earlier this year…[W]hen the accurate information is out there, it’s harder to spin.” Read Double votes, secret chemicals, what the frack?

    Rick Neale reports for Florida Today – “The Florida House District 52 forum featured a quartet of Republicans: Florida Sen. Thad Altman of Indialantic, Brian Hodges of Indian Harbour Beach, Monique Miller of Melbourne, and Robert “Fritz” VanVolkenburgh of Suntree. Environmental issues, including the ailing Indian River Lagoon, dominated the opening half of the House forum. ‘If you believe that the rest of what’s left of Florida should be paved over in concrete and asphalt, then vote for my opponents,’ said Altman, who voiced support for Amendment 1 and funding the Florida Forever public land acquisition program. Hodgers labeled Amendment 1 ‘a horrible amendment.’ Miller said…there was ‘no alignment’ between the Space Coast legislative delegation and local government to secure funding….VanVolkenburgh said he has not taken a penny from a lobbyist or political action committee, and he criticized Altman’s contributors. ‘You’ve received thousands and thousands…from Big Sugar and Big Ag. And I don’t know how you would negotiate with them to purchase land down there near the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee in a straightforward manner when you have that kind of bias,’ VanVolkenburgh said.” Read Mayfield, Workman clash at Melbourne candidate forum 

    Frank Torres reports for The Orlando Political Observer – “ ‘Chuck O’Neal is a champion for environmental justice in Florida,’ said Ricky Nettina, President of Florida Young Democrats. ‘He’s fought vigorously for policies that protect and preserve our state’s treasures from our springs to the Everglades….’” Read Chuck O’Neal Endorsed by Florida Young Democrats in State Senate 11 Race

    Jonathan Deesing writes for Cleanenergy.org – “The Center for Biological Diversity gave Florida an F grade for solar, including its nonexistent Renewable Portfolio Standard, a ban on third-party ownership, lack of community solar programs, and scattered net-metering policies…This year will be a defining time for Florida’s solar power industry…In August, residents can vote for Amendment 4, which will reduce taxes on solar and lower the cost of energy…November General Election: Environmentally conscious Floridians are fighting against an amendment backed by utility companies…Floridians for Solar Choice (FSC)…attempted to place an amendment on the 2016 ballot to open up Florida to third party sale but was thwarted by a campaign by big power companies. FSC is still collecting petition signatures to have it placed on the 2018 ballot. Interested Floridians can download, sign, and submit the petition…” Read Florida Solar Month: History of Solar Power in the Sunshine State

    Kelly Garvy writes for the Miami Herald – “A 2015 independent review by the University of Florida states that we will need…1.6 million acre-feet of water storage. As of the 2015 UF study, Florida has planned for just under 500,000 acre-feet of water storage. That’s not even a third, and it’s been 16 years since CERP was passed. Simultaneously, we are reaching a point past which we will not be able to reverse the ecological damage done by inaction and delay…Citizens, keep the pressure on the politicians who are in office. And vote for Florida’s environment in the primaries on Aug. 30 and in November’s general election. The cost of inaction is too great.” Read Save the Everglades

    Amy Green reports for WMFE – “A new study shows that a toxic algae bloom…is poised to drive tourists from the state. More than half of those surveyed as part of the study were concerned enough about the bloom to consider delaying travel plans….Lori Pennington-Gray, director of the Tourism Crisis Management Initiative…says the bloom has wielded a greater impact than the Pulse mass shooting.” Read Study Reveals Threat of Toxic Algae Bloom to Florida Tourism

    Bob Palmer writes for The Gainesville Sun – “This column, which spoofs the recent state decision to allow more dangerous chemicals in Florida’s waters, uses Swiftian prose to conjure up a different sort of “Modest Proposal” as it unfolds in contemporary Tallahassee.” Read A modest proposal for Florida’s toxic waters

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

    August 11, 6:00 pm – Attend The Big Bend Environmental Forum at the Tallahassee City Commission Chambers in Tallahassee. Local candidates will be asked about their positions on environmental issues before the August 30th primary election. Candidates running for District 2 Leon County Commissioner, Seats 1 & 2 Tallahassee City Commissioner, Districts 8 & 9 State Representative, and school board candidates will participate. Come early (5:15 pm) to meet the candidates and the environmental groups hosting the forum.

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

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


Florida Conservation Coalition

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