FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.
November 17, 2014
The Tampa Bay Times editorial board writes – “Florida voters spoke with an overwhelming sense of unity this month in passing Amendment 1, the ballot measure dedicating some $10 billion over the next 20 years for water, land and wildlife conservation. Now Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-led Legislature have a responsibility to spend the money in areas that promote the long-term protection of the state's natural resources… The state needs to ensure the money is not frittered away on isolated or pork-barrel projects, and the way to start is by bringing in public and private groups to agree on a guiding mission and a list of spending priorities… The trust fund should be seen as money above and beyond to augment the state's conservation program, not a shell game to merely swap one funding source for another.” Read Spend responsibly on environment.
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board writes – “Over the past decade, (Floridians) pumped less water out of the ground even as the state's population grew by nearly 3 million… Before toasting such success with a glass of our finest drawn from deep in the Floridan Aquifer, however, we should delve into the future of Florida's drinking water supply. Here the outlook becomes more sobering... Each of us will need to be better stewards of the finite and irreplaceable resource that is Florida's water supply. We will need to demand that our government officials stiffen their resolve to stop wasteful water use and reckless development. Otherwise, recent gains in conservation become an excuse for inaction.” Read Future growth makes water conservation vital.
Tyler Treadway reports for TCPalm – “The state is trying to buy about 1,800 acres of Harmony Ranch, where houses and businesses once were proposed, to restore it to a water-cleansing wetland.” Read Martin County suburban sprawl out, wetland in.
Bruce Ritchie writes for Context Florida – “Pipes vs. parks. Could that become the focus of debate over Amendment 1, the conservation lands amendment approved by 75 percent of voters on Nov. 4... Will Abberger, campaign manager for the Florida’s Water and Land Legacy group behind Amendment 1, said the amendment sponsors don’t believe it should be used to pay for wastewater treatment… State Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, said this week that Amendment 1 is an ‘essential ingredient’ of legislation he is working on the preserve springs.” Read Did voters envision sewage plants when they voted on Amendment 1?
Craig Pittman reports in the Tampa Bay Times – “On a Southwest Florida road last week, biologists found a female Florida panther that had been run over by a car or truck. The death of that 3- or 4-year-old panther marks the 19th roadkill death of one of Florida's official state animals this year. That ties the all-time record set in 2012 — with more than a month left to go in the year. Experts expect to see the record broken before New Year's Eve rolls around.” Read Deadly times for the panther as Florida ties roadkill record.
Kevin Spear reports in the Orlando Sentinel – “An Orange County family sued in 2012 by a neighborhood association for planting environmentally friendly landscaping is still fighting the civil action… The snail's pace of the case underscores ambiguity in Florida law enacted in 2009 to promote yards that conserve water and lessen harm to the environment, So far, there has been little clarity arising from court actions over whether association rules that favor thirsty grass can be overruled by a homeowner citing the Florida-friendly landscaping law.” Read Legal fights drag on over environmentally friendly landscaping.
Sarah Zielinski reports for Smithsonian Magazine – “A third of the United Nations World Heritage sites valued for their geology, biodiversity or natural beauty are in danger. And 8 percent of all the sites—including Everglades National Park in Florida—are now considered to be in critical condition, according to an assessment from the International Union for Conservation of Nature.” Read the full story here.
Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings
November 19th, 10:00 am – Help the Florida Springs Institute, Save the Manatee Club and the Kings Bay Springs Alliance assemble cages for aquatic plants to protect water quality in Kings Bay. Find more info here.
November 21st, 12:00 pm – The Florida Section of the American Water Resources Association will meet in St. Augustine to discuss “hot topics in water resources with a north Florida focus.” Find more info here.
November 21st, 7:00 pm – The St. Johns Riverkeeper hosts the 13th annual Oyster Roast at the Garden Club in Jacksonville. Join the St. Johns Riverkeeper for one of the best parties of the year, featuring delicious food and outstanding entertainment. Find more information and buy your tickets here.
January 15th, 2015 6:00 pm – The Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars perform at The Moon in Tallahassee. Find more information here. Buy tickets here.
February 21st, 2015 9:00 am – 3:00 pm – The City of Orlando holds its annual Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Park. Find more info here.
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About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.
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