FCC News Brief
Florida’s best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds
June 22, 2016
Jim Turner reports for the News Service of Florida – “The recommendation to hold the state’s second bear hunt in the past 20 years expands on a proposal from state biologists without offering hard numbers of bears that could be killed or suggesting a number of permits that could be made available or the costs of permits. Tammy Sapp, a spokeswoman for the commission, said more specifics will be discussed when the commission begins a two-day meeting Wednesday in the Franklin County community of Eastpoint… ‘The upcoming meeting is most likely a dog and pony show to act like they care what the public thinks,’ the (Stop the Florida Bear Hunt) group said on Facebook. ‘There is no way they can enforce any of these rules. It is left up to the trophy hunter using the honor system.’…Based on a map that will be shown to the commission…hunting could be opened in 32 counties from the Panhandle counties of Bay, Jackson and Washington counties east to the Atlantic Ocean, omitting Nassau and Duval counties. In Southwest Florida, the hunt would be allowed in Collier, Lee and Hendry counties…” Read Florida’s new bear hunt plan would entail three four-day periods
TC Palm Editorial Board writes – “Just as this Editorial Board said last November, another (bear) hunt in 2016 is a bad idea that is unsupported by science. Furthermore, another hunt would fail to follow FWC’s own policy guidelines in a 2012 Bear Management Plan when the species was taken off the threatened list…The new state population numbers…scientists argue offer only a snapshot of the true situation rather than a detailed analysis…Some areas, such as the Big Bend bear management area and the South Central area…have vulnerable populations. It has been suggested that allowing more hunting in these areas could lead to the extinction of bears there. The 2012 Bear Management Plan recommended creating pathways to allow animals to move from area to area, thus building up the gene pool in low-population areas. This has yet to happen.” Read Bear hunt remains a bad idea for Florida
Ron Littlepage writes for The Florida Times Union – “Brevard County wants to put a garbage dump (a Class I landfill and a Class III landfill) in the floodplain and wetlands of the St. Johns River. I know this will come as a shock to you, but the Florida Department of Environmental Protection…has given its blessing to the project…A Class I landfill can receive household, commercial, industrial and agricultural waste. Yard trash, construction and demolition debris, waste tires, asbestos, carpets,…plastic and furniture can be dumped into a Class III landfill…[T]he St. Johns flows north, so whatever seeps into the river there would be headed for downtown Jacksonville…Two powerful landowners are challenging the DEP permit. One is the Deseret Ranch…The other is Deer Park Ranch…During last weekend, giant algae blooms spread across Doctors Lake and in parts of the river…” Read Is a landfill in our river’s future?
David Goodhue reports for FL Keys News – “Most experts agree that there is little to nothing that can be done to stop the seagrass die-off and resulting algae blooms this time, but groups like Florida Bay Forever, the Everglades Foundation and the Audubon Society of the Everglades say there are ways to prevent similar phenomena from happening again.” Read Seagrass die-off can’t be stopped
Mark Perry writes for the TC Palm – “There is a lot of misinformation – and missing information – about water flows and pollution in South Florida, including full-page advertisements from U.S. Sugar Corp. and the Economic Council of Martin County…[H]ere are the facts taken directly from the South Florida Water Management District.” Read Let’s set record straight on ‘discharge’ issue
The University of Alabama reports – “Drs. Gregory Starr and Christina Staudhammer, professors in the department of biological sciences, along with collaborators from Florida International University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Forest Service recently received $834,000 from the National Science Foundation to continue their study of greenhouse gases in the Everglades. They will specifically look at how changes in fresh- and sea-water levels are affecting the balance of carbon-dioxide and methane emissions in the Everglades. ‘Historically, the Everglades were a great sink for carbon – taking in a lot of carbon dioxide and holding it in the peat layers,’ Starr explained. ‘But over the course of the last decade, we have seen that this is no longer the case…’” Read UA Researchers Receive NSF Grant to Study Everglades’ Greenhouse Gases
Santa Rosa’s Press Gazette reports – “More than 1,000 acres of the Blackwater River, Pine Log and Point Washington state forests have increased in biodiversity during the past three years due to an ongoing Florida Forest Service reforestation project. The longleaf pine ecosystem is experiencing a rebirth after approximately 1,094 acres were restored in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, Washington and Bay counties’ three state forests.” Read Florida Forest Service restores, maintains Northwest Florida’s longleaf ecosystem
Susan K. Moran reports for Scientific American – “Globally, more than 90 percent of the nitrogen used to produce meat and dairy products, along with 90 percent used to grow plant-based foods, is lost to the environment. It contaminates streams, lakes and oceans as well as drinking water, and fuels the growth of algae and other organisms that can suffocate fish and kill plants. And much of the nitrogen that crops and livestock do absorb, and we thus consume, exits our bodies as sewage, a significant source of nitrogen pollution when it is not sufficiently treated…Nitrogen fertilizer also contributes to climate change…” Read Wastewater is Key to Reducing Nitrogen Pollution
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.
The North Florida Land Trust is seeking a Land Protection Specialist
The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.
Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves
Save the Econlockhatchee River!
Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances
Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs
Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project
Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands
Paynes Prairie in danger
Save the Biggest Wetland Mitigation Bank in the U . S . A . from Development
Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit
Gulf Restoration Network’s Johanna de Graffenreid wants to help citizens/environmental groups interested in opposing the Sabal Trail Pipeline. Contact her at .
Upcoming Environmental Events
June 22, 8:30 am – Attend the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Meeting where bear management and the possibility of another bear hunt will be discussed. The meeting will take place at the Franklin County School Gymnasium in Eastpoint. Click here, for the agenda.
June 25, 2:00 pm – Attend “The Beautiful Life of a Dead Tree: The Most Important Tree in the Woods,” a presentation by Jim Stevenson (Florida Springs Expert), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.
June 25, 4:00 pm - Attend Green Hands Sustainability Fest at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Enjoy live music, food trucks, non-profit outreach, and kids’ activities. At 8:30 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.
June 26, 4:00 pm – Attend Green Hands Sustainability Soiree at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. There will be a wine and cheese reception and live music from Chelsea Saddler. At 6:00 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.
July 5, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.
July 25, 7:00 pm – Attend “Why Aren’t Florida’s Water Laws Protecting Florida’s Water?” led by two attorneys, Heather Culp (Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute) and Traci Deen (Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School). The event will be held at High Springs New Century Woman’s Club in High Springs and is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call (386) 454- 0415.
August 6, 5:30 pm – Attend Grasssroots Summit to Stop Sabal Trail in Gainesville. Speakers will educate participants on the pipeline. For more information, click here.
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