News and Announcements

FCC Daily News Brief - October 22nd, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 @ 11:35am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

October 22, 2014

The Ocala Star Banner endorses Amendment 1 – “Amendment 1 comes at the right time for Florida. As population growth propels the state into being the third largest in the nation, lawmakers have demonstrated an unwillingness to protect our natural resources… There’s no more time to wait. Florida must preserve and restore land that protects water quality in our rivers, lakes and other water bodies; serves as a wildlife habitat; and, most significantly, safeguards the aquifer that provides our drinking water and feeds our natural springs. Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, would do all of those things. The Star-Banner enthusiastically endorses the amendment and encourages voters to support it on the Nov. 4 ballot.” Read Yes on Amendment 1.

Phil Ammann reports on Saintpetersblog.com – “Florida’s Water and Land Legacy released (a) new television spot today in the Vote Yes on Amendment 1 campaign, the constitutional referendum to provide billions of dollars for conservation efforts statewide.” Read the full story here. Watch the television spot supporting Amendment 1 here.

The Tampa Tribune editorial board writes – “The Florida Public Service Commission will consider a request today by Florida Power & Light to use money collected from its customers to fight proposed federal water regulations the utility says will cost it millions of dollars. It’s another test for the utility-friendly PSC, which has angered customers across the state with decisions that favor the companies it regulates rather than the customers they are supposed to protect… But using ratepayer money wouldn’t be fair to the customers who disagree with the utility’s fight against the proposed rules. The PSC should tell FP&L to find another way to challenge the rules.” Read Another test for the state’s utility regulators.

Patricia Edmisten writes in the Pensacola News Journal – “By voting yes on Amendment 1, you'll be ensuring that your children, grandchildren, and future generations will enjoy Florida's unique environmental treasures.” Read Vote yes on state Amendment 1.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 22nd, 5pm-8pm - NO Seismic Testing, NO Rigs in Our Ocean! Join Matanzas Riverkeeper at the riverfront near Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine to demonstrate that St. Augustine and the Beaches Communities oppose seismic testing and offshore drilling. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in GainesvilleTickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart atrsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - October 21st, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 @ 11:09am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

October 21, 2014

Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “In January, Gov. Rick Scott stood in front of a room full of Department of Environmental Protection employees and praised their hard work. One accomplishment Scott singled out: making it easier than ever to obtain a permit for filling in wetlands, pumping water out of the aquifer or pouring pollutants into the water and air.’” Read Under Scott, Department of Environmental Protection undergoes drastic change.

The Sun Sentinel endorses Amendment 1 – “Florida voters are facing a number of tough choices on this year's general election ballot. Amendment 1 is not among them. Supporting the Water and Land Conservation Amendment is an easy choice. It's the right call for Florida's future.”  Read Vote YES on Amendment 1 to support land and water conservation.

The Gainesville Sun endorses Amendment 1 – “Amendment 1 comes at the right time for Florida. As population growth propels the state into being the third largest in the nation, lawmakers have demonstrated an unwillingness to protect our natural resources. Instead, the Republican-controlled Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott have dismantled environmental regulations and defunded conservation programs. When lawmakers had a chance last session to protect our polluted and depleted springs, they refused and gave an unconvincing promise that they'd finally address the issue next year. There's no more time to wait.” Read Editorial: Yes on Amendment 1.

Martin Dyckman writes in Context Florida – “The title of the Florida Public Service Commission is about as relevant to reality as that of the People’s Republic of China. In each case, the true constituency is a narrow group of self-perpetuating special interests. Making the public interest the true constituency of the PSC ought to be high on the agenda of the Constitution Revision Commission that will be appointed in 2017. Whether that can happen depends on who’s elected governor and attorney general on Nov. 4.” Read If you want the PSC to protect customers, vote for Crist.

Joby Warrick reports for the Washington Post – “At least twice in a normal year, the Biscayne Bay rises to swamp the streets of this fashionable resort town in an event known as the “king tide.” Water spills over seawalls and gurgles up through storm drains in what scientists say is a preview of life in Florida in a warming climate. But this is an election year, when even nature becomes a foil for competing political narratives.” Read Florida politicians battle over rhetoric as rising seas drive worries over climate change.

Marie Gottfried writes for the Palm Beach Post – “I would like to remind those who are opposed to Minto West of the often ignored fact that elections matter. When voters choose a governor and legislators in Florida who are pro-business, perhaps some forget that translates into pro-development. It’s a fact of life. The Florida Department of Community Affairs was established under then-Gov. Bob Graham to limit sprawl. It existed for 35 years prior to 2011… Enter Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-dominated Legislature elected in 2010. In the spring of 2011, the Legislature and governor drove a stake through the heart of the DCA and midwifed its rebirth as the Division of Community Development, a stepchild in a new pro-growth agency, the state Department of Economic Opportunity.” Read Point of View: Oppose development? Your vote matters.

Jim Turner reports for the Tampa Tribune – “Environmental advocates want state utility regulators to reject a proposal by Florida Power & Light to use ratepayers’ money to lobby against new federal clean-water rules.” Read Environmental groups argue against FPL lobbying request.

Terry Brant writes in the Tallahassee Democrat – “Millions of tax dollars in state project funding to protect our springs continues to subsidize private interests and large corporations without requiring them to stop practices that are harmful to our springs and lakes… After years of broken promises, we can’t trust our politicians to do the right thing, but voters can take action. Please support Amendment 1 to help protect and restore our water resources.” Read Broken promises on water.

Anna Hamilton reports in the Podcast “Watershed” – In the Podcast “Watershed” Anna Hamilton talks about current issues effecting Florida’s waters and the groups and individuals who have vowed to protect this valuable resource. The latest episode focuses on the declining oyster populations in Apalachicola Bay. Listen to Consider the oyster - and the oysterman.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 22nd, 5pm-8pm - NO Seismic Testing, NO Rigs in Our Ocean! Join Matanzas Riverkeeper at the riverfront near Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine to demonstrate that St. Augustine and the Beaches Communities oppose seismic testing and offshore drilling. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in GainesvilleTickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart atrsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - October 17th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ashley Killough, Friday, October 17th, 2014 @ 10:47am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

October 17, 2014

Bruce Ritchie writes in Context Florida – “The environment was front and center in Wednesday’s gubernatorial debate even if an electric fan received the most media attention. By now you may know that former Gov. Charlie Crist was on stage for about five minutes at the start of a televised debate without Gov. Rick Scott. That’s because of a dispute over whether debate rules allowed Crist to have the fan on stage. I know that a month from now, the impact of the election on the environment will be more important than who looked stupidest because of ‘fangate.’ The environment, climate change and solar energy each were the topic of debate questions. There is plenty for the fact-checkers to pore over in the coming week.” Read Crist, Scott also got hot over environment, climate change during debate.

WCTV publishes “The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services submitted its Legislative Budget Request today for consideration by the Florida Legislature to fund programs and projects during Fiscal Year 2015-16. In a letter to the directors of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget, the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam highlighted the need for funding to support water restoration and conservation projects.” Read Water Among Top Priorities for Commissioner Putnam in 2015-16 Budget Request.

Matt Dixon reports for Political Fix Florida – “A group sprouted by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer says it has the numbers to prove that climate change is becoming a wedge issue in Senate and gubernatorial races across the country, including Florida. ‘55 percent in Florida believe climate real and serious issue,’ said Chris Lehane, chief strategist for San Francisco-based NextGen Climate. The Steyer-funded group is targeting seven Republican candidates across the country. It has already spent nearly $10 million to knock off Florida Gov. Rick Scott.” Read NextGen: Our data shows climate change becoming ‘wedge issue’.

Lynn Hatter reports for WFSU – “Archeologists are heading to the Everglades this week to look for the remnants of a Native American settlement. The National Park Service is trying to find the location of a settlement discovered back in the late 1960’s and then lost.” Read National Park Service prepares to search Everglades for 'lost' ancient settlements.

Stephanie Carson reports for the Public News Service “This Saturday marks the 42nd anniversary of the Clean Water Act. Before the legislation was put in place, only one-third of the country's waters were deemed safe for fishing and swimming. Now, that number has doubled, and Manley Fuller, president and CEO of the Florida Wildlife Federation, says the best present Americans could give the landmark law is a restoration of protections for streams and wetlands, left vulnerable after Supreme Court decisions” Read Happy Birthday Clean Water Act: Legislation Turns 42 Saturday.

Tom Swihart writes in the blog Watery Foundation – “One reason that thinking about water is so difficult is that it attracts so many interpretations and meanings.” For two examples Read Florida water meanings.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

October 19th, 11:00-5:00 - REFLECTING FLORIDA: How Agriculture, Art & Activism Shape Our State (panels) at Audubon Park Exchange (APEX) in Orlando at the East End Market. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - October 14th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 @ 9:56am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

October 14, 2014

The Orlando Sentinel endorses Amendment 1 – “Florida voters are facing a number of tough choices on this year's general election ballot. Amendment 1 is not among them. Supporting the Water and Land Conservation Amendment is an easy choice. It's the right call for Florida's future.”  Read Vote to save land, water.

Ron Littlepage writes in the Florida Times-Union – “You know a person by his deeds. When he was governor, Charlie Crist had a better track record on the environment (than Governor Scott). He focused on climate change, the reduction of greenhouse gases and green energy. He was aggressive in trying to restore the Everglades. He fought to protect the state’s endangered wildlife. He is a firm supporter of Amendment 1… Unlike Scott, he knows state regulations are necessary… Crist is a friend of the environment. Scott isn’t.” Read Rick Scott loves the Koch brothers. The environment? Not so much.

The Herald-Tribune endorses Amendment 1 –Amendment 1 is an expression of sound public policy, consistent with principles in the constitution. We recommend voting YES, for Amendment 1.” Read On Amendment 1: Yes

Rob Williams writes in the Tallahassee Democrat: “The (Department of Environmental Protection) recently released a draft Basin Management Action Plan that is supposed to set out the strategy for making the required (nitrate) reductions (in the Wakulla Springs and River). Unfortunately, what the department now proposes as an “action plan” is only a delaying tactic designed to put off taking meaningful action to restore Wakulla Springs for five more years… The weak and ineffectual plan proposed by the department will not lead to the necessary reduction in nitrate loads.” Read DEP fails to protect Wakulla Springs.

Jessica Palombo reports for WFSU – “Supporters of Florida’s proposed land-conservation amendment have gotten a fundraising boost from two matching grant programs. The Yes on 1 campaign, known as Florida's Land and Water Legacy, took in nearly $1.2 million in one week.” Read Matching grants attract more than $1M for Florida conservation amendment campaign.

Bruce Ritchie writes for the Saint Petersblog  “The debate season is here. Now maybe we can hear candidates for governor talk about what they plan to do over the next four years rather than what their opponents did years ago… Unfortunately when I watch debates, I’m often disappointed because panelists fail to ask questions about Florida’s environment.” Read Please ask an environmental question during gubernatorial debates.

The Associated Press reports – “The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in Florida to talk about the effects of climate change and pollution on American communities.” Read EPA chief talks about pollution, public health.

Patrick Pinak reports for the Alligator  “It’s not the year of the turtle, but 2014 has been a record year for state sea turtle nesting. Leatherback turtles reached a record 641 reported nests, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, while loggerhead nesting numbers stayed high.” Read Florida sea turtle nests on the rise.

Ashley Lopez reports for WGCU – “Five state agencies weighed in on proposed development plans in the Greater Everglades area expressing serious concerns ranging from environmental issues to state resources.” Read State agencies raise concerns about controversial Sugar Hill plan.

The Panama City News Herald reports – “Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, said efforts are underway among government and business leaders in North Florida to set up a field trip-style event with Georgia officials to show the impacts of the reduced downstream flow of water into Apalachicola Bay.” Read Georgia officials need to see Apalachicola Bay.

Tom Swihart writes on the Watery Foundation blog – “(The South Dakota Department of Agriculture) concluded that agricultural production is more important there than in any other state, amounting to 11.9% of their gross state product. For Florida, they say that agricultural production is only 0.6%(!) of the state’s domestic product. One of my themes is that Florida agricultural interests use water, create water pollution, and have an influence in water decisions far out of proportion to their economic importance.” Read South Dakota Ag. Department disses Florida?

Sonny Vergara writes on the SWFWMD Matters blog – “The Tampa Bay Times has recommended against Florida residents voting in favor of Amendment 1, an opportunity voters will have to assure funding is available for environmental protection for the next 20 years. What are they thinking!! They said the constitution is no place to house funding options that are more appropriately that of the legislature and governor. TBT apparently has not been listening to itself over the last three-plus years...” Read Tampa Bay Times blows it - Takes dumb position on Amendment 1.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 15th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm – Diane Roberts & John Moran present Water & Power at the Live Oak Room on the University of Central Florida campus. Find more info here. Email Ryan Smart (smarts421@gmail.com) to request a free parking pass, or for additional information.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

October 19th, 11:00-5:00 REFLECTING FLORIDA: How Agriculture, Art & Activism Shape Our State (panels) at Audubon Park Exchange (APEX) in Orlando at the East End Market. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in GainesvilleTickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

Orlando Presentation Featuring Diane Roberts & John Moran

  • Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 6:30pm - 8pm
    Location: UCF - Live Oak Room 4115 Pyxis Lane • Orlando, FL 32816

FCC Daily News Brief - October 8th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 @ 12:41pm

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

October 8, 2014

Alan Farago writes in Context Florida – “The Tampa Bay Times is recommending a “no” vote (on Amendment 1, the Florida Water and Land Conservation intiative)… The Times makes two principal arguments: first, that a referendum should not be used to determine the state budget and second, what politics giveth (the documentary stamp tax), politics can taketh away. I agree with the Times that the Legislature is responsible for the budget. Did Gov. Rick Scott and the majority of the Legislature reflect the will of the people when they radically cut Forever Florida, the state’s land acquisition program and a model for the nation? No.” Read GOP forcing Floridians to use Amendment 1 to conserve vital lands.

Allison Defoor and Ryan Smart write separate letters to the editor in the Tampa Bay Times “Florida can make a historic commitment to protecting our drinking water sources and conserving wildlife habitat by passing Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment. We can step up and take action together to protect our bays, rivers and springs, or we can stand by and hope others do what's right. We've tried the "hope" route. It has failed us. It's time to take Florida's future into our own hands and vote yes on Amendment 1.” Read Lawmakers fail, so voters must act and Protect precious resources.

The Bradenton Herald Editorial Board writes – “Amendment 1 on the November ballot -- officially titled ‘Water and Land Conservation’ -- would put a premium on funding for a broad swath of environmental programs. This citizens initiative, placed on the ballot via signature petitions, forces the Legislature to adhere to the spirit of the Florida Forever Act. That land conservation law was designed to receive $300 million annually from the existing documentary stamp tax, which is applied to real estate transactions. Another $100 million a year from another trust fund, the Water Sustainability Act, had been invested in the protection of the state's waterways, springs and drinking water as well as fish and wildlife habitats. But during the four years of Gov. Rick Scott's administration, the Legislature diverted trust fund dollars elsewhere and only a shade under $29 million went into Florida Forever projects.” Read Herald recommends approval of Amendment 1 on Water and Land Conservation.

Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel – “GL Homes can pay $1.6 million to build more homes than the company otherwise would have been allowed in Palm Beach County's Agricultural Reserve, county commissioners decided Tuesday.” Read GL Homes allowed to build more homes in Ag Reserve.

Cynthia Barnett writes in the Huffington Post In Los Angeles and Toledo and across the U.S., historic drought, water-quality threats heightened by warming waters and poorly maintained infrastructure are converging to draw public attention to the value of fresh, clean water to a degree not seen since Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972. The problems are also laying bare the flawed way we pay for water — one that practically guarantees pipes will burst, farmers will use as much as they can and automatic sprinklers will whir over desiccated aquifers. Squeezed by drought, U.S. consumers and western farmers have begun to pay more for water. But the increases do not come close to addressing the fundamental price paradox in a nation that uses more water than any other in the world while generally paying less for it. And some of the largest water users in the East, including agricultural, energy and mining companies, often pay nothing for water at all.” Read It's time for America to talk about the price of water.

Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel – “Sugar industry building plans threaten to get in the way of Everglades restoration and could create flooding hazards, according to state regulators. The South Florida Water Management District and Florida Department of Environmental Protection are raising concerns about U.S. Sugar's plans to build 18,000 homes along with new shopping centers on farmland south of Lake Okeechobee — potentially creating a suburban road block to Everglades restoration. The development proposal ‘does not adequately protect against adverse impacts to important state resources, including the Florida Everglades,’ according to the opinion released Friday from the state Department of Environmental Protection.” Read State officials object to Big Sugar building plans.

Jennifer Portman reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Topping the list of this year’s slate of state constitutional amendments to be decided in the November general election is a measure supporters say is the best — and likely last — hope to ensure Florida’s precious waters and natural areas will be protected for future generations. Placed on the ballot with the backing of signatures from more than 1 million state voters, Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, would dedicate a third of the existing fees collected by the state on real estate transactions for the next 20 years for water resource protection and land conservation” Read Amendment 1 would commit state money to conservation.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

October 19th, 11:00-5:00 - REFLECTING FLORIDA: How Agriculture, Art & Activism Shape Our State (panels) at Audubon Park Exchange (APEX) in Orlando at the East End Market. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - October 6, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Monday, October 6th, 2014 @ 10:24am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

October 6, 2014

Clay Henderson writes in The Daytona Beach News-Journal –Few things give me greater joy than watching my children enjoy the treasures of the Florida outdoors as I did growing up. What could be more a lasting legacy than to protect these special places for enjoyment by our children and grandchildren? Florida voters get a chance in November to create a legacy for protecting our special places and precious water resources. Nearly a million Floridians signed petitions to get the Water and Land Legacy Initiative on the ballot, now known as Amendment 1. This initiative is supported by a broad coalition of conservation and business groups and the League of Women Voters who care much about the future of Florida.” Read YES ON 1: Preservation deserves to be a legacy.

Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel “A tough choice over Central Florida's water future is unfolding now as the giant Deseret Ranches proposes to dam a pair of creeks, an idea rejected long ago by state officials as environmentally unacceptable. Osceola County and Deseret Ranches are planning for expressways, industries and 500,000 residents by 2080 on 133,346 acres of ranch southeast of Orlando. Water would come in part from damming Wolf and Pennywash creeks, two of several creeks on Deseret Ranches selected in the late 1950s to be part of a reservoir designed to ease St. Johns River flooding.” Read Deseret Ranches' future metropolis would dam creeks for water.

Chad Gillis reports for news-press.com – “Thousands dead. Billions of dollars in damages. Years of rebuilding. Irreversible damages to the Everglades and drinking water aquifers. It may sound like a trailer for a sci-fi movie, but those phrases were taken from state and federal agency reports, university findings and insurance risk assessments to describe the Herbert Hoover Dike, a 143-mile earthen dam that's been eroding for the last half century.” Read Herbert Hoover Dike: Region at Risk.

Julie Hauserman writes in the Tallahassee Democrat – “In 28 years of writing about Florida’s environment, I have seen bulldozers swallow some of the very best places. I’ve watched dunes sprout condos. I’ve sat in meetings — county commissions, legislative committees, the Cabinet, and city commissions from one end of this state to the other — while someone from some corporate office in Cincinnati assures us that, even though our state’s environment will be obliterated, ‘this will be a quality project.’ Sometimes that was true, and sometimes it was not. Just look around. You decide. This is what I’ve witnessed: There is only one way to save natural Florida, and that is to buy some of it and keep it. That’s how we (and future generations) get a chance to know it, in all its salty, watery, tangled green glory. You live here, and you know what I mean.” Read Vote ‘yes’ on Amendment 1.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

October 19th, 11:00-5:00 - REFLECTING FLORIDA: How Agriculture, Art & Activism Shape Our State (panels) at Audubon Park Exchange (APEX) in Orlando at the East End Market. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - October 3, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Friday, October 3rd, 2014 @ 2:02pm

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

October 3, 2014

Paula Dockery writes in Florida Today – Allow me to make the case for a “yes” vote on Amendment 1, the proposed Water and Land Conservation initiative. Amendment 1 would set aside 33 percent of an existing tax and dedicate that money to be used for conservation purposes only. This would include land acquisition and management, ensuring a safe and adequate supply of drinking water, restoring the Everglades, protecting our springs, lakes, rivers and coastal waters, providing outdoor recreational activities and preserving our natural areas and wildlife habitat… Surely our quality of life is worth 1 percent of our state budget to benefit all Floridians. Vote “yes” on Amendment 1 to protect our natural resources and preserve our beautiful state for our children and future generations.” Read Vote ‘yes’ on Amendment 1.

Eric Draper writes in the Orlando Sentinel –Florida's voters want money spent to protect water and land, restore the Everglades and maintain our beaches. For much of the past five years, water and land protection has not been a priority in Tallahassee. Right now — when we are seeing rivers and springs turn green with algae, when water supplies are stretched to the limit, when demand for beaches is at an all-time high — is the time to make a commitment to solve these problems.” Read Guarantee conservation spending to save land, water.

Bruce Ritchie writes in Context Florida – “California became the first state in the nation this week to ban disposable single-use plastic shopping bags…That new law prompted some pundits and others with environmental leanings to say that Florida and other states should take similar action… But that’s not going to happen, not without big changes in the Florida Legislature — and without changing a law adopted in 2008 that was intended to thwart such bag bans statewide or locally… Some sources say it will take plastic bags as long as 1,000 years to break down in a landfill… The question on my mind is whether the prohibition against local bag bans will still be in place whenever that occurs because state law will require that the Legislature adopt recommendations of a study — a study that was completed in 2010.” Read Florida won’t follow California on bag ban because of 2008 law requiring study.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

October 19th, 11:00-5:00 - REFLECTING FLORIDA: How Agriculture, Art & Activism Shape Our State (panels) at Audubon Park Exchange (APEX) in Orlando at the East End Market. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - October 2, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 @ 11:40am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

October 2, 2014

Rebecca Eagen writes in the Sun Sentinel – “If Amendment 1, the Water and Land Legacy amendment, is passed by voters and gains conservation funds for the next 20 years, it is unlikely the two gubernatorial candidates would handle its implementation the same way… Both (Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist) have records on how they regard wildlife, public lands and the ethic that spurred our Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever programs to nationwide envy… Past actions show Crist is far more likely than Scott to keep Amendment 1 faithful to its intended purposes. This should matter to the 75 percent of citizens who support the amendment.” Read Rebecca Eagan: On environmental stewardship Charlie Crist has better record.

Kevin Lollar reports on News-Press.com – “Environmentalists rallied Wednesday at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection office in Fort Myers to ask the agency to reject the sugar industry’s plan for a massive development in eastern Hendry County.” Read Activists turn out to protest Big Sugar.

Andy Reid reports in the Sun Sentinel –As farmers, environmentalists and neighborhood groups debate the development future of Palm Beach County's Agricultural Reserve, GL Homes may get to pay for the chance to build even more homes than currently allowed there.” Read County may allow GL Homes to pay to build more in the Ag Reserve.

Kelsie Orzanne reports for the Florida Alligator - A new UF study suggests geographically isolated wetlands deserve protection too — a finding that conflicts with previous Supreme Court decisions regarding wetland conservation. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study found that even though these areas appear to be isolated, they are significantly connected to the state’s waterways system. Read Food sciences institute study finds isolated wetlands worth conserving.  

Tom Swihart writes in the blog Watery Foundation – “A Californian ‘civil servant who reads reports’ blogs occasionally at On the Public Record. I want to enthusiastically recommend three particular posts published there a few days ago.” Find out more here.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

October 19th, 11:00-5:00 - REFLECTING FLORIDA: How Agriculture, Art & Activism Shape Our State (panels) at Audubon Park Exchange (APEX) in Orlando at the East End Market. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - October 1, 2014

E-mail sent by Ashley Killough, Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 @ 10:47am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

October 1, 2014

Tom Palmer writes for The Ledger – “Florida Wildlife Federation has established a matching grant program to encourage Floridians to contribute to Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, the Vote Yes on Amendment 1 campaign. FWF will donate $1 to the campaign for every $2 donated between now and Oct. 30, providing up to an additional $100,000.” Read Fla. Wildlife Federation to match Amendment 1 donations.

Rochelle Koff writes for the Tampa Bay Times “Feeling safe in public places and concern about the environment are two critical concerns for Floridians, according to a new Sunshine State Survey on guns and the environment, administered by the University of South Florida and the A. C. Nielsen Company. ‘It's clear that Floridians are increasingly worried about security in public places,’ said Susan MacManus, the survey director and professor at USF's College of Arts and Sciences. ‘They're also getting a little more critical about what the state has been doing about the environment.’” Read Sunshine State Survey finds Floridians concerned about environment and crime.

Barbara Behrendt reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “For years, those who have worked to protect critical natural habitat from development have eyed the marsh and hardwood hammock around Boat Spring as prime property for public acquisition. Time and again, plans to make that happen have fallen through. On Tuesday, those hopes were finally realized when the Southwest Florida Water Management District agreed to spend $1.37 million to acquire an 85-acre parcel that straddles the Hernando-Pasco County line just east of Aripeka, with the majority of the site, 54 acres, in Hernando County.” Read Swiftmud purchases environmentally sensitive Boat Spring land near Aripeka.

Anna Hamilton reports in the new Podcast “Watershed” – In the new Podcast “Watershed” Anna Hamilton talks about current issues effecting Florida’s waters and the groups and individuals who have vowed to protect this valuable resource. The first episode focuses on the FCC's Speak Up Homosassa Springs event. Listen to the inaugural episode of Watershed.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 1st, 5:00-5:30 - Stop Sugar Hill/Buy the Land Press Conferences will be held at the FDEP South District Office (2295 Victoria Avenue, Ft. Myers, FL 33902) in Ft. Meyers and at the FDEP Branch Office (337 N. U.S. Hwy 1, Ft. Pierce, FL 34952) in Ft. Pierce

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

October 19th, 11:00-5:00 - REFLECTING FLORIDA: How Agriculture, Art & Activism Shape Our State (panels) at Audubon Park Exchange (APEX) in Orlando at the East End Market. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 30th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 @ 10:48am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 30, 2014

Nick Evans reports for WFSU – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has put restrictions on the Apalachicola Bay oyster harvest this winter, but harvesting may need to stop altogether if stocks don’t improve… It’s clear the bay is in trouble, and until reliable levels of fresh water return it seems likely to stay that way. In the meantime, the people that rely on the waterfront to feed their families have to hope stop-gap measures are enough to sustain them.” Read No simple solution for fixing Apalachicola Bay.

Florida Wildlife Federation President Manley Fuller writes in the News-Press –A recent article in News-Press (Amendment 1 is more than water and land conservation) indicated the writer opposed Amendment 1 because it is somehow anti-hunting. Nothing could be further from the truth! Hunters and anglers, as well as other outdoor recreationists, will all directly benefit from the Amendment 1's passage. The same is true for fish and wildlife habitat and the very fish and game sportsmen pursue.” Read Best for hunters.

Andy Reid reports in the Sun Sentinel – “A lot of talk led to little agreement Monday in the debate over whether to allow more large-scale development in Palm Beach County's Agricultural Reserve… County officials on Monday held a day-long discussion with neighborhood representatives, growers, developers, environmentalists and others to try to find common ground on whether to change the development rules for the Agricultural Reserve. But at one point, some participants couldn't even agree on the idea that producing food and other agricultural pursuits should still take priority in the Agricultural Reserve.It is called the Ag Reserve,’ said an exasperated Drew Martin of the Sierra Club.” Read Interest groups differ on Ag Reserve’s future.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 1st, 5:00-5:30 - Stop Sugar Hill/Buy the Land Press Conferences will be held at theFDEP South District Office (2295 Victoria Avenue, Ft. Myers, FL 33902) in Ft. Meyers and at theFDEP Branch Office (337 N. U.S. Hwy 1, Ft. Pierce, FL 34952) in Ft. Pierce

October 2nd, 3rd & 4th – Sharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Floridawill be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center MarriotFind more info here.

October 13th, 10 am – Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in GainesvilleTickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 29th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Monday, September 29th, 2014 @ 11:24am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 29, 2014

Brad Rogers writes for the Ocala Star Banner – “Well over 100 citizens turned out (Thursday night in northern Marion County) to offer their thoughts and ideas about the how to improve the health of the streams and lakes that make up the basin... Water is — or should be — THE public policy issue of the 21st century, yet while the room was packed up in Citra Thursday, not one elected official was in attendance... All we had to do was wait a day to find out why. The Florida Council of 100, arguably the state's most influential group of business leaders and, of course, campaign donors came out in opposition to Amendment 1 (the Water and Land Conservation Amendment)... A 'yes' vote for Amendment 1 is a vote to keep at least some of our tax dollars out of the greedy hands of those who are enriching themselves at the expense of the rest of us and our environment. It is a vote for trying to save our dwindling water supply and with it our state from economic and environmental ruin.” Read The no-shows when it’s water.

Martha Musgrove writes in the Sun Sentinel  Come Election Day, voting ‘Yes on One’ is a no-brainer. Passing Amendment One raises nobody's taxes. Nor does it raise any tax rate. This proposed ‘Water and Land Conservation’ amendment to Florida's Constitution simply directs the Legislature to spend about one percent of Florida's $77 billion budget on acquiring and managing public lands and water resources.” ReadAmendment One a no-brainer for Florida.

Ron Littlepage writes for the Florida Times-Union – “The current governor and Legislature have not followed the political leaders of the past who provided the money necessary to protect Florida’s natural resources. Passage of Amendment 1 would take that out of their hands. We have a prime example of why that’s important in our own backyard. In the early 1980s, Herb Peyton and his Gate Petroleum Co. completed a real estate deal that included purchase of what’s now the Guana State Park and Wildlife Management Area. He could have developed Guana, but instead Peyton sold it to the state for just under $50 million... But there’s no doubt that wonderful places that should be preserved for the public will fall to development if Amendment 1 doesn’t pass. A vote in favor is a vote to save what makes Florida special for those who come after us to enjoy.” Read Let's preserve the Florida we love.

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster reports for the Tampa Tribune  “In Florida, discussions about the environment lead to water. Conservation land is coveted to help move water south. Millions of dollars are sought by local governments and environmental groups to clean up the state’s springs and estuaries. And discussions about oil drilling often become a discussion about potential pollutants... Environmental issues are important to Floridians, ranking among the top five issues facing the state, according to a recent University of South Florida survey.” Read Water a top concern for voters.

Randy Schultz writes for the Sun Sentinel – “Last week, Gov. Rick Scott campaigned at Capt. Anderson's, the popular restaurant in Panama City Beach owned in part by State Rep. Jimmy Patronis. Two days later, Scott named Patronis one of Florida's five utility regulators. It was another serving of smelly Florida politics. Patronis has no background in energy and law... Patronis does have experience in regulation when it comes to his time in the Florida Legislature, but that background should have disqualified him for a job in which he is supposed to balance the interests of utilities against the interests of customers.” ReadPolitics, not families, matter most matter to Scott.

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “More than two decades after Florida identified the need to save disappearing forests south of Miami, shrinking hammocks in the Keys and other sensitive land around the state, environmentalists fed up with politics getting in the way of conservation are taking their fight to the people. In November, they will ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment — Amendment 1 on the ballot — that sets aside a third of taxes collected on real estate transactions over the next 20 years to conserve land and protect water.” Read Amendment 1 promises to save Florida’s threatened lands.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 1st, 5:00-5:30 - Stop Sugar Hill/Buy the Land Press Conferences will be held at the  FDEP South District Office (2295 Victoria Avenue, Ft. Myers, FL 33902) in Ft. Meyers and at theFDEP Branch Office (337 N. U.S. Hwy 1, Ft. Pierce, FL 34952) in Ft. Pierce

October 2nd, 3rd & 4th – Sharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center MarriotFind more info here.

October 13th, 10 am – Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program fefaturing Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in GainesvilleTickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 26th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ashley Killough, Friday, September 26th, 2014 @ 10:27am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 26, 2014

Chuck O’Neal writes in the Orlando Sentinel – Unfortunately, when the Great Recession hit, Florida Forever funding was decimated. As the economy came back, the governor and Legislature created the Department of Economic Opportunity. This little-known agency has redirected money from the Florida Forever program into corporate giveaways. It's no wonder the Florida Chamber doesn't want to see Florida Forever funding return. Its seats on the gravy train have become far too comfortable. It is time to wean these private companies off public tax dollars and put that money back to work conserving our state's water and land resources.” Read Use tax dollars to conserve land, water.

Andrew Gant reports for the Daytona News Journal – 
“’This is not only an environmental crisis; it’s an economic crisis,’ Florida Water and Land Legacy campaign manager Will Abberger said Thursday in a meeting with The Daytona Beach News-Journal’s editorial board… The result (of passing Amendment 1) would be guaranteed funding for the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund, with programs addressing a range of environmental protection issues.” Grant notes, “Some of the strongest support in the Senate is coming from Sen. David Simmons, the Winter Park Republican whose district includes a small part of southwest Volusia County. Simmons said at a recent meeting in the county that he believes the amendment could provide funding to remove tens of thousands of septic tanks near Florida waterways at no cost to the owners.”  Read Supporters argue for passage of conservation amendment.

Deborah Buckhalter reports for the Jackson County Floridan “The state will buy 347 acres in Washington County at a cost of $780,000, to protect springs and other natural resources on the parcel.  Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet approved the purchase from Plum Creek Land Company Tuesday. The land lies within Florida’s First Magnitude Springs Florida Forever Project Boundary and contains a 3rd magnitude spring with more than 2,200 linear feet of water frontage along Holmes Creek, according to the Northwest Florida Water Management District.” Read State agrees to buy 347 acres along Holmes Creek.

Chad Gillis reports for news-press.com – “Dozens of environmental groups are pushing the state to stop a development plan in eastern Hendry County that would allow 18,000 homes and 25 million square feet of industrial and commercial space, but advocates say the area desperately needs jobs and tax dollars the project could bring. Like most of Hendry County, the land — about 67 square miles or almost twice the size of Fort Myers — is owned by U.S. Sugar Corp. and Hilliard Brothers of Florida. Some of it has been targeted for purchase by the South Florida Water Management District, which started buying out U.S. Sugar in 2010. The district has an option to buy the land — now zoned for agriculture and low-concentration residential — in October of 2015.” Read Environmentalists want state to stop Hendry development.

Erin Sullivan reports for the Orlando Weekly “The League of Women Voters is urging Florida voters to vote yes on Amendment 1. ‘We supported [this amendment] after very lengthy discussion,’ League of Women Voters of Florida president Deidre McNab said on the call. ‘Generally we do not support amendments that identify a source of revenue or spending in the constitution.’ McNab says that the organization decided that the issue of water conservation was vital to the state.” Read League of Women Voters of Florida announces positions on 2014 ballot amendments.

Lynn Slabaugh writes on news-press.com – “The Conservancy of Southwest Florida proudly joins more than 400 other organizations endorsing Amendment 1. On behalf of the Conservancy’s 6,000 member families, I applaud and support the efforts led by Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, a coalition that succeeded in gathering nearly one million signatures from Florida voters to place this historic issue on the November ballot. Amendment 1 is Florida’s best opportunity to address threats to our water, land, wildlife and future without any increase in taxes.” Read Slabaugh: Vote “Yes” on Amendment 1 for the environment.

Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel –Concerns about too much suburbia spreading into Palm Beach County's Agricultural Reserve could trigger an inquiry into whether development pressures thwarted voter-approved preservation efforts… Audubon says that development by G.L. Homes already claims 30 percent of the Agricultural Reserve and that the pace of development exceeds what was envisioned by county rules.Read Audubon calls for investigation into Ag Reserve development.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 1st, 5:00-5:30 - Stop Sugar Hill/Buy the Land Press Conferences will be held at the FDEP South District Office (2295 Victoria Avenue, Ft. Myers, FL 33902) in Ft. Meyers and at the FDEP Branch Office (337 N. U.S. Hwy 1, Ft. Pierce, FL 34952) in Ft. Pierce.  

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Asks Governor Scott, State Agencies to Protect Land Necessary for Everglades Restoration

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Thursday, September 25th, 2014 @ 4:29pm

Dear FCC members,


Yesterday, in a letter to Governor Scott, the Florida Conservation Coalition expressed serious
 concerns regarding the cumulative impact of proposed developments in South Florida on Everglades restoration.

Restoration of the Everglades, a paramount national and state priority faces an uncertain future. The FCC believes that the standards set forth in Florida Statutes regarding protection of the Everglades must be considered in evaluating proposed developments. Further, the Coalition recommends that the entirety of the Everglades, from the headwaters to Florida Bay, be designated as an “important state resource,” which would bring the heightened review necessary to ensure proposed development projects are consistent with Everglades restoration goals. 

The full FCC letter sent to Governor Scott is attached below.

Best,

Ryan Smart
FCC

FCC Daily News Brief - September 24th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 @ 3:13pm

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 24, 2014

Bruce Ritchie writes in Context Florida – Florida Forever was the nation's largest land-buying program from 1990 until 2008 when it received $300 million a year. But it has received less than 5 percent of its historic funding since 2009. The Florida Communities Trust hasn't received any money since 2011 because Scott and the Legislature have circumvented a funding distribution formula that was revised and approved by the Legislature in 2009." Ritchie continues, "Environmental groups now are backing Amendment 1 to the Florida Constitution, which would provide more than $10 billion over 20 years for conservation land acquisition, land management and restoration. Supporters hope the amendment will provide money for the full range of Florida Forever programs, including Florida Communities Trust.” Read Gov. Scott is circumventing funding formula for conservation.

Phil Douglas writes on news-press.com – “One of the primary reasons Floridians like the Sunshine State is because of its incredible environment, beaches, animal and bird habitat. This contributes to the quality of life important to most of us. By supporting and voting 'Yes' on Amendment 1, we will not only be protecting our quality of life today but also preserving our unique environmental heritage for future generations to cherish and enjoy.” Read Amendment 1 a solution to preserving our environment.

Edie Driest writes in the Herald-Tribune – “Amendment 1, the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment, will be on our ballot this November. It wasn't easy to take the steps to bring this to the voters. Now's the chance to get it right. With 668 people moving into Florida per day, we need this amendment to pass; without it, our natural environment has little chance to stand up to development. This amendment will not tax you. The money will come from real estate documentary stamps, a source that has supported similar programs.” Read Protect natural Florida.

Jeff Gill reports for The Gainesville Times The U.S. solicitor general said he believes the Supreme Court should put off accepting a Florida lawsuit that accuses Georgia of consuming too much water. The Army Corps of Engineers is working to complete a ‘master manual’ to guide management of water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, which includes Lake Lanier. As an option, justices could accept Florida’s complaint but put on hold ‘any further proceedings until the corps has issued the revised master manual,’ states a brief filed by Donald B. Verrilli.” Read Supreme Court advised to delay taking on water war case.

Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel “A proposal to extend sewer lines to 380 homes with septic tanks near the ailing Wekiwa Springs got no action Tuesday but much debate by Orange County commissioners over who should protect Florida waters.” Read Commissioners question free sewer hookups for homes in Wekiwa.

Tom Palmer writes for The Ledger – “I notice the critics of Amendment 1, which if it passes would guarantee money for conservation land purchases, are pushing their agenda. One prime argument is that spending money for conservation land doesn’t belong in the Florida Constitution... Let’s start with the basics, which is Section 7 of the Florida Constitution, which states: ‘It shall be the policy of the state to conserve and protect its natural resources and scenic beauty. Adequate provision shall be made by law for the abatement of air and water pollution and of excessive and unnecessary noise and for the conservation and protection of natural resources.’” Read Conservation land measure a good fit in Florida Constitution.

 

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 23rd, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 @ 10:09am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 23, 2014

The news-press.com editorial board writes – “We can’t support any project – even one that could boost the economic vitality of a low income area – if it threatens the quality of Southwest Florida’s water and any Everglades restoration efforts. We support environmentalists who are pushing for the state to stop what is essentially a new city near Clewiston, planned by U.S. Sugar and Hilliard Brothers of Florida… Such a project also could amplify what already is a severe problem with Lake Okeechobee water releases into the Caloosahatchee and local estuaries.” Read Environment, not new city should remain focus.

The Gainesville Sun editorial board writes – “As springs advocates listened Thursday, state environmental scientists tried to explain how a plan to clean up nitrate-polluted Silver Springs would work… In the end, the scientists admitted they are not even sure the plan will lead to the springs being cleaned up, let alone achieving the 79 percent reduction in nitrates the agency has set as its goal.” The board concludes, “Our springs and water supply are increasingly polluted and disappearing. When, we wonder, are our representatives going to quit genuflecting to party bosses and big campaign donors and start speaking up for our interests? This is about water. It’s our lifeblood.” Read Silent on springs.

Dinah Voyles Pulver reports in the Daytona Beach News-Journal – “Efforts to clean up water quality in springs and curb nutrients in groundwater that promote algae growth will get a $25 million assist from the state budget in the coming year. Together with matching funds from local governments… and the state’s water management districts, an estimated $69 million is earmarked for springs restoration. Not everyone, however, believes the state’s contribution is big enough, or that the best projects were selected.” Read Projects seek to preserve water quality at Florida’s springs.

Andy Reid reports in the Sun Sentinel – “Everglades advocates are dangling a $10 million prize to motivate scientists and businesses to solve a water pollution problem plaguing South Florida. The Everglades Foundation on Monday unveiled a competition to find ways to remove excessive phosphorous from waterways and then recycle it to fertilize crops elsewhere.” Read the full story here.

The Washington Post reports – “It’s Florida’s version of the Blob. Slow-moving glops of toxic algae in the northeast Gulf of Mexico are killing sea turtles, sharks and other fish, and threatening the waters and beaches that fuel the region’s economy.” Read Red tide of northwest Florida beaches killing marine life.

Tom Swihart writes in the blog Watery Foundation – "We don’t have to do stupid water stuff either. Many current policies damage water resources in Florida while also inflicting huge costs on everyone." To find out which policies are damaging our waters and economy read Don’t do stupid stuff.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 2nd, 3rd & 4th – Sharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center MarriotFind more info here.

October 13th, 10 am – Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in GainesvilleTickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 22nd, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Monday, September 22nd, 2014 @ 11:48am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 22, 2014

Nathaniel Reed writes for the Palm Beach Post – “Why is Maggy Hurchulla being attacked through the legal system for telling the truth about Lake Point's proposal to divert water from Lake Okeechobee and pump it into the firms' excavations for storage? Lake Point does not have a valid permit to obtain Lake Okeechobee’s water. Any competent Florida attorney knows that the 'waters of the state' are owned by the 'people' and are managed in trust for them by the five water management districts with oversight provided by the state Department of Environmental Regulation... Why haven’t Lake Point’s owners pursued the necessary permits? Do the owners honestly believe that Hurchalla’s critique influenced the pertinent decision-makers sufficiently to cast their vague proposal in the scrap heap?” ReadSuit won’t alter fact: Lake Point can’t sell public water.

The Tampa Bay Tribune editorial board writes – “The Water and Land Conservation Legacy amendment, on the Nov. 4 ballot, would allow the state to retain its natural beauty and an adequate water supply even as growth returns and the population soars. The amendment would achieve this without a tax increase or burdensome regulations. Conservatives should embrace a measure that utilizes property rights — it compensates landowners who want to sell their property or development rights — to protect Florida’s environment, quality of life and economy.” The board concludes, "The water and Land Conservation Amendment provides a reasonable way to ensure continued growth doesn't destroy Florida's natural paradise and its invaluable brand. The Tribune stronly encourages a 'yes' vote on Amendment 1."Read Amendment 1: Saving Florida’s Brand.

Kevin Lollar reports for news-press.com – “In the wake of Gov. Rick Scott's controversial hunting trip to a ranch in Texas, environmentalists are questioning the governor's appointment of two men associated with the ranch to the South Florida Water Management District's governing board.” Read Governor's water district appointments under scrutiny.

John Henderson reports for The News HeraldState funding has been secured in this coming year’s fiscal budget to restore two local springs that feed water bodies of popular local recreation areas. The Econfina Creek and Holmes Creek Springs Protection projects were on a statewide list of springs restoration projects recently approved by Legislative Budget Commission. The commission approved the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) list of proposed $69 million in springs restoration projects.” Read Area springs get restoration money.

Kyle Swenson reports for the Broward Palm Beach New Times As he stomps his way around the state hoping to keep his job, Governor Rick Scott has been pushing his 'Keep Florida Beautiful' campaign, a likely too-little-too-late bid to appear like a friend to the earth. As we've written before, nothing is further from the truth, with the Scott administration putting up the worst numbers in terms of corrective actions for polluters in some time. Now the same environmental watchdogs have released a new report examining the amount of pollution fines the state collected in 2013. It's not good. According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the amount of money the state collected in fines last year dropped by more than half from previous year -- capping off a plummet that started the year Scott took office.” Read PEER: Florida is Collecting Fewer Pollution Fines Than Ever Before.

Lloyd Dunkelberger reports for the Herald TribuneThe outcome of the governor’s race could have a significant impact on state energy policy and utility rates for millions of Floridians. On one side is a former governor, Charlie Crist, who had a reputation for appointing consumer-friendly members to the Public Service Commission — often much to the chagrin of Florida’s major utilities and powerful lawmakers. On the other side is Rick Scott, the incumbent, who emphasizes his pro-business policies and has been rewarded with strong financial backing from Florida’s utility companies in this year’s campaign.” Read Energy rates and policies hang on outcome of governor's race.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 19th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ashley Killough, Friday, September 19th, 2014 @ 10:35am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 19, 2014

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board writes – To make sure the game remains rigged against ratepayers, (Gov. Rick) Scott appointed to the PSC Republican Rep. Jimmy Patronis of Panama City, who has no utility experience and has never seen a wetland that could not be drained and paved over by a developer. No current legislator is more hostile to environmental regulation and friendlier to industry and agricultural interests. His legislative record suggests he will be just as friendly to utilities as a PSC member.” The editorial board continues, “This is all about politics, not smart public policy. Scott rewarded Patronis with the PSC appointment in return for giving up his bid for a North Florida Senate seat, which would have pitted Patronis against Rep. Matt Gaetz in the 2016 Republican primary. That would be Matt Gaetz, son of Senate President Don Gaetz. It also didn't hurt that Duke Energy and FPL, which have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Scott's re-election campaign, have to be thrilled with the governor's choices.” Read Power to the People? Hardly.

Bruce Ritchie writes in Context Florida – "Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday appointed (Representative Jimmy) Patronis, R-Panama City, to the Florida Public Service Commission. The move came as no surprise to me. Patronis, 42, was an early supporter of Scott in the 2010 election. And, like the governor, Patronis is a darling of industry and business groups." Read Jimmy Patronis’ appointment to the PSC is no surprise.

Chad Gillis reports for news-press.com – Legislation funding the Central Everglades Planning Project was filed in both the House and Senate in Washington, D.C. Thursday, paving the way for construction in the next phase of Everglades restoration.” Read Legislation filed for next phase of Everglades restoration.

Tom Swihart writes in the blog Watery Foundation – “Following up on the previous post about Rick Scott’s cuts in WMD taxes, I checked on whether he boasts about this at his campaign site. Doesn’t seem too. He claims generally to have cut taxes more than 40 times and also spent lots of tax dollars on water resources. Will Scott brag about cutting water management district revenues in the coming gubernatorial debates? We’ll see.” Read Unmentionable tax cuts?

Tom Swihart writes in the blog Watery Foundation – “This weekend, from Friday through Sunday, you have an opportunity to avoid sales tax on purchases of water-saving WaterSense products (as well as energy-saving Energy Star appliances). The Florida Department of Revenue has the official information here.” Read Saving money while saving water.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

September 19th & 20th  The 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium will be held at Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake WalesFind more info here.

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 18th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Thursday, September 18th, 2014 @ 10:11am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 18, 2014

Reuters publishes – A must read in-depth investigative report on “The crisis of rising sea levels.” Read Water’s Edge.

The Gainesville Sun editorial board writes – “Recent (news) stories at least show that protecting our springs is now a major part of the state’s public-policy debate. But until the state gets serious about reversing the springs’ decline, the new projects and regulations will only maintain the status quo of degraded water resources.” Read Serious about springs.

Paula Dockery writes in the Ledger – When Governor Scott met with climate scientists last month “the scientists left with the sinking feeling that Scott was not likely to take meaningful action… They stressed that rising sea levels is one of the climate issues that is already having an impact on Florida’s coastal communities… Ironically, while Scott shows little interest in the scientists’ advice in addressing a real problem facing the state, he touts the importance of a STEM education.” Read Rick Scott loves STEM; Scientists – Not so much.

Mary Ellen Klas reports in the Tampa Bay Times – “If Florida’s climate scientists have proven anything this summer, it is that they are careful listeners. After Gov. Rick Scott told them last month that he is ‘focused on solutions,’ 42 scientists from Florida colleges and universities crafted a letter asking the governor and state policy leaders to convene a ‘Climate Science & Solutions Summit’ to be held this fall.” Read the full story here.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

September 19th & 20th – The 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium will be held at Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake WalesFind more info here.

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center MarriotFind more info here.

October 13th, 10 am – Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in GainesvilleTickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcaolition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 17th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 @ 3:40pm

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 17, 2014

The Citrus County Chronicle editorial board writes – “All these respected individuals shared a goal: restore reliable and reasonable funding in Florida to provide for water quality and natural resource protection. This is the subject of a proposed constitutional amendment coming up for a vote in November. ‘Water and Land Conservation’ — called Amendment 1 on the ballot — requires that for the next 20 years, 33 percent of net revenues from documentary stamp taxes be dedicated to an existing state trust fund for water and land conservation. Although we don't generally favor legislation-through-constitutional-amendment, in some cases such citizen initiative amendments are necessary... Amendment 1 will go a long way toward protecting Florida's lifeblood from further decline. We encourage voters to say 'yes' to it in November.” Read Activists make superior case for Amendment.

Scott Maxwell writes in the Orlando Sentinel – “In this state, we don't agree on much… Still, we Floridians unite in our belief that the environment is worth protecting — that we want our water clean and land unfouled. That's why it looks like this year's Amendment No. 1 — a November ballot initiative to guarantee that about 1 percent of state budget goes toward environmental protection — is enjoying broad voter support.” Read the full story here.

Mark Ferrulo writes in Context Florida – As the November election fast approaches, Gov. Rick Scott has been barnstorming across the state, touting his environmental record while promising to spend millions on land conservation and crack down on polluters. But when it comes to protecting public health and our state’s natural resources, Scott’s record stands in stark contrast to his rhetoric. Soon after taking the oath of office, Scott launched an unprecedented anti-government agenda that has reshaped the institutions and laws intended to protect our wildlife, natural treasures, open spaces and precious water supplies.” Read You don’t need to be a scientist, Gov. Scott.

Rep. Jimmie T. Smith writes in the Citrus County Chronicle – "Each group, whether it is environmental, industry, housing or agriculture, has priorities. Those priorities use resources differently to obtain different goals. But rather than bickering and spending money on expensive lawsuits, let's redirect that energy into coming up with positive sustainable solutions that will work to accomplish the goals of all parties." Read Working together key to protecting water resources.

Ashley Lopez reports in the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting – "Environmental groups around the state are alarmed at U.S. Sugar's plans to potentially develop huge tracts of land it owns in Hendry County, which might affect Everglades restoration efforts." Read Big Sugar Plans Development In Potential Everglades Restoration Land.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

September 19th & 20th  The 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium will be held at Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake WalesFind more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcaolition.org.

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.  

For more information on the FCC visit 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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