News and Announcements

This Saturday - Speak Up Homosassa Springs Free Event featuring Senator Bob Graham

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 @ 1:48pm

Dear FCC Members, 

The Florida Conservation Coalition and Citrus County Chronicle invite you to join Senator Bob Graham this Saturday, September 6th, for a FREE DAY of wildlife encounters, public addresses, live music, nature activities and educational exhibits at 
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park located at 4150 S. Suncoast Blvd, Homosassa, FL 34448.

Come enjoy a fun and educational day in one of Florida's most spectacular state parks, home to manatees, wading birds, red wolves, a hippopotamus and an eight-month-old Florida panther, as well other wildlife and a floating underwater observatory. 

See the full intinerary for the event below.


Questions? Email Ryan Smart at Smarts421@gmail.com.

Itinerary


Public Addresses and Live Music at the Garden of the Springs


10:00 a.m. – Exhibits Open

10:30 a.m. – Wildlife Encounters

11:30 a.m. – Manatee Program

11:45 a.m. – Magic Bus Band Performs Live              

12:45 p.m. – Public Addresses Featuring 

               Senator Bob Graham
                           &
            Other Notable Speakers

2:30 p.m. – Magic Bus Band Performs Live & Wildlife Encounters

3:30 p.m. – Manatee Program

4:00 p.m. – Event Closes

FCC Daily News Brief - September 2nd, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 @ 11:03am

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

September 2, 2014

Matt Reed writes in Florida Today – “Bob Graham, the former governor and U.S. senator, met with us to pitch Amendment 1 last week. I was unacquainted with both, but soon reached two conclusions. Graham loves Florida and knows as well as anyone how it works. Amendment 1 is a sound idea for the economy and environment…” Read Let growth pay for conservation.

A.B. Sibide interviews Senator Bob Graham in the Citrus County Chronicle – Speaking about Amendment 1 Graham says “This is the latest version of a funding mechanism that the state has used for decades to guarantee funding for the conservation program. And I think the state is a much better place because of those past efforts.” Senator Graham will headline Speak Up Homosassa Springs on September 6th at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Read Still fighting the fight.

Mary Shanklin reports in the Orlando Sentinel – State Sen. David Simmons this week encouraged commercial real-estate brokers to embrace (Amendment 1) on November's ballot.” Simmons told the group in Orlando, “Nitrates are seeping into the aquifer and migrating… We don’t want to be drinking out of the toilet, and that’s what we’re doing right now. We want to be drinking pristine, pure water.” Read Embrace water-quality amendment, Simmons tells real-estate brokers.

Jim Waymer reports in Florida Today – “Florida should guarantee a third of the taxes on real estate documents go toward buying and managing more land to protect the Indian River Lagoon and other state waters, advocates of Amendment 1 said Thursday.” Senator Bob Graham, Clay Henderson and Laurilee Thompson spoke to a packed house at the Florida Institute of Technology about the Florida Water and Land Legacy Amendment. Read Graham leads land-water plan discussion.

Jenny Staletovitch reports for the Miami Herald –Florida Power & Light needs millions more gallons of freshwater to manage cooling canals that keep two nuclear reactors at Turkey Point from overheating, company officials said in an emergency request to the South Florida Water Management District.” Read the full story here.

The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board writes –Many of the state's rivers and springs have been in a steady decline for years from pollution and excessive groundwater pumping. Yet lawmakers failed again this year to pass legislation to protect and conserve water, even though there was a bipartisan plan to do both.” Read Don’t reduce protection for endangered waters.

Jennifer Portman with the Tallahassee Democrat writes –The 130-page report by the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute in Gainesville brings together the most up-to-date information on the (Wakulla) springs current condition and the threats it faces — as well as a road map advocates say must be followed if the spring is to avoid becoming a ‘Black Lagoon’ and have a chance to recapture some of its former glory as a ‘Crystal Bowl of Light.’” Read Report details a people’s restoration plan for Wakulla Spring.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

September 6th, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm - Join Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Conservation Coalition and concerned citizens of Citrus County at “Speak Up Homosassa Springs,” a call to action to protect and restore the waters of Citrus County and all of Florida’s treasured waterways. There will be no admission charge to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, one of Florida’s most spectacular State Parks, which features a floating underwater observatory, manatees, wading birds, red wolves, a six month old Florida panther, as well as other wildlife and exhibits.  Find more info here.

September 13th, 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm – The 3rd Annual Adena Protest Flotilla to benefit the Water Protect Fund will depart from Silver Springs State Park at 1:00 pm and be followed by an event with live music and food at the Ocala Boat Club. Find more info and buy your tickets here.

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

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.

Tonight! Join Senator Bob Graham at "Choosing Our Legacy" Event in Melbourne

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Thursday, August 28th, 2014 @ 9:05am

Dear FCC Members,

Tonight, please join former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham, Preserve Brevard, the Florida Conservation Coalition and our other sponsor organizations at "Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1." The event will take place at the Gleason Auditorium on the Florida Institute of Technology campus in Melbourne beginning with live music from the Ashley Gang at 6:00 p.m. Speakers include Senator Bob Graham, Clay Henderson and Laurilee Thompson. See the flyer below for more information.

Reserve your seat at no cost by resgistering at http://amendment1.eventbrite.com.

Hope to see you tonight in Melbourne.

Best,

Ryan Smart
FCC

Sleepy Creek Lands / Adena Springs Ranch Administrative Hearing Update

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Thursday, August 28th, 2014 @ 8:52am

Dear FCC members,

The Administrative Hearing to challenge the Sleepy Creek Lands (formerly known as Adena Springs Ranch) Consumptive Use Permit and Environmental Resource Permit is underway this week at the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) Headquarters in Palatka. (Click here for a map.)

Tonight, from 6 pm to 9 pm, the Administrative Law Judge will allow the public to comment on the record at the Hearing. These comments will also be considered by SJRWMD staff in making their final recommendations to the District’s Governing Board.

The Hearing was requested by St. Johns Riverkeeper, Sierra Club Florida, and two concerned citizens, Karen Ahlers and Jerri Baldwin. They contend that the SJRWMD has failed to account for the significant impacts to the flow of Silver Springs, Silver and Ocklawha Rivers and Salt Springs and the increased nutrient loading that will result from the manure of 9,500 head of cattle and the use of large quantities of fertilizer and water.

You can find more information on the St. Johns Riverkeeper website.

Best,

Ryan Smart

FCC

Only Two Days Left - Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment Event featuring Senator Bob Graham

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 @ 3:57pm

Dear FCC Members,

This Thursday, August 28th, please join former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham, Preserve Brevard, the Florida Conservation Coalition and our other sponsor organizations at "Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1." The event will take place at the Gleason Auditorium on the Florida Institute of Technology campus in Melbourne beginning with live music from the Ashley Gang. Speakers include Senator Bob Graham, Clay Henderson and Laurilee Thompson.

For more information see the flyer below or contact me at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org
Reserve your seat at no cost by resgistering at http://amendment1.eventbrite.com.

Best,

Ryan Smart
FCC

FCC Daily News Brief - August 25th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Monday, August 25th, 2014 @ 10:56am

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

August 25, 2014

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board writes – “Florida's Republican leaders have said little about their secret trips to Big Sugar's leased hunting ranch in Texas, but their record of selling out the public interest says plenty about the impact this incestuous relationship could have on state water policy. Their low regard for clean water, cozy dealings with the agriculture industry and consistent refusal to hold polluters accountable makes it difficult to envision a fair debate over how to manage the state's precious natural resource.” Read Stacked deck on Florida water policy.

Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier writes in National Geographic – A look at the “love-hate relationship between manatees… and the humans who call this place home” at Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, Florida. Read The last spring: protecting Florida’s manatees.

Tyler Treadway reports in TCPALM – “The University of Florida Water Institute is diving right into the deep end of the pool: Plan 6.The Florida Senate is giving the institute six months and $250,000 to evaluate numerous ways to send Lake Okeechobee water to the Everglades, which — fingers crossed — could decrease or eliminate discharges east to the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.” Because of funding and time limitations The Institute will not be generating any new data or research for the evaluation. Read the full story here.

Bruce Ritchie reports in Context Florida - “Environmental issues are becoming high profile in the Florida Panhandle, as they should anywhere in Florida.” Read Environment is an issue in Panhandle race for Congress.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

August 28th, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pmThe Florida Conservation Coalition and Preserve Brevard will host Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1 at the Gleason Performing Arts Center at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Find more info and register to attend here.

September 6th, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm - Join Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Conservation Coalition and concerned citizens of Citrus County at “Speak Up Homosassa Springs,” a call to action to protect and restore the waters of Citrus County and all of Florida’s treasured waterways. There will be no admission charge to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, one of Florida’s most spectacular State Parks, which features a floating underwater observatory, manatees, wading birds, red wolves, a six month old Florida panther, as well as other wildlife and exhibits.  Find more info here.

September 13th, 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm – The 3rd Annual Adena Protest Flotilla to benefit the Water Protect Fund will depart from Silver Springs State Park at 1:00 pm and be followed by an event with live music and food at the Ocala Boat Club. Find more info and buy your tickets here.

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

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.

Join Senator Bob Graham & the FCC at Speak Up Homosassa Springs Free Event

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 @ 8:14am

Dear FCC Members,

The Florida Conservation Coalition and Citrus County Chronicle invite you to a FREE DAY of wildlife encounters, public addresses, live music, nature activities and educational exhibits at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

We hope you will join former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham on September 6th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a fun and educational day in one of Florida's most spectacular state parks, home to manatees, wading birds, red wolves, a hippopotamus and an eight-month-old Florida panther, as well other wildlife and a floating underwater observatory. 

Live music begins at 11:45 a.m. followed by public addresses from Senator Graham and other notable speakers beginning at 12:45 p.m. There will be no admission charge to Homosossa Springs Wildlife State Park for the event.

For more information see the flyer below.

Questions? Email Ryan Smart at Smarts421@gmail.com.

FCC Daily News Brief - August 21st, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Thursday, August 21st, 2014 @ 10:59am

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

August 21, 2014

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board writes – Following a meeting between Governor Rick Scott and climate scientists on Tuesday the Times editorial board writes, “Scott has heard from the scientists, and he doesn’t have to pretend to be one to address climate change. The next governor and the Legislature should meet this challenge with real solutions rather than denying it exists and leaving future generations to pay for their neglect.” Read Scott has heard the science, now he should act.

John Dunn writes in the Ocala Star-Banner – “Star Banner editorial page editor Brad Rogers got it right. Silence, he wrote recently, is what we get from many local elected officials instead of solutions to our most vexing problems. But we do have leaders – only they’re not elected. Consider Karen Ahlers and Jeri Baldwin. They are two exceedingly brave and determined women who are waging a legal battle to stop billionaire Frank Stronach from getting a water permit for a 30,000-acre cattle farm and slaughterhouse in Marion County.” Read Two women take on Stronach to save our water, springs.

Jessica Palombo reports for WFSU – “A few years back, the polluted St. Johns River became the test case for the voluntary water-quality credit program. The theory, state regulators say, was to foster regional cooperation by adding an economic incentive for water cleanup… But Lisa Rinaman, head of the non-profit St. Johns Riverkeeper, says the river isn’t benefiting long-term from the program.” Read Can a version of cap-and-trade reduce water pollution? Florida hopes so.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

August 28th, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pmThe Florida Conservation Coalition and Preserve Brevard will host Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1 at the Gleason Performing Arts Center at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Find more info and register to attend here.

September 6th, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm - Join Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Conservation Coalition and concerned citizens of Citrus County at “Speak Up Homosassa Springs,” a call to action to protect and restore the waters of Citrus County and all of Florida’s treasured waterways. There will be no admission charge to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, one of Florida’s most spectacular State Parks, which features a floating underwater observatory, manatees, wading birds, red wolves, a six month old Florida panther, as well as other wildlife and exhibits.  Find more info here.

September 13th, 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm – The 3rd Annual Adena Protest Flotilla to benefit the Water Protect Fund will depart from Silver Springs State Park at 1:00 pm and be followed by an event with live music and food at the Ocala Boat Club. Find more info and buy your tickets here.

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

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.

Register Today - Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment Educational Event in Brevard County

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 @ 11:44am

Dear FCC Members,

On Thursday, August 28th, please join former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham, Preserve Brevard, the Florida Conservation Coalition and our other sponsor organizations at "Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1." The event will take place at the Gleason Auditorium on the Florida Institute of Technology campus in Melbourne beginning with live music at 6:00 p.m. from the Ashley Gang. Speakers include Senator Bob Graham, Clay Henderson and Laurilee Thompson.

For more information see the flyer below or contact me at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org. To RSVP for the event go to http://amendment1.eventbrite.com.

Best,

Ryan Smart
FCC

FCC Daily News Brief - August 20th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 @ 11:39am

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

August 20, 2014

The Naples Daily News reports – “Lee County commissioners voted 4-1 on Tuesday to approve a resolution in support of a proposed Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment.” Read the full story here.

Matt Dixon reports in the Tampa Tribune – “After a 30-minute meeting Tuesday with Gov. Rick Scott, five university scientists remained skeptical he’s giving the idea of man-made climate change serious consideration. ‘There was in fact no acknowledgement of the seriousness of the issue,’ said David Hastings, a professor of marine science and chemistry at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, “He did not reflect on the science, either.’” Read Scientists fear Scott avoids climate change.

Michael Van Sickler and Craig Pittman report in the Tampa Bay Times – “To say that Steve Crisafulli is comfortable working with the sugar industry is an understatement. Crisafulli, who becomes the most powerful man in the Florida House of Representative this fall, has been a major beneficiary of the state’s sugar industry. During the last two election cycles, agricultural interests have contributed at least $200,000 to Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, and his political actions committees. U.S. Sugar contributed nearly half of that total, $94,500.” Read With close ties to sugar, next House speaker admits King Ranch trip.

Jeff Schweers reports in the Gainesville Sun – “Candidates for governor and state Legislature better burnish their environmental records – if a University of Florida survey is any indication of how voters feel about the environment. The environment is one of the 10 most important issues among Floridians, with the vast majority saying they would support land conservation programs and candidates who say they support conservation efforts, according to a newly released UF survey.” Read Survey: Environment weight heavily on state resident’s minds.

 

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

August 28th, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pmThe Florida Conservation Coalition and Preserve Brevard will host Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1 at the Gleason Performing Arts Center at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Find more info and register to attend here.

September 6th, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm - Join Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Conservation Coalition and concerned citizens of Citrus County at “Speak Up Homosassa Springs,” a call to action to protect and restore the waters of Citrus County and all of Florida’s treasured waterways. There will be no admission charge to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, one of Florida’s most spectacular State Parks, which features a floating underwater observatory, manatees, wading birds, red wolves, a six month old Florida panther, as well as other wildlife and exhibits.  Find more info here.

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

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.

Florida Conservation Coalition Calls on Public to Support Clean Water Act Rules

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Monday, August 18th, 2014 @ 9:54am

Florida Conservation Coalition Calls on Public to Support Clean Water Act Rules

Congressman Southerland’s Bill, H.R. 5078, Muddies the Water

In the face of attacks by the Florida Farm Bureau and a narrow group of elected officials, the Florida Conservation Coalition calls on the citizens of Florida to support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to protect Florida’s water resources.

The Clean Water Act prevents activities that would harm the nation’s rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands and coastal waters. As required by the Act, EPA regulations protect water quality, help to prevent flooding and limit the impact of droughts. However, federal court decisions have made it essential that the EPA clarify which waters must be protected. 

Legislation proposed by Congressman Steve Southerland and supported today by the Florida Department of Agriculture, the Farm Bureau and other industry groups would prohibit adoption of an important new rule being proposed by EPA in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide this clarity. The legislation would also shut down the public comment process, denying the public the opportunity to voice its position on the proposed rule.

This effort by Representative Southerland and others to keep the Clean Water Act rules muddy is not in Florida’s best interest. Clarifying that streams and their wetlands are protected but uplands are not regulated brings certainty to landowners and assures protection of Florida’s most important natural resources.

The proposed rule actually excludes regulation of most dry ditches, the subject of the Farm Bureau’s objections. All historical exclusions and exemptions for agriculture are preserved, and the proposed rule provides exemptions for many farming, timber and other land-use activities. 

“Southerland’s legislation is a misguided reaction to the proposed rule.  This legislation intervenes in the middle of the public commenting process and raises suspicion that the industry groups demonstrating today do not want to allow citizens to voice their support of our natural resources. Clean water depends on clear standards,” said Vicki Tschinkel of the Florida Conservation Coalition and former Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.  

It is especially important that Floridians support EPA’s efforts to protect wetlands which are an integral part of many Florida waterbodies. They are essential to human life in Florida, providing safe drinking water, flood protection for our homes and roads, and our food supply.  In addition, wetlands are vital to the health of Florida’s waters; to wildlife which depend on them for food and habitat; and to our fisherman, tourists and all citizens who depend on the productivity of our estuaries, Atlantic and Gulf.  There is nothing more central to Florida’s economy than the health of our water resources.

Despite the political fracas created by the Farm Bureau, EPA’s proposed rule does not increase or decrease regulation of farming or other activities. The rule simply makes clear the boundaries between flowing waters, wetlands and uplands.

“We are puzzled by the fierce reaction against something that only seeks to provide needed clarity to the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule does not regulate any new types of waters that have not historically been covered under the Act.  Clarity of these regulations is desperately needed to protect our precious, yet deteriorating waters and to stop endless litigation,” said Tschinkel.

The Coalition encourages Floridians who value healthy wetlands and a strong economy to express their opinion of H.R. 5078 to their congressman.


The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and thousands of individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources. The first priority of the Coalition is to protect and preserve Florida’s waters.

FCC Daily News Brief - August 15th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Friday, August 15th, 2014 @ 7:06pm

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

August 15, 2014

Abdon Sidibe reports in the Citrus County Chronicle – “The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is planning a major shindig at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and is bringing in some heavy hitters to showcase the beauty of the area’s springs and to bring attention to the need to preserve them. The Speak Up Homosassa Springs event is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at the park.” Entry to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park will be free for the event on September 6th. Read Graham to headline springs event. Find more info on Speak Up Homosassa Springs here.

Andy Reid reports in the Sun Sentinel – “South Florida sugar cane growers and other farmers once again met annual Everglades pollution reduction requirements, but environmental advocates say the state’s standards aren’t tough enough.” Read the full story here.

Zac Anderson reports Herald Tribune – “Ranch owners and conservation groups are hoping to capitalize on an expected influx of state revenue into Florida Forever to expand on the extensive corridor of preserved lands in eastern Sarasota County. Such conservation efforts had little chance of securing state funding in recent years after lawmakers drastically reduced the Florida Forever budget… But property owners and conservation leaders say they are encouraged by a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would devote an estimated $5 billion in real estate taxes collected over 10 years to land-buying efforts in Florida.” Read Ranchers hoping state will help preserve land.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

August 28th, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pmThe Florida Conservation Coalition and Preserve Brevard will host Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1 at the Gleason Performing Arts Center at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Find more info and register to attend here.

September 6th, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm - Join Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Conservation Coalition and concerned citizens of Citrus County at “Speak Up Homosassa Springs,” a call to action to protect and restore the waters of Citrus County and all of Florida’s treasured waterways. There will be no admission charge to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, one of Florida’s most spectacular State Parks, which features a floating underwater observatory, manatees, wading birds, red wolves, a six month old Florida panther, as well as other wildlife and exhibits.  Find more info here.

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

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.

Speak Up Homosassa Springs (free admission to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park)

  • Saturday, September 6th, 2014 at 10am - 4pm
    Location: Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

    Join Senator Bob Graham and concerned citizens of Citrus County at “Speak Up Homosassa…

    • 36 people are attending

FCC Daily News Brief - July 31st, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Thursday, July 31st, 2014 @ 12:14pm

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

July 31, 2014

Senator Bob Graham is interviewed by Terri Wright on WFIT – Senator Graham speaks in support of Amendment 1, the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment, which will appear on the November 4, 2014 ballot. You can also hear Senator Graham speak about the Amendment live at the Choosing Our Legacy – Understanding Amendment 1 event on August 28th at the Gleason Performing Arts Center in Melbourne. Listen to the full interview here. Find out more information about the August 28th event, and register to attend here.

Kevin Spear reports in the Orlando Sentinel – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, St. Johns River Water Management District and Orange County Utilities proposed to connect 380 homes near Wekiwa Springs, currently on septic systems, to sewer lines in order reduce nitrogen pollution in the spring. A public meeting to discuss the proposal was postponed after the room reserved for the meeting was not large enough to accommodate the turnout. Read Wekiwa Springs cleanup would use state money to put homes on sewer service.

Tom Palmer reports in the Lakeland Ledger – “As the Kissimmee River restoration nears completion, work is under way to draft regulations that will prevent growing urban water demands from undoing the project’s environmental benefits.” Read Public gets preview of steps to come on Water Reservation Rules for Kissimmee River.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

August 3rd, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm – The Indian Riverkeeper hosts the 2nd Annual Citizens for Clean Water Rally at Phipps Park in Stuart. Find more info here.

August 5th, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm – The Silver Springs Alliance will host a public forum covering local and statewide water issues at Center Point Church in Silver Springs. Find more info here.

August 11th to 14thThe Howard T. Odum Springs Institute will host a Springs Field School for adults at the Wekiwa Springs State Park Youth camp in Apopka, Florida. Find more info here.

August 13th to 15th – FL-WET Inc. will hold a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Certification training session and exam at the Barr Educational Center at Wekiva Island in Longwood. Find more info here.

August 13th to 15th – The Florida Green Building Coalition will hold its annual conference at the Ritz Carlton in SarasotaFind more info here.

August 14th, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm –Rainbow River Conservation is hosting an educator awareness / resource sharing Open House at Rainbow Springs State Park. For more information email Info@rainbowriverconservation.com.

August 28th, 6:30 pm t0 8:00 pmThe Florida Conservation Coalition and Preserve Brevard will host Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1 at the Gleason Performing Arts Center at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Find more info and register to attend here.

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

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 - July 30th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 @ 4:17pm

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

July 30, 2014

The University of Florida reports – Restoring native freshwater snail populations could help reduce algae in Florida’s springs. Read ‘Little janitor’ merits attention in Florida springs’ health debate, UF/IFAS research shows.

The Gainesville Sun editorial board writes – “As plans progress to put a natural gas pipeline through North Central Florida, there are a number of questions that must be answered about the project but one that stands out. Does the state really need a new pipeline to supply more power plants? The need appears to be more about the profits of major energy providers than the interest of the public.” The board continues, “For area residents, a major worry is the pipeline’s path near the region’s springs. A spill could pollute the aquifer that feeds those springs and supplies our drinking water. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must make Sabal Trail address these issues before considering approval of the pipeline.” Read A pipeline’s purpose.

The Fort Myers Beach Bulletin reports – “What is being termed ‘the biggest of all rallies for clean water in Florida to date’ will happen on the east coast of Florida… in Stuart this Sunday, August 5, at 10 a.m. The rally is a demand for clean water for both west and east tributaries of Lake Okeechobee. Read Clean water activists to rally Sunday.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

July 30th, 6:00 pm – A public workshop will be held at the South Walton Courthouse Annex in Santa Rosa Beach to discuss a proposal to build a boardwalk within Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Find more info here.

August 3rd, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm – The Indian Riverkeeper hosts the 2nd Annual Citizens for Clean Water Rally at Phipps Park in Stuart. Find more info here.

August 5th, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm – The Silver Springs Alliance will host a public forum covering local and statewide water issues at Center Point Church in Silver Springs. Find more info here.

August 11th to 14thThe Howard T. Odum Springs Institute will host a Springs Field School for adults at the Wekiwa Springs State Park Youth camp in Apopka, Florida. Find more info here.

August 13th to 15th – FL-WET Inc. will hold a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Certification training session and exam at the Barr Educational Center at Wekiva Island in Longwood. Find more info here.

August 13th to 15th – The Florida Green Building Coalition will hold its annual conference at the Ritz Carlton in SarasotaFind more info here.

August 14th, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm –Rainbow River Conservation is hosting an educator awareness / resource sharing Open House at Rainbow Springs State Park. For more information email Info@rainbowriverconservation.com.

August 28th, 6:30 pm t0 8:00 pmThe Florida Conservation Coalition and Preserve Brevard will host Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1 at the Gleason Performing Arts Center at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Find more info and register to attend here.

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

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.

Support Amendment 1, The Water and Land Conservation Amendment

Posted by Ryan Smart, Monday, July 28th, 2014 @ 2:44pm

  • Support Amendment 1, The Water and Land Conservation Amendment

    Amendment 1 gives Florida voters a direct opportunity to keep drinking water clean, protect our rivers, lakes, and springs, restore natural treasures like the Everglades, and protect our beaches and shores.

    Floridians understand the value of clean and abundant water for people and wildlife, and they cherish the natural areas that make Florida special. That’s why Amendment 1 would ensure that these values have a place in our state’s constitution. Find out more about Amendment 1 and how can you help at voteyeson1fl.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - July 28th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Monday, July 28th, 2014 @ 12:48pm

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

July 28, 2014

John Cassani writes on News-Press.com – “Florida’s post-recession growth rate is returning to levels that made it so populous in the 1990’s and before, and is on fast track to pass New York as the third-largest state… This accelerated growth will generate more stress on the natural resources that attract so many people and the economy that is so closed tied to it. The challenge of meeting demands for water and open space with public access will grow as new residents arrive, expecting additional public services that are rarely paid for by the existing tax base.” Cassani believes the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1 on the November ballot, could provide the answer to those stresses. He concludes, “Voting for Amendment 1 is a major and potentially historic opportunity to help sustain Florida, now at another crossroad to a questionable future.” Read SW Florida must balance environment, growth.

Kevin Spear reports in the Orlando Sentinel – Environmentalists and utilities are engaging in a “contentious” debate over how much water, if any, can be pulled from the Kissimmee River by Central Florida cities while still preserving the river’s fish and wildlife. Read Kissimmee River battle looms: Water for fish or cities?

Michael Van Sickler and Craig Pittman report for the Tampa Bay Times – Governor Rick Scott, Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam, incoming House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and other prominent Florida elected officials attended hunting trips at King Ranch in Texas. The authors write, “The trips, records indicate, were financed all or in part with contributions from Florida’s sugar industry.” The trips do not appear on Gov. Scott’s or Com. Putnam’s official schedules, or in any Republican Party of Florida fundraising documents, and most of the elected officials contacted by the Times were reluctant to discuss them. “By not disclosing their King Ranch trips,” Van Sickler and Pittman write, “officials and sugar lobbyists have avoided any scrutiny of their private dealings with each other and whether their relations influence decision-making on state agricultural issues, including the future of the Everglades. Read Why won’t Florida GOP leaders talk about hunting trips to King Ranch in Texas?

Jennifer Sorentrue  reports in The Palm Beach Post – “(1,000 Friends of Florida) a statewide environmental group created more than 25 years ago to push for growth management regulations has closed its Palm Beach County office and scaled back its operations in Tallahassee because it has not been able to raise money to pay for its work.. The cutbacks come three years after lawmakers in Tallahassee unraveled the state’s 1985 Growth Management Act.” Audubon Florida Executive Director Eric Draper is quoted in the article, stating, “We really depend on 1000 Friends to be the lead policy advocate for growth management policy in the state. I would hope that particularly in Palm Beach and Martin where there has been such a strong focus, that donors will realize the importance of having them around.” Read Legislative changes, dwindling cash force enviro group to cut back.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

July 30th, 6:00 pm – A public workshop will be held at the South Walton Courthouse Annex in Santa Rosa Beach to discuss a proposal to build a boardwalk within Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Find more info here.

August 3rd, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm – The Indian Riverkeeper hosts the 2nd Annual Citizens for Clean Water Rally at Phipps Park in Stuart. Find more info here.

August 5th, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm – The Silver Springs Alliance will host a public forum covering local and statewide water issues at Center Point Church in Silver Springs. Look for more information soon.

August 11th to 14thThe Howard T. Odum Springs Institute will host a Springs Field School for adults at the Wekiwa Springs State Park Youth camp in Apopka, Florida. Find more info here.

August 13th to 15th – FL-WET Inc. will hold a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Certification training session and exam at the Barr Educational Center at Wekiva Island in Longwood. Find more info here.

August 13th to 15th – The Florida Green Building Coalition will hold its annual conference at the Ritz Carlton in SarasotaFind more info here.

August 28th, 6:30 pm t0 8:00 pmThe Florida Conservation Coalition and Preserve Brevard will host Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1 at the Gleason Performing Arts Center at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Find more info and register to attend here.

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

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info 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 - July 25th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Friday, July 25th, 2014 @ 11:36am

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

July 25, 2014

Catherine Byerly reports in the Jacksonville Business Journal – The St. Johns Riverkeeper and Florida Defenders of the Environment are calling on the St. Johns River Water Management District to prioritize and mandate water conservation efforts, instead of pumping water out of the St. Johns and Ocklawaha Rivers, to meet the areas future water demands. St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman says, “Why spend billions of dollars and jeopardize the health of our rivers with massive surface water withdrawals when we can meet our future supply needs by using water resources more responsibly and efficiently?” Read St. Johns Riverkeeper and Florida Defenders of the Environment urge against water withdrawals.

Bruce Ritchie writes for Context Florida – Governor Rick Scott has reversed his stance on several high-profile environmental issues including a bike trail connector across Central Florida, conservation land purchases and springs protection. Read Gov. Scott and the bike trail: What a difference an election year makes.

Kimberly Blair reports in the Pensacola News Journal – 1,783 pounds of oil from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster has been removed from the surf zone at the National Seashore’s Fort Pickens Beach. Read the full story here.

Susan Salisbury reports in the Palm Beach Post – “Friends of the Everglades… is asking Whole Foods Market to stop purchasing sugar produced in Florida and to remove the products from its stores. The group’s letter says that the byproducts of sugar cane cultivation on 700,000 acres in the Everglades Agricultural Area are ‘highly damaging to the Everglades ecosystem.’” Read Whole Foods asked to stop selling Florida sugar.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

July 30th, 6:00 pm – A public workshop will be held at the South Walton Courthouse Annex in Santa Rosa Beach to discuss a proposal to build a boardwalk within Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Find more info here.

August 3rd, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm – The Indian Riverkeeper hosts the 2nd Annual Citizens for Clean Water Rally at Phipps Park in Stuart. Find more info here.

August 5th, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm – The Silver Springs Alliance will host a public forum covering local and statewide water issues at Center Point Church in Silver Springs. Look for more information soon.

August 11th to 14thThe Howard T. Odum Springs Institute will host a Springs Field School for adults at the Wekiwa Springs State Park Youth camp in Apopka, Florida. Find more info here.

August 13th to 15th – FL-WET Inc. will hold a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Certification training session and exam at the Barr Educational Center at Wekiva Island in Longwood. Find more info here.

August 13th to 15th – The Florida Green Building Coalition will hold its annual conference at the Ritz Carlton in SarasotaFind more info here.

August 28th, 6:30 pm t0 8:00 pmThe Florida Conservation Coalition and Preserve Brevard will host Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1 at the Gleason Performing Arts Center at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Find more info and register to attend here.

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

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info 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 - July 24th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Thursday, July 24th, 2014 @ 11:40am

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

July 24, 2014

Aaron Deslatte reports in the Orlando Sentinel – Amendment 1 on the November ballot would dedicate more than $700 million per year, for the next twenty years, to protect Florida’s natural lands and waters. Deslatte writes, “Most of Florida’s Republican leadership has taken a hands-off approach to the amendment, refusing to endorse it but also avoiding being too critical… But others say the real positive from the measure would be a two-decade prohibition on lawmakers’ raiding the environmental trust fund for other government expenses. ‘This is simply stating that we need to get a little help with our discipline,’ said Sen. David Simmons, an Altamonte Springs Republican.” Read Amendment aims cash at conservation efforts.

Mark Ferrulo writes for Context Florida – “State lawmakers who cherish Florida’s natural treasures and the health of their constituents should pass a statewide ban on all fracking-like drilling during the 2015 legislative session… If these policymakers don’t care about protecting wilderness, wildlife and public health, maybe the fact that the health of our economy is inextricably linked to the health of our environment will convince them to do the right thing.” Read To protect Florida’s future, ban fracking.

Ivan Penn writes in the Tampa Bay Times – “It might seem a stretch, but Florida utilities this week billed themselves as a friend of the poor and the common man. As such, they pressed the state Public Service Commission over the past three days to abandon a pilot program that offered rebates for residential and commercial solar panels that they argued benefit a few at the expense of the many… Critics of the utilities argue that power companies aim only to maintain their lock on generating electricity and keep their profits high on the backs of all ratepayers.” Read Lower energy conservation goals will protect ratepayers, utilities tell PSC.

Tom Swihart writes on the blog Watery Foundation – “Zombie water ideas are undead; no matter how many times they are killed by what appears to be a lethal refutation, they still act alive.” Read about some of Florida’s Zombie water ideas.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

August 3rd, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm – The Indian Riverkeeper hosts the 2nd Annual Citizens for Clean Water Rally at Phipps Park in Stuart. Find more info here.

August 5th, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm – The Silver Springs Alliance will host a public forum covering local and statewide water issues at Center Point Church in Silver Springs. Look for more information soon.

August 11th to 14thThe Howard T. Odum Springs Institute will host a Springs Field School for adults at the Wekiwa Springs State Park Youth camp in Apopka, Florida. Find more info here.

August 13th to 15th – FL-WET Inc. will hold a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Certification training session and exam at the Barr Educational Center at Wekiva Island in Longwood. Find more info here.

August 13th to 15th – The Florida Green Building Coalition will hold its annual conference at the Ritz Carlton in SarasotaFind more info here.

August 28th, 6:30 pm t0 8:00 pmThe Florida Conservation Coalition and Preserve Brevard will host Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1 at the Gleason Performing Arts Center at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Find more info and register to attend here.

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

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info 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 - July 23rd, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 @ 10:44am

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

July 23, 2014

Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “The fate of Silver Springs… has galvanized environmentalists like few other conflicts over water or land in Florida. So they applauded last week when state regulators recommended denying a permit sought by a billionaire to irrigate pasture with water pumped from the ground not far from the springs.” Read Silver Springs actions raises hope for Florida springs.

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board writes – “This week’s Florida Public Service Commission hearings on energy efficiency reflect everything wrong with this state’s energy policy. Instead of raising modest energy saving goals, the PSC is considering cutting them. Instead of listening to the public, the PSC is hearing only from electric utilities eager to slash efficiency goals, build more power plants at customer’s expense and make more money. The utilities will keep getting their way until a new governor comes along who will stand up to their lobbyists, ignore their campaign cash and break their stranglehold on Tallahassee.” Read In Florida, utilities call the shots.

Christine Stapleton reports for the Palm Beach Post – “More than 2.5 million people visited south Florida’s four national parks last year, spending $206 million and supporting over 2,700 jobs, according to a National Park Service report. The new report found that national parks return ten dollars for every one spent and act as the primary economic engines of many gateway communities.” Read the full story here.

Katie Tripp writes in the Gainesville Sun – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be using outdated information to determine whether or not to remove the Florida manatee from the endangered species list. Tripp writes, “Reviews are important, but when they’re going to be tied to a decision that could alter the fate of a species, they need to contain the best and most updated data and information. Unfortunately for manatees, the data for the winters of 2010-2013 - including record mortality for the species… - won’t be in the mix.” Read Manatee review should consider all the facts.

Sharlene Leurig and Jeff Hughes write for National Geographic – Designing water pricing structures that promote conservation while giving financial stability to water providers. Read Does water conservation have to be the enemy of financial stability?

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

August 3rd, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm – The Indian Riverkeeper hosts the 2nd Annual Citizens for Clean Water Rally at Phipps Park in Stuart. Find more info here.

August 5th, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm – The Silver Springs Alliance will host a public forum covering local and statewide water issues at Center Point Church in Silver Springs. Look for more information soon.

August 11th to 14thThe Howard T. Odum Springs Institute will host a Springs Field School for adults at the Wekiwa Springs State Park Youth camp in Apopka, Florida. Find more info here.

August 13th to 15th – FL-WET Inc. will hold a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Certification training session and exam at the Barr Educational Center at Wekiva Island in Longwood. Find more info here.

August 13th to 15th – The Florida Green Building Coalition will hold its annual conference at the Ritz Carlton in SarasotaFind more info here.

August 28th, 6:30 pm t0 8:00 pmThe Florida Conservation Coalition and Preserve Brevard will host Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1 at the Gleason Performing Arts Center at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Find more info and register to attend here.

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

** 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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