News and Announcements

FCC News Brief - April 28, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, April 28th, 2016 @ 5:04pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 28, 2016

     

    Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “In a notice to Florida Power & Light officials, the Department of Environmental Protection gave the utility 21 days to provide any information about how the 40-year-old canals have seeped into the Biscayne aquifer and enter negotiations to come up with a clean-up plan. If the two sides fail to agree on a fix, the agency may come up with its own measures in 60 days.” Read Florida cites FPL for Turkey Point cooling canal violations

    Michael Sole writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “For decades, FPL enjoyed a productive, cooperative relationship with its rock mining neighbor, Mr. Torcise and his company, Atlantic Civil Incorporated. Lately, however, Mr. Torcise has been anything but neighborly, rarely missing an opportunity to publicly attack FPL.” Read FPL addressing saltwater problems

    Naples Daily News reports – “Florida tallied the year’s 16th roadkill endangered panther…bringing the 2016 death toll to more than half of last year’s record of 30 panthers…So far this year, FWC biologists have found 18 dead panthers overall, most of them in Collier and Lee counties.” Read Florida panther killed by vehicle on Interstate 75 in Estero

    Jensen Werley reports for The Jacksonville Business Journal – “The St. Johns Riverkeeper is resubmitting its petition against dredging this week, following the Department of Environmental Protection requesting more details.” Read Jaxport, St. Johns Riverkeeper prepare for legal battle over dredging

    The Ocala Star Banner Editorial Board writes – “Ever since Jerry Dodd purchased 279 acres on a mile-long stretch of the Rainbow River with plans to build hundreds of homes and a commercial center, the development’s fate has taken…twists and turns…Last week a state appeals court ruled that the comprehensive plan process that led to a settlement between the city of Dunnellon and Dodd that would have allowed the development to move forward was improper and must be done all over again…The construction of 300-plus homes and commercial businesses on the banks of the already stressed Rainbow River is just bad for the river…Yet, there may be a solution that could make all sides…satisfied. The Springs Restoration Council of the Southwest Florida Water Management District…has recommended the…district acquire the Rainbow River Ranch property…We applaud SWFWMD’s decision to try and buy Dodd’s 1.3 miles of riverfront property.” Read Twists and turns on the Rainbow

    TC Palm Editorial Board writes – “House Resolution 4793 (the Everglades Land Acquisition Act) – would earmark $500 million for the U.S. Interior Department to purchase land south of Lake O…Moving water south from Lake O is the ultimate solution to the problem…Currently, there are no co-sponsors for the land-buying bill. Treasure Coast Newspapers’ Editorial Board urges the members of our federal legislative delegation – including Sens. Bill Nelson…and Marco Rubio…and Reps. Patrick Murphy…and Tom Rooney…to sign on and support this important legislation.” Read Federal lawmakers must step up, support land-buying bill to help end Lake O discharges

    Stacie Greco writes for the Gainesville Sun – “Please collect leaves and use them around existing plants as mulch, add them to compost piles for future use, or place them in yard waste bags or reusable trash cans for curbside collection.” Read Leaves clog storm drains

    Bill Ritter writes for The Wall Street Journal – “The truth is that despite the large-scale, global impact of climate change, it is the states and cities, not Washington D.C., that have most of the legal powers to prevent global warming by helping the United States transition to cleaner energy.” Read Why States and Cities Must Lead the Way on Climate Change

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend Friends of Lullwater Lake’s first meeting since registering officially as a non-profit organization. The meeting will take place in the grassy common area at Lullwater Condominiums (301 Lullwater Drive, Panama City Beach). Bring a lawn chair to sit on. Meet the board members and plan next steps.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. This month’s class will be on springs hydrogeology: the Florida Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

    June 4, 10:00 am – Attend Coastal Dune Lake Day. Learn about the coastal Dune Lakes and experience Western Lake from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Paddle to clean up the Lake from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Clean up the park from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Meet at the Boat Launch Parking Lot at Grayton Beach State Park.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 27, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 @ 2:04pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 27, 2016

     

    Dinah Voyles Pulver reports for The Daytona Beach News-Journal – “City leaders celebrated when the regional water management agency bought more than 900 acres…in 1999 to help protect Gemini Springs and DeBary Bayou….Now the city wants to acquire 102 acres of that land from the St. Johns River Water Management District to build a…regional stormwater pond surrounded by single and multi-family homes, the centerpiece of a larger project to attract and promote economic development around the SunRail station…To help win the district’s approval, the city has hired the Orlando consulting firm of John Miklos, who also happens to be chairman of the water district’s board…Mayor Clint Johnson said the city never would pay out that kind of money without assurances the deal would be approved by the district… ‘This is the worst case of transparency that I can recall in years,’ said former County Councilwoman Pay Northey, who was on the council when the county agreed to take over ownership of the land from the water district three years ago, with the stipulation that it remain in conservation. That hasn’t happened…Current and former county officials…question the use of public land to support development and the potential impacts to neighboring Gemini Springs, an environmental preserve with a pair of springs.” Read SunRail vs. Scenery: DeBary land deal draws fire

    Thomas St. Myer reports for the Pensacola News Journal – “Kaitlin Goode, an FWC bear biologist…requested (Santa Rosa) commissioners consider an ordinance that requires citizens to secure their trash cans with retro fit clips or to wait until the morning of pick up to put their trash cans on the curb…Florida Legislature appropriated $500,000 to assist with bear management, with 60 percent of the dollars earmarked for Santa Rosa and 13 other counties with the highest bear population to pay for bear-resistant containers and so forth…The law requires the counties adopt an ordinance to be eligible for those funds. Seminole County already adopted an ordinance…Goode said research indicates the number of bears in the county would probably decrease after about three weeks, if the county commissioners put an ordinance in place and its citizens abide by the law.” Read Ordinance answer for bear reduction in Santa Rosa?

    Edith M. Lederer and Cara Anna report for the Associated Press – “The historic agreement on climate change marked a…milestone…with a record 175 countries signing on to it on opening day…‘The world is in a race against time,’ U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his opening speech. ‘The era of consumption without consequences is over.’…The agreement will enter into force once 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions have formally joined it, a process initially expected to take until 2020. China, the world’s top carbon emitter, announced it would ‘finalize domestic procedures’ to ratify the agreement before the G-20 summit in China in September. The United States, the world’s second-largest emitter, reiterated its intention to ratify this year, as did Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau…Leonardo Dicaprio, a U.N. messenger of peace and climate activist, captured the feelings of many when he said: ‘We can congratulate each other today, but it will mean absolutely nothing if the world’s leaders gathered here go home and do nothing…The world is now watching. You will either be lauded by future generations or vilified by them.’” Read 175 states sign landmark Paris deal on climate change

    Mike Vasilinda reports for Capitol News Service – “The land and water conservation amendment on the 2014 ballot got more votes than any statewide elected official. It was a rebuke of lawmakers who slashed environment funding during the recession, then didn’t restore it when the economy improved…Florida Conservation Voters has created a web site detailing how all of the 900 million that’s supposed to go to land and water conservation is being spent this year. Included is the entire cost of fighting forest fires in Florida, the cost of enforcing boating regulations on the water. The conservation money is even paying all of the salaries of the people who run all of the agencies that have anything to do with conservation. That’s all cash that came from general revenue before.” Read Amendment One Funds Still Being Diverted

    Tom Palmer writes for The Ledger – “Florida’s wild landscape contains more than 500 species of plants that are considered endangered, threatened or at risk from commercial exploitation…The bad news is that there’s nothing to stop a private landowner from bulldozing any rare or endangered plant in the way of his development plan. That’s because under the Endangered Species Act and other laws designed to preserve our natural heritage, endangered plants don’t receive the same level of protection as endangered animals. Protection under state law is limited, too.” Read Florida’s endangered plants struggle for protection

    Jake Martin reports for The St. Augustine Record – “Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinent [was] asked to buy 5,236 acres of timber land in St. Johns County, to be used as a conservation easement…The land, part of the…St. Johns River Blueway Florida Forever tract, runs along the eastern shore of the St. Johns River…It is adjacent to the Watson Island State Forest…The land is ranked ninth on the state’s Florida Forever Climate Change Lands list…” Read State to consider $6M timber land purchase in St. Johns County

    David Fleshler reports for the Sun Sentinel – “South Florida’s corals are turning white and contracting fatal diseases in what’s being called an unprecedented die-off across the region’s reefs. Off Hollywood, scientists witnessed the collapse of a minivan-sized coral colony that had started growing more than three centuries ago, when the Spanish ruled the peninsula. As recently as September, live coral tissue covered 90 percent of the colony’s surface, making it among the oldest living things in the state. By December it was almost completely dead…The bleaching and disease has struck around the world, with scientists blaming global warming, as well as unusual weather events…Last week scientists announced that 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia had been affected.” Read South Florida corals dying in ‘unprecedented’ bleaching and disease

    Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “Two of the 12 people running to replace U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy accepted political contributions from the sugar industry, a controversial move in a congressional district that’s ground zero for Lake Okeechobee discharges. The donations represent a small portion of the total raised by Army veteran Brian Mast and sugar farmer Rick Roth, both Republicans…The troubled estuary is arguably the top local issue in the race for District 19, which covers Martin County – the most affected by discharges on Florida’s east coast- as well as St. Lucie and northern Palm Beach counties. Knowing whether a candidate has taken sugar money might not be a deal breaker, as their record on environmental issues also should be a factor, but ‘it matters,’ said environmentalist Maggy Hurchalla, a former Martin County commissioner and water advocate. Hurchalla said it also matters to know whether candidates support buying land…south of the lake to move its water into the Everglades.” Read Sugar sweetens campaigns of Brian Mast, Rick Roth in race to replace Patrick Murphy

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend Friends of Lullwater Lake’s first meeting since registering officially as a non-profit organization. The meeting will take place in the grassy common area at Lullwater Condominiums (301 Lullwater Drive, Panama City Beach). Bring a lawn chair to sit on. Meet the board members and plan next steps.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. This month’s class will be on springs hydrogeology: the Florida Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

    June 4, 10:00 am – Attend Coastal Dune Lake Day. Learn about the coastal Dune Lakes and experience Western Lake from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Paddle to clean up the Lake from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Clean up the park from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Meet at the Boat Launch Parking Lot at Grayton Beach State Park.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 26, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 @ 8:28am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 26, 2016

     

    Jim Waymer and Dave Berman report for Florida Today – “Scientists for decades have pointed to stormwater runoff, septic tanks and muck as among the Indian River Lagoon’s main problems, and have suggested potential solutions. Have elected officials been acting on those suggestions? To answer that question, FLORIDA TODAY looked at how county commissioners and state legislators voted on key issues since 2010, when a controversial septic tank bill went to a vote. FLORIDA TODAY also has assigned…grades based on how they voted.” Read Lawmakers have mixed record on Indian River Lagoon issues

    Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “Any hope that South Florida’s endangered panthers will eventually spread hundreds of miles north to as far as the Orlando area and beyond may hinge on a proposal for immense development near Naples. A growth plan…spans important panther territory and is nearly as big as some counties in the state. Amid that expanse, construction of subdivisions and business areas would claim 45,000 acres. The remaining 107,000 acres would be set aside for protection of panthers and other imperiled wildlife, a trade-off triggering sharply divided reaction from environmentalists…[T]he Conservancy of Southwest Florida [is concerned that there] would be ripples of additional development triggered by construction within the 45,000 acres. ‘Our primary objection is not that development is going to go there, or even how much development, but it’s the location on what’s considered primary panther habitat,’ said Rob Moher, the group’s chief executive officer. Brad Cornell, policy associate with Audubon Florida and the Audubon of the Western Everglades chapter, supports the development proposal…Cornell said the 45,000 acres are poor or marginal for panther habitat and the remaining 107,000 acres will be improved and set aside for permanent protection.” Read South Florida developers target panther land

    Valarie Harring reports for the Cape Coral Daily Breeze – “The Babcock Ranch development...is a complete reversal of how Florida has seen development progress for the last century and a half…Although environmentalists strongly urged the land buy as an enhancement to preservation land already owned, the purchase stalled due to price. Kitson then came in with a plan that would allow the state to buy about 73,000 acres of the most sensitive areas for preservation, leaving about 18,000 for the town Kitson will now build…More than 90 percent of the acres to be developed already have been impacted by agriculture-related use such as ranching, farming and rock mining...Of the acreage retained, half has been earmarked for greenways, parks and lakes. Four hundred and forty-three acres have been dedicated to a massive…solar power plant that will be capable of generating enough power to energize the entire town during daylight hours...Natural water flow is to be restored as will be some 70 acres of historic wetlands while filter marshes will be used to protect water quality. Seventy-five acres of farmland will be returned to panther habitat. ”Read Babcock ‘grand reveal’ promises a ‘town of the future’

    Tamar Hallerman reports for AJC.com – “Former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio…took to the Senate floor…to blast the way water is managed in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) and Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) river basins. Florida and Alabama have long alleged that Georgia takes out too much water for metro Atlanta at the expense of its neighbors… ‘The bottom line is that the status quo is only working for one state,’ [Rubio] said. Rubio teamed up with…Bill Nelson…and Alabama’s two GOP senators to push for a vote on an amendment to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spending bill that’s currently being considered on the Senate floor. It would require the governors of Georgia, Florida and Alabama to agree on water allocations in the two basins before the Army Corps can formally do so. The provision would cut off funds for the Army Corps to carry out the reallocation until the states come up with a deal…This isn’t the first time Rubio has dipped his toe in the water wars…” Read Marco Rubio joins revived water battle against Georgia on Capitol Hill

    Mary Orndorff Troyan reports for the Montgomery Advertiser – “[S]enators from Alabama and Florida teamed up against Georgia to protect downstream water levels in shared river basins. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., has added a provision to a federal spending bill that would require the Justice Department to audit how often in the last 11 years a community withdrew more water from a reservoir than a contract allowed. Separately, Sen. Marco Rubio…wants to block the use of federal funds for any effort to reallocate water resources without consent from all three governors.” ReadSens. Shelby, Rubio resume water war with Georgia

    The Orlando Sentinel shares – “For all their beauty; their economic value; and their power to restore us, educate us, and make us healthier – far too many of our parks and monuments are threatened. Toxic uranium mines threaten the doorstep of the Grand Canyon. The oil and gas industry has proposed to drill and conduct seismic testing right outside the Everglades. And some in Congress are pushing to sell or transfer our parks to the highest bidder, and prevent new parks from being created…As Congress considers appropriations over the next several weeks, we’re urging at least $1 billion in funding to address the substantial maintenance backlog to protect our treasured parks, trails, and recreation areas for the next 100 years.” Read The Interview: National parks under pressure

    Kevin Wadlow reports for Keys Info Net – “Florida’s largest utility must do more to contain a plume of saltwater seen as a possible threat to the Florida Keys’ primary source of drinking water, Monroe County commissioners said… ‘You’ve been talking about this for a number of years without timely action,’ Commissioner David Rice told FPL representatives at the commissioner’s meeting in Marathon. ‘FPL has lost a certain amount of public trust.’” Read Keys County Commission to FPL: Quit threatening our water supply with nuclear-plant discharge

    Tom Rooney writes for News Press – “The 2016 South Florida Environmental report, which was prepared by people much smarter than me at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District, concluded that total phosphorus in agricultural runoff from land south of Lake O was reduced by 79 percent in 2015, three times the amount required by state law, and phosphorus flowing from north of the Lake was reduced by 26 percent…As a constitutional and fiscal conservative, I disagree with advocates of a sweeping, incredibly costly federal land grab that disrupts my constituents’ ability to willingly enter into contracts to sell or lease their land…I know that there are projects the Corps underfunded or didn’t fund, but unfortunately the earmark ban prevents all members from increasing the budgets for specific projects, like the dike, which are urgently needed. The Appropriations Committee has developed creative solutions within the confines of this rule to address the Administration’s funding shortfalls by providing additional money for ‘flood control,’ ‘dam safety’ and ‘ecosystem restoration’ projects, generally, in our Energy and Water bill.” Read Real progress made in reducing water pollutants

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend Friends of Lullwater Lake’s first meeting since registering officially as a non-profit organization. The meeting will take place in the grassy common area at Lullwater Condominiums (301 Lullwater Drive, Panama City Beach). Bring a lawn chair to sit on. Meet the board members and plan next steps.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW,Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP toTracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springsevery first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. This month’s class will be on springs hydrogeology: the Florida Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 ornkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or emailinfo@fnps.org.

    June 4, 10:00 am – Attend Coastal Dune Lake Day. Learn about the coastal Dune Lakes and experience Western Lake from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Paddle to clean up the Lake from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Clean up the park from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Meet at the Boat Launch Parking Lot at Grayton Beach State Park.

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 25, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, April 25th, 2016 @ 10:57am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 25, 2016

     

    Andrew Gillum writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Florida is “ground zero” for climate change in North America…I’ve joined with mayors from across Florida to demand that our state leaders take action…The best way to mitigate…impacts is by embracing a clean energy plan that includes at least 50 percent clean energy by 2030….Nowhere is a clean energy economy more needed than in Florida, where communities are facing significant future loss of their current tax base because of rising sea levels. Public health, agricultural production and property values in Florida are at risk…We owe it to our children to confront the climate crisis head-on and build a cleaner, stronger, more sustainable country.” Read Florida cities united on climate change concern

    Jerry Iannelli reports for the Broward Palm Beach New Times – “[T]he (fracking) bill died…Since then, a PR rep for a group called “vets4Energy” has sent New Times a handful of emails, asking us to publish a pro-fracking op-ed written by Vets4Engery’s Florida cochair, Dennis Freytes. The story accuses Florida’s environmentalists of fear-mongering…But a quick fact-finding mission shows “Vets4Energy” is effectively a public-relations front for the American Petrolium Institute, the oil industry’s largest trade association, PR firm, and lobbying wing. And despite how obvious the group’s oil ties are, at least four major Florida newspapers…appear to have run op-eds from the group without any mention of its funding sources…Vets4Energy appears to be a clear example of “astroturfing” – that is, the practice of masking lobbying groups as well-meaning “grassroots activists” to gain the public’s trust and hijack space in the nation’s newspapers. “Astroturf” groups are a growing –and frightening- section of the U.S. lobbying industry: Famously, a now-defunct group called the “Save Our Species Alliance” campaigned to gut the Endangered Species Act ten years ago. Watchdog groups later found out the alliance was deeply tied to the forest-products…industry.” Read Pro-Fracking Group “Vets4Energy” Is a Front for the Oil Industry

    Robert Knight writes for The Gainesville Sun – “The Florida Springs Institute enlists highly qualified technical advisors to provide independent review of the models used by the state to manage groundwater resources. Those experts have concerns about the poor quality of the models used for evaluation, review and issuance of water-use permits by the water management districts (WMDs) throughout Florida. Based on information provided by the WMDs, it is apparent that many of the existing groundwater flow models have not been thoroughly reviewed, validated or used with adequate caution…Gross over-estimates of groundwater availability appears to be the norm. Model estimates of spring flow reductions due to groundwater extractions are strikingly different from actual measured changes in spring flows. For example, the St. Johns River WMD’s best models estimate that Silver Springs flow has been reduced by about 5 percent by groundwater pumping while actual average flow reductions are greater than 30 percent…A…recent groundwater modeling effort was initiated…to better assess the cross-boundary effects of massive groundwater withdrawals in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia…[T]he North Florida Southeast Georgia model, includes the same flawed framework as the previous WMD groundwater flow models…On behalf of all Florida citizens who wish to have a sustainable groundwater future, Florida Springs Institute advocates for a full and truly independent review of that model before it is adopted for issuing the next round of groundwater permits.” Read Flawed models used to permit groundwater pumping

    Cape Coral Daily Breeze reports – “The City of Cape Coral received a notice of intent to sue letter Thursday from the Florida Clean Water Network…The letter alleges that since the city was allowed to remove the Ceitus boat lift barrier in 2008 certain actions to mitigate the loss of pollution treatment provided by the barrier have not occurred. Consequently, the water quality in the area is in steep decline with no relief in sight from any level of government oversight in violation of the city’s Clean Water Act permit from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System…Under the Clean Water Act, the City has 60 days to respond to the allegations and correct the permit violations. If this is not done, the suit will be filed in federal court.” Read Florida Clean Water Network notices city of intent to file pollution lawsuit

    Frank Bumb and Chad Gillis report for News Press – “[The Florida Clean Water Network] filed a notice of intent to sue the City of Cape Coral over federal Clean Water Act violations they say are polluting Matlacha Pass. The [group] says…they want a development moratorium until the issue is remedied. ‘When you have an impairment (measured pollution) you cannot allow development to continue,’ said Linda Young, director of the Clean Water Network.” Read Florida Clean Water Network files notice of intent to sue Cape Coral

    Steve Waters reports for the Sun Sentinel – “The benefits of the emergency measure that took effect Feb. 15 to allow excess water in the Everglades water conservation area to flow south…into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay have exceeded expectations…Getting water out of the WCAs means more needed fresh water for the park and the bay, less stress on animal and plant life in the conservation areas, reduced amounts of water that need to be released from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and better fishing in all those affected areas.” Read Everglades flowage easement yields benefits

    Sean Kinane reports for WMNF – “WMNF News interviewed David Hollander, a professor of chemical oceanography at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science. He was chief scientist on several of the first studies of the BP disaster… ‘[O]il…ultimately sedimented down on the floor of the northern Gulf of Mexico, on the continental shelf and on the slope.’…” Read Update on Gulf ecosystem 6 years after BP oil disaster

    U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Research Station shares – “A warmer climate may lead to higher growth and productivity on U.S. national forests and grasslands, but university and U.S. Forest Service researchers say this could reduce quantities of fresh water flowing from most of these lands, even with increases in precipitation.” Read More Productive U.S. National Forests and Grasslands Could Yield Less Water in a Future Climate

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend Friends of Lullwater Lake’s first meeting since registering officially as a non-profit organization. The meeting will take place in the grassy common area at Lullwater Condominiums (301 Lullwater Drive, Panama City Beach). Bring a lawn chair to sit on. Meet the board members and plan next steps.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. This month’s class will be on springs hydrogeology: the Florida Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

    June 4, 10:00 am – Attend Coastal Dune Lake Day. Learn about the coastal Dune Lakes and experience Western Lake from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Paddle to clean up the Lake from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Clean up the park from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Meet at the Boat Launch Parking Lot at Grayton Beach State Park.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 22, 2016 - Happy Earth Day !

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, April 22nd, 2016 @ 9:43am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 22, 2016 

    Happy Earth Day!

     

    Laura Reiley reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Tampa Bay Times food critic Laura Reiley began to witness an uptick in food provenance claims several years ago. She reported this story over a period of two months, interviewing dozens of chefs,…farmers, state officials and food industry experts. She combed through…menus…She visited farms, spoke with distributors and had foods genetically tested when deemed necessary…[S]he found discrepancies…” Read At Tampa Bay farm-to-table restaurants, you’re being fed fiction

    Roger Williams writes for Fort Myers Florida Weekly – “Mr. Reed seems fit to be tied, but not shut up, by two facts: One, the Indian River Lagoon is dying right in front of him, and on his watch, no less. And two, the tool to fix it is lying within reach, but nobody in state government seems to be willing to use it properly…[T]hat’s part of a larger neglect that started in 2011 when the governor fired hundreds of state employees who helped regulate polluters, and put officials who have no interest in Mr. Reed’s vision of Florida on water management boards, in Department of Environmental Protection and Division of Fish and Wildlife management positions, and probably in the 160 or so bathrooms in the state capitol building in Tallahassee, where they can flush anything they want down the toilets.” Read Getting the wheel rolling

    Hannah O. Brown reports for WUFT – “Water officials say that, added up, the impact of private irrigation wells may be significant in Florida. Lack of data keeps them from knowing for sure, and may be skewing the state’s rosy water-conservation numbers.” Read How Many Straws?

    Joseph Weinzettle writes for the Naples Daily News – “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should reject the Eastern Collier Species Habitat Conservation Plan…It’s critical that this region of the state maintains viable panther habitat as construction and development has taken away so much already on the east coast and central parts of Florida.” Read Space for Panther

    Lisa Rinaman writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “In 1998, the St. Johns was federally designated an American Heritage River – the only river in Florida and one of only 14 rivers in the United States to receive the prestigious national recognition. The St. Johns was deemed worthy of such an esteemed designation because of the tremendous historical, cultural, recreational, ecological and economic benefits that it has provided to Florida and its citizens for generations.” Read The St. Johns deserves reverence, attention

    Barry Jacobson writes for The Gainesville Sun – “Remember to vote “yes” in August and “no” in November. The future of solar in Florida depends on you.” Read Amendment 1 would only hurt solar in Florida

    Curt Anderson reports for ABC News – “A massive nuclear plant expansion proposed by Florida’s largest electric utility must be redone to meet environmental and other concerns near Everglades National Park, a state appeals court ruled…The…court…reversed a 2014 decision by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet to approve construction of two nuclear reactors by Florida Power & Light at its Turkey Point plant near Homestead.” Read Massive Nuclear Plant Plan Near Everglades Delayed by Court

    Palm Beach Post reports – “Residents in the Florida Keys will get to vote on whether genetically modified mosquitoes should be released in their neighborhood…Oxitec…modifies Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with synthetic DNA to produce offspring that won’t survive outside a lab. The mosquito species can transmit the Zika virus, along with dengue and chikungunya, to humans. Small field tests in Panama, Brazil and the Cayman Islands significantly reduced wild Aedes larvae populations in the targeted neighborhoods with no adverse impacts to humans or the environment, Oxitec officials have said…A similar technique using radiation to sterilize insects has been used for decades to control mosquitoes and other insects.” Read GMO mosquito plan headed for residents’ vote in Florida Keys

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 22, 9:30 am – Join the Center for Biological Diversity in cleaning up Egmont Key National Park Wildlife Refuge in Tampa Bay. Egmont Key is accessible only by boat. There will be a ferry ride to the island which will cost $20 per person. The event will also include a short tour of the island, and participants can picnic if they bring their lunch. RSVP to Jacklyn Lopez at jlopez@biologicaldiversity.org.

    April 22, 5:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute at the Great Outdoors Restaurant (65 N Main Street) in High Springs to celebrate Earth Day with drink specials, live music, and a book signing with Dr. Robert Knight! During this fundraising event, 10% of all patio bar sales will be donated to the Florida Springs Institute. Reserve your spot today. For more info, click here.

    April 22, 11:00 am – Attend the Earth Day Luncheon to honor Marjorie Harris Carr at the Thomas Center (302 NE 6th Ave) in Gainesville. Learn about the Ocklawaha watershed restoration efforts, fracking, the Sabal Trail pipeline, and state park protection efforts. Enjoy vendors, poetry, food, and song and dance performances. Tickets are available here and here.

    April 23, 10:00 am – Attend Central Florida Earth Day at Lake Eola Park in Orlando. There will be educational presentations, a kids zone, an animal haven, an artist corner, live music, and vegan food. Find more information here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend Friends of Lullwater Lake’s first meeting since registering officially as a non-profit organization. The meeting will take place in the grassy common area at Lullwater Condominiums (301 Lullwater Drive, Panama City Beach). Bring a lawn chair to sit on. Meet the board members and plan next steps.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. This month’s class will be on springs hydrogeology: the Florida Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

    June 4, 10:00 am – Attend Coastal Dune Lake Day. Learn about the coastal Dune Lakes and experience Western Lake from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Paddle to clean up the Lake from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Clean up the park from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Meet at the Boat Launch Parking Lot at Grayton Beach State Park.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 21, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, April 21st, 2016 @ 1:27pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 21, 2016

     

    Eduardo Porter writes for The New York Times – “[C]onservatives are the ones decidedly blocking any effort…to curb…emissions of greenhouse gases. And yet even as progressive environmentalists wring their hands at the G.O.P.’s climate change denial, there are biases on the left that stray just as far from the scientific consensus…For starters, [liberal biases] stand against the only technology with an established track record of generating electricity at scale while emitting virtually no greenhouse gases: nuclear power…65 percent of scientists want more nuclear power…People on the right tend to like private businesses, which they see as productive job creators. They mistrust government. It’s not surprising they will play down climate change when it seems to imply a package of policies that curb the actions of the former and give a bigger role to the latter. On the left…people tend to mistrust corporations – especially big ones- as corrupt and destructive. These are the institutions bringing us both nuclear power and genetically modified agriculture…Eliminating the roadblocks against taking substantive action against climate change may require somehow dissociating the scientific facts from deeply rooted preferences about the world we want to live in, on both sides of the ideological divide.” Read Liberal Biases, Too, May Block Progress on Climate Change

    Eliot Kleinberg reports for my Palm Beach Post – “A lawyer for the planned Minto development…urged a judge…to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the environmental group 1,000 Friends of Florida and a grassroots coalition of Loxahatchee Groves and Acreage residents trying to block the project. Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Edward A. Garrison made no ruling Monday, saying he’d study the case and get back to lawyers…The plaintiffs say [the development] would snarl traffic, invite urban sprawl and alter the area’s rural way of life, which they argue violates the county’s comprehensive plan…Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal upheld the 2015 ruling by the state Department of Economic Opportunity that the county’s approval of the project did not violate state laws against sprawl when it made Minto-friendly changes to its comprehensive plan. Developers, meanwhile, are moving apace on the project. Just last week, they petitioned to incorporate the area as Westlake, Palm Beach county’s 39th municipality.” Read No ruling Monday on lawsuit trying to stop Minto’s Westlake plan

    Martin E. Comas reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “[T]he Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens…will break ground on a new educational exhibit that will teach visitors about the Florida black bear and how residents can co-exist with the wild animals…[T]he exhibit will feature a model house that zoo goers can walk in and learn…about keeping food sources away from a bruin’s paws…‘Our community in Central Florida has really grown, and we’ve encroached on their [bear’s] ecosystem and their habitat,’ zoo spokeswoman Shonna Green said. ‘And the more that we build in the bears’ home area, the more encounters there will be between bears and humans. Unless, the public is educated on reducing the number of things that attract bears.’… ‘You will be able to look out from inside the house and see the bears,’ Green said…In February, Seminole began enforcing a new ordinance…that requires residents to lock up their trash, bring pet-food containers indoors and keep bird feeders out of reach. The county also launched a countywide education campaign about how residents can avoid bears from wandering around their neighborhoods. Since the county’s new education campaign and ordinance were put in place, state wildlife officials said the number of bear nuisance complaints has dropped.” Read Zoo exhibit to teach about living with bears

    Roger Williams writes for Fort Myers Florida Weekly – “Nathaniel Reed…spotted a pod of dolphins…The sight, which reminded him of how it once was when many more of them were feeding on snook and many other species, made his heart ache, he admits. It’s an ache, a longing for what was and what should be again, that isn’t new for the 83-year-old Mr. Reed, a founder and chairman emeritus of 1000 Friends of Florida. A former assistant secretary of the interior under President Nixon and then Ford- a man who has served six Florida governors and sat on the boards of such…agencies as the National Geographic Society and Yellowstone National Park…His work in the world isn’t done, he insists, in part because 18 months ago Florida voters sought to give officials the most powerful tool they’ve ever wielded in an effort to resist the destruction of lands and waters in the state, only to have it misused by state legislators…” Read Lost in translation: whatever happened to Amendment 1?

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “Federal courts overseeing the conflict between Florida and Georgia over the Apalachicola River should heed a recent study that called the river the most endangered in the country…Georgia has been largely indifferent to Florida’s requests for relief, though it is to blame for the situation. Our neighboring state allowed ill-planned development without concern for water sources. The Atlanta area now depends on water from Lake Lanier, a reservoir that was created for flood control, navigation and hydropower, not for drinking…[T]he U.S. Corps of Engineers…is developing new guidelines that would further lessen freshwater flows to Apalachicola Bay. U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham…is sponsoring legislation that would require the Corps to consider the importance of freshwater flows to Apalachicola in its water allocations. Alas, it has gotten nowhere.” Read Save Apalachicola Bay

    Fred Grimm writes for the Miami Herald – “Preemption…has become a favorite tool of conservative state legislatures bent on stifling urban sensibilities…Florida…lawmakers…passed a bill that prohibits city and county governments from passing new ordinances that regulate the Styrofoam containers that litter our beaches, parks and streets…[T]he good ol’ boys in Tallahassee…passed preemption laws that make sure that cities and counties can’t prohibit smoking in music venues, patio dining areas, parks and beaches…In 2008, local governments were pre-empted from passing ordinances that prohibited or even taxed plastic bags until the state could come up with its own regulations on those environmental nuisances. We’re still waiting on the regs…Cities and counties can’t…prohibit homeowners from owning exotic animals, even jungle cats or cobras…Florida’s many preemption laws wreak of hypocrisy, coming from right-winters who constantly rail about federal interference in state perogatives.” Read Florida lawmakers use preemption laws to stomp out urban initiatives

    Interior Secretary Sally Jewell writes for Medium – “[Who are] the people visiting the parks? It’s still the baby boomers. The majority of visitors to national parks today look like me: older and whiter. Which means we haven’t found a way to connect with the young people of today, who are more diverse, more tech-savvy, and more disconnected from nature than ever before. Those trends coincide with the emergence of an extreme movement to seize public lands…putting lands that belong to all Americans at risk of being sold off for a short-term gain…[A] new analysis by…Conservation Science Partners finds that natural areas out West are disappearing at the rate of a football field every two and a half minutes…We…need to ensure that when a diverse class of 4th graders [visits], that they see park rangers who look like them. Or talk to wildlife biologists that share their background. Or see signs in their first language. Or, that they can visit a place that honors their heritage or culture…I do not think the (Antiquities) Act should only be used in places where there is complete agreement, as some are suggesting. If that were the case, then Teddy Roosevelt would never have protected the Grand Canyon or Muir Woods. And Franklin Roosevelt would never have protected Zion or Joshua Tree…It’s…not enough to protect a few isolated place…[O]ur nation needs to make serious investments in our national parks, wildlife refuges, forests, public lands and waters to ensure that they are prepared for the next 100 years.” Read The Next 100 Years of American Conservation

    Sam Accursio writes for the Miami Herald – “[T]he South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) was delivering…water to…Florida Bay…But our efforts were hindered by an action, related to the U.S. Endangered Species Act and enforced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, that focused water management on a single wildlife species while failing to consider the overall health of the Everglades and Florida Bay.” Read Focus on endangered bird harms Florida Bay

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 22, 9:30 am – Join the Center for Biological Diversity in cleaning up Egmont Key National Park Wildlife Refuge in Tampa Bay. Egmont Key is accessible only by boat. There will be a ferry ride to the island which will cost $20 per person. The event will also include a short tour of the island, and participants can picnic if they bring their lunch. RSVP to Jacklyn Lopez at jlopez@biologicaldiversity.org.

    April 22, 5:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute at the Great Outdoors Restaurant (65 N Main Street) in High Springs to celebrate Earth Day with drink specials, live music, and a book signing with Dr. Robert Knight! During this fundraising event, 10% of all patio bar sales will be donated to the Florida Springs Institute. Reserve your spot today. For more info, click here.

    April 22, 11:00 am – Attend the Earth Day Luncheon to honor Marjorie Harris Carr at the Thomas Center (302 NE 6th Ave) in Gainesville. Learn about the Ocklawaha watershed restoration efforts, fracking, the Sabal Trail pipeline, and state park protection efforts. Enjoy vendors, poetry, food, and song and dance performances. Tickets are available here and here.

    April 23, 10:00 am – Attend Central Florida Earth Day at Lake Eola Park in Orlando. There will be educational presentations, a kids zone, an animal haven, an artist corner, live music, and vegan food. Find more information here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend Friends of Lullwater Lake’s first meeting since registering officially as a non-profit organization. The meeting will take place in the grassy common area at Lullwater Condominiums (301 Lullwater Drive, Panama City Beach). Bring a lawn chair to sit on. Meet the board members and plan next steps.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. This month’s class will be on springs hydrogeology: the Florida Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

    June 4, 10:00 am – Attend Coastal Dune Lake Day. Learn about the coastal Dune Lakes and experience Western Lake from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Paddle to clean up the Lake from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Clean up the park from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Meet at the Boat Launch Parking Lot at Grayton Beach State Park.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 20, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 @ 11:24am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 20, 2016

     

    Mike Spies reports for The Trace – “By early this year, the Florida agency that oversees water quality in the Tampa Bay area seemed to have the upper hand in an acrimonious legal fight with the Skyway Trap & Skeet Club…Then, without warning, Swiftmud abruptly dropped the lawsuit. Swiftmud walked away from the legal battle after one of the National Rifle Association’s most powerful lobbyists enlisted a prominent Florida Republican to intervene, according to emails and texts obtained through a public records request…On Feb 18., one day before Swiftmud dropped the case, a legislative aide to Rep. Ben Albritton…the head of natural resources appropriations subcommittee that helps establish the agency’s budget, sent an email to Swiftmud’s head of public affairs, Colleen Thayer. Attached was a document spelling out the terms of the lawsuit’s dismissal – written as if Swiftmud had already agreed to it….The legislative aide’s email doesn’t reveal who crafted the lawsuit dismissal. But its metadata…reveals the first name of the source: “Marion.” The Marion in question is Marion Hammer, one of the most effective gun lobbyists in American history.” Read Swiftmud dropped gun club lawsuit one day after lawmaker sent NRA-crafted dismissal plan, records show

    The Gainesville Sun Editorial Board writes – “While we watch our region’s springs decline due to groundwater pollution, the same problem is causing unseen harm to human health. Robert Knight, director of the…Florida Springs Institute…said high nitrate levels in wells in [Alachua County] have the potential to cause birth defects, cancer and thyroid problems…While the problem needs further study, we can’t let state officials and lawmakers once again use the need for more research as an excuse to delay doing something. Curbing the pollution harming springs can only help human health.” Read Springs reveal health threat

    Tom Lyons writes for the Herald Tribune – “[Mitigation] projects have often been done at a developer’s expense as part of a trade. In return, state or local government allows the developer to do environmental damage elsewhere, usually by destroying part of some other wetland that is perhaps smaller or otherwise deemed, by someone, to be less important. Mitigation fans argue that there is a net gain for the environment, if government agencies drive a hard enough bargain…Critics…say that is too often not achieved…The decision to allow the total destruction of a long-protected 4.5-acre wooded swamp to accommodate a parking lot was an unpleasant surprise to some local environmentalists (in Sarasota County), only in part because the mitigation project offered in return…was in Manatee County…The land in Manatee doesn’t need much in the way of restoration…In effect, Whole Foods was offering to save land that already is pretty much saved from development.” Read A mitigation deal that misses the point

    Steve Torcise writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Three decades, or 33 years, to be exact. That’s how long Florida Power & Light knew that a slew of contaminated water was leaking from the Cooling Canal System at its Turkey Point nuclear facility…FPL and the state have failed at every opportunity to stop this contamination from advancing further west…It’s up to our elected leaders and environmental regulators to take control and reset history…It’s long past time [FLP was] made to do what’s right.” Read State regulators must hold FPL accountable

    Leslie Poole writes for Context Florida – “Today that lock and dam system costs $1 million a year to maintain and another $2 million is needed for repairs…However, once the river is allowed to move freely, its natural plants and trees will sprout. Springs suppressed by the reservoir’s waters will once again flow. Important fish species will be able to travel between ocean and fresh water, their stocks able to replenish…It’s time for Florida’s politicians…to rally around removing the dam.” Read Florida Needs to Remove the Damn Dam on the Ocklawaha River

    Amy Mariani reports for Bay News 9 – “With a two year restoration project now complete, Hillsborough County is home to the largest ecosystem restoration in Tampa Bay… ‘This project is 1,043 acres of a mosaic of habitats of cascading fresh water wetlands, fresh water and salt water lagoons,’ said Randy Smith, program manager for Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).” Read $11 million project makes Hillsborough home to area’s largest ecosystem restoration

    Samantha Sosa reports for Fox 4 – “Students and community activists rallied Monday to spread awareness about the damage caused by water releases from Lake Okeechobee to Southwest Florida waters…Guests at the rally included former county commissioners, and Florida State Representative Heather Fitzenhagen. She said the solution to the problem is to move the water south, to the Everglades. ‘We want to limit releases that are going to our estuaries, and I have recently come out in favor of making a purchase of land south of the lake, so that we can store water, clean water, and move water south.’” Read Activists rally for clean water in Southwest Florida at FGCU

    Tom Hudson reports for WLRN – “The mix of organizations and agencies involved in the Everglades is about as complex as the ecosystem itself: the South Florida Water Management District, the National Parks Service, Fish and Wildlife, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection, the federal departments of transportation, justice and agriculture and the Miccosukee and Seminole tribes are just some of them…Col. Jason Kirk, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District [said], ‘About 30 percent of the nation’s aquatic ecosystem restoration goes toward the Everglades. That’s higher than any other project.’” Read The Everglades: Environment and Economics

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 22, 5:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute at the Great Outdoors Restaurant (65 N Main Street) in High Springs to celebrate Earth Day with drink specials, live music, and a book signing with Dr. Robert Knight! During this fundraising event, 10% of all patio bar sales will be donated to the Florida Springs Institute. Reserve your spot today. For more info, click here.

    April 22, 11:00 am – Attend the Earth Day Luncheon to honor Marjorie Harris Carr at the Thomas Center (302 NE 6th Ave) in Gainesville. Learn about the Ocklawaha watershed restoration efforts, fracking, the Sabal Trail pipeline, and state park protection efforts. Enjoy vendors, poetry, food, and song and dance performances. Tickets are available here and here.

    April 23, 10:00 am – Attend Central Florida Earth Day at Lake Eola Park in Orlando. There will be educational presentations, a kids zone, an animal haven, an artist corner, live music, and vegan food. Find more information here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend Friends of Lullwater Lake’s first meeting since registering officially as a non-profit organization. The meeting will take place in the grassy common area at Lullwater Condominiums (301 Lullwater Drive, Panama City Beach). Bring a lawn chair to sit on. Meet the board members and plan next steps.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. This month’s class will be on springs hydrogeology: the Florida Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

    June 4, 10:00 am – Attend Coastal Dune Lake Day. Learn about the coastal Dune Lakes and experience Western Lake from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Paddle to clean up the Lake from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Clean up the park from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Meet at the Boat Launch Parking Lot at Grayton Beach State Park.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 20, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 @ 9:08am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 19, 2016

     

    Marty Sullivan writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “A historic rural area near the Econlockhatchee River in east Orange County, where for centuries bears, panthers, fox squirrels, indigo snakes, gopher tortoises, short-tailed hawks, sandhill cranes and other species have roamed, is being threatened by a zoning change to allow thousands of homes to be built…The League of Women Voters of Orange County opposes this development, along with Sierra Club of Central Florida and East of Econ, an east Orange County residential group. We appeal to Orange County commissioners and the mayor to remember that the natural lands of Central Florida are an essential element of our quality of life. They are part of the future that we must preserve and bequeath to our children, grandchildren, and beyond.” Read Orange commissioners should save wildlife habitat, reject Lake Pickett development

    Henry Keating writes for The St. Augustine Record – “I am writing to express my concern about excessive water consumption in our county, potentially leading to saltwater intrusion in the years ahead…[W]e Floridians must take serious measures if we want something actually drinkable coming out of our taps in future years…We need to: Fix any water leaks…Install more efficient shower heads and toilets…Landscape with plants requiring little water…Water our lawns only when necessary…Turn off the water when brushing our teeth.” Read Water consumption a concern for us all

    Kimberly Blair reports for the Pensacola News Journal – “Northwest [Florida’s]…beaches are becoming less and less desirable for shorebirds that migrate from as far away as South America to nest during the spring and summer. Increased coastal development, erosion, growing numbers of beachgoers tromping through the sand stepping on eggs and flushing chicks, along with a rise in the numbers of hungry coyotes, raccoons and feral cats, are sending many of the birds, including least terns, looking for safer grounds. So they’re taking to the flat roofs of hotels, big box stores and even schools…Not the best of nesting perches. The tiny chicks fall off and end up being stepped on, run over by vehicles, eaten by feral cats and even red ants, Julie Wraithmell, deputy executive director of Audubon Florida, pointed out. With the help of Rodney Smith, Gulf Power distribution construction coordinator, Emily McKiddy, coordinator of the Audubon Florida Rooftop Nesting Program, said her team was able to get more than 600 pounds of bricks and chicken wire lifted onto the roof to chick-proof it.” Read Gulf Power employee saving shorebird chicks

    Collin Breaux reports for the Panama City News Herald – “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) depicts the rise in sea level as vastly altering coastlines across Bay county and the surrounding area. Projections call for water flooding into parts of Gulf Coast State College and St. Andrews State Park. Sweetbay Wetlands Preserve and areas near the Springfield Sports Complex and Bay Memorial Park also could flood. Shell Island could be reduced by half…Ben Strauss, Climate Central vice president for sea level and climate impacts, [said] by…2180, the land where more than half the population of Bay County lives will be below the high tide level...State Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach…discouraged government over-involvement in environmental issues. Bay County Commissioner George Gainer…voiced skepticism about climate change…Dune preservation is one method the FCOC recommends to prevent erosion and protect property…RMA (St. Andrew Bay Resource Management Association) partners with students…to create a living shoreline along St. Andrew Bay. [They] use coastal marsh plants and bags of oyster shells to form reefs, which are intended to break wave energy so the sand can stabilize and restore the bay ecosystem.” Read Rising tides: Scientists analyze possible effects of climate change on Bay County

    Ron Littlepage writes for The Florida Times Union – “Florida’s precious environment is under assault, yet there is mostly silence when there should be clanging warning bells…Last week, the national environmental group American Rivers named the Apalachicola-Chattachoochee-Flint River Basin the most endangered in the country in its annual ratings of the country’s rivers. The culprit is Georgia and Atlanta, which are taking too much water from the basin to meet the demands of out-of-control growth there…As with Apalachicola Bay, the problems with the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, and the Indian River Lagoon are not new, yet they persist…[T]he St. Johns River is facing dangers of its own…[O]ur awesome springs are under stress…and in some cases are already dead. Obviously, we have crammed too many people onto this fragile peninsula and in the process messed up the natural plumbing system, clearly illustrated by what has happened to the Everglades. Add to that the denial of sea-level rise and climate change, and Florida’s future is bleak.” Read Florida’s environment is showing warning signs

    Jim Weix writes for the TC Palm – “[T]he water (north of Lake Okeechobee) should flow south from Lake Okeechobee, into the Everglades. Instead, it is impounded in Lake Okeechobee so that U.S. Sugar has its very own taxpayer-supported irrigation and flood control system….When the retained water gets too high, it is unceremoniously dumped into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers…U.S. Sugar lays the blame for this on the South Florida Water Management District, which is partly true. What it doesn’t mention is that this whole disastrous situation is the result of U.S. Sugar contributing heavily to the political campaigns of those corrupt politicians who make this situation possible. If U.S. Sugar really wants to ‘protect Glades-area communities, businesses, hospitals, schools and farms from catastrophic flooding,’ it should devise a plan and donate or sell the land needed to restore the water flow to the south.” Read U.S. Sugar’s advertisements deceive while its pollution destroys

    Rebecca Leber reports for Newsweek – “Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton had an intense exchange at the CNN/NY1 debate that got to the heart of the two candidates’ different philosophies on climate action…Here are the highlights…” Read Breaking Down Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’s Opposing Climate Change Views

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “The Florida Supreme Court took an important step this week to preserve the constitutional right to inspect and copy public records that is a cornerstone of government in the sunshine. The court ruled 5-2 that public agencies that violate public records laws are liable for the legal fees of citizens whose only recourse is to file a lawsuit when they are denied access to records.” Read Big win for public records at Florida Supreme Court

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 22, 5:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute at the Great Outdoors Restaurant (65 N Main Street) in High Springs to celebrate Earth Day with drink specials, live music, and a book signing with Dr. Robert Knight! During this fundraising event, 10% of all patio bar sales will be donated to the Florida Springs Institute. Reserve your spot today. For more info, click here.

    April 22, 11:00 am – Attend the Earth Day Luncheon to honor Marjorie Harris Carr at the Thomas Center (302 NE 6th Ave) in Gainesville. Learn about the Ocklawaha watershed restoration efforts, fracking, the Sabal Trail pipeline, and state park protection efforts. Enjoy vendors, poetry, food, and song and dance performances. Tickets are available here and here.

    April 23, 10:00 am – Attend Central Florida Earth Day at Lake Eola Park in Orlando. There will be educational presentations, a kids zone, an animal haven, an artist corner, live music, and vegan food. Find more information here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend Friends of Lullwater Lake’s first meeting since registering officially as a non-profit organization. The meeting will take place in the grassy common area at Lullwater Condominiums (301 Lullwater Drive, Panama City Beach). Bring a lawn chair to sit on. Meet the board members and plan next steps.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. This month’s class will be on springs hydrogeology: the Florida Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

    June 4, 10:00 am – Attend Coastal Dune Lake Day. Learn about the coastal Dune Lakes and experience Western Lake from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Paddle to clean up the Lake from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Clean up the park from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Meet at the Boat Launch Parking Lot at Grayton Beach State Park.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 18, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, April 18th, 2016 @ 11:16am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 18, 2016

     

    Melissa Ross reports for Florida Politics – “Former Florida Governor and Senator Bob Graham will host a free environmental webinar [tomorrow] for those interested in becoming politically engaged around environmental issues in the state. The online event is in partnership with…1000 Friends of Florida, and is set for…noon….Graham and Hand (former Chief of Staff to Alvin Brown)…are the co-authors of America, the Owner’s Manual, which provides guidance on how to improve outcomes with government, and are releasing an updated version later this year.” Read Bob Graham to Host Free Environmental Advocacy Webinar

    Naples Daily News reports – “An endangered Florida panther was killed by a vehicle in Golden Gate Estates, the sixth roadkill panther found in the past two weeks…So far this year, the FWC has counted 15 roadkill panthers in Southwest Florida and a total of 17 dead panthers…In the past six weeks, the FWC has found four panthers killed by vehicles in Collier County and two in Lee County…” Read FWC picks up dead Florida panther killed by vehicle on Randall Boulevard

    Orlando Sentinel writes – “[The Indian River Lagoon] is the most biologically diverse estuary in North America. [It generates] $3.7 billion a year from recreation, fishing, and other activities as well as enhanced value for nearby real estate…Local and state leaders can’t just wait around for another disaster. The risk to the environment and economy is too great. The possibility that the lagoon could slip into a decades-long decline like Central Florida’s Lake Apopka- still ailing despite more than $200 million spent to restore it – is too serious to ignore.” Read Don’t wait to rescue Indian river Lagoon

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “Blue-green algae produces a toxin called BMAA that is suspected of triggering neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and…ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease…Brand (marine and atmosphere science professor at the University of Miami) advises against eating ‘a lot of seafood from the Indian River Lagoon….’…The summer rainy season typically starts in late May, early June, and discharges from Lake Okeechobee that started Jan. 30 are likely to continue this summer. All that extra freshwater means the river and lagoon, both of which should have a mix of freshwater and salty water, will have less salinity and more nutrients: two criteria for algae blooms…Brand said he wouldn’t live along the Indian River Lagoon ‘or any body of water in Florida for that matter. And it’s not just the BMAA. There are other toxins in blue-green algae we know about and probably lots more we don’t know about yet. Those are the ones that worry me the most.’” Read Scientists: Toxin in blue-green algae could trigger neurological diseases

    Ryan Ray reports for Florida Politics – “Lucas, a teacher and environmental activist from Stuart, is challenging third-term Republican Rep. Gayle Harrel in HD 83… ‘As a leading voice in support of Amendment 1, she fought to ensure that Florida dedicates the resources necessary to solve the issues plaguing the Indian River Lagoon and the St. Lucie River’ [said U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Lucas.]” Read Patrick Murphy Endorses Crystal Lucas in HD 83

    Valerie Richardson reports for The Washington Times – “Bill Nye…says…that he is open to the idea of jailing those who deviate from the climate change consensus. ‘Was it appropriate to jail the guys from Enron?’ Mr. Nye asked… ‘…Was it appropriate to jail people from the cigarette industry who insisted that this addictive product was not addictive, and so on…In these cases, for me, as a taxpayer and voter, the introduction of this extreme doubt about climate change is affecting my quality of life as a public citizen,’ Mr. Nye said…Mr. Nye’s comments come with a coalition of liberal attorneys general pursuing companies that challenge the consensus of catastrophic climate change. Critics fear the campaign could chill research and free speech…. ‘The extreme doubt about climate change people…are leaving the world worse than they found it because they are keeping us from getting to work. They are holding us back,’ Mr. Nye said…” Read Bill Nye, the science guy, is open to criminal charges and jail time for climate change dissenters

    Eric DeVaux reports for the Naples Herald – “A study done in 2015 by FloridaRealtors.org in conjunction with the Everglades Foundation concluded that as water quality in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers go up, property value goes up. And as quality goes down, values go down.” Read Study: Increase in Water Quality Could Correlate with SWFL Property Values

    Wayne Pacelle writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “The…news that SeaWorld will stop breeding its captive orca whales, and will phase out theatrical orca shows in favor of exhibits highlighting whales’ natural behaviors, is an indicator of a broader trend in society…The SeaWorld change comes a year after Ringling Bros. agreed to phase out its elephant acts in traveling circuses…Walmart recently joined other major food retailers, including Costco, McDonald’s and Target, in pledging to buy eggs only from suppliers that allow hens to move around…Government officials…are often slow to pick up on the cues from the public, and that’s especially the case in Florida. State wildlife officials started pushing for a trophy hunt on the imperiled Florida black bear almost immediately after wildlife management authorities removed them from the critical list…Nearly 40 states ban greyhound racing, but incredibly, Florida actually mandates it. The state forces racetracks to hold greyhound races if they want to conduct casino-style gambling. Gamblers cluster inside…while greyhounds run around tracks with mostly empty grandstands…On average, a greyhound dies on a Florida track every three days…As voters and taxpayers, we need to insist that our leaders recognize the rising tide of concern for animals and become full-fledged members of the humane economy.” Read Everyone wins in a humane economy

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 18, 6:00 pm – Watch Catching the Sun: a film about people, energy and jobs at the West Florida Regional Library in Pensacola. Catching the Sun follows unemployed workers as they progress through a solar job training program and into a new clean energy economy that promises to democratize our energy future. The film will be followed by a discussion among local solar energy companies and job training experts. For more information call (850) 687- 9968 or email 350pensacola@gmail.com

    April 19, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Speak Up: Environmental Advocacy with Gov. Bob Graham,” a FREE 1000 Friends of Florida webinar mirroring advocacy training events hosted by the Florida Conservation Coalition, 1000 Friends of Florida, and other environmental allies. Learn how to take your environmental advocacy to the next level by forming relationships with your legislators. For more information and to register, click here.

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 22, 5:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute at the Great Outdoors Restaurant (65 N Main Street) in High Springs to celebrate Earth Day with drink specials, live music, and a book signing with Dr. Robert Knight! During this fundraising event, 10% of all patio bar sales will be donated to the Florida Springs Institute. Reserve your spot today. For more info, click here.

    April 22, 11:00 am – Attend the Earth Day Luncheon to honor Marjorie Harris Carr at the Thomas Center (302 NE 6th Ave) in Gainesville. Learn about the Ocklawaha watershed restoration efforts, fracking, the Sabal Trail pipeline, and state park protection efforts. Enjoy vendors, poetry, food, and song and dance performances. Tickets are available here and here.

    April 23, 10:00 am – Attend Central Florida Earth Day at Lake Eola Park in Orlando. There will be educational presentations, a kids zone, an animal haven, an artist corner, live music, and vegan food. Find more information here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend Friends of Lullwater Lake’s first meeting since registering officially as a non-profit organization. The meeting will take place in the grassy common area at Lullwater Condominiums (301 Lullwater Drive, Panama City Beach). Bring a lawn chair to sit on. Meet the board members and plan next steps.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. This month’s class will be on springs hydrogeology: the Florida Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

    June 4, 10:00 am – Attend Coastal Dune Lake Day. Learn about the coastal Dune Lakes and experience Western Lake from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Paddle to clean up the Lake from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Clean up the park from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Meet at the Boat Launch Parking Lot at Grayton Beach State Park.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 15, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, April 15th, 2016 @ 9:26am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 15, 2016

     

    Ben Rubin reports for JDSupra Business Advisor – “In 2013, the Florida Wildlife Federation and Collier County Audubon Society filed a lawsuit alleging that [Collier] County’s written policies and regulations relating to the clearing of agricultural land and issuance of building permits for single family residences in certain designated areas, and planned future extension of a roadway violated section 6(f) and section 9 of the ESA…Section 6(f)…states that ‘[a]ny…regulation respecting the taking of an endangered species…may be more restrictive than the exemptions or permits provided for in [the ESA]…but not less restrictive than the prohibitions so defined.’…The district court found that the County’s policies…did not run afoul of section 6(f), because they required a landowner to obtain all other federal…permits prior to clearing agricultural land or constructing a single family residence…The district court also found that the policies…did not result in a “take” in violation of section 9, stating: ‘Collier County’s land clearing authorization and single family home building permits…require the landowner [to comply] with federal law. In order for a take to occur, a third party must violate Collier County’s regulations and the ESA. Defendants cannot be held liable for such conduct.’ Finally, with respect to the planned road extension, the district court found that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that the preliminary planning actions resulted in a ‘”take” in violation of the ESA…[T]he County would need to obtain all necessary federal permits…” Read Court Rejects ESA Challenge to County’s Local Land Use Planning

    News-Press Staff and Wire report for News Press – “Manley Fuller with the Florida Wildlife Federation said his group will give recommendations [regarding a future bear hunt] to FWC commissioners during the June meeting. ‘We think the state should set up a series of bear sanctuaries, core breeding areas where (the state) would not allow hunting,’ he said. Fuller said he wants to see more information on the bear population, such as how harvest rates can impact sustainability for individual populations. … ‘If you add euthanasia, road kills and the natural mortality and hunting, it’s possible some of the populations could decline and we don’t want to see that.’” Read State wildlife managers talk bear hunt for 2016

    Drew Martin writes for Sun Sentinel – “We are seeing an increase in blue green algae along with dramatic fish kills in the Indian River Lagoon. These deaths relate to polluted runoff from the land. And there is evidence that blue green algae may be related to Alzheimer’s disease. One of the best solutions to reduce this pollution is to purchase and protect wetlands…In Palm Beach County, we are once again seeing a proposal to ruin one of our oldest county parks with a commercial baseball stadium. This will indirectly result in more polluted water as open space is replaced with concrete…We need to stop large developments in the western part of Palm Beach County that increase polluted runoff…In order to have a vibrant economy we must clean up our environment or we will become known as the state of poor health and dead wildlife.” Read Protecting Florida’s public health by protecting lands

    The Tampa Tribune Editorial Board writes – “Legacy Florida indicates lawmakers are making progress. The legislation earmarks some Amendment 1 dollars to Everglades restoration…, springs protections… and Lake Apopka’s revival…All are worthy conservation projects that need the state’s continued support…But this should only be considered a first step. Tallahassee still is not spending nearly as much as it should – or can, thanks to Amendment 1 – on conservation. In particular, Florida Forever…is being sadly neglected. When the conservation program was launched…the goal was to spend $300 million a year preserving natural Florida…[W]ith Florida’s growth once again exploding, it would be appropriate for lawmakers to earmark up to $300 million a year of Amendment 1 funds for land preservation…This would still allow funding for land management…and other appropriate expenses but would ensure Amendment 1 is fulfilling the conservation mission that voters intended.” Read Legacy Florida’s solid step

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “State and federal agencies are working to continue a diversion of water through Everglades National Park…Larry Williams, state supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, presented Bergeron (FWC Commissioner) with an agency honorary coin for working on the solution by meeting frequently with private landowners and agencies. Bergeron said seven private property owners agreed to flow easements to divert water to the national park to reduce flooding in state water conservation areas that threatened wildlife…Also Wednesday, Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio wrote to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requesting action on three Everglades restoration projects to help divert water flows. The senators wrote that the Congress two years ago authorized the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project, the Broward County Water Preserves Areas and the Caloosahatchee River West Basin Storage Reservoir, or C-43. Yet project partnership agreements that are needed to provide for cost-sharing and action have not been signed…” Read Agencies seek to extend Everglades water diversion, commissioner says

    Sammy Roth reports for Desert Sun – “ ‘People gonna rise like the water, gonna calm this crisis down. I hear the voice of my great-granddaughter, saying, ‘Keep it in the ground!’’…The…protestors had a simple demand for President Barack Obama: Stop making public land and water available for oil and natural gas drilling…[I]f the world doesn’t keep the vast majority of its coal, oil and gas in the ground, global warming will almost certainly exceed 2 degrees Celsius…[E]ven less warming could be catastrophic…Only Sanders has consistently opposed fossil fuel development…With most debates between Democrats and Republicans, [Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org] said, ‘the best response is usually to figure out a compromise…’…But with climate change, such a strategy could be catastrophic… ‘Our problem…is that the two sides, fundamentally, are not industry and environmentalists, or Republicans and Democrats,’ McKibben said. ‘At the very bottom, the two sides are physics and human beings. And that’s an extremely tough negotiation, because physics doesn’t care. We have no leverage on physics.’…Even if every country meets its Paris commitments, global warming will still reach 3.6 degrees Celsius, one recent study found…And the United State isn’t even on track to meet its modest Paris commitment…Critics of “keep it in the ground” say limiting fossil fuel extraction could cause energy prices to spike, or else force the United State to import more coal, oil and gas from overseas. The best and only way to curb climate change, they say, is a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, which would reduce demand for fossil fuels by making them more expensive than clean energy.” Read The new climate rallying cry: keep it in the ground

    Alex Leary reports for The Tampa Bay Times – “ ‘I’m going to tell you something you rarely hear a member of Congress say: I think the climate’s changing. I think man’s had an impact, and we need to stop arguing about the science,’ U.S. Rep. David Jolly said… ‘I have a confession to make,’ the Pinellas County lawmaker added, ‘I’m a Republican. I truly do not understand why members of Congress argue over science…I understand the healthy argument and constructive dialogue over the solutions because we all have different solutions.’ Jolly’s comments…are notable…because he’s running in the crowded Republican primary for U.S. Senate… ‘I’m sick and tired of going nowhere in addressing large problems and I’d like to see our party accept the science and say we believe in conservative solutions.’ Jolly made clear that he opposes mandates to curb emissions…Jolly is one of a handful of Republicans – who include fellow Florida Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen- to co-sponsor a 2015 resolution from New York Rep. Chris Gibson that acknowledges man’s role in climate change and calls for congressional action.” Read Rep. David Jolly says he’s ‘sick and tired’ of GOP position on climate change

    Scott Powers reports for Florida Politics – “Florida’s senior U.S. Sen Bill Nelson…lifted a procedural hold he used to block the Senate energy bill after an amendment was withdrawn that would have rewarded states that have off-shore drilling.” Read Bill Nelson Lifts His Senate Hold on Energy Bill After Winning Anti-Off Shore Concession

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at .

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 16, 10:00 am – Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s Ixia Chapter’s 2nd Annual Native Plant Sale, in partnership with the St. Johns Riverkeeper, at Native Park (3312 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL). For more information, contact Ixia president Sally Steinauer at sallysteinauer@bellsouth.net.

    April 17, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Energy: Solar and Wind’at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 11.

    April 17, 1 to 7 pm – Attend the 6th Annual Our Santa Fe RiverFest at Rum 138 in High Springs, Fl. Support the expansion of knowledge about saving our water ecosystem through live music, song contest, food, beer and wine, raffles, silent auction and plenty of family activities. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Proceeds will fund educational activities to protect our springs and waters. For more information visit us at or facebook.com/oursantaferiver.

    April 18, 6:00 pm – Watch Catching the Sun: a film about people, energy and jobs at the West Florida Regional Library in Pensacola. Catching the Sun follows unemployed workers as they progress through a solar job training program and into a new clean energy economy that promises to democratize our energy future. The film will be followed by a discussion among local solar energy companies and job training experts. For more information call (850) 687- 9968 or email 350pensacola@gmail.com

    April 19, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Speak Up: Environmental Advocacy with Gov. Bob Graham,” a FREE 1000 Friends of Florida webinar mirroring advocacy training events hosted by the Florida Conservation Coalition, 1000 Friends of Florida, and other environmental allies. Learn how to take your environmental advocacy to the next level by forming relationships with your legislators. For more information and to register, click here.

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at  or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 20, 11:00 am – Attend Broward College’s Earth Day at Broward College’s Central campus in Davie.

    April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 22, 5:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute at the Great Outdoors Restaurant (65 N Main Street) in High Springs to celebrate Earth Day with drink specials, live music, and a book signing with Dr. Robert Knight! During this fundraising event, 10% of all patio bar sales will be donated to the Florida Springs Institute. Reserve your spot today. For more info, click here.

    April 22, 11:00 am – Attend the Earth Day Luncheon to honor Marjorie Harris Carr at the Thomas Center (302 NE 6th Ave) in Gainesville. Learn about the Ocklawaha watershed restoration efforts, fracking, the Sabal Trail pipeline, and state park protection efforts. Enjoy vendors, poetry, food, and song and dance performances. Tickets are available here and here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. This month’s class will be on springs hydrogeology: the Florida Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

    June 4, 10:00 am – Attend Coastal Dune Lake Day. Learn about the coastal Dune Lakes and experience Western Lake from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Paddle to clean up the Lake from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Clean up the park from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Meet at the Boat Launch Parking Lot at Grayton Beach State Park.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 14, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, April 14th, 2016 @ 12:14pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 14, 2016

     

    Chad Gillis reports for News Press – “Dozens of Southwest Floridians spoke out against a proposed development area in Immokalee, saying the public and panthers should not suffer so that nine property owners will be able to develop more lands in rural Collier County…Amber Crooks with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida said the development… ‘…does not minimize impacts to habitat that have been deemed essential to the recovery of the Florida panther,’… ‘This is in direct conflict with the Florida panther recovery plan.’ Some at the meeting asked for a development moratorium on rural lands to help ensure the long-term survivability of panthers and endangered and threatened species like wood storks, snail kites and red-cockaded woodpeckers….More development would also put more strain on drinking water aquifers, which have shrunk several feet in many areas of Southwest Florida over the past 20 years…The (permit) applicants have also requested that other landowners be allowed to join the development group in the future….[I]ncrease in the size and scope of the (associated) road network will not be a part of [the] environmental review.” Read Land plan, panthers collide in Collier

    Jim Turner reports for The News Service of Florida – “Armed with data showing a ‘robust’ and growing black-bear population, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is working to hold another bear hunt. Commission Chairman Brian Yablonski…directed staff and commissioners to prepare to discuss during a June meeting how the hunt could be managed. A commission spokeswoman said later that a decision has not been made to hold a hunt…The Florida Administrative Code already includes an outline for an annual bear hunt to be held in late October, and Yablonski said it’s up to the commission to set quota numbers…Conservation groups…have petitioned the federal government to approve an endangered-species protection designation for Florida black bears…This year, Florida lawmakers included $500,000 to reduce human-bear conflicts in the state’s new…budget. Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley said…that the majority of the money must go to local governments with ordinances in place requiring residents and businesses to secure their trash.” Read Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sets sights on another bear hunt

    Craig Pittman reports for The Tampa Bay Times – “Florida wildlife commissioners are proceeding with a second bear hunt later this year, despite continued opposition to the one held last year…The commissioners were not scheduled to discuss bear hunting at their meeting Wednesday. The subject was not on their agenda. Yablonski brought it up when Wiley mentioned a new population estimate…[L]ast month, a coalition of scientists and environmental activists petitioned…to put the Florida bear on the federal endangered list. The petition noted that the bears were facing serious challenges, including a shortage of saw palmetto berries, the loss of habitat to development and the possibility of a second hunt….Jaclyn Lopez (head of Center for Biological Diversity’s Florida office)…said, [FWC] ‘could use…time to talk about…allowing more staff time to weigh-in on (development) projects in bear country.’…[C]ommissioners voted to go ahead with [a bear hunt]…after a series of bear attacks…although they acknowledged that a hunt would likely have no impact on preventing any future attacks. At that time they also quietly approved a set of rules for the hunt that were added to the Florida Administrative Code.” Read Florida bear hunt could happen again this October despite protests

    Margie Menzel reports for the Panama City News Herald – “ ‘There is enough water in the basin…for everybody to get what they need and to share a little bit of pain during the drought,’ said Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers, who is based in Albany, GA. ‘This is crazy that we are at this particular crossroads.’…Deal visited Gov. Rick Scott in June and met with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley in March 2015, but Georgia has strongly opposed efforts by the other two states to alter the management of the system through federal legislation. Last year, for instance, U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Fla., whose district includes the Apalachicola River and Apalachicola Bay, filed a bill that would require the Corps of Engineers to consider freshwater flows to the basin as part of the operating plan. Although it drew bipartisan support from the Florida delegation, the bill has languished.” Read Apalach water system named country’s ‘most endangered’

    Keith Morelli reports for The Tampa Tribune – “The federal proposal to scrub the West Indian manatee from the endangered species list received 22,606 emailed comments from the public…Among those are two from some heavy hitters in Washington: Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and a group of Democratic U.S. representatives including Tampa’s Kathy Castor… ‘Not only is a downgrading premature, it is also potentially dangerous to long-term recovery efforts,’ Nelson wrote in his…letter to Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service…Eleven U.S. representatives (10 from Florida and 1 from Puerto Rico) signed a similar letter to Ashe…” Read More than 22,000 comment on proposal to re-list manatees as threatened

    Jennifer Christiansen writes for News Press – “Why isn’t Florida keeping up with other areas in becoming more environmentally responsible, especially in our coastal communities?...I discovered Florida’s misguided preemption law that prohibits municipalities from banning or limiting the use of plastic bags…It is clear that plastic bags are harmful to the environment and better alternatives for carrying items are available…Miami Beach activist Michael DeFilippi told me that ‘over 25 local governments including Miami Beach, Key West, and Brevard County have expressed interest in regulating plastic bags, but due to the state preemption law, they are handcuffed.’…[I]t’s time to allow local governments the ability to protect their environment. The DEP’s report found that plastic bag bans produce the fastest results, followed by fees or taxes…Publix, who recently was involved in another preemption law on Styrofoam, should at least offer incentives to people that bring their own bags. State Rep. Matt Caldwell told me that he has been working on this…issue and plans more research in order to bring the best solution to the floor next session.” Read Plastic bag restrictions overdue in Florida

    Jim Stevenson writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “You may have always taken your state parks for granted, but if you care about having a natural place to enjoy with your children, you need to speak up now. Don’t wait to be forced off the park road by a logging truck or to be told that you can’t go to your favorite part of the park because it’s reserved for hunting. Let state officials know you want your parks preserved under single-use management for recreation, and that you want your state parks to remain “The Real Florida” for future generations.” Read The making – and attempted taking – of our state parks

    Steve Nichols reports for Fox 13 – “The city of St. Petersburg went looking for a sea grass farmer, and five different entities filled out an application. The response validates a notion city council member Jim Kennedy nurtured for about three years. If somebody’s going to be interfering with sea grass, they’ll need a mitigation bank,’ Kennedy explained…The business concept hinges on Florida laws requiring amends for environmental impacts caused by development projects, including building bridges, dredging ports and shipping channels. The city proposed filling in old dredge holes off North Shore Park and planting about 125 acres of sea grass… ‘The long term benefit to the bay is substantial, and potentially the economic benefit to the city is substantial,’ Kennedy said.” Read St. Pete looking for sea grass farmers

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 16, 10:00 am – Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s Ixia Chapter’s 2nd Annual Native Plant Sale, in partnership with the St. Johns Riverkeeper, at Native Park (3312 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL). For more information, contact Ixia president Sally Steinauer at sallysteinauer@bellsouth.net.

    April 17, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Energy: Solar and Wind’at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 11.

    April 17, 1 to 7 pm – Attend the 6th Annual Our Santa Fe RiverFest at Rum 138 in High Springs, Fl. Support the expansion of knowledge about saving our water ecosystem through live music, song contest, food, beer and wine, raffles, silent auction and plenty of family activities. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Proceeds will fund educational activities to protect our springs and waters. For more information visit us atwww.OurSantaReRiver.org or facebook.com/oursantaferiver.

    April 18, 6:00 pm – Watch Catching the Sun: a film about people, energy and jobs at the West Florida Regional Library in Pensacola. Catching the Sun follows unemployed workers as they progress through a solar job training program and into a new clean energy economy that promises to democratize our energy future. The film will be followed by a discussion among local solar energy companies and job training experts. For more information call (850) 687- 9968 or email 350pensacola@gmail.com

    April 19, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Speak Up: Environmental Advocacy with Gov. Bob Graham,” a FREE 1000 Friends of Florida webinar mirroring advocacy training events hosted by the Florida Conservation Coalition, 1000 Friends of Florida, and other environmental allies. Learn how to take your environmental advocacy to the next level by forming relationships with your legislators. For more information and to register, click here.

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 22, 5:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute at the Great Outdoors Restaurant (65 N Main Street) in High Springs to celebrate Earth Day with drink specials, live music, and a book signing with Dr. Robert Knight! During this fundraising event, 10% of all patio bar sales will be donated to the Florida Springs Institute. Reserve your spot today. For more info, click here.

    April 22, 11:00 am – Attend the Earth Day Luncheon to honor Marjorie Harris Carr at the Thomas Center (302 NE 6th Ave) in Gainesville. Learn about the Ocklawaha watershed restoration efforts, fracking, the Sabal Trail pipeline, and state park protection efforts. Enjoy vendors, poetry, food, and song and dance performances. Tickets are available here and here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. This month’s class will be on springs hydrogeology: the Florida Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

    June 4, 10:00 am – Attend Coastal Dune Lake Day. Learn about the coastal Dune Lakes and experience Western Lake from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Paddle to clean up the Lake from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Clean up the park from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Meet at the Boat Launch Parking Lot at Grayton Beach State Park.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

2016 Legislative Update

E-mail sent by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 @ 11:52am

April 13, 2016

Dear FCC Members,

The dust from the 2016 legislative session has begun to settle, and I wanted to update you on the fate of the bills the FCC brought to your attention earlier this year.

If you are subscribed to FCC’s news briefs, then you know that it has been a tough year for Florida’s waters. Our springs, rivers, estuaries, and bays are suffering from nutrient pollution associated with septic tanks and fertilizers. Improper management of fresh water flows has disrupted delicate ecological balances in the Apalachicola Bay and Floodplain as well as the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers. As demand for freshwater increases with development and population growth, our springs and rivers are drying out before our eyes. This session, the Legislature passed a water bill which will do little to solve these problems and, in many ways, makes it more difficult to care for Florida’s water bodies in a sustainable way. The quick passage of this bill into law was predetermined by powerful political players and the public will need to stand together next legislative session to fight for real solutions like those offered by a 2014 springs bill that the FCC helped to write.

The environmental community was instrumental in killing bills that would have regulated “fracking” in Florida. These bills would have stripped the rights of local governments to prohibit “fracking” and related operations from taking place within their jurisdictions. At a time when Florida’s fresh water resources are so stressed, it would have been unwise to prevent local governments from protecting their water supplies by banning practices which remove excessive amounts of potable water from the water cycle and threaten to contaminate local water sources. We will need to be vigilant next session as the poor ideas in these defeated bills are likely to return to fight us again.

This year’s state lands bill illustrated the desire of our state government to dispose of conservation lands and make them more profitable. This bad bill was passed by the Legislature, but was significantly improved through the advocacy of environmentally-conscious citizens like yourselves.  We were able, for example, to remove language in the bill that would have allowed Florida Forever funds to be used for local water infrastructure projects, rather than land conservation, before the bill’s passage.

After the overwhelming passage of The Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment, also known as Amendment 1, we were very disappointed with this year’s appropriation for the Florida Forever program. The state’s preeminent conservation land acquisition program was given only $15.2 million, a fraction of the program’s $300 million historic allocation. Conservation land acquisition is key to preserving Florida’s last remaining natural places, critical to maintaining Florida’s quality of life and conserving our wildlife and water resources. Because of the significance of preserving ecologically important parcels of land, the FCC has been working with local governments to urge the Legislature to allocate at least $300 million from Amendment 1 funds for the Florida Forever program annually. Martin County, Broward County, Bay County, Leon County, and the Town of Surfside have joined the FCC in this effort and we hope that others will follow suit.

The FCC was not actively engaged in the other pieces of legislation we informed you about previously, but, in case you’re curious, here is what happened with those bills:

  • SB 1400/HB 1159 would have created the Water Oversight and Planning Board. These bills died in committee.
  • SB 658/HB 851 would have repealed the ban on the land application of septage. These bills died and the ban will go into effect on June 30, 2016.
  • SB 570 would have eliminated state park entrance fees for a year. This bill died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
  • SB 7000 would have removed the requirement for DRIs to go through the “state coordinated review process” if the proposed land use was consistent with the relevant comprehensive plans and zoning requirements. The House never took up this bill.
  •  HB 1361 amended existing DRI regulations as well as reduced the acreage required for a development to qualify as a Sector Plan. 1000 Friends of Florida was instrumental in making positive changes to this bill’s language before it was signed into law.
  • SB 584/ HB 929 originally dealt with flood prevention and mitigation. These bills died.
  • The Legislature passed The Florida Keys Stewardship Act (HB 447). The bill provides funding for land acquisition, water quality improvement, alternative water supply, and projects which mitigate the negative impacts of new development on hurricane evacuation times in the Florida Keys.
  • The Legacy Florida bill was signed into law by the Governor. The bill was amended to provide a minimum of either $200 million or 25% of Amendment 1 funds (whichever is less) for CERP, $50 million or 7.6% (whichever is less) for springs, and $5 million for Lake Apopka.
  • SB 1674 would have imposed a fine on those leaving out wildlife attractants in high human-bear conflict areas. This bill died in the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee.
  • The Florida Black Bear Habitat Restoration Act (SB 1096/HB 1055) included several measures to protect natural food sources for black bears. These bills died in committee.
  • SB 838/ HB 639 would have blocked implementation of the Clean Power Plan in Florida. These bills died in committee.
  • The Legislature passed a bill (CS/HJR 193) which placed a good solar amendment on the August 30 primary ballot. The proposed amendment will provide tax breaks to businesses who use renewable energy devices.
  • SB 306/ HB 143 would have allowed limited coastal municipalities to participate in a pilot project to regulate or ban plastic bags. These bills died in committee.
  • HB 561 allows for the reorganization of DEP. It was signed into law by Governor Scott. Specifically, the legislation allows The Office of the Secretary to establish new offices and establishes the Division of Water Restoration Assistance.

I want to sincerely thank you for standing with the Florida Conservation Coalition this legislative session. The political system can inspire cynicism and creating positive change for the environment is not easy. Making a difference will require all of us who care about our natural resources to unite and leverage our collective strength, working to tear at the fabric of the status quo and elevate ideas of a more sustainable future. The FCC is grateful for your engagement.

Best Wishes,

Gladys Delgadillo

FCC Administrator

FCC News Brief - April 13, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 @ 11:00am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 13, 2016

     

    Brian Clark Howard reports for National Geographic – “What do two rivers in the Southeast and California have in common?... ‘Both rivers suffer from increasing conflict among stakeholders who depend on their water,’ including cities, farmers, and wildlife, says Chris Williams, a senior vice president at American Rivers. ‘And these issues are exacerbated by population growth and climate change.’…In the Southeast, a pending case in the U.S. Supreme Court may decide how water from the Apalachicola system is allocated, after a fight between Florida and Georgia. At the same time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is updating its management strategy for the basin. But American Rivers says federal action is unlikely to resolve the issues for the region…For a long-term solution, communities should come together to develop a plan they can all live with. In general, more water needs to flow into the river’s lower basin and out to Apalachicola Bay because the estuary has been starved of water and nutrients in recent years, harming fisheries and wildlife, the group says.” Read Water Wars Threaten America’s Most Endangered Rivers

    Tyler H. Jones reports for LaGrange Daily News – “The basin that includes the Chattahoochee, Apalachicola and Flint rivers is the country’s most endangered…Excessive water use, mishandling by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and political gridlock have caused disastrous consequences for Florida’s Apalachicola Bay…Oyster, crab, shrimp and other species in the bay…were ‘decimated in 2012 and have scarcely recovered since,’ the report states…There are steps underway to improve the basin’s water management, according to James Emery, a Troup County engineer who represented the area as a board member of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Stakeholders, or ACFS. The ACFS began in 2008 and is a group of 56 members representing communities in Florida, Georgia and Alabama that have economic, environmental or other interests in the river basin. In May 2015, they introduced a sustainable water management plan aimed at achieving equitable water use and return, improving water storage and control, planning for drought years, strengthening basin coordination, and advancing scientific and technical knowledge for future decision making.” Read Chattahoochee ‘most endangered river’ in America

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “Tonsmeire said Apalachicola Riverkeeper hopes the ranking will focus attention on the Army Corps, which he said is acting ‘clueless’ about the 2102 drought and the effect of water management on the bay’s oysters. The Corps is updating its water control manual for the reservoirs and dams it operates along the Chattahoochee River. ‘They are saying (proposed operational changes) won’t be that much worse,’ Tonsmeire said. ‘I’m finding it unbelievable, really.’…Tonsmeire said he hopes the ranking will send a message to the states as well. ‘What we are aiming at is to try to get the three governors to quit using it (the river system) like a political football and get serious about doing something,’ he said. ‘The Apalachicola doesn’t have any more time.’” Read River basin at center of fight among states listed as most ‘endangered’

    Nancy Smith writes for Sunshine State News – “”Most endangered” is a sobering distinction. Florida rivers in trouble have made the list before – the St. Johns, Suwannee, Peace and others – but never before has a Sunshine State river topped the annual list. The truth is, most of the rivers in development-choked Florida are mismanaged and ailing, and a far shorter list would be Florida waterways that are healthy and thriving… ‘The Apalachicola River may be the most important river in the United States that most Americans are not familiar with,’ said Bob Graham, former governor and U.S. senator. ‘The Apalachicola…nourishes the Apalachicola Bay, one of the world’s most productive estuaries.’” Read Apalachicola, River on the Brink

    Michael Auslen reports – “With a spot on the ballot secured, the utility-backed group pushing a solar energy constitutional amendment is shifting into gear for November’s election…[I]ts campaign [is] called “Yes on 1 for the sun.” Its constitutional amendment will appear as Amendment 1 on the ballot.’…For the most part, [the proposed amendment] maintains the status quo…and potentially [makes] it harder for a…kind of solar business model to grow…based on leasing solar panels, rather than having to buy them.” Read Utility-backed solar group launches campaign for Florida constitutional amendment

    Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Federal officials want to hear from the public about whether to permit a plan to allow oil drilling, mining and development in Florida’s panther habitat – and to allow the killing of some panthers – in exchange for a promise to preserve some of that land. Among the landowners seeking a federal permit is Immokalee rancher Liesa Priddy, whom Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointed to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission…Major landowners working with Priddy in pursuing the permit…include two sugar companies, Alico and King Ranch…and the Barron Collier Partnership and Collier Enterprises…Taxpayers helped Priddy and other landowners pay for creating the Habitat Conservation Plan. In 2012, the Fish and Wildlife Service awarded a grant of nearly $150,000 to aid in ‘concluding the planning efforts’ for it…Sixteen panthers have been found dead so far in 2016, all but two killed by vehicles.” Read Feds want public comment on plan to develop panther habitat

    Kate Flexter reports for My Suncoast – “’Within a short 10 to 20 year period, the Bay just took a nose dive,’ said Thaxton. ‘A lot of the sea grass just started to die off, and that’s what really inspired us in the 90s and the early 2000s to do something about it.’ That’s when Thaxton and his fellow County Commissioners took action, putting into place several ordinances to remove nitrogen from the water and protect Sarasota Bay from collapse.  Now, nearly a decade after those ordinances were put in place, their impact can be felt. The bay is healthy and sea grass levels are up. ‘There are more sea grasses here today then there were when we took the very first aerial photograph of Sarasota Bay back in the 1940s,’ said Thaxton, ‘so the program I believe can clearly be demonstrated as a success.’…Those from Indian River are now looking to Sarasota Bay as a model to keep Indian River from collapse.” Read Sarasota Bay preservation effort becomes model for others

    Center for American Progress reports for Yuba.net – “A new analysis by the Center for American Progress finds that the recent gridlock on traditionally bipartisan conservation issues in the U.S. Congress can be traced to the emergence of a powerful group of 20 legislators. This group seeks to burnish its anti-government credentials by undermining protections for national parks and calling for the sale of public lands. CAP also released new public opinion research that finds that 77 percent of voters believe that the United States benefits from national parks and the National Park System either a ‘great deal’ or ‘fair amount.’…The CAP analysis finds that the anti-parks caucus appears to be an outgrowth of the Tea Party takeover of 2010…Additionally, the survey found that 83 percent of voters felt ‘favoratble or ‘very favorable’ towards their representative in Congress taking ‘a strong stand in support of policies to protect and strengthen the national parks.’” Read CAP Traces Congressional Gridlock on Land Conservation to Emergence of Anti-parks Caucus

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 13, 12:45 pm – Attend The Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). Learn about recycling and water conservation in The Villages.

    April 16, 10:00 am – Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s Ixia Chapter’s 2nd Annual Native Plant Sale, in partnership with the St. Johns Riverkeeper, at Native Park (3312 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL). For more information, contact Ixia president Sally Steinauer at sallysteinauer@bellsouth.net.

    April 17, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Energy: Solar and Wind’at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 11.

    April 17, 1 to 7 pm – Attend the 6th Annual Our Santa Fe RiverFest at Rum 138 in High Springs, Fl. Support the expansion of knowledge about saving our water ecosystem through live music, song contest, food, beer and wine, raffles, silent auction and plenty of family activities. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Proceeds will fund educational activities to protect our springs and waters. For more information visit us atwww.OurSantaReRiver.org or facebook.com/oursantaferiver.

    April 18, 6:00 pm – Watch Catching the Sun: a film about people, energy and jobs at the West Florida Regional Library in Pensacola. Catching the Sun follows unemployed workers as they progress through a solar job training program and into a new clean energy economy that promises to democratize our energy future. The film will be followed by a discussion among local solar energy companies and job training experts. For more information call (850) 687- 9968 or email 350pensacola@gmail.com

    April 19, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Speak Up: Environmental Advocacy with Gov. Bob Graham,” a FREE 1000 Friends of Florida webinar mirroring advocacy training events hosted by the Florida Conservation Coalition, 1000 Friends of Florida, and other environmental allies. Learn how to take your environmental advocacy to the next level by forming relationships with your legislators. For more information and to register, click here.

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 22, 5:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute at the Great Outdoors Restaurant (65 N Main Street) in High Springs to celebrate Earth Day with drink specials, live music, and a book signing with Dr. Robert Knight! During this fundraising event, 10% of all patio bar sales will be donated to the Florida Springs Institute. For more info, click here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. This month’s class will be on springs hydrogeology: the Florida Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

    June 4, 10:00 am – Attend Coastal Dune Lake Day. Learn about the coastal Dune Lakes and experience Western Lake from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Paddle to clean up the Lake from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Clean up the park from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Meet at the Boat Launch Parking Lot at Grayton Beach State Park.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 12, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 @ 1:08pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 12, 2016

     

    Apalachicola Riverkeeper shares – “The national group American Rivers today announced its list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers, naming the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin in Alabama, Florida and Georgia as the Most Endangered in the country. Outdated water management decisions and spiraling demand have put the basin at a breaking point… ‘The first key to all this is that the Corps of Engineers needs new marching orders,’ said Shannon Hartsfield, a fourth generation fisherman and president of the Franklin County Seafood Workers Association. ‘The ecological needs of Apalachicola Bay should be on an equal footing with the other competing water users further north…If we don’t redirect the Corps of Engineers on this, we’re done for. Our next drought will be the end of this bay.’” Read National Rivers Group Names Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Rivers as America’s #1 “Most Endangered”

    James Call reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “The iconic [Apalachicola River] is imperiled by a growing Atlanta, drought and mismanagement…American Rivers and local officials including Congresswoman Gwen Graham, D-Tallahassee, and state Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, [held] a news conference today to issue a call to action for resolving a tristate dispute over the flow of water from the Appalachian Mountains into the Apalachicola Bay…American Rivers considers 2016 a pivotal year for the Apalachicola. Alabama, Florida and Georgia have been fighting in court since the Corps began diverting water to Atlanta. A special master in that case is expected to issue a ruling this year. Also, the Corps is rewriting a management plan for the Basin.” Read Apalachicola tops most endangered list

    Nathaniel Reed writes for the Sun Sentinel – “I have a keen interest in protecting the Big Cypress National Preserve, as it was under my supervision as assistant secretary of the interior that it was added to the National Park System in 1974. The Big Cypress Swamp is an amazing component of the greater Everglades ecosystem, ripe with biological diversity, great hunting opportunities, roaming grounds for our treasured and endangered Florida panther and treasured wild space for the millions of people who live in South Florida and tourists alike. Back in the 1970s, both Democrats and Republicans recognized its national significance and wonder, and together we eliminated the threat of overdeveloping this great swamp…[N]ow the National Park Service is considering a plan to allow new oil exploration in the preserve, threatening native wildlife and jeopardizing the lands and water that many people worked so hard to protect.” Read Pristine Big Cypress worth preserving

    ABC 7 reports – “Another Florida panther was found dead Saturday night.” Read Fifth Florida panther found dead in area

    Fox 4 News reports – “Wildlife officials discovered the bodies of two more dead Florida panthers due to vehicle collisions Sunday. One was discovered in Collier County, on Golden Gate Boulevard…The other was discovered along Interstate 75 in Lee county…These are the 15th and 16th panther deaths reported in 2016. All but two have been attributed to vehicle collisions. Last Wednesday, two panthers were also found dead in Lee and Collier counties.” Read Two more panthers fatally hit by vehicles in Southwest Florida

    Rob Moher writes for News Press – “Written by consultants hired by the landowners who stand to benefit greatly should it pass, the proposed [HCP] would permit 45,000 acres of urbanized development east of golden Gate Estates in the last remaining habitat the Florida panther lives in…The proposed offsets would-be existing green spaces including farm fields and ranch lands that are already being used by the panther. Under this plan these ‘preserves’ could still be utilized for activities such as oil exploration and drilling, further reducing the level of habitat function they offer today. The landowners are offering to provide…money for panther underpasses to offset their impacts, but these measures are not worth giving away some of the most critical areas for the panthers’ continued survival. They also may not even offset the impact from the number of new and widened roads that will be necessitated…The lands we currently rely on for aquifer recharge would, on a large scale, be converted to pavement. The next 50 years will be defined by the HCP, and there will be very little that can be done to change the plan once it is approved. Unfortunately, the current draft proposal does not take into account the Conservancy’s moderate recommendations, nor does it incorporate the input from the review it received from six well-known panther biologists…Growth is inevitable but by moving development out of the panther “Primary Zone” habitat, it will be more environmentally sustainable and protective of this endangered species and the other wildlife that depend on this area. Additionally, taxpayers would save money from a more consolidated growth footprint that moves future development closer to existing urbanized areas where there is already infrastructure and services.” Read Move Collier development out of Panther zone

    Lisa Rinaman writes for The Florida Times Union – “The St. Johns Riverkeeper and a team of river advocates recently completed the Save the St. Johns Tour, a 13-day journey of the entire 310 miles of the river…[The] team became more acutely aware of just how special the St. Johns is, how interconnected we all are and how much we stand to lose if we continue to allow neglect and abuse our river…[T]he St. Johns is at a critical crossroads…In Central Florida, plans are under way to siphon up to 160 million gallons per day from the St. Johns River’s flow to water lawns and fuel more unsustainable development. In the headwaters region of the river, Deseret Ranch plans to develop 133,000 acres for up to 500,000 people by 2080. That’s the equivalent of two cities the size of Orlando. Near Ocala, a Canadian billionaire has plans for a massive cattle operation that would further damage the imperiled Silver Springs, a critical source of fresh water for the Ocklawaha and St. Johns rivers. In Jacksonville, plans to dredge the river channel…would increase erosion and sedimentation and allow saltwater to move farther up river, damaging or destroying hundreds of acres of wetlands, submerged grasses and trees…These looming threats combined with an array of existing pollution problems such as fertilizer runoff, poorly treated municipal and industrial wastewater and failing septic tanks, create a potential recipe for disaster…By working more closely together, we can protect our waterways and forge a more sustainable path forward.” Read Guest Column: Tour of St. Johns River highlights the need to protect it

    Keith Morelli reports for The Tampa Tribune – “Located on three public parcels in the southeastern reaches of Tampa Bay, the project restored sites that historically were coastal pine flatwoods, scattered hardwood hammocks and various estuarine and freshwater habitats. But over the years, the upland areas were farmed and mined and invasive non-native plants, including a glut of Brazilian pepper trees, flourished and pretty much eliminated most of the natural plant species and habitat for wildlife. Water management district scientists saw the need to restore this critical coastal wetland region that provides habitat for essential fish and wildlife species and can improve the water quality in Tampa Bay that was degraded by pollution from urban and agricultural runoff…Money from the state’s Florida Forever program and the county’s Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program were pooled to buy the land, along with various grants secured by the district…Rock Ponds…is now part of a 20-mile wildlife corridor… ‘This,’ [Henningsen (chief environmental scientist with the water management district)] said, ‘is the largest coastal restoration project ever in Tampa Bay.’” Read Tampa Bay’s largest ecosystem restoration reaches completion

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 12, 7:00 pm – Attend Planning for Climate Change: A Strategic Imperative for the U.S. military at the Bayview Senior Center in Pensacola. Brigadier General John Adams, USA (Ret.) will outline how the most powerful military in the world is adjusting its strategy in order to meet the challenges of climate change, both at home and across the globe. For more information, call (850) 687- 9968 or email 350pensacola@gmail.com

    April 13, 12:45 pm – Attend The Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). Learn about recycling and water conservation in The Villages.

    April 16, 10:00 am – Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s Ixia Chapter’s 2nd Annual Native Plant Sale, in partnership with the St. Johns Riverkeeper, at Native Park (3312 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL). For more information, contact Ixia president Sally Steinauer at sallysteinauer@bellsouth.net.

    April 17, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Energy: Solar and Wind’at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 11.

    April 17, 1 to 7 pm – Attend the 6th Annual Our Santa Fe RiverFest at Rum 138 in High Springs, Fl. Support the expansion of knowledge about saving our water ecosystem through live music, song contest, food, beer and wine, raffles, silent auction and plenty of family activities. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Proceeds will fund educational activities to protect our springs and waters. For more information visit us atwww.OurSantaReRiver.org or facebook.com/oursantaferiver.

    April 18, 6:00 pm – Watch Catching the Sun: a film about people, energy and jobs at the West Florida Regional Library in Pensacola. Catching the Sun follows unemployed workers as they progress through a solar job training program and into a new clean energy economy that promises to democratize our energy future. The film will be followed by a discussion among local solar energy companies and job training experts. For more information call (850) 687- 9968 or email 350pensacola@gmail.com

    April 19, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Speak Up: Environmental Advocacy with Gov. Bob Graham,” a FREE 1000 Friends of Florida webinar mirroring advocacy training events hosted by the Florida Conservation Coalition, 1000 Friends of Florida, and other environmental allies. Learn how to take your environmental advocacy to the next level by forming relationships with your legislators. For more information and to register, click here.

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. For more information, click here.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 11, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, April 11th, 2016 @ 10:27am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 11, 2016

     

    Naples Daily News Editorial Board writes – “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting a public meeting Tuesday on what’s called a Habitat Conservation Plan for areas inland from Golden Gate Estates to the interior regions of Collier County, stretching east of State Road 29. An examination of where future development could be allowed vs. where habitat and species protection should take precedence for the next 50 years spans more than 152,000 acres of privately owned land in eastern Collier…Naples is about 10,500 acres…The land area of New York City is about 195,000 acres…Last year, a consortium of major land owners interested in the future, including agriculture, got together to talk about what might be allowed. They brought to the table some environmental groups…Among major landowners involved are Collier Enterprises Management Inc., Barron Collier Investments, Consolidated Citrus Limited Partnership and Alico Inc. Among environmental groups are the Florida Wildlife Federation and Audubon of the Western Everglades. Notably absent from current participants, and parting ways with the approach in this collaboration, is the Conservancy of Southwest Florida…We applaud environmental groups and others who want to ensure there are wildlife corridors to sustain species, significantly a route for the Florida panther to migrate into Hendry County and get north of the Caloosahatchee River to expand their survival territory. It’s too early to say if this habitat plan meets the needs. But it’s not too early for you to begin to have your say.” Read Collier habitat, development plan deserves your urgent attention

    Eric Staats reports for the Naples Daily News – “A group of large landowners and their conservation allies are pushing the (habitat conservation) plan that would create a super-permit under the Endangered Species Act to allow up to 45,000 acres of development – including land where the iconic Florida panther is making its last stand – in return for 107,000 acres of preservation. Proponents say the incentive-based program…is an improvement over existing project-by-project reviews. But [the Conservancy of Southwest Florida] says it would allow too much development and have too great an impact on the county’s roads and water supply in return for too little preservation…The Collier HCP would give landowners…permission…to impact imperiled species like the panther but also 10 bird species, like the wood stork and red-cockaded woodpeckers; the Florida bonneted bat; diamondback rattlesnake and eastern indigo snake; and the Big Cypress fox squirrel…Landowners proposing the HCP…[include] Immokalee ranch owner Liesa Priddy, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission member who took a lead role in pushing that agency’s controversial panther policy paper some have interpreted as a step toward weakening protections for Florida panthers…[T]he Conservancy argues…that nearly the same amount of development can be accommodated on less valuable panther habitat. ‘There’s a better way here that needs to be explored,’ Conservancy natural resources policy director Jennifer Hecker said. ‘This is really important, to get this plan right.’” Read Feds kick off public review of environmental ‘super-permit’

    Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “The Florida wildlife commissioner who pushed to loosen the state’s official panther policy is also part of a group seeking a federal permit to kill a certain number of panthers if they get in the way of plans for their land. Some of Florida’s biggest landowners have spent more than a decade working on this plan, which will set the rules for development on 177,000 acres in Collier County. The land stretches from the Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest on its northern end to the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and Big Cypress National Preserve to the south. They envision a new town in the middle of panther habitat, along with mining, oil exploration, agriculture and, on some acreage, preservation to benefit panthers…Meanwhile,…a scientific study published last month contends that panthers have already lost more habitat than federal and state officials think. ‘Because there is less panther habitat remaining than previously thought, we recommend that all remaining breeding habitat in south Florida should be maintained,’ the authors of the study…wrote…Hecker, of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, questioned how [the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service] could even think of approving [the plan], given how much panther habitat has already disappeared. ‘We have no room to lose anything,’ she said.” Read Wildlife commissioner part of group seeking permit to ‘take’ panthers

    Batholomew Sullivan reports for the Naples Daily News – “U.S. Rep. Curt Clawson is working…to expedite repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee through a water bill expected to move through Congress this year. The…Republican said he is focused on his dike bill before another proposal he introduced last month to task the Interior Department with buying land south of the lake for water storage. The bill speeding up dike repairs likely won’t decrease lake discharges, whereas the land purchase could. Clawson said his dike bill may not be necessary if the repairs are authorized in a large water bill…called the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRDA)…U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Orlando, applauded Clawson’s efforts, but said he hopes the Central Everglades Planning Project is included in the new water bill too.” Read Clawson focuses on Hoover Dike repairs over land buy to decrease Lake Okeechobee discharges

    Chad Gillis reports for News Press – “[S]ome scientists say the $600 million C-43 project to store water for dry season could be a waste of money because it won’t clean water and the dirty water it stores could grow far worse as it festers under the Florida sun in shallow pools. Also, some scientists worry that releasing that water into the river could violate the Clean Water Act standards, which basically say it’s illegal to move pollution from one property or water body to another…[T]he reservoir…was never designed to clean water like a filter marsh, a natural or man-made wetland.” Read $600M reservoir could hurt rather than help, scientists say

    Kevin Wadlow reports for Keys Net – “ ‘I think you’ve got to march on Big Sugar and got to go big,’ (Islamorada Village Council member) Mooney said. ‘Make a statement the entire world has to see.’ ‘It’s up to each and every one of us to send those people a message,’ Councilman Dennis Ward said, suggesting sugar boycotts and demonstrations outside grocery stores… ‘It’s pathetic,’ said fishing outfitter Sandy Moret. He described a recent meeting on bay problems as ‘the exact same meeting’ he attended 35 years ago. ‘There’s no political will.’ Former village councilman Ted Blackburn said, ‘What do you do when both sides take money from Big Sugar? It seems hopeless but I guess you start at the ground level and keep going.’” Read Frustration spills over seagrass die-off in Florida Bay, the worst in decades; residents and officials demand action

    Nadia Steinzor writes for Truth Out – “Earthworks has long argued that there must always be No-Go-Zones—places too unique, wild, and sacred to scar and pollute, or which are central sources of clean drinking water. This certainly includes Florida, with its extensive wetlands and swamps, vital wildlife protection areas, and threatened aquifers…Florida is currently the only Gulf Coast state to have a ban on offshore drilling…The primary reason is the devastating risk of damage to Florida’s coastlines and lucrative fishing and tourism industries. It’s high time for Florida’s leaders to step up and bring this same logic onshore—giving the Sunshine State the chance to achieve the brighter, sustainable energy future that many Americans want and deserve.” Read Darkening Drillers’ Hopes in the Sunshine State

    Palm Beach Post reports – “Miami-Dade County officials are exploring ways to inject sewage deep into the earth instead of releasing it into the Atlantic Ocean [following changes in state law]…The method requires extensive waste treatment, partly because effluent from existing wells…escaped containment and seeped to the surface…The Environmental Protection Agency says Florida is the only state that allows Class I municipal injection wells for such waste water.” Read Miami-Dade explores ways to inject sewage deep underground

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 12, 7:00 pm – Attend Planning for Climate Change: A Strategic Imperative for the U.S. military at the Bayview Senior Center in Pensacola. Brigadier General John Adams, USA (Ret.) will outline how the most powerful military in the world is adjusting its strategy in order to meet the challenges of climate change, both at home and across the globe. For more information, call (850) 687- 9968 or email 350pensacola@gmail.com 

    April 13, 12:45 pm – Attend The Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). Learn about recycling and water conservation in The Villages.

    April 16, 10:00 am – Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s Ixia Chapter’s 2nd Annual Native Plant Sale, in partnership with the St. Johns Riverkeeper, at Native Park (3312 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL). For more information, contact Ixia president Sally Steinauer at sallysteinauer@bellsouth.net.

    April 17, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Energy: Solar and Wind’at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 11.

    April 17, 1 to 7 pm – Attend the 6th Annual Our Santa Fe RiverFest at Rum 138 in High Springs, Fl. Support the expansion of knowledge about saving our water ecosystem through live music, song contest, food, beer and wine, raffles, silent auction and plenty of family activities. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Proceeds will fund educational activities to protect our springs and waters. For more information visit us atwww.OurSantaReRiver.org or facebook.com/oursantaferiver.

    April 18, 6:00 pm – Watch Catching the Sun: a film about people, energy and jobs at the West Florida Regional Library in Pensacola. Catching the Sun follows unemployed workers as they progress through a solar job training program and into a new clean energy economy that promises to democratize our energy future. The film will be followed by a discussion among local solar energy companies and job training experts. For more information call (850) 687- 9968 or email 350pensacola@gmail.com

    April 19, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Speak Up: Environmental Advocacy with Gov. Bob Graham,” a FREE 1000 Friends of Florida webinar mirroring advocacy training events hosted by the Florida Conservation Coalition, 1000 Friends of Florida, and other environmental allies. Learn how to take your environmental advocacy to the next level by forming relationships with your legislators. For more information and to register, click here.

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org  or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center in High Springs. Learn about springs hydrogeology – Floridan Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 10, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Sunday, April 10th, 2016 @ 6:22pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 10, 2016

     

    Sean Kinane reports for WMNF – “The Gulf Restoration [Network’s]…coastal campaign organizer, Johanna de Graffenreid [said,] ‘[The] Sabal Trail pipeline is a 515 mile long, fracked gas pipeline that’ll run from Alabama through Georgia and Florida, if it’s allowed to go through. Some of our concerns include wetland impacts, community health impacts and especially impacts to the Floridan aquifer, which is the main drinking water source for Florida…[T]here’s over 360 acres of wetlands in the Green Swamp that will be impacted…And the reason why the Green Swamp is so important…it’s the wellhead for the Floridan aquifer…[I]t’s the major recharge zone, in the area, for [Florida’s] primary drinking water source…The compressor stations that go along with this pipeline…We’ve seen in Pennsylvania, that if you live within 2 miles of one…that you can face things like nosebleed, cardiovascular and health issues, you’re being exposed to carcinogens. So much so that the EPA is now considering promulgating a new rule specifically to address the health impacts and air quality impacts from natural gas- fracked gas- infrastructure…I would just really urge Floridians to talk to their county commissioners about the fact…[t]hat we should not be creating false demands for fossil fuels and then taking people’s private and personal property to fulfill those company demands.’’” Read Environmentalist concerned about Sabal Trail pipeline in Florida

    Scott Powers reports for Florida Politics – “Apopka resident O’Neal, who has been active on issues ranging from protection of springs and estuaries to opposition to Florida’s bear hunt and oil and gas fracking, to promotion of solar energy, said he sees what he calls a ‘real void’ emerging in the Florida Legislature with the pending departures of two lawmakers he said have championed such issues, Orlando’s Democratic state Sen. Darren Soto and Palm Beach Democratic state Rep. Mark Pafford… ‘I feel as though the…state government…is not respecting the will of the people. In the instance of Amendment 1…75 percent of the people clearly stated that they wanted the Land Acquisition Trust Fund money set aside for conservation purchases, acquisition of new lands, restoration of the springs, estuaries and our aquifer. What we saw was basically a redo of the lottery, in which, through an accounting maneuver, expenses of existing agencies were slid over into that LATF, and it left actually less money for actual conservation in the 2015 budget than before Amendment 1 passed.’” Read Chuck O’Neal Brings Environmental Issues, More to Democrats’ SD 11 Race

    NBC Miami reports – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that a 3-year-old [Florida panther’s] body was found Wednesday on Interstate 75…in Lee County, and then another 3-year-old male was found the same day on Immokalee Road in Collier County…A total of 14 Florida panthers have been found dead in 2016, with 12 road fatalities. Florida panthers once roamed the entire southeastern U.S., but only around 180 remain in the wild.” Read 2 Panthers Killed in Southwest Florida

    Chad Gillis reports for News Press – “Curt Clawson wants $500 million set aside to buy agriculture land south of Lake Okeechobee… ‘It’s crazy to me to have dirty water here, too much freshwater here while seagrass dies in Florida Bay south of the Everglades,’ Clawson said. ‘We have too much and they don’t have enough, and in the meantime we keep building storage pots where the water just gets nasty anyway…State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen…and fishing guides, Realtors and environmental groups met with Clawson…to talk about securing those farm lands. ‘We’re talking about an opportunity that exists because the governor declared a state of emergency,’ Fitzenhagen said… ‘This problem doesn’t go away when this water clears up and we get the beautiful turquoise water that Southwest Florida is known for,’ said Daniel Andrews, a spokesperson for [Captains for Clean Water]. ‘It will take years of proper management to restore the habitat that was lost. The sea grass, the oysters, they add a huge economic value to this area.’” Read Clawson, local captains push for sugar land purchase

    Eric Eikenberg writes for the Miami Herald – “America’s Everglades is now less than half of its original size of nearly 3 million acres. And much of the water that should be going into the Everglades remains polluted, especially with phosphorus from the fertilizers used in agricultural areas north and south of Lake Okeechobee. Not only do these fertilizers produce accumulations of toxic mercury in fish, birds, reptiles, and mammals – including the iconic Florida panther, among more than 60 other endangered species – it compromises the region’s largest source of fresh water for human consumption…With so much at stake, and voters of various ethnicities and political stripes uniting to speak in such a pronounced voice, we need to double down on our collective resolve to finalize the implementation of CERP, beginning with storing the water of Lake Okeechobee and sending it south.” Read Voters want lawmakers to protect the Everglades

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “This summer, as rainy season runoff and – more than likely – Lake Okeechobee discharge water pours into the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, there may be fewer Kilroy monitors to measure the impact.” Read Lack of funding may pull 15 Kilroys water monitors from St. Lucie River, Indian River Lagoon

    Ocala Star Banner Editorial Board writes – “The threats to the manatee that continue are reason enough to maintain the species’ current protections.” Read Manatees remain endangered species

    Tony Pugh reports for the Bradenton Herald – “On the final day for public comment on whether to downgrade the West Indian Manatee from “endangered” to “threatened,” the unofficial consensus was overwhelmingly clear. Over the last three months, virtually all of the 3,700-plus people who’ve weighed in on the matter with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service want the big sea cow to retain its current federal classification… ‘Manatees have been listed as endangered since 1967 due to threats from pollution, habitat loss and speeding boats. All of these hazards remain today, and there is no indication that such threats will decrease in the future,’ wrote (Sen.) Nelson… ‘Instead, manatees will likely face new or more severe threats from climate change, seagrass loss and habitat destruction. In particular, poor water quality poses an immediate risk to manatees in Florida today.’” Read Thousands plead to retain endangered status for beloved Florida sea cows

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at .

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 12, 7:00 pm – Attend Planning for Climate Change: A Strategic Imperative for the U.S. military at the Bayview Senior Center in Pensacola. Brigadier General John Adams, USA (Ret.) will outline how the most powerful military in the world is adjusting its strategy in order to meet the challenges of climate change, both at home and across the globe. For more information, call (850) 687- 9968 or email 350pensacola@gmail.com

    April 13, 12:45 pm – Attend The Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). Learn about recycling and water conservation in The Villages.

    April 16, 10:00 am – Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s Ixia Chapter’s 2nd Annual Native Plant Sale, in partnership with the St. Johns Riverkeeper, at Native Park (3312 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL). For more information, contact Ixia president Sally Steinauer at .

    April 17, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Energy: Solar and Wind’at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at  by April 11.

    April 17, 1 to 7 pm – Attend the 6th Annual Our Santa Fe RiverFest at Rum 138 in High Springs, Fl. Support the expansion of knowledge about saving our water ecosystem through live music, song contest, food, beer and wine, raffles, silent auction and plenty of family activities. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Proceeds will fund educational activities to protect our springs and waters. For more information visit us at or facebook.com/oursantaferiver.

    April 18, 6:00 pm – Watch Catching the Sun: a film about people, energy and jobs at the West Florida Regional Library in Pensacola. Catching the Sun follows unemployed workers as they progress through a solar job training program and into a new clean energy economy that promises to democratize our energy future. The film will be followed by a discussion among local solar energy companies and job training experts. For more information call (850) 687- 9968 or email 350pensacola@gmail.com

    April 19, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Speak Up: Environmental Advocacy with Gov. Bob Graham,” a FREE 1000 Friends of Florida webinar mirroring advocacy training events hosted by the Florida Conservation Coalition, 1000 Friends of Florida, and other environmental allies. Learn how to take your environmental advocacy to the next level by forming relationships with your legislators. For more information and to register, click here.

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at  or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 3, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center in High Springs. Learn about springs hydrogeology – Floridan Aquifer, groundwater recharge, and springs flows.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or .

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email .

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 8, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, April 8th, 2016 @ 9:35am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 8, 2016

     

    Bradenton Herald Editorial Board writes – “Rep. Vern Buchanan…and Sen. Bill Nelson…raised strong objections…when FWS formally announced its plan (to downlist manatees). Both called the proposal ‘misguided and premature.’…The agency…decision is chiefly based on a computer model lacking in critical information…FWS admits the analysis incorporates outdated data. The computer modeling expert responsible for the project’s conclusions did not include a pair of extensive die-offs…In 2010, 766 manatees perished, mostly during two cold snaps…In 2013 the record soared to 829 deaths...The creatures are also susceptible to mass die-offs from toxic red tide algae blooms, figures not included in the computer model. In addition, the computer model does not account for manatee habitat lost to waterfront development…Boaters killed more sea cows in 2015—87 – than in 2014. That’s even with speed zones and no-entry zones to protect the mammals. Florida’s increases in both human population and tourism further endanger manatees, and the downlisting could bring relaxed restrictions on waterfront development and higher boat speed limits…Boaters and developers have been seeking a manatee downlisting since 1999 in order to gain friendlier regulations. Those rules helped revive the manatee population, and reversing course would foolishly diminish those gains.” Read Downgrading manatee from ‘endangered’ status to ‘threatened’ too risky

    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Tragedy hit the Indian River Lagoon in the form of thousands of dead fish, outraging the community and sending another blunt reminder of an estuary in free fall. But Brevard Zoo officials and other civic leaders also wanted to send a strong message – a clarion call to the community – that the solution is sustained effort from all of us…[The call was in] support of muck dredging, improved wastewater treatment and septic systems, and a change in the fundamental ways in which [everyone lives] along the lagoon…[Leaders remind] residents to never blow grass clippings into the street, to use the minimum amount of slow-release fertilizer or none at all and never in the rainy season. [They] also [urge] people to pick up their pets’ waste and to not wash cars in driveways where soap and dirt can run into the street, down drains and into the lagoon.” Read Lagoon leaders send a clarion call to the community: We’re the solution!

    James Call reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “A gaggle of reporters followed (Congresswoman Gwen) Graham Tuesday around Wakulla Springs State Park where she and a Florida Park Service biologist drew water samples from the spring. Pressure from a booming north Florida population has triggered an ecological collapse at what may be the world’s largest fresh-water spring. Nitrates from septic tanks and storm water runoff heavily laced with fertilizer from Tallahassee lawns have spawned massive algae and invasive plant growth; turning what once was gin-clear water as black as coffee…The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is assembling a Basin Management Action Plan advisory committee to guide plans to reduce the amount of nitrates flowing into the spring…Studies have pinpointed 14,000 septic tanks in Leon and Wakulla counties contributing nitrates to the Wakulla watershed. It could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to connect those homes to a centralized sewer system…The Florida Legislature made available about $12 million this year for north Florida water projects, including those in the Wakulla Springs basin. The money will be distributed by the Northwest Florida Water Management District.” Read Rep. Graham works Wakulla Springs

    Naples Daily News Editorial Board writes – “Our main objection (to the bear hunt) was that a deep-woods hunt doesn’t address the problem of bears interacting with neighborhoods. In our opinion, that point stands and must be more fully tackled before another hunt is considered…Across Florida, the hunt was beset with problems that must be better addressed by wildlife managers before another hunt should be considered. Some of those problems: The weight limit was supposed to be 100 pounds, but a bear as small as 40 pounds was killed; lactating bears were killed, though mother bears were to be spared; bating occurred, though it wasn’t allowed. Also, limits…were [exceeded] just about everywhere…On the plus side, Gov. Rick Scott sought money in this year’s state budget to help provide bear-resistant trash cans and outreach programs to reduce animal-human conflicts…It would be worthwhile to track that spending and measure the results before authorizing another hunt…FWC’s website reminds us to secure household garbage in a shed, garage or wildlife-resistant container; put household garbage out on the morning of pickup; feed pets indoors or bring dishes in after feeding; clean grills and secure them in an enclosure and pick ripe fruit from trees, among other tips. Adhering to those measures, along with bear-resistant trash cans in rural areas, remain preferable approaches to manage this successful rebound of Florida’s black bear population.” Read Florida black bear rebound a success, and call to better manage habitat

    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Green sea turtles are no longer endangered in Florida…The change includes reclassifying turtles originating from two breeding populations – Florida’s and those along the Pacific coast of Mexico- from endangered to threatened status, due to successful conservation…NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will divide the turtles globally into 11 distinct populations segments, ‘allowing for tailored conservation approaches for each population,’ NOAA officials said in a release.” Read Green sea turtles no longer endangered in Florida

    Jim Turner reports for the News Service of Florida – “A group of state lawmakers launched an initiative Tuesday to educate voters on a proposed constitutional amendment that would give commercial property owners a tax break on renewable-energy devices similar to one given to residential property owners. Part of the education process will be to ensure voters know the proposal on the August primary ballot isn’t tied to a more controversial solar-energy amendment that will go before voters in November…[Rep.] Brandes, Rep. Ray Rodrigues…and Rep. Lori Berman…announced that they were [launching] an effort to travel the state to build support for the proposal (HJR 193), which was approved without opposition by the Legislature…Rodrigues and Berman stressed that their bipartisan amendment will help Florida increase solar-energy use…” Read Florida lawmakers to tout renewable energy amendment

    Steve Bousquet reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Sen. Jeff Brandes…and two other lawmakers are launching a new political committee to raise money for a solar energy proposal on Florida’s statewide Aug. 30 primary ballot. Known as Amendment 4, the proposed constitutional amendment would give tax breaks to owners of commercial and industrial property that install solar or renewable energy devices. A similar tax abatement for residential property already exists in the Constitution…Susan Glickman of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which supports Amendment 4…said that reaching the 60 percent support of voters requires polling, direct mail and other forms of messaging that costs a lot of money- including reminding Florida’s rapidly growing pool of unaffiliated voters that they can vote on constitutional amendments on a closed primary ballot.” Read Lawmakers form fundraising group to push solar amendment

    Damian Carrington reports for The Guardian – “Climate change could cut the value of the world’s financial assets by $2.5tn, according to the first estimate from economic modelling. In the worst case scenarios…the losses could soar to $24tn, or 17% of the world’s assets, and wreck the global economy. The research also showed the financial sense in taking action to keep climate change under the 2C danger limit agreed by the world’s nations. In this scenario, the value of financial assets would fall by $315bn less, even when the costs of cutting emissions are included…Scientists have shown that most of the coal, oil and gas reserves such companies own will have to stay in the ground if the global rise in temperature is to be kept under 2C… ‘Investors putting money into new carbon-emitting infrastructure need to ask hard questions…’ said Prof Cameron Hepburn of the University of Oxford.” Read Climate change will wipe $2.5tn off global financial assets: study

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 13, 12:45 pm – Attend The Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). Learn about recycling and water conservation in The Villages.

    April 16, 10:00 am – Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s Ixia Chapter’s 2nd Annual Native Plant Sale, in partnership with the St. Johns Riverkeeper, at Native Park (3312 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL). For more information, contact Ixia president Sally Steinauer at sallysteinauer@bellsouth.net.

    April 17, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Energy: Solar and Wind’at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 11.

    April 17, 1 to 7 pm – Attend the 6th Annual Our Santa Fe RiverFest at Rum 138 in High Springs, Fl. Support the expansion of knowledge about saving our water ecosystem through live music, song contest, food, beer and wine, raffles, silent auction and plenty of family activities. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Proceeds will fund educational activities to protect our springs and waters. For more information visit us atwww.OurSantaReRiver.org or facebook.com/oursantaferiver.

    April 19, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Speak Up: Environmental Advocacy with Gov. Bob Graham,” a FREE 1000 Friends of Florida webinar mirroring advocacy training events hosted by the Florida Conservation Coalition, 1000 Friends of Florida, and other environmental allies. Learn how to take your environmental advocacy to the next level by forming relationships with your legislators. For more information and to register, click here.

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org  or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 7, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, April 7th, 2016 @ 8:52am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 7, 2016

     

    Nathaniel Reed writes for the TC Palm – “I want an end of cane sugar subsidies that cost the American consumer millions of dollars in the increased cost of sugar. The world price is almost half of what is guaranteed for a small group of very wealthy individuals who own sugar plantation in the EAA. I do want the EAA landowners to pay the full cost of cleansing their agricultural pollution prior to draining it into the everglades. The vast majority of the cost of acquiring and constructing the thousands of acres of man-made pollution control marshes has been borne by the taxpayers of the 16 counties that make up the South Florida Water Management District, despite the fact that 75-plus percent of Floridians voted for a constitutional amendment which required the polluter to pay the full cost of cleansing its pollution.” Read Big Sugar should pay for damage inflicted to our waterways

    Jason Lauritsen and Brad Cornell write for the Naples Daily News – “The young [Florida panther] will likely remain on the move with no home range of his own until he reaches maturity and can defend his territory. In his search, he will be forced to skirt residential communities and new developments, avoid dominant male panthers in their prime, and dodge speeding cars on increasingly congested highways. Last year we broke the record for panthers killed by cars at 26 individuals. That is a shocking number given that state biologists estimate that only 180 or so of these magnificent animals remain. We have a collective obligation to conserve habitat at a meaningful scale, mindful of the threats and befitting the needs of wide-ranging animals like panthers…State, local and federal governments, plus rural communities and ranchers, must work together to protect what’s left of the panther’s natural habitat and expand north- before it’s too late…Thinking in legacy terms, our children…would be best served if we took…Aldo Leopold’s conservation maxim to heart: ‘To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.’ It is well within our grasp to conserve the ecological cog that is the Florida panther.” Read Finding meaning in a panther viral video- a call to action

    Kate Irby reports for the Bradenton Herald – “Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, sent a formal objection to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Monday over downgrading manatees from their current “endangered” designation to “threatened.”…Buchanan said FWS is relying on outdated information and is failing to take into account manatee deaths since 2012. He said red tide algae and other ailments killed 16 percent of the manatee population in Florida in 2013. ‘The manatee population has started to rebound because of the protections put in place by the Endangered Species Act,’ Buchanan said. ‘But based on the data provided, it’s clear that we can’t assume that manatees are safe – so I’m urging caution.’… ‘Just days after the proposed rule was announced, the Brevard County commissioners approved a resolution requesting that the Florida Legislature review slow-speed zones currently in place…and called for a reconsideration of the state’s Manatee Sanctuary Act, which established protections for manatees and their habitats in several counties, including Sarasota and Manatee,’ a release from Buchanan’s office stated.” Read U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan protests taking manatees, ‘iconic residents of Florida,’ off endangered list

    Bob Inglis writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “Did it hurt the American economy when we went from horse and buggy to Model T? Sure Henry Ford was bad for buggy whip manufacturers, but his inventiveness changed the world. Clean energy will be bad for existing dirty energy, but why would we want to keep on breathing stinky air? With billions of customers around the world waiting for cleaner, better, freer energy, why would we not want to lead that revolution?...As mayors know, when dumping in city-owned landfills is free, people dump indiscriminately. When cities institute tipping fees, people toss less trash…Our atmosphere is the dump for emissions…If we make [people] accountable for the harm their dumping causes, they’ll clean up their smokestacks or lose out to a clean energy competitor who has a smaller smokestack or no smokestack at all. A carbon tax is a tipping fee for the atmosphere…We want a carbon tax that’s paired with a dollar-for-dollar cut in existing taxes on income, so there is no growth of government. And we want the carbon tax applied to imports so that our trading partners have every incentive to join us in stopping the free dumping into the atmosphere.” Read A carbon tax is a conservative answer to climate change

    Sue Legg writes for The Gainesville Sun – “The League (of Women Voters) supports the protection of Payne’s Prairie State Preserve…Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Jon Steverson wants to make parks ‘self sustaining’ by giving private interests the right to graze cattle, log and hunt in Paynes Prairie and other state parks…Payne’s Prairie is one of Florida’s premier observation sites to see sandhill cranes, bald eagles, alligators and other wildlife. If hunting were to occur, would this still be possible? The park provides numerous other non-consumptive uses such as hiking, camping, biking and fishing. It is a unique place in all of Florida…State parks were established for the benefit of the people of Florida by preserving the state’s natural resources and to provide passive, non-consumptive public uses…[W]e…help promote policies that manage land as a finite resource.”  Read Florida parks need renewed protection

    Peter Spence reports for The Telegraph – “BP will pay out a $20bn…settlement to the US government over its part in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. A US judge approved the payout yesterday, the largest settlement with a single entity in the history of the justice department.” Read BP’s $20bn Gulf of Mexico payout wins approval

    Bruce Hamilton reports for News 4 Jax – “[I]n…Florida, a…survey of residents found that 81.3 percent were very concerned or somewhat concerned (about climate change), a marked increase from last year’s poll around the same time when 67 percent felt that way. Those who said they were very concerned jumped sharply from 28 percent last year to 45.9 percent this year. Those…who said they were not at all concerned declined this year to 8.3 percent compared to 14 percent last year. Few people surveyed said they don’t believe climate change is occurring:…3.7 percent in Florida this year, versus…8 percent in Florida last year…The poll also asked whether respondents agree with Pope Francis that protecting the environment is the responsibility of all Christians. And in both years, the results for those strongly or somewhat agreeing were more than 70 percent, nationally and in Florida. The broad agreement exists even though the sample included respondents from multiple religions.’” Read Poll: 75% of Americans concerned about climate change

    Samantha Page writes for Think Progress – “ ‘When people think about the public health impacts of flooding, they think about people drowning,’ said Stephanie Herring, a climate scientist at NOAA…After a flood, people return to their homes- which may then have mold. Mold can then make asthma symptoms worse or trigger severe allergies…Among the range of physical health impacts (from climate change), Americans can look forward to a future of more food and water contamination, increased asthma rates, and tenfold jumps in death from heat exposure…The (White House) report (on the health impacts of climate change) also devotes an entire chapter to the mental health impacts of climate change…Mental health issues can limit someone’s resilience in a disaster…Get ready to start hearing the phrase “vector-borne disease” a lot more often…Researchers even found that there is a likelihood that our food will become less nutritious as CO2 levels rise…” Read Climate Change is Going to Hurt Us in A Lot of Weird Ways

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 7, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Transportation: Rail, Mass transit, and other modes’ at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. At this event you will learn about carpooling, our current and future transportation system, and the possibility of rail coming back to Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 4.

    April 13, 12:45 pm – Attend The Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). Learn about recycling and water conservation in The Villages.

    April 16, 10:00 am – Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s Ixia Chapter’s 2nd Annual Native Plant Sale, in partnership with the St. Johns Riverkeeper, at Native Park (3312 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL). For more information, contact Ixia president Sally Steinauer at sallysteinauer@bellsouth.net.

    April 17, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Energy: Solar and Wind’at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 11.

    April 17, 1 to 7 pm – Attend the 6th Annual Our Santa Fe RiverFest at Rum 138 in High Springs, Fl. Support the expansion of knowledge about saving our water ecosystem through live music, song contest, food, beer and wine, raffles, silent auction and plenty of family activities. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Proceeds will fund educational activities to protect our springs and waters. For more information visit us atwww.OurSantaReRiver.org or facebook.com/oursantaferiver.

    April 19, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Speak Up: Environmental Advocacy with Gov. Bob Graham,” a FREE 1000 Friends of Florida webinar mirroring advocacy training events hosted by the Florida Conservation Coalition, 1000 Friends of Florida, and other environmental allies. Learn how to take your environmental advocacy to the next level by forming relationships with your legislators. For more information and to register, click here.

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org  or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 6, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 @ 10:57am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 6, 2016

     

    The Ledger Editorial Board writes – “In her blistering dissent, Justice Pariente…argued the [Consumers for Smart Solar] amendment should be dismissed because Floridians already possess the right to buy or lease solar equipment. Pariente noted the court had in the past struck down other proposed amendments that similarly failed to inform voters of their existing rights…If you support solar energy, or even just greater individual freedom, heed Justice Pariente’s observation of the proposed amendment’s effect: ‘Clearly, this is an amendment geared to ensure nothing changes with respect to the use of solar energy in Florida - it is not a ‘pro-solar’ amendment,’ she wrote. ‘Let the pro-solar energy consumers beware.’” Read Solar amendment demands voter scrutiny

    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “ ‘My biggest concern is that [the brown tide in the Indian River Lagoon] might have also affected all of the juvenile fish,’ said Jon Shenker, a fish biologist at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. ‘We may still see a bunch of big fish around, but in a few years, there aren’t going to be any new fish to replace all of the old fish.’ Dolphins already taxed by water pollution could starve, unless they give up their territorial tendencies and search for food afar of their usual lagoon hang outs…Greg Bossart, chief veterinary officer at the Georgia Aquarium, said…’…The Indian River dolphins don’t need any more challenges in their life history in the lagoon.’…He’s found, among other things, elevated incidence of emerging diseases, antibiotic resistant bacterial infections, and the highest mercury levels ever measured in dolphins…[D]olphins…[are] already struggling to find fish to eat because of long-term declines in the seagrass habitat that fish need to survive…Biologists suspect extreme climate…coupled with a decades-long buildup of nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers, septic tanks and other sources shifted the lagoon to a phytoplankton-dominant system, rather than one dominated by seagrass…No one knows how brown tide got here or whether it was always here, just at low levels.” Read What’s next for the Indian River Lagoon?

    Nate Monroe reports for The Florida Times Union – “The Army Corps’ mitigation efforts amount to setting aside 42.9 million to buy conservation land; and about $5 million to monitor environmental conditions before, during and one year after the (dredging) project is completed. JaxPort committed an additional $30 million for monitoring for up to 10 years after the project’s completion. The Riverkeer…also plans to file a federal lawsuit against the Army Corps asking a judge to order officials to build more mitigation work into the project. Legal challenges of this kind are often uphill battles because courts typically give the government broad deference.” Read St. Johns Riverkeeper files petition to block permit for dredging project

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “The Florida Supreme Court advanced the interests of the electric monopolies…by narrowly ruling that an industry-backed solar power amendment to the state constitution can be placed on the November ballot…Though the court’s opinion is disappointing, there will be an opportunity to put solar on a more stable and constructive path before pushing an effort to defeat the utilities and their power grab. Florida voters have a chance on the Aug. 30 primary ballot to put solar on the right course. Legislators unanimously voted to place a constitutional amendment on that ballot that would provide tax breaks to property owners who install solar. The measure is a good start at creating cleaner and more affordable energy, and voters should approve it.” Read One good, one bad solar amendment

    Ed Killer writes for the TC Palm – “I’m pro-hunting, but I think the bear hunt is unnecessary. That rate of Florida’s expected human population growth will see to that. According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, another 6 million transplants are anticipated here by 2030. In order to build more gated communities, golf courses and strip malls, we’ll have to bulldoze the pine tree and palmetto-loving bears right out of their peaceful woods and swamps.” Read Bear numbers up, so let’s hunt again?

    Rebecca Eagan writes for The Ocala Star Banner – “Habitat should be bought intact, corridors secured, with Land Legacy funds put in the constitution by the Florida people. Bridging remote bear groups would curb inbreeding. The human/bear conflict is solved with strong trash cans and rules. Driving state treasures from earth is not what the citizens have said they want. State protection of them is.” Read Bear population is anything but ‘robust’

    Lois Parshley reports for Nautilus – “ ‘Moving species to new territory has not always worked well…but ‘this is what we have to do,’ [Whitman] says. ‘And we’d better get damn good at it because the options are not good at all. Most people don’t appreciate how severe the global change crisis is.’ There have been five mass extinctions in the past 540 million years, and biologists think we’re already well into the sixth…His work is motivated by the need to save species from climate change before they disappear…The idea that communities evolve together- as opposed to evolving independently- has deep and unnerving consequences. It means that a change in genetic structure in one species can lead to a greater change in the ecosystem at large, and vice versa…Such interdependency can lead to a cascading effect in times of crisis…and makes preserving naturally diverse ecosystems even more important… ‘Breeding the right foundation species’-species that support large numbers of other ones- ‘may mitigate extinctions in these areas,’ he says. He’s toyed with the idea of genetically modifying desirable traits, but he’s sensitive to GMO’s critics…. ‘We can be purist, and not have the species,’ he says, ‘or insert genes. But for now we’re only selecting for traits that naturally occur.’” Read This Man Is Genetically Altering Ecosystems to Save Them from Climate Change

    Mitch Perry reports for Florida Politics – “Former Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope has endorsed Alan Grayson for the Florida U.S. Senate race. ‘Alan Grayson is the candidate in Florida’s Senate race who best possesses both the intellect and political courage to effectively end our fossil fuel dependency,’ Pope said.” Read Alan Grayson Endorsed By Former Sierra Club Head Carl Pope

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 6, 12:00 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Reddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    April 7, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Transportation: Rail, Mass transit, and other modes’ at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. At this event you will learn about carpooling, our current and future transportation system, and the possibility of rail coming back to Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 4.

    April 13, 12:45 pm – Attend The Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). Learn about recycling and water conservation in The Villages.

    April 16, 10:00 am – Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s Ixia Chapter’s 2nd Annual Native Plant Sale, in partnership with the St. Johns Riverkeeper, at Native Park (3312 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL). For more information, contact Ixia president Sally Steinauer at sallysteinauer@bellsouth.net.

    April 17, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Energy: Solar and Wind’at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 11.

    April 17, 1 to 7 pm – Attend the 6th Annual Our Santa Fe RiverFest at Rum 138 in High Springs, Fl. Support the expansion of knowledge about saving our water ecosystem through live music, song contest, food, beer and wine, raffles, silent auction and plenty of family activities. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Proceeds will fund educational activities to protect our springs and waters. For more information visit us atwww.OurSantaReRiver.org or facebook.com/oursantaferiver.

    April 19, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Speak Up: Environmental Advocacy with Gov. Bob Graham,” a FREE 1000 Friends of Florida webinar mirroring advocacy training events hosted by the Florida Conservation Coalition, 1000 Friends of Florida, and other environmental allies. Learn how to take your environmental advocacy to the next level by forming relationships with your legislators. For more information and to register, click here.

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

FCC News Brief - April 5, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, April 5th, 2016 @ 8:59am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    April 5, 2016

     

    Tom Palmer writes for The Ledger – “The deep ideological divide between the environmental community and Florida’s political leadership today is troubling…This atmosphere today is the opposite of what occurred in the 1970s and 1980s as residents and their elected representatives in Florida were waking up to the effects of decades of unregulated environmental damage and came up with new laws to confront these issues to protect Florida’s future. That was the era of Florida’s first effective rules to reduce water and air pollution, to protect Florida’s natural heritage and to curb urban sprawl. Much of that regulatory framework has been dismantled in the past few years by ideologues that have taken over state government…Politics has always been at the heart of getting anything done here or anywhere else. Rich argues throughout the book that environmentalists have, like their counterparts in the anti-environmental movement, let ideology and half-baked causes lead to what he calls “the Great Estrangement.” Some of it was fed by the human tendency to stereotype anyone who doesn’t see things one’s way, leading to overgeneralizations about opponents’ character and motives…Rich [also argues] for the need to make a better case for the value of well-grounded environmental regulations.” Read Enviros should work harder at forming alliances, author argues

    Grant Gilmore writes for the TC Palm – “There were seven potential paths for the (Crosstown Parkway) bridge to take, but Port St. Lucie decided to take the path that would land the bridge on state conservation land, the Halpatiokee Trials section of the Savannas State Park…Conservation land was set aside to conserve natural resources; living nonhuman communities that in turn support you and me; enrich soil, food and clean water and recreational enjoyment. Unfortunately, on the St. Lucie River we have precious little conservation land left beyond the thin green veneer that hides tens of thousands of human homes, roads, driveways and parking lots along its banks…We have had catastrophic loss of aquatic habitats in our local waterways recently, and over the past ten years. This includes increased mortalities of crabs, shrimp, fish, pelicans and dolphins…Since the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River have precious little natural habitat left, land set aside matters to every creature that depends on this ecosystem.” Read Crosstown Parkway Bridge will negatively impact St. Lucie River

    Kumasi Aaron reports for News 4 Jax – “The St. Johns Riverkeeper group filed a petition…against the state Department of Environmental Protection over the proposed dredging of the St. Johns River. The Jacksonville Port Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are planning to dredge the river to be able to accommodate larger ships and compete with other ports…[T]he DEP issued a permit to allow the corps to dredge 13 miles of the…River…The project would be an eight-year process during which time the St. Johns Riverkeeper says dredging would cause the water to be more cloudy, change the salinity and make the river more prone to algae blooms. ‘We have historically dredged our river for many years, and every time it’s deepened you see more salt water intrusion...’ Rinaman (the St. Johns Riverkeeper) said. Once the bigger cargo ships start coming through…there will be an increase in shoreline erosion. Before the dredging starts, explosive and hydro-hammers would be used to break up the rocks on the river bed for 250 days…” Read St. Johns Riverkeeper files lawsuit over dredging

    Hastings Tribune reports – “Officials say a Florida panther has been found dead from an apparent vehicle strike in southwest Florida…A total of 12 Florida panthers have been found dead in 2016, with 10 roadside fatalities.” Read Panther killed in southwest Florida

    Mark Ferrulo writes for Context Florida - “[T]he EPA’s Clean Power Plan…is estimated to prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks in 2030…[T]hat makes it all the more difficult to understand why Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi would join a lawsuit against the biggest action ever taken by the U.S. to tackle climate change, signing with countless polluters in a quest to stop climate action. As the defender in chief of Floridians, why is Bondi so determined to stop something that would directly benefit people across Florida?...Recent polls show that nearly 67 percent of Americans, and 62 percent of Floridians, support climate action like the Clean Power Plan…Florida needs Bondi to defend our welfare- not put us at increased risk.” Read Pam Bondi on Wrong Side of History

    The Naples Daily News Editorial Board writes – “The question is what to do with the overwhelming amounts of drainage water that comes in a southerly direction from Central Florida and regions south, west and east of Lake Okeechobee…As with any puzzle, it takes many pieces to create the full picture. The longer it takes, the more pieces that can be lost. In this case, it will cost a lot more, too…The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, other environmental groups statewide and U.S. Rep. Curt Clawson…are among those advocating acquiring land south of the lake to get cleansed water stored and moving back toward the Everglades and Florida Bay…[A] 5,000-sqaure-mile basin south of Orlando is draining into a 730-square-mile lake. Without more storage to the north of the lake…the lake will continue to fill up with nowhere for excess water to go but down the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie canal. Yes, northern storage sites are necessary puzzle pieces as well…We…urge all government, corporate and environmental stakeholders in Florida to unite and follow Clawson’s lead on addressing the crisis around Lake Okeechobee.” Read Lake Okeechobee solution needs to go in many directions

    Jessica Meszaros reports for WGCU – “Lee County leads the state in manatee deaths by watercrafts…again…[H]undreds of manatees come to Lee during the winter to warm up near the local power plant. And many stick around all year…Lee is also a very big boating community.” Read Lee County Leads in Manatee Watercraft Deaths

    Juanita Popenoe reports for Daily Commercial – “Water is the most limiting resource for growth and something that must be carefully conserved and distributed equally to the benefit of all, including nature…The Lake County Landscape Ordinance was recently amended to address this…The amendments follow the Water Star program, developed by Florida’s water management districts, and Florida-Friendly Landscaping program, developed by the University of Florida, to address efficient water use in Florida.” Read The importance of Florida-Friendly Landscaping

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     



    Job Postings

    The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law in Orlando is seeking a Director. Application deadline is April 18, 2016.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

    Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


    Petitions

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

     

    Making Connections

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

    If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at mary.earthethics@cox.net.

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    April 6, 12:00 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Reddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net.

    April 7, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Transportation: Rail, Mass transit, and other modes’ at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. At this event you will learn about carpooling, our current and future transportation system, and the possibility of rail coming back to Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 4.

    April 13, 12:45 pm – Attend The Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). Learn about recycling and water conservation in The Villages.

    April 16, 10:00 am – Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s Ixia Chapter’s 2nd Annual Native Plant Sale, in partnership with the St. Johns Riverkeeper, at Native Park (3312 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL). For more information, contact Ixia president Sally Steinauer at sallysteinauer@bellsouth.net.

    April 17, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Energy: Solar and Wind’at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 11.

    April 17, 1 to 7 pm – Attend the 6th Annual Our Santa Fe RiverFest at Rum 138 in High Springs, Fl. Support the expansion of knowledge about saving our water ecosystem through live music, song contest, food, beer and wine, raffles, silent auction and plenty of family activities. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Proceeds will fund educational activities to protect our springs and waters. For more information visit us atwww.OurSantaReRiver.org or facebook.com/oursantaferiver.

    April 19, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Speak Up: Environmental Advocacy with Gov. Bob Graham,” a FREE 1000 Friends of Florida webinar mirroring advocacy training events hosted by the Florida Conservation Coalition, 1000 Friends of Florida, and other environmental allies. Learn how to take your environmental advocacy to the next level by forming relationships with your legislators. For more information and to register, click here.

    April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at lespierpont@mac.com or (904) 388- 1506.

     April 21, 6:30 pm -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Williston Women’s Club in Williston. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com

    April 22-24 – Attend Mother Earth Music and Arts Festival in Mount Dora. People will gather together for music, art, yoga, dancing, workshops, and more all centered around what we can do to help save Mother Earth. Early-Bird Tickets are available until April 1st at $30.00 which includes camping for the entire weekend. Event details, ticket purchase, and venue information are available here.

    April 30, 2:00 pm – Attend “Exploring Wild Florida,” a presentation by Doug Alderson (author and Blueways Pioneer), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    April 30, 4:00 pm – Attend Lost Springs Meet and Greet in Palatka and share your photos and experiences of the wonders made visible by the recent drawdown of the Ocklawaha River. Special presentations will be given by Matt Keene, Margaret Tolbert, and Mark Long. Please RSVP to Tracy@fladefenders.org or call (352) 475- 1119.

    May 11, 12:00 pm – Listen to “Ethics in Leadership Development for the Planner,” a 1000 Friends of Florida webinar covering the ethics requirements of the American Institute of Certified planners and how these interface with Florida’s ethics laws. Emphasis will be placed on ethics as it relates to leadership and common ethics traps. For more information and to register, click here.

    May 14, 2:00 pm – Attend “Long Leaf Pine- Restoring Fred George Basin’s ecosystem,” a presentation by Tom Ostertag (FWC Imperiled Species Biologist), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

    May 19, 10:00 am -  Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

    May 19-22: Attend the Florida Native Plant Society’s 36th Annual Conference in Daytona Beach. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops on butterflies, bees and wildflowers, tree care, plants of the everglades, environmental education, invasive plants, rain gardens, landscape ecology, protection of water resources, and rare native plant conservation. Field trips include landscape tours, kayak trips, pontoon boat trips, eco-buggy excursions, truck-bed trips, and hikes. For more information and to register, click here, call (321) 271- 6702, or email info@fnps.org.

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

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    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition.org

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

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

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


Florida Conservation Coalition

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