News and Announcements

FCC News Brief - December 3, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 @ 4:24pm

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians
     

    December 3, 2016


     
     
    Ron Littlepage writes for the Florida Times Union – “Developers in Florida have a long history of being in the business of making money now and not considering the impact on the future…We could get serious about conservation and ban St. Augustine grass and homeowner association rules that require water use. We could have growth management laws that say no to such developments as the one being planned for the Deseret Ranch that will create a new city of 500,000 people in Central Florida. But none of those things will happen until there is a new governor and new legislators…who understand like previous people who occupied those offices did that Florida’s future depends on water. And those replacements must give more than lip service to that idea because it’s the truth and will sometimes require painful actions. For now, talk, talk. Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.” Read There are ways to help solve Florida’s water crisis -  but is there the will to pursue them?

    Matt Blitz reports for Popular Mechanics – “[C]oal-powered….stations are a common enemy [to] the 2015 Paris Agreement…But ten Florida power stations…are inadvertently saving the manatee. What happens when they shut down?...[When] water temperatures take a nosedive,…manatees need to find warm water fast or risk fatal cold shock… ‘[Manatees] are very memory-driven...[and] will remember and go where warm water is...show[ing] up year after year, waiting,’ says Garrett (a marine mammal biologist with the FWC)…Because of their long-running reliance on the power plants, the manatees who harbor at Big Bend probably will be unaware of other warm water spots nearby. In addition, humans have destroyed or blocked other natural warm water locations, like springs or thermal basins, that once were manatee refuges…Ideas include asking federal and state agencies to buy up natural springs for manatee habitats, removing human-made dams, restricting human activity near natural springs during winter months, and even experimenting with moving manatees to other warm water spots in the state…[I]t took 50 years for the manatees to become reliant on power stations, and it will take just as long to wean them off of it. Changes need to happen now and can't wait for these plants to close down.Read The future of the Florida Manatee depends on a decades-old coal-burning power station
                                                                                          Dan Chapman reports for The Atlantic Journal-Constitution – “The water wars trial pitting Florida against Georgia…wrapped up Thursday…Lancaster said he will promptly, perhaps by Christmas, issue his ruling…Lancaster will accept post-trial briefs, or summaries, from the two states before finalizing a decision. Attorneys may then have another opportunity to challenge his ruling before the master submits his decision to the Supreme Court…Congress could ultimately weigh in on the special master’s ruling by challenging the corps’ water-sharing plan. If…the special master orders Georgia, Florida and Alabama to create a regionwide water-sharing “compact,” then legislators could again play a role…Romuald Lipcius, an oyster expert at the College of William and Mary, said there was no evidence ‘that low river flows…caused the baywide collapse of the oyster population.’ He added, instead, that ‘unsustainable harvest’ measures…were largely to blame. Earlier in the day two University of Florida scientists who extensively studied the oyster’s collapse claimed that their research was questioned and their jobs threatened when their findings didn’t jibe with the state’s legal strategy against Georgia.Read Georgia, Florida await decision as water war trial concludes

    Ryan Smart writes for The Gainesville Sun – “From the Florida Keys to the Panhandle, 1000 Friends of Florida advocates for building better communities. In our opinion, one of the most exciting planning efforts underway anywhere in Florida is happening right here in Gainesville: the University of Florida’s Strategic Development Plan.Read UF plan provides model for Florida

    Zach Murdock reports for the Herald-Tribune – “The Florida environmental science professor best known as “Dr. Beach” agrees with Siesta Key residents that a controversial plan to dredge Big Pass could have detrimental effects on Siesta’s iconic beaches…Siesta groups, businesses and residents fear such a major change to the channel – which has never been dredged – could lead to faster erosion along the key…Siesta Key groups…and the Sarasota County Commission asked the Army Corps…to undertake a more rigorous and comprehensive study of the plan, known as an environmental impact statement, before state officials give final consideration to a permit for the dredging. This week the Army Corps denied that request, defending its environmental assessment and the model…The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is reviewing a city and Army Corps application for a joint coastal permit for the dredging and has until Dec. 27 to issue a notice of decision. Read ‘Dr. Beach’ sides with Siesta Key on Big Pass dredging

    Stuart Korfhage reports for The St. Augustine Record – “Over the summer, the North Florida Land Trust released its list of more than 100,000 acres in the region that it identified as being the most critically important to preserve… This week, NFLT acquired the first 206 acres of that goal when it completed a purchase for land with significant frontage on Six Mile Creek directly off the St. Johns River.Read North Florida Land Trust completes deal to acquire 206 acres along Six Mile Creek

    Aliki Moncrief writes for the Naples Daily News – “[O]ur enormous potential to be a top solar-powered state -- combined with the recent groundswell of public support for a clean-energy future -- means we have a promising path forward. The voters have spoken, loudly. Now our lawmakers must heed their call to action…[C]all or write to your state representative and senator and tell them you expect them to support legislation promoting customer-owned and community solar in Florida. To fully implement the solar incentives laid out in Amendment 4, legislative action is needed.Read Shifting Florida’s energy policy toward sun

    Camila Domonoske reports for NPR – “An annual study released by the Brazilian government estimates that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon has increased by 29 percent over last year…INPE acknowledged the increase but noted that "the current rate represents a decrease of 71%, when compared with 2004." That was the year the government implemented a policy designed to curb deforestation…But the rate now detected is the highest for any year since 2008…The Brazilian newspaper Estadão reports…:‘…The policy director of Greenpeace, Marcio Astrini, says among the causes of the increased deforestation were actions taken by the federal government between 2012 and 2015, such as the waiving of fines for illegal deforestation, the abandonment of protected areas…and the announcement, which he calls 'shameful,' that the government doesn't plan to completely stop illegal deforestation until the year 2030.’… Estadão also notes that the rise in deforestation is raising concerns about Brazil's ability to meet its commitments as part of the international Paris Agreement on combating climate change…Reuters reported that a lack of funding has hampered the organization that's tasked with stopping illegal logging efforts.Read Deforestation of the Amazon Up 29 Percent from Last Year, Study Finds

     

     

     

     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

     

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

    December 9, 2:30 PM – City of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg will make important announcements around clean energy and sustainability on the steps of St. Petersburg City Hall.

    December 9, 7:00 PM –  Join Suncoast Sierra Club for refreshments, live music, and art in celebration of St. Petersburg sustainability. For more information and to register click here.

    December 14, 12:45 pm – Come learn about irrigation improvements for homeowners in The Villages. The meeting will take place in the Belvedere Library. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

    January 13 –  Attend the 26th Annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference in Fort Myers. For more information and to register, click here.

    January 28, 9:30 AM - Attend the 1st Nature's Spirit Conference hosted by the Pagan Environmental Alliance and the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches to discuss how science, belief in nature, and activism can tap into greater community involvement. For more information, click here.

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - December 1, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, December 1st, 2016 @ 11:24am

  • FCC News Brief


    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians
     


    December 1, 2016

     
     
     

    Robert Knight writes for The Gainesville Sun – “Not only is water clarity in Kings Bay almost entirely gone, so are the eelgrass and other native plants that historically covered the bottom of the bay…The latest insult to those who treasure Crystal River’s springs is the district’s draft plan to establish minimum flows…After 44 years of injurious delay and inaction, the water management district has somehow concluded that an additional 12 percent decline in flows at Kings Bay/Crystal River will not cause ‘significant harm.’…The U.S. Geological Survey, the most respected hydrological agency in the world, reported that [there has been]…a greater than 58 percent decline (in average spring flow from historical averages)…The only way to reverse the algae problems and restore water clarity in Kings Bay is to dial back groundwater pumping and fertilizer use throughout the Southwest Florida Water Management District…Let the district’s Governing Board know that you do not support the proposed minimum flow for Kings Bay/Crystal River and that you adamantly oppose their decision to further reduce spring flows.Read Make Crystal River clear again

    The Associated Press reports – “The largest U.S. solar panel installer is moving into Florida’s residential market after the state’s voters last month rejected a utility-backed ballot measure that critics said would make going solar more expensive…In Florida,…the law allows only utility companies to sell power directly to consumers, so SolarCity has been slow to enter the state’s market even with its abundant sunshine.” Read Nation’s largest solar installer to open Florida facility

    C.T. Bowen reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Pasco is projected to get $12.7 million as a member of the 23-county Gulf Coast Consortium that is devising a state spending plan for the…federal trust fund to distribute the fines from BP stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon…Pasco was required to send its recommended projects…and the contents and ranking of that list sparked substantial debate among county commissioners…Commissioner Mike Wells Jr. wanted a greater emphasis on stormwater drainage and lamented that two of the three highest-ranked projects by the county's advisory committee were artificial reefs… ‘This is not flood remediation money,' [County Attorney Jeffrey Steinsnyder] told the commission…Commissioner Kathryn Starkey questioned the Ranch Road park… ‘I don’t see how putting in basketball courts is helping our environment,’ she said.Read Pasco commission debates how to spend Restore Act dollars

    Jeff Biggers writes for the New York Times – “Doomsday scenarios about the climate have abounded in the aftermath of the November election. But responsibility for effectively reining in carbon emissions also rests with business, and with the nation’s cities and states. Those are the battlegrounds. Worldwide, cities produce as much as 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions…With or without significant federal support, reducing greenhouse gas emissions will require major private investment…and ambitious private-public initiatives from mayors and governors…California’s recent move to reduce its carbon emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 is a hopeful shift that other cities and states should emulate. This would involve setting high benchmarks for developing green enterprise zones, renewable energy, cultivating food locally, restoring biodiversity, planting more trees and emphasizing walkability, low-carbon transportation and zero waste.Read Cities and states lead on climate change

    Selima Hussain reports for the Sun Sentinel – “Jennifer Veilleux has…worked as a water security analyst for the U.S government…and she’s currently a geographer at Florida International University’s Institute of Water and Environment… She’s…building an international team of people -- consisting of scientists, lawyers, historians, Ph.D students and photographers -- to conduct a complete environmental assessment on the (Dakota Access) pipeline’s impact on the Missouri River water system…Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline, was permitted to build the pipeline under state utility permits and the Nation Wide Permit 12, according to Veilleux. ‘This allows megaprojects to be dissected into bite sized chunks…so that the impact is minimized and not assessed as a collective impact," Veilleux said…Davidd Frankel, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer…has been traveling to and from Standing Rock to offer legal assistance to the “water protectors.”” Read How a South Florida scientist and lawyer are standing with Standing Rock

    Anna Hirtenstein reports for Bloomberg – “A subsidiary of Bouygues SA has designed rugged solar panels, capable of withstanding the weight of an 18-wheeler truck, that they’re now building into road surfaces... ‘We wanted to find a second life for a road,’ said Philippe Harelle, the chief technology officer at Colas SA’s Wattway unit, owned by…Bouygues. ‘Solar farms use land that could otherwise be for agriculture, while the roads are free.’Read Solar-Panel roads to be built on four continents next year

    A.G. Gancarski reports for Florida Politics – “Northeast Florida Senators Aaron Bean, Rob Bradley, Audrey Gibson, and Travis Hutson all have new committee assignments. Happily, for Northeast Florida, the first three listed will be in a position to have say over the upper house’s purse strings in the coming Session. Bean…will also sit on the Community Affairs…[committee]. Bradley likewise retains a presence on the Appropriations Committee, chairing the Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources. He will be the vice-chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection and Conservation, befitting the mostly rural nature of his district…He will have input into water management districts, which could have a salutary impact on the interests of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida in the perpetual water wars over the St. Johns River.Read Northeast Florida Senators to feature heavily on Appropriations Committee

    Keith Bradsher reports for the New York Times – “China…has called on the United States to recognize established science and to work with other countries to reduce dependence on dirty fuels like coal and oil…Even as it does so, China is scrambling to mine and burn more coal.” Read Despite climate change vow, China pushes to dig more coal

     
     


     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

    December 9, 2:30 PM – City of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg will make important announcements around clean energy and sustainability on the steps of St. Petersburg City Hall.

    December 9, 7:00 PM –  Join Suncoast Sierra Club for refreshments, live music, and art in celebration of St. Petersburg sustainability. For more information and to register click here.

    December 14, 12:45 pm – Come learn about irrigation improvements for homeowners in The Villages. The meeting will take place in the Belvedere Library. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

    January 13 –  Attend the 26th Annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference in Fort Myers. For more information and to register, click here.

    January 28, 9:30 AM - Attend the 1st Nature's Spirit Conference hosted by the Pagan Environmental Alliance and the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches to discuss how science, belief in nature, and activism can tap into greater community involvement. For more information, click here.

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com. 

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 30, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 @ 12:22pm

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians 

    November 30, 2016


     

    Cindy Swirko reports for the Gainesville Sun – “The Ichetucknee and lower Santa Fe rivers have less water than they need to support the life in them…White Springs, once a thriving resort full of visitors… doesn’t have enough water to attract an otter. And the volume of water and other springs is in jeopardy, too – the aquifer isn’t bubbling up as much as it used to in some spots because it’s increasingly pumped out buy utilities, homeowners, businesses and agriculture…Trying to fill the conflicting needs of the ecosystems of springs, rivers and lakes with the needs of both the current and future populations for water is the basis of a proposal to govern water supplies through 2035. Officials with the Suwanee River and St. Johns River water management districts…believe added conservation measures and greater use of reclaimed water will lead to success…But environmental advocates, including Jim Gross, are not entirely buying it…Proposals in the plan to move water from one water body when its flow is high to recharge the aquifer or to a storage area for release when water levels are low is a shell game rather than a solution, he said…Much of the burden to meet the goals falls on residents and farmers to reduce water use. For customers of municipal utilities, a hammer could be higher water costs.” Read Florida districts develop plans to combat water crisis

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “[U]nless Florida make smarter use of its water, communities may face serious shortages, the loss of farmland and a slowdown in growth that could upend the states economy…The demand for water already is so intense that cities and counties have undertaken hugely expensive water development projects in recent years, with the Tampa bay area building a regional reservoir and a seawater desalination plant. Even with new conservation rules, the study predicts, the rush of new residents and sprawling suburbs will leave room for only modest savings in water. This presents a huge challenge for state and local leaders in Tampa Bay, and it underscores the need to continue to think and act regionally. The solutions — more compact development, land use policies that discourage sprawl, better protection of natural resources and water recharge areas — will all require better planning and coordination at the state and local levels. The development community could be a partner; it has awakened to the cost savings of building more efficient and sustainable projects. The resurgence of cities as places to work, play and live also creates an opportunity to save water through smarter urban design. The report…is a reminder of how the Florida Legislature wasted an opportunity this ear by passing a state water bill that was more about developing new water resources than conserving those that already exist.” Read Meeting Florida’s demand for more water 

    Kristen M Clark reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Senate President Joe Negron… announced his leadership team for the 2016– 18 term…a list that includes some expected appointments but also some surprises and a few snubs.” Read Florida Senate’s committee leaders for the 2016– 18 announced

    NBC 6 reports - “Nearly 5 million customers in Florida are going to pay more for electricity in the coming year after state regulators voted…for a substantial rate hike…FPL had initially sought a $1.3 billion rate hike, but agreed to a smaller amount after reaching a settlement with several groups…Company officials say the extra money will help pay for improvements, including a new natural gas plant…Frank Jackalone, staff director for the Sierra Club’s Florida chapter, said the PSC had approved ‘a huge rate hike for unnecessary, climate disrupting, gas-burning power plants.’ State Sen. José Javier Rodriguez…also blasted the PSC for approving a deal for a monopoly that is ‘bad for consumers, bad for the market, bad for the environment and ultimately bad for our democracy.’”  Read Florida Power & Light Customers to Pay More in Coming Year

    Brady Dennis reports for the Washington Post – “Pope Francis this week implored world leaders not to postpone the implementation of global environmental pacts…The pope’s remarks came during a gathering of scientists at the Vatican, at which he said there has “never been such a clear need for science” to guide human actions to safeguard the future of the planet… ‘I would say that it falls to scientists, who work free of political, economic or ideological interests, to develop a cultural model which can face the crisis of climatic change and its social consequences,’ he said…” Read Pope Francis: “Never been such a clear need for science” to protect the planet

    JoAnn Adkins reports for FIU News – “Bottlenose dolphins in the Florida Coastal Everglades have higher concentrations of mercury than any other populations in the world.” Read Mercury contamination found in Everglades dolphins

    CJ McCartney writes for the St. Augustine Record – “While resilient St. Augustine is getting back on track, our local wildlife, who has absolutely no insurance, is seeking new habitat too. Along with their homes being wiped out, their food sources vanished…Our wildlife needs us to step up to offer them a spot in our yards…It’s easy and fun to create a pocket wildlife garden…” Read Birds and wildlife are homeless too

    Reagan McCarthy reports for WFSU – “Florida wildlife officials are…encouraging landowners to cut down on wildfires by forming “prescribed burn associations.”” Read Prescribed burn associations could save money, wildlife

     
     
     

     

     

     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

    December 9, 2:30 PM – City of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg will make important announcements around clean energy and sustainability on the steps of St. Petersburg City Hall.

    December 9, 7:00 PM –  Join Suncoast Sierra Club for refreshments, live music, and art in celebration of St. Petersburg sustainability. For more information and to register click here.

    December 14, 12:45 pm – Come learn about irrigation improvements for homeowners in The Villages. The meeting will take place in the Belvedere Library. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

    January 13 –  Attend the 26th Annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference in Fort Myers. For more information and to register, click here.

     

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 29, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 @ 1:17pm

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

    November 29, 2016


     

     

    Brad Rogers writes for the Ocala Star Banner - “Yeah, heard it all before in too many studies to count. Then comes Adam Putnam…with this admonition: ‘Water is Florida’s golden goose, and we must ensure that we have a reliable, abundant and clean supply of water now and for future generations…’ That from a guy who helped water down a massive water bill that started out strong until Putnam’s big business and big ag buddies got hold of it…Yet the Florida Legislature and…our local governing boards…refuse to implement new regulations. Regulations requiring, not just suggesting, water conservation efforts, from low-flow irrigation systems to Florida-Friendly landscaping to mandatory reclaimed water access. We get it - regulation is a dirty word. But out of water is far, far worse…[T]he people of Florida get it. They keep approving initiatives like Amendment One and Florida Forever…The problem is our elected officials listen to the special interests and their lobbyists…”  Read Something new, something old about Fla.’s water
     
    Tom Palmer reports for News Chief – “1000 Friends of Florida has recently organized a series of webinars to advance a serious discussion about the choices residents and state and local officials should consider if Florida is going to have a sustainable water future…[T]he section of the region around Orlando that includes Polk county has nearly tapped out the aquifer…[A]ny good plan needs to keep in mind the environment’s water needs…Florida officials must seriously rethink the way they permit and plan development related water demand…[T]wo new concepts recommended…deserve consideration. One is establishing conservation goals, water budgets and water use monitoring strategies prior to the approval of new development. Another is updating the building code…to require indoor and outdoor water efficiency standards for new construction and major remodeling…[T]his is an addition to more familiar measures aimed at improving landscaping and irrigation practices…but with an emphasis on conducting more public outreach and doing more to professionalize irrigation contracting. In Polk county, it seems the recently formed Polk County Water Cooperative can play a role here.” Read Florida’s water shortage problem is not going to go away
     
    Jim Ash reports for WFSU – “Senate President Joe Negron wants the state to build a $2.4 billion reservoir…despite House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s call for budget cuts…[T]here isn’t much in Speaker…Corcoran’s history to suggest there’s room for compromise…Corcoran wants to start cutting now to fill a major shortfall predicted for next year.” Read Negron: Austerity Budget has Room for a Reservoir
     
    Susan Salisbury reports for the Palm Beach Post – “[T]he US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Army Corps of Engineers…issued a final environmental impact report on two nuclear units proposed south of Miami…Now [Citizens  Allied for Safe Energy] has asked for a chance to challenge that [report] in a petition filed…with the NRC. [The group] states…, ‘The impact of injecting toxic chemicals and…radwaste laden water from the reactors directly into the boulder zone was not fully evaluated in the EIS.’” Read Citizens group seeks hearing on Turkey Point 6 and 7 nuclear plans
     
    Melissa Nelson Gabriel reports for the Pensacola News Journal – “A new land deal is designed to buffer Whiting Field Naval Air Station from new neighborhoods and businesses in fast-growing northern Santa Rosa County. The agreement…adds 626 acres to Blackwater State Forest…” Read New land deal win-win for Whiting, community
     
    Jeremy Diamond reports for CNN – “President-elect Donald Trump conceded…there is ‘some connectivity’ between human activity and climate change and wavered on whether he would pull the United States out of international accords aimed at combating the phenomenon…” Read Trump admits ‘some connectivity’ between climate change and human activity
     
    Evan Halper reports for the Los Angeles Times – “[F]ew things on Trump’s confrontational agenda put him more quickly on a collision course with the rest of the world, much of his own country and even some in his own party than his stated desire to abandon the fight against global warming…‘ Donald Trump will be about the only head of state who does not believe in climate science or the responsibility of his government to act,’ send Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club…Major US trading partners that signed on to the nearly 200 nation accord reached in Paris… are already signaling that they will retaliate if the United States backs out, possibly by slapping environmental trade tarrifs on to some American products. Bailing on the deal could also increase the influence of China…Generous federal tax credits for wind and solar production have provided an economic boost to states red and blue alike. Republican Sen. Charles E Grassley of Iowa put Trump on notice, saying this year that only ‘over my dead body’ would Congress allow a repeal of the wind tax credits Trump has proposed eliminating.” Read Trump seems ready to fight the world on climate change. But he’s likely to meet resistance.
     
    Thomas L. Friedman writes for the New York Times – “Doral will be your first (golf) course threatened by global warming, because parts of Miami are already flooding due to sea-level rise…A majority of immigrants flooding Europe today are not coming from Syria or Iraq. Three-quarters are from arid zones in central Africa, where the combination of climate change and runaway population growth are making small-scale farming unsustainable…You can’t ignore climate change and think you have an immigration policy…And as the climate physicist Joe Romm put it to me, do you really want to risk ‘going down in history as the man who killed the world’s last, best chance to avoid catastrophic warming?’…Hal Harvey…notes…, ‘…[A] clean future now costs less then a dirty one.’…Is your strategy to keep America addicted to coal and scuttle our lead in clean tech – which is destined to become the next great global export industry and is already spawning good blue-collar jobs -  so we can an import clean energy systems from India and China?” Read Donald Trump, Help Heal the Planet’s Climate Change Problem

     

     

     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

    December 9, 2:30 PM – City of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg will make important announcements around clean energy and sustainability on the steps of St. Petersburg City Hall.

    December 9, 7:00 PM –  Join Suncoast Sierra Club for refreshments, live music, and art in celebration of St. Petersburg sustainability. For more information and to register click here.

    December 14, 12:45 pm – Come learn about irrigation improvements for homeowners in The Villages. The meeting will take place in the Belvedere Library. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

     

     

     

     

    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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 28, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, November 28th, 2016 @ 12:29pm

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

    November 28, 2016

     


     

    Samuel E Pool writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “I agree with everything in Erik Eikenberg's column concerning Everglades restoration except his priority of treating Lake Okeechobee's nutrient problems after they enter the lake. Our first priority must be stopping the nutrients from entering the lake…My more than 40 years of experience addressing environmental consequences of development in Florida has taught me that...undoing mistakes is often more effective than building and maintaining another project to treat the mistake… This…means working with the owners of roughly 1 million acres of undeveloped land remaining  in the watershed to undo the drainage ditches and canals sending water to Lake Okeechobee and to hold and clean up stormwater on their land…[L]andowners are compensated based on their effectiveness in holding and treating stormwater…If the storage and treatment capacity of the lake's watershed is restored, the important reconnection of Lake Okeechobee with the…Everglades would be a different project — more like a natural flow way and less like a new lake south of Lake Okeechobee.”  Read  Focus restoration efforts north of Lake Okeechobee – not south

    William March reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Following a controversy during her campaign, newly elected state Sen. Dana Young…says she’ll introduce a bill in the coming legislative session to ban statewide…fracking…[T]he bill will be one of her top priorities in the upcoming session. Young was criticized by environmental groups during her campaign for supporting previous bills on fracking regulation…[Both bills] passed the House where Young was majority leader…Environmentalists criticized the previous bills because they…prohibited local governments from enacting their own regulations on fracking. But Young said…her bill will include a similar pre-emption.” Read Sen. Dana Young says she’ll propose statewide fracking ban 

    Jim Ash reports for WFSU – “Young faces an uphill battle in the House, but Rethink Energy President Kim Ross says fracking opponents are making progress…Ross says she’s working with Republican Representative Mike Miller of Winter Park on a fracking companion bill. And Senator Anitere Flores…, another Republican fracking opponent, is about to become second in command.” Read Fracking Opponents See Fertile Ground in House and Senate 

    Nathan Crabbe writes for the Gainesville Sun Editorial Board – “While some Florida lawmakers wait for a full-blown crisis to take the state’s water woes more seriously, a new report shows they are creating one through their complacency… Modest water-conservation efforts and more compact development patterns could reduce…demand…about 30 percent…But that hardly qualifies as good news, as such demand still represents more water than Florida’s environment can sustainably provide… The “Water 2070” study shows the inadequacy of Florida’s water-planning efforts. A water bill passed last session was a giveaway to big business and big agriculture, relying on voluntary “best management practices” to reduce water use. Lawmakers such as Gainesville Republican Rep. Keith Perry…are quick to congratulate themselves for what they’ve done and diminish concerns that it is not enough.” Read Complacency causing state water crisis
     
    FWC shares with The Bradenton Times – “[T]he FWC approved the Imperiled Species Management Plan, a capstone on five years of work developing the plan, and over a decade of revising the listing process… ‘We have been involved in the effort to revise Florida’s imperiled species listing process and management system since the very beginning,’ said Elizabeth Fleming, Senior Florida Representative, Defenders of Wildlife. “We are extremely pleased to see the adoption of a comprehensive imperiled species management plan and associated rules…’…[The Plan] includes one-page summaries for each species, including a map of its range in Florida and online links to Species Action Plans. The 49 Species Action Plans contain specific conservation goals, objectives and actions for all 57 imperiled species…14…will remain listed as state Threatened; 23 will change…from Species of Special Concern to state Threatened; [5] will remain Species of Special Concern; and 15 will be removed from the imperiled species list…” Read FWC Approves Historic Plan to Conserve Imperiled Species 

    John Moran writes for the Gainesville Sun – “[W]e’d do just fine without the lawn sprinklers and fertilizer. And Florida would be a better place… The needs of tomorrow are more important than the lawns of today. And if we don’t change our ways, we can kiss our springs goodbye. IFAS’ solution – the “Florida– Friendly” landscaping program with its supposedly “responsible” use of fertilizer and lawn irrigation -  has unintentionally enshrined the normalization of abuse…If someone you love got lung cancer, would you encourage them to smoke ‘only when needed?’ Or would you suggest they give up their harmful habit altogether?... For the love of Florida, mow the yard a few times a year as you wish but otherwise, let it be.”  Read Florida would be better without sprinklers, fertilizer 

    Karen Graham reports for the Digital Journal – “The St. Petersburg, Florida City Council, in an unanimous vote, has formally approved the city's commitment to transition to 100 percent renewable energy… The…vote… dedicated $800,000 of the $ 1.0 million settlement the city received from the BP oil spill settlement funds to an “Integrated  Sustainability Action Plan”… Read Florida city commits to 100 percent renewable energy plans 

    David Goodhue reports for FL Keys News – “A coalition of environmental groups is threatening to sue the federal government over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration greenlighting a British company’s plan to release millions of genetically-engineered mosquitoes in Monroe County. The…organizations…argue the FDA did not take into account the impact the experiment could have on endangered species living in the Florida Keys… The agency… did not consult with the US Fish and Wildlife Service… Read  Legal action threatened against FDA over Oxitec decision

     

     

     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

    December 14, 12:45 pm – Come learn about irrigation improvements for homeowners in The Villages. The meeting will take place in the Belvedere Library. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

     

     

     

     

    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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 19, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Saturday, November 19th, 2016 @ 6:24pm

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

    November 19, 2016

     

     

     

    Scott Maxwell writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “On Tuesday, the [St. Johns River Water Management District] re-elected as its leader a man who has been plagued with conflicts of interest…[I]n his “public service” life, Miklos helps run the agency. But in his private life, Miklos offers clients the chance to pay him $155 an hour to help them navigate and get things like permits from the agency…yes, the one he runs…[N]ot only is Miklos still on the board, this week his colleagues re-elected him chairman. Even as an ethics complaint against him is pending. Even as a state investigation into the city of Debary (which paid Miklos $155 an hour for his services) is ongoing…[O]ne brave board member- Maryam Ghyabi…objected, saying that new blood is a basic practice of good board government. ‘There’s just no reason for someone to be a four-term chairman,’ she later said…But Ghyabi’s fellow board members didn’t even entertain her concerns.” Read Water board re-elects chairman plagued with conflicts of interest

    Ledyard King reports for the Naples Daily News – “A bill that would have given states along the Gulf Coast and south Atlantic a greater share of royalties from offshore oil and gas drilling failed to make it to the Senate floor for a vote Thursday…Sen. Marco Rubio…voted to move it to the floor...[Sen.] Nelson led the opposition, fearing the lure of royalties might pressure state leaders to open up energy exploration that could harm the environment and the beaches that generate billions for Florida’s economy each year. In addition, he said, encouraging neighboring states to open more water for drilling poses its own threat to Florida, which still remembers the environmental and economic damage from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster…” Read U.S. Sen. Nelson of Florida helps keep Gulf of Mexico oil drilling bill from floor vote

    Cindy Swirko reports for The Gainesville Sun – “Protesters of the Sabal Trail pipeline were arrested at the Gilchrist County construction site Saturday, and opponents of the gas transmission line said protests will continue.” Read Protesters arrested at Sabal Trail construction site

    News 4 Jax reports – “North Florida Land Trust has acquired 624 acres of land…near Camp Blanding…NFLT worked closely with the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program to identify the land, which was both a prime candidate for conservation and important to protect the base from the threat of encroaching development. The [land is] located in what is known as the “020” corridor, which is a nationally critical wildlife corridor that stretches from the Ocala National Forest to the Osceola National Forest and eventually to the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. ‘Preserving this piece of land…will…be beneficial to several endangered species like the gopher tortoise, red-cockaded woodpecker and indigo snake,’ said Jim McCarthy, Executive Director of NFLT.” Read Land Trust acquires land for conservation near Camp Blanding

    The Herald-Tribune Editorial Board writes – “[T]he good-planning group 1000 Friends of Florida and several partners have provided a public service with a report that attempts to project our state’s demand for…water 54 years from now…Fortunately, the region that includes Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties is ahead of the curve and provides a model for the rest of Florida…[T]he Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority has spent the last 25 years developing a diverse range of water sources and storage capabilities…[F]or the past decade, the Southwest Florida Water Management District has worked with farmers, local governments and others to reduce the stress on wells and deep aquifers. Minimum flows for rivers and other surface waters were established as well. More steps can and should be taken…[R]esidents and businesses have significantly reduced per-capita consumption of water through the purchase of more efficient appliances and the installation of landscaping that requires less irrigation…Increased use of recycled, treated wastewater has reduced or mitigated pressure on potable sources…These efforts have required significant planning and investment of public funds.” Read Regional plan offers water-policy model

    Mitch Hutchcraft writes for the News Press – “We need to listen more to each other and focus on the science rather than getting drawn into slogan fueled political battles and finger pointing…We are well underway to build the C-43 Reservoir that will hold 170,000 acre feet of water to reduce Lake Okeechobee releases during wet times and ensure the ecosystem has plenty of fresh water during drier times. The district is also hard at work building the C-43 Water Quality Treatment and Testing Facility that will develop new and effective large-scale techniques for cleaning nitrogen from the river…[Some speaker’s] arguments were political, not scientific, with one-single minded result: to redirect momentum and public investment from approved and scheduled projects, in pursuit of a flawed promise of a massive reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. One community activist called the well-established scientific link between septic tanks and high levels of nutrients in our estuaries ‘a red herring.’…[Speakers] dismissed the potential benefits of the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Planning Project, which will identify 200,000 acre-feet of storage opportunities north of the lake. Additionally, [they] ignored the fact that the District has already invested billions of dollars to create 300,000 acre feet of storage south of the lake as well as invested in creating storage east and west of the lake…Storage north of the lake is now the missing piece in the regional storage puzzle…” Read Water summit helps identify solutions

    Ryan Mills and Eric Staats reports for the Naples Daily News – “This is how beaches are built these days in…Florida…one truckload at a time…[Sand isn’t] just for building beaches. It’s used to build entire cities. It’s in concrete and glass, paint and asphalt. It’s used in water filters, even toothpaste…[S]and is difficult and expensive to find, and pits communities against each other.” Read Shrinking Shores: Florida sand shortage leaves beaches in lurch

    Alan Farago writes for the Huffington Post – “Big Sugar, the biggest polluter of the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge through nutrient-packed and chemical runoff from farm fields, is behind the move…Scott and his hand-picked governing board at the South Florida Water Management District are using an invasion of exotic plants as a pretext. Their purpose; to remove the Everglades…from federal oversight…Big Sugar can’t just appropriate national lands. They would if they could. Instead, Big Sugar is taking a slow, methodical approach; to unite with other opponents of national parks and federal lands and starve the budget of the Department of interior and other federal agencies with environmental mandates. This formula is a core objective of GOP campaign funders: target an agency, starve its budget, then rant about the inefficiency of the agency and persuade voters, ‘government doesn’t work.’ On this magic carpet, Gov. Rick Scott hopes to defeat U.S. Senator Bill Nelson…in 2018. President-elect Donald Trump should balance the furious aim of partisan politics against the blood, sweat and sacrifice of past generations that created America’s best idea: a national park system and federal lands protected by regulations based in sound science. Americans should let their representatives in Congress and President-elect Trump know: our national parks and public lands are not for transfer and not for sale.” Read After Trump, will there be a federal role for environmental regulation? The battle is already taking shape in Florida

     

     

     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

    December 14, 12:45 pm – Come learn about irrigation improvements for homeowners in The Villages. The meeting will take place in the Belvedere Library. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

     

     

     

     

    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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 18, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, November 18th, 2016 @ 10:04am

  • FCC News Brief 

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

    November 18, 2016

     
     
     
     
     
    David Fleshler reports for the Sun Sentinel – “A controversial proposal to drill for oil in the Everglades…was rejected Wednesday by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection…” Read State rejects plan to drill for oil in Everglades near Miramar

    Stephen Hudak reports for the Orlando Sentinel
    – “Orange County commissioners, peppered with emails from frustrated opponents of a controversial residential project, narrowly rejected a mega-development that would have added 1,999 homes in rural east Orange…Critics of the project, also known as “Sustany,” wanted the commission to put off a decision until December when Emily Bonilla replaces Ted Edwards on the board…Bonilla whipped Edwards in last week’s election, ousting the veteran commissioner who had supported both “Sustany” and “The Grow,” a companion mega-development on the east side of the Econlockhatchee River. The…Econ river…has served as the line between urban and rural life in east Orange for a quarter century…The Grow…was approved this summer despite protests…It will add 2,000 homes in east Orange and contribute millions for improvements on State Road 50 and Chuluota Road… [O]pponents…contend the urban-style development would destroy the rural character of their community, threaten bears and other wildlife and bring more traffic.” Read Orange County rejects controversial project east of the Econ River 

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm
    – “ ‘The EPA isn’t going to be abolished,’ said Nathaniel P. “Nat” Reed…, a longtime Treasure Coast environmentalist and former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. ‘But its efforts to combat climate change could be subject to intense review.’…Trump could try to ‘cut the hell out of the EPA’s budget,’ Reed said, ‘but he’ll need Congress to go along. Even though both chambers are now held by Republicans, the number of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate is really close. I don’t think any radical change in the agencies is going to happen.’…Agencies involved with environmental restoration need to emphasize how their projects benefit the country’s infrastructure, Reed said. For example: Projects to increase the flow of water to the Everglades and reduce the flow of polluted water to the St. Lucie River will help replenish the aquifers South Florida depends on for drinking water.” Read Trump threat to abolish EPA could affect Indian River Lagoon 

    Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald
    – “ ‘A Trump administration will…work alongside you to restore and protect the beautiful Everglades…’ The soon-to-be 45th president of the United States went on to assure the crowd that dwindling water supplies in Florida, where he owns three golf courses, would be protected. ‘Our plan will…help you upgrade water and wastewater- and you know you have a huge problem with wastewater- so that the Florida aquifer is pure and safe from pollution…We will also repair the Herbert Hoover dike…’…Trump is the first developer to occupy the White House. Everglades restoration…is essentially a giant infrastructure job. And many of the solutions to climate change in South Florida come down to construction: raising roads, fortifying coastlines and updating flood controls… ‘This is water infrastructure,’ said Eric Eikenberg… ‘It costs billions and employs thousands of jobs, just like the infrastructure he’s talking about…’ Trump has vowed to slash environmental regulations, revive the sagging coal industry and increase drilling- moves that could make Everglades restoration a moot point…Whether Trump means what he says remains to be seen. In 2009, he was among 55 CEOs and prominent people to back a full-page New York Times ad urging Obama and Congress to act on climate change…Trump…appointed David Bernhardt to oversee the transition of the Interior Department. Bernhardt…represents drilling and mining interests fighting the government on endangered species protections and environmental regulations.” Read What will a Trump presidency mean for Florida’s environment? 

    Naples Herald staff reports
    – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported the death of another Florida panther…as the result of a vehicle crash. The adult female was discovered in Collier County…This is the 37th Florida panther death in Southwest Florida this calendar year and the 29th known to be the result of a collision with a motor vehicle. FWC reports that only 14 newborn panthers are known of this year.” Read Crash Claims 37th Florida Panther of 2016

    Jimmy Orth writes for The Florida Times Union – “Florida’s waterways are suffering from significant pollution problems, such as fertilizer runoff, poorly treated municipal and industrial wastewater, toxic chemicals and failing septic tanks. Combined with the impacts from a rapidly growing population, we have a potential recipe for disaster…[T]he St. Johns Riverkeeper is releasing  new documentary, “Troubled Waters,” this Sunday evening at 6:30 on WJXT Channel 4. The film highlights…the politics that are undermining our environmental protections and the impending water crisis that we face. More importantly, it serves as an important call to action…[W]e often act as if [water] is an infinite commodity that can be exploited and used indiscriminately. We simply cannot afford to continue to sacrifice our valuable water resources for the politics of the moment and the fortunes of a few.” Read Documentary targets Florida’s endangered waterways 

    Mitch Perry reports for Florida Politics
    – “U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham is speaking out critically about the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, after she reviewed public records regarding the massive sinkhole at Mosaic’s facility… ‘Unless there are records that were not produced as required by law, the disclosures show an alarming lack of communication among state regulators about a threat to the health and safety of Florida families and our environment,’ said Graham in a statement. ‘I am very concerned that we had a watchdog agency asleep at the wheel.’” Read Gwen Graham still not satisfied after receiving DEP records about sinkhole 

    Amy Green reports for WMFE
    – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved 13 new Critical Wildlife Areas.” Read New Protected Areas for Florida’s Imperiled Birds

     
     
     
     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 19, 11:00 am – Attend North Florida Land Trust’s Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival at Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station in Jacksonville. There will be a great lineup of “Brewgrass” music outside on the marsh and an array of food trucks and local brews. You can also sign up for a guided kayak tour or guided hike around the island. Click here to purchase tickets.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

    December 14, 12:45 pm – Come learn about irrigation improvements for homeowners in The Villages. The meeting will take place in the Belvedere Library. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

     

     

    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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 17, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, November 17th, 2016 @ 9:08am

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

    November 17, 2016

     
     
     
     
     
    Gil Smart writes for the TC Palm – “I’d tear [my sprinkler system] out and set it on fire…[I]t might actually help Florida…South Florida residents…consume, on average, 145 gallons of water per day, which seems insane. Outdoor irrigation accounts for half of that…and half of that water is lost to evaporation or runoff. Couple this with the fact that Florida’s population is expected to balloon by another 15 million people by 2070, and it begs the question- can we actually accommodate them? Do we actually have that much water? The answer, according to a new report is “no” – not if our current development patterns persist…Florida…continues to pave paradise and put up parking lots, new subdivisions and strip malls. And unless we rein it in- that is, embrace more-compact patterns of development and cut existing water use- there might not be enough agua to go around…[T]he report makes two major recommendations: increase supply (perhaps via water reclamation…) and reduce demand through water conservation and increased efficiency…Statewide…single-family homes with an automated sprinkler system consume an average of 358 gallons of water per day…Those without an automated system…use an average of 190 gallons per day. So use cisterns or rain barrels, group plants according to water needs, and don’t water if it’s rained in the last 24 hours or is projected to rain in the next 24 hours. Couple that with public policies designed to minimize water usage and maybe, just maybe, there’ll be enough to go around.” Read 15 million thirsty new Floridians are coming

    Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel – “If growing Florida keeps sucking up water, we risk not having enough to meet our needs in the next 50 years, a new study (by 1000 Friends of Florida, UF, and DACS) says. Residents and businesses would have to pay more to turn salt water into drinking water. More farms could disappear. And wetlands like the everglades, already suffering from decades of draining, would be strained even further… ‘We don’t have the water,’ said Frank Jackalone, of the Sierra Club. ‘We will endanger our aquifer by putting more homes on the open spaces we have left.’…Charging more for heavy water users is suggested as one way to boost conservation. Even following the report’s recommendations still would lead to a 50 percent increase in development-related water use, according to the projections…[T]he report recommends updating building codes to include tougher water-efficiency standards for new homes and significantly remodeled homes.” Read Florida at risk of facing water-supply strain over next 50 years, report warns 

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida
    – “More compact development patterns and modest water conservation measures can reduce the (projected) increased water use to 30 percent, but that still represents more than the environment can provide, the researchers said…The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is pointing to…Central Florida…where water supplies are reaching their “breaking point”…The “Water 2070” report built on another study…that showed…that Florida can save 5.8 million acres of conservation land and 1.3 million acres of farm land through more compact development patterns. The report captured the attention of the news media and state leaders, and reinvigorated discussion of growth management, which has largely been dormant since Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011. He signed bills that year scaling back state oversight of local land use decisions and dismantling the state agency in charge of planning…The Legislature earlier this year passed SB 552, which authorized water planning in Central Florida…Some environmentalists criticized the bill for not requiring more water conservation…Sen. Wilton Simpson,…in line to become Senate president in 2018, is working on legislation involving the regulation of treated wastewater, also called “reclaimed” water, that can be used for agriculture and suburban landscapes.” Read Report shows Florida’s dire water needs with population growth even with some conservation

    Zach Murdock reports for the Herald Tribune – “ ‘We would argue modest (conservation) is not enough,’ said Vivian Young, a spokeswoman for 1000 Friends of Florida. ‘There needs to be aggressive water conservation if Florida is going to be able to accommodate the new population coming. There are things that can be done, but we need to start doing them now and thinking about them now.’… ‘The situation does look dire, but I take hope in the fact that it’s relatively simple things we can do as Floridians that would dig us out of this hole,’ said Ryan Smart, president of 1000 Friends of Florida. ‘When you see the amount of savings possible just from changing the way we irrigate our lawns…I think there is hope.’” Read Water 2070 projects ‘dire’ outlook for future water demand without changes 

    Melissa Montoya reports for the News Press
    – “Two Republican incumbents, Ray Rodrigues and Matt Caldwell, won re-election to their state House seats…Fracking was the big issue in the District 76 race. Messina was vocal about his opposition to fracking. Rodrigues launched a plan…which died in the Senate, [and] would have…stripped restrictions that were passed by municipalities and counties…Rodrigues far surpassed Messina in fundraising…Water quality dominated the District 79 races. Scott and Miller criticized Caldwell for receiving campaign donations from special interests. Scott wants to buy land south of Okeechobee…Caldwell said he believes a better approach to dealing with water quality is to do so at a local level. Caldwell raised $393,456.64 in campaign money. Scott received $61,073 and Miller $5,700… ‘Like always the money rules, the people don’t,’ Miller said. Rodrigues said he would spend his next two years implementing an amendment…that removes property tax barriers for businesses using solar…He said he will also work with the Lee County commission to preserve 4,000 acres of environmentally sensitive land known as Edison Farms.” Read Matt Caldwell, Ray Rodrigues win re-election to Florida House 

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald
    – “Four environmental groups…asked a court to accelerate its ruling in a lawsuit accusing the Florida Legislature of violating the state Constitution and misdirecting Amendment 1 environmental funds into salaries and inappropriate operating expenses… ‘Nowhere does the Amendment contemplate spending money for restoration or improvement of private lands, or appropriations for projects on private lands that have a general environmental benefit,’ the groups wrote in the motion…Instead, the purpose of Amendment 1 is ‘to dedicate funds to ‘acquire and restore conservation and recreation lands,’ they argue. ‘Instead of appropriating money for those purposes, the Legislature appropriated Amendment One funds as if the terms ‘management’ and ‘restoration of natural system’ in the text of the Amendment encompassed the salaries and operating expenses of state agencies with a nexus to conservation or improvement of the environment,’ the motion states.” Read Environmental groups return to court over Legislature’s diverting Amendment 1 money 

    Katie Landeck reports for the News Herald
    – “Florida will receive $32 million for four projects aimed at restoring natural resources damaged by the 2010 oil spill, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced…NFWF was awarded a total of $2.5 billion over five years in settlements and penalties from BP…In Florida, the latest round of grants will go toward conserving oyster reefs, building a sea turtle necropsy facility, better assessing stocks of Florida’s reef fish, and restoring shorebird and seabird populations. The largest chunk of Florida’s money, $11.5 million, will be put toward reversing declining populations of five bird species: America oyster catcher, black skimmer, least tern, Wilson’s plover and snowy plover. The project will be coordinated by the…FWC and the Florida Audubon Society…The money will go toward crafting baseline population estimates, monitoring nesting habitat, predation management and reducing disturbances at key nesting beaches.” Read Florida gets $32M more in oil spill money

    Rob Moher writes for the Sun Sentinel
    – “We have seen as a community how a water management system terribly out of balance has resulted in massive fish kills, a state of emergency for multiple counties in South Florida, and economic hardship for business dependent on healthy waters…There are no simple solutions to our water woes. We do know that by addressing the many “pieces of the puzzle” – including the need for additional lands south of Lake Okeechobee to store, treat and convey waters to the Everglades, accelerate funding of existing Everglades Restoration projects including the C-43 reservoir in Lee County, planning for an additional water quality component as part of the C-43, and creating stronger incentives and regulations to reduce pollution at its source- that we can create lasting solutions for our water, our economy and our quality of life…We are grateful to political leaders such as retiring Congressman Curt Clawson, incoming Florida Senate President Joe Negron, and Representative Heather Fitzenhagen…” Read Everglades restoration must be accelerated

     
     
     
     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here. 

    November 17, 6:30 pm – Attend a Solar Co-op Information Session at 862 S. Orlando Ave. in Winter Park. Homeowners in Orange County and bordering counties are invited to hear how solar can work in their homes, how to pay for solar, and the benefits of solar co-op membership. For more information and/or to sign up for the co-op, click here. The deadline to join the Orange County Solar Co-op is November 30, 2016.

    November 19, 11:00 am – Attend North Florida Land Trust’s Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival at Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station in Jacksonville. There will be a great lineup of “Brewgrass” music outside on the marsh and an array of food trucks and local brews. You can also sign up for a guided kayak tour or guided hike around the island. Click here to purchase tickets.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

    December 14, 12:45 pm – Come learn about irrigation improvements for homeowners in The Villages. The meeting will take place in the Belvedere Library. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

     

     

    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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 16, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 @ 10:11am

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

    November 16, 2016

     

     

    Chad Gillis reports for News Press – “[Traces of a female Florida panther have been found north of the Caloosahatchee River for the first time since 1973, the same year the Endangered Species Act was approved. The Caloosahatchee River has been a breeding barrier for more than four decades, but the big cats seem poised to retake another chunk of their historic range…‘This appears to be the milestone we’ve hoped for. We have been working with landowners to secure wildlife corridors to help panthers travel from south Florida, cross the river and reach this important panther habitat,’ said Larry Williams, state ecological services supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service… ‘While we do not know if this female used these tracts of land, we do know that securing lands that facilitate the natural expansion of the panther population are critical to achieving full recovery.’ Expanding the breeding population north to Central Florida is listed as the second management goal identified in the FWS Florida panther recovery plan.” Read Female panther found north of Caloosahatchee; first time since 1973

    Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “A population once estimated at 20 to 30 [Florida panthers] has now grown to more than 100. While the population boomed, though, federal officials allowed continued destruction of the remaining habitat. A 2010 Tampa Bay Times analysis found the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hadn’t objected to a development in panther habitat since 1993…The female (that was found north of the Caloosahatchee) ‘is an adult, and we would anticipate that she’s ready to breed,’ [Onorato, FWS Florida panther biologist] said. ‘The circle isn’t complete until she has kittens, and then they have kittens, too.’” Read First female panther spotted north of Caloosahatchee River in more than 40 years

    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Demand for water will more than double in Florida by 2070 if building trends continue along their current sprawling path, bringing another 15 million people to the state…[I]f new development clusters together and increases water conservation by 20 percent, the state could save 37 percent in development-related water demand, compared to the business-as-usual scenario…UF studies have shown at least half of water used by homes is for outdoor irrigation. So the researchers recommend, among other steps, following the Florida Friendly Yards program, using rain barrels and reducing runoff through mulching and porous surfaces. They say automated irrigation systems can be a significant source of the problem. So residents who use them should use the latest technology and systems that include soil moisture sensors, which can greatly reduce water use…1000 Friends has called for more funding for greenways and wildlife corridors, more affordable housing, as well as incentives and increased funding to help landowners conserve farmlands and other working landscapes.” Read Florida’s water demand for development could double by 2070

    Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Jennz Buzzacco-Foerster, Mitch Perry, and Jim Rosica report for Florida Politics – “State agencies charged with protecting Florida’s environment explained their budget requests for the next fiscal year in a public hearing Nov. 10. Lawmakers will use these proposals when finalizing the budget during the 2017 legislative session…[T]he Department of Environmental Protection asked for $1.4 billion, down slightly from last year’s request. That includes $204 for Everglades restoration, $50 million for springs, $52 million for state parks and $25.5 million for land acquisition…[T]he Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services highlighted…$15 million for nutrient reduction and water retention projects for the Lake Okeechobee watershed…” Read Sunburn for 11.15.16- Trump effect impacts Florida’s budget; Rick Scott addresses Gov. colleagues; Jack Latvala vs. Mike Evans; Jeff Atwater’s $$$ lawsuit

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “Florida’s two largest utilities, Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy Florida, have said it is time to change the net metering laws as utilities have done in other states, and they have already begun asking Florida’s PSC to address it. The changes include imposing a monthly service charge on people with solar systems or reducing the net metering rate to reflect the industry’s claim that solar users [are] subsidize[d by] other ratepayers…Southern Alliance for Clean Energy…has not decided whether to continue to pursue a constitutional amendment promoted by the solar industry’s political committee, Floridians for Solar Choice, which would have allowed homeowners to lease their solar system to companies that could sell the solar energy that is produced to neighboring properties. ‘Because costs have come down, we have not decided if that is still a top priority but it is still an option,’ she said.” Read As rooftop solar costs drop, utility attempts to raise barriers may not work

    Anastasia Dawson reports for The Tampa Bay Times – “The rally was part of a nation-wide “day of action”” against the controversial North Dakota natural gas pipeline currently under construction. For many, though, the controversy surrounding the North Dakota project was a chance to shine light on a similar effort closer to home.” Read Tampa protestors speak out against pipelines in Florida, North Dakota

    Oliver Milman writes for The Guardian – “The absence of climate change as a leading topic in the election was a failure of the media- and it’s now their responsibility to get Americans talking about it. Imagine the world was facing upheaval on a scale not seen during modern civilization, a change that would imperil the world’s great cities by the rising seas and snuff out species at the fastest rate since the dinosaurs disappeared. Then imagine you were a journalist, had repeated chances to ask the next president of the United States about this and decided to not do so…The public were periodically warned that the seas are eating away America’s east coast and that no it’s not just you, it really is warm this year, but climate change was treated as a side issue rather than being central to every economic, energy and foreign policy question the country is grappling with.” Read Why the media must make climate change a vital issue for President Trump

    Rebecca Leber and Ben Adler write for Grist – “Trump certainly can’t dismantle climate action and the clean energy economy as quickly as he’s promised (day one), and in some cases, he won’t be able to do it at all. But here’s what’s on his hit list, along with an analysis of what he can and can’t do.” Read Here’s What’s on Donald Trump’s Climate Change Hit List

     

     

     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 17, 6:30 pm – Attend a Solar Co-op Information Session at 862 S. Orlando Ave. in Winter Park. Homeowners in Orange County and bordering counties are invited to hear how solar can work in their homes, how to pay for solar, and the benefits of solar co-op membership. For more information and/or to sign up for the co-op, click here. The deadline to join the Orange County Solar Co-op is November 30, 2016.

    November 19, 11:00 am – Attend North Florida Land Trust’s Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival at Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station in Jacksonville. There will be a great lineup of “Brewgrass” music outside on the marsh and an array of food trucks and local brews. You can also sign up for a guided kayak tour or guided hike around the island. Click here to purchase tickets.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

    December 14, 12:45 pm – Come learn about irrigation improvements for homeowners in The Villages. The meeting will take place in the Belvedere Library. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

     

     

     

     

    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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 14, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, November 14th, 2016 @ 1:50pm

  • FCC News Brief 

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

    November 14, 2016

     
     
     
     
    Phuong Le reports for the Associated Press – “A lawsuit filed by young climate activists who contend the U.S. government is failing to protect them from the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions can move forward, a federal judge…ruled Thursday. U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken…denied motions by the federal government and trade groups representing big energy companies to dismiss the lawsuit. They had argued that lawmakers and federal agencies, not the court, should determine climate change policy. The plaintiffs…allege the federal government has known for decades that carbon pollution causes climate change but has failed to curb greenhouse gas emissions. They argue that the federal government’s actions violate their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, and the government has violated its obligation to hold certain natural resources in trust for future generations…After U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin (first) denied…motions to dismiss, the government and trade groups filed objections. The case then went before Aiken, who on Thursday adopted coffin’s recommendations and findings, allowing the case to proceed…The plaintiffs are seeking a court order that requires the government to create a plan to dramatically slash greenhouse gas emissions…” Read Judge: Youth Climate Change Lawsuit Against Feds Can Proceed

    Dinah Voyles Pulver reports for the Daytona Beach News Journal
    – “A months-long investigation into...John Miklos- who was working for the city of DeBary while it tried to make a land deal with the regional water management agency where he is board chairman- is expected to be heard by the Florida Commission on Ethics in December…[L]ocal officials and environmental advocates have been concerned that Miklos may seek a record fourth one-year term as chairman of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s governing board…Most chairmen have served two consecutive one-year terms…[For the] second time in eight months the Corps…issued a cease and desist on a project where Bio-Tech is the environmental consultant….Jeffrey Collins, a Corps permit reviewer, said Miklos’ ‘standard business practice is to ignore (the rules) and make other people force them to comply.’… ‘He does what he thinks politics allow him to do…The agencies are so overwhelmed…’ The lack of environmental enforcement by the state has left a lot of responsibility for enforcement to the Corps, Collins said… ‘Sometimes they win by attrition just because there’s a limit to what people can do at this end,’ he said…State records show the firm also has incurred violations of the state’s gopher tortoise rules…Former board chairman Pat Harden…[has] called for…prohibiting water district board members from representing clients within that district while they’re serving on the board…” Read Ethics case against St. Johns water board chair Miklos to be heard in December 

    Allison Marshak writes for The St. Augustine Record
    – “Just around the corner from Nocatee we are blessed with the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve…Protected since 1985, the GTMNERR provides habitat for ‘at least 44 mammal, 358 bird, 41 reptile, 21 amphibian, 303 fish and 580 plant species…48 of which are protected animals and eight are protected plants...’…[J]ust around the corner from Nocatee is the unique and beautiful “Outpost,” an exquisite tract of conservation land that directly abuts the GTMNERR. The Outpost’s surrounding waters have been designated “Outstanding Florida Waters,” which means they are ‘worthy of special protection,’ according to the DEP…Unfortunately,…Gate Petroleum is suing St. Johns County to rezone the land and is in contract with Dream Finders Homes who will then build 77 huge homes for a development called Vista Tranquilla…[T]his precious habitat will be lost for generations to come. Forever…Left in its natural state, this conservation land will not only benefit countless animals, birds, and plants but also continue to help clean our air, improve our water quality and prevent flooding…Please do whatever you can to stop Gate Petroleum from destroying the Outpost. Please join SaveGuanaNow.org and donate what you can – time, money, an item for a future fundraiser- any help is valued! Time is of the essence.” Read Paradise lost, just around the corner

    Kimberly Miller reports for the Palm Beach Post
    – “The last remaining intact piece of the northern Everglades in Palm Beach County will…remain open to the public, despite a contract battle over an invasive fern that may mean the eviction of the federal government from the property…Water management district attorney Brian Accardo said the district is waiting for the fish and wildlife service to present a plan of action on how it will attack the lygodium problem…Olson (project leader for the refuge), said he’s never been asked for a plan and questions…if the lygodium standoff isn’t a maneuver to end federal involvement in the refuge. The refuge is at the heart of a years-old lawsuit that requires the state to ensure clean water is flowing into that land…[T]o protect refuge ecosystems, the land…can only store limited amounts of Lake Okeechobee water and acts as a barrier to sending lake water south. The district is under great pressure to find ways to send lake water to…Everglades Park and Florida Bay, instead of…fragile…estuaries….The refuge has maintained about 45,700 tree islands…In [another] water catchment [area] without federal management, the tree islands have dwindled to three from 40 in one area… ‘Without Fish and Wildlife…the state no longer has to comply with meeting the 7 parts per billion target,’ [an Everglades policy associate for Audubon Florida] said.” Read Water managers ready to keep wildlife refuge open even if feds evicted

    Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times
    – “48 fledgling black skimmers died in September after two Pinellas County cities dumped sewage into Boca Ciega Bay, according to Elizabeth Forys, an Eckerd College professor studying the birds. Official laboratory tests on the cause of those deaths are still under way, but one of the birds was confirmed to have died of salmonella, she said….Lab tests on water samples taken by Forys found levels of bacteria 100 to 1,000 times above normal…‘The type of bacteria found was very unusual…,’ Forys said. ‘This is a highly pathogenic bacteria that has caused death in birds and mammals (including humans) and is largely antibiotic resistant.’ A University of South Florida researcher found a different strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in waters along St. Petersburg’s shoreline after the city dumped millions of gallons of sewage into Tampa Bay…Black skimmers are currently classified as a species of special concern in Florida, but state officials are leaning toward raising that level of protection to threatened…” Read Bird deaths, bacteria may have resulted from sewage spills into Boca Ciega Bay 

    Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board writes
    - “Sponsored by the Everglades Foundation, the “Road to Restoration” tour…was intended to rally support for a plan to buy land and build a massive new reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee…[A] governing board member of the South Florida Water Management District, the public agency responsible for taking the lead in Everglades Restoration…dismissed the idea of building a new reservoir south of the lake as ineffective, too expensive and ‘agenda-driven.’ It’s easy to find flaws in a proposal that is so ambitious when it still has blanks to fill in…[L]eaders would be more responsible to try to make it work. The alternative…[is] environmental crises like this year’s…There’s insufficient storage for runoff south of the lake, so the corps flushes the water east…and west…where it wreaks ecological havoc…Congress passed a…law in 2000 that included authorization for the southern reservoir. The project has stalled amid funding shortages and opposition from the sugar industry…Sugar, a $2 billion industry, would take a hit. But recreational fishing is worth more than $9 billion. Coastal real estate, and tourism, are worth far more…The Everglades Foundation says a northern reservoir would only reduce discharges by 6 percent, while a southern reservoir would reduce discharges by almost half…This [year LATF dollars] will exceed $700 million…There are enough dollars to finance the state’s half of the reservoir, keep up with a $50-million-a-year commitment to springs, and complete other projects – if lawmakers don’t divert the money.” Read End stench and sludge. Save the Everglades: #NowOrNeverglades 

    Science Daily reports
    – “Global changes in temperature due to human-induced climate change have already impacted every aspect of life on Earth from genes to entire ecosystems, with increasingly unpredictable consequences for humans—according to a new study published in the journal Science.” Read Climate change already dramatically disrupting all elements of nature 

    Lance Shearer writes for News Press
    – “The Everglades is teeming with wildlife…It could be grouped by warm-blooded mammals such as the panther, otter, black bear, versus the cold-blooded reptiles and amphibians…Alligators belong in the Everglades, more than we do. Ditto the bobcat, the raccoon, the gar, the ibis and the heron…” Read An Everglades bestiary: Native and exotic populations of the ‘Glades

     
     
     
     
     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 15, 3:00 pm Attend The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expeditions: Movie and Lecture in Ocala. Carlton Ward, Jr. will describe the first Florida Wildlife Corridor trek. Then The Forgotten Coast will be aired. Afterwards, there will be closing commentary and time for Q&A with the executive directors of The Conservation Trust and the Florida Wildlife Corridor. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 17, 6:30 pm – Attend a Solar Co-op Information Session at 862 S. Orlando Ave. in Winter Park. Homeowners in Orange County and bordering counties are invited to hear how solar can work in their homes, how to pay for solar, and the benefits of solar co-op membership. For more information and/or to sign up for the co-op, click here. The deadline to join the Orange County Solar Co-op is November 30, 2016.

    November 19, 11:00 am – Attend North Florida Land Trust’s Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival at Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station in Jacksonville. There will be a great lineup of “Brewgrass” music outside on the marsh and an array of food trucks and local brews. You can also sign up for a guided kayak tour or guided hike around the island. Click here to purchase tickets.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 11, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, November 11th, 2016 @ 11:51am

  • FCC News Brief 

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

    November 11, 2016

     
     
     
     
     
    Monivette Cordeiro writes for Orlando Weekly – “In (Orange County’s) District 5, environmental advocate Emily Bonilla beat incumbent Commissioner Ted Edwards after a bitter fight regarding conflicts over the rural character of east Orange County. Edwards spearheaded votes on two developments east of the Econlockhatchee River that would put about 4,000 homes in an ecologically sensitive area. Bonilla, founder of the environmental group East of the Econ, protested Edwards’ decision along with hundreds of east Orange County residents. Bonilla won with 57 percent of the vote…Orange County voters also chose to approve…a controversial amendment that adds additional requirements for citizens trying to put initiatives on the ballot, making it harder for ordinary residents to make their voice heard.” Read Orange County voters elect two new commissioners, approve charter amendments 

    Wayne Washington reports for my Palm Beach Post
    – “The South Florida Water Management District has designated a 581-acre piece of Palm Beach County’s Agricultural Reserve as “surplus” and available for sale, increasing fears of more development in a farming zone that some believe is being gobbled up by builders…Because the land is still jointly owned by the district and the county, a majority of the seven-member county commission would have to approve the sale. At least two commissioners…oppose the sale, arguing that Ag Reserve land purchased with public funds should remain in public ownership… ‘When voters approved the bond referendum, the promise was that the land would be preserved forever,’ Interlandi (senior attorney for the Everglades Law Center) said…The district used money from the U.S. Department of the Interior to purchase its stake in the land. Plans at that time called for…a reservoir that would be part of…Everglades restoration…But the district has identified a site in Martin County as more suitable and now wants to recoup the money spent on the Pero farms tract. ‘We need the money to buy land for other projects,’ Antonacci told district board members. ‘…There is a large sum of dead money that’s on your books that should be put to the purpose of Everglades restoration.’…[T]he district is working on a conservation easement that would restrict the land’s use to agriculture.” Read 581-acre piece of Ag Reserve, bought with public money, could be sold 

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm
    – “The South Florida Water Management District board…approved a nearly $62.5 million project to…[expand] the Caulkins water farm…The 11-year contract with Caulkins Citrus Co. calls for the water farm to remove about 26 billion gallons of water a year from the C-44 Canal, keeping the water and contaminants it carries from polluting the river…Mary Perry, executive director of the Florida Oceanographic Society…told board members Caulkins… ‘…will do a lot of good for the St. Lucie River estuary.’…Money to build the project’s reservoir…comes from $48 million the Florida Legislature earmarked last spring to improve water quality in the northern Everglades and its estuaries, including the St. Lucie River. Continued annual funding will depend on continued allocations by the Legislature. Water district board members have made it clear they won’t spend money from local property taxes on water farms.” Read South Florida Water District board OKs Caulkins water farm extension 

    Julia Lurie reports for Mother Jones
    – “Donald Trump…has vowed to open up federal lands to mining and fracking and to pull back on environmental regulations. He even proposed scrapping the Environmental Protection Agency altogether. (Trump’s transition website now says that he plans to ‘refocus the EPA.’)..We reached out to author and activist Bill McKibben, who co-founded the environmental advocacy group 350.org, to ask about what all this means for the fate of the planet…Bill McKibben:…We were already way behind in this fight (against climate change). And the chances of even beginning to catch up with physics required accelerating right now instead of lurching to a halt. It’s not that all progress will stop overnight- renewable energy is cheap now, and there’s a lot of momentum behind it, but not enough…It’s going to be a field day for the fossil fuel industry, who will have their people everywhere [in the administration]…My guess is that liberating the fossil fuel industry to frack anywhere they want will drive down the rate at which we’re converting to sun and wind…We’re going to see the attempt to install a lot of fossil fuel infrastructure that will then be with us for the next 40 or 50 years. They’ve already dusted off plans for the Keystone pipeline…I don’t see a big opportunity at the federal level for policy fights…There’s plenty of room for working at the state and local level…that’s what happened during the Bush administration. The difference is that it’s eight years later and we’re much farther down the global warming path…[Climate change] obviously isn’t the reason people were voting one way or another, but it may certainly turn out to be the longest lasting incidental damage…The idea that China and India will just abandon climate action is not true, because they’re doing it for more reasons than we are. Delhi is locked in a complete choking smog at the moment…” Read Donald Trump is a Disaster for the Earth on Every Single Level

    Robin Bravender reports for CilmateWire
    – “Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics (Myron Ebell) to lead his U.S. EPA transition team…Ebell…is known for his prolific writings that question what he calls climate change ‘alarmism.’ He appears frequently in the media and before Congress. He’s also chairman of the Cooler Heads Coalition, a group of nonprofits that ‘question global warming alarmism and oppose energy-rationing policies.’…Ebell has called the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan…illegal and said that Obama joining the Paris climate treaty ‘is clearly an unconstitutional usurpation of the Senate’s authority…Leading the Trump DOE team: GOP hired gun McKenna…His lobbying clients in 2016 include Koch Companies Public Sector LLC, Southern Company Services, Dow Chemical Co. and Competitive Power Ventures Inc…” Read Trump Picks Top Climate Skeptic to Lead EPA Transition

    Brad Plumer writes for Vox
    – “The…pressing question…is whether Trump and the GOP Congress will pass a bill that will prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from ever regulating carbon dioxide again. If they did that, they wouldn’t just kill the Clean Power Plan – they would prevent any future presidents from tackling climate change the way Obama did.” Read Donald Trump wants to dismantle Obama’s climate rules. So who’s going to stop him? 

    Chad Gillis reports for the News Press
    – “Much of the infrastructure needed to send more water south is in place; but the state can’t send water to the national park, and eventually, Florida Bay until there is some remedy…from the Endangered Species Act- which basically says the state can’t discharge water to the park between February and August because it could detrimentally impact the endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow…For decades the goal has been to reconnect…lost flows to help hydrate the national park, where alligators have died in recent years from a lack of water. During that time, the Cape Sable seaside sparrow moved from its original home…to more interior areas of the park, areas it didn’t occupy historically. But the bird is there now, and sending more water to the park during high rain events would violate federal law because it would likely wipe out what’s left of the sparrow’s breeding population, which nests about 6 inches off the ground…Moving water from Lake Okeechobee to the national park requires a network of water treatment and conveyance features. If any of those features gets backed up, it’s impossible to send more water because the system is already at capacity… ‘As we…get into the dry season we enter that time when the Caloosahatchee needs water…to maintain salinity levels throughout the estuary,’ said Terrie Bates, the district’s water resources director.” Read State: federal species protections adding to water woes

    Gimleteye writes for Eye on Miami – “President-elect Trump has both political space and reason to make a bipartisan cause- saving Florida’s waterways and Everglades restoration- a signature issue…What does President-elect Trump owe Big Sugar? Not very much, and the political capital he could gain with both Democrats and Republicans who supported him along Florida’s populous, GOP strongholds is real.” Read President-elect Trump: Let’s get to work protecting Florida’s water quality, its rivers, bays and Everglades

     
     
     
     
     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 12, 8:00 am – Participate in Rethink Energy Florida’s 5K Energy Run/Walk 2016. The race will be followed by an after party and awards at Township by Madison Social. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12, 8:30 am – Join Tom Morris and Dave Wilson for the Florida Springs Institute November Outing to the Alapaha Dead River. On this outing, we will hike through a lovely hardwood forest and explore some of the most breathtaking geology in Florida. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12-13, 9:00 am – Attend Ocali Country Days at the Silver River Museum in Ocala. Visitors will experience the Florida of yesteryear with Living History exhibits highlighting life during the 1800s. There will be bluegrass, blues & old time music; tram tours of the State Park; Hands-on Activities for kids; Old Time Puppet Shows; Folk Craft Demos & Vendors; great food, funnel cakes, and kettle corn; a Civil War Cannon Firing Demo; and more.

    November 15, 3:00 pm Attend The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expeditions: Movie and Lecture in Ocala. Carlton Ward, Jr. will describe the first Florida Wildlife Corridor trek. Then The Forgotten Coast will be aired. Afterwards, there will be closing commentary and time for Q&A with the executive directors of The Conservation Trust and the Florida Wildlife Corridor. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 17, 6:30 pm – Attend a Solar Co-op Information Session at 862 S. Orlando Ave. in Winter Park. Homeowners in Orange County and bordering counties are invited to hear how solar can work in their homes, how to pay for solar, and the benefits of solar co-op membership. For more information and/or to sign up for the co-op, click here. The deadline to join the Orange County Solar Co-op is November 30, 2016.

    November 19, 11:00 am – Attend North Florida Land Trust’s Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival at Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station in Jacksonville. There will be a great lineup of “Brewgrass” music outside on the marsh and an array of food trucks and local brews. You can also sign up for a guided kayak tour or guided hike around the island. Click here to purchase tickets.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 9, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 @ 2:39pm

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

    November 9, 2016


     

     

    John Vidal and Oliver Milman report for The Guardian – “Just days after the historic Paris agreement officially came into force, climate denier Donald Trump’s victory has thrown the global deal into uncertainty and raised fears that the US will reverse the ambitious environmental course charted under Barack Obama…Trump has called climate change a ‘hoax,’ placing him virtually alone among world leaders on the validity of the science. The real estate magnate has promised to embark upon a four-year process of withdrawing the US from the Paris deal and has targeted the billions and billion and billions’ given to UN climate programs and clean energy development. Domestically, Trump has promised to reboot America’s ailing coal industry, as well as expand gas and oil drilling…He also plans to scrap Barack Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan, which is the main policy designed to lower US emissions. Recent analysis by Lux Research estimated that a Trump presidency would raise US greenhouse gas output by 16% by the end of his second term, should he get one, compared to a Hillary Clinton administration. Such a shift could prove key in not only pushing the world towards dangerous climate change but also dissuading other nations from making the required cuts in emissions…Segolene Royale, the French environment minister who helped negotiate the Paris accord told journalists in Marrakech that the US could not withdraw from the treaty easily. ‘The Paris agreement prohibits any exit for a period of three years, plus a year-long notice period, so there will be four stable years,’ she said. ‘We must be extremely attentive and responsive to each time there is an attempt made to weaken this agreement,’ she said…Zou Ji, deputy director general at China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, said: ‘China’s climate strategy and policy is in accordance with China’s national interest, and is not dependent on the US presidency.’” Read Paris climate deal thrown into uncertainty by US election result

    The Trust for Public Land shares – “Voters across the nation approved local and state ballot measures providing more than $6 billion for land conservation, parks, and restoration…Many of the ballot measures called for tax increases or bonds… - Donald Trump…won the state of Florida and overwhelmingly carried Lee County and Brevard County. On the same ballot, Lee County voters gave 84-16% approval and Brevard County voters 62-38% approval for measures to provide funding for land conservation and restoration. In Alachua County, Florida, voters picked Hillary Clinton…and also approved by 60-40% a ½-cent sales tax for parks and protecting environmentally sensitive land.” Read Voters Approve Billions for Local Parks and Natural Areas

    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Regional water managers are in negotiations to swap a yet-to-be-disclosed amount of conservation land within the Herky Huffman/Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area with a local rancher to improve flood control and water quality in the St. Johns River. But those who hunt, boat and view wildlife there were having none of it… Swapping unique habitat and hunting grounds ‘for swampland’ to turn into pasture for cattle would be ‘sacrilegious,’ Rosenfield (a longtime member of the Florida Trail Association) [said.]…Appraisals are underway…and are expected back by Dec. 12. The earliest the deal would go before the district’s governing board is at their regular meeting Jan. 10 or Feb. 14…The Bull Creek Wildlife Area is stomping grounds for several endangered or threatened species, including the Florida panther, the red-cockaded woodpecker, the gopher tortoise and the Eastern indigo snake…The land provides flood protection in storms, as well as hunting, fishing, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, camping, canoeing and wildlife viewing.” Read Nature lovers weigh in on idea of Bull Creek land swap

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “Florida voters rejected Amendment 1…, the utility-backed measure to limit rooftop solar expansion…[U]tilities are likely to turn next to the Florida Legislature, or the Public Service Commission, to push through proposals that weaken the state’s net metering laws that allow homeowners to be reimbursed for the excess energy their solar panels generate, and end tax rebates to solar customers.” Read Florida voters say no to misleading solar amendment

    Bruce Ritchie reports – “In the Senate district around Gainesville, Republican state Rep. Keith Perry won against former state Sen. Rod Smith…The national League of Conservation Voters targeted Perry for defeat in the race, labeling him one of its national “dirty dozen” at the state level. In response, Perry’s campaign pointed out that Florida Conservation Voters previously gave Smith low marks for his environmental record when he served in the Senate…[S]tate Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez defeated Republican Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla..The Sierra Club and Bullsugar.org endorsed Rodriguez, who was one of only two representatives to vote against a water bill, SB 552…Rubio easily defeated U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who had the backing of groups including the Sierra Club, Environment Florida and the Everglades Trust…And former republican Gov. Charlie Crist…defeated Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly…Crist, who touted action on climate change while as governor…was endorsed by the Sierra Club and Environment Florida…Environmental groups and FloridaStrong also targeted Rep. Dana Young for defeat because of her support for the fracking regulation bill and water bill. She easily defeated lawyer Bob Buesing, who was endorsed by environmental groups…Rep. Matt Caldwell…easily fended off Democrat challenger John W. Scott, a local Sierra Club activist…Caldwell was targeted by the Sierra Club, the Everglades Trust and Bullsugar.org…” Read Some wins, some losses for enviro-backed candidates in legislative races

    Ryan Ray reports for The News Service of Florida – “Despite some changes to reassure the business community, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection continued to hear objections…to a pollution-notification rule…Within 24 hours after the initial public notification, according to the revised language released Friday, the responsible parties would have another day to release specifics of the pollution’s likely effects. The revisions also specify exactly how the news media would have to be notified… ‘This is, I think, an undue burden on these companies…We feel like notifying DEP and letting DEP notify the local governments would be the best course of action,’ said Tisha Keller of the Florida Trucking Association. David Childs, representing the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Water Environment Association Utility Council, stressed that the department should notify the public, as it has ‘toxicologists, biologists and communications staff, as well as the bully pulpit of the executive branch of state government,’…Despite the ongoing concerns, the department has indicated it will continue according to its plan to begin finalizing the rule immediately after 5 p.m. Wednesday, when a public comment period formally ends.” Read Pollution notification plan continues to draw objections

    Rick Stafford writes for The Conversation – “For many years, many commercially important fish have been unsustainably caught, and today many of the world’s commercial fisheries are on the verge of collapse…Several studies foresee that the majority of the ocean will be occupied by little more than a combination of jellyfish and plastic waste…Since most commercially caught fish are predators, fishing and shark finning are resulting in a rapidly decreasing number of predators in the marine ecosystem. Our research success that this removal of predators is likely to lead to an increase in ocean ecosystems’ CO2 production, and ultimately that fishing and shark finning are contributing to climate change.” Read How overfishing and shark-finning could increase the pace of climate change

    TC Palm Editorial Board writes – “The Florida Department of Environmental Protection…takes samples for testing only if blue-green algae is observed in the water…Here’s the rub: While the blue-green algae may be gone, their toxins may still be present…[T]esting should be a routine occurrence- regardless of the visible presence of blue-green algae…[R]esidents who play, win and fish in our waters deserve a measure of confidence that toxins are not present at unsafe levels.” Read State agency should conduct routine testing of Treasure Coast waterways



     

     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 12, 8:00 am – Participate in Rethink Energy Florida’s 5K Energy Run/Walk 2016. The race will be followed by an after party and awards at Township by Madison Social. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12, 8:30 am – Join Tom Morris and Dave Wilson for the Florida Springs Institute November Outing to the Alapaha Dead River. On this outing, we will hike through a lovely hardwood forest and explore some of the most breathtaking geology in Florida. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12-13, 9:00 am – Attend Ocali Country Days at the Silver River Museum in Ocala. Visitors will experience the Florida of yesteryear with Living History exhibits highlighting life during the 1800s. There will be bluegrass, blues & old time music; tram tours of the State Park; Hands-on Activities for kids; Old Time Puppet Shows; Folk Craft Demos & Vendors; great food, funnel cakes, and kettle corn; a Civil War Cannon Firing Demo; and more.

    November 15, 3:00 pm Attend The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expeditions: Movie and Lecture in Ocala. Carlton Ward, Jr. will describe the first Florida Wildlife Corridor trek. Then The Forgotten Coast will be aired. Afterwards, there will be closing commentary and time for Q&A with the executive directors of The Conservation Trust and the Florida Wildlife Corridor. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 19, 11:00 am – Attend North Florida Land Trust’s Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival at Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station in Jacksonville. There will be a great lineup of “Brewgrass” music outside on the marsh and an array of food trucks and local brews. You can also sign up for a guided kayak tour or guided hike around the island. Click here to purchase tickets.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

     

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 8, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 @ 10:41am

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

     
    November 8, 2016

     
     
     
     
    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “The Sierra Club…endorsed…John Scott, a local Sierra Club leader…(Environmental) groups have not endorsed candidates in many legislative races despite controversies in recent years over spending on land conservation and legislation involving water and…fracking. Veteran environmental lawyer Clay Henderson…said environmental issues, such as Amendment 1 of 2014…should have been big in this election cycle but it hasn’t happened that way…Few Florida environmental groups issue endorsements because they are designated as 501(c)(3) charities under the federal income tax code, which limits their political participation. Sierra Club and Florida Conservation Voters are 401(c)(4) groups, a tax code designation that allows endorsements…[Florida Conservation Voters] has endorsed candidates in only seven of the 100 or so House and Senate races while promising more endorsements are on the way…Likewise, the Sierra Club has endorsed in 10 House races and four Senate races. The group is reviewing questionnaires sent to candidates and expects to make more endorsements, state political chair Cecilia Height said…Two other C-4 groups, the Everglades Trust and Bullsugar.org, are endorsing for the first time largely on the single issue of whether candidates support Everglades restoration by constructing a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.” Read Environmental group endorsements trickle out as Election Day nears 

    Dan Chapman reports for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    – “The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster threatened to spread oil from Texas to Florida and kill every shrimp, snapper and oyster in the Gulf of Mexico. Oystermen in Florida freaked out and, joined by fishermen from as far away as Texas, scraped every possible oyster- legal-sized or not- from the bottom of Apalachicola Bay…Ralph Lancaster Jr…will ultimately decide who is to blame for the (oyster) industry’s collapse…Florida says a lack of freshwater coming down the Apalachicola River from Georgia is to blame for the bay’s poor health. Georgia counters that over-fishing and lax management of oystering rules caused the damage.” Read Florida and Georgia to blame for oyster loss

    Matt Kasper writes for Energyandpolicy.org
    – “Consumers for Smart Solar had rolled out new television advertisements featuring…a firefighter telling viewers that Florida firefighters support Amendment 1. Eric Glasser of 10 News WTSP…reached out to several fire departments in the area and they all said they take no position…FPF’s (Florida Professional Firefighters’), endorsement of Amendment 1 may trace its roots to the consultants and lobbyists it has hired for its political operations…Screven Watson, a registered lobbyist for FPF is on the board of Consumers for Smart Solar and has been a primary spokesperson in the press for…Amedment 1. The latest Florida Division of Elections data show that [Consumers for Smart Solar] has paid Watson $103,163 since August of 2015 for ‘communications consulting’ and travel.” Read Updated: Florida Professional Firefighters Reverse Endorsement of Amendment 1

    Wayne Washington reports for Palm Beach Post
    – “The environmental group 1000 Friends of Florida won a ruling Monday freeing it from having to pay tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys fees stemming from one of its challenges to a massive development project along both sides of Seminole Pratt Whitney Road…The group said having to pay attorneys fees would have been a huge blow to its finances and deter other organizations from filing legal claims on behalf of the public… ‘If you grant attorneys fees, developers run Florida,’ [Barnhart, an attorney for 1000 Friends of Florida] said…1000 Friends of Florida lost the first round in its argument that having arterial roads cut through The Acreage is inconsistent with the county’s comprehensive plan. The group is appealing that ruling.” Read 1000 Friends gets potentially crippling ruling in Minto case reversed

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida
    – “Group members (of Bullsugar.org) have criticized politicians who have received donations from the sugar industry. But the group would not provide a list of its donors when requested by POLITICO Florida. ‘Why don’t you ask the environmentalists about (funding for) Bullsugar and Captains for Clean Water?’ U.S. Sugar Corp. spokeswoman Judy Sanchez responded earlier this month when asked whether the sugar industry was funding another group called Stand Up for North Florida…Sierra Club representatives say Stand Up for North Florida is a front for the sugar industry, but Sanchez and other industry representatives denied knowledge of that group. At least Bullsugar.org- and Captains for Clean Water-identify their board members on their websites, unlike Stand Up for North Florida…[A Bullsugar co-founder,] Chris Maroney…denied that the Everglades Foundation or Everglades Trust are supporting Bullsugar and said Paul Tudor Jones II, a billionaire hedge fund manager who is on the board of the Everglades Foundation, had not contributed…[Another cofounder of Bullsugar.com] said that “seed money”…had come from he and the other co-founders. He said the group is ‘lean,’ operates with few expenses and is moving towards being a membership-supported organization.” Read Targets of Bullsugar.org’s criticism wonder where group gets its funding

    Steve Patterson reports for The Florida Times Union
    – “[T]he Suwannee River Water Management District…and the St. Johns River Water Management District will spend the next few months analyzing how water use in Jacksonville and its suburbs will add to the demand put on levels of the Floridan Aquifer in places like Bradford, Union and Alachua counties. Their main question is how that will affect plans and wildlife around the Santa Fe River…Early forecasts suggested that by 2030, Jacksonville-area demand could suck down aquifer levels anywhere from one to three feet near the Santa Fe’s upper reaches…That forecast is on top of the demand that will come from people actually living in those areas, who use water for farming and mining as well as in their homes and shops… ‘The problem in Florida is we don’t do a very good job with conservation,’ [Brinkman, chairman of the Sierra Club’s Gainesville-area group] said. ‘Floridians use more per capita than most of the nation. There’s really no good reason for that.’ If people learned to conserve water better, he said, ‘we could get to the point where Jacksonville could increase its population and still use less water than it does now.’” Read Will Jacksonville’s water woes spread across North Florida?

    The Cultural Landscape Foundation writes
    – “[T]he North Miami Beach City Council once again took up the matter of rezoning a 4.2-acre parcel immediately south of Greynolds Park for the purpose of development…[T]he…park is a…ecological resource, whose estuarine mangrove forest and tropical hardwood hammock provide a habitat for a range of species, including the American Crocodile, Manatee, Florida Softshell Turtle, and wide variety of bird species, making the park one of the few well-protected wildlife areas in northern Miami-Dade County.” Read Greynolds Park Faces New Threat 

    Justin Worland reports for TIME
    – “Both candidates (in Florida’s 26th congressional district) say they care about global warming…Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo and his Democratic opponent Joe Garcia…have split environmental groups and highlighted a strategic divide on climate change politics: whether it makes more sense to back Democrats exclusively, or try to build support across the aisle…Unlike most of his Republican colleagues, Curbelo accepts the science behind man-made global warming and was one of ten Republican representatives who voted in support of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan when his party held a symbolic vote to show its disapproval last year…The first-term representative co-founded a bipartisan congressional caucus calling for climate solutions and sponsored legislation aimed at identifying workable legislation to halt global warming…Curbelo’s opponents acknowledge that the…Republican is a standout among his own party on climate change, but they argue environmentalists who support him are judging on a curve. Curbelo has a 23% voting record with the League of Conservation Voters…due to votes like his support of a bill to classify coal ash as non-toxic and support for lifting a ban on U.S. crude oil exports…Joe Garcia earned a 79% LCV voting record…EDF Action endorsed Curbelo…[T]he Sierra Club has [endorsed Garcia.]” Read Why Environmental Groups are Split on this Florida Congressional Race

     
     
     
     
     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events


    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 9, 12:45 pm – Attend a Water Supply Sustainability presentation given by Jim Gross, Executive Director of Florida Defenders of the Environment. Greetings will be offered by Thomas Hawkins, Esq., Policy and Planning Director, 1000 Friends of Florida. The presentation will be at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). To RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com

    November 12, 8:00 am – Participate in Rethink Energy Florida’s 5K Energy Run/Walk 2016. The race will be followed by an after party and awards at Township by Madison Social. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12, 8:30 am – Join Tom Morris and Dave Wilson for the Florida Springs Institute November Outing to the Alapaha Dead River. On this outing, we will hike through a lovely hardwood forest and explore some of the most breathtaking geology in Florida. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12-13, 9:00 am – Attend Ocali Country Days at the Silver River Museum in Ocala. Visitors will experience the Florida of yesteryear with Living History exhibits highlighting life during the 1800s. There will be bluegrass, blues & old time music; tram tours of the State Park; Hands-on Activities for kids; Old Time Puppet Shows; Folk Craft Demos & Vendors; great food, funnel cakes, and kettle corn; a Civil War Cannon Firing Demo; and more.

    November 15, 3:00 pm Attend The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expeditions: Movie and Lecture in Ocala. Carlton Ward, Jr. will describe the first Florida Wildlife Corridor trek. Then The Forgotten Coast will be aired. Afterwards, there will be closing commentary and time for Q&A with the executive directors of The Conservation Trust and the Florida Wildlife Corridor. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 19, 11:00 am – Attend North Florida Land Trust’s Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival at Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station in Jacksonville. There will be a great lineup of “Brewgrass” music outside on the marsh and an array of food trucks and local brews. You can also sign up for a guided kayak tour or guided hike around the island. Click here to purchase tickets.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 7, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, November 7th, 2016 @ 10:59am

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

    November 7, 2016

     
     
     
     

    Marisa Carrozzo writes for the News Press – “[A]ll six municipalities in Lee county unanimously passed resolutions supporting a “yes” vote on the 20/20 referendum…By preserving and restoring wetlands and buffers to waterways, 20/20 can provide natural filtration of pollutants and flood protection for surrounding areas…There are many outstanding conservation opportunities and needs in Lee county, such as acquisition of the 4,000 acre Edison Farms. The Edison Farms property is located at the headwaters for three tributaries to Estero Bay…and encompasses key wetlands and habitat for the Florida Panther…[A]n economist from the University of Miami concluded that every 2.6 acres of conservation land in Lee county was linked to a  full-time job through tourist spending…Lee County is still ranked very low comparative to other Florida counties in total acres of conservation land…Lee County is home to some of the fastest growing areas in the entire country…Help send a strong message to “Keep Conserving Lee” by voting “Yes” on Conservation 20/20 on Nov. 8 and spreading the word about this important referendum. Remember to look for the Conservation 20/20 question at the end of your ballot!” Read Vote “yes” for Conservation 20/20 referendum

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “The last-minute attempt by solar advocates to invalidate a utility-backed amendment on the November ballot was rejected by the Florida Supreme Court on Friday…[T]he court voted 6-1 to reject the lawsuits…Justice Barbara Pariente dissented…Florida law requires that the Supreme Court review all ballot initiatives to determine whether the language is…not misleading. Three of the four justices who voted for the ballot language…are on the ballot for a merit retention vote.” Read Florida Supreme Court rejects lawsuit over solar amendment

    Ben Adler writes for Grist
    – “It’s not even Election Day and some Floridians are already regretting their votes. That’s because Florida has early voting and many of its citizens are only now discovering that a ballot initiative disguised to look like a pro-solar energy amendment…is actually a utility industry effort to quash rooftop solar. And it may succeed…[A]ccording to a recent study by the Brookings Institution, it’s…solar users who are subsidizing everyone else. That’s because distributed power can reduce the cost of grid construction and maintenance by eliminating the need for grid expansion. And clean energy has other benefits that are universally shared, like the health improvements associated with burning less coal…In May, California’s electrical system operator canceled 13 planned transmission expansion projects. They are no longer necessary because rapid rooftop solar expansion…has decreased demand for energy from the grid. ‘Ratepayers saved $192 million and that’s whether they have rooftop solar or not,’ notes Albert Gore III, who is in charge of Florida policy efforts at SolarCity…[B]uilding new projects is how [utilities] make a profit. Their monopoly protection by state governments gives them a guaranteed rate of return on each investment… ‘This is being viewed as a blueprint for how to combat solar around the country,’ says Gore. ‘If the utilities can just by this thing, it will be coming to every state soon. That’s why we need to stop this now.’” Read Will Florida’s voters be fooled into passing an anti-solar amendment?

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald
    – “Proponents of Amendment 1 lost a crucial supporter Friday as the union representing the state’s professional firefighters withdrew their endorsement of the utility-backed amendment and demanded that the political committee pull its television ads featuring firefighters.” Read Firefighters withdraw their endorsement of Amendment 1

    Dan Chapman reports for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    – “Ralph Lancaster Jr., appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve the latest water war legal battle, resurrected talk of a compact three times this week during trial…States across the country that share rivers employ congressionally sanctioned compacts to govern the flow of water between upstream and downstream users…In 1991, Georgia and Alabama, later joined by Florida, got the ball rolling on an Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Compact. Deadlines for deals were repeatedly missed. Extensions were readily granted…The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers controls the Chattahoochee River with five reservoirs and dams…[T]he corps, Georgia and hydroelectric companies cut a deal that gave metro Atlanta a whole lot more water from Lanier. Alabama and Florida cried foul and accused Georgia of secret deals that violated ‘the spirit of the (compact) negotiations.’ Alabama and Florida sued the corps. The compact died…[C]ongress- not the judicial branch or any special master- under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution regulates interstate water flows. In addition, no final deal can be reached without the corps. Other federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Fish and Wildlife Service, are intricately involved in water war issues, too. And Alabama, which is not a party to this lawsuit, could take up legal action in the future. Compact or not, the water wars aren’t likely to end any time soon.” Read Revived ‘compact’ could be court’s answer to Georgia-Florida water war

    Andrew Caplan reports for The Gainesville Sun
    – “The woman who called Gov. Rick Scott ‘an embarrassment’ at a Gainesville Starbucks has another bone to pick with the governor – and this time she has back up. Cara Jennings, a community activist, plans to spend her weekend with about 100 others camping out in Branford, near the Santa Fe River, to protest the Sabal Trail pipeline…Cindy Noel and Mike Roth…are allowing the faction to camp out on their property until Monday. Noel and Roth’s plans for the group include civil disobedience and blockade training, informing others how to report violations and build strategies for protecting water…Protesters already have arrived from across Florida and as far away as the state of Washington…Roth said his biggest concern is the aquifer and saving the lives of tortoises, which he said are being steamrolled by machinery.” Read Protestors gather to try and block Sabal Trail pipeline project

    The Wisconsin Gazette reports– “Florida Power & Light wants to add two new nuclear units, making Turkey Point one of the largest nuclear power facilities in the country…[W]ith the release of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s environmental impact statement…the National Parks Conservation Association is challenging the project… ‘You couldn’t pick a worse location to put a nuclear power plant than between two national parks and an area already vulnerable to storm surge and sea level rise…FPL would be allowed to draw fresh water from under Biscayne National Park, at the same time that we are trying to reestablish an increased amount of fresh water to the park through Everglades Restoration. The Turkey Point cooling canals are already contaminating Biscayne Bay and the Biscayne Aquifer. Adding two new reactors could exacerbate existing water quality problems. The wastewater injected underground from the new reactors could potentially pollute South Florida’s underground water supply. FPL’s mitigation plan to address the loss of wetlands due to the expansion is also inadequate…” Read National parks group: Nuclear plant expansion threatens Everglades 

    Shannon Blankinship writes for EU Jacksonville
    – “Our creeks, especially in our urban neighborhoods, continue to be depositories for everything that can be carried by wind or water from yards, driveways, and roads. Rising Tides (the young professionals group of St. Johns Riverkeeper) along with partners, friends, and volunteers have been conducting monthly cleanups on McCoys Creek for almost 4 years…[G]roup leaders…are now looking to ‘repurpose’ some of the waste…Mixon Studios, a fun new artist space along McCoys Creek, has generously donated a “makerspace” to the Rising Tides to collect, clean and retain unique items pulled from the monthly cleanups…[W]e are inviting artists and craftsmen to come check out the materials- and use them for yourself!...Rising Tides plans to showcase some of the most unique creative projects in the sculpture garden at Mixon Studio next year during a “repurposed” outdoor event. We know that cleanups alone won’t restore the health of our waterways. Often, they only provide a Band-Aid for a bleeding wound that temporarily solves the problem. However, everything that we pull from the creek during a cleanup prevents those items from reaching the river and ocean, becoming a choking hazard for marine life, releasing toxic chemicals or breaking down into smaller microplastics that harm aquatic animals and entire food chains.” Read On the River: Making Use of River Waste

     

     


     

     
     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 9, 12:45 pm – Attend a Water Supply Sustainability presentation given by Jim Gross, Executive Director of Florida Defenders of the Environment. Greetings will be offered by Thomas Hawkins, Esq., Policy and Planning Director, 1000 Friends of Florida. The presentation will be at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). To RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com

    November 12, 8:00 am – Participate in Rethink Energy Florida’s 5K Energy Run/Walk 2016. The race will be followed by an after party and awards at Township by Madison Social. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12, 8:30 am – Join Tom Morris and Dave Wilson for the Florida Springs Institute November Outing to the Alapaha Dead River. On this outing, we will hike through a lovely hardwood forest and explore some of the most breathtaking geology in Florida. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12-13, 9:00 am – Attend Ocali Country Days at the Silver River Museum in Ocala. Visitors will experience the Florida of yesteryear with Living History exhibits highlighting life during the 1800s. There will be bluegrass, blues & old time music; tram tours of the State Park; Hands-on Activities for kids; Old Time Puppet Shows; Folk Craft Demos & Vendors; great food, funnel cakes, and kettle corn; a Civil War Cannon Firing Demo; and more.

    November 19, 11:00 am – Attend North Florida Land Trust’s Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival at Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station in Jacksonville. There will be a great lineup of “Brewgrass” music outside on the marsh and an array of food trucks and local brews. You can also sign up for a guided kayak tour or guided hike around the island. Click here to purchase tickets.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 5, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Saturday, November 5th, 2016 @ 11:38am

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

    November 5, 2016

     
     
     
     

    Marilyn Meyer reports for The Ledger – “The Sierra Club of Florida, state Sen. Darren Soto…and community activist Luella Phillips hosted a news conference…to raise several issues and call for these actions: - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should conduct a study considering all the impacts fertilizer processing and gypsum stacks have on the aquifer and drinking water… - The Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection should place a moratorium on issuing new mining permits until after the study is completed. – The Department of Environmental Protection should start door-to-door canvassing to inform residents…potentially impacted by contaminated well water about what happened and of their rights to have their water regularly tested and to have free bottled water delivered…Although the Sierra Club and other environmentalists asked that fertilizer plants and gypsum stacks be included in [an] earlier impact study on phosphate mining, Corps of Engineer officials declined to do that, saying they were not related…Mosaic issued a statement saying, ‘Those who want to shut down the phosphate industry are doing a disservice to the local community by suggesting the drinking water supply is anything but safe. With more than two months of water quality data available…we have seen no offsite impacts…’…Phillips said mosaic has been slow to deliver enough water to meet the needs of her eight-member household, saying that the issue is not only drinking water but also bathing water. In the period after the sinkhole appeared and before she learned about it, her boyfriend’s 8-year-old daughter called her to the bathtub because the water was orangish-colored with brown particles in it. ‘I don’t know if she drank radiated water; she took a bath in that contaminated water,’ she said…Phillips…thinks the (water quality) tests do not show results for specific contaminants that should be included, such as sodium sulfate, fluorine and uranium…When she and Sierra Club members went door-to-door…most knew about the sinkhole but did not know they could have their wells tested and could request bottled water…” Read In wake of sinkhole, Sierra Club wants US study, survey of residents

    Joshua Gillin writes for Politifact
    – “Organizers for [Amendment 1]…have told voters their proposal would safeguard consumers- especially seniors…We wanted to know how the amendment would keep seniors from being targeted. When we shined a light on the measure, we found Amendment 1 doesn’t provide any new protections, for seniors or anyone else…All the wording says is that current consumer protections can remain in place…The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services didn’t give any examples when we asked them how solar customers may currently be protected. The attorney general’s office said consumers with specific problems can file a complaint with them under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act…You may have noticed the amendment does not spell out special protection for seniors…Florida’s two largest utilities, Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy have said they want to see Florida’s net metering law changed to impose new fees on customer-owned solar users…We rate the statement False.” Read Amendment 1 promises to protect seniors, but measure offers no new regulations

    James Call reports for the Tallahassee Democrat
    – “Environmentalists and the Tea Party protested the proposed solar amendment on the November ballot. They say it is deceptive…Catherine Baer…said the Tea Party would never support a subsidy for anyone, ever. ‘As conservatives, the Tea Party believes in free markets. We don’t support anything that puts subsidies into anyone’s hands,’ said Baer. ‘We are definitely opposed to Amendment 1.’…Earlier this week, former Sen. Bob Graham denounced the proposal. Graham said Nevada had recently passed the kinds of laws that he said Amendment 1 encourages and saw a 92 percent decline in solar installations.” Read Amendment 1 opponents rally at courthouse

    Amy Green reports for WMFE
    – “New water restrictions take effect this weekend in central Florida…, coinciding with the beginning of Florida’s dry season. Residents with odd-numbered addresses may water their lawns on Saturdays. Those living at even-numbered addresses may water on Sundays…The restrictions apply throughout the St. Johns River Water Management District area and remain in effect through the first Sunday of March.” Read New Water Restrictions as Florida’s Dry Season Begins

    Debra Segal writes for The Gainesville Sun
    – “Kudos to Lake City, Columbia County, the Suwannee River Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and other governmental entities for funding and constructing the Lake City treatment wetlands…For about 30 years, Lake City Utilities disposed of the city’s treated wastewater by spraying effluent…onto planted pine trees. The trees and other vegetation absorbed some of the nutrient-enriched wastewater, but much of the water evaporated and the remaining nitrogen percolated through the soil into the Floridan Aquifer. Lake City’s wastewater sprayfield is located within the Ichetucknee Springs springshed…Lake City’s newly constructed treatment wetlands…are designed to remove about 85 percent of the total nitrogen from the city’s wastewater effluent…delivering cleaner water to the Floridan Aquifer and…to Ichetucknee Springs. Treatment wetlands are designed to provide a long water residence time…which…also facilitates removal of trace metals and organic compounds…[T]reatment wetlands operate…at a fraction of the cost of conventional treatment facilities…Last year, Gainesville Regional Utilities completed the Sweetwater Wetlands Park…Students…are learning about the natural biological processes that are at the heart of constructed treatment wetlands. Ecotourists…are investing in Gainesville’s economy as they converge at the…Wetlands to observe and photograph the wildlife…And the residents of…surrounding counties have been gifted a new environmental park…[N]ow is the time for other regional utilities to take note.” Read Innovative wetlands protect springs

    The News Service of Florida reports
    – “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given an environmental approval to a  potential Florida Power & Light project to build two nuclear reactors at the utility’s Turkey Point complex…[T]he Nuclear Regulatory Commission said its staff ‘has concluded there are no environmental impacts to preclude issuing combined licenses to build and operate two reactors next to the existing Turkey Point nuclear power plant…’[T]he U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use the information in considering a permit for the project.” Read FPL gets environmental approval for 2 more reactors at Turkey Point

    Erik Eikenberg writes for the TC Palm – “The untreated water gives rise to regular outbreaks of…algae that has suffocated sea grass and killed game fish, wildlife and even domestic pets that consumed it. Tests…showed levels of microcystin toxins in the algae that were 100 to 1,000 times higher than allowable…In humans, microcystin can cause nusea and vomiting if ingested…Ingesting water that contains these toxins can also cause long-term liver disease…Small wonder, then, that with the reappearance of the…algae this summer…vacations were canceled, hotel and motel rooms went vacant, and restaurants suddenly became empty…Gov. Rick Scott was compelled to declare a state of emergency – twice…Instead of nourishing the southern peninsula during the dry season and balancing the salinity of Florida Bay, this water now is being squandered all at an enormous environmental cost. Without the billions of gallons of freshwater that now are being poured into the sea, South Florida faces enormous challenges during the dry months: water-use restrictions, and, eventually, the possible loss of the water supply for 8 million people…[T]he cost of the EAA Reservoir must be measured against the costs of not going forward…” Read We can’t afford not to build Everglades ag area reservoir

    Keith Bradsher reports for The New York Times
    – “Many companies have not even figured out yet how much greenhouse gas they emit, much less made plans to curb these emissions. Rapid technological advances in areas like electric cars are not enough to stop the world’s long climb in oil consumption, let alone reverse it. The financial framework, namely a carbon price or tax that would force industries to pay for the pollution they spew, has barely started to emerge. And while tens of billions of dollars of green bonds have been issued to finance environmental projects, these are a pittance compared to the sums required to make a difference. ‘It’s not a question of billions, it’s a question of trillions,’ said Angel Gurria, the secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development…The Paris Agreement…was never imagined as the silver bullet for global warming. Rather, the goal…was to stave off the most devastating effects of climate change by limiting the increase in global temperatures to two degrees Celsius, and to just 1.5 degrees…if possible…If every country fully accomplishes its initial pledges, the increase would be closer to 2.7 degrees, according to Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency…(In the next several years, countries are supposed to set additional goals for deeper reductions.). Nor have all the countries actually ratified the Paris Agreement...Fledgling exchanges for trading carbon emissions rights have attracted limited interest. And the prices on those markets are well below the $100 a ton or more that experts say would force companies to limit their emissions…” Read The Paris Agreement on Climate Change is Official. Now What?

     

     
     
     
     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 5, 11:00 am – Attend Clean Energy Fest in Pensacola. This event celebrates a clean energy future through art, food, live music, and renewable energy demonstrations. There will also be children’s activities with hands-on lessons in conservation and clean energy. For more information, click here.

    November 5, 2:00 pm – Attend the Art and Science of Springs Conservation featuring springs ecologist, Dr. Robert Knight, and springs photographer, Jennifer Adler, at the Alachua County Public Library - Downtown, Meeting Room A. This event is free to the public. For more information, click here.

    November 9, 12:45 pm – Attend a Water Supply Sustainability presentation given by Jim Gross, Executive Director of Florida Defenders of the Environment. Greetings will be offered by Thomas Hawkins, Esq., Policy and Planning Director, 1000 Friends of Florida. The presentation will be at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). To RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com

    November 12, 8:00 am – Participate in Rethink Energy Florida’s 5K Energy Run/Walk 2016. The race will be followed by an after party and awards at Township by Madison Social. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12, 8:30 am – Join Tom Morris and Dave Wilson for the Florida Springs Institute November Outing to the Alapaha Dead River. On this outing, we will hike through a lovely hardwood forest and explore some of the most breathtaking geology in Florida. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12-13, 9:00 am – Attend Ocali Country Days at the Silver River Museum in Ocala. Visitors will experience the Florida of yesteryear with Living History exhibits highlighting life during the 1800s. There will be bluegrass, blues & old time music; tram tours of the State Park; Hands-on Activities for kids; Old Time Puppet Shows; Folk Craft Demos & Vendors; great food, funnel cakes, and kettle corn; a Civil War Cannon Firing Demo; and more.

    November 19, 11:00 am – Attend North Florida Land Trust’s Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival at Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station in Jacksonville. There will be a great lineup of “Brewgrass” music outside on the marsh and an array of food trucks and local brews. You can also sign up for a guided kayak tour or guided hike around the island. Click here to purchase tickets.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 4, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, November 4th, 2016 @ 10:23am

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

     

    November 4, 2016

     
     
     
     
    My News 13 reports – “A group of solar advocates has filed a lawsuit with the Florida Supreme Court, demanding that Amendment 1…be removed from the Nov. 8 ballot. Florida Solar Energy Industries Association and Floridians for Solar Choice are asking the court to revisit its decision to allow Amendment 1. In allowing the amendment on the ballot…the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the ballot title and summary made clear the amendment’s true purpose…However, the speech by an official with the James Madison Institute said Consumers for Smart Solar partnered with HMI to create an amendment ‘designed to stymy the growth of solar power in Florida,’ and benefit utility companies…[T]he plaintiffs…want to make sure any votes already cast for Amendment 1 are not counted.” Read Solar advocates’ lawsuit: Remove Amendment 1 from ballot

    Dan Chapman reports for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – “[Georgia and Florida], along with Alabama, attempted nearly 30 years ago to create a lasting, congressionally approved “compact” to ensure steady flows of water from Georgia into the Sunshine State. The compact fell apart in 2003 amid finger-pointing and claims of bad faith…[A] history of litigation and acrimony ensued… ‘A collaborative resolution between the states would be welcome,’ said Kevin Jeselnik, an attorney with the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper… ‘We hold out hope that the eventual solution is not court-ordered, but a compromise between the states that advances water-saving measures across the basin.’ He cautioned, though, that interstate compacts are largely the purview of the legislative, not judicial, branch of government.” Read Georgia, Florida, Alabama to jointly control the Chattahoochee, Flint?

    Chuck Ballaro reports for the North Fort Myers Neighbor
    – “Republicans for John Scott, a small grass roots movement formed ‘to save Southwest Florida waterways,’ has formed to support Democratic candidate John Scott in the upcoming election for State House District 79…Rachel Singletary, owner of Pine Forest Fruit & Flower Farm in North Fort Myers, is among those crossing lines to support Scott. She said she has seen the deterioration of the Caloosahatchee River and the estuary and listened to the politicians’ claims and finger pointing… ‘Nobody has done anything to help the problems. Matt Caldwell has been in office six years. I am aware of his voting record and we need to elect someone who will at least try to get something done about the water,’ Singletary said…She said this is…a group of people who are saying that political affiliation is meaningless, just vote for who will try to get things done at the local and state level…John Scott is our candidate… ‘…because of his history in the Sierra Club and the clean water movement.’…Those who oppose Caldwell say he has sold out his constituency by taking money from PACs and what they say are special interests, including Big Sugar…Caldwell has a key ally in Ernie Barnett, the former executive director of the Southwest Florida Water Management District and current executive director of the Florida Land Council.” Read Southwest Florida water issues cross the aisle

    Chad Gillis reports for News Press – “Fracking ruins drinking water supplies and increases the amount of methane in the atmosphere, said Anthony Ingraffea, with Cornell University’s civil and environmental engineering department. ‘As usual, a few folks will get rich, everybody else will get negatively impacted, and the state will get left holding the environmental bag, and finally, we will have killed the Everglades,’ Ingraffea said. There’s still time to fend off controversial oil extraction methods, he said, but Floridians need to unite and get better educated about the dangers of forcing hundreds of chemicals beneath drinking water aquifers…Actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays the alter ego of the Incredible Hulk in the Avengers movies, sent a video message for the summit. ‘When this industry comes into a state, first they buy off the state legislators and then they buy off local legislators and the next thing you know people have no voice in what their destiny is going to be,’ Ruffalo said…Houston Cypress, a member of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, came from the Miami area to learn more about fracking and its impacts to the environment.” Read Fracking and Florida don’t mix

    FWC shares – “Manatee numbers are up and these…aquatic mammals are on the move this month. The annual migration of Florida manatees begins in November, as the weather cools…Watch out for manatees swimming in Florida’s rivers, bays or coastal waters. Keep in mind this time of year manatees are searching for warmer waters to help them survive winter’s cold…[T]he Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reminds people in boats and personal watercraft to slow down to avoid manatees, particularly in shallow areas…Adult manatees…can be difficult to see, especially when just below the water’s surface. Manatees are easier to spot if boaters wear polarized sunglasses and keep a lookout for signs…such as the circular “footprints” [manatees] trace on the top of the water….[T]here have been 91 manatee fatalities caused by boat strikes so far in 2016.” Read Watch out for migrating manatees

    Roger Real Drouin reports for Yale’s Environment 360
    – “Saltwater, flowing into this swampy, freshwater-dependent ecosystem (in the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve on the Big Bend coast of northwestern Florida) as a result of rising sea levels, is turning…stands of hardwoods into “ghost forests” of dead and dying trees. ‘The loss of these islands changes the landscape from a mosaic to one dominated by a single habitat- salt marsh,’ said Kaplan (University of Florida watershed ecologist), noting the change means reduced habitat for some species of wading and migratory birds, as well as for turtles and snakes. A similar transformation is occurring in coastal floodplains across the southeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States…Before bottomland hardwood forests disappear, the subtle signs of saltwater intrusion take place in the soil. Plant growth halts, trees and plants produce fewer seeds, and the seeds that do drop to the ground have a harder time germinating…Kaplan believes that strategic land preservation could help slow the loss of imperiled coastal areas, allowing some wetland forests to migrate inland as sea levels rise…” Read Ghost Forests: How Rising Seas are Killing southern U.S. Woodlands

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida
    – “Actor Jack Black tried twice to reach Gov. Rick Scott by telephone to talk about climate change and sea level rise without success….[A]n episode of “Years of Living Dangerously”…on the National Geographic cable television channel…focuses on the threat of climate change in Miami and describes the local efforts there to battle the resulting sea level rise and the Scott administration’s inaction…The show uses celebrities and journalists to explore climate change issues. The season premiere…featured actress Cecily Strong describing efforts in Florida to thwart rooftop solar installation through Amendment 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot.” Read Actor Jack Black leaves messages for Rick Scott in TV show on climate change in Florida 

    Kevin Wadlow reports for Florida Keys News
    – “A congressional bill that seeks to ban shark-feeding shows in federal waters, including the Florida Keys, sharply divides many in the diving community. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson…added the feeding-ban language to Senate Bill 3099, the Access for Sportfishing Act of 2016….The bill specifies that using chum or bait to attract sharks for harvest would not be prohibited… ‘We promote care and concern for all these animals,’ Slate (of Capt. Slate’s Underwater Adventures) said… ‘Divers can get up close and personal so they know they don’t have to kill a shark or barracuda. That’s all I’m after. People never forget the experience.’…The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission banned fish-feeding shows in state water in 2002, citing concern that oceanic predators could come to associate people with feeding…The S. 3099 bill originally was introduced to limit national parks from imposing fishing rules on waters inside state jurisdiction. A planned marine reserve inside Biscayne National Park spurred introduction of the bill, which has yet to receive passage.” Read Bill would ban federal-water shark feeding

     
     
     
     
     
     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 2-4 – Attend Florida’s inaugural class to train WERS verifiers in Maitland. The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) is a new tool in the field of residential assessment for water conservation. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 4, 6:30 pm – Attend the Annual Save Our Springs Fundraiser at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, benefitting the Florida Springs Institute. Enjoy live entertainment, food and drinks, and a silent auction all while supporting springs science and conservation. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

    November 5, 11:00 am – Attend Clean Energy Fest in Pensacola. This event celebrates a clean energy future through art, food, live music, and renewable energy demonstrations. There will also be children’s activities with hands-on lessons in conservation and clean energy. For more information, click here.

    November 5, 2:00 pm – Attend the Art and Science of Springs Conservation featuring springs ecologist, Dr. Robert Knight, and springs photographer, Jennifer Adler, at the Alachua County Public Library - Downtown, Meeting Room A. This event is free to the public. For more information, click here.

    November 9, 12:45 pm – Attend a Water Supply Sustainability presentation given by Jim Gross, Executive Director of Florida Defenders of the Environment. Greetings will be offered by Thomas Hawkins, Esq., Policy and Planning Director, 1000 Friends of Florida. The presentation will be at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). To RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com

    November 12, 8:00 am – Participate in Rethink Energy Florida’s 5K Energy Run/Walk 2016. The race will be followed by an after party and awards at Township by Madison Social. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12, 8:30 am – Join Tom Morris and Dave Wilson for the Florida Springs Institute November Outing to the Alapaha Dead River. On this outing, we will hike through a lovely hardwood forest and explore some of the most breathtaking geology in Florida. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12-13, 9:00 am – Attend Ocali Country Days at the Silver River Museum in Ocala. Visitors will experience the Florida of yesteryear with Living History exhibits highlighting life during the 1800s. There will be bluegrass, blues & old time music; tram tours of the State Park; Hands-on Activities for kids; Old Time Puppet Shows; Folk Craft Demos & Vendors; great food, funnel cakes, and kettle corn; a Civil War Cannon Firing Demo; and more.

    November 19, 11:00 am – Attend North Florida Land Trust’s Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival at Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station in Jacksonville. There will be a great lineup of “Brewgrass” music outside on the marsh and an array of food trucks and local brews. You can also sign up for a guided kayak tour or guided hike around the island. Click here to purchase tickets.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 3, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 @ 9:34am

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

     

    November 3, 2016

     
     
     
     
    James Call reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham…called on environmentalists to work harder to defeat Amendment 1…Graham speculates adoption would plant a wrong idea in the heads of regulators and lawmakers that the use of solar energy costs nonsolar users money. That notion will not only frustrate the growth of the solar industry, said Graham, but it is simply untrue… ‘In virtually every study the result is not no, but hell no. The installation of solar saves the customers money because it prevents the need to build additional generation capacity (power plants).’… ‘I think it is amazing with $26 million being spent on their (Amendment 1) campaign that is where [polling] is today,’ said Graham. He added that as people learn more about the proposal, the less likely they are to support it… ‘I think there will be more advertising (for Amendment 1) done over the next week and those who are for solar need to redouble their opposition to an amendment that would frustrate solar.’” Read Bob Graham calls for defeat of solar amendment 
     
    Matt Galka reports for WJHG – “Some recent polling indicates that support for [Amendment 1] might be coming down…Opponents of Amendment 1 are planning a statewide rally Thursday in cities from Miami up to Tallahassee.” Read Utilities trying to get controversial Smart Solar Amendment 1 passed

    Dan Sweeney reports for the Sun Sentinel
    – “ ‘…[I]t’s an electric boat. The whole thing can run on electricity…You can see the light go off in their eyes. It really quantifies the potential for solar.’… ‘I’m suggesting you vote no on 1, but at least get both sides of the story because there’s a lot of misinformation out there.’ [Quillen] said. ‘This is really about more than just solar power, this is about our democracy- can our constitution be bought and paid for and bad ideas be put in there with just money and raw power?’…Consumers for Smart Solar has raised more than $26 million, most from utility companies, making this the most expensive Florida constitutional amendment campaign in history.” Read Solar-powered boat cruises against Amendment 1 

    Jessie R. Box reports for the Suwannee Democrat
    – “The White Springs Town Council passed a resolution urging the Florida legislature and cabinet to dedicate conservation funds for water conservation projects in environmentally sensitive areas in North and Central Florida and opposes efforts to purchase farm land south of Lake Okeechobee for water storage…” Read White Springs passes water conservation resolution

    Florida Taxwatch Economic Commentary writes for Florida Trend
    – “Walk into any office or home across the U.S. and one will likely find someone snacking on almonds, cashews, potato chips, celery, etc…[A]ll of these snack foods are brought to you, in part, by bees…[H]oney bees enable the production of more than 90 commercially grown crops here in the United States….[O]ver the past 60 years, the number of honey bee colonies in the United States has decreased…[T]he rate of decline has picked up over the past 10 years…[T]he honeybee contributes more than $15 billion towards the U.S. economy in the form of agriculture and crops…[T]he University of Florida is getting set to build a state of the art laboratory and research facility that will be dedicated to the study of bees. The facility, which has garnered funding through a partnership that includes the Florida Legislature, beekeeper groups, and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and agricultural Sciences…will work with students and local beekeepers to test theories and educate…on the latest beekeeping methods. The overall goal…is to study and create new beekeeping techniques in an effort to help increase the bee population…In 2015, the President’s budget recommended appropriating $50 million across various agencies within the United States Department of Agriculture.” Read Bees are crucial to Florida’s environment, agriculture and economy

    A.G. Gancarski reports for Florida Politics
    – “State Senate candidate Rod Smith got a key endorsement from former Florida governor and U.S. senator Bob Graham…in the competitive race in Senate District 8…. ‘I’m proud to support Rod Smith…He is the only candidate in this race who will fight to ban fracking in Florida, follow the will of the voters on land and water conservation, and making protecting the environment a top priority,’ Graham said.” Read Bob Graham backs Rod Smith in SD 8 race 

    Sydney Tate writes for the Sun Sentinel
    – “On Nov. 4, 2016, the U.N. Paris Agreement will enter into force. American leadership on this deal will show the global community our commitment to combating climate change and building a 21st century clean energy economy. With a presidential election four days after this landmark deal will become enforceable, our position of leadership will be put to the test. Donald Trump pledges to ‘cancel’ the Paris Agreement…Hillary Clinton’s plan will honor the agreement…Florida has the potential to determine the outcome of this election…Our military leaders agree that climate change is a serious threat that will weaken our economy, strain our military, create new conflicts zones, and have a big impact on our coastal communities….[T]he entire country’s safety will be compromised when the military is required to redirect missions and funds to help rescue and rebuild our state.” Read US needs to lead the way in combating climate change

    Reuters reports
    – “China…rejected a plan by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to back out of a global climate change pact, saying a wise political leader should make policy in line with global trends, a rare comment on a foreign election. The world is moving towards balancing environmental protection and economic growth, China’s top climate change negotiator told reporters…Xie’s comments come as China plans to launch a national carbon trading scheme in 2017…[P]ilot programs have already traded 120 million carbon allowances…” Read In rare move, China criticizes Trump plan to exit climate change pact

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 2-4 – Attend Florida’s inaugural class to train WERS verifiers in Maitland. The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) is a new tool in the field of residential assessment for water conservation. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 3, 11:30 am – Join with Floridians of every political stripe to tell voters to “Vote no on Amendment 1.” Meet at Schandler Park in Fort Myers (419 Royal Palm Park Road). For more information, contact Clifford Mitchem at (239) 218- 1354.

    November 3, 11:30 am – Join with Floridians of every political stripe to tell voters to “Vote no on Amendment 1.” Meet at the Supervisor of Elections of Alachua County in Gainesville (515 N Main St.). For more information, contact Barry Jacobson at (352) 281- 5946.

    November 3, 11:30 am – Join with Floridians of every political stripe to tell voters to “Vote no on Amendment 1.” Meet across the street from the Supervisor of Elections Office in Orlando (130 W. Kaley St.). For more information, contact Marty Sullivan at (407) 484- 0112 or Athena Montes at (407) 267- 4266.

    November 3, 11:30 am – Join with Floridians of every political stripe to tell voters to “Vote no on Amendment 1.” Meet at the Ernie Lee Magaha Government Building in Pensacola (221 Palafox Place). For more information, contact Mary Gutierrez at (850) 549- 7472.

    November 3, 11:30 am – Join with Floridians of every political stripe to tell voters to “Vote no on Amendment 1.” Meet at the corner of Ringling Blvd and U.S. 301 in Sarasota (101 S. Washington Boulevard (U.S. 301)). For more information, contact Bill Johnson at (941) 359- 3700.

    November 3, 11:30 am – Join with Floridians of every political stripe to tell voters to “Vote no on Amendment 1.” Meet at the corner of Ringling Blvd and U.S. 301 in Sarasota (101 S. Washington Boulevard (U.S. 301)). For more information, contact Bill Johnson at (941) 359- 3700.

    November 3, 11:30 am – Join with Floridians of every political stripe to tell voters to “Vote no on Amendment 1.” Meet at the front courtyard of the Leon County Courthouse in Tallahassee (301 S Monroe St.). For more information, contact Kim Ross at (850) 888- 2565 or Jonathon Webber at (954) 593- 4449.

    November 3, 11:30 am – Join with Floridians of every political stripe to tell voters to “Vote no on Amendment 1.” Meet at the Residential rooftop solar array in Titusville (612 Indian River Avenue). For more information, contact Phil Stasik at (321) 223- 9007.

    November 3, 3:00 pm – Join with Floridians of every political stripe to tell voters to “Vote no on Amendment 1.” Meet at the Hollywood Branch Library in Hollywood (2600 Hollywood Boulevard). For more information, contact Paul Farren at (954) 662- 2639.

    November 3, 3:00 pm – Join with Floridians of every political stripe to tell voters to “Vote no on Amendment 1.” Meet at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in Miami (111 NW 1st St). For more information, contact Raul Vergara at (786) 457- 5958 or Zelalem Adefris at (651) 785- 5098.

    November 3, 3:00 pm – Join with Floridians of every political stripe to tell voters to “Vote no on Amendment 1.” Meet at The Straz Center in Tampa (1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place). For more information, contact Kent Bailey at (813) 727- 1202.

    November 3, Time TBD – Join with Floridians of every political stripe to tell voters to “Vote no on Amendment 1.” Meet at the City Dock at Clematis Street in West Palm Beach (Across the street from 101 S. Flagler Dr.). For more information, contact Jennifer Rennicks at (754) 307- 7451.

    November 4, 6:30 pm – Attend the Annual Save Our Springs Fundraiser at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, benefitting the Florida Springs Institute. Enjoy live entertainment, food and drinks, and a silent auction all while supporting springs science and conservation. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

    November 5, 11:00 am – Attend Clean Energy Fest in Pensacola. This event celebrates a clean energy future through art, food, live music, and renewable energy demonstrations. There will also be children’s activities with hands-on lessons in conservation and clean energy. For more information, click here.

    November 5, 2:00 pm – Attend the Art and Science of Springs Conservation featuring springs ecologist, Dr. Robert Knight, and springs photographer, Jennifer Adler, at the Alachua County Public Library - Downtown, Meeting Room A. This event is free to the public. For more information, click here.

    November 9, 12:45 pm – Attend a Water Supply Sustainability presentation given by Jim Gross, Executive Director of Florida Defenders of the Environment. Greetings will be offered by Thomas Hawkins, Esq., Policy and Planning Director, 1000 Friends of Florida. The presentation will be at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). To RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com

    November 12, 8:00 am – Participate in Rethink Energy Florida’s 5K Energy Run/Walk 2016. The race will be followed by an after party and awards at Township by Madison Social. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12, 8:30 am – Join Tom Morris and Dave Wilson for the Florida Springs Institute November Outing to the Alapaha Dead River. On this outing, we will hike through a lovely hardwood forest and explore some of the most breathtaking geology in Florida. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12-13, 9:00 am – Attend Ocali Country Days at the Silver River Museum in Ocala. Visitors will experience the Florida of yesteryear with Living History exhibits highlighting life during the 1800s. There will be bluegrass, blues & old time music; tram tours of the State Park; Hands-on Activities for kids; Old Time Puppet Shows; Folk Craft Demos & Vendors; great food, funnel cakes, and kettle corn; a Civil War Cannon Firing Demo; and more.

    November 19, 11:00 am – Attend North Florida Land Trust’s Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival at Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station in Jacksonville. There will be a great lineup of “Brewgrass” music outside on the marsh and an array of food trucks and local brews. You can also sign up for a guided kayak tour or guided hike around the island. Click here to purchase tickets.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

    December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 2, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 @ 9:25am

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

     

    November 2, 2016

     
     
     
     
    Susannah Bryan, Emily Miller, and John Maines report for the Sun Sentinel – “Faced with ever-increasing traffic jams, South Florida’s public officials have come up with a plan: make it worse. Instead of fixing the problem, government officials are deliberately adding to it in hopes we’ll all walk, ride the bus or take the train…– Cities are approving high-density at a rapid pace, bringing thousands more vehicles into urban areas. – The state Legislature has fostered the problem by allowing cities to approve development without regard for the effect on traffic. – Some cities are deliberately reducing the number of lanes on major roads to make room for bike lanes and wider sidewalks, while cramming more cars into a smaller space…It’s a gamble. Will people ride bicycles or walk to work in South Florida’s heat, rain and lightning storms? Or ride buses that often run late and make for long, inconvenient rides?... ‘If it doesn’t work, we’re going to have some big white elephants on our hands- and even worse congestion.’ What South Florida planners want is to create bustling urban neighborhoods, with apartments, condos, offices, restaurants and shops… ‘…I don’t even want to get into what happens if there’s a disaster. People won’t be able to get out. We’re kind of building a monster[,’ said Castro, Chair of the Broward County Planning Council]…Cities must court high-density developments to avoid unpopular tax increases, said Hollywood Commissioner Dick Blattner, who chairs the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization and also serves on the Broward Planning Council…Wilton Manors resident Greg Zatorsky says he’s baffled by government planners who think they can force people out of their cars. ‘I think once all this is done, tons of businesses will go out of business and no one will come here because of the congestion,’ he said…Advocates say that losing lanes makes roads safer by forcing traffic to slow down…In Delray Beach, the narrowing of Federal Highway from six to four lanes through downtown has been a success, Mayor Cary Glickstein said. He pointed to a nearly 50 percent drop in accidents...and noted that, on average, cars now travel at the 35 mph speed limit.” Read South Florida’s plan for traffic: ‘We’re going to make them suffer’

    Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Everyone has heard about the pythons in the Everglades…But Frank Mazzotti…thinks that what everyone ought to be talking about is the tegu- and also the Nile monitor, the Oustalet’s chameleon and several other slithery species that have invaded Florida in recent years. Unlike the pythons, which are pretty well dug in, Mazzoti said, ‘we’ve got 140 species that aren’t established yet.’…[T]egus eat the eggs and the young of ground-nesting birds and gopher tortoises. State and federal officials should target those reptiles for removal now, before they get as entrenched as the pythons, said Mazzotti, a University of Florida wildlife ecology professor…[A]t this point, Mazzotti said, ‘there’s no money to do risk assessment and early detection.’ That’s too bad, Johnson (another UF wildlife ecology professor) said, because ‘by the time we know they’re here and established, it’s difficult if not impossible to get rid of them.’…Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson says introduction of alien species is second only to habitat destruction by development and agriculture as the leading cause of extinctions worldwide.” Read Fighting against Florida’s alien invaders

    Quinton White writes for The Florida Times Union – “We need to remember that virtually all the damage done (from Hurricane Matthew) was to structures that we have built. Hurricanes…have very positive impacts on the overall ecology of the world…The…water…flushes our rivers, replenishes our lakes, recharges our aquifer…[T]he drop in salinity caused by the…rain is an indicator to…river shrimp that it is time to migrate offshore to reproduce. Hurricanes are an important factor in maintaining heat balance in the world…Another beneficial impact has to do with sand movement…[S]and movement, again, is only a problem because we have built structures along the beach…Hurricanes…stir the ocean…This mixing of deep, nutrient-rich water replenishes the surface waters and encourages increased productivity at the surface…As [a] tree matures and eventually dies, the hurricane is a mechanism to push the tree over, allowing space for younger plants to grow and take their place in the sun. The older tree, now dead and decaying, will return nutrients to the soil to nourish new life.” Read River Life: Who knew? Hurricanes can be beneficial

    Shari Anker writes for the TC Palm – “Using…preserves for bridges and roads is not consistent with the purposes for which they were established in the first place. The city has been well aware of the decades-long outcry among regulatory agencies, environmental organizations and local residents over the Crosstown Parkway bridge extension…They city also understood that selecting the Crosstown Parkway bridge extension project would result in legal challenges because of [ecological] impacts. Selecting other routes without these significant impacts would have negated the need for such an expensive and extensive mitigation package, and the city would have its Crosstown bridge completed by now. The illogic is amplified upon examination of the ecological impacts of the newly opened Evans Creek kayak launch, which was part of the mitigation work. In order to compensate for the loss of preserve land, bulldozers plowed through large swaths of the Halpatiokee preserve, including 5 acres of the most highly imperiled native ecosystem of Florida scrub, to build a…road and parking lot surrounded by exotic grass. In an area designated to conserve flood plains and wetlands…, the road actually creates stormwater runoff problems…[T]he Conservation Alliance of St. Lucie County and the Indian Riverkeeper are challenging the federal funding of the Crosstown Parkway bridge extension project at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals….Diane Goldberg and the Audubon of St. Lucie County are challenging the South Florida Water Management District over proposed issuance of the Environmental Resource permit and easements.” Read We must demand eco-literacy from leaders

    The National Park Service shares – “Big Cypress National Preserve has been designated an International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) International Dark Sky Place. With the extent of urbanization in the eastern United States it is becoming nearly impossible to experience the night with little impact from artificial light pollution….Big Cypress National Preserve now becomes the 1st National Park Service Unit east of Colorado to earn this designation…The national preserve joins Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in Central Florida…” Read Big Cypress Recognized as International Dark Sky Place

    Jason Hickel writes for The Guardian – “[W]e’ve already blown our chances of keeping global warming below the ‘safe’ threshold of 1.5 degrees. If we want to stay below…2 degrees,…it’s going to take a monumental effort…[W]e need to start reducing emissions by a sobering 8%-10% per year, from now until we reach “net zero” in 2050…[E]fficiency improvements and clean energy technologies will only win us reductions of about 4% per year at most…Soil is the second biggest reservoir of carbon on the planet, next to the oceans...But human activity like deforestation and industrial farming…is ruining our soils at breakneck speed…[A] third of the world’s farmland has been destroyed in the past four decades. As our soils degrade, they are losing their ability to hold carbon, releasing enormous plumes of Co2 into the atmosphere…[W]e can regenerate degraded soils by switching from intensive industrial farming to more ecological methods- …organic fertilizer,…no-tillage, composting, and crop rotation…[A]s the soils recover, they not only regain their capacity to hold CO2, they begin to actively pull additional CO2 out of the atmosphere…A study published recently by the US National Academy of Sciences claims that regenerative farming can sequester 3% of our global carbon emissions. An article in Science suggests it could be up to 15%...The multinational corporations that run the industrial food system seem to be dead set against it…[R]egenerative farming doesn’t offer a permanent solution…[S]oils can only hold a finite amount of carbon…[W]e have to kick our obsession with endless exponential growth and downsize our material economy…” Read Our best shot at cooling the planet might be right under our feet

    Chris D’Angelo writes for the Huffington Post – “The White House-chaired Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience released…a report that paves the way for building a more climate-resilient nation. In addition, the Obama administration announced the launch of a collaborative effort to support communities in their resiliency planning, as well as a partnership among universities that have pledged to train the next generation of design and building professionals… ‘Protecting the economy requires protecting the climate,’ Holdren (President Obama’s chief science advisor) told HuffPost…Last month was the warmest September ever recorded, and 11 of the past 12 months have set new high-temperature records. NASA predicts that 2016 will go down as the hottest year ever on record.” Read Obama Administration Outlines Path for Climate Change Resiliency

    Anne Lindberg reports for Saint Peters Blog – “The Florida Sierra Club had endorsed Jennifer Webb in her campaign for the State House District 69 seat. We are confident Jennifer Webb will stand up against bit oil and gas interests and take environmental positions which are aligned with her local constituents’ best interests,’ Sierra Club spokesman Dave Harbeitner said… ‘I will fight to reverse the harmful effects of our current environmental policies. I will vote to ban fracking…I will work with local leaders to implement sustainable growth and advocate for statewide plans for mitigation and adaptation to sea level rise,’ she said.” Read Sierra Club endorses Jennifer Webb

     
      




     
     
     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 2, 5:30 pm – Participate in a Phonebanking Party in Tallahassee to educate citizens about the anti-solar Amendment 1. To RSVP, click here.

    November 2, 7:00 pm – Attend Space Coast Solar Co-Op Info Session in Cocoa to learn more about solar and how joining a co-op can make solar power more affordable. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 2 – Attend the Florida Fracking Summit in Fort Myers. For more information, click here.

    November 2-4 – Attend Florida’s inaugural class to train WERS verifiers in Maitland. The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) is a new tool in the field of residential assessment for water conservation. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 5, 11:00 am – Attend Clean Energy Fest in Pensacola. This event celebrates a clean energy future through art, food, live music, and renewable energy demonstrations. There will also be children’s activities with hands-on lessons in conservation and clean energy. For more information, click here.

    November 9, 12:45 pm – Attend a Water Supply Sustainability presentation given by Jim Gross, Executive Director of Florida Defenders of the Environment. Greetings will be offered by Thomas Hawkins, Esq., Policy and Planning Director, 1000 Friends of Florida. The presentation will be at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). To RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com

    November 12, 8:00 am – Participate in Rethink Energy Florida’s 5K Energy Run/Walk 2016. The race will be followed by an after party and awards at Township by Madison Social. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12-13, 9:00 am – Attend Ocali Country Days at the Silver River Museum in Ocala. Visitors will experience the Florida of yesteryear with Living History exhibits highlighting life during the 1800s. There will be bluegrass, blues & old time music; tram tours of the State Park; Hands-on Activities for kids; Old Time Puppet Shows; Folk Craft Demos & Vendors; great food, funnel cakes, and kettle corn; a Civil War Cannon Firing Demo; and more.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - November 1, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 @ 9:14am

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

     

    November 1, 2016

     
     
    Bill McKibben writes for The New York Times – “The shocking images of the National Guard destroying tepees and sweat lodges and arresting elders this week remind us that the battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline is part of the longest-running drama in American history- the United States Army versus Native Americans. In the past, it’s almost always ended horribly…[T]his time, it can end differently…The vast movement of people across the country who mobilized to block fossil-fuel projects like the Keystone pipeline and Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic need to gather once more…There are at least two grounds for demanding a full environmental review of this pipeline, instead of the fast-track approvals it has received so far. The first is the obvious environmental racism of the whole project. Originally, the pipeline was supposed to cross the Missouri just north of Bismark, until people pointed out that a leak there would threaten the drinking water supply for North Dakota’s second biggest city. The solution, in keeping with American history, was obvious: make the crossing instead just above the Standing Rock reservation, where the poverty rate is nearly three times the national average…The second is that this is precisely the kind of project that climate science tells us can no longer be tolerated…[T]he Obama administration promised that…there would be a climate test for new projects before they could be approved…Now, the company building the pipeline has pushed the local authorities to remove protestors from land where construction has already desecrated indigenous burial sites, with law enforcement agents using Tasers, batons, mace and “sound cannons.”” Read Why Dakota is the New Keystone

    Christian Wagley writes for the Pensacola News Journal – “Some of the biggest matchups of the college football season are upon us. But imagine if the best teams refused to play each other because they were afraid. That’s the situation with the anti-solar energy Amendment 1 on Florida’s election ballot, with Gulf Power Co. and Florida’s other investor-owned utilities afraid of a little healthy competition…[Amendment 1] enshrines a status quo in which only monopoly utilities can sell electricity. This deprives Floridians of one of our nation’s most valued institutions- the free market…Amendment 1 is the electoral equivalent of being too ashamed to look a fellow human in the eyes, while at the same time deceiving them in order to serve a narrow self-interest of corporate greed. These are not the values that we teach our children.” Read Amendment 1 against ‘free market’

    The Associated Press reports – “Wildlife officials say they’ve found the remains of a 6-month old male Florida panther along a road in southwest Florida…So far this year 35 Florida panthers have been found dead. The [FWC] says 27 deaths were road fatalities. Officials say only about 180 Florida panthers remain in the wild.” Read Young Florida panther found dead on southwest Florida road

    Mitch Perry reports for Saint Peters Blog – “[Gwen Graham has] been relentless…in pestering the Rick Scott administration and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection into making more information public about..the massive sinkhole that opened up…at a Mosaic phosphate processing plant…On growth management issues, she said she would bring back the Department of Community Affairs, abolished by Scott during his first year in office…Graham is strongly opposed to the utility-backed solar power initiative known as Amendment 1 on this year’s ballot…Graham said…if the opportunity ever comes around for money for high-speed rail from the feds that she would take it, and that she would take a ‘hard look’ at the Tampa Bay Express project if neighborhood groups remain virulently opposed to it.” Read Gwen Graham says she’s poised to run a 67-county strategy for Florida governor

    Joshua Sokol reports for Undark – “In recent years, residents from [North Miami] have applied for buyouts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to escape the repeated flooding, but those applications have yet to be funded…The city is already locked in for another 6 to 12 inches of sea level rise by 2030, according to Ben Kirtman, a climate scientist at the University of Miami. This can’t be avoided even if we lower carbon emissions, he said…The idea, to be written up in a ULI study with a planned November release date, is to pick a flooding-prone inland area of three east-to-west blocks of perhaps a hundred homes. The lowest central block would be converted into what Meyer dubs a ‘city slough,’ an artificial wetland that could hold onto water. Denser townhomes would be built on the two blocks to either side, allowing residents in the middle to swap their houses for uphill accommodations. That would prevent flooding, provide a park for people and a more natural ecosystem for wildlife, and help fresh water percolate into the ground where it could fend off the saltwater advancing on well fields underneath.” Read To Address Flooding in Miami, the Best Way Forward Might Be Back

    The Daily Commercial writes – “Alligators have lived in the swamps of North America for at least the last 14,000 years. But in the 1950s and ‘60s, the combination of habitat loss…and hunters seeking the armor-like hide for…conversion to shoes, purses and other items greatly reduced the population…In 1969 gators were added to the roster of protected animals under the federal Endangered Species Protection Act, the forerunner to the better known Endangered Species Act. Conservationists, environmentalists and scientists credit the Endangered Species Act with literally saving the gators’ hides. Alligators had rebounded so much that they were removed from the protected list just 20 years later.” Read The power of preservation

    Kathleen Ronayne reports for the Associated Press – “Stein’s platform centers on an ambitious “Green New Deal” that would push the U.S. toward using only renewable energy…by 2030. Stein’s called climate change a threat greater than World War II, and she’s seeking a wartime mobilization to tackle it. Stein pledges to create 20 million jobs, mainly in public transportation, sustainable agriculture and conservation.” Read For Stein, climate change and erasing student debt are high-priority

    Michael Buckner reports for KTHV – “National Geographic decided to release Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary Before the Flood on YouTube. The film focuses on Leo’s journey to understand climate change and what can be done…National Geographic has committed itself to inform the public on climate change… ‘At National Geographic, we believe in the power of storytelling to change the world and this unprecedented release across digital and streaming platforms is not only a first for our network but also in our industry,’ Monroe (CEO for National Geographic Global Networks) said…Facebook, Twitter, Playstation, Apple, and Hulu are just some of the platforms that will carry the film for free until November 6…[W]e’ve included the YouTube link below.” Read National Geographic releases Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate change documentary on YouTube

     
     
     
     
     
     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 1, 7:00 pm – Attend Space Coast Solar Co-Op Info Session in Satellite Beach to learn more about solar and how joining a co-op can make solar power more affordable. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 2, 5:30 pm – Participate in a Phonebanking Party in Tallahassee to educate citizens about the anti-solar Amendment 1. To RSVP, click here.

    November 2, 7:00 pm – Attend Space Coast Solar Co-Op Info Session in Cocoa to learn more about solar and how joining a co-op can make solar power more affordable. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 2 – Attend the Florida Fracking Summit in Fort Myers. For more information, click here.

    November 2-4 – Attend Florida’s inaugural class to train WERS verifiers in Maitland. The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) is a new tool in the field of residential assessment for water conservation. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 5, 11:00 am – Attend Clean Energy Fest in Pensacola. This event celebrates a clean energy future through art, food, live music, and renewable energy demonstrations. There will also be children’s activities with hands-on lessons in conservation and clean energy. For more information, click here.

    November 9, 12:45 pm – Attend a Water Supply Sustainability presentation given by Jim Gross, Executive Director of Florida Defenders of the Environment. Greetings will be offered by Thomas Hawkins, Esq., Policy and Planning Director, 1000 Friends of Florida. The presentation will be at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). To RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com

    November 12, 8:00 am – Participate in Rethink Energy Florida’s 5K Energy Run/Walk 2016. The race will be followed by an after party and awards at Township by Madison Social. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12-13, 9:00 am – Attend Ocali Country Days at the Silver River Museum in Ocala. Visitors will experience the Florida of yesteryear with Living History exhibits highlighting life during the 1800s. There will be bluegrass, blues & old time music; tram tours of the State Park; Hands-on Activities for kids; Old Time Puppet Shows; Folk Craft Demos & Vendors; great food, funnel cakes, and kettle corn; a Civil War Cannon Firing Demo; and more.

    December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

     

     

    Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick 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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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 - October 31, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, October 31st, 2016 @ 9:20am

  • FCC News Brief

    The best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds for Floridians

     

    October 31, 2016

     
     
    Sarah Gilliam writes for CleanEnergy.org – “Over the past few months, more than 185 organizations, local businesses, and elected officials have expressed opposition to [Amendment 1]. There have also been 31 newspaper editorials from around the state shining a light on this misleading, power grab from Florida’s big monopoly utilities…With early voting underway in several counties across Florida…now is the time to join the solar army and help push back against this $22 million deception campaign. They have millions of dollars…we have millions of people!” Read Amendment 1: Trick or Treat for Florida Voters?

    Kathleen Foody reports for the Associated Press – “Florida and Georgia…are taking their long-standing fight over the supply of water in their shared watershed to court…The case went directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Since the justices don’t have the time to review hours of testimony and reams of evidence, they appoint a ‘special master’ to do it…After both sides present their evidence and arguments, Lancaster will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court. The justices then review his findings and any rebuttals by the states before issuing a final decision. The process can take months…If Florida’s request for a cap is granted, it could be ‘catastrophic’ for metro Atlanta and Georgia industries, [Ansbacher, a Florida attorney specializing in environmental law] said. Without a cap, Florida’s shellfish industry…may disappear, [he] said. ‘It’s a zero-sum game[.]’…Environmental groups in both states also are concerned about the trees, fish and other species that could be affected…Could this case resolve the long dispute over water? It’s unlikely…Court decisions…aren’t flexible enough to deal with all the factors affecting water supply in the region like climate change or shifts in rain patterns. And if one state isn’t satisfied with the other’s actions, resolution can only come from a court…Alabama…indicated…that it could file its own suit against Georgia in the future.” Read Trial set to begin in Florida and Georgia’s fight over water

    Dan Chapman reports for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – “[M]uch of Georgia is in a drought – worsening by the day- and the lack of rain, barren streams and dwindling reservoirs buttresses the latest ‘water war’ legal battle set to begin Monday…Florida, in pretrial briefs, seeks as much as 40 percent more water from Georgia during droughts…Metro Atlanta is expected to grow into a 10-million-man megalopolis by 2050…Without ample water, though, the region withers…The master’s ruling, if seconded by the high court, carries far-reaching national implications, especially for states east of the Mississippi where water law and ‘equitable apportionment’ of rivers-the crux of this case- remain unsettled…Georgia, Florida and Alabama have traipsed to the courthouse numerous times the past 27 years attempting to resolve the tri-state water war. Georgia, more times than not, prevailed.” Read Georgia faces another crucial court test in water war

    Christopher Hong reports for The Florida Times Union – “JEA disclosed to environmental regulators this month that five of its wastewater pump stations, which spilled more than 950,000 gallons of untreated sewage after losing power during Hurricane Matthew, were not equipped with built-in emergency generators…[4 of the] pump stations…were exempt from the state’s generator requirements because they were built before the rules went into effect… ‘It’s unacceptable to grandfather in a requirement like that that leaves our community vulnerable to this type of health risk,’ said St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman…” Read Riverkeeper will turn eye toward JEA preparedness for storms following recent sewage failures.

    Rick Kilby writes for The Gainesville Sun – “In 2004, the Gainesville Sun reported that the site of the Worthington Springs pool had become a parking lot. And there’s increasing evidence that springs, which historically attracted visitors for healing, might now be unhealthful, with elevated concentrations of nitrogen…Now, ‘taking the waters’ has a whole new meaning in Florida, as over-pumping the aquifer is one of the leading threats to our once-magical springs. For many years, people looked to those springs for healing. Now it’s time for us to heal our springs.” Read Taking the waters in Florida

    Brian Yablonski writes for The News Press – “Lee County is a prime destination for seeing pelicans, reddish egrets and tri-colored herons…This year, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission undertook a statewide effort to identify areas where significant bird concentrations were subject to human-caused disturbance and where Critical Wildlife Areas could be established to provide needed conservation, particularly for our threatened species…For nesting birds, CWAs are lifesaving. There is scientific documentation that human-caused disturbance interfered with successful breeding…People often don’t intend to harm the birds, but when you approach too closely in a boat or on food, even if you are moving slowly and quietly, most nesting birds will flush off their nests. This can have disastrous impact, resulting in broken eggs, or exposing the eggs or chicks to the sun or predators. The simple step of creating a posted buffer…can significantly improve breeding success for these species.[O]nly the most productive areas are proposed for protection…The water buffers proposed for protection account for less than one-tenth of one percent of the waterways in Lee County…The FWC is a steadfast supporter and promoter of angling and boating access.” Read Protection areas for birds critical for county

    Mike Jung writes for The News Press – “[W]ater impacts everyone…[A]cronyms like CERP (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan) and EAA (Everglades Agricultural Area) were used often but not everyone in the room, including me, knew what those abbreviations meant. There are a number of credible, objective sources or reports available and two that are mentioned often are the University of Florida Water Institute’s Report, March 2015…[and the] Caloosahatchee Watershed Regional Water Management Issues Document, also known as the City of Sanibel White Paper…I have been guilty of attending a conference or training…and not following through on the newly-identified topic of most importance. That’s where you come in. Help us shape the plan to take action…I would like to hear from you on suggestions going forward. Send a note to: Publisher@news-press.com. Water quality impacts are not restricted to the Gulf Coast or the East Coast of Florida, as the entire state has a vested interest in clean water. The Gannett complement of papers spans the Sunshine State…and we are poised to take action.” Read We are all stakeholders in water quality

    Eric Eikenberg writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “While the politicians dawdle, Florida continues to labor under a “state of emergency” that Gov. Rick Scott was forced to declare…after the algae blooms were spotted in 44 different locations along both our coasts. We have so altered the natural plumbing of South Florida that we have blocked the slow southerly flow of most of the water from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades…Besides the catastrophic algae blooms…we are wasting billions of gallons of freshwater that is desperately needed during the dry season, exacerbating drought conditions across South Florida during the winter months…It’s time to move forward, use the money that 75 percent of voters set aside, and build the reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.” Read Who’ll perform CPR on Everglades? South Florida chokes on guacamole

     
     
     
     
     

    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.

     


    Petitions

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

    Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    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

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events



    September – November
    – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.

    November 2, 5:30 pm – Participate in a Phonebanking Party in Tallahassee to educate citizens about the anti-solar Amendment 1. To RSVP, click here.

    November 2 – Attend the Florida Fracking Summit in Fort Myers. For more information, click here.

    November 2-4 – Attend Florida’s inaugural class to train WERS verifiers in Maitland. The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) is a new tool in the field of residential assessment for water conservation. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 5, 11:00 am – Attend Clean Energy Fest in Pensacola. This event celebrates a clean energy future through art, food, live music, and renewable energy demonstrations. There will also be children’s activities with hands-on lessons in conservation and clean energy. For more information, click here.

    November 9, 12:45 pm – Attend a Water Supply Sustainability presentation given by Jim Gross, Executive Director of Florida Defenders of the Environment. Greetings will be offered by Thomas Hawkins, Esq., Policy and Planning Director, 1000 Friends of Florida. The presentation will be at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd., The Villages). To RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com

    November 12, 8:00 am – Participate in Rethink Energy Florida’s 5K Energy Run/Walk 2016. The race will be followed by an after party and awards at Township by Madison Social. For more information and to register, click here.

    November 12-13, 9:00 am – Attend Ocali Country Days at the Silver River Museum in Ocala. Visitors will experience the Florida of yesteryear with Living History exhibits highlighting life during the 1800s. There will be bluegrass, blues & old time music; tram tours of the State Park; Hands-on Activities for kids; Old Time Puppet Shows; Folk Craft Demos & Vendors; great food, funnel cakes, and kettle corn; a Civil War Cannon Firing Demo; and more.

     

     

    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@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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

Powered by GroupSpaces · Terms · Privacy Policy · Cookie Use · Create Your Own Group