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FCC News Brief - July 1, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 14 hours ago

FCC News Brief

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

July 1, 2016

 

Alyssa Hyman reports for WPTV – “Wednesday dozens of frustrated residents packed a task force that was meeting at the South Florida Water Management District. The meeting room was so full it was standing room only. Residents held signs and posters and even made t-shirts…All of them were demanding solutions and alternatives to the massive Lake Okeechobee discharges into the St Lucie Estuary. A majority wants the state to move forward with buying land and sending the water south toward the Everglades… ‘I can’t believe people have allowed this to happen in our state. Where children can’t swim in the ocean,’ said one upset resident. ‘We will not be a quiet voice now. It is time…They cannot ignore us anymore,’ said Tamlyn Willard, a Jupiter mother.” Read Upset residents attend South Florida Water Management District meeting

Rich Campbell writes for the TC Palm – “It’s time for us who love the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon to admit we’ve made a colossal mistake, for decades, with respect to the discharges of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee: We’ve asked- and expected- politicians to fix the problem…Our activism is second to none…Government do something? The same elected officials who accept campaign donations from Big Sugar? The same officials who make the lagoon an issue at election time, then have to be browbeaten to fund lagoon-related projects? Folks, the joke is on us. The blue-green algae…is a symptom. Government is the problem…We must band together and pursue solutions independent of government. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation…raised $150 million…Imagine what could be accomplished if all the disparate lagoon-related organizations joined forces? Or if the private sector were suddenly mobilized to help end the discharges?” Read Blue-green algae choking our waterways is a symptom; government is the problem

Emilio Vergara writes for SWFWMD Matters – “[A]nyone who thinks it was the Governing Board of the (Southwest Florida Water Management) District that made the decision to place [Brian Armstrong as Executive Director] has not been paying attention…Street rumor has it that Brian’s appointment is the handy work of…Scott’s transition team sub-committee chairman on regulation and the guy who oversaw development of the committee’s plan to take down Florida’s nationally respected environmental regulatory protection mechanisms,…Doug Manson. Rumor also has it that Brian…was under consideration for the job years ago…but the thought was that his executive management experience was too thin. So, he was spirited away to get that experience as assistant executive director at the DEP Tampa office…and then brought back to SWFWMD as the assistant ED in waiting…Problem is…it’s the governing board’s responsibility to fill the position, not political operatives from Tallahassee who couldn’t give a wit less about Florida’s natural systems.” Read Oddly immune to the fire, Brian Armstrong, new ED at SWFWMD

Oliver Milman reports for The Guardian – “An area of southern Florida has been hit by an ‘unprecedented’ outbreak of blue-green algae, causing miles of waterways and beaches to be swamped with foul-smelling toxins that have caused skin rashes among residents and raised concerns over the fate of marine mammals…Drum (manager of ecosystem restoration at Martin county) said there was no known way to effectively clean up the algal bloom.” Read Florida declares state of local emergency over influx of ‘God-awful’ toxic algae

Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider diverting water south to the Everglades rather than sending it to coastal estuaries…Nelson…also asked the Corps to evaluate storage options within the entire water system and suggested that the state use Amendment 1 dollars to get projects started. Meanwhile, the South Florida Water Management District issued a “Myth vs. Fact” document…suggesting that other sources of nutrients, including septic tanks, may be feeding the algae bloom. And the district again dismissed the idea that buying farm land south of Lake Okeechobee for water storage could have prevented algae…Rep. Gayle Harrell…presented…a letter signed by six Republican legislators calling on the Corps…to halt the discharges from Lake Okeechobee…Harrell called for buying land south of Lake Okeechobee and using money from HB 989, the “legacy Florida” bill…for water storage.” Read Nelson, GOP legislators ask Corps to take action on Lake O discharges

Jeremy Wallace reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “With another $100,000 donation earlier this month, the US Sugar Corporation has become one of Gov. Rick Scott’s top financial supporters…By far the biggest donor to Scott since the start of 2015 remains the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which has donated $790,000 to Scott’s committee. Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts; Floridians for a Stronger Democracy (a  political committee with ties to Associated Industries of Florida); and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeffrey Binik have also given $200,000 or more to Let’s Get to Work…The financial activity comes despite Scott being term limited and unable to run for re-election. While some have suggested Scott is aiming to run for the U.S. Senate in 2018, Scott has refused to say publicly whether he is considering taking on U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat.” Read Another $100K donation from US Sugar to Gov. Rick Scott

The Gainesville Sun Editorial Board writes – “This month, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources passed a measure that would allow the federal government to transfer national forest land to states…Our state’s voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1 in 2014 to ensure land conservation was well funded, only to have lawmakers ignore their intentions and spend most of the money on other uses. Gov. Rick Scott’s administration and the Legislature have directed repeated assaults on public lands. They have sought to put golf courses in state parks; increase cattle grazing, logging and hunting in parks; and surplus public land for sale to private interests. These efforts keep coming despite the benefits that public lands provide…The Outdoor Alliance cited 35 bills introduced in Congress last year alone to seize and sell of public lands…Our nation had a long history of bipartisan support for land conservation. Only in recent years have some conservatives turned against the idea…Stop federal and state lawmakers from selling our national heritage to the highest bidder.” Read Don’t sell off our public land

Michael D. Bates reports for the Citrus County Chronicle – “If the name Gary Kuhl is familiar, it’s probably because he was a fixture in Citrus County government for years. He headed up the public works department from 1994 to ’96 and was county administrator from 1996 to 2000. Since then, Kuhl has served in various positions, including Hillsborough County Water Resources Team administrator and Hernando County administrator. Today, Kuhl…is semi-retired and works part-time as executive director of the nonprofit Save Crystal River Inc. His interest in photography blossomed about seven years ago, and that passion has grown…He was [the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s] executive director for five and a half years and later was operations director… ‘Gary is one of the best people and environmentalists I’ve had the pleasure to know,’ said Smart (president of 1000 Friends of Florida)…” Read Pictures worth 1000 friends

 

 

 

 

From Our Readers

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

 



Job Postings

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


Petitions

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

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

 

Making Connections

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

July 5, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

July 12, 3:00 pm – Attend Leon County’s Board of County Commissioners Meeting where bear-human conflict in Leon County will be discussed. The meeting will be held at 301 S. Monroe St. in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Gladys at (760) 877- 8012.

July 13, 6:00 pm Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Susan Glickman, the Florida Director of The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Emily Gorman, with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Learn about Amendment 4, which is on the primary ballot this August and efforts to compel leaders across the U.S. to commit to 100% clean and renewable energy for all. For more information, click here.

July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC biologist. This is part of the Wildwood Preservation Society Lecture Series. The lecture will be given at 3043 Capitol Circle NW in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

July 25, 7:00 pm – Attend “Why Aren’t Florida’s Water Laws Protecting Florida’s Water?” led by two attorneys, Heather Culp (Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute) and Traci Deen (Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School). The event will be held at High Springs New Century Woman’s Club in High Springs and is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call (386) 454- 0415.

August 2, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The August class will focus on springs stresses: groundwater pumping, fertilizers, wastewater disposal, and recreation.

August 6, 2:00 pm – Attend “Using GIS for conservation, preservation, recreation and restoration in Fred George Basin,” a presentation by Dr. Christine Ambrose, a GIS specialist and biologist. This is part of the Wildwood Preservation Society Lecture Series. The lecture will be given at 3043 Capitol Circle NW in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

August 6, 5:30 pm – Attend Grasssroots Summit to Stop Sabal Trail in Gainesville. Speakers will educate participants on the pipeline. For more information, click here.

September 6, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The September class will focus on springs advocacy: local, state, national.

September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - June 30, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 1 day ago

FCC News Brief

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

June 30, 2016

 

Mitch Perry reports for Florida Politics – “This fall, Floridians will vote on Amendment One, the controversial solar power initiative…While it’s strongly backed by the public utility companies in the state, it seems to be extremely popular with the public, with the measure getting 77 percent support. Only seven percent oppose the measure, with another 16 percent undecided. Frank Orlando, political scientist and director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, says the politics of Amendment 1 are ‘interesting because it is being supported by the large energy companies. Editorials have railed against the bill, but as of yet, opponents haven’t mobilized to stop the measure.’ The Florida Supreme Court approved the amendment’s language by a slim 4-3 majority earlier this year…Justice Barbara Pariente wrote in her opinion that the measure is ‘masquerading as a pro-solar initiative…actually seeks to constitutionalize the status quo.’…Floridians who participate in the Aug. 30 primary election will get the opportunity to vote on a different solar power amendment, this one listed as Amendment Four. That measure…would exempt solar power equipment on homes from being counted toward a house’s value for property tax purposes…Amendment 4 is supported by 68 percent of the public, opposed by only 7 percent, with 25 percent unsure.” Read Poll shows solar power amendment backed by utilities gets 77% support from Floridians

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “A marine preserve in Biscayne National Park – a key piece of a new management plan 15 years in the making and designed to protect Florida’s dwindling reef tract- may be derailed by a new bill proposed by Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio. The bill, proposed Friday and fast-tracked through a committee hearing, would undo the preserve and require the National Park Service to consult with Florida wildlife managers, who opposed the preserve. But environmentalists say the rare move by Congress sets a dangerous precedent ‘that would block the National Park Service from doing its legal authority to protect America’s national park,’ said Caroline McLaughlin, Biscayne program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association.  Approved last year, the park plan underwent more than a dozen public hearings and received more than 43,000 comments. Ninety percent of those favored the preserve…The…preserve would also play a part in a  growing network of preserves intended to restore the region’s threatened fish populations, where 17 different species are down 70 percent.” Read Florida senators move to undo Biscayne National Park preserve

Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “Algae blooms are killing fish in the St. Lucie River; we’re just not seeing the bodies pile up, a marine biologist said… ‘June is a big month for sea trout to spawn at Hell’s Gate in the St. Lucie,’ he said… ‘They’re not there because the salinity is too low; and the salinity is too low because of the discharges.’” Read Biologist: Fish dying under St. Lucie River’s layer of algae

Eric Chaney reports for The Weather Channel – “Gov. Rick Scott has declared an emergency as Florida’s Treasure Coast becomes less of a treasure due to bright blue-green algae blooms taking over waterways and beaches. [Scott’s order declares] an emergency in Martin and St. Lucie counties…Algae samples taken June 14-15 from the lake contained more than 20 times the amount of toxins considered hazardous by the World Health Organization…The Corps is stuck between a rock and a hard place, spokesperson John Campbell told WPTV, and that releasing the water from Lake Okeechobee is the ‘lesser of two evils.’ ‘Holding the water back in the lake accelerates the rise and puts us in a position that the people that live and work around the lake face an increased flood risk,’ he said.” Read Florida Governor Declares Emergency as Treasure Coast Beaches, Waterways Become Covered in Algae

Ryan Benk reports for WJCT – “The North Florida Land Trust is launching one of its most ambitious plans yet- it’s aiming to preserve more than 12,000 acres at once. The trust is asking businesses and philanthropists for help raising the estimated $215 million required… ‘You either receive the ecosystem benefits that nature’s providing you naturally or you start paying hundreds of millions of dollars for stormwater treatment facilities or wastewater treatment facilities,’ [Jim McCarthy, executive director of the land trust] said…But, he said, none of this would be necessary if state lawmakers fully funded Florida’s land acquisition program: Florida Forever.” Read North Florida Land Trust Launches ‘Preservation Portfolio’ Project to Buy 12,000 Acres of Land

Anne Lindberg reports for the Saint Peters Blog – “Members of the board that oversees public transportation in Pinellas agreed last week to buy two electric buses for a pilot program, if the county commission decides to purchase a charging station for the vehicles. Now activists who once targeted the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority have set their sights on Pinellas County commissioners. The immediate goal: Convince commissioners to agree to spend about $590,000 of the $7.1 million it received from the BP oil spill settlement for the charging station… ‘We believe there is no more appropriate use of the funds than to help the county’s transit system move to an era of no more oil,’ said Phil Compton, a senior organizing representative for the Sierra Club Florida’s Healthy Air Campaign.” Read Activists take crusade for electric buses to Pinellas County commissioners

Alan Farago writes for the Huffington Post – “Massive toxic algae blooming…, coating public health, tourism, business and real estate on both Florida costs with dangerous scum, is the real consequence to taxpayers and voters of losing their bet on Republican leadership: Gov. Scott, Senate President Joe Negron, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam, state representative Matt Caldwell, US Senator Marco Rubio, and all the insiders and cronies they corralled to serve on boards like the water management districts and Public Service Commission…It wasn’t too long ago…that sober minds in the Republican and Democratic parties understood whatever their differences, attention must be paid to the public interest. In time, the GOP’s lock on both houses of the legislature and the executive mansion boiled down to a myopic confidence that the best way to protect people was to allow corporate interests to take over the functions of government.” Read How Florida Republicans Became Losers

Jeremy Hance writes for The Guardian – “Given that many climate change impacts are happening far quicker than scientists anticipated, conservationists may need to consider moving more speedily and aggressively to protect an increasing number of climate-vulnerable species….[C]ontroversial actions, such as assisted migration for species, must be considered…[C]onservationists may also need to become more vocal about dealing with the underlying cause of climate changes: burning fossil fuels. The longer global society goes without transforming itself, the more extinction will become inevitable. And if the loss of the Bramble Cay melomys proves anything, it’s that we may not have as much time as we think.” Read ‘Devastated’: scientists too late to captive breed mammal lost to climate change

 

 

 

 

From Our Readers

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

 



Job Postings

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


Petitions

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

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

 

Making Connections

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

July 5, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

July 12, 3:00 pm – Attend Leon County’s Board of County Commissioners Meeting where bear-human conflict in Leon County will be discussed. The meeting will be held at 301 S. Monroe St. in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Gladys at (760) 877- 8012.

July 13, 6:00 pm Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Susan Glickman, the Florida Director of The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Emily Gorman, with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Learn about Amendment 4, which is on the primary ballot this August and efforts to compel leaders across the U.S. to commit to 100% clean and renewable energy for all. For more information, click here.

July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC biologist. This is part of the Wildwood Preservation Society Lecture Series. The lecture will be given at 3043 Capitol Circle NW in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

July 25, 7:00 pm – Attend “Why Aren’t Florida’s Water Laws Protecting Florida’s Water?” led by two attorneys, Heather Culp (Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute) and Traci Deen (Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School). The event will be held at High Springs New Century Woman’s Club in High Springs and is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call (386) 454- 0415.

August 2, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The August class will focus on springs stresses: groundwater pumping, fertilizers, wastewater disposal, and recreation.

August 6, 2:00 pm – Attend “Using GIS for conservation, preservation, recreation and restoration in Fred George Basin,” a presentation by Dr. Christine Ambrose, a GIS specialist and biologist. This is part of the Wildwood Preservation Society Lecture Series. The lecture will be given at 3043 Capitol Circle NW in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

August 6, 5:30 pm – Attend Grasssroots Summit to Stop Sabal Trail in Gainesville. Speakers will educate participants on the pipeline. For more information, click here.

September 6, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The September class will focus on springs advocacy: local, state, national.

September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - June 29, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 2 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

June 29, 2016

 

Bill DiPaolo reports for the Palm Beach Post – “After listening for three hours of cantankerous, impatient and frustrated complaints from local residents, the Martin County Commission…wants the Army Corps of Engineers to close the locks between Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River. ‘The smell is so bad it will make you gag. We have red eyes and scratchy throats…,’ said Mary Radabaugh, one of about 250 people that overflowed the Marin County Commission chambers for the early-morning emergency meeting. However, the Army Corps doesn’t expect to suspend the flow, spokesman John Campbell said…Asking Florida and the federal government to declare a state and federal disaster area in Martin County was also approved by the commission. ‘This is our Deep Water Horizon. It’s time the federal and state government understand how God-awful the problem is here,’ Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith said… ‘We’ve had rashes on our hands. We’re losing thousands of dollars. I want this fixed,’ Bruce Hrobak, owner of Billy Bones Bait & Tackle, demanded of the commission.” Read As smell, sight of algae persists in TCoast, public demands solutions

Jennifer Sorentrue reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Concern about shorelines is on the rise…just days away from one of the most popular beach getaway weekends – the Fourth of July holiday. Some Martin County beaches are off limits due to a widespread algae bloom. The…algae…has been spotted in waterways and canals across much of South Florida…No swimming advisories were also placed on four beaches in the panhandle’s Okaloosa County…due to elevated bacterial readings in water quality tests. State officials also monitoring an algae bloom near Jacksonville.” Read Algae bloom, bacterial spike close several South Florida beaches

Kevin Powers writes for the TC Palm – “Recent opinions published by this newspaper have suggested that purchasing thousands of acres south of Lake Okeechobee for water storage is the only viable solution for reducing the lake releases that have affected the St. Lucie River this year. However, storage all around the lake…coming from projects already in the works is the long-term solution…The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board is using the University of Florida Water Institute’s 2015 study to guide its efforts in creating more storage in the region’s water management system. The study estimates a need for 200,000 acre-feet of storage in the St. Lucie watershed and another 1 million acre-feet ‘distributed north and south of Lake Okeechobee.’” Read SFWMD board is ‘continually evaluating the best options’ for storing water

Todd Wilkinson reports for National Geographic – “In the age of the Anthropocene, is it really possible, long-term, to sustain growing numbers of human beings and wildlife…on landscapes already crowded- and likely to be left literally shrunken in decades ahead…?...Fleming, senior Florida representative for Defenders of Wildlife…says strong evidence suggests that most (bear-human) conflicts come from bears wandering into the suburbs and becoming habituated to eating human trash, seed in bird feeders, and pet food. Bears that rely on unnatural edibles become more aggressive and can present a threat to people and property…(FWC Chairman) Yablonski agrees that with hunting temporarily taken off the table, the main focus should now be on how to decrease conflicts…[B]ears…endure in scattered sub-populations geographically isolated from one another and that increases the chances of small clusters of bears disappearing…Yablonski says there are still federal and state public lands in Florida suitable for bears and he believes that achieving connectivity between isolated sub-populations is possible…Within 30 years, Florida’s human population…is conservatively projected to add another seven million people…More than bullets, the real enemy of bears is sprawl…[I]f climate change scenarios play out, rising seas will force people to leave coastal areas and resettle in the Florida interior, squeezing the last bastions of sound bear habitat even more.” Read Dead Cubs, Illegal Baiting Lead to Bear Hunt Suspension

Keith Morelli reports for Florida Politics – “The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board…selected Brian Armstrong as executive director…He previously was the assistant director for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Southwest District, where he restructured the district’s operations by reducing costs, including staff layoffs, and improving internal operating performance. Armstrong is a licensed professional geologist who earned his Bachelor of Science degree and his master’s degree in hydrogeology from the University of South Florida.” Read Personnel note: SWFTMD announces new executive director

Sara Ganim reports for CNN – “Eighteen million Americans live in communities where the water systems are in violation of the law. Moreover, the federal agency in charge of making sure those systems are safe not only knows the issues exist, but it’s done very little to stop them…More than 5,300 water systems in America are in violation of the EPA’s lead and copper rule…What’s worse…the EPA is also aware that many utilities ‘game the system,’ using flowed or questionable testing methods in order to avoid detecting high levels of lead. That means there could be many more communities violating the laws…And the public has no idea. Even Flint, a city with the most notorious case of lead in water discovered, is still not listed as having violated the EPA’s lead and copper rule.” Read 5,300 U.S. water systems are in violation of lead rules

Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “[S]everal South Florida utilities [are] among the largest in the nation that reported violations of the U.S. Lead and Copper Rule… ‘Lead exposure can decrease a child’s cognitive capacity, can cause behavioral problems and can limit a child’s ability to concentrate,’ said NRDC scientist Kristi Pullen-Fedinick.” Read Group raises alarm over lead in drinking water

Laura Paddison reports for The Guardian – “Britain’s decision to leave the European Union was not a vote against climate change, nor was it a vote against the innovation key to fighting climate change, UN climate chief Christina Figueres told an audience of business and policymakers at the annual Business  Climate summit in London...” Read Brexit is not a vote against climate change says UN’s climate chief

 

 

 

 

From Our Readers

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

 



Job Postings

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


Petitions

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

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

 

Making Connections

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

July 5, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC biologist. This is part of the Wildwood Preservation Society Lecture Series. The lecture will be given at 3043 Capitol Circle NW in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

July 25, 7:00 pm – Attend “Why Aren’t Florida’s Water Laws Protecting Florida’s Water?” led by two attorneys, Heather Culp (Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute) and Traci Deen (Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School). The event will be held at High Springs New Century Woman’s Club in High Springs and is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call (386) 454- 0415.

August 2, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The August class will focus on springs stresses: groundwater pumping, fertilizers, wastewater disposal, and recreation.

August 6, 2:00 pm – Attend “Using GIS for conservation, preservation, recreation and restoration in Fred George Basin,” a presentation by Dr. Christine Ambrose, a GIS specialist and biologist. This is part of the Wildwood Preservation Society Lecture Series. The lecture will be given at 3043 Capitol Circle NW in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

August 6, 5:30 pm – Attend Grasssroots Summit to Stop Sabal Trail in Gainesville. Speakers will educate participants on the pipeline. For more information, click here.

September 6, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The September class will focus on springs advocacy: local, state, national.

September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - June 28, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 3 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

June 28, 2016

 

Jake Galvin and Dan Christensen report for Florida Bull Dog – “In an escalating effort to block the…Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline, opponents are asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to examine allegations that information about potential environmental hazards was overlooked… ‘There is significant evidence…of sinkholes, springs and the underground transmission of water for many miles that were not included in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Final Environmental Impact Statement,’ said U.S. Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr., D-Ga…Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been both a key Sabal Trail backer and a stockholder in the project’s majority owner, Spectra Energy. In 2013, Scott signed into law a pair of bills designed to speed up permitting for the project…[T]he Scott-appointed Florida Public Service Commission unanimously approved construction of Sabal Trail…[T]he Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which reports to Scott, decided that Sabal Trail…was ‘clearly in the public interest.’ In Georgia, however, Sabal Trail has met resistance….While a trio of north Florida counties…sent letters…requesting a…supplemental environmental impact statement, (U.S. Rep.) Yoho (R-Gainesville) believes Sabal Trail is safe and should move forward.” Read Push to block Sabal Trail gas pipeline looks to enlist U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

State Sen. Jeffrey Brandes writes for the Pensacola News Journal – “This year, the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that will give voters the opportunity to clear the way for more solar energy in our state. This issue will appear as Amendment 4 on the August 2016 primary election ballot…Amendment 4 will expand an exemption that currently exists in law for residential properties to…commercial customers that choose to install solar. The passage of Amendment 4 will spur tremendous investments in renewable energy…The great news is that everyone will have the opportunity to vote on this amendment, regardless of their political affiliation. If you are registered to vote, you can support this important issue by voting early, absentee or at the polls on Aug. 40, 2016. Like most constitutional ballot amendments, the wording is complex but the effect is simple: more solar, more jobs, and more affordable energy options.” Read Florida should lead in solar production

Jeff Gill reports for the Gainesville Times – “[A] trial in Washington over water sharing between Georgia and Florida may not mean the end of the decades long ‘water wars.’…The Army Corps of Engineers is working on a final version of operating plans for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin… ‘That can always be the subject of litigation,’ said Clyde Morris…Ralph I. Lancaster, a Maine lawyer appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the case, would preside over the trial, which would be held in U.S. District Court. He ‘doesn’t have the authority to rule (in the case),’ Morris said. ‘He will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court, then it’s up to justices to actually render an order.’” Read Oct. 31 trial in DC may not end states’ water battle

Maggy Hurchalla writes for the TC Palm – “The South Florida Water Management District Hazardous Algae Blooms site notes that in Lake Okeechobee monitoring indicates high toxin levels have been measured when there is no apparent bloom. The toxin doesn’t go away when the algae dies. Researchers measuring toxin levels in sediments in shallow eutrophic lakes (think Lake Okeechobee) found toxins persisted in sediments…We have [BMAA]. We don’t know how much. The state doesn’t test for it. It has been proven to cause a neurological disease…similar to…ALS…Those who are being exposed need to know what’s happening. We need to ask the governor and the president to immediately create a state/federal research team to explore the health threats from cyanobacteria in Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River estuary. We need to ask the Legislature to require monitoring and treatment to reduce phosphorus flow to Lake Okeechobee from all directions. Voluntary “best management practices” have not worked. Untreated pumped discharges to the lake are still going on.” Read Don’t dismiss dangers of algae in our waterways

Andrew Ruiz reports for WPTV – “Commissioners in Martin County will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday in response to the algae crisis. People are demanding answers, but the county is caught in the cross-hairs and says there isn’t much they can do about the discharges from Lake Okeechobee…It is likely the Martin County Commission will request that [Gov. Rick Scott] declare a state of emergency.” Read Martin County holding emergency meeting over algae Tuesday

Wayne Washington reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Fritz, one of the five voters whose support led to the creation of Palm Beach County’s newest city, is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail on a battery charge for allegedly attacking his girlfriend…The Seminole Pratt Whitney address (owned by Minto Communities) is listed in elections records as being shared by Fritz, Rinaldi, Kara Crump, William Guevara and Phillip Everett, the five whose voters were all that was necessary to convert the Seminole Improvement District into Palm Beach County’s 39th city in an election made possible under a law passed by the Legislature in 2012. Westlake’s founding has generated anger from those who worry it means unchecked growth in an area known for horses and dirt roads…Fritz…agreed to serve as one of [the new city’s] transitional council members…[Locals] blame Minto for the incorporation of the new city, which they fear will bring more traffic and change to their rural lifestyle…Incorporation could open the door to a larger project than the one Minto laid out in plans it presented to the county.” Read Founding council member for new city of Westlake in jail

Joanna Klein reports for The New York Times – “Algae changes snow’s albedo, or how much light, or radiation, its surface reflects back into the atmosphere…[A] new study estimated that blooms of snow algae can lead to an albedo decrease of 13 percent over the course of an Arctic melt season, compared with clean snow…Just how much melting this will account for, or how much that may affect sea level rise…is still to be determined…Current climate models take into account how soot from forest fires, dust from the Sahara or even increased water content (which slightly darkens snow to blue) affect albedo, but they have yet to measure biological effects, like that of algae.” Read Watermelon Snow: Not Edible but Important for Climate Change

 

 

 

 

From Our Readers

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

 



Job Postings

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


Petitions

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

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

 

Making Connections

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

July 5, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

July 16, 2:00 pm – Attend “Snakes of Florida,” a presentation by David Cook, an FWC biologist. This is part of the Wildwood Preservation Society Lecture Series. The lecture will be given at 3043 Capitol Circle NW in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

July 25, 7:00 pm – Attend “Why Aren’t Florida’s Water Laws Protecting Florida’s Water?” led by two attorneys, Heather Culp (Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute) and Traci Deen (Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School). The event will be held at High Springs New Century Woman’s Club in High Springs and is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call (386) 454- 0415.

August 2, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The August class will focus on springs stresses: groundwater pumping, fertilizers, wastewater disposal, and recreation.

August 6, 2:00 pm – Attend “Using GIS for conservation, preservation, recreation and restoration in Fred George Basin,” a presentation by Dr. Christine Ambrose, a GIS specialist and biologist. This is part of the Wildwood Preservation Society Lecture Series. The lecture will be given at 3043 Capitol Circle NW in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

August 6, 5:30 pm – Attend Grasssroots Summit to Stop Sabal Trail in Gainesville. Speakers will educate participants on the pipeline. For more information, click here.

September 6, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1stAvenue) in High Springs every first Tuesday of the month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class to help support the efforts of Florida Springs Institute. The September class will focus on springs advocacy: local, state, national.

September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

Charter Members

FOUNDER and CHAIRMAN
Bob Graham, Former Governor of Florida and U.S. Senator

VICE CHAIRMEN
Nathaniel  Pryor Reed, Former Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Former Chairman SFWMD, Founder and Chairman Emeritus 1000 Friends of Florida 
And
Com. Lee Constantine, Seminole County Commissioner and Former State Senator, State Representative and Mayor of Altamonte Springs

AUDUBON FLORIDA

Eric Draper, Executive Director

CONSERVANCY OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA
Rob Moher, President
Jennifer Hecker, 
Director of Natural Resource Policy

FLORIDA WILDLIFE FEDERATION
Manley Fuller, President
Martha Musgrove, Board Member
Preston Robertson, General Counsel and VP for Conservation

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
Pam Goodman, President

1000 FRIENDS OF FLORIDA

Victoria Tschinkel
, Board Member and former Secretary of Department of Environmental Regulation
Ryan Smart, President

Charles Pattison, Policy Director 
Roy Rogers, Board Member

SIERRA CLUB
Craig Diamond
Frank Jackalone, Senior Organizing Manager

ST. JOHNS RIVERKEEPER
Lisa Rinaman, Riverkeeper
Jimmy Orth
, Executive Director

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
John Robert Middlemas, Chair
Janet Bowman, Director of Legislative Policy and Strategy

TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND
Greg Chelius, Florida State Director
Will Abberger, Director Conservation Finance

INDIVIDUALS
Lester Abberger 
John Finlayson, Agriculturist, Jefferson County, former Chairman SRWMD
Bill Kerr, Environmental Consultant, Brevard County, former Chairman SJRWMD
Gary Kuhl, Former Executive Director, SWFWMD 
Jay Landers, Former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, Former Director of the Department of Natural Resources

Allan Milledge, Former Chairman ELMs Committee and SFWMD
Auley Rowell, Agriculturist, Taylor County, former Chairman of SRWMD 
Earl Starnes, Former Dade County Commissioner, Former Director of the Division of State Planning
Sonny Vergara, Former Executive Director, SWFWMD and SJRWMD
Estus Whitfield, Former Principal Environmental Advisor to 5 Florida Governors

Mailing Address


Florida Conservation Coalition

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