Our Mission

Oppose SB 318

By Gladys Delgadillo 1 day ago

Dear FCC Members,

The Florida House of Representatives recently passed HB 191 to establish a regulatory system for “high pressure well stimulation” (HPWS) that would regulate fracking. This bill’s Senate companion, SB 318, has only one committee stop left, Senate Appropriations, before it reaches the Senate Floor. While these bills might seem to provide protections at first glance, they contain a number of deficiencies which place our drinking water and public health at risk. The oil and gas industry is pushing these bills which could potentially result in serious environmental damage and public expense. Please contact the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee (see below) and ask them to vote ‘no’ on SB 318. To use our template, click here.

Fracking uses the high pressure injection of chemicals and large quantities of water into an oil or gas well to fracture underground rock formations and enhance extraction of oil and gas. There are several other fracking-like well stimulation operations likely to be used in Florida that would not be captured under the bill’s definition of HPWS. The bill’s definition of HPWS, proposed regulations, and the study would not apply to these various other fracking-like operations or even fracking when it is done “incidentally” (whatever that might mean). Consequently, only a limited number of well stimulation treatments would be regulated under SB 318 and the results of the proposed study would be very limited in scope. Truly protective legislation would address all types of well stimulation techniques that use hazardous chemicals and large quantities of water.

The bill preempts local governments from banning all types of oil and gas activities, including well stimulation techniques that are unregulated under SB 318, and rescinds any bans that have previously been adopted. This provision violates the principle that local governments should be allowed to govern in a way that is more protective of the environment than state or federal law. Legislation in 2011 deleted or substantially watered down many state land and water management provisions of Florida law based on increasing capability of local governments to provide governmental oversight; this bill diminishes local governments’ authority to govern their own affairs.

The Legislature passed a water bill, focused largely on providing water supply for the present and future, and acknowledging that Florida’s finite water resources will be strained as its population and water consumption continues to grow. It is more important now, than ever, to focus on water conservation. Accordingly, local governments should not be prohibited from banning practices which consume very large amounts of fresh water, removing some of it permanently from the water cycle. A well stimulation operation in Collier County was previously permitted to use 280 million gallons of water per year from a potable water supply source. After use in well stimulation, the water is toxic and is often disposed of via deep well injection where it will never be recycled back into the hydrologic cycle.

The public has shown warranted concern regarding the potentially hazardous chemicals used in well stimulation techniques like fracking, but SB 318 does nothing to alleviate these worries. Under SB 318, well operators are allowed to use different chemicals than the ones they listed in their permit application, and then withhold that information for 60 days after the operation. Information regarding chemicals used in well stimulation operations must be disclosed to the Department of Environmental Protection, but not to the public. This leaves the public, including emergency responders and health professionals, at a serious disadvantage should an accident occur. Wastewater from well stimulation treatments may contain chemicals such as arsenic, benzene (a carcinogen), and radioactive materials.

Approximately 90% of Floridians’ drinking water comes from underground aquifers consisting of naturally fractured and permeable limestone. The aquifers could easily be contaminated should well stimulation fluids be accidentally spilled on the ground or leak underground.

What we know about high pressure well stimulation is troubling, but what we don’t know should be equally troubling.

Please contact the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ask them to vote ‘no’ on SB 318 if it is heard in their committee. To use our template, click here.

 

Senate Appropriations Committee Members

Tom Lee Lee.Tom.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5024
Lizbeth Benacquisto Benacquisto.Lizbeth.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5030
Thad Altman Altman.thad.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5016
Anitere Flores Flores.Anitere.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5037
Don Gaetz Gaetz.Don.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5001
Bill Galvano Galvano.Bill.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5026
Rene Garcia Garcia.Rene.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5038
Denise Grimsley Grimsley.Denise.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5021
Alan Hays Hays.Alan.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5011
Dorothy L. Hukill Hukill.Dorothy.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5008
Arthenia L. Joyner Joyner.Arthenia.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5019
Jack Latvala Latvala.Jack.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5020
Gwen Margolis Margolis.Gwen.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5035
Bill Montford Montford.Bill.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5003
Joe Negron Negron.Joe.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5032
Garrett Richter Richter.Garrett.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5023
Jeremey Ring Ring.Jeremy.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5029
David Simmons Simmons.David.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5010
Christopher Smith Smith.Chris.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5031

Thank you for continuing to fight with FCC for our water resources.

Sincerely,

Estus Whitfield

Florida Conservation Coalition

FCC News Brief - February 11, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 1 day ago

FCC News Brief

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

February 11, 2016

 

Mary Ellen Klas reports for Miami Herald – “Florida Senate leaders rejected a budget amendment Wednesday that would have restored $222.5 million to the Florida Forever land-buying program that has been left threadbare since the Great Recession, arguing that the amendment was ‘out of order’ because it would have left the Senate’s proposed budget out of balance…[Altman] argued that the revenue source – the documentary stamp tax on real estate transactions—is ‘a robust fund and is expected to grow’ so earmarking the money to pay bonds for land buying ‘will not affect the stability of our state.’…These lands we want to purchase; we will lose them. They’re escalating [in value] faster than our ability to purchase them.’…Altman was angered by the ruling and said…’It sheds light on a huge, huge issue,’…’It’s the fact that allocations are…privately done and nobody even knows who does them in this back room and the public has no say…I think we should call for allocations to be done in public, they should be voted on. There should be debate. People should have a right to give input.’” Read Thad Altman blasts Senate budget process that leads to rejection of Florida Forever funding

Phil Ammann reports for Florida Politics – “A bill revamping the state’s process of public land acquisition and management passed its first Senate committee Tuesday…Democratic Sen. Darren Soto submitted an amendment to strip language that would allow ‘an expansion of use of land acquisition dollars, Amendment 1 dollars, on water projects.’…Soto withdrew his amendment after receiving assurances the DEP is willing to work new language that would ensure a ‘nexus’ between using land conservation funds for water projects and actual land preservation. Also raising concern was Stephanie Kunkel of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, who did not appreciate combining water project spending and changes to land management regulations to promote ‘recreation or conservation,’ as opposed to ‘the purpose for which it was acquired.’” Read Senate Committee Passes Bill Restructuring Public Land Acquisition and Management

Scott Powers reports for Florida Politics – “The Seminole County Commission approved an anti-fracking ordinance…as it denounced…the Legislature for taking up bills that would restrict local decisions about it. The all-Republican commission (in a nonpartisan county) voted unanimously on an ordinance that bans ‘any oil and gas exploration that uses well stimulation within the boundaries and below the geographic territory of Seminole County.’” Read Seminole County Oks Anti-Fracking Ordinance, Criticizes Tallahassee

Flagler Live reports – “Just eight months after declining to join the Flagler County Commission in opposition to fracking and seismic testing offshore, the Palm Coast City Council in a decisive turn-around Tuesday said it would support a resolution opposing fracking, and would seek to forward the resolution to the Florida Legislature and the Florida League of Cities…” Read In a Decisive Shift, Palm Coast Will Oppose Fracking On and Offshore, Citing Environment

Jim Turner reports for the News Service of Florida – “Money to restore the state’s natural springs has been attached to a proposal that would direct as much as $200 million a year to South Florida water projects. The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee supported an amendment…that would require at least $75 million a year to be budgeted for springs preservation….The House Appropriations Committee…approved a similar measure (HB 989) to fund South Florida projects. The bill, which does not include the springs funding, is ready for the House floor.” Read Springs Funding Added to Senate’s Everglades Fix

Manley Fuller writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “Florida has more national champion trees than any other state.…[T]he current administration in Tallahassee wants to let private companies come in and log our state parks. We’ve always had a little logging in state parks, but the purpose was always to restore native forest conditions- not solely to make a buck…It’s important to note that there are plenty of other places to harvest timber in Florida. The state, for example, allows timber companies to conduct bigtime logging operations on more than a million acres of our state forests…Our parks are rare remnants of our state’s vanishing wild heritage, something sorely  needed in the face of constant human development across the landscape. When we get weary from the crowded highways and strip mall landscape…[w]e need…places for…peaceful contemplation.” Read Leave Florida’s towering champion trees alone

Kate Bradshaw writes for Political Animal – “To help raise awareness of what they say are short-sighted, special interest-pandering environmental policies at the state level, environmental activists are planning demonstrations in state parks throughout Florida…First, there was Governor Rick Scott’s pitch that literally would have made it legal to install golf courses, resort facilities and all, in state parks, something the Tampa Bay Times called the ‘worst idea in history.’ Since then, there’s an effort to allow hunting, logging and even drilling in state parks. A bill in the legislature…would…allow residents to buy adjacent public lands if they promise not to develop anymore on the land they currently own. It would also apply money from Amendment 1…to…purchase…treatment and [transportation of water] from freshwater sources…to rapidly developing areas…(Never mind the…environmental impacts of sapping a population’s local water supply.)” Read Sierra Club plans Saturday protest against more state attacks on parks

Sun Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “Because of a few bad actors, the Florida League of Cities is marshaling a major assault on the state’s public records law, a move that could chill your right to know. Right now, if a judge finds that a state or local official illegally withheld public records from you, the only penalty they would face is paying your attorney fees. Now the league wants to make the recovery of attorney fees a maybe, rather than a must...If the judge finds you annoying, or is good friends with the mayor, what are the odds?...Rather than fix a bad bill on-the-fly or a bad law next year, better if lawmakers allow the league and open-government advocates to work together and come back with a proposal that works well for everyone.” Read Florida League of Cities goes too far, too fast

 

 

 

 

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.

Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager


Petitions

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

 

Making Connections

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

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

February 13 – Participate in Save Our Parks, Statewide Day of Action. The Day of Action will include rallies, marches, and other events advocating against private, non-conservation uses in public lands including hunting, cattle grazing, timber harvesting, oil drilling, and more. Click here for more information.

February 13, 10:00 am – Attend the 23rd Party in the Park, the Treasure Coast’s first and foremost environmental festival, at Ft Piere Inlet State Park in Ft Pierce. The festival is free and includes food, activities for children and adults, and entertainment by Flint Blade.

February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or.

February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at(407) 568- 1706.

February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library inInverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or .

February 25, 11:30 am - Attend Pensacola to Paris and Back to learn about Earth Ethics’ Executive Director’s trip to Paris for the UN Climate Change Conference and about how we can move forward as a community and a nation. Event will be held at the downtown library located at 239 N Spring Street. RSVP by Thursday, February 18 to mary.earthethics@cox.net.

February 25, 5:30 pm - Join Earth Ethics, Inc. and the League of Women Voters of the Pensacola Bay Area for a viewing and discussion of Plastic Paradise at the Lucia M. Tryon Branch Library (1200 Langley Avenue).

February 28, 1:30 pm - Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact  or call 863-465-2571 x233.

February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

March 1 – Participate in No Meat March. Take the pledge to go meat-free for 31 days and enjoy the support of an online community with many resources. Find more information here.

March 4, 7:00 pmWatch “This Changes Everything.” This critically acclaimed documentary explores the adverse impacts of climate change. For more information, contact Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net. To register, click here.

March 5, 10:00 am – Join the Florida Wildflower Foundation for an interactive edible plant walk at PEAR Park in Leesburg. You will get to taste, touch and smell some of the native plants growing in the native plant demonstration garden. Learn which are edible, which have medicinal properties, and which have cultural and historical importance. The event is free for members and $15 for non-members. Clickhere for more information.

March 5, 11:00 am – Attend Northeast Florida Veg Fest at Riverside Park inJacksonville. The day-long event will feature live music, dynamic speakers, cooking demonstrations, beer garden, kids’ zone, pie-eating contest, exceptional freebies, raffles, scavenger hunt, and much more! Find more information here.

March 5, 1:00 pmWatch “This Changes Everything.” This critically acclaimed documentary explores the adverse impacts of climate change. For more information, contact Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net. To register, click here.

March 15, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Dunnellon Branch of theMarion County Library in Dunnellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

March 16, 12:00 pm – Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Committee: A “Community Rights” Amendment for protecting human and ecological health. This webinar is part of The Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s Protecting Our Common Home series. For registration or further information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at. Please RSVP at least 48 hours before each program. Directions for participation will be sent to you.

March 19, 10:00 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Central Ridge Library inBeverly Hills. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

March 24, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Ocala Main Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

March 26, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Freedom Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

March 30, 5:30 pm – Participate in a meet and greet for environmental nonprofitgroups in Pensacola. Each speaker will be given approximately 10 minutes to provide information on their group. The public is invited to attend. Please contact Mary Gutierrez, Executive Director of Earth Ethics, Inc., if you’re interested. Her e-mail is .

April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Forest Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

April 6, 12:00 pm April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at theReddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at(352) 817- 8077 or  .

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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.

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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 a 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

Support Sen. Altman's Amendment to Increase Florida Forever Funding

By Gladys Delgadillo 2 days ago

Support Sen. Altman's Amendment to Increase Florida Forever Funding

Dear FCC Members,
 
Tomorrow the Florida Senate will consider Florida’s 2016-2017 state budget. The current budget includes only $22.3 million for the acquisition of vital conservation lands through the highly successful Florida Forever program. At a time when Florida’s population is exploding, it is essential that our state protect its most important natural lands and waters by acquiring these lands outright or by purchasing conservation easements which prevent future development.
 
The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is advocating for the Legislature to return to the traditional $300 million allocation for Florida Forever, only a tiny fraction of which has been funded in recent years. To our dismay, this trend continued even after nearly 75% of those who voted in the 2014 election supported Amendment 1 to guarantee long-term funding for land acquisition.
 
But there is good news; Senator Thad Altman has filed an amendment to the budget which would bond the funds currently appropriated for Florida Forever. If adopted, Senator Altman’s amendment would authorize $222.6 million in bond proceeds from the Florida Forever Trust Fund for land acquisition through the Florida Forever program, bringing the total allocation for Florida Forever closer to the FCC’s goal.
 
We need your help to make sure this important amendment is adopted tomorrow.
 

Please call or email your Senator today and ask them to support Sen. Altman’s amendment restoring much needed funding for Florida Forever. To use our template, click here or see this attachment.

FCC News Brief - February 10, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 2 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

February 10, 2016

 

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “In [budget] bills that lawmakers will hammer out this week in Tallahassee, only a fraction of the $880 million allocated under…Amendment 1…is slotted for conserving new land. Instead, lawmakers divvied up the money to cover salaries…and shifted much of the costs covered by the state’s general fund to the trust. ‘To take existing agency operations historically funded out of the general fund and now shift them over to Amendment 1 was not the intent,’ said Will Abberger…who helped craft the ballot language in 2014…Legislators say…backers told them the money was intended to cover the cost of existing programs, not just purchase and manage new lands…[E]nvironmentalists say…[w]hat matters is what more than 75 percent of voters endorsed- the amendment’s summary and title, ‘Water and Land Conservation- Dedicates funds to acquire and restore Florida’ conservation and recreation lands.’…This year, lawmakers agreed to carve out at least $200 million for Everglades Restoration, a deal that made Everglades activists happy but split the environmental community after the Everglades Foundation and Audubon Florida stayed quiet on a controversial water bill that sailed through the first week of this year’s session.” Read With conservation money, Florida lawmakers aim to foot other bills

Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “ [T]his breakout proposal for the Everglades hardly looks like a precedent-setter. It comes weeks after the Legislature passed a water bill that delays for years any genuine cleanup of Florida’s troubled springs. While some environmentalists objected to that proposal, they…made a calculated move to grab this new pot of money for the Everglades instead. Tradeoffs are part of politics, but in the larger scheme, Gov. Rick Scott and this Legislature have not shown real concern for the environment. Scott asked for less for the Department of Environmental Protection next year than he did for 2016. The Senate’s proposed state budget would continue to reduce the amount of general revenue money going to the environment; those funds are replaced by Amendment 1 money, which was supposed to enhance- not supplant- existing state funding. The House’s proposed budget calls for spending Amendment 1 money on salaries, road repair and to buy a plane. And lawmakers have shown no interest in using Amendment 1 to significantly boost even the most popular programs, from land-buying to springs restoration…[L]awmakers are squandering [Amendment 1] money…as they try to distract the public attention with big-ticket promises for the Everglades.” Read Everglades money could be bad trade

Isadora Rangel reports for TC Palm – “Sen. Thad Altman filed a measure…to increase money to buy land…The amendment would allow the state to borrow $222.5 million to put into the Florida Forever program, which buys lands for parks and habitat preservation. That’s an increase from $22.2 million currently proposed…The money would come from dollars available through Amendment 1…Altman tried to increase money for Florida Forever during last year’s legislative session but his attempt failed.” Read Altman pushes for more land acquisition money in Senate proposed budget

Nathaniel Reed writes for the TC Palm – “Billions of gallons of polluted water are flowing down the St. Lucie Canal into the St. Lucie River and the Indian River Lagoon. Our citizens are rightly infuriated at the all-too-frequent destruction of our precious natural resources…Forget blaming the Army Corps and the South Florida Water Management District…Let us concentrate on solutions. Excess water from the lake must be flowed south…If our presidential candidates agree that sugar industry price supports are not only outdated but totally unwarranted, land values will rapidly decrease. If Amendment 1 funding is properly allocated…funds will be available for land acquisition and probably for matching federal funds to widen the delivery canal, build the reservoir and assist in correcting the engineering errors in the central Everglades system…The governor should take a leadership role in proposing support for the obvious solutions. There are major issues involved in financing an effort to restore the battered Everglades system, but this state can afford to impose an ‘Everglades Restoration Tax’- it has many different options…” Read Stopping polluted discharges from Lake Okeechobee isn’t rocket science

Devin Henry reports for The Hill – “Two members of Florida’s congressional delegation have launched a bipartisan caucus focused on climate change. Reps. Ted Deutch (D) and Carlos Curbelo (R) announced the formation of the Climate Solutions Caucus on Monday, calling it the ‘first bipartisan task force on climate change established in the U.S. House of Representatives.’ The caucus, the pair said in a statement, will hold meetings to educate members on climate change’s impact on ‘our economy, security, environment and infrastructure,’ as well as possible solutions for it.” Read Two Florida members form bipartisan climate caucus

Ariane de Voge, Dan Berman, and Kevin Liptak report for CNN – “Reacting to a lawsuit from 29 states, as well as the energy industry, (Supreme Court) justices blocked the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan from going forward while the rule is challenged in court…That a divided Supreme Court stepped in at this juncture to block the program after a lower court declined to do so sends a signal that at least five justices are concerned with some aspect of the plan…Senior administration officials said…they were ‘surprised’ by the high court’s action. One official called the court’s move ‘extraordinary and unprecedented,’ saying it’s rare for the Supreme Court to grant a stay on a rule whose legality hasn’t been reviewed by a lower court. But officials nonetheless expressed confidence in the president’s climate plan moving forward, even as it becomes exceedingly unlikely the litigation process is resolved by the time Obama leaves office.” Read Supreme Court blocks Obama climate change rules

Arek Sarkissian reports for Naples Daily News – “Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Tom Lee…said he did not understand why SB 318…includes a clause that would toss out bans passed by 64 counties and cities. The Hillsborough County Commission became the latest local government to ban fracking last week…Lee said he respects the decision made by his local commission…but he must make his own decision about whether the state should regulate the process.” Read Fracking bill stalls in Senate as committee chair demands more information

Brendan Farrington reports for Bradenton Herald – “Carlos Beruff has gone from considering entering the (U.S. Senate) race to likely to get in, said…a Scott media consultant…Lopez-Cantera entered the race last year…As well as serving on Scott’s transition team, Scott has appointed Beruff to the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority and the Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding…Democrats seeking the seat include U.S. Reps. Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson.” Read Wealthy Bradenton homebuilder Carlos Beruff now likely to enter Florida GOP Senate 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.



Job Postings

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

Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager


Petitions

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

 

Making Connections

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

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

February 13 – Participate in Save Our Parks, Statewide Day of Action. The Day of Action will include rallies, marches, and other events advocating against private, non-conservation uses in public lands including hunting, cattle grazing, timber harvesting, oil drilling, and more. Click here for more information.

February 13, 10:00 am – Attend the 23rd Party in the Park, the Treasure Coast’s first and foremost environmental festival, at Ft Piere Inlet State Park in Ft Pierce. The festival is free and includes food, activities for children and adults, and entertainment by Flint Blade.

February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at (407) 568- 1706.

February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library in Inverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

February 28, 1:30pm, Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact education@archbold-station.org or call 863-465-2571 x233.

February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

March 1 – Participate in No Meat March. Take the pledge to go meat-free for 31 days and enjoy the support of an online community with many resources. Find more information here.

March 5, 10:00 am – Join the Florida Wildflower Foundation for an interactive edible plant walk at PEAR Park in Leesburg. You will get to taste, touch and smell some of the native plants growing in the native plant demonstration garden. Learn which are edible, which have medicinal properties, and which have cultural and historical importance. The event is free for members and $15 for non-members. Click here for more information.

March 5, 11:00 am – Attend Northeast Florida Veg Fest at Riverside Park in Jacksonville. The day-long event will feature live music, dynamic speakers, cooking demonstrations, beer garden, kids’ zone, pie-eating contest, exceptional freebies, raffles, scavenger hunt, and much more! Find more information here.

March 15, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Dunnellon Branch of the Marion County Library in Dunnellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

March 16, 12:00 pm – Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Committee: A “Community Rights” Amendment for protecting human and ecological health. This webinar is part of The Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s Protecting Our Common Home series. For registration or further information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at psiemen@barry.edu. Please RSVP at least 48 hours before each program. Directions for participation will be sent to you.

March 19, 10:00 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Central Ridge Library in Beverly Hills. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

March 24, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Ocala Main Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

March 26, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Freedom Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

March 30, 5:30 pm – Participate in a meet and greet for environmental nonprofit groups in Pensacola. Each speaker will be given approximately 10 minutes to provide information on their group. The public is invited to attend. Please contact Mary Gutierrez, Executive Director of Earth Ethics, Inc., if you’re interested. Her e-mail is .

April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Forest Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

April 6, 12:00 pm - April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Reddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or garryegreen@centurylink.net .

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

 

 

 

 

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.

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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 a 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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