News and Announcements

FCC News Brief - December 8, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, December 8th, 2016 @ 9:11am

  • FCC News Brief


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

    December 8, 2016

     

     
     

    Jim Gross writes for The Gainesville Sun – “I’m tired of government agencies talking about our water resources crisis as a future problem…The crisis is now. But the fix isn’t near if we continue talking about the problem as a future crisis…The Suwannee and St. Johns River water management districts recently unveiled their draft North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan…We must put a ceiling on overall pumping form the aquifer if we intend to protect our freshwater resources. If we are committed to protecting the minimum flows and levels that have already been established, the ceiling must be lower than what we are pumping today…[M]anagement strategies are meaningless in the absence of a ceiling. The draft…Plan does not identify a ceiling…now or in the future, much less recommend one…Water is a finite resource. We must quit pretending otherwise. This draft plan does little to dispel the myth that Florida has unlimited freshwater at hand.” Read Regional plan doesn’t hold water

    Ron Littlepage writes for the Florida Times Union – “[The Ocklawaha River], which is the largest tributary of the St. Johns River, hasn’t been free flowing for a half century because of a monumental environmental mistake and the stubbornness of bass anglers who have had the ear of weak-kneed politicians for years…Because of that dam…more than 20 springs are covered by the pool’s often stagnant water and the St. Johns is losing an estimated 185 million gallons of freshwater a day that it desperately needs to become a healthy river. Every governor since Reuben Askew, with the exception of the current governor, has wanted the dam removed. Federal officials have said the same thing…The Rodman dam extends for 7,200 feet with about 2,800 feet of that sitting on land that is part of the Ocala National Forest. The permit the state received from the U.S. Forest Service for the dam expired in 1998, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has not had it renewed. The litigation seeks to have the dam removed from the Forest Service property…[F]ormer Gov. Buddy MacKay and Estus Whitfield, who has served as an environmental adviser to [five] Florida governors were at the news conference to lend their support as were representatives of Audubon Florida and the Save the Manatee Club.” Read It’s time to stop the Rodman dam nonsense

    Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “[A] driver ran over a Florida panther, breaking the all-time record for how many of the endangered cats have been killed by vehicles. The new record is now 31…Biologists found the…carcass of a 2-year-old female panther on State Road 29 in Collier County… ‘She was breeding age,’ state panther team leader Darrell Land said…Tuesday’s fatality…brings the total number of panther deaths for the year to 39. The others were killed by other panthers or died of other causes – for instance, being orphaned before being old enough…[Panthers] have lost habitat not just to suburban sprawl, but also to the creation of Florida Gulf Coast University and the town of Ava Maria.” Read Florida Panther killed on highway sets grisly new record

    Skyler Swisher reports for the Sun Sentinel – “The proposed sale of taxpayer-owned farmland west of Delray Beach has been put on hold amid concerns from environmentalists. Palm Beach County commissioners…delayed action on the deal involving 571 acres jointly owned by the county and the South Florida Water Management District. The land is in the Agricultural Reserve, a…farming region where taxpayers have spent $100 million to save open space…[C]ounty commissioners…wanted to meet with the district’s board to discuss placing further conservation restrictions on the land…Environmentalists argue that by selling the land to a private buyer, conservation restrictions could be voided in the future…The water management district could sue to force a sale…Environmentalists said the county should consider purchasing the property outright.” Read Palm Beach County puts hold on sale of preserved farmland west of Delray Beach

    Heather Smith reports for Grist – “[T]he GOP [is] financially dominated by fossil fuel oligarchs…but it’s also filled with people who think that renewable energy is about as conservative as you can get. And that suggests there are ripe opportunities for bipartisan cooperation on clean power – especially in states where it can provide a big boost to the economy…Lesson 2: Sometimes it’s not helpful to mention climate change…” Read Florida protects solar: 5 lessons to learn from a major green energy win

    Bob Palmer writes for the Gainesville Sun – “In a recent column, Michael Dukes rejects John Moran’s call for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to advocate for irrigation-free, fertilizer-free urban landscape. ‘UF/IFAS dos not make public policy,’ wrote Dukes, the implication being that IFAS is a purely scientific entity fulfilling the needs of the public and the policies set by the state’s political leaders…IFAS had no problem advising the Alachua County Commission to change its laws and regulations to satisfy Plum Creek, a deal which might have profited IFAS.” Read Advocacy for Profit

    Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton report for The New York Times – “President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency…Mr. Pruitt…has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies…Mr. Trump cannot unilaterally cancel [The Clean Power Plan], which were released under the 1970 Clean Air Act. But a legally experienced E.P.A. chief could substantially weaken, delay or slowly take them apart…As attorney general, Mr. Pruitt created a “federalism” unit in his office, explicitly designed to fight President Obama’s health care law and environmental regulations. ‘You could see from him an increasing effort to delegate environmental regulations away from the federal government and towards the states,’ said Ronald Keith Gaddie, a professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma…As attorney general, Mr. Pruitt took the unusual step of jointly filing an antiregulatory lawsuit with industry players…Behind the scenes, he was taking campaign contributions from many of the industry players on his team… ‘At a time when climate change is the great environmental threat to the entire planet, it is sad and dangerous that Mr. Trump has nominated Scott Pruitt to lead the E.P.A.,’ said Senator Bernie Sanders…, who sits on the committee that must confirm him. ‘…I will vigorously oppose this nomination.’” Read Trump Picks Scott Pruitt, Climate Change Denialist, to Lead E.P.A.

    Tom Philpott writes for Mother Jones – “Ebell directs the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The group runs a website…that exists to downplay the health and ecological impacts of chemicals…The EPA has been in the middle of a long, slow review of [neonicotinoids]...[and] is committed to…intervening to restrict their use if they harm honeybees. If the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s view of things holds sway, expect very little, if any, action to come from the effort.” Read Trump’s Top Environmental Adviser Says Pesticides Aren’t Bad for You

     
     
     

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Job Openings

     

    CEJ Staff Attorney

     

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

     

    December 8, 11:00 AM – Participate in a Rally to Support Senator Negron’s EAA Land Purchase Plan & Save the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge outside SFWMD Headquarters (3301 Gun Club Road) in West Palm Beach! For more information, contact Cris Costello at cris.costello@sierraclub.org.

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

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

    December 11, 12:00 pm – Attend the Green Shopping Holiday Extravaganza! This Tallahassee Midtown crawl will feature two stops selling vintage collectibles, handmade upcycled crafts, recycled art, and eco-friendly gifts. Live music, an alternative gift wrapping workshop, and an organic wine tasting will also be part of the festivities! Proceeds from this event will benefit youth programming for ReThink Energy Florida and The Sharing Tree. For more information, click here.

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

    December 15, 12:00 pm – Participate in 1000 Friends of Florida’s FREE webinar: Lake Pickett North: A Citizen Advocacy Success Story. The Orange County Board of County Commissioners’ vote on November 15 to deny a massive proposed development outside of the Urban Services Area provided a major victory both for the environment and for the citizen advocates who led the charge. For more information and to register, click here.

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

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

    January 29, 10:00 AM – Attend Southwest Florida Veg Fest in Fort Myers. For more information, click here.

    February 15, 12:00 pm – Participate in 1000 Friends of Florida’s FREE webinar: Implementing Water 2070: Water Conservation Planning for Florida Communities. Dr. Pierce Jones, Director of the University of Florida’s Program for Resource Efficient Communities, will discuss water conservation planning for Florida’s communities based on a series of studies he’s conducted on behalf of the Toho Water Authority, Envision Alachua (Plum Creek), and other local governments, developers, and water authorities. For more information and to register, click here.

     

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - December 7, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 @ 9:22am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    December 7, 2016

     

     

     
     
    Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “Bill Alexander, Florida Trail Association team leader…fears an insider deal in the works could end public access to the best of Florida’s nature…The St. Johns River Water Management District has confirmed confidential appraisals are underway for a possible deal that would turn over Bull Creek (Conservation Area) land to the Kempfer ranching family, owner of the property until a half-century ago…A similar controversy over the land arose 20 years ago, when the…district offered Bull Creek land in exchange for wetlands on the nearby Kempfer ranch, before backing away under vociferous opposition…Defenders of the wilderness don’t know whether the Kempfers would use Bull Creek for a hunting resort, cattle grazing or a development scheme. The neighboring Deseret Ranches has secured rights to build a metropolitan area in coming decades…In 1981, the Kempfers sued the St. Johns water district…Then,…Billy Kempfer joined the water district, taking a seat on its Agricultural Advisory Committee, which has direct access to district leaders. [He] became chairman of the committee two years ago.” Read Battle looms for Bull Creek paradise, a treasured wilderness in eastern Osceola County
     
    The Associated Press reports – “[A] (9-month-old) Florida panther has been found dead from an apparent vehicle strike in southwest Florida…A total of 38 Florida panthers have been found dead in 2016, with 30 road fatalities.” Read Panther found dead in southwest Florida
     
    The News Service of Florida reports – “Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet agreed…to spend $2.9 million to conserve just over 2,300 acres of rural land in Northeast Florida…The purchase…is…a conservation easement at the Clay Ranch in Putnam County…[It] is the 31st by Scott and the Cabinet through the Rural & Family Lands Preservation Program…The Legislature approved $35 million for the Rural & Family Lands program in the current fiscal year, $10 million more than Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam requested. Putnam has asked lawmakers to allocate $50 million for the program in 2017.” Read Scott, Cabinet back Northeast Florida land deal 

    Naples Herald staff reports – “At its November Commission meeting, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission gave staff approval to publish proposed revisions to the Collier County manatee protection zones… “The proposed changes allow for some relaxation in boating speed limits while continuing to protect waterways for manatee use,” said Commission Vice Chairman Liesa Priddy…The majority of the proposed changes will result in the removal or reduction of speed zones in regulated waterways, while only a few new regulations will affect smaller areas of waterways.Read FWC Gives Preliminary Approval to Changes in Collier Manatee Zones
     
    Michael Dukes writes for The Gainesville Sun – “Protecting the water we’ll need for the 15 million additional residents projected to live here in 50 years calls for us to start right now by getting today’s 20 million Floridians on board with a conservation ethic. The University of Florida’s Institute of food and Agricultural Sciences has a special responsibility as the state’s leading public institution providing the science to make this happen…UF/IFAS is on the cutting edge of water-saving science with technologies such as phone apps and high tech irrigation controllers that tap into soil moisture data and weather forecasts to tell people when to water, and equally important, when not to. They can cut your water usage by 20 percent without browning your lawn. We have UF/IFAS Extension agents in every county to familiarize homeowners and growers with these kinds of tools. These agents also work with builders and developers, a number of whom are building these technologies into their new communities…[W]e must do more- a lot more…” Read Water solutions spring from IFAS science
     
    Brad Buck reports for the Crestview News Bulletin – “Your neighbors and peers probably care more about water conservation than one might assume, and that may mean they’re open to some new ideas about using less water, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher says…[T]he study showed that people who participate in UF/IFAS Extension water conservation programs enjoy social support for conserving water. Specifically, their families and friends may use rain gauges and irrigate properly…and thus, they live in a culture that supports their doing the same…People who don’t participate either are not surrounded by people who actively conserve water or they perceive that they don’t… ‘Their peer groups do not talk about saving water, and they don’t think anyone expects them to do so.’” Read Researcher: Neighborly conversations can help with water conservation 

    Yvone Bertovich reports for WUFT – “Several protestors gathered Monday outside the Dunnellon residence of Kathy Lane, a newly established activist affected by the Sabal Trail Pipeline project…Protestors traveled from all over Florida to show their support for Lane…Lane has also been communicating with activists speaking out against the larger-scale Dakota Access Pipeline…” Read Protests Continue Over Sabal Trail Pipeline Construction
     
    Angela Chen writes for The Verge – “Our rapidly warming planet has melted a chunk of sea ice the size of India, according to climate scientists. What’s more, the sea ice near Antarctica has started melting, too, after years of expanding despite global warming…[N]ow the ice is melting at both poles, and ice levels in both areas are at record lows.” Read A chunk of sea ice the size of India has melted
     

     

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    December 7, 12:00 pm – ReThink Energy Florida will host a Stop Sabal Trail Lunch & Learn in Tallahassee to discuss the issues surrounding the pipeline and its construction, why it is a danger for all affected communities, and to talk about actionable plans to fight the construction of this pipeline. For more information, click here.

    December 8, 11:00 AM – Participate in a Rally to Support Senator Negron’s EAA Land Purchase Plan & Save the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge outside SFWMD Headquarters (3301 Gun Club Road) in West Palm Beach! For more information, contact Cris Costello at cris.costello@sierraclub.org.

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

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

    December 11, 12:00 pm – Attend the Green Shopping Holiday Extravaganza! This Tallahassee Midtown crawl will feature two stops selling vintage collectibles, handmade upcycled crafts, recycled art, and eco-friendly gifts. Live music, an alternative gift wrapping workshop, and an organic wine tasting will also be part of the festivities! Proceeds from this event will benefit youth programming for ReThink Energy Florida and The Sharing Tree. For more information, click here.

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

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

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

    January 29, 10:00 AM – Attend Southwest Florida Veg Fest in Fort Myers. For more information, click here.

     

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - December 6, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 @ 6:16pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    December 6, 2016


     
     

    Larry Buhl reports for Desmog – “As opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline swells at home and abroad, another pipeline project at the other end of the U.S. is quietly being installed as fast as possible, critics say, displacing residents, threatening water supplies, and racking up alleged construction violations…Sabal Trail is using $3 billion of Florida Power and Light ratepayer money to build a 515-mile pipeline to transport natural gas obtained via fracking from eastern Alabama to central Florida…Critics of Sabal Trail…[are] angry that a private company is using eminent domain…Opponents of Sabal Trail say that pipeline construction alone poses a threat to local water resources by releasing hazardous materials and drilling mud into waterways, and they say that several incidents of negligence have intensified those concerns.” Read Critics Call $3 Billion Sabal Trail Pipeline Florida’s Dakota Access Pipeline 

    Tia Mitchell reports for The Florida Times Union
    – “A petition was filed…in hopes that the U.S. Forest Service will order the (Rodman) dam to be torn down according to terms outlined in a now-expired agreement between the federal government and the state of Florida. If the dam is removed, the large reservoir resulting from the stoppage of flow would drain and flow would return to the Ocklawaha River, one of the main tributaries to the St. Johns River…Environmental groups like Audubon Florida and the St Johns Riverkeeeper…say the backstop caused by the reservoir negatively affects at least 20 springs and destroyed 9,200 acres of floodplains and forests, while costing the state roughly $1 million each year to maintain.” Read Environmentalists try new administrative angle to force removal of Rodman dam
     
    The Daytona Beach News-Journal writes – “More people mean more houses, schools, shopping centers. And that means more of Florida covered with asphalt, and less land open for rainwater to seep back into the ground and replenish the vast underground caverns that hold the state’s main freshwater supply…Florida’s economic engine runs on growth, but unchecked, thoughtless sprawl is a direct threat to the state’s two largest industries, tourism and agriculture, both uniquely tied to the health of the state’s water supply…Establishing strong protections for natural areas, preserving space for agriculture and encouraging development in more compact, well-planned municipal areas could help Florida build a more sustainable future…Blue Spring, a favored manatee winter spot and the centerpiece of a beloved state park has been showing decreased spring flow and increased bacteria count for years, both directly tied to development in its watershed.” Read Saving Florida’s water
     
    Steve Patterson reports for The Florida Times Union – “[T]he St. Johns Riverkeeper…is planning events…to…[screen] a documentary it financed called “Troubled Waters: Connections and Consequences.” The 50-minute report describes strains on the river ranging from increasing salinity to higher water use as well as pressure for regulators at the St. Johns River Water Management District and Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection to be lenient… ‘DEP seems to think that their job is to promote industry. I think their job should be to protect the public,’ said Quinton White, executive director of Jacksonville University’s Marine Science Research Institute… ‘The current governor came into office and slashed and burned the budget on environmental issues. Now we’re seeing the consequences of that.’…The documentary also quotes former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham…saying that ‘many of the best scientists in…water management districts have been fired’ in recent years. ‘Therefore, bad decisions are made or bad decisions go unchallenged…’” Read Riverkeeper promoting film that warns of political power
     
    Jim Rosica reports for Florida Politics – “An array of environmental advocacy groups had filed suit over the Water and Land Legacy Amendment…One suit targeted the Legislature; another went after the agencies…The Legislature moved to consolidate the cases…(Circuit Judge) Dodson said he’d pass on formally ruling on the consolidation motion if the various plaintiffs instead merged their complaints into one suit. They agreed to do so by Jan. 6.” Read Plaintiffs will combine forces in Amendment 1 lawsuit
     
    Lazaro Aleman reports for Greene Publishing, Inc. – “Keep Florida Beautiful (KFB) and Florida Affiliates recently honored District 7 Rep. Halsey Beshears…Beshears has been KFB’s budget sponsor in the Florida House for the last two years…Beshears responded by saying that it was the duty of all citizens to be the best stewards of the land possible…According to KFB, the average American generates more than four pounds of trash daily. KFB and its affiliates holds as its mission to inspire and educate and empower people to improve their communities through the organization of cleanups and litter prevention education programs.” Read Florida groups honor Rep. Beshears
     
    Jerry Iannelli reports for the Miami New Times – “The U.S. Southern District of Florida announced that Princess Cruises, an L.A.-based company owned by Carnival, has pleaded guilty to seven felony charges stemming from the fact it was caught dumping ‘oil-contaminated waste’ into water off the coast of England using a ‘magic pipe.’…Carnival admitted to covering up illegal discharges from 2005 to 2013 and using the scheme on at least five ships…Princess will pay the government $40 million…$3 million will go toward helping the South Florida environment.” Read Carnival Cruise Subsidiary Caught Blatantly Dumping Oil Into Ocean for Ten Years
     
    Stephen Hudak reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “The state Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission released a pair of educational videos…to help people in Florida’s bear corridors co-exist with the animals…Most calls to the state’s nuisance bear hotline involve the animals scavenging trash for a high-calorie meal…Because both black bear and human populations in Florida keep growing, dangerous interactions between the two species are likely to rise, too…The videos can be seen here and here.” Read State’s educational videos to help Floridians co-exist with bears
     

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    December 7, 12:00 pm – ReThink Energy Florida will host a Stop Sabal Trail Lunch & Learn in Tallahassee to discuss the issues surrounding the pipeline and its construction, why it is a danger for all affected communities, and to talk about actionable plans to fight the construction of this pipeline. For more information, click here.

    December 8, 11:00 AM – Participate in a Rally to Support Senator Negron’s EAA Land Purchase Plan & Save the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge outside SFWMD Headquarters (3301 Gun Club Road) in West Palm Beach! For more information, contact Cris Costello at cris.costello@sierraclub.org.

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

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

    December 11, 12:00 pm – Attend the Green Shopping Holiday Extravaganza! This Tallahassee Midtown crawl will feature two stops selling vintage collectibles, handmade upcycled crafts, recycled art, and eco-friendly gifts. Live music, an alternative gift wrapping workshop, and an organic wine tasting will also be part of the festivities! Proceeds from this event will benefit youth programming for ReThink Energy Florida and The Sharing Tree. For more information, click here.

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

     

FCC Wins Best Water Conservation Non-Profit

E-mail sent by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, December 5th, 2016 @ 11:24am

Dear FCC Members,

Every year the Ocala Star Banner hosts their "Best of the Best" competition. Charities and not-for-profit organizations in several categories are nominated and voted for by Ocala Star Banner readers. This year, I am pleased to announce that the Florida Conservation Coalition won the distinction of "Best Water Conservation Non-Profit."

The FCC is so thankful to everyone who voted for us and who supports our work of protecting not only Florida's waters, but also its lands and wildlife. We wish you a very happy holiday season and we hope you'll continue speaking up for Florida's natural resources as we move into the new year.

Best,
Gladys

FCC News Brief - December 5, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, December 5th, 2016 @ 9:17am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    December 5, 2016

     

     
     
    Florida Politics reports – “Sen. Jeff Brandes has filed [Senate Bill 90] to implement [Amendment 4] to give tax breaks to companies that buy and install solar devices and equipment…A House companion bill has not yet been filed. Brandes said…he hopes House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, who supported the effort to get the amendment on the ballot…, will sponsor the House implementing bill.” Read Jeff Brandes files Amendment 4 implementing bill
     
    Laura Geggel reports for Live Science – “A Burmese python in the Everglades…gulped down three whole deer- one doe and two fawns- before wildlife officials captured and euthanized it…The gustatory feat sets a record… ‘If a python is capable of eating three deer in three months,’ what else are they eating that we don’t know about, [Scott Bobcack, an associate professor of biology at Dickinson College] asked. ‘We don’t even know how many of them are out there [in the Everglades].’” Read Ravenous 14-Foot Python Caught with 3 Deer in Its Gut

    Amy Green reports for WMFE – “The Old World Climbing Fern…is spreading into Central Florida…Stephen Enloe of the University of Florida’s Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants says the fast-growing fern smothers everything in its path, including trees. ‘It also burns very nicely, and so it can act as a fire ladder up into trees as it burns, and that is a major, major problem.’ In the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge…the state claims the federal government is failing to control the fern. Now the fern is appearing for the first time as far north as Jacksonville.” Read Florida’s latest invasive plant species moves into Central Florida after spawning National Refuge dispute
     
    Daniel Andres writes for News Press – “As…our waters begin to clear, many Southwest Florida residents will breathe a sigh of relief. But for those of us who make our living on the water, we will continue to suffer from the lasting effects of the man-made Lake Okeechobee discharges into our estuaries..[O]yster and seagrass beds do not regrow overnight – it takes years of proper management to repair the damage inflicted by mere weeks of high volume freshwater discharges…Incoming Florida Senate President Joe Negron…has proposed buying…acres of agricultural land south of the lake to create a reservoir that would be used to store excess water so that it can be cleaned and conveyed south into the Everglades and Florida Bay where it is desperately needed…There are many projects south of the lake at various stages of completion…These projects are designed to overcome the current obstacles to sending water south, and will not be utilized to their full potential unless we have sufficient water storage…in the Everglades Agricultural Area to provide a constant supply of freshwater to Florida Bay.” Read 2016 rough year for water but time to build on solutions

    J.P. Sasser writes for my Palm Beach Post – “When the Everglades Reservoir and restoration were originally designed, permitted and funded almost 20 years ago, the first to oppose the reservoir were the environmental groups. Their reasoning was that it would be more of an aid to the sugar industry than it would benefit restoration…Then the environmentalists pushed for the construction of the reservoir to be halted immediately…[T]he Miccosukee Tribe sued the state to continue with the construction of the reservoir…[C]onstruction of the reservoir was halted after hundreds of millions of tax dollars were spent. And now we are back to spending more billions for a reservoir that oddly is no longer ‘useless’ or ‘too expensive.’…The fact that none of our elected officials supporting this…nor any of the environmental groups have engaged the Glades communities in meaningful dialogue…makes one thing perfectly clear- it is more about an agenda of killing agriculture south of the lake than it is about stopping the discharges and restoring the Everglades.” Read Everglades restoration principals freezing out Glades
     
    Kevin Bouffard reports for The Ledger – “The Mosaic Co…has sent out letters to more than 200 residents near its New Wales fertilizer manufacturing plant with an offer to test their wells every three months next year and twice in 2018…As of Thursday, Mosaic has tested 1,329 wells in the immediate area of the…gypsum stack that collapsed…None has shown signs of contamination related to the accident…” Read Mosaic announces new water well testing program
     
    Meredith Rutland Bauer reports for Motherboard– “An international coalition of mayors recently formed the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, a group of about 7,100 city mayors from six continents to take greater action to avoid climate impacts and demonstrate how local action can impact the global stage...” Read Mayors Unite to Fight Climate Change from City to City
     
    Rebecca Savransky reports for MSN – “Federal officials have denied the final permits required for the Dakota Access Pipeline…The Army Corps of Engineers…announced it would instead conduct an environmental impact review of the 1,170-mile pipeline project and determine if there are other ways to route it to avoid a crossing on the Missouri River…Dakota Access developer Energy Transfer Partners…has a strong ally in President-elect Donald Trump… ‘In the year 2016, we should not continue to trample on Native American sovereignty,’ said Sen. Bernie Sanders… ‘We should not endanger the water supply of millions of people…We should not become more dependent on fossil fuel and accelerate the planetary crisis of climate change.’” Read Feds deny permit for Dakota Access pipeline

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.    

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

FCC News Brief - December 3, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief

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

    December 3, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

     

FCC News Brief - December 1, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief


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


    December 1, 2016

     
     
     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
     


     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com. 

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - November 30, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief

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

    November 30, 2016


     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
     
     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

     

FCC News Brief - November 29, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief

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

    November 29, 2016


     

     

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

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - November 28, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief

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

    November 28, 2016

     


     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - November 19, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief

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

    November 19, 2016

     

     

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - November 18, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief 

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

    November 18, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
     
     
     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - November 17, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief

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

    November 17, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
     
     
     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - November 16, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief

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

    November 16, 2016

     

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.  

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

FCC News Brief - November 14, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief 

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

    November 14, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
     
     
     
     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - November 11, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief 

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

    November 11, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
     
     
     
     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - November 9, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief

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

    November 9, 2016


     

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - November 8, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief

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

     
    November 8, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
     
     
     
     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - November 7, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief

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

    November 7, 2016

     
     
     
     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     


     

     
     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

    Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

    If you wish to stop receiving these daily emails just reply with the subject "unsubscribe" and you will be promptly removed. Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - November 5, 2016

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

  • FCC News Brief

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

    November 5, 2016

     
     
     
     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     
     
     
     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

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

    Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

    Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

    Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

    Save the Econlockhatchee River!

    Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

    Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

    Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

    Paynes Prairie in danger

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

    Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

    Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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    About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

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