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FCC News Brief - August 23, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 @ 9:58am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 23, 2016




    Fred Grimm writes for the Bradenton Herald – “A deluge of benzene, beryllium, trichloroethane, dichloroethylene and other known carcinogens ought to blend nicely with the stinking layers of Day-Glo green algae…Or with the massive fish kills…The new hazard-chemical rules complement the…black foaming paper-mill effluent that…has left a 10-square mile dead zone at the mouth of the Fenholloway River…The ERC…must assume that Florida waterways have become so adulterated that no one much cares about a couple of dozen more hazardous pollutants. Not in a state that frequently warns swimmers away from waters with high levels of enteric bacteria, attributable to fecal contamination…[B]oosted by global warming, vibrio vulnificus, AKA “flesh-eating bacteria,” menaces swimmers in brackish coastal waters, especially when fresh-water releases…mess up the salt-water ratio…Denker (of Waters Without Borders) suspects that the commission majority was in a rush to adopt the new rules to accommodate a paper mill on the Fenholloway River.” Read Cancer-causing chemicals will go nicely with toxic algae, flesh-eating bacteria

    Kate Bradshaw writes for Creative Loafing – “[Amendment 4] does two things. First, it would allow businesses that install rooftop solar to subtract the value of their solar panels from the overall value of their property when calculating property taxes. There’s already such a policy in place for homeowners who installed their systems before 2013, but this extends the exemption to homeowners who have done so since, as well as to commercial property tax owners.  Second, the amendment exempts solar equipment form the tangible personal property tax…A huge concern about cutting taxes is always going to be the loss in revenue needed by governments to help citizens meet their basic needs…But the solar industry is so small in Florida that tax dollars ‘lost’ from the Amendment 4 tax break would be negligible…” Read Explain Like I’m 5: The solar amendment on Florida’s August ballot

    Ron Littlepage writes for The Florida Times Union – “Will Florida ever learn? Not likely…[I]t’s déjà vu all over again. For decades, the Georgia-Pacific paper mill in Palatka, now owned by the Koch brothers, dumped its polluted effluent into Rice Creek. When treating the creek as a sewer was no longer tenable, the solution was to pipe the wastewater to the middle of the St. Johns River. When a study raised questions about how that effluent was affecting the river, it was ignored and replaced by a friendlier interpretation. Now another paper mill…also owned by the Koch brothers wants to pipe the effluent it has been dumping into the Fenholloway River about 25 miles farther downstream and about a mile and a half from the Gulf of Mexico. There’s already a 10 square mile dead zone in the Gulf thanks to the mill’s pollution.” Read Has Gov. Scott ever met a polluter he didn’t want to help?

    Kimberly Miller reports for my Palm Beach Post – “’The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service solemnly promised…that it would use its ‘best efforts’ to acquire dedicated funds to control the invasive exotic plant infestation in the refuge,’ water management Executive Director Peter Antonacci wrote in a…letter. ‘The service has not only failed to control the invasive exotic plant infestation, but also ignores its contractual obligations.’…[T]he district said it will cost $5 million for five years to bring the refuge into compliance- money the district says the wildlife service has not requested… ‘Our governing board is left to wonder how your agency can justify ‘best efforts’ that stop short of actually asking Congress for the money to solve the invasive species problem,’ Antonacci wrote… ‘I think cancelling a national wildlife refuge as a way to express displeasure with an agency for missing one out of 13 performance measures is pretty darn extreme,’ said Eric Draper, executive director at Audubon Florida, who questioned whether there was another motive in trying to end the lease…The refuge is at the heart of a years-old lawsuit that requires the state to ensure clean water is flowing into that land… ‘No more wildlife refuge, no more federal jurisdiction over water quality.’” Read Florida, feds wage land battle over an Everglades-killing fern

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “The science and economics behind mitigation banking is suspect enough. But a proposal to cut back 40 acres of mangrove by Manatee County builder and U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff raises serious questions about the practice and political influence in the state’s Department of Environmental Protection…The DEP’s history under this governor of acting as a political tool rather than an advocate for Florida’s natural resources speaks to the need for a fresh look at this case. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which announced last month it is considering a federal permit for Beruff’s bank, should examine whether the project truly serves a public purpose. If anything, the standards for these mitigation banks should be toughened, both for the environment and public confidence in government.” Read A sweet DEP deal for Carlos Beruff

    Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel – “U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson says he’s the Senate candidate who can best tackle toxic algae plaguing Florida…Grayson said his work in Congress helped secure more money for the National Estuary Program…Grayson said he backs the effort pushed by coastal communities and environmental groups – and Murphy- for the state to buy farmland south of Lake Okeechobee…State leaders should ‘represent the will of the people’ and use Amendment 1 money…Agricultural interests, such as the influential sugar industry, should do more to solve the pollution problem, but so should urban areas still using polluting septic tanks, Grayson said – pointing to neighborhoods in his own district that still use septic tanks instead of sewer lines.” Read Grayson says he can deliver help for Florida’s algae problem  

    Jennifer Ludden reports for NPR – “Travis Rieder tries to…question the assumptions of a society that sees having children as good, throws parties for expecting parents, and in which parents then pressure their kids to ‘give them grandchildren.’…He asks how old [students] will be in 2036, and, if they are thinking of having kids, how old their kids will be. ‘Dangerous climate change is going to be happening by then,’ he says…[W]ithout dramatic action, climatologists say, the world is on track to hit 4 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century, and worse beyond that…4 degrees of warming would be ‘largely uninhabitable for humans.’ ‘It’s gonna be post-apocalyptic movie time,’ he says…[S]lowing population growth could eliminate one-fifth to one-quarter of all the carbon emissions that need to be cut by midcentury to avoid that potentially catastrophic tipping point…[T]he metric tons saved when a person chooses to have one fewer child: 9,441.” Read Should We Be Having Kids in the Age of Climate Change?

    Oliver Milman reports for The Guardian – “As the National Parks Service has charted the loss of glaciers, sea level rise and increase in wildfires spurred by rising temperatures in recent years, the scale of the threat to US heritage across the 412 national parks and monuments has become starkly apparent…The Statue of Liberty is at ‘high exposure’ risk from increasingly punishing storms. A national monument dedicated to abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who will be enshrined on a new $20 note, could be eaten away by rising tides in Maryland…Rising temperatures could mean no more glaciers in Glacier national park, no more Joshua trees in Joshua Tree national park…The remaining 65 groves of huge sequoia trees in California, among the largest living things on the planet, could be decimated by a warmer, drier climate…The grizzly bears of Yellowstone like to feast on the cone seeds of the white bark pine, a species under attack from the mountain pine beetle. If warming winters fail to kill off the beetle, the bears will have to find another food source, impacting others species. A lack of snow for denning will affect bears and wolves; warming river waters will force out the salmon.” Read Climate change will mean the end of national parks as we know them

     

     

     

    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

    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




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

    September 9-11 – Attend the PowerShift Southeast 2016 in Orlando. Power Shift brings young climate leaders together as a movement- building the organizing skills, shared excitement, and strong relationships needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a just, clean energy-powered future. For more information and to register, click here.

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 18, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, August 18th, 2016 @ 3:39pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 18, 2016

    Hillary Clinton writes for Florida Today – “Clean water is a basic right of all Americans, and Floridians deserve for their water to be safe to drink, their beaches to be safe to swim and their waterways to be safe to fish. But recent years have seen Florida facing one environmental crisis after another. Rising sea levels are already causing the streets of Miami Beach to flood at high tide, and saltwater is intruding on drinking water wells…The algae has closed beaches, forced residents to stay indoors and cost the economy millions in lost tourism and fishing dollars- and not for the first time. Meanwhile, on Gov. Rick Scott’s watch, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has pursued fully 70 percent fewer enforcement cases than before the took office- and 88 percent fewer cases aimed at keeping drinking water clean…Just a few weeks ago, the Scott administration quietly pushed through changes to water quality criteria that, if allowed to stand, would dramatically increase the level of carcinogens permitted in Florida’s water…Scott’s administration canceled a long-planned purchase of tens of thousands of acres of agricultural land south of the lake…The governor’s friend and preferred presidential candidate Donald Trump shares his view that climate change is a hoax…Floridians deserve better. I have been outspoken throughout this campaign about the need to upgrade our drinking and wastewater infrastructure…[W]e need to improve monitoring and enforcement of our public health standards…As president, I would double our efforts to restore the Everglades and protect clean water…[W]e can’t elect leaders who don’t believe in science. That’s a risk Americans – and Floridians- just can’t afford to take.” Read Floridians deserve clean water

    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “More than one in eight public water systems in Florida have pollution-related violations, many involving chemical or fecal contamination that can pose health risks, according to a new report by a nonprofit government watchdog group. But water enforcement under Gov. Rick Scott has dried up to ‘almost undetectable levels,’ says Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. In its report, entitled “Don’t Drink the Water- Collapse of Florida’s Safe Drinking Water Enforcement Program,” PEER examined data from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees drinking water…PEER’s report found:…- DEP opened only five enforcement cases in 2015 and assessed fines in only two… ‘Now would be the absolute worst time to suspend federal oversight of Florida’s very sick safe drinking water program.’ PEER cited toxic algal blooms, saltwater intrusion…and depletion of groundwater aquifers as rising threats to clean water. ‘The number of potable water assessments has declined steadily since 2010 to a point that it is all but nonexistent in Florida,’ PEER’s report states. ‘This is the worst performance in the Department’s history dating back to 1988. None of the districts improved their performance in 2015…’” Read Nonprofit blasts Florida drinking water enforcement

    Scott Powers reports for Florida Politics – “The Progressive Democrats Caucus has endorsed environmental activist Chuck O’Neal in the Orlando-based Senate District 11 race. O’Neal…[has] a longtime history of work on issues ranging from protection of Florida springs and aquifers, to bear habitat, to directing the efforts of the League of Women Voters of Florida in passing 2014’s Amendment 1- Florida’s water and land legacy amendment.” Read Progressive Democrats Caucus endorses Chuck O’Neal in SD 11 race

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “The South Florida Water Management District is reviewing proposals from six large-tract landowners to pull water out of canals that otherwise would flow into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, which would cost $45.4 million of the $47.8 million the 2016 Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott approved for more water storage projects…The district would cover construction costs and pay landowners annual “rent,” which would have to be negotiated and approved by the Legislature each year…[S]uch projects get a cool response from environmentalists who claim they divert money and attention away from permanent fixes. They say the priority should be building large projects on government-owned property…The district’s Inspector General J. Timothy Beirnes agreed, saying in a November 2014 audit that dispersed water management projects should be seen as “short-term strategies” and “complements to regional projects,” such as reservoirs. Opponents also see the multimillion-dollar projects as corporate welfare to large landowners who typically are large political donors.” Read South Florida Water Management District considers $46 million water storage proposals

    Kate Stein reports for WLRN – “For two decades, Florida has had an annual limit on how much phosphorus can flow out of the Everglades Agricultural Area…Farmers and sugar-growers must release at least 25 percent less phosphorous than they did before the limit…Dr. Melodie Naja, chief scientist for the Everglades Foundation, pointed out that in 1996, the first year of full implementation of the reduction program, farmers released 68 percent less phosphorus—well above the 25 percent required reduction. ‘In just the first compliance year…that’s really very high,’ Naja said…Naja said there’s also a problem with using a standard based on averages. ‘Basically, the bad neighbors are counting on the good neighbors to achieve the 25 percent.’…She also recommended that individual farms be held accountable for the amount of phosphorus they release. ‘We need to target those specific hotspot areas,’ Naja said.” Read Environmentalists Call for Reduction of Phosphorus Released South of Lake Okeechobee

    Center for Biological Diversity shares – “A group of environmental organizations and America’s largest trade organization for recreational divers filed suit in federal court…to seek protections for coral reefs in Fort Lauderdale. The corals, in and around Port Everglades, are threatened by a proposed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging and port expansion to make way for larger…sized vessels. Port Everglades is about 30 miles north of the Port of Miami, where the Corps recently deepened and widened the Miami Harbor Channel, a project that proved disastrous for the coral reef in the area.” Read Port Everglades Project Would Repeat Environmental Destruction Caused by PortMiami Dredging

    Scott Powers reports for Florida Politics – “U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy won the endorsement of the League of Conservation Voters in his race for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat… ‘The truth is, we don’t have 10, 15 years to get this right,’ Murphy said. ‘Climate change is a real threat and Florida is directly impacted…’…For the algae bloom and the Everglades, Murphy talked about continuing to funnel billions of money into long-term plans to redirect water through Florida into the Everglades, as it was naturally 150 years ago… ‘Patrick Murphy constantly teamed up with Republicans to force President Obama to approve Keystone XL, all while voting to expand fracking and Gulf oil drilling. Alan Grayson vocally opposed all three,’ Grayson Campaign Manager Michael Ceraso stated in a news release…” Read Patrick Murphy gets League of Conservation Voters endorsement

    Sara Barczak writes for cleanenergy.org – “Here are the facts about FPL’s Turkey Point nuclear plant units 3-4 – There is NO other place in the world that uses an unlined, porous industrial sewer to cool water for an operating nuclear plant…- This grand experiment is failing and polluting ground water and the waters of Biscayne Bay…We contracted with engineering expert Bill Powers of Powers Engineering and recently released an in-depth report that recommends building mechanical draft cooling towers as an affordable practical solution…Despite years of data proving that FPL has violated its operating permits, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection continues to allow FPL to operate on an expired permit at Turkey Point and has failed to take the necessary actions to protect Biscayne Bay from ongoing leaks from the cooling canal system. This is why we, along with Tropical Audubon Society and Friends of the Everglades, filed a Clean Water Act lawsuit last month.” Read Environmental Leadership? New Study Provides Facts and Solutions for FPL’s Turkey Point Open Industrial Sewer 

     

     

     

     

    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

    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


    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

    September 9-11 – Attend the PowerShift Southeast 2016 in Orlando. Power Shift brings young climate leaders together as a movement- building the organizing skills, shared excitement, and strong relationships needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a just, clean energy-powered future. For more information and to register, click here.

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 17, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 @ 12:25pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 17, 2016




    Jeff Burlew reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “The Florida Environmental Regulation Commission signed off on…new limits (on toxic chemicals) over the objection of environmental groups and others…[T]he Seminole Tribe of Florida [challenged] it in administrative court. Among other things, the tribe said the state failed to give a full 28 days of public notice as required by law before the ERC convened. Now…the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the ERC [are saying] the tribe’s challenge should be dismissed because it was filed outside a 10-day window. The tribe’s petition says it was filed electronically on Friday, Aug. 5, which would have been the last day it could have been filed. But DEP…says it was filed after 5 p.m…” Read DEP says Seminole water challenge filed too late

    Jerry Iannelli writes for the Miami New Times – “Last month, Florida’s Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC) took the alarming step of changing state rules to allow more cancer-causing chemicals in Florida’s water…Almost 20,000 people would like to see that plan reversed. A two-week-old Change.org petition…has gathered 19,403 signatures…Malory Spier…started the petition drive after helping her mother bear cancer earlier this year. ‘I’m a Floridian, and my mother just finished chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,’ she writes on the petition. ‘My eyes have been opened to the many places carcinogens lurk- they’re everywhere, and now they’ll be in our water and seafood!’…Speir…hopes her petition catches the EPA’s eye…” Read 20,000 People Ask Florida to Rethink Plan Allowing More Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Water

    Kathy Prucnell reports for Islander Reporter – “Long Bar Pointe LLLP…, controlled by developers Carlos Beruff and Larry Leiberman, is seeking to operate a (mitigation) bank…Beruff is running for the U.S. Senate in the GOP August primary. More than 100 emails poured into the federal agency before public comment closed…The bank could be the first to operate alongside an active development and the first to allow mangrove trimming…Beruff can pay himself as the bank operator to perform mitigation he’s required to perform by state and local regulators…And although the DEP permit would require a conservation easement, which, when recorded, should protect the property against future development, it also will exempt Beruff’s mitigation site from property taxes…Sewall construction and dredging of a mangrove-lined 2-mile stretch of Sarasota Bay shoreline may be just a permit away. Long Bar Pointe LLLP filed a…permit application…to allow for the activity between a proposed mitigation bank and a large-scale development.” Read Long Bar mitigation bank faces federal review

    Eliot Kleinberg reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Palm Beach County commissioners…formally urged Congress to find the money to finish fixing the Lake Okeechobee dike….[M]any other issues are vying for Congress’ limited pot of money…Negron’s proposal to buy land, for example, would require asking Congress to approve a matching federal grant to about $100 million…Michelle McGovern, director of outreach for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, told the commission both Nelson and Rubio have made the dike a top priority.” Read Palm Beach County commissioners to feds: Fix Lake Okeechobee dike now

    Paul Guzzo reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “A few hundred miles from the west coast of Florida is a 7,700-sqaure-mile area of the Gulf of Mexico known as the Eastern Gap, thought to be rich with oil but with no clear owner. The U.S., Cuban and Mexican governments are now negotiating how to split the area among the three nations. Once that happens, each country can drill for oil in its allotted portion. But for Cuba, this could also open its entire side of the Gulf for oil exploration, including the region directly on the other side of the maritime border from the Tampa Bay area. This worries elected officials who support the current drilling moratorium that covers much of the U.S. side of the eastern Gulf- including within 234 miles of Tampa Bay- that is meant to protect the area from spills…This energy source could be more important to Cuba than ever.” Read Advocates of gulf-oil drilling ban worried by talks with Cuba

    Mary Ellen Klas writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “In a press release proclaiming that South Florida residents should “Get the Facts,’ the South Florida Water Management District moved from neutral regulator to attack dog…using a press release to criticize Audubon of Florida for disagreeing with the district’s decision to rollback property taxes instead of paying for invasive species control in the Arthur Marshall National Wildlife Refuge… ‘It is not an appropriate or smart strategy to say to Congress, which is cutting its budget and struggling with a federal deficit, to spend that money when you are not willing to increase the amount of money you are spending to control [invasive species],’ [Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida] said…Last year, as property values rose another $21 million in the district, the former head of the SFWMD, Blake Guillory, proposed ending the practice of cutting back taxes…to keep the district from dipping into reserves to pay for its projects. Within two weeks, the board of governors reversed the decision and Guillory was forced to resign…The district’s… “Get the Facts” did not mention all the facts, including that…the district wants $25 million over three years from Congress…and that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has an annual budget of $1 million for exotic plant control and has spent another 41 million over the last three years for invasive plant control at the refuge… ‘I can’t recall a state agency targeting a non-profit organization before,’ said Jonathan Ulman of Sierra Club of South Florida… ‘…[T]hese emails are entirely inappropriate. The agency has become an attack dog, rather than a public service.’” Read Water regulators attack Audubon of Florida over tax talk

    Associated Press reports – “[A] Florida panther has been found dead from an apparent vehicle strike in…Collier County…A total of 30 Florida panthers have been found dead in 2016, with 23 road fatalities.” Read Panther found dead in southwest Florida

    CJRedd writes for Historic City News – “[A] bear may decide to visit your yard if it offers a menu of good things to eat…An overflowing garbage can, a big bowl of uneaten dog food or a generously filled bird feeder- all look and smell tasty to a bear. Remember the bear…can smell something a mile away. But this problem is fairly easy to fix. Indeed learning to be “bear wise” about what attracts bears to your yard is a key component of living without conflicts with bears in Florida. The efforts that you take to make your yard less attractive to bears are important for the safety of pets, children and adults. Yet these same efforts also help conserve the lives of bears. Once you prevent bears from getting access to human sources of food, they are likely to stop coming into your neighborhood…” Read Is Your Yard a Restaurant for 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

    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




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

    September 9-11 – Attend the PowerShift Southeast 2016 in Orlando. Power Shift brings young climate leaders together as a movement- building the organizing skills, shared excitement, and strong relationships needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a just, clean energy-powered future. For more information and to register, click here.

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 16, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 @ 10:39am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 16, 2016




    Bill Mckibben writes for New Republic – “Enemy forces have seized huge swaths of territory; with each passing week, another 22,000 square miles of Arctic ice disappears…In the past few months alone, our foes have used a firestorm to force the total evacuation of a city of 90,000 in Canada…and floods to threaten the priceless repository of art in the Louvre. The enemy is even deploying biological weapons to spread psychological terror: The Zika virus…has shrunk the heads of newborn babies across an entire continent…And as in all conflicts, millions of refugees are fleeing the horrors of war…World War III is well and truly underway. And we are losing…Over the past few years, record-setting droughts have helped undermine the brutal strongman of Syria and fuel the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria…For years now, climate scientists and leading economists have called for treating climate change with the same resolve we brought to bear on Germany and Japan in the last world war…America needs 295 solar factories of a similar size (to SolarCity in Buffalo) to defeat climate change – roughly six per state- plus a similar effort for wind turbines.” Read A World at War: We’re under attack from climate change- ad our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “There always has been one essential element for any Everglades cleanup plan: buying farmland near Lake Okeechobee to clean the water and move it south…[I]ncoming state Senate President Joe Negron has jump-started the conversation by calling for $2.4 billion in state and federal spending to buy farmland south of the lake. This would be a significant breakthrough toward cleaning the Everglades, curbing the pollution harming the environment and economy along the coasts, and adding of billions of gallons to the waters supply in fast-growing South Florida…There is no more appropriate use of [Amendment 1] funds…Negron is clearly tending to his district…But his proposal would benefit all of Florida…[B]onding would be an appropriate tool for speeding this project along.” Read A promising land-buying idea for Everglades cleanup

    Eve Samples writes for the TC Palm – “Everything this year is [political strategy]. That doesn’t mean we should dismiss [Negron’s] plan. Here are four reasons it is viable: 1. Florida Crystals is at the table this time…Gov. Charlie Crist…excluded [Florida Crystals] from negotiations. That meant the deal had immediate opposition from one of the most politically powerful families in the country: the Fanjuls, who control Florida Crystals….In a 2010 letter to the editor…an executive with Florida Crystals claimed the company supported the idea of reconnecting Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades and had ‘offered the necessary land to the state.’ ‘The state never responded to our offers but doggedly pursued a transaction with U.S. Sugar,’ company Vice President Gaston Cantens wrote in the letter...Negron identified two…parcels as options- and Florida Crystals owns a large chunk of both.” Read Negron’s plan to buy 60,000 acres of sugar land is politics – and it just might work

    Stephen Hudak reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “East Orange County residents, including a commission candidate and others opposed to development east of the Econlockhatchee River, have filed an appeal challenging the Lake Pickett projects. The appeal asks an administrative judge to nullify the county commission’s narrow 4-3 vote…to approve a land-use policy that could allow developers to build more than 4,000 homes on 2,800 acres. The group contends the land-use change violates Florida statutes. The controversial vote has become an issue in commissioner Ted Edwards’ re-election bid as he voted for the change despite an outcry from residents…Petitioners also include University of Central Florida professor Kelly Semrad, Marjorie Holt of the Sierra Club, and Corner Lakes Homeowners Association…” Read Sprawl foes appeal Lake Pickett ruling

    Christopher Curry reports for The Gainesville Sun – “Sabal Trail secured the final permits Thursday to seek authorization to start construction. That’s when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized permits that allow the companies partnering on the pipeline…to discharge dredged and fill material into water bodies, such as wetlands, during construction. The permit requires The Sabal Trail partnership to buy credits from…wetlands mitigation banks…Last fall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated some 1,200 acres would be destroyed or impacted during construction. The EPA later…made a 180-degree turn and dropped significant environmental concerns over the project that included whether the potential for sinkholes and damage to the aquifer had been downplayed by Sabal Trail and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In some cases, the impacts to wetlands are considered temporary, even though areas could take up to 50 years to revegetate….The Army Corps of Engineers did not grant a request from the Madison County Commission…to further review potential environmental impacts of Sabal Trail’s main line…” Read Army Corps of Engineers Oks permits for Sabal Trail in Florida

    Sean Rossman reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Wakulla County commissioners – in a nod to environmental advocates- unanimously approved two resolutions…aimed at cleaning Florida’s waters…[T]he commission passed a resolution opposing a pipeline that would spill waste from the Foley Cellulose paper mill closer to the Gulf of Mexico…(Commissioner) Thomas’ resolution requests DEP or the Florida Cabinet void the ERC vote. It would also establish a Clean Water Citizens Advisory Committee made up of non-elected community stakeholders to advise the Wakulla County Commission on ways to keep state waters healthy.” Read Wakulla resolutions oppose pipeline, toxin standards

    Florida Today Editorial Board writes – “Amendment 4 on your primary election ballot would exempt from property taxes the value of renewable-energy equipment such as solar panels installed by homeowners and businesses. We recommend you vote “yes.”...Amendment 4 has been studied and endorsed by organizations of all kinds: the Florida Chamber of Commerce…Florida Realtors, Progress Florida…the Sierra Club…How often does that happen? ‘Florida has no income tax, but higher property tax, and that has interfered with the market for solar,’ said Stephen Smith, executive director of the southern Alliance for Clean Energy. ‘Amendment 4…passed the Legislature unanimously.’…Does solar energy belong in the…Constitution? There’s no alternative, if Florida wants to offer the same property-tax breaks statewide.” Read Yes on Amendment 4 for tax break on solar

    TC Palm reports – “[T]he Martin County Commission has formally invited Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to visit Martin County and tour [the] deteriorating waterways. Commissioners have extended the invitation via letters sent to the candidates’ campaign headquarters and through an online petition, which is gaining support…In the communication, commissioners explain why the next president of the United States must address this situation; the severity of the water crisis is immeasurable.” Read Martin County Commission calls on presidential candidates to tour local 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

    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




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

    September 9-11 – Attend the PowerShift Southeast 2016 in Orlando. Power Shift brings young climate leaders together as a movement- building the organizing skills, shared excitement, and strong relationships needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a just, clean energy-powered future. For more information and to register, click here.

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 15, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, August 15th, 2016 @ 8:56am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 15, 2016




    Jacqueline Weaver reports for The Ellsworth American – “[There was a] boom in sugar cane farming following the embargo on sugar from Cuba… ‘The major ecological change was that the grass in the Everglades changed from saw grass to cattails from the phosphorus runoffs of the sugar operations,’ (Nathaniel) Reed said. Biologists say the cumulative impact of cattails changes the microscopic life of the marsh water and kills invertebrates and higher forms of life, including fish. Reed…recently completed a book…on his years in the government in the Nixon and Ford administrations. ‘The basic foundation of environmental law was laid down then,’ he said. Reed was an important, early participant in the last large land withdrawal in the nation’s history- the Alaska Land Wilderness Act. He was the prime mover behind the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which, among other things, helped persuade President Richard Nixon to ban the pesticide DDT…Currently Reed is concerned about Florida’s failure to honor the voter approved Amendment 1…Reed said the solutions are evident… ‘We want to use one of these canals to hook up with a very large reservoir,’ he said.” Read Noted environmentalist and Everglades advocate to speak in Winter Harbor

    Mary Ellen Klas and Jack Suntrup report for the Tampa Bay Times – “U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said…that he is not prepared to support a proposal unveiled this week by…Joe Negron to spend $2.4 billion in state and federal money to buy sugar land south of Lake Okeechobee…Rubio…said he will not support federal funds for more projects until the state and federal government ‘finish the Central Everglades Planning Project because we’re not going to get both….We are in a competition with 49 other states for water money…’…[A]ccording to a 2015 report by the University of Florida Water Institute…CEPP ‘produces only relatively modest improvements in high flow conditions [to offset discharges from Lake Okeechobee] and almost no improvement in very high flow conditions for the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee.’ The report also noted that even using the most optimistic assumptions, CEPP is not estimated to be complete for a minimum of 24 years…Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida, said Negron’s plan is important to work in tandem with the Central Everglades Planning Process. ‘CEPP is more about treatment and conveyance. The Negron proposal is about storage,’ he said… ‘CEPP is not designed to take water from the Lake in the wet season, so storage is needed.’…Draper said that…delaying the purchase of land for storage…could exacerbate the damage to coastal areas ‘for at least a decade’…Draper noted that Congress in 2000 committed to funding for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan…and it calls for the purchase of land to store and clean phosphorus-laden water before releasing it into Everglades National Park. A project in the plan, known as “EAA reservoirs and storage” calls for storing roughly 120 billion gallons of water, the same as Negron’s proposal, and is scheduled for planning in 2020. ” Read Rubio: Negron’s plan to buy sugar land for water storage should wait

    Kimberly Miller reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Wendy Graham, director of the University of Florida’s Water Institute and co-author of a 2015 study on reducing fresh water flows into the estuaries, said an additional 1 to 1.4 million acre-feet of storage is needed above what existing projects call for. And that storage can be either north or south of the lake, she said. ‘I would say efforts should be focused on wherever 300,000 to 400,000 acre-feet (97 to 130 million gallons) of storage, treatment and conveyance can be added to the system most expeditiously,’ she said. ‘Financial, political, economic and logistical constraints will control this, not science or engineering constraints.’” Read Sugar growers surprised by plan for Lake Okeechobee water

    Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “For all the things that change in South Florida…one thing has remained remarkably constant: pollution in Lake Okeechobee. In 1985, 500 metric tons of phosphorus flowed into the lake. Last year, the total was 450 tons. In the years between, amounts of the damaging nutrient went up and down but nearly always remained three to four times higher than a target the state set in 2000…Critics say state law favors “best management” goals for many agricultural operations instead of enforceable standards, and include loopholes like one allowing largely unregulated use of treated sewage sludge, high in nutrients, on farm fields. Meanwhile, suburbs that produce even more phosphorus than farms continue to expand around booming Orlando. And this year, after failing to meet the law’s 2015…state lawmakers simply set a new deadline- for 20 years from now. Rep. Matt Caldwell…who sponsored the law, told the Miami Herald at the time that the blown deadline was never meant for fixing the lake, just coming up with a plan…But Estus Whitfield, who served under governors Bob Graham, Bob Martinez and Lawton Chiles on Everglades clean-up, said lawmakers are engaging in revisionist history. The goal was always to cap lake pollution, he said. ‘That was pretty clear.’…Then there is that legacy phosphorus…Over the years, multiple ways to remove it from the lake bottom muck – treating it with chemicals, dredging it out and burying it, even converting the lake into a kind of phosphate mine- have been considered and rejected. No one has come up with a realistic solution, affordable or otherwise…And, as if conditions weren’t bad enough, there is increasing evidence that climate change could fuel more toxic algae blooms.” Read Lake Okeechobee: a time warp for polluted water

    Tiffanie Reynolds reports for The Florida Times Union – “When [Nicole Crosby and Gary Coulliette] learned…the Ponte Vedra Corp…put in a rezoning application to build a 77-home subdivision on The Outpost…they went into action. Both…said any development on the land would not only impact the numerous species of wildlife that call The Outpost home but will also affect the ecosystems of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. The reserve surrounds The Outpost on three sides, with Guana Lake on the east and wetlands that pare part of the Guana River State Wildlife Management Area on the south and west…Florida Audubon and the North Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club…support Crosby and Coulliette’s efforts, and will work with them as they and other residents lobby the St. Johns County Commission to deny the rezoning request…Building so many homes along waterways that play a role in providing fresh water in Florida also contributes to loss of water quality throughout the state, [Chris Farrell, Northeast Florida policy associate of Audubon Florida] said…North Florida Land Trust Executive Director Jim McCarthy said the wetlands and forests of The Outpost are important for flood retention and water filtration…Wetlands in and around The Outpost are part of the reserve’s natural water filtration system, taking out pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus…North Florida Land Trust calculated that The Outpost has an ecosystem value of $588,810 per year. McCarthy said he wants to work with the Ponte Vedra Corp. to preserve the property.” Read Proposed 77-home development Vista Tranquila sparks opposition from residents, conservation groups

    Bart Bibler writes for Florida Today – “The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has not revised the Surface Water Quality Standards in over 20 years, although they are required to conduct a review every three years. The DEP has just adopted a revision weakening criteria for 15 toxic chemicals…Some of these criteria have been increased by greater than a thousand fold! Four of these chemicals are known carcinogens. While 39 new criteria were approved, DEP chose not to set standards for 20 pollutants that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provided proposed criteria for…All of the new criteria that DEP did set are weaker than EPA recommends for Florida to maintain a one in a million cancer risk level. The DEP uses…the “Monte Carlo” probabilistic method…[which] derives an average…from a wide array of far-fetched scenarios, rather than the appropriate number to protect the most sensitive populations (i.e. children, native cultures who consume more fish, etc.). For instance, the…average human weight [used was] 226 pounds! This does not protect children or lighter-weight adults. The toxicological basis for each chemical criterion…did not consider endocrine disrupting effects or synergistic effects. The DEP has lowered its assumption of Floridian’s fish consumption rate several times during their surface water quality standards revision process.” Read Why Florida’s new water standards don’t protect health

    Paul Brinkmann reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “For the vast majority of property owners along the path of the Sabal Trail pipeline, it’s all over but the crying- and arguments about money. About 25 properties in Central Florida, and 135 more in the Southeast, were hit by eminent-domain federal lawsuits filed…by the pipeline company. Judges in the Central Florida cases have now issued preliminary injunctions handing most of the properties over to the pipeline.” Read Sabal Trail pipeline project seizes most Florida properties

    Mary Bowerman reports for USA Today – “Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation [Commission has] an important message…[D]on’t paint the shells of turtles and gopher tortoises… ‘The paint can hinder their ability to absorb vitamins they need from the sun, cause respiratory problems, allow toxic chemicals into the bloodstream and more,’ according to wildlife officials…Gopher tortoises are a threatened species and it is against the law to kill or harass [them]…” Read Wildlife Officials: Seriously, stop painting turtle shells

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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

    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




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

    September 9-11 – Attend the PowerShift Southeast 2016 in Orlando. Power Shift brings young climate leaders together as a movement- building the organizing skills, shared excitement, and strong relationships needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a just, clean energy-powered future. For more information and to register, click here.

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 12, 2015

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, August 12th, 2016 @ 12:23pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 12, 2016




    Jim Turner reports for The News Service of Florida – “Two Panhandle lawmakers and a county commissioner objected…to a $2.4 billion proposal by incoming Senate President Joe Negron to buy 60,000 acres of farmland south of Lake Okeechobee…In a joint release, state Sen. Greg Evers…state Rep. Mike Hill…and Santa Rosa County Commissioner Bob Cole announced plans to build a coalition against what they see as a potential shift of money away from protecting waters in North Florida…Evers said… ‘We need plans that address our entire state’s water issues and not just one area. Sen. Negron’s proposal is shortsighted; it will cost billions of dollars, take decades, and still not fix South Florida’s problem. It will, however, put the rest of the state’s conservation dollars at risk.’” Read Negron land-buying plan draws Panhandle foes

    Chad Gillis reports for the News Press – “Negron…proposed setting aside $2.4 billion to buy farm lands south of Okeechobee and turn some of the land into water storage reservoirs for Everglades restoration. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said it is willing to start the planning process for such a reservoir as soon as the water management district agrees to the project. State water managers, however, have refused to move forward on the project…Water district officials have said it’s important to concentrate on projects already on the board, some of which have already been delayed…The district is in the middle of its budgeting process for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Last year people asked that the district raise taxes (about $6 per household) in order to speed up water quality projects. Instead, the district went with a lower tax rate and is expected to have a smaller budget for next year, falling from about $750 million to about $726 million.” Read Water district meeting goes from budget to land purchase discussion

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “The (Seminole Tribe’s) lawsuit effectively delays the ability of state regulators to submit the rule to the federal Environmental Protection Agency for approval… ‘This rule will not reach EPA for many months now,’ said Linda Young, president of the Florida Clean Water Network in a letter to supporters. ‘Our focus will be on getting the public educated on what’s happening and getting people to speak out against increasing toxic chemicals in our waters and the fish we eat.’…A hearing was…set…for Sept. 6 and 7, and environmentalists hope the judge will either order the Department of Environmental Protection to reverse the rule, or order a new hearing to revise it.” Read Toxic water rule delayed after Seminole Tribe sues

    The Bradenton Times Editorial Board writes – “Long Bar Pointe developer Carlos Beruff has convinced the state to permit a mitigation bank that he wants to use to help him destroy local wetlands…The permit is being challenged by Suncoast Waterkeeper Inc., Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH), and TBT publisher Joseph McClash, who served 22 years as a Manatee County Commissioner…However, Beruff also needs to get a permit from the Army Corp of Engineers because he wants credits for a mitigation bank to destroy federal wetlands and sea grass…with his proposed project…The public has until August 13…to comment. Here are some reasons we think they should reject the permit application: 1. The mitigation bank will have a 120-foot break in the most natural shoreline along Sarasota Bay. This break is the location that Beruff has proposed a new boat channel…This break…will prevent wildlife from using this natural corridor and have adverse impacts on wildlife and the wetlands…5. The mitigation bank would create additional flood hazards by not maintaining in the existing natural state, the existing shoreline.” Read Public Should Comment on Beruff’s Long Bar Pointe Mitigation Bank Threat

    Susan Glickman writes for the Sun Sentinel – “It’s a hard fact that Florida is dangerously over reliant on a single fuel source for generating power…Natural gas accounts for almost 70 percent of the fuel Florida Power & Light uses to generate the electricity it sells to captive customers. It’s never good to be that dependent on one resource for meeting demand, and they are planning to build more gas plants. That dependency can lead to price spikes, supply interruptions as well as increasing dangerous carbon pollution that drives climate change impacts. We ought to be diversifying our energy mix into lower-risk energy choices like solar power. Although Florida has the best solar resource east of the Mississippi, it currently generates well less than 1 percent of its power from solar. We can help change this statistic by passing Amendment 4, which is on the August primary ballot…Solar power…has zero emissions and does not require precious water resources…The Amendment 4 tax exemption for solar power is the most immediate action Florida voters can take to jump start meaningful solar power development.” Read Amendment 4 saves money and protects consumers

    Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel – “Fear of foreign plants invading the Everglades has state leaders threatening to fire the federal government as operators of the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. But booting the feds could leave state taxpayers picking up a $25 million bill just to get started tackling fast-spreading trees and vines that could overwhelm the Everglades…State officials have long maintained that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service…needs to get more money from Congress to pay for killing exotic plants such as melaleuca trees and Old World Climbing Fern that ruin dwindling Everglades habitat…[T]he South Florida Water Management District board…called for taking control of the refuge away from the…Service…Environmental groups have raised concerns about the district’s move, saying losing federal control over the refuge won’t help state and federal efforts to save what remains of the Everglades…Eric Draper, executive director of…Audubon Florida…said instead of breaking ties with the federal government, the water management district should help pay for tackling more of the exotic plant problem on land that the state owns. ‘You have the power to do something, rather than send a letter,’ Draper told the district’s board…In addition to the environmental risk, the spread of…invading plants threatens to spoil the more than $3 billion investment that state and federal taxpayers have made in Everglades restoration.” Read Feds face eviction notice from Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

    Sean Rossman reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Wakulla County fishermen, ardent environmentalists and their elected leaders formed a rough outline of how they plan to beat back a planned Taylor County pipeline that would send millions of gallons of wastewater into the Gulf of Mexico. The group, led by Wakulla County Commissioner Howard Kessler and Leon County Commission Chairman Bill Proctor, met…[and] discussed Georgia-Pacific’s plan to expel effluent from its Foley Cellulose paper mill…Since 1954, the mill has dumped the effluent directly into the Fenholloway River, which leads to the Gulf. The plan worries clean water advocates and politicians, who say the pipeline would further threaten Gulf sea life, its fishing industry and tourism. The administrative order (from DEP) says building the pipeline is the only way to restore the Fenholloway to a body of water suitable for recreation, fishing and wildlife…Commissioner Bill Proctor already has sent letters to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.” Read Officials, residents sketch pipeline gameplan

    Michelle Nijhuis writes for The New Yorker – “A new commentary in the journal Nature reveals that many species are threatened less by climate change than by overexploitation…[and] conversion of habitat to farmland and timber plantations…[T]he current causes of species loss appear to be inversely proportional to the media attention- and, to some extent, the research and funding attention- they receive… ‘We know what kind of mechanisms we need to put in place, and we know how and where to establish protected areas,’ Brooks said…Knowing what to do and being able to do it are two different things, and the political obstacles to agricultural reform and poaching protections – local, national, and global- are often enormous.” Read Are Conservationists Worrying Too Much About Climate Change?

     

     

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    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




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

    September 9-11 – Attend the PowerShift Southeast 2016 in Orlando. Power Shift brings young climate leaders together as a movement- building the organizing skills, shared excitement, and strong relationships needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a just, clean energy-powered future. For more information and to register, click here.

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 11, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, August 11th, 2016 @ 1:27pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 11, 2016




    Jeff Burlew reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “The battle over new limits on toxic chemicals that can be dumped into Florida’s surface waters isn’t over yet. The Seminole Tribe of Florida is seeking to invalidate a decision last month by the Environmental Regulation Commission to approve the controversial standards. The tribe…says the state fell short of a statutorily required 28-day notice before the ERC meeting was held. It also says the new standards fail to protect subsistence fishermen from exposure to the toxic compounds. ‘The proposed rule…adversely affects the Seminole Tribe and its members who continue to exercise their customary and traditional…fishing…and frogging rights on millions of acres of lands and waters across South and Central Florida,’ the tribe said…Young said her organization is sending action alerts to its members, asking them to sign petitions demanding Gov. Rick Scott appoint three new members to the seven-member ERC….She…wants Scott to replace one of the ERC members, Craig Varn, who is DEP’s former general counsel but serves in a seat set aside for a lay person. ‘They are just playing fast and loose with Florida laws,’ Young said. ‘They’re playing fast and loose with public health. And we’re not going to stand for it.’” Read Seminole Tribe challenges water pollution limits

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “In what environmentalists are calling a significant breakthrough in Everglades restoration efforts, incoming Senate President Joe Negron leapfrogged over agricultural industry opposition and…called for a massive…state and federal land-buying program to buy sugar land to store water south of Lake Okeechobee...The idea- to store and clean phosphorus-laden water before releasing it into Everglades National Park- has been demanded by environmentalists for the past 16 years, but efforts to buy the land needed for the project have been sidelined… ‘All the evidence that I see confirms what I’m here to announce today: We must buy land south,’ Negron said…Negron…announced that ending the discharges and finding the funds for the land-buy south of the lake would be his ‘No. 1 personal priority.’ He urged the sugar companies who own the land to be open to the water-cleaning marshes ‘to make this reservoir happen.’…The sugar industry ‘has already lost more than 100,000 acres of farmland in the past 20 years for restoration,’ wrote Florida Crystals Corporation and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida. ‘The real price of today’s proposal is the loss of jobs and economic activity in the Glades communities.’…Negron proposes purchasing one of two 60,000-acre land parcels that ‘provide the most promise’ because they are situated near existing canals… ‘He is responding to his constituents…he surveyed the interests groups, the agency and he has done his research,’ Draper (of Audubon of Florida) said.” Read Top lawmaker calls for buying up sugar land to clean Everglades

    The Herald Tribune reports – “Florida Crystals said that while it will listen to [Negron’s] plan, the company says Negron did not mention his proposal during a meeting last week. The Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, which represents independent farmers in the area, said it opposes the plan. ‘Taking another 60,000 acres of productive…farmland out of (production) will without a doubt close down our sugar mill and put us out of business,’ said Barbara Miedema, the group’s vice president…Brian LaPointe, an algae researcher at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, has long been opposed to such plans, saying scrubbing the water of so much nitrogen would be nearly impossible. The nitrogen-laden water would eventually flow into the Florida Bay, killing its seagrass and its coral, he said. He said that happened in the 1990s when a similar plan was tried…. ‘…The funds for this land purchase could be spent better, such as for water storage and treatment north of Lake Okeechobee where it would protect not only Lake Okeechobee, but also the downstream estuaries in Martin and Lee counties.’” Read Florida Senate leader proposes $2B Lake Okeechobee cleanup

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “One significant factor is missing from state Sen. Joe Negron’s plan to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee and stop discharges…say environmental scientists. The water sent south to the Everglades has to be clean. Negron’s plan…calls for water stored in a…reservoir to flow through existing man-made marshes, called stormwater treatment areas, en route to Everglades National Park. Right now, and during most rainy seasons when there are Lake O discharges, those stormwater treatment areas are full of water flowing off farmland south of the lake…With that caveat, scientists say Negron’s plan will work…Negron’s plan is consistent with the findings of a University of Florida Water Institute study of ways to stop the discharges, said Wendy Graham, the institute director, as long as it includes ways to get clean water to the Everglades. ‘However…the devil is in the details, which are not yet available,’ Graham added. Negron’s plan is not ‘the end-all for solving the problem, but it’s a giant first step,’ said Nathaniel P…Reed…a former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the dean of Treasure Coast environmentalists.” Read Okeechobee discharges must clean Everglades-bound water

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “Alabama, Florida and Georgia have been battling in federal court since 1990 over water from the river system…The states have been operating under a veil of secrecy since 2010 when they requested a confidentiality order from a federal judge…Tonsmeire, of the Apalachicola Riverkeeper…said the secrecy involving the case is hampering efforts to raise awareness about the threats facing Apalachicola Bay. He said his group had requested a study of how physical alterations to the river were affecting fishery habitat but state officials limited the scope of the study because of concerns about the legal case…Tonsmeire said the waterway is facing critical decisions in the coming months, both related to the Supreme Court trial and the Corps of Engineers manual update. ‘We don’t know what kind of negotiations they got going on among the states or behind closed doors with the governor,’ he said.” Read Apalachicola River video link killed by lawyers as secrecy hangs over Florida-Georgia water battle

    Mike Magnoli reports for CBS 12 – “Polyfluoroalkyls’ are chemicals used in firefighting foam and industrial manufacturing. A new report from The Journal of Environmental Science and Technology indicates…polyfluoroalkyls are in the drinking water of more than 6 million Americans…Southeast Florida is noticeably in a risk zone. The chemicals have been linked to cancer and high cholesterol. A second report from the group EHP-Environmental Health Perspectives finds that exposure to the chemicals seems to contribute to reduced immune system functions in children. Health experts and state officials are now calling on the EPA to toughen up clean water standards.” Read 6 million Americans at risk due to chemicals in drinking water

    Paula Dockery writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “Solar-energy supporters…know a bad constitutional amendment, sponsored by the utilities, is coming. They also know that it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing- it looks harmless but is up to no good. You can relax; that’s not the one on Florida’s Aug. 30 primary ballot. But don’t let your guard down completely; the deceptive amendment rears its ugly head on the November general election ballot.” Read Solar: ‘Yes’ in August – but ‘no’ in November

    Timothy Cama reports for The Hill – “A federal appeals court is upholding the Obama administration’s accounting of the costs of greenhouse gas emissions as applied to a Department of Energy (DOE) regulation. In a unanimous decision…the court specifically backed the so-called social cost of carbon, President Obama’s administration-wide estimate of the costs per metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere…It’s the first time a court has considered the legality of the carbon accounting…” Read Court backs Obama’s climate change accounting

     

     

     

     

    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

    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




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 11, 6:00 pm – Attend The Big Bend Environmental Forum at the Tallahassee City Commission Chambers in Tallahassee. Local candidates will be asked about their positions on environmental issues before the August 30th primary election. Candidates running for District 2 Leon County Commissioner, Seats 1 & 2 Tallahassee City Commissioner, Districts 8 & 9 State Representative, and school board candidates will participate. Come early (5:15 pm) to meet the candidates and the environmental groups hosting the forum.

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here.

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

    September 9-11 – Attend the PowerShift Southeast 2016 in Orlando. Power Shift brings young climate leaders together as a movement- building the organizing skills, shared excitement, and strong relationships needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a just, clean energy-powered future. For more information and to register, click here.

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 9, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 @ 11:24am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 9, 2016




    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Florida waters are growing greener, saltier and more toxic in some parts, according to a new report on the state’s waters. The report from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection shows a mixed bag for the state’s water, with many trending toward more frequent toxic algae blooms, fueled by rising nitrates from farm and residential fertilizers, sewage, pet waste and other human-related sources…[A]s Florida’s population grows, so does the challenge of keeping the state’s waters clean…Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper…[said,] ‘It’s not just an environmental issue, it’s an economic issue. It’s much more cost-effective to stop pollution at its source.’…Nitrates remain the biggest issue in surface waters that get significant inputs of groundwater, especially springs….Almost 70 percent of the 2.9 million acres Florida’s lakes and estuaries DEP assessed were “impaired.”…DEP’s report showed roughly 50 percent of Florida’s lake area may have elevated levels of chlorophyll a, indicating algae fed by nitrogen and phosphorus from human activities…Among other actions, the report cites DEP plans to take the following actions:…- Promote low-impact development and practices such as green roofs, pervious pavements and stormwater harvesting; - Implement numeric nutrient criteria to address excess nitrogen and phosphorus in surface water from sources such as septic tanks, runoff, livestock waste, and increased fertilizer use on farm and urban landscapes…In 1950, Florida’s…residents used about 1.5 billion gallons per day of fresh ground water and surface water…[W]ater consumption is projected to increase to 9.3 billion gallons per day by 2020.” Read Half of Florida lakes’ surface have ‘elevated’ algae levels

    Chad Gillis and Ben Brasch report for News-Press – “Two Florida panthers were found dead in Southwest Florida…One was a 4-year-old female struck and killed by a vehicle…in Collier County and the other was a 10-year-old male…in Hendry County whose cause of death is unknown. This makes the 28th and 29th overall documented death of 2016, and the 22nd road kill…” Read Two panthers found dead in one day make 29th of 2016

    NBC 2 reports – “[N]ew numbers show [manatees] are dying off at a record rate this year. FWC is recommending the addition of more “slow zones” across Collier in hopes of reversing the trend…Researchers have recorded about 6,300 manatees living in Florida’s waterways, which is up nearly 500 percent from 25 years ago. The number of boats on the water has also increased…One of the areas targeted for slower boat traffic is Moorings Bay…Environmentalists for years have been pushing for slower boat speeds there, where manatees are a common sight…Thw FWCS’s…recommendations must be approved by the governor’s Conservation Commission board. A final vote will take place in November.” Read FWC wants more ‘slow zones’ in Collier waterways

    Sacha Pfeiffer reports for the Boston Globe – “[T]he 11-member Massachusetts congressional delegation is urging US Representative Lamar Smith, a climate change skeptic, to stop pressuring state Attorney General Maura Healey over her investigation into whether Exxon Mobil knew decades ago of the link between fossil fuels and global warming. In a letter to the Texas Republican…the delegation – led by Representative Katherine Clark and Senator Elizabeth Warren – denounced subpoenas Smith sent to Healey…and environmental groups as ‘an unprecedented, invalid exercise of congressional authority’ meant to harass their recipients…Healey and others are looking into whether Exxon intentionally misled the public and investors about the impact of climate change. They also allege Exxon tried to block government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Read Mass. Delegation condemns climate change subpoenas

    Kerry Gallo writes for PATH blog - "[A]n unexpected outbreak of anthrax has been wreaking havoc for nomadic reindeer herders in a remote region in Siberia…The outbreak is being blamed on climate change, which experts believe caused the deadly anthrax spores to reemerge after decades frozen in permafrost…As the effects of climate change become more profound, disease outbreaks are likely to become more unpredictable…" Read Climate change leads to anthrax outbreak in Siberia

    Himanshu Goenka reports for International Business Times – “In the Cold War era, the U.S. has built military outposts at various strategic locations to counter the perceived Soviet threat, including nuclear installations…The now-largely autonomous Danish territory of Greenland housed multiple U.S. military bases, some of which have since been abandoned…Camp Century was one such base…It was assumed that the camp’s infrastructure and waste would simply be covered by ice for eternity…However, citing climate change, a study…argues otherwise. Its authors say: ‘Net ablation would guarantee the eventual remobilization of physical, chemical, biological and radiological wastes abandoned at the site’…As the possibility of pollutants, thought to be sequestered away for eternity, reemerging from their cryogenic vault becomes more real, countries involved are likely to shift political and legal liabilities to avoid being the host for future potential toxic exposure.” Read Climate Change Could Reveal Toxic Waste from Former US Military Base in Greenland

    Patrick Winn reports for USA Today – “The president of the Philippines…wants to make one point abundantly clear. [The] horrors of climate change are the fault of big nations, such as China and India, and rich ones such as the United States. President Rodrigo Duterte is now issuing an ultimatum to nations that have been ‘destroying the climate.’ You can pay poor countries (like the Philippines) to forego cheap, dirty fossil fuels. Or…Duterte contends that the Philippines…must junk the treaty and turn to dirty but cheap energy…[T]he Philippines…leads a league of 40-plus countries that are highly vulnerable to global warming.” Read Philippines president calls rich countries hypocrites on climate change

    Jason Hickel writes for The Guardian – “As important as clean energy might be, the science is clear: it won’t save us from climate change…[T]he burning of fossil fuels only accounts for about 70% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The remaining 30% comes from a number of causes. Deforestation is a big one. So is industrial agriculture, which degrades the soils to the point where they leach CO2. Then there’s industrial livestock farming which produces 90m tonnes of methane per year and most of the world’s anthropogenic nitrous oxide. Both of these gases are vastly more potent than CO2 when it comes to global warming. Livestock farming alone contributes more to global warming than all the cars, trains, planes and ships in the world. Industrial production of cement, steel, and plastic forms another major source of greenhouse gases, and then there are our landfills, which pump out huge amounts of methane – 16% of the world’s total…The root problem is the fact that our economic system demands ever-increasing levels of extraction, production and consumption. Our politicians tell us that we need to keep the global economy growing at more than 3% each year- the minimum necessary for large firms to make aggregate profits…Our more optimistic pundits claim that technological innovations will help us to de-couple economic growth from material throughput. But sadly there is no evidence that this is happening…[W]e have robust evidence that [GDP growth] doesn’t make us any happier, it doesn’t reduce poverty, and its “externalities” produce all sorts of social ills: debt, overwork, inequality, and climate change. We need to abandon GDP growth as our primary measure of progress, and we need to do this…as part and parcel of the climate agreement that will be ratified in Morocco later this year.” Read Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can

     

     

     

     

    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

    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

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

    August 11, 6:00 pm – Attend The Big Bend Environmental Forum at the Tallahassee City Commission Chambers in Tallahassee. Local candidates will be asked about their positions on environmental issues before the August 30th primary election. Candidates running for District 2 Leon County Commissioner, Seats 1 & 2 Tallahassee City Commissioner, Districts 8 & 9 State Representative, and school board candidates will participate. Come early (5:15 pm) to meet the candidates and the environmental groups hosting the forum.

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here.

    August 20, 8:30 am – Attend Big Sugar Summit 2 in West Palm Beach. Breakout discussions include: St. Lucie estuary, Caloosahatchee estuary, Everglades National Pak and Florida Bay, pre-harvest sugar cane burning, state/local-level political influence, the Federal Sugar Program, health impacts, and the economic future of residents in the EAA. For more information and to register, click here.

    August 22, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 22, 6:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 23, 6:00 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 11:30 am – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    August 24, 5:30 pm – Attend an Information Session in Orlando to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in Orange County. Solar co-ops consist of homeowners who are bundling their buying power to secure a competitive price for solar PV equipment for their homes. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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

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

    September 9-11 – Attend the PowerShift Southeast 2016 in Orlando. Power Shift brings young climate leaders together as a movement- building the organizing skills, shared excitement, and strong relationships needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a just, clean energy-powered future. For more information and to register, click here.

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 8, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, August 8th, 2016 @ 3:13pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 8, 2016




    Warren Wright reports for Fox 4 – “Children in Southwest Florida are at higher risk for cancer compared to the rest of the state. That’s the word from some highly respected journals in pediatric cancer. But the Florida state Department of Health remains silent on the issue…Pretty much everywhere South of Lake Okeechobee children living in South Florida are three times more likely to get diagnosed with cancer. The first study was published in 2010, four more followed…All these studies do is identify a hot zone. They don’t determine what’s the cause. But one study does point out: ‘these findings are suggestive of environmental risk factors in our area.’…The conservation group “Friends of the Everglades” is frustrated FDOH has yet to take any action.” Read Pediatric Cancer risk in Southwest Florida

    Scott Maxwell writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “I had just posted my column about Florida’s water woes (“Florida’s water woes are bad and getting worse. Do you care?”) when I received emails from two legislators…State Reps. Jason Brodeur and Rene Plasencia took issue with my description of their votes for a controversial fracking bill earlier this year…[W]hen the accurate information is out there, it’s harder to spin.” Read Double votes, secret chemicals, what the frack?

    Rick Neale reports for Florida Today – “The Florida House District 52 forum featured a quartet of Republicans: Florida Sen. Thad Altman of Indialantic, Brian Hodges of Indian Harbour Beach, Monique Miller of Melbourne, and Robert “Fritz” VanVolkenburgh of Suntree. Environmental issues, including the ailing Indian River Lagoon, dominated the opening half of the House forum. ‘If you believe that the rest of what’s left of Florida should be paved over in concrete and asphalt, then vote for my opponents,’ said Altman, who voiced support for Amendment 1 and funding the Florida Forever public land acquisition program. Hodgers labeled Amendment 1 ‘a horrible amendment.’ Miller said…there was ‘no alignment’ between the Space Coast legislative delegation and local government to secure funding….VanVolkenburgh said he has not taken a penny from a lobbyist or political action committee, and he criticized Altman’s contributors. ‘You’ve received thousands and thousands…from Big Sugar and Big Ag. And I don’t know how you would negotiate with them to purchase land down there near the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee in a straightforward manner when you have that kind of bias,’ VanVolkenburgh said.” Read Mayfield, Workman clash at Melbourne candidate forum 

    Frank Torres reports for The Orlando Political Observer – “ ‘Chuck O’Neal is a champion for environmental justice in Florida,’ said Ricky Nettina, President of Florida Young Democrats. ‘He’s fought vigorously for policies that protect and preserve our state’s treasures from our springs to the Everglades….’” Read Chuck O’Neal Endorsed by Florida Young Democrats in State Senate 11 Race

    Jonathan Deesing writes for Cleanenergy.org – “The Center for Biological Diversity gave Florida an F grade for solar, including its nonexistent Renewable Portfolio Standard, a ban on third-party ownership, lack of community solar programs, and scattered net-metering policies…This year will be a defining time for Florida’s solar power industry…In August, residents can vote for Amendment 4, which will reduce taxes on solar and lower the cost of energy…November General Election: Environmentally conscious Floridians are fighting against an amendment backed by utility companies…Floridians for Solar Choice (FSC)…attempted to place an amendment on the 2016 ballot to open up Florida to third party sale but was thwarted by a campaign by big power companies. FSC is still collecting petition signatures to have it placed on the 2018 ballot. Interested Floridians can download, sign, and submit the petition…” Read Florida Solar Month: History of Solar Power in the Sunshine State

    Kelly Garvy writes for the Miami Herald – “A 2015 independent review by the University of Florida states that we will need…1.6 million acre-feet of water storage. As of the 2015 UF study, Florida has planned for just under 500,000 acre-feet of water storage. That’s not even a third, and it’s been 16 years since CERP was passed. Simultaneously, we are reaching a point past which we will not be able to reverse the ecological damage done by inaction and delay…Citizens, keep the pressure on the politicians who are in office. And vote for Florida’s environment in the primaries on Aug. 30 and in November’s general election. The cost of inaction is too great.” Read Save the Everglades

    Amy Green reports for WMFE – “A new study shows that a toxic algae bloom…is poised to drive tourists from the state. More than half of those surveyed as part of the study were concerned enough about the bloom to consider delaying travel plans….Lori Pennington-Gray, director of the Tourism Crisis Management Initiative…says the bloom has wielded a greater impact than the Pulse mass shooting.” Read Study Reveals Threat of Toxic Algae Bloom to Florida Tourism

    Bob Palmer writes for The Gainesville Sun – “This column, which spoofs the recent state decision to allow more dangerous chemicals in Florida’s waters, uses Swiftian prose to conjure up a different sort of “Modest Proposal” as it unfolds in contemporary Tallahassee.” Read A modest proposal for Florida’s toxic waters

     

     

    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

    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




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

    August 11, 6:00 pm – Attend The Big Bend Environmental Forum at the Tallahassee City Commission Chambers in Tallahassee. Local candidates will be asked about their positions on environmental issues before the August 30th primary election. Candidates running for District 2 Leon County Commissioner, Seats 1 & 2 Tallahassee City Commissioner, Districts 8 & 9 State Representative, and school board candidates will participate. Come early (5:15 pm) to meet the candidates and the environmental groups hosting the forum.

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here.

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

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

    September 9-11 – Attend the PowerShift Southeast 2016 in Orlando. Power Shift brings young climate leaders together as a movement- building the organizing skills, shared excitement, and strong relationships needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a just, clean energy-powered future. For more information and to register, click here.

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 5, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, August 8th, 2016 @ 2:21pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 5, 2016




    Beth Kassab reports for the Orlando Sentinel - "[There’s a] looming fight between Seminole and Orange counties over a proposal for nearly 2,000 homes just over the border on Orange's side...But today, under the new system, Seminole doesn't have an official seat at the table. No matter that the homes would be built within shouting distance of the border. Or that an expansion of McCulloch Road...would need to be approved by both counties because it straddles the county line. ‘That's like Caesar crossing the Rubicon,’ said Seminole Commissioner Lee Constantine. ‘You are now opening up all of Seminole County potentially for development in that area.’...Since Scott eliminated the state's Department of Community Affairs, which oversaw planning for new developments, and folded some of its duties into the so-called Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida doesn't have much of a growth policy at all...What Scott and other champions of unchecked growth don't get is that in their fervor to crush government red tape, they risk destroying the very thing that makes Florida valuable in the first place: Our fragile environment." Read Seminole vs. Orange – or why we need better growth policy 

    Kevin Wadlow reports for Florida Key News - "Whether the $3.3 million project (to send more fresh water through Taylor Slough toward Florida Bay)...will make a significant dent in Florida Bay’s salinity problem remains an open question, ‘Is this the answer to saving Florida Bay? Absolutely not,’ Van Lent said Monday. ‘There seems to be no real net increase in the amount of water. Mostly it seems to shift water from east to the west.’...The overall plan, scheduled to be finished by November, ‘will double the flow of water into the headwaters of Taylor Slough, which connects to the bay,’ the district says...Ernie Marks, the water district’s Everglades coordinator, told Monroe County commissioners that the current plan is ‘not the silver bullet…There is more to do.’”  Read Florida Bay advocates unsure of water-district plan’s effect

    Brittany Patterson reports for ClimateWire - "A number of environmental policy experts warned that the White House recommendation that federal agencies consider climate change when conducting project reviews could be easily dialed back under a new administration...Released…by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the finalized guidance recommends that agencies both calculate direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions of a project and assess how climate change might affect a project...The new guidance also calls on agencies to address concerns voiced in public comments concerning climate change, which will likely “prompt many agencies to adopt more detailed, agency-specific guidance that is tailored to the types of projects that they frequently review.”" Read White House Tells Agencies to Consider Climate Change Effects of Projects

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reports - "The Governor and Cabinet today unanimously approved the preservation of nearly 4,000 acres of sensitive agricultural lands in Hardee, DeSoto, Dixie and Indian River counties, while allowing the land and agriculture operations to continue to contribute to Florida's economy. The purchases are a part of the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, which partners with Florida's farmers and ranchers to preserve active agricultural operations and their immense economic and environmental benefits through cost-effective conservation easements."Read State Preserves Nearly 4,000 Acres of Economically, Environmentally Sensitive Working Land

    Mitch Perry reports for the Saint Peters Blog - "A St. Pete Poll survey released on Wednesday shows that Amendment 4 is garnering 56 percent support to 16 percent against, with 27 percent undecided...Amendment 4 is supported by both Republicans and Democrats…The poll also asked voters if they would support an open primary system, where independents could participate in primary elections like the one coming up later this month. The result showed that there is strong support for such a system." Read New survey shows Amendment 4 solar initiative getting 56 percent support

    Jim Turner reports for the Tampa Bay Times - "Crafted by the Legislature, the Amendment 4 proposal on the primary-election ballot is seen by proponents as a way to significantly expand renewable-energy production in the state..."The overall benefit, we believe, is it would lower energy costs as more solar is developed," said Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy...With about 6,500 people in Florida currently in the solar industry, Chris Spencer, executive director of Florida for Solar, said the amendment is also about creating jobs." Read About that solar energy amendment on the Florida primary ballot

    Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald - “Long-term warming and last year’s El Nino made 2015 the hottest on record, triggering a string of heat-related events, including: -Greenhouse gases that were the highest on record…And so far, it looks like that trend is continuing in 2016 even as El Nino fizzles, with year-to-date land and ocean temperatures - 1.89 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average- the highest ever documented. ” ReadIt’s hot, Florida. Get used to it, climate scientists say

     

    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

    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

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please clickhere.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

    August 11, 6:00 pm – Attend The Big Bend Environmental Forum at the Tallahassee City Commission Chambers in Tallahassee. Local candidates will be asked about their positions on environmental issues before the August 30th primary election. Candidates running for District 2 Leon County Commissioner, Seats 1 & 2 Tallahassee City Commissioner, Districts 8 & 9 State Representative, and school board candidates will participate. Come early (5:15 pm) to meet the candidates and the environmental groups hosting the forum. 

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here

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

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

    September 9-11 – Attend the PowerShift Southeast 2016 in Orlando. Power Shift brings young climate leaders together as a movement- building the organizing skills, shared excitement, and strong relationships needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a just, clean energy-powered future. For more information and to register, click here

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com 

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 4, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, August 4th, 2016 @ 11:16am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 4, 2016

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “[S]upporters spelled it out on the beach July 3 in Martin County. ‘Buy the Land!’…But what land? Where? And at what cost? The answers differ and they have changed. For some, ‘Buy the Land!’ doesn’t necessarily mean buy any specific land- just some land in the Everglades Agricultural Area for water storage, possibly for a flow-way to the Everglades. ‘Buy the Land!’ doesn’t mean the same as in 2015…That’s when the water management district had an option to buy 46,800 acres from U.S. Sugar Corp. south of Lake Okeechobee…Rep. Gayle Harrell…who sponsored a bill…to provide funding for Everglades restoration, says she doesn’t know if those who support the slogan ‘understand the ramifications of what they are saying and what the right land is.’ Lake Okeechobee used to spill over its banks naturally as water flowed through the Everglades…on the way to Florida Bay…In 2015, a University of Florida study commissioned by the Legislature identified the need for 1 million acre-feet of water storage needed north and south of Lake Okeechobee…But the study didn’t say exactly where the storage is needed…Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida, said his group isn’t touting ‘Buy the Land!’ But his group is arguing that planning needs to begin for more water storage in the Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee…Some of the ‘Buy the Land!’ supporters are calling on Scott to negotiate with Everglades Agricultural Area landowners for a larger purchase…Others support U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s suggestion…that government use eminent domain to acquire land south of the lake…[A] reservoir flow-way south of the lake has been ‘totally discounted’ by agencies during previous planning processes (according to U.S. Sugar)…Sugar industry representatives and their supporters, including Commissioner Janet Taylor from Hendry County, say ‘Buy the Land!’ supporters are picking and choosing portions of the UF study while ignoring other recommendations…’Somebody needs to define out there…how are you going to solve this problem by sending the water south?’ Wade (senior vice president of corporate strategy and business development at U.S. Sugar) said.” Read Environmentalist rallying cry vs. blue-green algae in coastal waters: ‘Buy the land’

    Troy Kinsey reports for Bay News 9 – “While supportive of a (sugar) land-buy, Florida Chief Financial (Officer) Jeff Atwater, a Republican, said the legislature would have to appropriate funds before the cabinet could exercise its purchasing authority through the Florida Forever program. ‘I think that’s where this process should continue...That’s what it was made available for, it’s been contracted, it’s been optioned. I think you’re going to have to ask some people ‘why aren’t we appropriating these dollars to get this done,’’ Atwater suggested.” Read As Florida’s toxic algae crisis intensifies, officials meet to weigh options

    Jana Eschbach reports for CBS12 – “It’s been only a few days since a full moon high tide washed away a foot-deep sludge of toxic algae to sea out of local canals and marinas in Palm City and Stuart. Now, scientists say a second massive bloom is just beginning in Martin County…” Read Another massive algae bloom begins in Martin County

    Dave Berman reports for Florida Today – “A $302.9 million plan to help restore the Indian River Lagoon within Brevard County could have a $6.3 billion positive economic impact on the Space Coast economy, county consultants claim. The impact would come from three major areas: tourism and recreation growth, an increase in property values and gains to commercial fishing. County commissioners…will consider the 10-year Save Our Lagoon Project Plan…which calls for actions such as muck removal, stormwater projects, upgrades to wastewater treatment facilities, septic system removal and upgrades, fertilizer management, oyster reef projects and public education…The report estimated a $2.01 billion positive impact from restoration of the lagoon and $4.29 billion in damages if the lagoon is not brought back to health during the next decade…Separately, a newly released study by the East Central Florida Planning Council and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council concluded that there is a 33-to-1 return on investment from a ‘productive and sustainable’ Indian River Lagoon.” Read Why healthy lagoon is worth $6.3 billion to local economy

    Anne Lindberg reports for the Saint Peters Blog – “Florida HD 68…candidate Ben Diamond...held a news conference to unveil a six-point plan…- Buy land near Lake Okeechobee to provide more space to store and treat contaminated water. – Pass a more stringent timeline for polluters to ‘clean up their mess.’ – Restore the budgets of regulatory agencies that are responsible for protecting the state’s waterways and environment. – Update and modernize Florida’s stormwater management standards and practices. – Restore oversight of septic systems. – Adopt the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s recommendations for establishing water quality standards…The news conference…also served as a platform for Florida Conservation Voters to announce its endorsement of Diamond…Florida Conservation Voters…was started to advocate for Amendment 1, the water and land conservation amendment…Diamond served as a pro bono lawyer and adviser for that campaign…Diamond also won the praise of St. Petersburg City Council member Darden Rice…” Read Ben Diamond proposes plan for protecting Florida’s environment, water quality

    Phillipe Cousteau Jr. writes for the Sun Sentinel – “I had the good fortune to explore much of the reef system that stretches from Key West to Martin County. Knowing that it is part of the only nearshore coral reef in the continental United States, I never dreamed that one day, people would carelessly ruin it. Or that our government would be the one overseeing the damage. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening. When it dredged a deeper shipping channel for the Port of Miami, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wrecked an area of reef near Miami Beach that would cover over 200 football fields…Now, the Corps is proposing another flawed dredging project- this one at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Unbelievably, the Corps is using assumptions and calculations that are almost identical to those it used for the Miami project, despite a study documenting that their methods were wrong…[N]ot a single word of this…plan was altered in response to the devastation that took place in Miami…The…plan has been sent to Congress for approval and is already through the Senate. We need to tell our elected representatives that our corals are too precious to allow history to repeat itself.” Read Save our coral reefs from dredging

    Scott Maxwell writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “Florida made national news for being coated in thick, green, toxic algae…Florida officials responded…by voting to allow more cancer-causing agents into…drinking water supplies and recreational waters…Politicians here routinely tout Florida’s natural beauty on the campaign trail, but then treat the state like a roll of toilet paper. (Seriously, check out or lax septic tank policies.) They allow companies, developers and homeowners to pave and foul the land – and then charge taxpayers billions to clean it up. Fiscal conservatism, my asphalt…[W]e keep electing politicians who foul the land and stick us with the bill. There are plenty of places to…send a message. Earlier this year…the state House voted for a fracking bill…Did you know how your representative voted? Did you tell him or her what you thought? Are you planning on putting them back in office?” Read Florida’s water woes are bad and getting worse. Do you care?

    Dan Chapman reports for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – “The never-ending, budget-draining water war between Georgia and Florida took another head-shaking turn…when the presiding judge moved the upcoming trial to…Maine… ‘It will be located, appropriately enough, in the bankruptcy court,’ said Lancaster the…special master (appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the…dispute over a fair apportionment of the Chattahoochee, Flint and Apalachicola rivers) whose office is in Portland.” Read Georgia-Florida water war trial moved to Maine

     

     

     

    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

    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

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

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

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

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

    August 11, 6:00 pm – Attend The Big Bend Environmental Forum at the Tallahassee City Commission Chambers in Tallahassee. Local candidates will be asked about their positions on environmental issues before the August 30th primary election. Candidates running for District 2 Leon County Commissioner, Seats 1 & 2 Tallahassee City Commissioner, Districts 8 & 9 State Representative, and school board candidates will participate. Come early (5:15 pm) to meet the candidates and the environmental groups hosting the forum.

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here.

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

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

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 3, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 @ 9:08am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 3, 2016

     

     

    Dan Hilliard writes for the Citrus County Chronicle – “Throughout North Florida, over-pumping of the Floridan aquifer and over-use of nitrogen fertilizer have led to strongly reduced flows and high rates of pollution in our rivers and our…artesian springs…[T]he Suwannee spills ever-increasing amounts of nitrogen into the Gulf of Mexico…fostering algal growth, and killing seagrass beds and the “live bottom” that supports sport and commercial fisheries. The Suwannee River springs send more than twice the nitrogen pollution to the Gulf as Lake Okeechobee sends to the slime-infested St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers…[I]n North Florida, the biggest threat is intensive agriculture…Agriculture is rapidly expanding here as operations move in from South Florida and the West Coast…Land is cheap. Taxes are low. Groundwater is free. Fertilizer use is unregulated…Some of the largest agricultural operations in the Suwannee watershed are owned by Mr. Gates…I assume that Gates’ agricultural operations are not in Florida to reduce world hunger, but simply to make money that is funneled to the philanthropic activities of the Gates Foundation. This is a noble end, but along the way, these investments are compromising the health and welfare of North Florida…For a year, [Florida Springs Council] has repeatedly asked Gates’s representatives to begin a discussion of advanced agricultural practices that could be utilized on their properties. Given his philanthropic focus, we hoped that Mr. Gates or the Gates Foundation would be eager to embrace creative methods for reducing agriculture’s impact on Florida’s natural environment. We have yet to receive a response.” Read Bill Gates and the death of Florida’s iconic springs

    Scott Powers reports for Florida Politics – “Democratic state senate candidate Chuck O’Neal has picked up the endorsement of Save Orange County, a grassroots environmental group striving to stop urban encroachment into rural and natural areas of Orange County…Save Orange County started as a network of eastern Orange County communities trying to stop development east of the Econlockhatchee River, but has spread county-wide. O’Neal has a longtime record as an environmental activist, and has been outspoken on both Econlockhatchee and Wekiva issues…O’Neal faces three other Democrats state Rep. Randolph Bracy, former state Sen. Gary Siplin and former state Rep. and former Orange County Commissioner Bob Sindler. There are two write-in candidates forcing a November election for the winner of the Democratic primary.” Read Save Orange County rural preservation group endorses Chuck O’Neal in SD 11

    Laura Ruane reports for News Press – “Water quality is the dominant issue for candidates in the District 27 Florida Senate race. To be sure, other topics cross the lips of Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto and challenger Jason Maughan. But people are hopping mad over Lake Okeechobee water pollutants and lake discharges…Benacquisto thinks progress is being made, and that she’s played a key role. She co-sponsored the “Legacy Florida” bill…The Everglades portion includes ‘a priority toward projects that reduce the discharges…,’ Benacquisto said…Maughan…wants the state to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee to allow water to move south, and gradually filter-out pollutants…That’s one of the projects people who voted for Amendment 1 envisioned, he said.” Read Water top issue in District 27 Florida Senate race

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “U.S. Sugar Corp. and the Rivers Coalition are using full-page ads in editions of Treasure Coast Newspapers to tout their differing proposals to stop Lake Okeechobee discharges…The Our Indian River Lagoon team analyzed questionable statements in the first round of U.S. Sugar ads; so it seemed only fair to look at the Rivers Coalition ad and the new U.S. Sugar ad with a critical eye. RIVERS COALITION. The statement: ‘The only fix is the River of Grass flowway.’ Our analysis:…Rebuilding the River of Grass flowway to move water south won’t work, according to the University of Florida Water Institute report issued in 2015 for the state Senate. This is from page 101 of the report:  ‘While it may seem intuitive that re-establishing a broad flowway from near Lake Okeechobee to the northern Everglades is a sound restoration strategy, independent assessments indicate that modifications of the landscape have, to a large degree, compromised options to do so…The UF report cites studies showing ‘a passive…flowway is not the optimal approach for addressing problems of too much water going to the estuaries…or too little water going to the Everglades…’…U.S. SUGAR. The statement: Fund and complete Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan…and expedite repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike. Our analysis: Those projects won’t get the job done...[L]et’s open the UF water Initiative report…to page 130: ‘Existing and currently authorized storage and treatment projects are insufficient to achieve these goals (stopping the discharges)….” Read U.S. Sugar, Rivers Coalition battle in newspaper ads

    The Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “[T]he commission voted 3-2 in favor of the proposal. ‘There is more good than harm,’ said the commission’s chair, Cari Roth. With the health of Florida’s water- and therefore its environment and its economy- at stake, this is an unacceptably low standard. There is too much at risk to settle for ‘more good than harm.’ The proposal endorsed by the commission is a mixed bag, but more cancer-causing chemicals’ limits were increased than decreased…If Scott is sincerely interested in the commission fulfilling its mission, he will heed the advice of his fellow Republican, Diaz de la Portilla, and order another vote on the proposal after he fills the two vacancies…Regional water management districts…need to be re-empowered with sufficient funds and appointees committed to carrying out their critical responsibilities. Money set aside for water and land conservation by voters when they approved Amendment One…needs to be invested for that purpose, not diverted to agency salaries and other operating expenses. And water-quality standards need to be raised, not lowered.” Read Reverse decision to allow more cancer-causing chemicals in Florida water

    Peter Schorsch writes for Florida Politics – “If you can’t beat ‘em, make sure they don’t have enough people to fight…The vote…was a close 3-2, despite the board having seven seats…When Scott does want somebody on the panel, the position gets filled. In May, he named Craig Varn, his former general counsel at the Department of Environmental Protection. Varn is essentially an at-large member, one of two commissioners representing “lay citizens.” He voted for the proposal.” Read Takeaways from Tallahassee – Come for the water, stay for the Zika

    Karen Graham reports for the Digital Journal – “The invasive…New Guinea flatworm, first reported in Miami, Florida in June 2015, has now spread to the state’s southwestern coast…The invasive worm poses a threat to local ecosystems because it can devastate native soil invertebrates…The worm is persistent in tracking down its prey, going so far as to climb up a tree to get at a snail. The flatworm has no known predators…Florida health and environmental officials are alarmed because the flatworm is a paratenic host for the nematode…known as the rat lungworm. [The rat lungworm] parasitizes humans and causes [lung worms]. ‘If you have [lung worms], basically you start this horrible coughing. It’s a parasite in your lungs that needs to be treated,’ says Beckford (an agriculture agent in Lee County who works with the University of Florida). He also says that if you see one, don’t touch it. ‘It can actually cause problems on your skin because it…vomits up this caustic substance...’” Read Deadly invasive New Guinea flatworm spreading in Florida

    Eric Mack writes for Forbes – “Around this time last year I reported on an invention that seemed like a potential panacea for all our climate change concerns: A solar-powered reaction that takes ambient carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and uses it to create materials for planes, batteries and more. Now…comes another invention…with a solar cell that produces hydrocarbon fuel while sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere…The new breakthrough from the University of Illinois at Chicago is more like an artificial leaf, mimicking the process of photosynthesis…The…artificial leaf…doesn’t produce sugar…rather it produces synthesis gas, or syngas, which can be burned on its own or converted to diesel or other fuels.” Read How We Use the Sun to Reduce Climate Change and Make Fuel at the Same Time

     

     

     

    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

    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

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

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

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

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here.

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

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

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 2, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 @ 11:12am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 2, 2016




    Wire reports – “The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board has approved a proposed tax rate that is slightly lower than the current rate…Next year’s proposed $76.2 million budget will include $47.8 million to store more water north of Lake Okeechobee to reduce discharges to coastal areas and $54.1 million for continued Everglades restoration work…The budget will take effect Oct. 1 following public hearings in September.” Read South Florida water management board reduces tax rate for 2016-17

    Tyler Treadway reports for Treasure Coast Newspapers – “The algae, which has been blooming through the St. Lucie River Estuary since early June, ‘produces thousands of compounds,’ said Larry Brand, a marine biologist at the University of Miami, ‘and we have no idea what their health effects are.’ One compound, a toxin called microcystin, is known to cause nausea and vomiting if ingested, rash or hay fever symptoms if touched or inhaled and liver disease if drank. Brand is among a growing number of scientists who think another toxin in the algae, known as BMAA, can trigger neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and…ALS…The Florida Department of Environmental Protection tests algae blooms for microcystin, but not BMAA. Brand admitted testing for BMAA ‘is really tricky and very expensive.’…Don’t eat fish from areas with blue-green algae blooms…[F]ish from algae-infested areas in the Caloosahatchee River had extremely high levels of BMAA…[M]icrocystin is in the air around blooms, and…there’s a greater risk from breathing in a toxin than touching it.” Read Biologist: Algae health risks unknown

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “Federal agencies’ representatives…took turns at the microphone to explain how they’re helping combat the blue-green algae infestation in the St. Lucie River. But…what are the feds really doing on the waterfront?... ‘We’re in this on our own,’ [said] (Martin County) Chairwoman Anne Scott. ‘The government agencies are just paying lip service.’…U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio…called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to come to the Treasure Coast to assess the health risks associated with algae. The CDC can do that, said agency spokeswoman Lauren Benet, but state and local authorities ‘have not requested official assistance.’ ” Read Federal agencies providing ‘very little, if any’ help in combating St. Lucie River algae bloom

    Ann B. Shortelle writes for the St. Augustine Record – “The Record asserted that the pumping from Canal 54 (C-54) in southern Brevard County would transport algae-filled water from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Johns River as far north as St. Johns County. This is not accurate…” Read Pollutants won’t be pumped to St. Johns

    My Palm Beach Post Editorial Board writes – “We were dismayed that Florida regulators voted last week to approve new water standards that will increase the number of cancer-causing toxins allowed in the state’s waters…Over the four years that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has been working on these standards, it has sought scant public input. It held just a handful of public workshops, including a grand total of one for South Florida (in West Palm Beach) in 2012, and one this year in Stuart…It is hard to escape the conclusion that the Scott administration wanted to hear as little as possible from the…public while it wrote water standards that are of great interest to oil and gas drilling companies, dry cleaners, pulp and product producers, nuclear plants, wastewater treatment plants and agriculture. Many of these industries support the new standards, but the pulp- and paper-makers said they were too restrictive. Such is life in Rick Scott’s Florida, where enforcement of polluters is down 85 percent; state parks are eyed for their leasing potential to timber companies and cattle ranchers; and a state worker says he was reprimanded for uttering the words ‘climate change.’ We hope the EPA steps in to do the job that Florida’s own regulators have abdicated…” Read Feds need to reverse Florida’s watered-down toxin standards

    John Moran writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Why are we using a model no other state uses to loosen standards on carcinogens as the state faces its worst water crisis in recent history?... ‘The environmental community hasn’t been given a voice,’ I said on the dais. Security was approaching. ‘The local governments haven’t been given a vote.’ ‘No one cares, bud,’ said Mr. Varn…The seat I was not authorized to be in was meant for a representative of the environmental community. The governor has a statutory obligation to fill that seat…A fully seated commission rejected the new standards in 2013, and would vote them down again, if the governor complied with the Florida Statutes. The two groups that spoke most vehemently against the commission’s decision…were exactly those groups denied their rightful representation…So yes, Mr. Varn – or should I say, ‘bud’ – no one cares. This administration does not care much for, or about, the systems of open government and environmental stewardship that were the labors of love of previous generations of Floridians. This contempt has been shown time and again, and it is toxic.” Read Water decision toxic for democracy

    Cari Roth writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “My recent vote in favor of new Human Health Criteria for Florida water has come under public criticism…First, it is important to understand that the standards approved this week are for discharges to Florida’s waters. National drinking water standards regulate the quality of the water that comes out of your tap. They are, of course, much higher…Would some discharges become more toxic? I was assured (by DEP) that the technology that removes these harmful chemicals from discharges would remain in place, and that no more of the chemicals in question would be added to the discharges. You can be sure that I have asked for the monitoring data from these discharges to make sure that is the case!” Read ERC Chair: New water rules complex and conservative

    David Fleshler and Stephen Hobbs report for the Sun Sentinel – “[A]fter two cobras escaped last year from houses in Orlando and suburban Fort Myers…[t]he Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering restrictions ranging from an outright ban on owning non-native venomous snakes to stricter rules on caging and handling. Current owners would be allowed to keep their snakes…The wildlife commission asked the public to submit written comments on proposed restrictions…Several noted the number of non-native species that escaped into the wild, disrupting the environment, such as Burmese pythons in the Everglades and lionfish in coastal waters, and wondered why the state should risk adding to the list…” Read Florida may restrict private ownership of cobras, other venomous snakes

     

     

     

     

    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

    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




    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

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

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

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

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here.

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

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

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - August 1, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, August 1st, 2016 @ 11:59am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    August 1, 2016




    Joe Collins writes for the Sun Sentinel – “Representatives from environmental and agricultural communities joined elected Republicans and Democrats alike in praising the [Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan] and eagerly awaiting its construction. The plan was developed after years of studying the best approach to water storage, treatment and delivery of water to the Everglades ecosystem. The facts then, as they do now, suggested the vast majority of the water enters Lake Okeechobee from the north, and that storage and treatment near the source is preferable before it enters into Lake Okeechobee. When considering the restoration plan, the South Florida Water Management District also considered many alternatives such as the flow-way concept known as “plan 6.” In recent months, some critics have revived calls for the flow-way concept, but the plan’s shortcomings still remain…In a 2007 presentation to the Governing board, district engineers and scientists noted that among other things, flows from a…flow-way to Everglades National Park would remain too low, ‘exacerbate the already high stages in the northern parts’ of the Water Conservation Areas, and have ‘very low habitat suitability.’ Despite claims that the flow-way would return Lake Okeechobee to a more natural state, the presentation concluded ‘water deliveries to or from a flow-way will never be natural because Lake Okeechobee has changed.’” Read Comprehensive Everglades restoration a necessity

    Jeff Burlew reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “People suspicious of Gov. Rick Scott’s environmental agenda were hardly surprised…when the Environmental Regulation Commission signed off on controversial new limits for toxic compounds that can go into Florida’s surface waters…Gov. Scott’s most recent appointee to the ERC sits in the “lay person” chair but is in fact an agency insider. Craig Varn…served as DEP’s general counsel from February 2015 to April 2016 before joining the commission in May, around the time the department rolled out its new standards. Varn voted in favor of the new standards…Roth, who represents the development community, said she never would have voted for the new standards if she thought they would increase cancer risks. The former general counsel for the Department of Community Affairs is a breast cancer survivor herself. She said…[t]he department assumed all fish Floridians eat comes from Florida and all waters are polluted at maximum levels, neither of which is the case. ” Read Anger, suspicions remain after water vote

    Katie Tripp writes for the Sun Sentinel – “The number of watercraft-related manatee deaths has been ticking steadily upward since the start of the year…[I]t’s highly likely that…2016 will be the new record year for manatee watercraft deaths…In the north Indian River Lagoon, small numbers of manatees have once again started to die from an ongoing unusual mortality event that has killed more than 150 manatees and is believed to be tied to a loss of seagrass linked to algal blooms that started more than four years ago. In the southern Indian River Lagoon, manatees are swimming through putrid waters impacted by discharges from Lake Okeechobee. There are concerns that these prolonged blooms will shade and kill seagrass, eliminating the manatees’ primary food source (and an important habitat for other marine species)…We firmly believe downlisting without better controlling the escalating threats is premature…[C]ontact your elected officials and ask for their commitment in safeguarding your local waters.” Read Watercraft, algae double whammy for manatees

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “The path to expanding solar energy in Florida has been clouded…But on the Aug. 30 primary ballot, Amendment 4 is a clear-cut win for solar…It’s important to distinguish this amendment from the misleading Amendment 1 on the November ballot. That measure, backed by the state’s electric utilities, is being marketed as pro-solar but actually would punish consumers for generating their own power. Amendment 4 is good for Florida. It was put on the ballot by the Legislature, which passed it unanimously. It quite literally has no opposition…On Amendment 4 on the Aug. 30 ballot, the Tampa Bay Times recommends voting yes.” Read Vote yes for Amendment 4

    Chad Gillis reports for News Press – “A Congressional watchdog group says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs to better review and document water condition in more than 700 water compounds the agency oversees, including Lake Okeechobee…Instead of conducting mandatory 10-year reviews of the facilities, Army Corps officials across the nation have instead relied on ‘informal,’ day-to-day inspections. Without regular updates, the data on water levels may not represent the actual conditions, which could potentially throw off restoration projects or dike maintenance... ‘Officials from all 15 district GAO (Governmental Affairs Office) interviewed said they do not document informal reviews of water control manuals because they consider such reviews part of the daily routine of operating projects,’ the report says.” Read Watchdog group: Army Corps not compliant with management rule

    Sean Kinane reports for WMNF – “Jaclyn Lopez is Florida director of the Center for Biological Diversity…She says permitted oil exploration in Big Cypress by Texas-Based Burnett Oil Company could harm drinking water and affect many different species of wildlife, including the Florida Panther.” Listen to Enviro groups sue feds to stop oil exploration in Florida’s Big Cypress

    Joshua Axelrod writes for the NRDC – “For TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL proposal, the pipeline’s rejection was a blow. But now they’re back with an even bigger, even riskier proposal that could threaten more people and more resources than even the Keystone XL behemoth would have…In a new report…NRDC revels the specifics of the project and the significant threats it poses to U.S. coastal resources ranging from Maine, to the Florida Keys, to the Gulf of Mexico. As with Keystone XL, the proposed Energy East tar sands pipeline would pose a long-lasting threat to the global climate; introduce the risk of an un-cleanable tar sands oil spill,…and undermine the survival of several iconic and endangered species, this time marine mammals that depend on ecosystems up and down the eastern seaboard. Along the way, an accident involving Energy East tankers carrying tar sands crude could cause significant harm to East Coast fisheries, not to mention the multi-billion dollar coastal tourism industry.” Read Tar Sands in the Atlantic- Company Behind Keystone XL is Back

    Greg Dotson writes for Think Progress – “Secretary Clinton said climate change is ‘one of the most urgent threats of our time, and we have no choice but to rise and meet it.’ On the other hand, Mr. Trump has said that climate change is a hoax. Similarly, the Democratic platform and Republican platform are practically opposites of each other…Just as remarkable as the partisan difference on climate change is just how far the Republican Party has moved itself over the past eight years on the issue. The 2008 Republican platform acknowledged that human activity had increased the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and that ‘common sense dictates that the United States should take measured and reasonable steps.’ The platform went on to say that ‘Republicans support technology-driven, marked-based solutions that will decrease emissions’…A Republican uttering these words today would likely be seen as a liberal pariah by their party.” Read The Republican Platform Once Tried to Fight Climate Change. Now It Denies It.

     

     

     

    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

    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

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

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

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

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

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here.

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

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

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

    October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. 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 60 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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

FCC News Brief - July 29, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Friday, July 29th, 2016 @ 10:33am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 29, 2016




    John Romano writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “[The Environmental Regulation Commission] approved new standards for the amount of dangerous chemicals allowed in Florida’s waters…[T]he politics sure make it look like the state cheated to get the result it wanted…[T]he DEP tried to get a similar measure passed in 2013, and the seven-member commission balked at the numbers involved. So officials waited…They waited until the terms of two commissioners expired, and another retired. Gov. Rick Scott filled one seat with a former DEP lawyer, and he left the other two vacant. And…bingo! The new water standards passed…by a 3-2 vote…[A] seven-member commission should not be able to approve sweeping- and potentially dangerous- water standards with three votes… ‘Those two empty seats might have swung the vote.’ [said Mike Bauer, who stepped down from the commission…after retiring as the natural resources manager for the city of Naples.]…The commission is supposed to be made up of one member from the development community, one from agriculture, one from science and technology, one from local government, one from the environmental community and two laypersons, who right now are lawyers. Want to guess which seats were left vacant? The representatives for the environment and local government…[T]he agriculture and science members both gave a thumbs down. So that means the decision to approve higher levels of cancer-causing toxins in your waters was just made by three lawyers…The governor is also supposed to strive to make sure the commission represents the state geographically. Except most of the commission is from the Panhandle with one member from Miami.” Read How to poison Florida’s waters in a few easy steps

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla said…he will ask Gov. Rick Scott to fill the two vacancies on the Environmental Regulation Commission and ask the board to reevaluate its decision…to increase the limits on cancer causing substances in Florida’s drinking water sources…Here’s Diaz de la Portilla’s statement:…I am a Florida native. My family, loved ones, friends and colleagues live in this wonderful state, swim in its waters, and drink plentiful amounts of its water. I cannot understand how allowing for the increase of not one, but multiple known cancer causing agents in our waterways throughout the state makes any logical sense. As a Florida state senator and more importantly, as a father, I simply cannot stand by and do nothing as this indefensible proposal moves forward.” Read Diaz de la Portilla joins Rodriguez in call for Scott to fill environmental vacancies and reject toxin rule

    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “A state panel approved new water quality standards…that defy…common sense…The EPA should reject [them], and the state should come up with standards that protect Florida’s environment and safeguard human health…[T]he DEP developed the new standards with a method that no other state uses…The DEP initially proposed raising the limit for benzene, a byproduct of fracking, from 1.18 parts per billion to 3 parts per billion. After public outcry, the agency reduced the level to 2 parts per billion. So much for a science-based process…The commission passed the new rule on a 3-2 vote. Would the measure have failed 4-3 if [the empty seats had been filled?] The public will never know…The standards approved this week were described by one commissioner who voted for them as ‘more good than harm.’ That’s not good enough for Florida, and the EPA needs to hammer home that message by rejecting the changes.” Read EPA should reject Florida’s new water standards

    Lance Shearer reports for the Naples Daily News – “The [Cypress Cove Conservancy (CCC)] was formed to put together funds to purchase endangered wildlife habitat land, and for their short-term goal, acquiring one piece of land near the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, they need roughly $800,000… ‘Nobody is buying land any more. We went to the Conservancy (of Southwest Florida) but they’re not buying more land. Conservation Collier was defunded, and the Nature Conservancy has a big project going on. We hope to work with the Trust for Public Land down the road, but we can’t wait.’ [Davenport, CCC Vice President, said.]..Davenport showed a short film…On the screen, panther cubs frolicked, deer and bear passed by on the disused roads in the thick woods. Another image showed panther activity by collared cats in the area, demonstrating that the target property is in the thick of the panther and bear habitat…Once [CCC manages] to acquire the…property, they plan to move right into preserving land connecting that to the Panther Preserve.” Read Saving the panther (habitat): Cypress Cove Conservancy seeks funds to preserve critical wildlife land

    Lauren Ritchie writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “This warning should be coming from your local health department, but those folks…can’t find time to tell you about toxic algae in Lake Minneola…Davis, whose backyard slopes into Lake Minneola, has a good view of a…green slime of algae that has been coming and going for the past year. It usually clumps around her boat dock, just waiting for the unsuspecting human to wade into the water or the happy dog to frolic in the shallows. Six months ago, Davis, 53, got into the water and shortly afterward her skin started to burn – and it wouldn’t quit…[T]he health department…told her to stay out of it…They didn’t issue warnings to anybody else living on the lake…” Read Watch out for toxic algae lurking in lake

    Karen Chapman writes for Environmental Defense Fund – “Algae blooms can be minimized and maybe even prevented if we scale up existing efforts to improve fertilizer use and soil health management – practices that can also save farmers money and boost their yields…[W]e must work with and not against farmers and agribusiness.” Read Solutions for the toxic algae crisis in Florida and beyond

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “Florida Power & Light should retire its miles of cooling canals used to cool its Turkey Point nuclear power plant, and replace them with cooling towers that release less pollution into South Florida waterways and use less fresh water, [The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy] argued…as part of its campaign to force the utility to reform its practices. The [group is] suing FPL for violating the Clean Water Act…The proposal to retire the cooling canals adds ammunition to a resolution passed unanimously by the Miami-Dade County Commission…asking FPL to stop using the troubled canal system by 2033…In June, [FPL] signed a consent order with the state agreeing to clean up the canals within 10 years but keep them operating.” Read Should FPL retire its cooling canals? Report makes the case

    Sebastian Kitchen reports for The Florida Times Union – “The St. Johns Riverkeeper withdrew its challenge to the state permit to deepen the river, arguing that process was incapable of protecting the river, and is moving its fight to federal court.” Read Riverkeeper moving challenge of St. Johns deepening to federal court

     

     

     

    From Our Readers

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

     


    Petitions

    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

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

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

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

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

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here.

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

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

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

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

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

FCC News Brief - July 28, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Thursday, July 28th, 2016 @ 10:24am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 28, 2016




    Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy…lagged behind primary opponent U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, but far ahead of Republican incumbent Marco Rubio, according to a League of Conservation Voters scorecard…Murphy had the second-worst lifetime score among all 10 Florida Democrats in the house…The only Democrat who did worse…is…Gwen Graham…Murphy also did better than U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson…” Read League of Conservation Voters scores environmental voting records of Rubio, Murphy, Grayson

    The News Service of Florida reports – “The Florida Retail Federation has filed a lawsuit that challenges a move by the city of Coral Gables to ban the use of…Styrofoam…In part, the lawsuit points to the Legislature’s approval…of a bill that seeks to prevent local governments from regulating polystyrene…though local regulations in effect before 2016 would be allowed to continue. The lawsuit alleges that the Coral Gables City Commission…approved a…ban. And later tried to make the ban retroactively effective…It also alleges that the City Commission passed an ordinance…that was another part of the effort to move forward with the ban…[T]he city said polystyrene can be ingested by wildlife and contributes to litter problems.” Read Retailers Sue Coral Gables Over Styrofoam Ban

    Rick Noack reports for The Washington Post – “European nations in particular are…looking with growing anger and skepticism at the United States’ heavy reliance on air conditioning. ‘If the second, fourth, and fifth most populous nations- India, Indonesia, and Brazil, all hot and humid- were to use as much energy per capita for air conditioning as does the U.S., it would require 100 percent of those countries’ electricity supplies, plus all of the electricity generated by Mexico, the United Kindgom, Italy, and the entire continent of Africa,’ said Stan Cox, a researcher…Within the next 80 years, global electricity consumption is expected to rise by more than 80 percent due to more air conditioning, and an increased use of fridges and fans. Rapidly growing use of air conditioning and fridges has already…increased emissions of…HCFC gases that are known to fuel climate change. (John F.) Kerry was in Vienna…to help find an agreement to limit their international use… ‘The concern is that if the world doesn’t transition away from HCFCs, that will cause problems because the developing world, including China and India, are poised- as they develop and as the climate warms- to become enormous markets for air conditioners…,’said Anthony Leiserowitz, the Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.” Read Climate change is as dangerous as ISIS, says Kerry, and part of the problem is your airconditioning

    Center for Biological Diversity shares – “A lawsuit filed…by a coalition of local and national environmental groups would prevent extensive seismic exploration for oil and gas in the Big Cypress National Preserve, which is home to endangered species like the iconic Florida panther and recharges an important source of drinking water for many South Floridians. The preserve also serves as a major watershed for Everglades National Park to the south.” Read Lawsuit Filed to Stop Oil, Gas Exploration in Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve

    Eric Staats reports for the Naples Daily News – “The lawsuit accuses the National Park Service of breaking the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedures Act and its own rules by not adequately considering the environment when it approved a plan by Burnett Oil Co. to explore for oil and gas across more than 110 square miles of the swampy preserve in eastern Collier County. The groups also have filed a notice of intent with the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to sue the agencies over the plan’s impact to endangered species, such as the iconic Florida panther…The South Florida Wildlands Association, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Earthworks filed the lawsuit in federal court…Florida Sen. Bill Nelson also called on Interior Secretary Sally Jewel to conduct a more in-depth review of Burnett’s plans, but the agency rejected the request.” Read Lawsuit filed to stop oil exploration in Big Cypress

    Beth Kassab writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “Amendment 4…If at least 60 percent of voters say yes…businesses will no longer pay property taxes on solar panels or other renewable energy equipment…The…interesting question is who’s opposing it? Because the answer is apparently no one. None of the usual suspects on either side of the renewable energy debate in Florida are organizing a campaign against this amendment…You should vote for this amendment if: You want to see more solar energy in Florida…Amendment 1…In order to fully understand this amendment which will be on the Nov. 8 ballot, first you need to know that it was born out of political strategy- not a desire for meaningful change…You should vote against this amendment if: You are skeptical of the utilities’ control over how we get our power.” Read Solar amendments: What they mean on your ballot

    Deirdre Macnab writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “I heard about a group of Orange County homeowners who banded together to form a solar cooperative that would research and bid on joint projects. To my surprise, the neighborhood cooperative had not only obtained a quality product but secured one of the lowest installation prices in the country…Total cost $11,000. Then subtract the roughly $3,500 federal income-tax deduction…The solar panels have slashed our energy bills. My May bill was an unbelievable $15 ($345 the year before) or roughly a 20 percent annual return on investment until year six, when the expenditure will have been covered. Plus we will get a chunk of electricity free for years to come.” Read Follow the sun for low-cost energy, elevate state status

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “The algae crisis in the St. Lucie River, Indian River lagoon and at times Atlantic Ocean beaches has sparked research by various organizations to learn more about the blooms.” Read Scientist: Timing Lake Okeechobee discharges to tides will prevent algae blooms

     

     

     

    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

    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

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    July 28, 6:00 pm – Attend an information session to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in the St. Petersburg area. FL Sun and League of Women Voters want to teach you about co-ops and solar power. The meeting will be held at 330 5th Street North in Saint Petersburg. For more information, click here.

    August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

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

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

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

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

    August 11, 7:00 pm – Watch The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in Sarasota FOR FREE. After the film, there will be a panel discussion by Florida Wildlife Corridor Executive Director, Lindsay Cross; Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Director or Land Protection, Debi Osborne; and Sandra Gilchrist, Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center. For more information, click here.

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

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

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

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

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

FCC News Brief - July 27, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 @ 1:31pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 27, 2016

     

    Gwen Graham writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “Republicans and Democrats were actually able to work together to protect our water…Unfortunately, that era of bipartisan support for conservation has run dry under Gov. Rick Scott. Since coming into office, Scott has gutted environmental protections by abolishing the Department of Community Affairs, politicizing water-management districts and allowing the Legislature to misappropriate Amendment One funds meant for conservation…[The] water bill…was largely a missed opportunity to address the most important water issues we face today and in the long term…First, we must address failing septic tanks…Second, we need to restore the integrity of Florida’s water-management districts. In his first year as governor, Scott forced the districts to cut their budgets by $700 million. He then filled their boards with political appointees and limited the voice of conservationists…Third, we must defend and improve our water-quality standards. The Environmental Regulation Commission, whose members are appointed by Scott, is working to allow more cancer-causing chemicals in our…waters. The governor and state leaders must…reverse course and work to raise our standards-not gut them. Finally, the Legislature must appropriate Amendment One funds as voters intended. Instead of using the funds to purchase environmentally sensitive lands…the Legislature has used the funds as general revenue to pay for operating budgets.” Read Politics shortchanges, endangers water, Florida’s greatest treasure

    Lin Edwards reports for Phys.org – “Eminent…scientist Professor Frank Fenner, who helped to wipe out smallpox, predicts humans will probably be extinct within 100 years, because of overpopulation, environmental destruction and climate change…He said he believes the situation is irreversible, and it is too late because the effects we have had on Earth since industrialization…rivals any effects of ice ages or comet impacts…[A] colleague of Professor Fenner, retired professor Stephen Boyden,…said he still hopes awareness of the problems will rise and the required revolutionary changes will be made to achieve ecological sustainability. ‘…We have the scientific knowledge to do it but we don’t have the political will,’ Boyden said.” Read Humans will be extinct in 100 years says eminent scientist

    Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “Tallahassee Florida regulators voted to approve new water quality standards…that will increase the amount of cancer-causing toxins allowed in Florida’s rivers and streams under a plan the state says will protect more Floridians than current standards. The Environmental Regulation Commission voted 3-2 to approve [the] proposal…The federal Environmental Protection Agency must now approve the rules…Linda Young, executive director of Clean Water Network, which led the opposition to the rule, said her group will urge EPA to reject the rule but, if it is approved, ‘then absolutely we will file suit,’ she said…Broward County’s top environmental scientist was among those who urged the commission to reject the new rule, warning that it will lead to dangerous concentrations of chemicals that may not be detected by testing…The commission was scolded for not having its full complement of members while agreeing to reschedule the vote on the controversial rules from September to July.” Read New water standards approved – more chemicals allowed in Florida water

    Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “A sharply divided state Environmental Regulation Commission voted…to approve controversial new water quality criteria…Some of the dozens of environmental speakers at the meeting…said the seven-member commission should delay the vote because of vacant seats for local government and environmental representatives…A spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Scott said…anyone is welcome to apply for the positions…After the approval…Nelson and eight congressional Democrats from Florida sent a letter to EPA director Gina McCarthy objecting to the state’s proposal and raising concerns about the vacant environmental seat…” Read Divided panel approves DEP’s water quality criteria amid protests, angry Democrats, industry complaints

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “Toxins from blue-green algae blooms are in the air as well as the water…And the blooms themselves contained toxic levels ‘I never dreamed we’d see,’ said Deborah Drum, the (Martin) County’s ecosystem manager. According to a report issued…during a Martin County Commission meeting, an algae bloom at Central Marine marina in Rio contained microcystin at a rate of 33,000 parts per billion…The World Health Organization considers levels above 10 parts per billion to be hazardous in recreation contact. The tests found microcystin in the air at Central Marine at a rate of 0.64 parts per billion. There are no set standards for microcystin inhalation risk by any federal, state or local regulatory agency, Drum said…” Read Martin County tests show algae toxins in St. Lucie River blooms also contaminate air

    David Bauerlein reports for The Florida Times Union – “[L]eaders of state and local government agencies signed a 10-year commitment to spend $700 million improving the health of the St. Johns River…The River Accord signed July 27, 2006, came on the heels of the “Green Monster” that erupted in 2005, sounding an alarm that brought to the signing table top officials from City Hall, JEA, the St. Johns River Water Management District and state Department of Environmental Protection. Now as the River Accord has run its course, it appears only about a third of the money pledged was actually spent and the quantifiable results…are…murky. The most recent State of the River report found reduced levels of nitrogen and phosphorus…St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman…said even with reduction sin the amount of nutrients going into the waterway, the risk remains unacceptably high…The Great Recession dealt a body blow to overall spending on the River Accord…” Read Agreement to clean up St. Johns River ends with its impacts unclear

    Ari Hait reports for WPBF – “A crowd packed in to a conference room in Okeechobee…to hear the Army Corps of Engineers’ latest proposed solution to the problem of toxic algae…[T]he Army Corps introduced the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project…The…Project suggests storing more water north of the lake will reduce the amount that needs to be discharged ‘We’re focused here on creating that north of the lake storage as kind of a long term solution for the problem,’ said Tim Gysan, the project manager. Most of the people at the meeting applauded the idea, but were discouraged to hear it called a long term solution…The Army Corps…said this project would take at least three years just to develop a plan they can present to Congress.” Read Army Corps proposes new solution to toxic algae

    John Kennedy reports for the Palm Beach Post – “Saying he was frustrated by Republican Rick Scott’s lack of action on the algae bloom plaguing the Treasure Coast, Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy…brought bottles of foul-smelling, toxic green water…to the governor’s office so he could see it first hand…Murphy…said that Scott should urge lawmakers to use voter-approved Amendment 1 environmental dollars to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee that can be used to clean and store the discharged lake water. Republican lawmakers have rejected both the price and science behind the proposal.” Read Tired of stay-away Scott, Murphy brings algae water to governor’s office

     

     

     

     

    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

    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

     

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    July 28, 6:00 pm – Attend an information session to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in the St. Petersburg area. FL Sun and League of Women Voters want to teach you about co-ops and solar power. The meeting will be held at 330 5th Street North in Saint Petersburg. For more information, click here.

    August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

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

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

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

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

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

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

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

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

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

FCC News Brief - July 26, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 @ 2:14pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 26, 2016

     

    Ross McCluney writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “New record-high global temperatures almost monthly. Storms increasing in frequency and severity. Droughts more frequent and longer lasting. These are becoming the new norms on our planet…It’s all a consequence of our changing climate. A global scientific consensus has formed that we must reduce and eventually stop the combustion of fossil fuels…The best way would be not to extract the fuels in the first place. The new mantra is ‘Keep it in the ground.’ If we hope to maintain a reasonably good version of today’s energy-intensive industrial society, we can replace the fossil fuel energy with clean and renewable natural sources, including wind and solar energy…In addition to helping customers reduce their electricity bills, reduce pollution for a more sustainable energy future and be more energy self-sufficient, Amendment 4 will encourage more solar companies to operate in Florida and create new jobs that support the local economy.” Read Promote solar, vote yes on Amendment 4

    The News-Press Editorial Board writes – “Two years ago, in a 143-page report (options to Reduce High Volume Freshwater Flows to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries and Move More Water from Lake Okeechobee to the Southern Everglades) was as in-depth and complete as any on our water crisis…The report is considered the environmental bible for many government and environmental groups because of its thoroughness and recognition of the scientists who prepared it…Land buys north and south of the lake to create another 1 million acre feet of storage…are crucial…especially north of the lake to hold and clean polluted water before it enters Lake Okeechobee…The report also noted the importance of decades of planning and solutions already provided for in key environmental plans for the south Florida ecosystem…A main focus of the report was the need to improve water quality plans that aren’t doing enough to meet FDEP-approved total maximum daily loads of nitrogen and phosphorus into our waterways and the need to be more aggressive with ‘field-verified agricultural and urban Best Management Practices,’ as well as strategic placement of storage treatment areas…” Read Uniting over water

    Daniel Andrews writes for News Press – “The ongoing mismanagement of Lake Okeechobee’s waters threatens not only the vitality of our river, bays, and beaches; but is also threatening our local economy. The blue green algae blooms…are symptoms of a broken system, catering to special interests at the expense of all Floridians. Science-based solutions are available –right now- to solve the water crisis…Several organizations fighting for clean water collaborated and drafted the Now or NeverGlades Declaration, which asks the state of Florida to…use Amendment 1, along with other funds, to identify and secure land south of the lake without delay; before development in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) or other uncertainties condemn our waters to irrecoverable destruction. This solution would not eliminate farming or harm the Glades communities. The declaration was first signed by Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen…We encourage all elected officials to sign…” Read A captain’s view of water mismanagement

    The St. Augustine Record Editorial Board writes – “[T]he plan will divert a sizable portion of the toxic lake water from the Indian River by allowing 9 million gallons a day of it into Brevard County’s Canal 54- then into what’s called the Stick Marsh impoundment to the west. This is arguably the finest bass fishing in the country and home to dozens of species of wild water birds that call the 6,500-acre impoundment home…[W]hen the new load from Okeechobee gets to Stick Marsh, that overflow flows straight to the St. Johns River’s headwater basin...This action does nothing to solve the problem, but it might take a little pressure off the dying Indian River…It’s metaphorically kicking the environmental can down the road. Except, in this instance, it may be kicking a very real algal time bomb up the St. Johns River…If the algae can travel 260 miles intact in the pure saltwater of the open ocean, how much worse might it be in the 90-degree, creeping current of the already nutrient-rich…waters of the St. Johns River?” Read Plan diverts algal discharge our way

    James Call reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “The summer heat has produced visible algae blooms in Lake Killearn and at least four other Leon County lakes. The infestation…is not as dramatic as the outbreak in central Florida’s Lake Okeechobee. But local scientists say it poses a threat to Wakulla Springs.” Read Algae blooms a blight in Leon lakes

    Amy Sherman reports for Politifact – “A nasty-looking toxic algae bloom…has oozed into political races, including U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Democratic primary. Her opponent, Tim Canova…says that Wasserman Schultz shares in the blame for the algae…In Florida, Big Sugar has given generously to state and local politicians and to federal candidates, including Wasserman Schultz…In 2003, then state Sen. Wasserman Schultz voted to delay for seven years the requirement for sugar companies to clean up polluted discharges that had hurt the Everglades…In June 2013,…the House and Senate voted on sugar amendments that would have scaled back the industry’s benefits. The amendments failed in both chambers with Wasserman Schultz voting ‘no.’ Most of the Florida delegation voted against the amendment, including both of Florida’s senators Marco Rubio, a Republican, and Bill Nelson, a Democrat…She has supported a clean water rule proposed by the EPA..” Read Tim Canova attacks Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s record on Big Sugar

    Jeff Burlew reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Florida Democrats in Congress are blasting a Department of Environmental Protection proposal to allow higher amounts of certain carcinogenic chemicals into the state’s surface waters…The Democrats asked the ERC to reject the proposal. And they called on Gov. Rick Scott to fill two vacant positions on the seven-member board set aside for local government and environmental community representation…DEP Secretary Jon Steverson responded to criticism…saying… ‘I’ve been in contact with the federal EPA, which has confirmed every change is in line with its own recommendations,’… ‘Furthermore, each and every criterion protects Floridians…’” Read Democrats in Congress blast DEP water plan

    Jeffrey Rissman writes for the Daily Climate – “To tax or not to tax-that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the lungs to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous emissions, Or to take arms against a sea of polluters…” Read To Tax or Not to Tax

     

     

     

     

    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

    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

     

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

    July 26, 6:30 pm – Attend the Climate Justice Committee’s meeting at 3105 W. Waters Ave in Tampa to discuss strategies to tackle our climate crisis and put pressure on elected officials to deliver solutions in Florida.

    July 28, 6:00 pm – Attend an information session to learn how you can join a Solar Co-op in the St. Petersburg area. FL Sun and League of Women Voters want to teach you about co-ops and solar power. The meeting will be held at 330 5th Street North in Saint Petersburg. For more information, click here.

    August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

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

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

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

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

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

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

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

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

FCC News Brief - July 25, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Monday, July 25th, 2016 @ 2:39pm

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 25, 2016

     

    Lisa Rinaman writes for The Florida Times Union – “Fish consumption is one of the primary pathways to exposure to…dangerous chemicals, and Floridians are eating a lot more fish than originally estimated when the current criteria were developed. The more fish we eat, the more chemicals we ingest. Raising the pollution limits for dozens of chemicals, as DEP is proposing, will only further increase our chances of cancer and other health problems. In addition, DEP failed to consider the potential health effects from exposure to more than one chemical. Unfortunately, we’re all exposed daily to a toxic soup of chemicals from multiple sources. Exposure to more than one contaminant at the same time can ‘produce a cumulative or even synergistic toxicity.’…A recent international study concluded that even some chemicals considered non-carcinogenic may increase cancer risk when present in the environment in certain mixtures with other chemicals.” Read Florida’s leaders are siding with polluters over the environment

    Ray Bellamy writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “As a former member of the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC), I am troubled by proposed changes to Florida’s water quality standards for allowable toxic limits. I cannot recall an instance when the Department of Environmental Regulation, as it was then called, proposed weakening environmental standards. The now-named Department of Environmental Protection, perhaps influenced by ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ rhetoric, is proposing just that for the carcinogen benzene and other toxins. A weakened ERC is to decide whether to approve the proposed more permissive limits on Tuesday. I saw ‘weakened,’ since two of the seven ERC commission slots – the ones usually reserved for an environmentalist and a local government representative – have not been appointed by our governor…Commissioners representing industry are to rule…Residents of Florida may attend Tuesday’s ERC meeting…The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at the DEP offices at 3900 Commonwealth Blvd. If you can’t attend, you can contact the individual ERC members…” Read Floridians have lots of reasons to distrust DEP

    Linda Young writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “On Tuesday, “Don’t Expect Protection” will ask the Environmental Regulation Commission to approve an increase in the amount of cancer-causing chemicals that can be dumped in Florida’s waters designated for drinking-water supplies, shell-fishing, swimming and fishing…Florida’s DEP has suddenly moved the vote to next week, instead of in September, when it was originally planned. If people don’t know about the meeting, they can’t complain or show up. Also, the Environmental Regulation Commission, appointed by the governor, is short two members…These vacant seats are for a representative of the environmental community and someone else representing local governments. Perhaps Scott would appoint only people who would support his policies, but shouldn’t these constituencies have someone in their corners?” Read Put kibosh on move to foul drinking water

    Click Orlando reports – “Clean water advocates say the rule would weaken state water quality criteria…The Florida Department of Environmental Protection insists that it is not lowering standards but is using more robust risk models and more Florida-specific data than the EPA…The proposed rule sets ‘stringent and protective criteria for 39 chemicals that currently have no limits,’ DEP says…DEP’s criteria would be stricter than EPA’s guidelines for cyanide, beryllium and several other chemicals in drinking water supplies. But most of the proposed state criteria would be weaker than EPA’s guidelines…Conservation groups worry that the state will allow levels higher than EPA guidelines for compounds such as…PCBs…Production of PCBs was banned in 1979, and EPA calls them ‘probably human carcinogens.’ Childhood exposure to PCBs has been linked to reduce IQ and impaired growth and motor skills…Pulp and paper mills are the primary source of most of the two dozen carcinogens on the state’s list…” Read Florida mulls new standards on water toxins

    Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “To ease the algae stress on the Indian River Lagoon, regional water managers this week decided to pump 6,300 gallons of water a minute at Canal 54 along Brevard County’s southern border, west to the Stick Marsh, instead…Reversing the water will divert some 9 million gallons per day of flow from the C-54 to the St. Johns River through the St. Johns Water Management Area, a popular bass fishing spot also called “Stick Marsh.”.” Read St. Johns diverts canal water away from lagoon

    Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “Facing one of the worst nesting years on record, federal wildlife and water managers…announced new measures to protect the Cape Sable seaside sparrow and hasten Everglades restoration…[T]he changes could also lead to more flooding on conservation land popular with hunters…The plan also speeds up the schedule for moving more water down the L-29 canal into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay…The agencies worked out the measures with partners including the South Florida Water Management District, Summa (chief of planning and environmental policy for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Jacksonville) said… ‘For them to say we were part of the process other than paying us for work that needed to be done is absolutely false,’ said SFWMD spokesman Randy Smith…The state’s two largest environmental groups, the Everglades Foundation and Florida Audubon, praised the new measures. ‘Water mismanagement is the root cause of the algae blooms and seagrass die-offs, and has driven the Cape Sable seaside sparrow to the brink of extinction,’ Everglades Foundation Vice President Tom Van Lent said… ‘The solution is to accelerate restoration projects,’” Read New Glades rules protect sparrow, might lead to soggy hunting grounds

    Brittany Bedi reports for WCTV – “Wakulla Springs…along with eight others…are being awarded more than $15 million for preservation, conservation, and cleanup for the springs and areas that drain into them. There are two projects affecting Wakulla springs. The first is a sewer system for Woodville, serving roughly 1,500 homes that are currently using septic tanks. The second project is a ‘septic-to-sewer’ project that will connect up to 130 homes and move sewage through the city of Tallahassee’s sewage system…The funding in the Northwest Florida Water Management District is part of $56.6 million in statewide funding from Governor Scott’s Legacy Florida Bill.” Read Wakulla Springs among $15.3 million conservation projects

    Wes Siler writes for Outside Online – “The GOP’s justifications for stealing our public land holds no water. And the thing is: historically, the Republican Party would agree.” Read Fact-Checking the GOP’s Plan to Steal Your Public Land

     

     

     

     

    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

    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

     

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

    August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

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

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

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

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

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

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

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

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

     

FCC News Brief - July 24, 2016

Posted by Gladys Delgadillo, Sunday, July 24th, 2016 @ 10:25am

  • FCC News Brief

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

    July 24, 2016

     

    Rachel Silverstein writes for the Miami Herald – “The Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC)…is considering adopting a new rule, proposed by DEP, that would allow higher limits for dozens of cancer-causing chemicals…Gov. Rick Scott’s DEP is accepting the likelihood that more Florida citizens might develop cancer with these new exposure limits, using a carcinogenic “chemical risk calculation” that is 10 times (or sometimes 100 times) higher than the current rule allows…The risk factors increase for people who eat Florida-caught seafood more than once per week…Critically, the body that will ultimately decide whether to adopt or reject DEP’s proposed rule changes, the ERC, is currently missing appointees in two of its seven seats- the environment seat and the local government seat…Governor Bob Graham and 50 environmental groups recently sent Governor Scott a letter…urging him to fill these two seats before the ERC’s critical vote on the DEP’s rule changes. Governor Scott conspicuously ignored their request and a week later, pushed the ERC vote forward from a date in “early fall” to July 26th, the same day as a much-publicized meeting on the outflows from Lake Okeechobee that caused the Treasure Coast catastrophe…Furthermore, none of the three workshops that DEP held about the rule change were located south of Stuart…In response, local elected officials State Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Mayors Philip Stoddard and Cindy Lerner, and City Commissioner Ken Russell, have sent a letter to DEP Secretary Steverson asking to postpone this meeting until the vacant ERC seats are filled and public hearings are held in south Florida, and to grant more time for public comment.” Read State of Florida wants to add more dangerous chemicals to our water

    Ron Littlepage writes for The Florida Times Union – “[T]here are 2.6 million septic tanks in Florida…State attempts at regulations have failed miserably. In 2010, the Legislature approved a bill that required septic tanks be inspected at least every five years. Not even one septic tank was inspected because of that law as legislators bowing to complaints from the tea party delayed implementation of the law when it met in special session later in 2010 and then killed the measure completely in 2011…Septic tanks that fail is one of the reasons that dozens of streams in Jacksonville are polluted…But even a functioning septic tank is ineffective at removing nitrogen from the waste water. That was the conclusion of a study by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection…Meanwhile…the Florida Department of Health continues to issue permits for about 6,000 new septic tanks a year.” Read Florida is flushing away its clean water

    Jenny Rowland reports for Think Progress – “The Republican platform committee [drafted] the document that defines the party’s official principles and policies. [Included] is an amendment calling for the indiscriminate and immediate disposal of national public lands…[This would leave] national parks, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, and national forests apparently up for grabs and vulnerable to development, privatization, or transfer to state ownership…Delegates also approved an amendment aimed at curbing the Antiquities Act of 1906, a law which has protected national monuments ranging from the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon…The delegates also passed language specifying that the Republican Party believes that the sage grouse, prairie chicken, and the gray wolf should be exempt from the protections of the Endangered Species Act.” Read GOP Platform Proposes to Get Rid of National Parks and National Forests

    The TC Palm Editorial Board writes – “Businesses are being lost; a way of life is being lost. People are beginning to fear not just for the health of our estuaries and beaches, but for the health of their children…Treasure Coast Newspapers’ Editorial Board has suggested a number of steps that would take us in the right direction…: 1. Get the money right. 2. Buy the land…[A]n independent study by the University of Florida…concluded that reducing discharges and meeting the Evergades’ need for more water ‘will require between 11,000 and 129,000 acres of additional land between Lake Okeechobee and Everglades National Park...3. Start talks now…[W]e must launch immediate talks with stakeholders, including the sugar industry, to shape this long-term fix…Treasure Coast Newspapers’ Editorial Board has called for a discharge “summit,” while state Sen. Joe Negron…has been speaking with scientists, environmentalists and the agricultural industry about ways to end the discharges. 4. Rally around a leader. The talks require a point person…5. More public health data…Right now, doctors have inadequate protocols for testing or reporting waterborne illnesses such as Vibrio vulnificus, which has taken lives in the Indian River Lagoon…6. Proactive leaders.” Read Saving our waterways, in six steps

    Palm Beach Post Editorial Board writes – “True, most of today’s nutrient-rich runoff comes from north of the lake. But that’s ignoring what everyone now agrees is the long-term solution: buying land south of the lake. Yes, that solution also must include Scott’s better-late-than-never budget proposal to create a voluntary program encouraging residents on hundreds of thousands of septic systems to connect to sewer systems…” Read Long-term plan to fix algae blooms needs Big Sugar backing

    Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “Conditions in the algae-plagued St. Lucie River appear to be improving slightly thanks to lower Lake Okeechobee discharge rates that include two no-flow days a week, say local environmental scientists.” Read St. Lucie River showing slight improvement; lower Lake Okeechobee discharges may be reason

    CleanEnergy.org reports – “The Southern Environmental Law Center…recently released a report entitled Solar For All: What Utilities Can Do Right Now to Bring Solar Within Reach for Everyday Folks. SACE supports the report, and we are working hard with SEC and other allies to help make solar more accessible for low-to-moderate income (LMI) families across the Southeast.” Read Solar For All Report Offers Solutions to Help Disadvantaged Southeastern Communities Harness the Sun

    Katie Herzog writes for Grist – “Here’s something we don’t get to say very often here at Grist…: Good news, humans! Remember the hole in the ozone layer? Well, three decades after countries started banning the chemicals destroying it, the ozone layer in on the mend…” Read Ozone hole not so holey anymore

     

     

     

     

    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

    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

     

    Making Connections

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

     

    Upcoming Environmental Events

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

    August 1-4 – Registration for the 2016 Florida Springs Field School is now open. The 2016 Springs Field School is hosted by the Florida Springs Institute and will include daily lectures on springs by Dr. Robert Knight, and special guest speakers, as well as field trips to Ginne Springs, Poe Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. Registration is $100 for FSI members and $150 for non-members. For more information, click here.

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

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

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

    August 6, 7, & 14 – Participate in Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium in Miami. Listen to speakers discuss a wide array of Everglades topics, participate in workshops, and help clean up the local environment. For more information and to register, please click here.

    August 10, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Andy Mele at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Ande Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper, will discuss phosphate strip mining in Florida. The event is free. For more information, please click here.

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

    September 17, 10:00 am – Attend a Celebration of Coastal Dune Lakes at the boat launch parking lot of Grayton Beach State Park. This will be a day of celebration, education, and activities along the Western Lake. The event is free with park admission. For more information, contact Marilue Maris at LocalOn30a@gmail.com

    September 23 & 24 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. The eighth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, workshops and walks, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. For more information, click here.

    September 30th- October 2nd – Attend the 2016 Florida Springs Restoration Summit. The deadline to submit posters is approaching and registration will open in July. The Summit will take place at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more information about the Summit and registration details, click here.

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

    Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

    Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

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

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

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


Florida Conservation Coalition

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