News and Announcements

FCC Daily News Brief - October 1, 2014

E-mail sent by Ashley Killough, Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 @ 10:47am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

October 1, 2014

Tom Palmer writes for The Ledger – “Florida Wildlife Federation has established a matching grant program to encourage Floridians to contribute to Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, the Vote Yes on Amendment 1 campaign. FWF will donate $1 to the campaign for every $2 donated between now and Oct. 30, providing up to an additional $100,000.” Read Fla. Wildlife Federation to match Amendment 1 donations.

Rochelle Koff writes for the Tampa Bay Times “Feeling safe in public places and concern about the environment are two critical concerns for Floridians, according to a new Sunshine State Survey on guns and the environment, administered by the University of South Florida and the A. C. Nielsen Company. ‘It's clear that Floridians are increasingly worried about security in public places,’ said Susan MacManus, the survey director and professor at USF's College of Arts and Sciences. ‘They're also getting a little more critical about what the state has been doing about the environment.’” Read Sunshine State Survey finds Floridians concerned about environment and crime.

Barbara Behrendt reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “For years, those who have worked to protect critical natural habitat from development have eyed the marsh and hardwood hammock around Boat Spring as prime property for public acquisition. Time and again, plans to make that happen have fallen through. On Tuesday, those hopes were finally realized when the Southwest Florida Water Management District agreed to spend $1.37 million to acquire an 85-acre parcel that straddles the Hernando-Pasco County line just east of Aripeka, with the majority of the site, 54 acres, in Hernando County.” Read Swiftmud purchases environmentally sensitive Boat Spring land near Aripeka.

Anna Hamilton reports in the new Podcast “Watershed” – In the new Podcast “Watershed” Anna Hamilton talks about current issues effecting Florida’s waters and the groups and individuals who have vowed to protect this valuable resource. The first episode focuses on the FCC's Speak Up Homosassa Springs event. Listen to the inaugural episode of Watershed.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 1st, 5:00-5:30 - Stop Sugar Hill/Buy the Land Press Conferences will be held at the FDEP South District Office (2295 Victoria Avenue, Ft. Myers, FL 33902) in Ft. Meyers and at the FDEP Branch Office (337 N. U.S. Hwy 1, Ft. Pierce, FL 34952) in Ft. Pierce

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

October 19th, 11:00-5:00 - REFLECTING FLORIDA: How Agriculture, Art & Activism Shape Our State (panels) at Audubon Park Exchange (APEX) in Orlando at the East End Market. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 30th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 @ 10:48am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 30, 2014

Nick Evans reports for WFSU – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has put restrictions on the Apalachicola Bay oyster harvest this winter, but harvesting may need to stop altogether if stocks don’t improve… It’s clear the bay is in trouble, and until reliable levels of fresh water return it seems likely to stay that way. In the meantime, the people that rely on the waterfront to feed their families have to hope stop-gap measures are enough to sustain them.” Read No simple solution for fixing Apalachicola Bay.

Florida Wildlife Federation President Manley Fuller writes in the News-Press –A recent article in News-Press (Amendment 1 is more than water and land conservation) indicated the writer opposed Amendment 1 because it is somehow anti-hunting. Nothing could be further from the truth! Hunters and anglers, as well as other outdoor recreationists, will all directly benefit from the Amendment 1's passage. The same is true for fish and wildlife habitat and the very fish and game sportsmen pursue.” Read Best for hunters.

Andy Reid reports in the Sun Sentinel – “A lot of talk led to little agreement Monday in the debate over whether to allow more large-scale development in Palm Beach County's Agricultural Reserve… County officials on Monday held a day-long discussion with neighborhood representatives, growers, developers, environmentalists and others to try to find common ground on whether to change the development rules for the Agricultural Reserve. But at one point, some participants couldn't even agree on the idea that producing food and other agricultural pursuits should still take priority in the Agricultural Reserve.It is called the Ag Reserve,’ said an exasperated Drew Martin of the Sierra Club.” Read Interest groups differ on Ag Reserve’s future.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 1st, 5:00-5:30 - Stop Sugar Hill/Buy the Land Press Conferences will be held at theFDEP South District Office (2295 Victoria Avenue, Ft. Myers, FL 33902) in Ft. Meyers and at theFDEP Branch Office (337 N. U.S. Hwy 1, Ft. Pierce, FL 34952) in Ft. Pierce

October 2nd, 3rd & 4th – Sharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Floridawill be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center MarriotFind more info here.

October 13th, 10 am – Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in GainesvilleTickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 29th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Monday, September 29th, 2014 @ 11:24am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 29, 2014

Brad Rogers writes for the Ocala Star Banner – “Well over 100 citizens turned out (Thursday night in northern Marion County) to offer their thoughts and ideas about the how to improve the health of the streams and lakes that make up the basin... Water is — or should be — THE public policy issue of the 21st century, yet while the room was packed up in Citra Thursday, not one elected official was in attendance... All we had to do was wait a day to find out why. The Florida Council of 100, arguably the state's most influential group of business leaders and, of course, campaign donors came out in opposition to Amendment 1 (the Water and Land Conservation Amendment)... A 'yes' vote for Amendment 1 is a vote to keep at least some of our tax dollars out of the greedy hands of those who are enriching themselves at the expense of the rest of us and our environment. It is a vote for trying to save our dwindling water supply and with it our state from economic and environmental ruin.” Read The no-shows when it’s water.

Martha Musgrove writes in the Sun Sentinel  Come Election Day, voting ‘Yes on One’ is a no-brainer. Passing Amendment One raises nobody's taxes. Nor does it raise any tax rate. This proposed ‘Water and Land Conservation’ amendment to Florida's Constitution simply directs the Legislature to spend about one percent of Florida's $77 billion budget on acquiring and managing public lands and water resources.” ReadAmendment One a no-brainer for Florida.

Ron Littlepage writes for the Florida Times-Union – “The current governor and Legislature have not followed the political leaders of the past who provided the money necessary to protect Florida’s natural resources. Passage of Amendment 1 would take that out of their hands. We have a prime example of why that’s important in our own backyard. In the early 1980s, Herb Peyton and his Gate Petroleum Co. completed a real estate deal that included purchase of what’s now the Guana State Park and Wildlife Management Area. He could have developed Guana, but instead Peyton sold it to the state for just under $50 million... But there’s no doubt that wonderful places that should be preserved for the public will fall to development if Amendment 1 doesn’t pass. A vote in favor is a vote to save what makes Florida special for those who come after us to enjoy.” Read Let's preserve the Florida we love.

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster reports for the Tampa Tribune  “In Florida, discussions about the environment lead to water. Conservation land is coveted to help move water south. Millions of dollars are sought by local governments and environmental groups to clean up the state’s springs and estuaries. And discussions about oil drilling often become a discussion about potential pollutants... Environmental issues are important to Floridians, ranking among the top five issues facing the state, according to a recent University of South Florida survey.” Read Water a top concern for voters.

Randy Schultz writes for the Sun Sentinel – “Last week, Gov. Rick Scott campaigned at Capt. Anderson's, the popular restaurant in Panama City Beach owned in part by State Rep. Jimmy Patronis. Two days later, Scott named Patronis one of Florida's five utility regulators. It was another serving of smelly Florida politics. Patronis has no background in energy and law... Patronis does have experience in regulation when it comes to his time in the Florida Legislature, but that background should have disqualified him for a job in which he is supposed to balance the interests of utilities against the interests of customers.” ReadPolitics, not families, matter most matter to Scott.

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “More than two decades after Florida identified the need to save disappearing forests south of Miami, shrinking hammocks in the Keys and other sensitive land around the state, environmentalists fed up with politics getting in the way of conservation are taking their fight to the people. In November, they will ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment — Amendment 1 on the ballot — that sets aside a third of taxes collected on real estate transactions over the next 20 years to conserve land and protect water.” Read Amendment 1 promises to save Florida’s threatened lands.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 1st, 5:00-5:30 - Stop Sugar Hill/Buy the Land Press Conferences will be held at the  FDEP South District Office (2295 Victoria Avenue, Ft. Myers, FL 33902) in Ft. Meyers and at theFDEP Branch Office (337 N. U.S. Hwy 1, Ft. Pierce, FL 34952) in Ft. Pierce

October 2nd, 3rd & 4th – Sharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center MarriotFind more info here.

October 13th, 10 am – Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program fefaturing Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in GainesvilleTickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 26th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ashley Killough, Friday, September 26th, 2014 @ 10:27am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 26, 2014

Chuck O’Neal writes in the Orlando Sentinel – Unfortunately, when the Great Recession hit, Florida Forever funding was decimated. As the economy came back, the governor and Legislature created the Department of Economic Opportunity. This little-known agency has redirected money from the Florida Forever program into corporate giveaways. It's no wonder the Florida Chamber doesn't want to see Florida Forever funding return. Its seats on the gravy train have become far too comfortable. It is time to wean these private companies off public tax dollars and put that money back to work conserving our state's water and land resources.” Read Use tax dollars to conserve land, water.

Andrew Gant reports for the Daytona News Journal – 
“’This is not only an environmental crisis; it’s an economic crisis,’ Florida Water and Land Legacy campaign manager Will Abberger said Thursday in a meeting with The Daytona Beach News-Journal’s editorial board… The result (of passing Amendment 1) would be guaranteed funding for the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund, with programs addressing a range of environmental protection issues.” Grant notes, “Some of the strongest support in the Senate is coming from Sen. David Simmons, the Winter Park Republican whose district includes a small part of southwest Volusia County. Simmons said at a recent meeting in the county that he believes the amendment could provide funding to remove tens of thousands of septic tanks near Florida waterways at no cost to the owners.”  Read Supporters argue for passage of conservation amendment.

Deborah Buckhalter reports for the Jackson County Floridan “The state will buy 347 acres in Washington County at a cost of $780,000, to protect springs and other natural resources on the parcel.  Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet approved the purchase from Plum Creek Land Company Tuesday. The land lies within Florida’s First Magnitude Springs Florida Forever Project Boundary and contains a 3rd magnitude spring with more than 2,200 linear feet of water frontage along Holmes Creek, according to the Northwest Florida Water Management District.” Read State agrees to buy 347 acres along Holmes Creek.

Chad Gillis reports for news-press.com – “Dozens of environmental groups are pushing the state to stop a development plan in eastern Hendry County that would allow 18,000 homes and 25 million square feet of industrial and commercial space, but advocates say the area desperately needs jobs and tax dollars the project could bring. Like most of Hendry County, the land — about 67 square miles or almost twice the size of Fort Myers — is owned by U.S. Sugar Corp. and Hilliard Brothers of Florida. Some of it has been targeted for purchase by the South Florida Water Management District, which started buying out U.S. Sugar in 2010. The district has an option to buy the land — now zoned for agriculture and low-concentration residential — in October of 2015.” Read Environmentalists want state to stop Hendry development.

Erin Sullivan reports for the Orlando Weekly “The League of Women Voters is urging Florida voters to vote yes on Amendment 1. ‘We supported [this amendment] after very lengthy discussion,’ League of Women Voters of Florida president Deidre McNab said on the call. ‘Generally we do not support amendments that identify a source of revenue or spending in the constitution.’ McNab says that the organization decided that the issue of water conservation was vital to the state.” Read League of Women Voters of Florida announces positions on 2014 ballot amendments.

Lynn Slabaugh writes on news-press.com – “The Conservancy of Southwest Florida proudly joins more than 400 other organizations endorsing Amendment 1. On behalf of the Conservancy’s 6,000 member families, I applaud and support the efforts led by Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, a coalition that succeeded in gathering nearly one million signatures from Florida voters to place this historic issue on the November ballot. Amendment 1 is Florida’s best opportunity to address threats to our water, land, wildlife and future without any increase in taxes.” Read Slabaugh: Vote “Yes” on Amendment 1 for the environment.

Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel –Concerns about too much suburbia spreading into Palm Beach County's Agricultural Reserve could trigger an inquiry into whether development pressures thwarted voter-approved preservation efforts… Audubon says that development by G.L. Homes already claims 30 percent of the Agricultural Reserve and that the pace of development exceeds what was envisioned by county rules.Read Audubon calls for investigation into Ag Reserve development.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 1st, 5:00-5:30 - Stop Sugar Hill/Buy the Land Press Conferences will be held at the FDEP South District Office (2295 Victoria Avenue, Ft. Myers, FL 33902) in Ft. Meyers and at the FDEP Branch Office (337 N. U.S. Hwy 1, Ft. Pierce, FL 34952) in Ft. Pierce.  

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Asks Governor Scott, State Agencies to Protect Land Necessary for Everglades Restoration

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Thursday, September 25th, 2014 @ 4:29pm

Dear FCC members,


Yesterday, in a letter to Governor Scott, the Florida Conservation Coalition expressed serious
 concerns regarding the cumulative impact of proposed developments in South Florida on Everglades restoration.

Restoration of the Everglades, a paramount national and state priority faces an uncertain future. The FCC believes that the standards set forth in Florida Statutes regarding protection of the Everglades must be considered in evaluating proposed developments. Further, the Coalition recommends that the entirety of the Everglades, from the headwaters to Florida Bay, be designated as an “important state resource,” which would bring the heightened review necessary to ensure proposed development projects are consistent with Everglades restoration goals. 

The full FCC letter sent to Governor Scott is attached below.

Best,

Ryan Smart
FCC

FCC Daily News Brief - September 24th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 @ 3:13pm

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 24, 2014

Bruce Ritchie writes in Context Florida – Florida Forever was the nation's largest land-buying program from 1990 until 2008 when it received $300 million a year. But it has received less than 5 percent of its historic funding since 2009. The Florida Communities Trust hasn't received any money since 2011 because Scott and the Legislature have circumvented a funding distribution formula that was revised and approved by the Legislature in 2009." Ritchie continues, "Environmental groups now are backing Amendment 1 to the Florida Constitution, which would provide more than $10 billion over 20 years for conservation land acquisition, land management and restoration. Supporters hope the amendment will provide money for the full range of Florida Forever programs, including Florida Communities Trust.” Read Gov. Scott is circumventing funding formula for conservation.

Phil Douglas writes on news-press.com – “One of the primary reasons Floridians like the Sunshine State is because of its incredible environment, beaches, animal and bird habitat. This contributes to the quality of life important to most of us. By supporting and voting 'Yes' on Amendment 1, we will not only be protecting our quality of life today but also preserving our unique environmental heritage for future generations to cherish and enjoy.” Read Amendment 1 a solution to preserving our environment.

Edie Driest writes in the Herald-Tribune – “Amendment 1, the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment, will be on our ballot this November. It wasn't easy to take the steps to bring this to the voters. Now's the chance to get it right. With 668 people moving into Florida per day, we need this amendment to pass; without it, our natural environment has little chance to stand up to development. This amendment will not tax you. The money will come from real estate documentary stamps, a source that has supported similar programs.” Read Protect natural Florida.

Jeff Gill reports for The Gainesville Times The U.S. solicitor general said he believes the Supreme Court should put off accepting a Florida lawsuit that accuses Georgia of consuming too much water. The Army Corps of Engineers is working to complete a ‘master manual’ to guide management of water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, which includes Lake Lanier. As an option, justices could accept Florida’s complaint but put on hold ‘any further proceedings until the corps has issued the revised master manual,’ states a brief filed by Donald B. Verrilli.” Read Supreme Court advised to delay taking on water war case.

Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel “A proposal to extend sewer lines to 380 homes with septic tanks near the ailing Wekiwa Springs got no action Tuesday but much debate by Orange County commissioners over who should protect Florida waters.” Read Commissioners question free sewer hookups for homes in Wekiwa.

Tom Palmer writes for The Ledger – “I notice the critics of Amendment 1, which if it passes would guarantee money for conservation land purchases, are pushing their agenda. One prime argument is that spending money for conservation land doesn’t belong in the Florida Constitution... Let’s start with the basics, which is Section 7 of the Florida Constitution, which states: ‘It shall be the policy of the state to conserve and protect its natural resources and scenic beauty. Adequate provision shall be made by law for the abatement of air and water pollution and of excessive and unnecessary noise and for the conservation and protection of natural resources.’” Read Conservation land measure a good fit in Florida Constitution.

 

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 23rd, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 @ 10:09am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 23, 2014

The news-press.com editorial board writes – “We can’t support any project – even one that could boost the economic vitality of a low income area – if it threatens the quality of Southwest Florida’s water and any Everglades restoration efforts. We support environmentalists who are pushing for the state to stop what is essentially a new city near Clewiston, planned by U.S. Sugar and Hilliard Brothers of Florida… Such a project also could amplify what already is a severe problem with Lake Okeechobee water releases into the Caloosahatchee and local estuaries.” Read Environment, not new city should remain focus.

The Gainesville Sun editorial board writes – “As springs advocates listened Thursday, state environmental scientists tried to explain how a plan to clean up nitrate-polluted Silver Springs would work… In the end, the scientists admitted they are not even sure the plan will lead to the springs being cleaned up, let alone achieving the 79 percent reduction in nitrates the agency has set as its goal.” The board concludes, “Our springs and water supply are increasingly polluted and disappearing. When, we wonder, are our representatives going to quit genuflecting to party bosses and big campaign donors and start speaking up for our interests? This is about water. It’s our lifeblood.” Read Silent on springs.

Dinah Voyles Pulver reports in the Daytona Beach News-Journal – “Efforts to clean up water quality in springs and curb nutrients in groundwater that promote algae growth will get a $25 million assist from the state budget in the coming year. Together with matching funds from local governments… and the state’s water management districts, an estimated $69 million is earmarked for springs restoration. Not everyone, however, believes the state’s contribution is big enough, or that the best projects were selected.” Read Projects seek to preserve water quality at Florida’s springs.

Andy Reid reports in the Sun Sentinel – “Everglades advocates are dangling a $10 million prize to motivate scientists and businesses to solve a water pollution problem plaguing South Florida. The Everglades Foundation on Monday unveiled a competition to find ways to remove excessive phosphorous from waterways and then recycle it to fertilize crops elsewhere.” Read the full story here.

The Washington Post reports – “It’s Florida’s version of the Blob. Slow-moving glops of toxic algae in the northeast Gulf of Mexico are killing sea turtles, sharks and other fish, and threatening the waters and beaches that fuel the region’s economy.” Read Red tide of northwest Florida beaches killing marine life.

Tom Swihart writes in the blog Watery Foundation – "We don’t have to do stupid water stuff either. Many current policies damage water resources in Florida while also inflicting huge costs on everyone." To find out which policies are damaging our waters and economy read Don’t do stupid stuff.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 2nd, 3rd & 4th – Sharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center MarriotFind more info here.

October 13th, 10 am – Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in GainesvilleTickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 22nd, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Monday, September 22nd, 2014 @ 11:48am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 22, 2014

Nathaniel Reed writes for the Palm Beach Post – “Why is Maggy Hurchulla being attacked through the legal system for telling the truth about Lake Point's proposal to divert water from Lake Okeechobee and pump it into the firms' excavations for storage? Lake Point does not have a valid permit to obtain Lake Okeechobee’s water. Any competent Florida attorney knows that the 'waters of the state' are owned by the 'people' and are managed in trust for them by the five water management districts with oversight provided by the state Department of Environmental Regulation... Why haven’t Lake Point’s owners pursued the necessary permits? Do the owners honestly believe that Hurchalla’s critique influenced the pertinent decision-makers sufficiently to cast their vague proposal in the scrap heap?” ReadSuit won’t alter fact: Lake Point can’t sell public water.

The Tampa Bay Tribune editorial board writes – “The Water and Land Conservation Legacy amendment, on the Nov. 4 ballot, would allow the state to retain its natural beauty and an adequate water supply even as growth returns and the population soars. The amendment would achieve this without a tax increase or burdensome regulations. Conservatives should embrace a measure that utilizes property rights — it compensates landowners who want to sell their property or development rights — to protect Florida’s environment, quality of life and economy.” The board concludes, "The water and Land Conservation Amendment provides a reasonable way to ensure continued growth doesn't destroy Florida's natural paradise and its invaluable brand. The Tribune stronly encourages a 'yes' vote on Amendment 1."Read Amendment 1: Saving Florida’s Brand.

Kevin Lollar reports for news-press.com – “In the wake of Gov. Rick Scott's controversial hunting trip to a ranch in Texas, environmentalists are questioning the governor's appointment of two men associated with the ranch to the South Florida Water Management District's governing board.” Read Governor's water district appointments under scrutiny.

John Henderson reports for The News HeraldState funding has been secured in this coming year’s fiscal budget to restore two local springs that feed water bodies of popular local recreation areas. The Econfina Creek and Holmes Creek Springs Protection projects were on a statewide list of springs restoration projects recently approved by Legislative Budget Commission. The commission approved the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) list of proposed $69 million in springs restoration projects.” Read Area springs get restoration money.

Kyle Swenson reports for the Broward Palm Beach New Times As he stomps his way around the state hoping to keep his job, Governor Rick Scott has been pushing his 'Keep Florida Beautiful' campaign, a likely too-little-too-late bid to appear like a friend to the earth. As we've written before, nothing is further from the truth, with the Scott administration putting up the worst numbers in terms of corrective actions for polluters in some time. Now the same environmental watchdogs have released a new report examining the amount of pollution fines the state collected in 2013. It's not good. According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the amount of money the state collected in fines last year dropped by more than half from previous year -- capping off a plummet that started the year Scott took office.” Read PEER: Florida is Collecting Fewer Pollution Fines Than Ever Before.

Lloyd Dunkelberger reports for the Herald TribuneThe outcome of the governor’s race could have a significant impact on state energy policy and utility rates for millions of Floridians. On one side is a former governor, Charlie Crist, who had a reputation for appointing consumer-friendly members to the Public Service Commission — often much to the chagrin of Florida’s major utilities and powerful lawmakers. On the other side is Rick Scott, the incumbent, who emphasizes his pro-business policies and has been rewarded with strong financial backing from Florida’s utility companies in this year’s campaign.” Read Energy rates and policies hang on outcome of governor's race.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 19th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ashley Killough, Friday, September 19th, 2014 @ 10:35am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 19, 2014

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board writes – To make sure the game remains rigged against ratepayers, (Gov. Rick) Scott appointed to the PSC Republican Rep. Jimmy Patronis of Panama City, who has no utility experience and has never seen a wetland that could not be drained and paved over by a developer. No current legislator is more hostile to environmental regulation and friendlier to industry and agricultural interests. His legislative record suggests he will be just as friendly to utilities as a PSC member.” The editorial board continues, “This is all about politics, not smart public policy. Scott rewarded Patronis with the PSC appointment in return for giving up his bid for a North Florida Senate seat, which would have pitted Patronis against Rep. Matt Gaetz in the 2016 Republican primary. That would be Matt Gaetz, son of Senate President Don Gaetz. It also didn't hurt that Duke Energy and FPL, which have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Scott's re-election campaign, have to be thrilled with the governor's choices.” Read Power to the People? Hardly.

Bruce Ritchie writes in Context Florida – "Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday appointed (Representative Jimmy) Patronis, R-Panama City, to the Florida Public Service Commission. The move came as no surprise to me. Patronis, 42, was an early supporter of Scott in the 2010 election. And, like the governor, Patronis is a darling of industry and business groups." Read Jimmy Patronis’ appointment to the PSC is no surprise.

Chad Gillis reports for news-press.com – Legislation funding the Central Everglades Planning Project was filed in both the House and Senate in Washington, D.C. Thursday, paving the way for construction in the next phase of Everglades restoration.” Read Legislation filed for next phase of Everglades restoration.

Tom Swihart writes in the blog Watery Foundation – “Following up on the previous post about Rick Scott’s cuts in WMD taxes, I checked on whether he boasts about this at his campaign site. Doesn’t seem too. He claims generally to have cut taxes more than 40 times and also spent lots of tax dollars on water resources. Will Scott brag about cutting water management district revenues in the coming gubernatorial debates? We’ll see.” Read Unmentionable tax cuts?

Tom Swihart writes in the blog Watery Foundation – “This weekend, from Friday through Sunday, you have an opportunity to avoid sales tax on purchases of water-saving WaterSense products (as well as energy-saving Energy Star appliances). The Florida Department of Revenue has the official information here.” Read Saving money while saving water.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

September 19th & 20th  The 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium will be held at Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake WalesFind more info here.

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 18th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Thursday, September 18th, 2014 @ 10:11am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 18, 2014

Reuters publishes – A must read in-depth investigative report on “The crisis of rising sea levels.” Read Water’s Edge.

The Gainesville Sun editorial board writes – “Recent (news) stories at least show that protecting our springs is now a major part of the state’s public-policy debate. But until the state gets serious about reversing the springs’ decline, the new projects and regulations will only maintain the status quo of degraded water resources.” Read Serious about springs.

Paula Dockery writes in the Ledger – When Governor Scott met with climate scientists last month “the scientists left with the sinking feeling that Scott was not likely to take meaningful action… They stressed that rising sea levels is one of the climate issues that is already having an impact on Florida’s coastal communities… Ironically, while Scott shows little interest in the scientists’ advice in addressing a real problem facing the state, he touts the importance of a STEM education.” Read Rick Scott loves STEM; Scientists – Not so much.

Mary Ellen Klas reports in the Tampa Bay Times – “If Florida’s climate scientists have proven anything this summer, it is that they are careful listeners. After Gov. Rick Scott told them last month that he is ‘focused on solutions,’ 42 scientists from Florida colleges and universities crafted a letter asking the governor and state policy leaders to convene a ‘Climate Science & Solutions Summit’ to be held this fall.” Read the full story here.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

September 19th & 20th – The 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium will be held at Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake WalesFind more info here.

October 2nd, 3rd & 4thSharing Water: The Floridan Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be held at the Monticello Opera House. This three day seminar includes an excellent line-up of speakers, panels and field trips and is free to the public (donations accepted). Find more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center MarriotFind more info here.

October 13th, 10 am – Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in GainesvilleTickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcaolition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 17th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 @ 3:40pm

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 17, 2014

The Citrus County Chronicle editorial board writes – “All these respected individuals shared a goal: restore reliable and reasonable funding in Florida to provide for water quality and natural resource protection. This is the subject of a proposed constitutional amendment coming up for a vote in November. ‘Water and Land Conservation’ — called Amendment 1 on the ballot — requires that for the next 20 years, 33 percent of net revenues from documentary stamp taxes be dedicated to an existing state trust fund for water and land conservation. Although we don't generally favor legislation-through-constitutional-amendment, in some cases such citizen initiative amendments are necessary... Amendment 1 will go a long way toward protecting Florida's lifeblood from further decline. We encourage voters to say 'yes' to it in November.” Read Activists make superior case for Amendment.

Scott Maxwell writes in the Orlando Sentinel – “In this state, we don't agree on much… Still, we Floridians unite in our belief that the environment is worth protecting — that we want our water clean and land unfouled. That's why it looks like this year's Amendment No. 1 — a November ballot initiative to guarantee that about 1 percent of state budget goes toward environmental protection — is enjoying broad voter support.” Read the full story here.

Mark Ferrulo writes in Context Florida – As the November election fast approaches, Gov. Rick Scott has been barnstorming across the state, touting his environmental record while promising to spend millions on land conservation and crack down on polluters. But when it comes to protecting public health and our state’s natural resources, Scott’s record stands in stark contrast to his rhetoric. Soon after taking the oath of office, Scott launched an unprecedented anti-government agenda that has reshaped the institutions and laws intended to protect our wildlife, natural treasures, open spaces and precious water supplies.” Read You don’t need to be a scientist, Gov. Scott.

Rep. Jimmie T. Smith writes in the Citrus County Chronicle – "Each group, whether it is environmental, industry, housing or agriculture, has priorities. Those priorities use resources differently to obtain different goals. But rather than bickering and spending money on expensive lawsuits, let's redirect that energy into coming up with positive sustainable solutions that will work to accomplish the goals of all parties." Read Working together key to protecting water resources.

Ashley Lopez reports in the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting – "Environmental groups around the state are alarmed at U.S. Sugar's plans to potentially develop huge tracts of land it owns in Hendry County, which might affect Everglades restoration efforts." Read Big Sugar Plans Development In Potential Everglades Restoration Land.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

September 19th & 20th  The 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium will be held at Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake WalesFind more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – FSI Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville. Tickets are $75. Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcaolition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 16th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 @ 10:47am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 16, 2014

The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Boards writes – “Big Sugar's big plans are coming into sharper focus. U.S. Sugar and its allies are not just interested in influencing an upcoming water policy debate in Tallahassee. They are quietly pursuing big development plans on land the state has an option to buy to protect the Everglades. No wonder U.S. Sugar has been organizing secret hunting trips to Texas for Gov. Rick Scott, Ag. Commissioner Adam Putnam and top legislators. And no wonder the politicians are relunctant to talk about hunting with sugar interests intent on increasing the value of the land that taxpayers could wind up buying at inflated prices. It's an insider's game that Republican leaders enabled and Big Sugar exploits, and it's an outrageous betrayal to Floridians.” Read Big Sugar aims for big payoff.

John Byron writes in Florida Today - "If you agree this is a fantastic place to live and raise kids, worth passing on to future generations, you'll support the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment, Amendment 1 on the November ballot. The initiative restores previous funding for the state to purchase conservation lands, protects beaches and water sources, pays for existing and future recreation areas, and generally puts the state back in the forefront of wise environmental stewardship." Read Amendment 1 is a no-brainer.

Keith Morelli reports for the Tampa Tribune – The (Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's) gopher protection plan, which undergoes review about every year, is being tweaked now, and the state is in the process of taking public comments... The plan includes guidelines for landowners whose property contains gopher tortousies, habitat acquisition and permitting guidelines.” Read State tweaks rules to help save the underdog gopher tortoise.

Tom Palmer writes in the Ledger – “This month has been a small milestone for me. Forty years ago this month I began working as a reporter in Polk County. A lot of things have changed since then, but many of the environmental issues I covered as a twentysomething reporter are still with us.” Read Reflections Of 40 Years Of Environmental Reporting.

Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “An environmental group that frequently sues the government over endangered species issues has taken aim at the federal permitting of thousands of boat docks in Florida and how that affects manatees.” Read What about the manatees? Group targets two U.S. agencies for dock permits.

Tom Swihart writes in the blog Watery Foundation – “When Rick Scott got into office, the water management districts were forced to lower their taxation rate, regardless of current rates or water needs. Even though the Northwest Florida Water Management District tax rate was only a small fraction of the four other districts, they too had to cut... In this election year, even more tax reduction is mandatory at the WMDS. Northwest is reducing the tax level again, to a rate of 0.039 mills. The annual tax (on a $200,000 home) will be $5.85, saving 15 cent. Northwest homeonwers like me will have to decide whether to spend or invest our 15 cents. Personally, I wish it went toward improved regional water management. Read Saving 15 cents per year in Northwest Florida.

 

   Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

September 19th & 20th  The 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium will be held at Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake WalesFind more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at theOrlando World Center MarriotFind more info here.

October 13th, 10 am – Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info here.

November 3rd, 6pm-9pm – The Florida Springs Institute will host a Fall Fundraiser at The Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville Register 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

 

Amendment 1 Telephone Call with Senator Bob Graham

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Saturday, September 13th, 2014 @ 10:19pm

Dear FCC Members, 

On Tuesday, September 16th, Florida’s Water and Land Legacy is hosting a telephone conversation with Senator Bob Graham to discuss Amendment 1, the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. 

Join the call at 6:30 pm to find out how Amendent 1 will help keep Florida’s drinking water clean, protect our rivers, lakes and springs, restore natural treasures like the Everglades, and protect our beaches and wildlife for future generations. 

Just register here to join the conversation!

Best,

Ryan Smart                                                                                                                          
FCC

FCC Daily News Brief - September 12th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Friday, September 12th, 2014 @ 10:42am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds. 

September 12, 2014

Christopher Curry reports for the Gainesville Sun – “In a decision released Thursday afternoon, an administrative law judge ruled that the state’s proposed (minimum flows and levels) for the Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee rivers are invalid because some of the required technical supporting information for them were too ‘vague.’” Read Ichetucknee, Lower Santa Fe MFLs are ruled invalid by judge.

Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel – “Everglades restoration is in jeopardy because of a push by the sugar industry to build houses, shopping centers, and offices on sugar land south of Lake Okeechobee. If allowed, the sprawling development threatens to block Everglades restoration efforts to move more Lake Okeechobee water south to Everglades National Park. Sugar Hill would be the ‘death knell’ of the Everglades, said Jonathan Ullman, of the Sierra Club.” Read Big Sugar building proposal raises Everglades restoration concerns.

Chad Gillis reports for NewPress.com – The South Florida Water Management District approved a budget of $720 million dollars for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. "The districtwide tax rate is about 38 cents per $1,000, or $38.42 for a $100,000 home. The $720,792,791 is an increase over $665 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year, although the tax rate is slightly less than last year." Read the full story here.

The Palm Beach Post reports – “The South Florida Water Management District on Thursday approved the request for 14 million gallons of water a day from the brackish Floridan aquifer to cool the canals at Florida Power & Light's Turkey Point (nuclear) power plant.” Read State agrees to more water for Turkey Point canals.

Tom Swihart writes in the blog Watery Foundation – “The most recent ‘Long Range Program Plan’ for the Department of Environmental Projection expects no measurable improvement in overall groundwater quality in the next four years.” Read Next four water years.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

September 13th, 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm – The 3rd Annual Adena Protest Flotilla to benefit the Water Protect Fund will depart from Silver Springs State Park at 1:00 pm and be followed by an event with live music and food at the Ocala Boat ClubFind more info and buy your ticketshere.

September 19th & 20th – The 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium will be held at Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake WalesFind more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High SpringsFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conferencewill be held at the Orlando World Center MarriotFind more info here.

October 13th, 10 am – Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at 
rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 11th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Thursday, September 11th, 2014 @ 9:12am

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 11, 2014

Stacey Singer writes in the Palm Beach Post – “U.S. Sugar is seeking approval from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to build up to 18,000 homes and 25 millions square feet of commerce space… on acres once pledged for Everglades restoration… Former Gov. Charlie Crist told the Post Editorial Board Wednesday that should he re-elected, closing the U.S. Sugar land deal will be one of his top priorities. The effect of Gov. Rick Scott’s administration now giving U.S. Sugar those development approvals would be to drive up the cost of restoring the Everglades, and possibly compromise it forever.” Read Could Scott – Crist race decide future of the Everglades?

Jennifer Portman reports in the Tallahassee Democrat – “Oyster harvesting in Apalachicola Bay may need to be shut down entirely for an extended period of time if new restrictions put in place for the coming winter don’t help the imperiled fishery recovery… The bay, which is suffering from a lack of freshwater allowed to flow down the Apalachicola River, was declared a fishery resource disaster by the federal government in August 2013 and things have only gotten worse.” Read Bay may need to be closed to oyster harvesting.

Sean Kinane reports for WMNF – “This summer could end up being one of the worst on record for Florida’s corals… water temperature in the Florida Keys has been so high that conditions over the next month could tip the balance of whether corals experience just a bad bleaching season or a devastating one.” Read the full story here.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

September 13th, 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm – The 3rd Annual Adena Protest Flotilla to benefit the Water Protect Fund will depart from Silver Springs State Park at 1:00 pm and be followed by an event with live music and food at the Ocala Boat Club. Find more info and buy your tickets here.

September 19th & 20th  The 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium will be held at Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake WalesFind more info here.

October 9th, 9:30 – 4:30 – The Santa Fe River Protection Forum will be held at O’Leno State Park in High Springs. Find more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

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

FCC Daily News Brief - September 10th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 @ 4:11pm

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds.

September 10, 2014

Aaron Deslatte reports in the Orlando Sentinel: “About two-dozen Florida springs clean-up projects got a $25 million taxpayer infusion Wednesday when a budget-writing panel signed off on plans to clean up leaky septic tanks and polluted waters, feeding both springs and development.” The article continues, “The biggest ground-shift may be Amendment 1 on the Nov. 4 ballot, which would require state budget-writers to dedicate roughly $1 billion a year to conservation and water clean-up projects… ‘Amendment 1’s really going to drive a lot of the discussion on springs,’ (Senate President Andy) Gardiner said. ‘If it passes, it’s really going to give us a diagram.” Read Lawmakers OK $25 million for springs clean-up.

Alex Leary reports in the Tampa Bay Times: The U.S. House passed H.R. 5078, the Water of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, which was opposed by environmental groups. All of Florida’s Republican representatives, and Democrat Alcee Hastings, voted in support of the bill. Read House passes Southerland bill to block federal oversight of wetlands.

Jim Waymer reports in Florida Today: “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission lists a possible 50 percent cut to the agency's harmful algae bloom monitoring program, according to a budget report on the Commission's agenda Wednesday in Kissimmee. That would severely limit or do away with FWC's ongoing investigation into recent lagoon manatee, dolphin and pelican die-offs, the report says.” Read the full story here.

Chad Gillis reports for NewPress.com: “The U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to announce Friday that it will give $20 million to the state of Florida for the construction of bridges across Tamiami Trail. Sen. Bill Nelson said the money will improve driving conditions and also help boost the $10 billion Everglades restoration by allowing water to flow under the highway, which has acted as a damn for nearly a century - choking off Everglades National Park from its headwaters at Lake Okeechobee.” Read the full story here.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

September 13th, 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm – The 3rd Annual Adena Protest Flotilla to benefit the Water Protect Fund will depart from Silver Springs State Park at 1:00 pm and be followed by an event with live music and food at the Ocala Boat Club. Find more info and buy your tickets here.

September 19th & 20th  The 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium will be held at Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake WalesFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriot. Find more info here.

October 13th, 10 am Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org.

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Daily News Brief - September 9th, 2014

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 @ 2:31pm

FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds

September 9, 2014

Eryn Worthington reports in the Citrus County Chronicle:  “The FCC brought in heavy hitters on Saturday to attend a major jamboree at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in efforts to showcase the park and preserving area springs’ natural beauty.” More than 2,700 people attended Speak Up Homosassa Springs. Read Activists speak up at Homosassa Springs

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board writes: “For the last 50 years, Florida’s governors have been reasonably responsible stewards of the state’s fragile environment. They initiated efforts to clean up rivers and bays, buy and preserve millions of acres of sensitive land, manage growth and preserve the Everglades… In just four years, Gov. Rick Scott has put those accomplishments at risk. Scott has bulldozed a record of environmental protection that his Republican and Democratic predecessors spent decades building... His record reflects a callous disregard for the state’s natural resources and no understanding of how deeply Floridians care about their state’s beauty and treasures.”  Read The Rick Scott record: an environmental disaster.

Manley Fuller & Jan Goldman-Carter write in the Tallahassee Democrat: “The message should be loud and clear: We need to do all we can to protect our rivers, lakes and estuaries if we want to keep our economy strong. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is currently taking comments on a proposal to do just that… Why then is Congressman Steve Southerland championing a bill to block this protection of our waterways and wetlands?” Read Let’s keep cleaning up Florida’s water.

The Ocala Star Banner editorial board writes: “A proposed rule that would clarify what bodies of water fall under federal regulation has created a political firestorm here in Florida, pitting dozens of environmental groups against a powerful coalition of big business, big agriculture and conservative politicians. The idea originally was to bring clarity to what waters and wetlands fall under EPA purview… But so far, the only thing that is clear is the opposition – led by U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam – is more concerned about protecting our big business and agricultural interests than protecting our state’s steadily deteriorating rivers, lakes and springs. Read Dirty water politics.

Charles Pattison writes in the Palm Beach Post – “With the economic recovery in full swing, there are now numerous proposals for major development in rural western Palm Beach County… Last week, in a five-two vote, the Palm Beach County Commission approved transmitting plans for one of these developments – Minto West – to a variety of state agencies for their review… Approving the expanded Minto West will have considerable costs for taxpayers, harm Everglades restoration efforts and forever destroy the rural character of western central Palm Beach County. Read The fight to save rural Palm Beach County is not over.

The Weather Channel profiles: 18 stunning Florida springs.

Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings

September 13th, 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm – The 3rd Annual Adena Protest Flotilla to benefit the Water Protect Fund will depart from Silver Springs State Park at 1:00 pm and be followed by an event with live music and food at the Ocala Boat ClubFind more info and buy your tickets here.

September 19th & 20th – The 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium will be held at Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake WalesFind more info here.

October 9th & 10th – The 20th Annual Florida Remediation Conference will be held at theOrlando World Center MarriotFind more info here.

October 13th, 10 am – Preserve Our Environment is sponsoring a program featuring Sonny Vergara at the Villages Library in Wildwood to educate Floridians about the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Find more info here.

October 17th & 18th – Audubon Florida will host the 2014 Audubon Assembly on Hutchinson Island. Find more info 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 email 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 the new and improved 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 Ryan Smart at .

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 50 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife and water resources.  

For more information on the FCC visit floridaconservationcoalition.org.

FCC Urges Congress to Vote No on Legislation to Weaken Clean Water Act

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Monday, September 8th, 2014 @ 8:37pm

Dear FCC Members,

Today the Florida Conservation Coalition requested that members of Florida's congressional delegation vote against House Resolution 5078, the "Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014.” This legislation by Florida Congressman Steve Southerland is an unnecessary and poorly considered attempt to block adoption and implementation of the proposed "Definition of Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act” rule, which clarifies federal jurisdiction to protect America’s waters and associated wetlands.

Florida’s water resources and their wetlands are paramount to our safety, economy, quality of life and environment. Florida’s water resources rely on wetlands, and Florida has already lost half of its historic wetlands acreage. Continued degradation is a key issue for Florida which has the most wetlands of any state in the lower 48 and relies on these resources for drinking water, flood protection of infrastructure, water storage and groundwater recharge, water quality, habitat protection and a recreation oriented economy. 

The full FCC letter to Florida's congressional delegation is attached below. 

You can find contact information to call or write your congressperson, and ask them to Vote No on H.R. 5078, by clicking here.

Best,

Ryan Smart
FCC

2750+ Attend Speak Up Homosassa Springs Event

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Monday, September 8th, 2014 @ 3:51pm

Dear FCC Members,

On Saturday more than 2750 people from Citrus County and throughout Florida joined Senator Bob Graham, State Senator Charlie Dean and the Florida Conservation Coalition to Speak Up for Homosassa Springs.

Attendees enjoyed a fantastic group of speakers, live music from the Magic Bus Band and more than two dozen exhibitors. 

Thank you to all of the FCC members who attended Saturday's event. For those of you who weren't able come out you, can read about the event in the Citrus County Chronicle.

Best,

Ryan Smart
FCC

This Saturday - Speak Up Homosassa Springs Free Event featuring Senator Bob Graham

E-mail sent by Ryan Smart, Thursday, September 4th, 2014 @ 8:57am

Dear FCC Members, 

The Florida Conservation Coalition and Citrus County Chronicle invite you to join Senator Bob Graham this Saturday, September 6th, for a FREE DAY of wildlife encounters, public addresses, live music, nature activities and educational exhibits at 
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park located at 4150 S. Suncoast Blvd, Homosassa, FL 34448.

Come enjoy a fun and educational day in one of Florida's most spectacular state parks, home to manatees, wading birds, red wolves, a hippopotamus and an eight-month-old Florida panther, as well other wildlife and a floating underwater observatory. 

See the full intinerary for the event below.


Questions? Email Ryan Smart at Smarts421@gmail.com


                        Itinerary


Public Addresses and Live Music at the Garden of the Springs


10:00 a.m. – Exhibits Open

10:30 a.m. – Wildlife Encounters

11:30 a.m. – Manatee Program

11:45 a.m. – Magic Bus Band Performs Live              

12:45 p.m. – Public Addresses Featuring 

               Senator Bob Graham
            Senator Charlie Dean
                           &
            Other Notable Speakers

2:30 p.m. – Magic Bus Band Performs Live & Wildlife Encounters

3:30 p.m. – Manatee Program

4:00 p.m. – Event Closes

** 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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