Members of the Putnam County Environmental Council work together to protect our natural resources, but we also have a great time hiking, paddling, bicycling, and learning about nature. Since 1991 we have taken an active role in government, educated the public, promoted ecotourism, and networked with others. Our work has led to our leadership on numerous issues of statewide concern. PCEC, as a result, was named Florida Conservation Organization of the Year in 2005 by Florida Wildlife Federation.
We publish the Green Gazette, provide programs and field trips for members and the public, and have an annual social in December. Our programs are usually held at the Water Works Environmental Education Center on the second Friday of the month.
Become a member of our PCECweb group, which means you receive Green Gazettes and alerts by email, or become a member of PCEC and financially support our work. You may fill in a membership form from the back page of a recent Green Gazette and mail it with your check or you may join online using PayPal (Subscriptions tab). Your name and email address will not be publicized or shared.
St. Johns Riverkeeper Algal Bloom Awareness Presentation
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Edgar Johnson Senior Center
1215 Westover Dr.
Palatka, FL 32177
Ever wonder about that green slime in the St. Johns River and its tributaries? Aquatic ecologist, Robert Storm Burks will present what causes these blue-green algal blooms (or cyanobacteria) we’ve been witnessing on our waterways and why they may be toxic for you and our river!
After, learn how to report algae occurrences on the waterways using Water Rangers, web-based app.
This program is open to the public. Please invite your friends and neighbors.
Despite their importance, Florida’s waterways are suffering from significant pollution problems such as fertilizer runoff, poorly treated municipal and industrial wastewater, and failing septic tanks. Combined with the impacts from a rapidly growing population we have a potential recipe for disaster.
The film will be shown (48 minutes) and then followed by a panel discussion moderated by Karen Chadwick, Putnam County Environmental Council. Invited panelists include the following:
Congratulations to those elected to the 2017 PCEC Board of Directors:
Timothy Keyser, President
Annie Svetlik, Vice President
Kevin Sharbaugh, Secretary
Tom Townsend, Treasurer
Thank you to the departing directors: Bonnie Bohlen, Walter Egan, Kate Gallagher, Robert Smith, and Lucinda Watkins. Their years of service to our organization were important to our success and are greatly appreciated.
Two Florida attorneys, Bruce Kaster and Joseph Little, are petitioning the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service to (1) issue and implement rules to enforce the terms of the special use permit issued by the Forest Service to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and (2) issue rules to redress the continuing failure of the Forest Service to manage the Ocala National Forest in a manner that furthers the desired future conditions, goals, and objectives of the Forest Plan for National Forests in Florida. Kaster is a practicing lawyer and a member of the Board of Trustees for Florida Defenders of the Environment (“FDE”). Little has been a member of FDE for nearly 50 years, and has served as a professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law since 1967.
The petition is being filed by Jane West Law, a public interest environmental and land-use law firm based in St. Augustine, FL.
A petition for rulemaking is the mechanism by which individuals, public interest groups, and private enterprise can argue to compel changes in existing rules or new rules for an agency that are necessary to remedy failures of agencies to fulfill their duties and purposes as provided by law.
The legal authority for such a petition is contained in the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §553(e), which states that, “Each agency shall give an interested person the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule.”
To read the complete petition or press release click on Restoring Our Rivers above.
The Putnam County Environmental Council (PCEC) is proud to announce the availability of its report, "Management and Restoration of the Fish Populations of Silver Springs and the Middle and Lower Ocklawaha River, Florida, USA" by Roy R. Lewis III, M.A., P.W.S., Director of Science Policy for PCEC. The report can be downloaded from this website. Just click on the "Restoring Our Rivers" tab and then click on "Fish report..." under Ocklawaha River.
The report, three years in preparation, and funded in part by a grant from the Felburn Foundation, concludes that all the predictions of the demise of fish, fish populations and fishing opportunities by those who oppose restoration of the Ocklawaha River are not based upon good science. The report reviews 49 scientific documents including the most recent work on Silver Springs and the Silver River which documented a 92% decline in fish biomass from the original studies of Howard Odum published in 1957. This documented decline included a 60% decline in the biomass of largemouth bass. Blockage of historical migratory routes from the St. Johns River by the construction of the Kirkpatrick Dam and Rodman Pool are the cause of much of the decline in species and biomass of fish such as the channel catfish, striped mullet and striped bass in the Ocklawaha River and Silver Springs.
The Lewis report concludes that "...there is no credible scientific basis to predict any permanent decline in fish resources following restoration, nor a specific decline in sports fishing opportunities over the short or long term...fish biomass will likely remain the same or increase over time...in specific areas such as the Silver River, the reconnected springs and spring runs, a significant increase in fish populations can be expected...[S]ports fishing opportunities for species like the striped bass will increase with restoration."
Hard copies and electronic copies of the report can be requested from Mr. Lewis.
Roy R. "Robin" Lewis III, Professional Wetland Scientist #725
Certified Senior Ecologist, Ecological Society of America
Board Certified Environmental Professional #1161
Director of Science Policy, Putnam County Environmental Council