Our Mission

FCC News Brief - July 29, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 20 hours ago

FCC News Brief

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

July 29, 2016




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

From Our Readers

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

 


Petitions

Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

Making Connections

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - July 28, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 1 day ago

FCC News Brief

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

July 28, 2016




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

From Our Readers

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

 


Petitions

Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

Making Connections

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - July 27, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 2 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

July 27, 2016

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

From Our Readers

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

 


Petitions

Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

 

Making Connections

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - July 26, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 3 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

July 26, 2016

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

From Our Readers

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

 


Petitions

Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

 

Making Connections

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

Charter Members

FOUNDER and CHAIRMAN
Bob Graham, Former Governor of Florida and U.S. Senator

VICE CHAIRMEN
Nathaniel  Pryor Reed, Former Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Former Chairman SFWMD, Founder and Chairman Emeritus 1000 Friends of Florida 
And
Com. Lee Constantine, Seminole County Commissioner and Former State Senator, State Representative and Mayor of Altamonte Springs

AUDUBON FLORIDA

Eric Draper, Executive Director

CONSERVANCY OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA
Rob Moher, President
Jennifer Hecker, 
Director of Natural Resource Policy

FLORIDA WILDLIFE FEDERATION
Manley Fuller, President
Martha Musgrove, Board Member
Preston Robertson, General Counsel and VP for Conservation

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
Pam Goodman, President

1000 FRIENDS OF FLORIDA

Victoria Tschinkel
, Board Member and former Secretary of Department of Environmental Regulation
Ryan Smart, President

Charles Pattison, Policy Director 
Roy Rogers, Board Member

SIERRA CLUB
Craig Diamond
Frank Jackalone, Senior Organizing Manager

ST. JOHNS RIVERKEEPER
Lisa Rinaman, Riverkeeper
Jimmy Orth
, Executive Director

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
John Robert Middlemas, Chair
Janet Bowman, Director of Legislative Policy and Strategy

TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND
Greg Chelius, Florida State Director
Will Abberger, Director Conservation Finance

INDIVIDUALS
Lester Abberger 
John Finlayson, Agriculturist, Jefferson County, former Chairman SRWMD
Bill Kerr, Environmental Consultant, Brevard County, former Chairman SJRWMD
Gary Kuhl, Former Executive Director, SWFWMD 
Jay Landers, Former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, Former Director of the Department of Natural Resources

Allan Milledge, Former Chairman ELMs Committee and SFWMD
Auley Rowell, Agriculturist, Taylor County, former Chairman of SRWMD 
Earl Starnes, Former Dade County Commissioner, Former Director of the Division of State Planning
Sonny Vergara, Former Executive Director, SWFWMD and SJRWMD
Estus Whitfield, Former Principal Environmental Advisor to 5 Florida Governors

Mailing Address


Florida Conservation Coalition

Powered by GroupSpaces · Terms · Privacy Policy · Cookie Use · Create Your Own Group