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FCC News Brief - August 26, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 2 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

August 26, 2016




The Citrus County Chronicle Editorial Board writes – “Florida’s springs are slowly dying…Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute Director Robert Knight…pointed out…that money is flowing for restoration. However, little is being done to publicly vet how those dollars are being spent or whether they have been successful. He points out that there is no overriding strategy to restoration…According to Knight, the state spent $33 million this year to move people off septic tanks and onto sewer but during that same time period 9,000 more septic tanks were allowed to be put in, which is nine times the amount being taken off.” Read Long-range plan needed to protect state’s great springs

Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “[T]he district accused Audubon Florida in a news release of seeking to raise taxes to pay for invasive plant control in a federal wildlife refuge. When an Everglades Law Center lawyer…asked the district for a list of news release recipients, the district sent a memo warning that their email addresses could be sold… ‘It is a shame that the SFWMD continues to attempt to bully into submission anyone and everyone who expresses a difference of opinion from theirs,’ Interlandi (the lawyer from the Everglades Law Center) said…In March, Antonacci accused a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee with threatening district officials with arrest over water management affecting the endangered snail kite, an accusation that the federal agency denied…In May, the district accused Caloosahatchee Riverwatch in advance of holding a forum consisting of ‘one-sided detractors’ who were critical of a South Florida reservoir project, called the C-43 Reservoir. ‘The district’s bullying in a public forum backed by public money did not feel right especially since our concerns with reservoir design and performance stemmed from the district’s and ACOE’s own studies and reports,’ John Cassani, the group’s technical committee chairman, said…” Read Environmentalists cite ‘bullying’ pattern by water management district

Dave Dunwoody reports for WUWF – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has signed an agreement with a trash and recycling firm, aimed at reducing human-bear conflicts in Northwest Florida. The memorandum of understanding with the firm Waste Pro USA comes after FWC…voted against holding a bear hunt this year…Yablonski says securing trash is the best way to prevent human-bear interactions…FWC has secured $825,000 from the Legislature to help pay for…bear-proof containers. But if local governments refuse to match the funds, residents and business owners may be stuck with the tab for the containers.” Read Bear Proof Garbage Cans Coming to Northwest Florida

Jim Waymer and Malcolm Denemark report for Florida Today – “One eel could be seen stretching toward the surface, gasping for air. One small fish made a final death leap out of the water, before sinking and dying. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has received more than 30 reports from Brevard County involving fish kills believed associated with an ongoing algae bloom in the Banana River and northern and central Indian River over the past month.” Read Fish kills speckle Indian River Lagoon

Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “New research…suggests chemicals used in fracking and other gas and oil operations increase risk of miscarriages, reduced male fertility, prostate cancer, birth defects and preterm birth by disrupting hormones… ‘…the researchers concocted the most unlikely scenario- continuous exposure to chemicals at high concentrations- and then tried to pass it off as plausible,’ said Katie Brown, a spokeswoman for Energy in Depth, a program of Independent Petroleum Association of America…Knowledge is incomplete for most of the 1,000 chemicals used in unconventional oil and gas operations such as fracking, and industry does not have to disclose all the chemicals they use…The new (water) criteria (approved by the ERC)…would have to be approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has indicated it intends to OK the new criteria.” Read Study: Fracking chemicals in water raise fertility risks

Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “A fracking bill may have died in the last legislative session, but the controversial oil and gas extraction process is playing a role in several legislative and congressional campaigns. Some Democrats are accusing others in the primary of supporting fracking, which environmentalists say is a threat to groundwater...Former Sen. Rod Smith…has taken out a television ad criticizing his November election opponent, Republican Rep. Keith Perry, for supporting fracking. Smith cites Perry’s floor vote for the fracking bill, HB 191…Rep. Rene Plasencia…voted for the fracking bill…” Read Fracking issue lurks in primary races after death of bill last legislative session

Lauren Ritchie reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “[T]he fight over the level of water in the Clermont chain of lakes is poised to explode again…Managing lake levels is not the child’s play that some think it is…Emerald Lakes is Lake County’s poster child for bad growth management…” Read Fight over lake levels brews in south Lake

Steve Bousquet reports for the Miami Herald – “For years, a small group of top Florida political leaders quietly prodded the federal government to be more aggressive in rooting out political corruption in the state capital. The bipartisan group, led by Florida’s senior statesman, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, got a polite thank you from the U.S. Department of Justice- and nothing more. Dismayed by the amount of special interest money in Tallahassee, Graham was joined by…former U.S. Attorney Roberto Martinez, a Republican adviser to two Florida governors; former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux…, a Republican lawyer who was chief of staff to former Gov. Charlie Crist; and…Dan Gelber…a former federal prosecutor and legislator…The budgets of the 20 elected state attorneys are set by the Legislature. More than 1,800 lobbyists were registered to lobby the Legislature in 2016…Gelber, who served in the House and Senate from 1998 to 2010, cited yet another problem: term limits. By shortening the careers of legislators, Gelber said, term limits have shifted power and institutional knowledge to the world of lobbying, which he described as ‘a shadow government of complete mercenaries.’” Read Florida leaders call for crackdown on public corruption go unheeded

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state




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

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 7, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales & Wild Tales: The Florida Black Bear: In the Line of Fire with Fred Bohler at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Fred will talk about the natural history of the Floirda black bear, the events that led up to the hunt, the 2015 hunt, and the future of the Florida black bear. For more information, click here.

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

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

September 23, 10:00 am – Attend the ShORE (Sharing Our Research with Everyone) Indian River Lagoon Symposium at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach. Undergraduate research students and professional scientists will present their most recent findings on the lagoon. Speakers include Dr. George Burgess, international shark research expert from UF; Dr. Brian LaPointe, marine research scientist with HarborBranch; and Duane DeFreese, Executive Director of the Indian River Lagoon Council. For more information and to register, click here.

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

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

October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. For more information, click here.

 

 

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

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

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

Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 25, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 2 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

August 25, 2016




Paula Dockery writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “A decade ago, the governor and other elected officials focused on water quality, Everglades’ restoration and land acquisition by spending $300 million a year under Florida Forever. There was a long-term commitment to protect and restore Florida’s natural resources and quality of life. Despite warnings from scientists, local governments and the environmental community, there was a major shift in the mindset and actions of elected officials. Florida Forever funding disappeared, water management budgets were slashed and the Department of Community Affairs…was abolished. Improperly installed or maintained septic tanks have leached into our water bodies. Natural systems that filter polluted surface waters have been altered. Water-treatment projects, restoration projects, and land acquisition have slowed to a trickle. Regulations have been slashed, and the state has fought the federal government over water-quality standards…Negron’s plan doesn’t solve all of the state’s water woes, but it’s a concrete proposal- more constructive than pointing fingers and shrugging shoulders. Kudos to incoming Senate President Joe Negron for having the guts to tackle the problem and to incoming House Speaker Richard Corcoran for indicating willingness to consider Negron’s proposal.” Read A gutsy plan to end stench, algae: Way to go, Joe Negron

William March reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “A few local legislators find themselves in touchy positions with a proposal by incoming state Senate President Joe Negron to spend $2.4 billion to buy land south of the Everglades…First, there’s Sen. Jack Latvala…who as incoming Senate appropriations chairman would have to find the money. ‘I’m supportive of the concept, but I haven’t looked at the numbers on any of this stuff yet,’ Latvala said…Meanwhile, Rep. Dana young, in a tight race for the Senate District 18 seat, has been criticized by environmental groups for accepting large contributions from Big Sugar and, they contend, opposing a land purchase. Two weeks ago, asked about a land purchase…Young said the environmental groups ‘are absolutely off the point on this.’ But, after Negron’s proposal, she said she meant only that buying U.S. sugar land the state had considered before was wrong because it’s too far west. Buying land south of Lake Okeechobee, as Negron proposes, might be okay, she said.” Read Negron’s proposal puts locals in touchy positions

Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “Florida Senate President-elect Joe Negron acknowledged he will have to spend a lot of political capital to push through the proposal he announced this month…First, he must persuade his fellow Republican state lawmakers to allocate the state’s $1.2 billion share next year. Some of those represent areas of Florida with their own environmental problems and have strong ties to the sugar industry. Even harder will be persuading Congress to give the same amount…Sugar will be the top change to the proposal, said Frank Jackalone, the Sierra Club’s senior field organizing manager for Florida. He added sugar growers might try to inflate the price of their land.” Read Joe Negron’s plan to reduce Lake Okeechobee discharges faces challenges

Jeff Burlew reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “The city of Miami...[is] joining the legal fight against proposed new surface water standards approved…by the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission. The city…said the new standards…would result in more pollution and higher health risks to residents… ‘The department has justified its loosening restrictions on the permissible levels of carcinogens in Florida surface waters by asserting that its scientific model is valid, without offering any justification for the need for loosening the standards to begin with,’ the city said…Linda Young, executive director of the Florida Clean Water Network…noted that the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee…wrote DEP…saying its public notice on the new standards was ‘incomprehensible to members of the general public’ in violation of statutes…The city of Miami filed its own action but also filed to intervene in the Seminole Tribe challenge, which prompted objections from the state…[T]he Florida Pulp and Paper Association Environmental Affairs filed its own legal challenge…The association said DEP relied on a flawed methodology in developing its new limits, which could affect how much wastewater paper mills are allowed to release.” Read More join legal fight over water pollution limits

Beth Kassab writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “If the necessary 60 percent of voters answer yes on Amendment 4, there is wide agreement from the pro-business Florida Chamber of commerce to the tree-hugging Sierra Club that Florida’s solar market would improve. Al Sharpton, who flew into Miami…to rail against the amendment, is a rare exception…[H]is press conference veered into a strange and terse exchange with reporters when he couldn’t explain how the amendment would harm people. The whole thing smacked of an activist who was woefully uninformed about what he was advocating against…Walmart happens to have 365 solar systems at stores across more than a dozen states and Puerto Rico. But none are in Florida…Companies like Walmart aren’t investing in solar...in Florida because it doesn’t make financial sense for them right now. So no current property tax revenue from those companies is at risk from Amendment 4. But the amendment could mean the start of more solar activity on the part of business.” Read Eyes on solar tax break for a greener Florida

Michal Kranz reports for WLRN – “As freshwater leaves the Everglades…it enters Biscayne National Park…The park itself is unlike any other in the country- 95 percent of it is in the Atlantic Ocean. While much of its water is salty, freshwater is crucial for the bay’s abundant corals and seagrasses. Park ranger Gary Bremen says water used to flow into the bay through underwater springs…[U]rban development along Florida’s southwest coast has cut off Biscayne from the ecosystem that once fed it – the swath of wetlands that stretches from Lake Okeechobee to Everglades National Park. Today, the canal system that has replaced the springs is not enough to keep up with the bay’s increasing salinity…[A]mid the blue-green seagrasses dart streaks of white sand where boats ran aground, leaving the underwater ecosystem unable to recover…Despite its shallow waters, Biscayne Bay yields large sea creatures like barracudas and marlins…[W]hen the National Park Service announced it was establishing a marine reserve in part of the bay where fishing would be prohibited, controversy…ensued.” Read In Biscayne National Park, South Florida Communities Mix with Pristine Wildlife

Amy Green reports for WMFE – “The Center for Biological Diversity (Center) says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that more than 400 plants and animals may deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). But the group says the federal agency never issued final decisions, leaving some species in limbo for up to seven years. The Center…issued a 60-day notice of its intent to sue. The group points to a recent study that found it can take up to 12 years to list a plant or animal under the [ESA]. The federal law requires the process to take two years.” Read Suit Threatened Over Failed Protection of Species Including Florida Sandhill Crane

The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “Oil spills recognize no international borders or regulatory boundaries. They show no mercy for tourism economies or pristine beaches…It’s critical that U.S. officials remain engaged with Cuba over who controls a portion of the gulf and what drilling might take place there and that the federal government preserves and extends a drilling moratorium that protects the gulf waters closest to Tampa Bay…With regard to the Eastern Gap negotiations, it is critical that the United States continue to develop relationships with Cuba rather than turn back the clock as Sen. Marco Rubio and other Republican hard-liners prefer. If the United States cannot persuade Cuba to avoid or severely limit oil drilling in the gulf waters the island will control, it can at least share technology and expertise to prepare to jointly deal with any spills or rig explosions that would threaten Florida. That requires cooperation…” Read Keep oil drilling away from Florida

 

 




 

From Our Readers

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

 


Petitions

Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state



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

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 7, 6:00 pm – Attend Ales & Wild Tales: The Florida Black Bear: In the Line of Fire with Fred Bohler at The Ale and the Witch in Saint Petersburg. Fred will talk about the natural history of the Floirda black bear, the events that led up to the hunt, the 2015 hunt, and the future of the Florida black bear. For more information, click here.

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

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

September 23, 10:00 am – Attend the ShORE (Sharing Our Research with Everyone) Indian River Lagoon Symposium at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach. Undergraduate research students and professional scientists will present their most recent findings on the lagoon. Speakers include Dr. George Burgess, international shark research expert from UF; Dr. Brian LaPointe, marine research scientist with HarborBranch; and Duane DeFreese, Executive Director of the Indian River Lagoon Council. For more information and to register, click here.

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

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

October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. For more information, click here.

 

 

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

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

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

Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 24, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 4 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

August 24, 2016




Lester Abberger writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “[W]e should…celebrate the conservation legacies of Theodore Roosevelt and his distant cousin Franklin Roosevelt…In…1903, TR created by executive order, now much maligned in some quarters, the nation’s first wildlife refuge: Pelican Island…in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon. During…his presidency, TR did more for wilderness protection than all his predecessors combined, creating 55 wildlife refuges, quadrupling the nation’s forest reserves and establishing five national parks…FDR’s conservation legacy…was even more pervasive: 140 national wildlife refuges, 29 national forests and 24 national parks. These sites include Florida’s Everglades National Park and the Ocala, Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee national forests…FDR recognized that land protection alone would not suffice. Through the Civilian Conservation Corps and other Depression-Era job-creating entities, billions of dollars were poured into maintenance, infrastructure improvements and other efforts to increase access and to enhance visitors’ experiences. Florida’s contemporary political leaders have unprecedented opportunities to create their own conservation legacies. And, they have the support of 4,230,858 of their fellow citizens who voted in 2014…to adopt the Florida Water and Land Legacy Amendment…” Read Florida’s natural legacy must be protected

Wayne Washington reports for my Palm Beach Post – “West Palm Beach took its fight against the extension of State Road 7 before an administrative law judge…arguing that the project would harm endangered species like the snail kite. The city has long argued that the project- backed by the state Department of Transportation, Palm Beach County and permitted earlier this year by the South Florida Water Management District- also would threaten its primary source of drinking water, Grassy Waters Preserve. But county officials say the…project is needed to handle increased traffic from several massive developments coming on line…Many of Ibis’ residents oppose the…project, fearing it will invite construction of even more residential developments in their midst… Lisa Interlandi…said in an email to The Palm Beach Post.‘…The proposed alignment is literally under two feet of water. It runs right through critical wetlands…’” Read Hearing begins on West Palm fight against extension of State Road 7

Jim Ash reports for WFSU – “[T]he state says the (Seminole) tribe just missed a 10-day legal deadline. But in briefs filed Monday, tribe attorneys say the clock started running August 4th, when the state changed a public notice for a hearing. Clean Water Network activist Linda Young says the state is avoiding the real issue…Miami Dade…is asking to join the suit. Judge Bram Canter has set two-days of hearings beginning September 6, but he could rule on the deadline issue any day.” Read Deadline Dispute Threatens Seminole Water Challenge

Peter Schorsch reports for Florida Politics – “[Negron’s] proposal is painfully short on details, says a recent editorial in the Fort Myers News-Press…There are multiple issues…First, it would continue an over-reliance on federal funds…The land is now owned by Florida Crystals, King Ranch and U.S. Sugar; none of which are interested in selling at this time- although [News-Press] suggests officials with Crystals are considering Negron’s offer. Another critique is that Negron could be wildly underestimating the overall cost of the land, as well as construction of the storage facility. Some put the total price tag at more like $4 billion. Few doubt the need for additional water storage, but what Negron suggests would ultimately hold only about one-quarter of the discharge… ‘There is currently no clean water component to this storage facility,’ the News-Press also points out… ‘We ask Negron to clarify whether his proposal would be additional money from Amendment 1 funds or from existing Legacy Florida funding,’ the editorial suggests.” Read News-Press editorial says Joe Negron Everglades plan needs work, more details

Jessica Salmond reports for the Cape Coral Daily Breeze – “ ‘It would be great…if they got it passed.’ Fort Myers Beach Mayor Dennis Boback summarized what most others said about a…plan presented by Florida Sen. Joe Negron to buy 60,000 acres south of Lake Okeechobee… ‘It’s good news,’ [City of Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane] said. ‘I know the public wants details but it’s premature because you have to engineer this. It’s an infrastructure project. You have to design it, you need scientists, you need all the people involved.’…Ruane has been spearheading a movement to get local governments to appeal to the state about the need to accelerate the plan to redirect Lake O water south… ‘I hate to see “Big Sugar” go, because they employ a lot of people, but so do we and we’re losing that economy,’ said Cape Coral City Councilmember Rick Williams. ‘Especially with tourism down by the beach.’…The federal funding is something incumbent Lee County Commissioner Larry Kiker isn’t going to hold his breath about- Kiker was involved in a congressional hearing in 2013…to get $1.2 billion for Florida’s water quality issues, and that money still hasn’t been granted. ‘Frankly, my concern…when you ask the government for another $1.2 billion- they haven’t funded the last billion,’ he said.” Read Officials, activists, warily hopeful on Negron’s plan

Brion Blackwelder and Marc Yaggi write for the Sun Sentinel – “Shocking images of…toxic algae in Florida focused national attention on how…nutrient pollution can cause tremendous economic damage to tourism, boating and fishing industries, and severe danger to public health and wildlife. If history is any guide, the disturbing spectacle…isn’t likely to lead to solution. Nutrient pollution, largely from industrial-scale agriculture, has long been an enormous water pollution problem in the nation…[W]aterways in all 50 states are impacted by nutrient pollution…Disturbing images visible from space have yet to inspire any solutions for Lake Erie’s massive algal blooms, which forced the shutdown of Toledo’s drinking water supply in 2014, or for the unprecedented, toxic algal bloom stretching from central California to the Alaska Peninsula, which caused fishery and shellfish closures in multiple states. And we still don’t have a solution to the decades old Gulf of Mexico dead zone…The problem has not been solved because the state government and corporate agribusiness’ hired guns have worked hand-in-hand to aggressively oppose pollution reduction efforts under the Clean Water Act and state laws…Florida’s state government has undermined pollution control efforts for more than a decade…It is imperative that state and federal leaders stop bowing to industry pressure and start enforcing our clean water laws.” Read Big Agriculture chocking our waterways

Science Daily shares – “The study…offers the first-ever map of underground drainage systems that connect fresh groundwater and seawater… ‘We’re all pretty familiar with the idea that rain falls on land and flows out to the ocean in rivers, but…rainfall…(also) spills into the ocean below sea level,’ Sawyer said…The study identified 12 percent of the continental U.S. coastline—including the northern Gulf Coast from Mississippi to the Florida Panhandle…where the…drainage systems make the ocean most susceptible to freshwater contamination from septic tanks and fertilizer runoff. There, excess nutrients in the water can cause harmful algal blooms…[A]nother 9 percent of coastline—including Southeastern Florida…are especially susceptible to…contamination from sea to land…In these areas, saltwater intrudes inland and infiltrates the fresh groundwater supply…The study found that…canals capture water that would otherwise flow underground and out to sea…which increases the likelihood of saltwater intrusion.” Read Hidden pollution exchange between oceans and groundwater revealed

Vince Beiser writes for The New York Times – “Believe it or not, we use more [sand] than any other [natural resource] except water and air. Sand is the thing modern cities are made of. Pretty much every apartment block, office tower and shopping mall from Beijing to Lagos, Nigeria, is made at least partly with concrete, which is basically just sand and gravel stuck together with cement. Every yard of asphalt road that connects all those buildings is also made with sand. So is every window in every one of those buildings. Sand is the essential ingredient that makes modern life possible. And we are starting to run out…To get the sand we need, we are stripping riverbeds, floodplains and beaches…In places where onshore sources have been exhausted, sand miners are turning to the seas. This often inflicts terrible costs on the environment…In Indonesia, some two dozen small islands are believed to have disappeared since 2005 because of sand mining. In Vietnam, miners have torn up hundreds of acres of forest to get at the sandy soil underneath. Sand miners have damaged coral reefs in Kenya…” Read The World’s Disappearing Sand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 23, 10:00 am – Attend the ShORE (Sharing Our Research with Everyone) Indian River Lagoon Symposium at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach. Undergraduate research students and professional scientists will present their most recent findings on the lagoon. Speakers include Dr. George Burgess, international shark research expert from UF; Dr. Brian LaPointe, marine research scientist with HarborBranch; and Duane DeFreese, Executive Director of the Indian River Lagoon Council. For more information and to register, click here.

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

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

October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. For more information, click here.

 

 

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

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

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

Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

FCC News Brief - August 23, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 5 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

August 23, 2016




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

From Our Readers

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

 


Petitions

Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit




Making Connections

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 20-21 – Attend Green Trends 2016 in Hollywood. The conference brings together Florida’s green building industry to tackle how Florida’s built environment can achieve sustainability. For more information, click here.

 

 

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

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

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

Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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

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

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

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

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

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