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FCC News Brief - February 13, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 23 hours ago

FCC News Brief

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

February 13, 2016

 

The New York Times Editorial Board writes – “The Supreme Court’s extraordinary decision…to temporarily block the Obama administration’s effort to combat global warming by regulating emissions from power plants was deeply disturbing…It raised serious questions about America’s ability to deliver on Mr. Obama’s pledge in Paris…to sharply reduce carbon emissions…And with all the Republican-appointed justices lining up in a 5-to-4 vote to halt the regulation…the court also reinforced the belief among many Americans that the court is knee-deep in the partisan politics it claims to stand above…Last month, a unanimous panel of the federal appeals court…sided with the administration and refused to block the Clean Power Plan from taking effect. It set an expedited briefing schedule in order to resolve the case well before any significant action is required from the states. Normally, the Supreme Court allows this process to play out. But time and again, this court has shown itself to be all too eager to upset longstanding practice or legal precedent.” Read The Court Blocks Efforts to Slow Climate Change

Isadora Rangel reports for TC Palm – “Sen. Thad Altman[‘s]…amendment would have used the $22.2 million that currently is in the Senate’s proposed budget (for the Florida Forever land-buying program) for fiscal year 2016-17 to issue bonds. But other senators asked the amendment to be killed…Atlman said he had about 21 of 40 votes to pass the amendment and believes the move was intended to kill his measure and to ensure rank-and-file lawmakers like him don’t add large items to the budget. He said the state should take advantage of low interest rates to buy properties that are on a Florida Forever priority list, waiting to be purchased for habitat conservation and parks…Pafford’s measure would buy 153,000 acres the state has the option to purchase according to a 2010 agreement between U.S. Sugar Corp. and the South Florida Water Management District…The sugar land was intended to be used to build reservoirs and water treatment areas to move Lake O water into the Everglades…Money for the measures pushed by Altman and Pafford would have come from Amendment 1…” Read Measures to boost land conservation, curb Lake O discharges die in the Senate and House

Isadora Rangel reports for TC Palm – “An Orlando senator’s attempt to stop land and water conservation money from being used for pumps and pipes failed Tuesday. State Sen. Darren Soto…said he’ll try again though, with a new measure that would require water projects funded with Amendment 1 money meet certain criteria, such as protecting a body of water…The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee approved Senate Bill 1290 (State Lands bill) unanimously. Sponsor Sen…Simpson…said he’s willing to work with environmentalists to change the bill before the full Senate votes on it…The pumps and pipes provision is just one of several environmentalists oppose in SB 1290 and HB 1075, intended to streamline how the state manages its lands.” Read Attempt to stop Amendment 1 dollars from paying for pumps, pipes fails

Paula Dockery writes for the Sun Sentinel – “The top priorities of the Senate president and House speaker- expanding opportunities for the developmentally disabled and an agriculture-friendly water policy- have made it to the governor’s desk…The House wants to fund Everglades restoration with up to $200 million annually. This should be great news, but unfortunately, it is a thrifty trade-off for not fully funding Florida Forever and Amendment One…The Legislature is cutting state park funding, is only giving $22 million – instead of $300 million – to land acquisition and is diverting funds to overhead and other unintended uses. Kudos to state Sen. Thad Altman for trying to increase Florida Forever funding to $200 million…The issues are still in a state of flux. Questioning your elected representatives before the final vote lets them know you’re paying attention and lessens the likelihood they can talk their way out of bad votes or inaction. It’s an election year- there’s no better time.” Read Best and worst of session as lawmakers reach halftime

Ledyard King reports for News-Press – “More than 17,000 acres of pristine Southwest Florida shorefront in Collier County would be permanently preserved, under a bill headed to the Senate. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Curt Clawson and passed by the House…Tuesday, would reclassify portions of Marco Island, Keewaydin Island and Cape Romano as part of the Coastal Barrier Resources System…The bill has personal significance for Clawson who entered politics in 2014 to make a difference on water quality issues…Clawson’s office said if his bill becomes law, the number of contiguous, permanently protected acres in the region will increase to more than 40,000. Clawson’s proposal would create the largest grouping of Coastal Barrier Resources System units nationwide- protecting the Florida Everglades and ecosystem, aquatic plants and animals, other wildlife, and private properties from flood and storm damage.” Read Rep. Clawson bill preserving 17,000 acres heads to Senate

Karl Etters reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Black bears, salamanders and woodpeckers that call the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge home could benefit from a shot of $2.5 million in federal money to acquire 30,000 acres for restoration and conservation projects. President Obama approved funding…for dozens of projects across the U.S. as part of an overall $900 million Land and Water Conservation Fund…The local funding will go toward securing land and restoring long-leaf pine habitat that once stretched throughout North Florida, South Georgia and the Southeast. Also included in the proposal is $3.85 million for the Osceola National Forest and $412,000 for the Lathrop Bayou Habitat Management Area near Tyndall Air Force Base. In South Florida, $2.5 million in LWCF funding is proposed for Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area. The funding still requires congressional approval.” Read St. Marks Refuge could get dose of federal funding

Scott Marcusky reports for Fox 4 – “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been dumping nutrient-rich fresh water from Lake Okeechobee recently, causing a deluge of brown water to spread through coastal areas, which some say is threatening the ecology and economy…In a letter sent by the governor to Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy, Governor Scott urges the Corps of Engineers to instead funnel more water to the south of Lake Okeechobee, toward the Everglades. His plan has the approval of the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Everglades National Park, the South Florida Water Management District, and the Miccosukee Tribe.” Read Governor Scott requests easing of Caloosahatchee water releases

Rob Moher writes for News Press – “[W]e are still wrestling with the same problems as when the Caloosahatchee was named one of America’s Endangered Rivers in 2006- exactly one decade ago…The purchase of the EAA lands still needs to happen if the discharges are ever to be stopped, and the water delivered back to the Everglades and Florida Bay, where it’s needed. Another piece of the puzzle is stopping pollution at its source. While regulation is often mentioned with disdain, laws like the Clean Water Act and the proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule are crucial to ensuring that discharges of pollution into upstream waters are deterred. Updating antiquated and ineffective stormwater standards for new developments and requiring agricultural best management practices are other necessary pollution control measures needed for stemming the pollution plaguing our waters.” Read Same problems haunt our water efforts

 

 

 

 

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.

 



Job Postings

The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager

Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Everglades Restoration Campaign

Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Palm Beach County for their Stop Sugar Cane Field Burning Campaign

Sierra Club is seeking an Organizing Representative based in Gainesville for their Red Tide (Water Quality) Campaign


Petitions

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

 

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 .

If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at .

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

February 13 – Participate in Save Our Parks, Statewide Day of Action. The Day of Action will include rallies, marches, and other events advocating against private, non-conservation uses in public lands including hunting, cattle grazing, timber harvesting, oil drilling, and more. Click here for more information.

February 13, 10:00 am – Attend the 23rd Party in the Park, the Treasure Coast’s first and foremost environmental festival, at Ft Piere Inlet State Park in Ft Pierce. The festival is free and includes food, activities for children and adults, and entertainment by Flint Blade.

February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or.

February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at(407) 568- 1706.

February 10, 10:00 am – Participate in a creek cleanup at Sweetwater Branch. For more information, contact Fritzi Olson at aar@currentproblems.org or (352) 215- 7554.

February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library inInverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or .

February 25, 11:30 am - Attend Pensacola to Paris and Back to learn about Earth Ethics’ Executive Director’s trip to Paris for the UN Climate Change Conference and about how we can move forward as a community and a nation. Event will be held at the downtown library located at 239 N Spring Street. RSVP by Thursday, February 18 to mary.earthethics@cox.net.

February 25, 5:30 pm - Join Earth Ethics, Inc. and the League of Women Voters of the Pensacola Bay Area for a viewing and discussion of Plastic Paradise at the Lucia M. Tryon Branch Library (1200 Langley Avenue).

February 28, 1:30 pm - Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact  or call 863-465-2571 x233.

February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

March 1 – Participate in No Meat March. Take the pledge to go meat-free for 31 days and enjoy the support of an online community with many resources. Find more information here.

March 4, 7:00 pmWatch “This Changes Everything.” This critically acclaimed documentary explores the adverse impacts of climate change. For more information, contact Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net. To register, click here.

March 5, 10:00 am – Join the Florida Wildflower Foundation for an interactive edible plant walk at PEAR Park in Leesburg. You will get to taste, touch and smell some of the native plants growing in the native plant demonstration garden. Learn which are edible, which have medicinal properties, and which have cultural and historical importance. The event is free for members and $15 for non-members. Clickhere for more information.

March 5, 11:00 am – Attend Northeast Florida Veg Fest at Riverside Park inJacksonville. The day-long event will feature live music, dynamic speakers, cooking demonstrations, beer garden, kids’ zone, pie-eating contest, exceptional freebies, raffles, scavenger hunt, and much more! Find more information here.

March 5, 1:00 pmWatch “This Changes Everything.” This critically acclaimed documentary explores the adverse impacts of climate change. For more information, contact Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net. To register, click here.

March 12, 10:00 am – Attend The 1st Annual Honey Bee Festival, benefiting the creation of the Florida Honey Bee Research Lab to Save the Bees, in Sarasota. There will be opportunities to pick strawberries, live entertainment, a kid zone, educational booths, and local artisan food and honey tastings. Find more information here.

March 15, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Dunnellon Branch of theMarion County Library in Dunnellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

March 16, 12:00 pm – Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Committee: A “Community Rights” Amendment for protecting human and ecological health. This webinar is part of The Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s Protecting Our Common Home series. For registration or further information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at. Please RSVP at least 48 hours before each program. Directions for participation will be sent to you.

March 19, 10:00 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Central Ridge Library inBeverly Hills. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

March 24, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Ocala Main Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

March 26, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Freedom Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

March 30, 5:30 pm – Participate in a meet and greet for environmental nonprofitgroups in Pensacola. Each speaker will be given approximately 10 minutes to provide information on their group. The public is invited to attend. Please contact Mary Gutierrez, Executive Director of Earth Ethics, Inc., if you’re interested. Her e-mail is .

April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Forest Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

April 6, 12:00 pm April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at theReddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at(352) 817- 8077 or  .

April 7, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Transportation: Rail, Mass transit, and other modes’ at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. At this event you will learn about carpooling, our current and future transportation system, and the possibility of rail coming back to Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 4.

April 17, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Energy: Solar and Wind’ at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 11.

April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at or (904) 388- 1506.

 

 

 

 

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.

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Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at 

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

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

Oppose SB 318

By Gladys Delgadillo 2 days ago

Dear FCC Members,

The Florida House of Representatives recently passed HB 191 to establish a regulatory system for “high pressure well stimulation” (HPWS) that would regulate fracking. This bill’s Senate companion, SB 318, has only one committee stop left, Senate Appropriations, before it reaches the Senate Floor. While these bills might seem to provide protections at first glance, they contain a number of deficiencies which place our drinking water and public health at risk. The oil and gas industry is pushing these bills which could potentially result in serious environmental damage and public expense. Please contact the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee (see below) and ask them to vote ‘no’ on SB 318. To use our template, click here.

Fracking uses the high pressure injection of chemicals and large quantities of water into an oil or gas well to fracture underground rock formations and enhance extraction of oil and gas. There are several other fracking-like well stimulation operations likely to be used in Florida that would not be captured under the bill’s definition of HPWS. The bill’s definition of HPWS, proposed regulations, and the study would not apply to these various other fracking-like operations or even fracking when it is done “incidentally” (whatever that might mean). Consequently, only a limited number of well stimulation treatments would be regulated under SB 318 and the results of the proposed study would be very limited in scope. Truly protective legislation would address all types of well stimulation techniques that use hazardous chemicals and large quantities of water.

The bill preempts local governments from banning all types of oil and gas activities, including well stimulation techniques that are unregulated under SB 318, and rescinds any bans that have previously been adopted. This provision violates the principle that local governments should be allowed to govern in a way that is more protective of the environment than state or federal law. Legislation in 2011 deleted or substantially watered down many state land and water management provisions of Florida law based on increasing capability of local governments to provide governmental oversight; this bill diminishes local governments’ authority to govern their own affairs.

The Legislature passed a water bill, focused largely on providing water supply for the present and future, and acknowledging that Florida’s finite water resources will be strained as its population and water consumption continues to grow. It is more important now, than ever, to focus on water conservation. Accordingly, local governments should not be prohibited from banning practices which consume very large amounts of fresh water, removing some of it permanently from the water cycle. A well stimulation operation in Collier County was previously permitted to use 280 million gallons of water per year from a potable water supply source. After use in well stimulation, the water is toxic and is often disposed of via deep well injection where it will never be recycled back into the hydrologic cycle.

The public has shown warranted concern regarding the potentially hazardous chemicals used in well stimulation techniques like fracking, but SB 318 does nothing to alleviate these worries. Under SB 318, well operators are allowed to use different chemicals than the ones they listed in their permit application, and then withhold that information for 60 days after the operation. Information regarding chemicals used in well stimulation operations must be disclosed to the Department of Environmental Protection, but not to the public. This leaves the public, including emergency responders and health professionals, at a serious disadvantage should an accident occur. Wastewater from well stimulation treatments may contain chemicals such as arsenic, benzene (a carcinogen), and radioactive materials.

Approximately 90% of Floridians’ drinking water comes from underground aquifers consisting of naturally fractured and permeable limestone. The aquifers could easily be contaminated should well stimulation fluids be accidentally spilled on the ground or leak underground.

What we know about high pressure well stimulation is troubling, but what we don’t know should be equally troubling.

Please contact the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ask them to vote ‘no’ on SB 318 if it is heard in their committee. To use our template, click here.

 

Senate Appropriations Committee Members

Tom Lee Lee.Tom.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5024
Lizbeth Benacquisto Benacquisto.Lizbeth.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5030
Thad Altman Altman.thad.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5016
Anitere Flores Flores.Anitere.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5037
Don Gaetz Gaetz.Don.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5001
Bill Galvano Galvano.Bill.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5026
Rene Garcia Garcia.Rene.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5038
Denise Grimsley Grimsley.Denise.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5021
Alan Hays Hays.Alan.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5011
Dorothy L. Hukill Hukill.Dorothy.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5008
Arthenia L. Joyner Joyner.Arthenia.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5019
Jack Latvala Latvala.Jack.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5020
Gwen Margolis Margolis.Gwen.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5035
Bill Montford Montford.Bill.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5003
Joe Negron Negron.Joe.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5032
Garrett Richter Richter.Garrett.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5023
Jeremey Ring Ring.Jeremy.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5029
David Simmons Simmons.David.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5010
Christopher Smith Smith.Chris.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487- 5031

Thank you for continuing to fight with FCC for our water resources.

Sincerely,

Estus Whitfield

Florida Conservation Coalition

FCC News Brief - February 11, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 3 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

February 11, 2016

 

Mary Ellen Klas reports for Miami Herald – “Florida Senate leaders rejected a budget amendment Wednesday that would have restored $222.5 million to the Florida Forever land-buying program that has been left threadbare since the Great Recession, arguing that the amendment was ‘out of order’ because it would have left the Senate’s proposed budget out of balance…[Altman] argued that the revenue source – the documentary stamp tax on real estate transactions—is ‘a robust fund and is expected to grow’ so earmarking the money to pay bonds for land buying ‘will not affect the stability of our state.’…These lands we want to purchase; we will lose them. They’re escalating [in value] faster than our ability to purchase them.’…Altman was angered by the ruling and said…’It sheds light on a huge, huge issue,’…’It’s the fact that allocations are…privately done and nobody even knows who does them in this back room and the public has no say…I think we should call for allocations to be done in public, they should be voted on. There should be debate. People should have a right to give input.’” Read Thad Altman blasts Senate budget process that leads to rejection of Florida Forever funding

Phil Ammann reports for Florida Politics – “A bill revamping the state’s process of public land acquisition and management passed its first Senate committee Tuesday…Democratic Sen. Darren Soto submitted an amendment to strip language that would allow ‘an expansion of use of land acquisition dollars, Amendment 1 dollars, on water projects.’…Soto withdrew his amendment after receiving assurances the DEP is willing to work new language that would ensure a ‘nexus’ between using land conservation funds for water projects and actual land preservation. Also raising concern was Stephanie Kunkel of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, who did not appreciate combining water project spending and changes to land management regulations to promote ‘recreation or conservation,’ as opposed to ‘the purpose for which it was acquired.’” Read Senate Committee Passes Bill Restructuring Public Land Acquisition and Management

Scott Powers reports for Florida Politics – “The Seminole County Commission approved an anti-fracking ordinance…as it denounced…the Legislature for taking up bills that would restrict local decisions about it. The all-Republican commission (in a nonpartisan county) voted unanimously on an ordinance that bans ‘any oil and gas exploration that uses well stimulation within the boundaries and below the geographic territory of Seminole County.’” Read Seminole County Oks Anti-Fracking Ordinance, Criticizes Tallahassee

Flagler Live reports – “Just eight months after declining to join the Flagler County Commission in opposition to fracking and seismic testing offshore, the Palm Coast City Council in a decisive turn-around Tuesday said it would support a resolution opposing fracking, and would seek to forward the resolution to the Florida Legislature and the Florida League of Cities…” Read In a Decisive Shift, Palm Coast Will Oppose Fracking On and Offshore, Citing Environment

Jim Turner reports for the News Service of Florida – “Money to restore the state’s natural springs has been attached to a proposal that would direct as much as $200 million a year to South Florida water projects. The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee supported an amendment…that would require at least $75 million a year to be budgeted for springs preservation….The House Appropriations Committee…approved a similar measure (HB 989) to fund South Florida projects. The bill, which does not include the springs funding, is ready for the House floor.” Read Springs Funding Added to Senate’s Everglades Fix

Manley Fuller writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “Florida has more national champion trees than any other state.…[T]he current administration in Tallahassee wants to let private companies come in and log our state parks. We’ve always had a little logging in state parks, but the purpose was always to restore native forest conditions- not solely to make a buck…It’s important to note that there are plenty of other places to harvest timber in Florida. The state, for example, allows timber companies to conduct bigtime logging operations on more than a million acres of our state forests…Our parks are rare remnants of our state’s vanishing wild heritage, something sorely  needed in the face of constant human development across the landscape. When we get weary from the crowded highways and strip mall landscape…[w]e need…places for…peaceful contemplation.” Read Leave Florida’s towering champion trees alone

Kate Bradshaw writes for Political Animal – “To help raise awareness of what they say are short-sighted, special interest-pandering environmental policies at the state level, environmental activists are planning demonstrations in state parks throughout Florida…First, there was Governor Rick Scott’s pitch that literally would have made it legal to install golf courses, resort facilities and all, in state parks, something the Tampa Bay Times called the ‘worst idea in history.’ Since then, there’s an effort to allow hunting, logging and even drilling in state parks. A bill in the legislature…would…allow residents to buy adjacent public lands if they promise not to develop anymore on the land they currently own. It would also apply money from Amendment 1…to…purchase…treatment and [transportation of water] from freshwater sources…to rapidly developing areas…(Never mind the…environmental impacts of sapping a population’s local water supply.)” Read Sierra Club plans Saturday protest against more state attacks on parks

Sun Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “Because of a few bad actors, the Florida League of Cities is marshaling a major assault on the state’s public records law, a move that could chill your right to know. Right now, if a judge finds that a state or local official illegally withheld public records from you, the only penalty they would face is paying your attorney fees. Now the league wants to make the recovery of attorney fees a maybe, rather than a must...If the judge finds you annoying, or is good friends with the mayor, what are the odds?...Rather than fix a bad bill on-the-fly or a bad law next year, better if lawmakers allow the league and open-government advocates to work together and come back with a proposal that works well for everyone.” Read Florida League of Cities goes too far, too fast

 

 

 

 

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.

 



Job Postings

The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking a staff or senior attorney – Southeast Endangered Species.

Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is seeking a Red Hills Awareness Program Manager


Petitions

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

 

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 .

If your nonprofit organization would like to be a vendor FOR FREE at Earth Day Pensacola 2016, scheduled to be held on April 23rd from 10-4 at Bayview Park, contact Mary Gutierrez at .

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

February 11-13 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. “Five Oceans, One Earth” is the 2016 topic. Find more information or register for the conference here.

February 13 – Participate in Save Our Parks, Statewide Day of Action. The Day of Action will include rallies, marches, and other events advocating against private, non-conservation uses in public lands including hunting, cattle grazing, timber harvesting, oil drilling, and more. Click here for more information.

February 13, 10:00 am – Attend the 23rd Party in the Park, the Treasure Coast’s first and foremost environmental festival, at Ft Piere Inlet State Park in Ft Pierce. The festival is free and includes food, activities for children and adults, and entertainment by Flint Blade.

February 15, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Citrus Springs. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or.

February 20, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Attend the Orlando Wetlands Festival at Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, FL for guided bird-watching excursions, native plant identification hikes, wilderness hikes, photo hikes, children’s activities, hay and bus rides, and more. Find more info here or call Orlando Wetlands Park at(407) 568- 1706.

February 20, 1:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Lakes Region Library inInverness. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or .

February 25, 11:30 am - Attend Pensacola to Paris and Back to learn about Earth Ethics’ Executive Director’s trip to Paris for the UN Climate Change Conference and about how we can move forward as a community and a nation. Event will be held at the downtown library located at 239 N Spring Street. RSVP by Thursday, February 18 to mary.earthethics@cox.net.

February 25, 5:30 pm - Join Earth Ethics, Inc. and the League of Women Voters of the Pensacola Bay Area for a viewing and discussion of Plastic Paradise at the Lucia M. Tryon Branch Library (1200 Langley Avenue).

February 28, 1:30 pm - Attend Amphibians & Seasonal Ponds Nature Walk with Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Director of the Herpetology Program at Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Drive, Venus. Dr. Rothermel will give a lecture and take participants on a short hike to view nearby seasonal ponds. Meet at the Learning Center. All ages are welcome. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking in a wet environment. Children and adults are welcome. For more information, contact  or call 863-465-2571 x233.

February 29, 7:00 pm – Attend Water Voices: “Up & Down with the Floridan Aquifer” at the Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. Geologist Jim Gross will present on the structure of the Floridan aquifer; on the connections between the aquifer, springs, drinking water, public health, and the economy; and on long-term trends in aquifer levels and pollution. For more information, call Lu Merritt at (386) 454- 0415.

March 1 – Participate in No Meat March. Take the pledge to go meat-free for 31 days and enjoy the support of an online community with many resources. Find more information here.

March 4, 7:00 pmWatch “This Changes Everything.” This critically acclaimed documentary explores the adverse impacts of climate change. For more information, contact Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net. To register, click here.

March 5, 10:00 am – Join the Florida Wildflower Foundation for an interactive edible plant walk at PEAR Park in Leesburg. You will get to taste, touch and smell some of the native plants growing in the native plant demonstration garden. Learn which are edible, which have medicinal properties, and which have cultural and historical importance. The event is free for members and $15 for non-members. Clickhere for more information.

March 5, 11:00 am – Attend Northeast Florida Veg Fest at Riverside Park inJacksonville. The day-long event will feature live music, dynamic speakers, cooking demonstrations, beer garden, kids’ zone, pie-eating contest, exceptional freebies, raffles, scavenger hunt, and much more! Find more information here.

March 5, 1:00 pmWatch “This Changes Everything.” This critically acclaimed documentary explores the adverse impacts of climate change. For more information, contact Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net. To register, click here.

March 15, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Dunnellon Branch of theMarion County Library in Dunnellon. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

March 16, 12:00 pm – Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Committee: A “Community Rights” Amendment for protecting human and ecological health. This webinar is part of The Center for Earth Jurisprudence’s Protecting Our Common Home series. For registration or further information, contact Sister Pat Siemen at. Please RSVP at least 48 hours before each program. Directions for participation will be sent to you.

March 19, 10:00 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Central Ridge Library inBeverly Hills. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

March 24, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Ocala Main Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

March 26, 10:30 am – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Freedom Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocala. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

March 30, 5:30 pm – Participate in a meet and greet for environmental nonprofitgroups in Pensacola. Each speaker will be given approximately 10 minutes to provide information on their group. The public is invited to attend. Please contact Mary Gutierrez, Executive Director of Earth Ethics, Inc., if you’re interested. Her e-mail is .

April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at the Forest Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at (352) 817- 8077 or .

April 6, 12:00 pm April 2, 2:00 pm – Attend Tri-county Working Group of Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club’s Water Works: Stand Up and Act Now at theReddick Branch of the Marion County Library in Ocklawaha. It is an interactive, presenter-led PowerPoint program that translates scientific facts into common language, detailing the specific impact of Florida’s and especially the tri-county’s (Citrus-Levy-Marion) water problems on jobs, property values, lifestyles, ecotourism and most importantly, our drinking water. For more information contact Gary Green at(352) 817- 8077 or  .

April 7, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Transportation: Rail, Mass transit, and other modes’ at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. At this event you will learn about carpooling, our current and future transportation system, and the possibility of rail coming back to Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 4.

April 17, 11:30 am – Attend a Lunch and Learn titled, ‘Energy: Solar and Wind’ at the Ever’mans educational center on Garden Street in Pensacola. If you plan to enjoy a $5 Ever’mans lunch, RSVP to Mary at mary.earthethics@cox.net by April 11.

April 20, 2:00 pm – Attend The Late Bloomers Garden Club’s Flower Show at The Garden Club of Jacksonville (1005 Riverside Ave). The show will include horticulture, photography, floral design, and a conservation education exhibit featuring wetlands. The juried show has judges coming from around the SE and is a Garden Club of America Flower Show. For more information or contact Leslie Pierpont at or (904) 388- 1506.

 

 

 

 

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).

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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 a 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

Support Sen. Altman's Amendment to Increase Florida Forever Funding

By Gladys Delgadillo 4 days ago

Support Sen. Altman's Amendment to Increase Florida Forever Funding

Dear FCC Members,
 
Tomorrow the Florida Senate will consider Florida’s 2016-2017 state budget. The current budget includes only $22.3 million for the acquisition of vital conservation lands through the highly successful Florida Forever program. At a time when Florida’s population is exploding, it is essential that our state protect its most important natural lands and waters by acquiring these lands outright or by purchasing conservation easements which prevent future development.
 
The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is advocating for the Legislature to return to the traditional $300 million allocation for Florida Forever, only a tiny fraction of which has been funded in recent years. To our dismay, this trend continued even after nearly 75% of those who voted in the 2014 election supported Amendment 1 to guarantee long-term funding for land acquisition.
 
But there is good news; Senator Thad Altman has filed an amendment to the budget which would bond the funds currently appropriated for Florida Forever. If adopted, Senator Altman’s amendment would authorize $222.6 million in bond proceeds from the Florida Forever Trust Fund for land acquisition through the Florida Forever program, bringing the total allocation for Florida Forever closer to the FCC’s goal.
 
We need your help to make sure this important amendment is adopted tomorrow.
 

Please call or email your Senator today and ask them to support Sen. Altman’s amendment restoring much needed funding for Florida Forever. To use our template, click here or see this attachment.

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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