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FCC News Brief - June 24, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 7 hours ago

FCC News Brief

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

June 24, 2016

 

Angie Schmitt writes for Streets Blog USA – “Information about [TBX’s] finances is hazy, and Florida DOT has proven that its traffic projections for toll road projects are worthless…If the highway widenings are built, Governor Rick Scott’s state DOT will seize properties to ram through the new lanes. Of the residents who’ll be uprooted, 80 percent are black or Latino…Sprawling development is sure to follow. ‘You would see a weakening of the trend toward the revitalization of in-town neighborhoods and instead new housing stock farther and farther from the urban core,’ said Thomas Hawkins of the smart growth advocacy group 1000 Friends of Florida.” Read Massive Highway Expansion Threatens to Destroy Tampa Neighborhoods

Caitlin Johnston reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization voted 12 to 4 shortly after 2 a.m…to keep the divisive $6 billion road project known as TBX…in its long-term funding plans…[There has been] mounting opposition from Central Tampa neighborhoods and groups like 1,000 Friends of Florida…An estimated 500 people flooded the county’s headquarters…[S]peakers opposed to the project outnumbered those in favor by a 2:1 ratio…Some of the challengers sported T-shirts and pajama pants, while many of the champions stood in suits and ties…[S]tudents, entrepreneurs and teachers spoke out against the project while executives and former DOT officials advocated for its continuation. ‘These are people who are paid to be here…,’ Seminole Heights resident and business owner Nikki Rice said… ‘It is time now to consider your constituents.’…[P]ublic comment lasted seven hours…TBX will add…toll lanes to 90 miles of previously free roads…When traffic in the main lanes is at its worst, it could cost…$2 to travel a single mile in the express lane…[T]he…vote allows the project to move forward, but in no way…prevents officials from opposing it in the future…DOT has told local officials that if they remove TBX from Hillsborough’s long-range plan, the billions the state would allocate for the project…would be used to add toll lanes to highways in other parts of Florida.” Read In wee hours, Hillsborough leaders approve Tampa Bay Express, keep it in long-term plan (w/video)

Naples Daily News reports – “An endangered Florida panther [was] struck by a vehicle near Ave Maria…[P]anther deaths are on a record-setting pace. The FWC has found 21 roadkill panthers, mostly in Southwest Florida, out of a total of 26 overall panther deaths reported.” Read Florida records its 21st roadkill panther death for 2016

Chad Gillis reports for News Press – “Florida will not allow black bear hunting in 2016…Human-bear conflicts are at the heart of the decision, although the state admitted prior to last year’s hunt that hunting bears does nothing to reduce the number of human-bear conflicts in an area…Maria Bolton-Joubert…said many FWC commissioners have a conflict of interest because they work in the real estate and development industries. She…added that she and others are working to change state laws to require FWC commissioners be elected instead of appointed by the governor…Whitey Markle with the Florida Sierra Club said he thinks the hunt is part of an overall plan to further develop Florida. Gov. Rick Scott, Markle said, wants to push out wildlife to make room for more gated communities and shopping malls… ‘When we hear estimates that aren’t final, I’m not sure that is good enough for the people of Florida,’ said Bergeron, the only FWC commissioner to vote against both the black bear hunt and the state’s equally controversial panther position paper.” Read No Florida black bear hunt this year

Amy Coombs reports for EOS – “As climates change over the next century, many species of plants and animals will be forced to change their habitat ranges to survive. According to the first continent-wide geospatial study of climate connectivity- a measure of the migratory routes between warm and cool zones- only 2% of the eastern United States contain the connected green space needed for animals to find new homes… ‘The East Cost is in dire shape because habitat is already in very small patches,’ says study author Jenny McGuire… ‘By tracing connectivity across coastal and mountainous regions, we can see areas where restoration work would significantly expand connectivity in the East’ [said Ackerly of the University of California, Berkeley.]” Read Habitat Fragmentation Prevents Migration During Climate Change

Robert Walton reports for Utility Dive – “Florida Power & Light has proposed purchasing a…coal-fired plant it has contracts with for the next nine years, shutting it down and saving customers $129 million in the process, SNL Energy reports…Closing down the…facility…would halt more than 657,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, FPL said.” Read Florida Power & Light proposes buying and shuttering 330 MW coal plant

First Post writes – “Under the Paris agreement, all parties, including regional economic organizations like EU and their member states, each member state individually and the EU as a whole, will be responsible for the allocated emission level. Brexit…[means] that EU, as well as Britain, has to notify its revised pledge. This would mean renewed consultations with the remaining 27 EU countries…[The Paris agreement will enter into force] when 55 parties to the Convention, accounting for at least an estimated 55 per cent of the total GHG emissions, have ratified the protocol…China and the US together account for nearly 40 percent of global GHG emissions. The EU, which has a 10 percent share, is therefore key to making the Paris agreement work. The process of revising pledges is likely to delay this at a time when urgency and ambition to address climate change is of paramount importance…[R]ight wingers who are doggedly fighting…immigration are not far from the likes of Australia’s Tony Abbott or Canada’s Stephen Harper- who had just walked out of the Kyoto Protocol- 15 years after its implementation began.” Read Brexit: Referendum results may impact Paris climate change agreement

Sumter County Times reports – “At its June meeting the (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation) Commission recommended staff move forward with efforts to establish a suite of new Critical Wildlife Areas and modify five existing CWAs. CWAs are established by the FWC…to protect important wildlife concentrations from human disturbance during critical periods of their life cycles, such as breeding, feeding or migration…All of the proposed CWAs would protect shorebirds, seabirds or wading birds except the Withlacoochee Caves, which would protect southeastern myotis and tricolored bats….Staff are working with landowners, stakeholders and partners like Audubon Florida to further develop the proposed boundaries and closure dates. The FWC will also hold public workshops…” Read FWC moving forward with statewide conservation effort

 

 

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.


Petitions

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

Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

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

June 25, 2:00 pm – Attend “The Beautiful Life of a Dead Tree: The Most Important Tree in the Woods,” a presentation by Jim Stevenson (Florida Springs Expert), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

June 25, 4:00 pm - Attend Green Hands Sustainability Fest at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Enjoy live music, food trucks, non-profit outreach, and kids’ activities. At 8:30 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.

June 26, 4:00 pm – Attend Green Hands Sustainability Soiree at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. There will be a wine and cheese reception and live music from Chelsea Saddler. At 6:00 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.

July 5, 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 July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

July 25, 7:00 pm – Attend “Why Aren’t Florida’s Water Laws Protecting Florida’s Water?” led by two attorneys, Heather Culp (Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute) and Traci Deen (Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School). The event will be held at High Springs New Century Woman’s Club in High Springs and is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call (386) 454- 0415.

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

 

 

 

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 - June 23, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 1 day ago

FCC News Brief

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

June 23, 2016

 

Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “In a surprise move, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted 4-3 late Wednesday  to hold off on having a second bear hunt later this year…Leading the charge for the delay…was Commissioner Ron Bergeron, who was the lone no vote last year… ‘We have to do what’s best for the bears,’ he said, urging the staff to provide scientific answers to some of the questions raised during the hearing, as well as seeing how better garbage-can management and habitat protection may work out. He said he wanted to ensure the state was allowing the hunting of bears that were excess to the habitat, not just allowing hunting for the sake of hunting…Elizabeth Fleming of Defenders of Wildlife, who had urged commissioners to hold off on a second hunt for a year, said the way the first hunt went had hurt the agency’s credibility. By waiting a year, the commissioners showed that they are listening to the public and paying attention to the need for other measures to deal with the bear population, Fleming said…[She] said she’s sure that next year the commissioners will be even more determined to schedule a hunt for 2017.” Read Good News, bears! No hunting for you in Florida this year

Gray Rohrer reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “There will not be a state-sanctioned bear hunt this year…The 4-3 vote came after more than eight hours of public testimony at the meeting in the Panhandle town of Eastpoint, with most speakers opposed to a second bear hunt in as many years. Opponents of the hunt said it isn’t necessary and although numbers are increasing in the state, bears are still an imperiled species in Florida… ‘The problem in Florida is not an excess of bears but an excess of trash,’ said Kate MacFall, Florida state director of the Humane Society…Other anti-hunt speakers insisted…more studies and examinations of bear population estimates are needed…FWC is providing grants to communities to help provide bear-resistant trash cans, banning harvesting palmetto berries…on state lands and increasing warnings for homeowners who fail to secure garbage cans…” Read No bear hunt this year, state officials say

Jeff Gill reports for Gainesville Times – “A trial is set to begin Oct. 31 over allegations that Georgia residents are drinking up too much water before the resource reaches Florida…However, the case won’t reach that stage if the states settle out of court. Florida and Georgia have said they’re actively engaged in mediation efforts.” Read Oct. 31 trial date set in Georgia-Florida water wars case

Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “Algae blooms in the St. Lucie River are getting more numerous, and a massive bloom in Lake Okeechobee apparently is getting more toxic.” Read Massive Lake Okeechobee algae bloom getting more toxic

Nuclear Street News reports – “Florida Power & Light (FPL) said that it had reached an agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection through a detailed Consent Order that finalizes a long-term plan to remove hypersaline water from underneath and near the cooling canal system at the Turkey Point Power Plant 20 miles south of Miami…The plan is expected to cost FPL $50 million in the first year alone.” Read Florida Power & Light, State of Florida, Have Plan to Refresh Canal System

Susan Salisbury reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Florida Power & Light Co.’s $1.33 billion rate increase will come totally from its customers, and the company is seeking to raise various fees as well as the amount it charges for electricity to accomplish that.” Read FPL rate case: Customer service charge could increase 27 percent

Tom Randall reports for Bloomberg – “The way we get electricity is about to change dramatically, as the era of ever-expanding demand for fossil fuels comes to an end- in less than a decade. That’s according to a new forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that plots out global power markets for the next 25 years. Call it peak fossil fuels, a turnabout that’s happening not because we’re running out of coal and gas, but because we’re finding cheaper alternatives. Demand is peaking ahead of schedule because electric cars and affordable battery storage for renewable power are arriving faster than expected, as are changes in China’s energy mix…The costs of wind and solar power are falling too quickly for gas ever to dominate on a global scale…Already, in many regions, the lifetime cost of wind and solar is less than the cost of building a new fossil fuel plants, and that trend will continue. But by 2027…building new wind farms and solar fields will often be cheaper than running the existing coal and gas generators…Without additional policy action by governments, global carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector will peak in the 2020s and remain relatively flat for the foreseeable future. That’s not enough to prevent the surface of the Earth from heating more than 2 degrees Celsius...” Read The World Nears Peak Fossil Fuels for Electricity

Richard Conniff writes for The New York Times – “[C]onservatives used to be almost by definition conservationists, focused on preserving our shared heritage from destructive influences...Theodore Roosevelt [and other wealthy big game hunters] went on to save the bison from extinction, greatly expand the national park system, and help establish both the National Wildlife Refuge System and the United States Forest Service. The Lacey Act, still our most important law against wildlife crime, was largely their doing…[M]ost of the credit for protecting [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] belongs to Dwight D. Eisenhower, who also signed the nation’s first air pollution control law. Richard M. Nixon…[established] the Environmental Protection Agency and [enacted] the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act…George H.W. Bush…began to take conservation in a new market-based direction, pushing through a cap-and-trade system…that enabled industry to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, which causes acid rain, far more quickly and cheaply than anyone imagined possible. So what does it take to bring conservatives back, after a quarter-century of their reflexively treating even the mention of environmental issues as a treasonous attack on business and the nation?” Read Dear Conservatives, You Can Go Green Again

 

 

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 North Florida Land Trust is seeking a Land Protection Specialist

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


Petitions

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

Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

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

June 23, 6:30 pm – Attend Tampa Climate Justice Committee Potluck & Politics Movie Night at 3105 W Waters Ave, Tampa, FL 3314-2865 Suite 107. The featured movie is “This Changes Everything,” which presents portraits from Montana’s Powder River Basin, the Albert Tar Sands lands, the coast of South India, etc. For more information, contact Debbie King at (813) 500- 1763 or debbie@organizeflorida.org

June 25, 2:00 pm – Attend “The Beautiful Life of a Dead Tree: The Most Important Tree in the Woods,” a presentation by Jim Stevenson (Florida Springs Expert), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

June 25, 4:00 pm - Attend Green Hands Sustainability Fest at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Enjoy live music, food trucks, non-profit outreach, and kids’ activities. At 8:30 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.

June 26, 4:00 pm – Attend Green Hands Sustainability Soiree at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. There will be a wine and cheese reception and live music from Chelsea Saddler. At 6:00 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.

July 5, 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 July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

July 25, 7:00 pm – Attend “Why Aren’t Florida’s Water Laws Protecting Florida’s Water?” led by two attorneys, Heather Culp (Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute) and Traci Deen (Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School). The event will be held at High Springs New Century Woman’s Club in High Springs and is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call (386) 454- 0415.

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

 

 

 

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 - June 21, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 3 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

June 21, 2016

 

Eric Staats reports for the Naples Daily News – “Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists recommended…that the state hold another bear hunt in 2016 but with new restrictions…Under [the] recommendation, set for a June 22 vote by the FWC board, the state would reduce the area open to bear hunting to match areas where human-bear conflicts…are most common…New rules also would prohibit hunting a bear with any other bear present…further restrict hunting near game feeding stations; limit the number of bear permits; and improve enforcement by requiring hunters to tag bears immediately…The FWC did not release more specifics…about the new proposed number of permits or about whether the state would reduce the number of bears that could be killed…Instead of all the hunters being allowed to hunt for the length of the season, hunters would be divided into three hunt periods from Oct. 21-24, Oct. 26-29 and Oct. 31-Nov. 3…Hunters…would be allowed to hunt in only one hunt zone…Defenders of Wildlife Florida program director Elizabeth Fleming said Florida should take a one-year hiatus from bear hunting to more thoroughly evaluate bear populations and the 2015 hunt…Florida Wildlife Federation President Manley Fuller said bear hunting should be allowed in 2016 only in parts of the state where the FWC is able to complete a more detailed bear population sustainability analysis.” Read FWC biologists recommend ‘more conservative’ Florida black bear hunt for 2016

My Palm Beach Post Editorial Board writes – “The basic problem with black bears isn’t a bear problem at all. It’s a people problem -1,000 people moving into Florida every day, needing more houses and stores and roads, and shrinking the bears’ habitat. No wonder that in certain areas, bears are poking around residents’ backyards. But the fix isn’t to give gun enthusiasts and trophy hunters another field day. It’s to spread the use of bear-resistant garbage cans and to create black bear sanctuaries…Heed the scientists. We want to be sure that black bears still exist in this state during our children’s and grandchildren’s lifetimes.” Read Heed scientists before forging ahead with another bear hunt

Sun Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “[W]e strongly encourage the (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation) commission to nix the idea of another hasty (bear) hunt…It’s…worth noting that commissioners in Seminole County, who oppose the hunt, said bear interactions have noticeably declined since they passed an ordinance in December that sets rules for trash containers and leaving food outdoors…[A]gainst the voices of elected leaders, come the calls of the National Rifle Association…which want another hunt and more hunting days, too…Florida doesn’t need another bear hunt, especially when the first did little more than shine a negative spotlight about bears being killed here, including mother bears that were lactating. The best way to reduce any problem with nuisance bears is to better educate the public and enforce the use of bear-proof trash containers. Rather than lock and load on another bear hunt, the FWC should hit the pause button, better assess the bear population and amp up public education. Before aiming to kill, let’s first try an ounce of prevention.” Read No need for another bear hunt

News4Jax reports – “Conservationists, animal advocates, and other grassroots activists [gathered] in over 28 cities across Florida…on June 18 to protest the state’s bear hunts. The advocates insist that last fall’s hunt…proceeded despite widespread objection from citizens, scientists and local leaders…The FWC has released updated bear population data, but the information was collected prior to the hunt so it does not take into account bears…killed as part of the hunt. The Florida Wildlife Federation has stepped up and recorded its opposition to a 2016 bear hunt. In addition, six counties—Seminole, Volusia, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Miami-Dade and Alachua—and fourteen cities—…have all passed resolutions or proclamations opposing the bear hunt. But the authority of the FWC surpasses local ordinances. According to animal advocates, in addition to the 304 bears killed in the hunt last year, another 243 were killed by vehicles and 129 were killed by the FWC. They said those numbers do not include cubs orphaned by the hunt or deaths by natural causes. The advocates assert that bears need attractant control, not population control… ‘Instead of another bear hunt, we need beefed up enforcement and stiffer fines for people that feed bears directly or leave attractants such as unsecured trash, bird feeders, fallen fruit or pet food accessible to bears,’ the advocates said…” Read Protests of bear hunt planned in 28 cities

The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “The FWC should take heed of the outpouring of criticism, wait for better information about the bear population and reject another bear hunting season this fall.” Read No more bear hunts in Florida

The Gainesville Sun reports – “The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department has three grants to help support local springs protection and water conservation efforts…Grants from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Suwannee and St. Johns River Water Management Districts will go toward two rebate programs. The first program provides $105,000 for incentives for the State’s voluntary Florida Water Star certification program…The second rebate program has a total of $300,000 for property owners who replace irrigated turf with Florida Friendly Landscaping.” Read New grants support water-saving efforts

Melissa Ross reports for Florida Politics – “The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is out with a new report detailing the state, county, and local voting changes- proposed or implemented- during the past three years since the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder. The report…looks at how states and counties with a history of racial discrimination have responded since the high court decision, which essentially invalidated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. That section required certain jurisdictions with a history of chronic racial discrimination in voting to submit all proposed voting changes to the U.S. Department of Justice for a federal court in Washington, D.C. for pre-approval…In 2014, Florida’s Governor sought to reinstitute a purge of purported non-citizens from the state voter database, as he attempted to do in 2012…The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated allegations that an appointed white city clerk in Sopchoppy...suppressed Black voters in a June 2013 election by questioning their residencies with no reasonable basis…In Jacksonville…the Board of Elections in 2013 relocated a polling place that served large numbers of Black voters in the City to a less accessible area…In 2013, Hernando County adopted a plan to close and consolidate voting locations, with a focus on the neighborhoods of the City of Brooksville.” Read ‘Democracy Diminished’ report outlines potential threats to voting in Florida

Rosalie Chan reports for TIME – “Researchers in Iceland found a new way of tackling climate change by pumping carbon dioxide underground and turning it into stone. Other carbon capture and storage (CCS) methods store CO2 as a gas, but problems include a high cost and concern about leakage. This new method…is cheaper and more secure…Already, the project in Iceland has been increased in scale to buy 10,000 tons of CO2 each year. One potential difficulty is that for each ton of CO2 buried, the technique requires 25 tons of water. However, Juerg Matter of the University of Southampton in the U.K., who led the research, said seawater could be used.” Read Researchers Turn CO2 Into Stone in Climate Change Breakthrough

 

 

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 North Florida Land Trust is seeking a Land Protection Specialist

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


Petitions

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

Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

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

June 22, 8:30 am – Attend the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Meeting where bear management and the possibility of another bear hunt will be discussed. The meeting will take place at the Franklin County School Gymnasium in Eastpoint. Click here, for the agenda.

June 25, 2:00 pm – Attend “The Beautiful Life of a Dead Tree: The Most Important Tree in the Woods,” a presentation by Jim Stevenson (Florida Springs Expert), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

June 25, 4:00 pm - Attend Green Hands Sustainability Fest at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Enjoy live music, food trucks, non-profit outreach, and kids’ activities. At 8:30 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.

June 26, 4:00 pm – Attend Green Hands Sustainability Soiree at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. There will be a wine and cheese reception and live music from Chelsea Saddler. At 6:00 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.

July 5, 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 July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

July 25, 7:00 pm – Attend “Why Aren’t Florida’s Water Laws Protecting Florida’s Water?” led by two attorneys, Heather Culp (Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute) and Traci Deen (Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School). The event will be held at High Springs New Century Woman’s Club in High Springs and is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call (386) 454- 0415.

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

 

 

 

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 - June 20, 2016

By Gladys Delgadillo 4 days ago

FCC News Brief

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

June 20, 2016

 

Janelle Irwin reports for the Tampa Bay Business Journal – “The group 1,000 Friends of Florida is joining the growing list of organizations and businesses rejecting the Tampa Bay Express transportation plan being considered next week. The statewide nonprofit, aimed at building better communities and saving special places, emailed a letter to the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization…cautioning the group against adding the plan to its list of annual transportation priorities. The letter…lays out three areas of concern: harm to existing neighborhoods, facilitation of sprawl and ineffective reductions to traffic congestion.” Read Statewide nonprofit asks officials to reject TBX transportation plan

Kate Kowsh reports for The West Volusia Beacon – “Looking to gain more insight from the public on whether to hold another bear hunt, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission…released a…survey…Although FWC staff has already recommended a ‘more conservative and accountable hunt beginning in 2016,’ they say they will also take into account survey results before making a decision…Take the bear-hunt survey here.” Read Bear-hunt survey released for public’s input

Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “A state council [considered] whether to further study five new proposals to conserve more than 62,000 acres across the state… ‘We really must keep up with…constant growth with continued conservation,’ Cornell (Southwest Florida policy associate with Audubon Florida) said. ‘We need to finish the conservation already on the books.’ Among the proposals…is a conservation easement on 37,495 acres, much of it owned by the Weyerhaeuser Co., in eastern Alachua County. The county…voted down the company’s proposal to develop on 3,380 acres because of environmental concerns…Tim Jackson, a director within…Weyerhaeuser, said the company would consider an exchange of land for conservation as part of a larger deal involving a land swap for property with the county to develop a jobs center…In eastern Franklin County, the state [considered] the purchase of 17,042 acres along Ochlockonee Bay…The Ashleys…said…development along the Ochlockonee Bay would destroy habitat for black bears and other wildlife…Don Ashley told POLITICO…that the purchase would provide a conservation link between Bald Point State Park and Tate’s Hell State Forest…In Lee County, the state [considered] the purchase of 2,841 acres of farmland adjacent to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuarty. Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott remarked during a Cabinet meeting on a visitor who recorded her encounter with Florida panther on a boardwalk in the…sanctuary, operated by Audubon.” Read Study proposed for large Alachua, Franklin conservation land buys

The Gainesville Sun writes – “Even as Tropical Storm Colin bore down on our region this week, sprinklers could be seen watering lawns in the Gainesville area…Wasteful lawn watering might not be the biggest misuse of water…but it can be the most frustrating. The Alachua County Commission has taken aim at the problem with new irrigation rules. The new rules…cover new or substantially renovated irrigation systems on homes and businesses in the unincorporated county…Of course, some homes in the unincorporated county use wells that mean they pay for just the electric costs of running their pump rather than municipal water bills. That shows the need for additional measures that encourage water conservation in Florida…” Read Saving water and ultimately money

Lauren Ritchie writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “Vicious fliers about Lake County Commissioner Jimmy Conner, fabricated and paid for by an unknown source, have been dropping into the mailboxes of voters, and more are expected from the cowards as election season heats up. Theoretically, residents ought to be able to learn the identity of the political heavy hitter behind the mailers. Theoretically. But thanks to lame campaign laws and enforcement that is focused on bureaucratic detail rather than the spirit of the statue, the cowards who mailed these…fliers are getting away with dumping tens of thousands of dollars anonymously into a local race…Conner was the deciding vote in a 3-2 split to deny Cemex permission to mine sand…The laws governing campaign finance in Florida need a tweak. No PAC should be able to contribute to another.” Read Whoever’s behind the Conner attacks should ‘fess up

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “ ‘Because we had so much rain, it should have been plenty of water to provide to the bay, but it just points again to the fact that the infrastructure is not there,’ said Audubon Florida biologist Jerry Lorenz. ‘It points to the inability of the Water Management District infrastructure to supply Florida Bay with its needed water supply.’” Read Florida Bay seagrass die-off sets stage for spiraling problems

Kimberly Mitchell writes for the Naples Daily News – “[A]ccording to a 2012 report by RTI International, commissioned by The Everglades Foundation, about 76 percent of the phosphorus entering and polluting the Everglades is from agriculture, including sugar production. Meanwhile, only 24 percent of phosphorus cleanup costs are paid by agriculture- sugar producers included.” Read Everglades protection must prevail against sugar industry

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster reports for Florida Politics – “U.S. Sugar officials are pushing back after a guest editorial…said sugar producers are part of the reason why efforts to build reservoirs south of Lake Okeechobee have been postponed…Malcolm “Bubba” Wade, Jr., the senior vice president for corporate strategy and business development for U.S. Sugar [said,] ‘ We have and continue to support the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP)…’… ‘What we have said is that state scientists will not know how much additional storage will be needed until currently planned projects are built and operating…[T]he fact is, there are already 120,000 acres of formerly productive farmland that are now in public ownership for water storage and restoration efforts, and the use of these lands has not been maximized by the government yet.’…Draper (executive director of Audubon Florida) said environmental groups, like Audubon Florida, are just trying to encourage the South Florida Water Management District to begin planning storage projects south of Lake Okeechobee. The planning process would be the first step in a years long process, but Draper said agencies have said they don’t plan to begin planning until 2020.” Read U.S. Sugar pushes back over claims cane industry is to blame for postponed water projects

 

 

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 North Florida Land Trust is seeking a Land Protection Specialist

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


Petitions

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

Save Conservation Land Surrounding Gemini Springs

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

June 22, 8:30 am – Attend the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Meeting where bear management and the possibility of another bear hunt will be discussed. The meeting will take place at the Franklin County School Gymnasium in Eastpoint. Click here, for the agenda.

June 25, 2:00 pm – Attend “The Beautiful Life of a Dead Tree: The Most Important Tree in the Woods,” a presentation by Jim Stevenson (Florida Springs Expert), at 2043 Capitol Circle NW, Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact Michael Kelly at (229) 225- 6530.

June 25, 4:00 pm - Attend Green Hands Sustainability Fest at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Enjoy live music, food trucks, non-profit outreach, and kids’ activities. At 8:30 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.

June 26, 4:00 pm – Attend Green Hands Sustainability Soiree at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. There will be a wine and cheese reception and live music from Chelsea Saddler. At 6:00 pm, the documentary “Tapped” will be screened. This documentary discusses the economic and environmental impact of the bottled water industry.

July 5, 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 July class will focus on springs biology: algae, plants, wildlife. For more information, click here.

July 25, 7:00 pm – Attend “Why Aren’t Florida’s Water Laws Protecting Florida’s Water?” led by two attorneys, Heather Culp (Associate Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute) and Traci Deen (Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School). The event will be held at High Springs New Century Woman’s Club in High Springs and is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call (386) 454- 0415.

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

 

 

 

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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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