FCC News Brief - September 20, 2019

Read Birds are vanishing from North America - “The skies are emptying out. The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970, scientists reported on Thursday. There are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago. The analysis, published in the journal Science, is the most exhaustive and ambitious attempt yet to learn what is happening to avian populations. The results have shocked researchers and conservation organizations. In a statement on Thursday, David Yarnold, president and chief executive of the National Audubon Society, called the findings “a full-blown crisis.” Experts have long known that some bird species have become vulnerable to extinction. But the new study, based on a broad survey of more than 500 species, reveals steep losses even among such traditionally abundant birds as robins and sparrows. There are likely many causes, the most important of which include habitat loss and wider use of pesticides. “Silent Spring,” Rachel Carson’s prophetic book in 1962 about the harms caused by pesticides, takes its title from the unnatural quiet settling on a world that has lost its birds: “On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of other bird voices, there was now no sound.” Kevin Gaston, a conservation biologist at the University of Exeter, said that new findings signal something larger at work: “This is the loss of nature”…The new study was not designed to determine why birds are disappearing, but the results — as well as earlier research — point to some likely culprits, Dr. Rosenberg said. Grassland species have suffered the biggest declines by far, having lost 717 million birds. These birds have probably been decimated by modern agriculture and development. “Every field that’s plowed under, and every wetland area that’s drained, you lose the birds in that area,” Dr. Rosenberg said...” Carl Zimmer reports for the New York Times

Read Lee County buys last piece of historic Mound Key for $860k - “The Lee County Commission voted Tuesday to buy the last privately owned slice of Mound Key, a centuries' old man-made island in Estero Bay considered one of the most prized archaeological and culturally significant sites in Florida.  The county's 20/20 conservation program will pay $860,000 for the last 9.5 acres remaining in private ownership. Most of the 113-acre island has been owned by the state since the early 1960s and is designated as the Mound Key Archaeological State Park. Described by some as the silent monarch of Estero Bay, Mound Key combines natural environmental significance with a rare glimpse of what Florida was like before Europeans arrived on the North American continent. The man-made island served as the cultural center for the Calusa, a Native American people that dominated the culture of Southwest Florida from the 16th century until the mid-1800s...Commissioners voted unanimously to buy the property, ending on-and-off negotiations dating back more than a decade...Mound Key's rich environment includes an abundance of wild animal species. Significant black, red, white and buttonwood mangroves thrive on the island. A black mangrove-rimmed area where the Calusa held ceremonies is considered one of the more significant relics of life on Mound Key…” Bill Smith reports for the Fort Myers News-Press.

Read Cabinet could OK conserving more than 3,500 acres in Putnam County - “Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet next week are scheduled to consider land deals that could help conserve more than 8,100 acres in Walton and Putnam counties. The three proposed deals, which involve the state purchasing conservation easements, would cost about $7.6 million. Conservation easements restrict future development while often allowing landowners to continue using property for such things as agriculture. The proposals include two deals in Walton County that are part of a broader conservation effort known as the Seven Runs Creek Final Phase Florida Forever project. One of the proposals involves paying $2.42 million to Nokuse Education, Inc. for a 2,436-acre conservation easement, according to an agenda for the Sept. 24 Cabinet meeting. The other Walton proposal involves paying $2.315 million to the Stella Davis 2015 Plantation Trust for a 2,133-acre conservation easement. The targeted land in Putnam County is part of a broader conservation effort known as the Etoniah/Cross Florida Greenway Florida Forever project. The proposal calls for paying $2.873 million to Wetland Preserve, LLC, for a 3,562-acre easement.” From the News Service of Florida.

Read Cut down trees? Pay up, Tampa says. Good. - “The city of Tampa has sent exactly the right message by imposing the largest fine possible for the destruction of dozens of trees on Gandy Boulevard. This is what happens when state lawmakers intrude into local territory with a needless, sloppily written law that all but bars cities and counties from preventing the wholesale clear-cutting of trees. Tampa should aggressively defend its tree protections and work with other local governments to halt this abuse. As the Tampa Bay Times’ Charlie Frago reported Wednesday, tree advocates protested last month when loggers chainsawed more than two dozen trees at a dilapidated trailer park in South Tampa. A new state law that took effect July 1 bars local governments from requiring an application, permit or fee for the removal of a dangerous tree on residential property. But this week, the city served notice it is seeking $420,000 in fines from the property owner, Life O’Reilly MHP, LLC, and an equal amount from Miller & Sons, LLC, the company whose arborists signed off on the tree clearing at 3011 W. Gandy Blvd...Local governments across Florida are grappling with ways to salvage their tree ordinances in the face of this blanket assault. The Tampa case goes to a magistrate in October. The Castor administration should be commended for strongly defending a natural resource that provides shade, cleaner air and flood protection. Cities and counties need to hold property owners to the letter of this bad law. And they need to compile their horror stories for the next legislative session. The new state law is an invitation to scar every Florida community and should be repealed…” From the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.

Read Vero Beach wastewater treatment plant will move off Indian River Lagoon, council says - “ Council unanimously agreed at Tuesday's meeting the plant, built at its current location in 1977, needs to be moved, preferably to city-owned land at the Vero Beach Regional Airport. The topic has been discussed frequently among city officials and the public, but Tuesday was the first time since 2007 the council took official action on moving it.  The move could cost up to $51 million in capital costs, city officials said. That option is more expensive than if the city spent at least $24.2 million to refurbish the existing plant, located on the southeast corner of Indian River Boulevard and 17th Street. Something needs to be done with the plant, said the city’s Waterand Sewer Director Rob Bolton, who asked the council for some direction.  A 2018 study by Kimley Horn and Associates evaluated the plant as in "fair to poor" condition, with about half of its service life remaining, Bolton said… "I have one goal in this, and that is to get the environmental threat off the river," said Councilman Harry Howle. Resident Brooke Malone said the city needed to take the lead in ensuring its wastewater plant was off the river and using the latest technology available. "This coastline is suffering. We have an infrastructure that is aging," she said. "We can sacrifice a lot of other things, but to save our environment first is probably pretty important…” Colleen Wixon reports for the Treasure Coast Newspapers.

Read Sanibel’s reclaimed water facility to get major upgrade, reduce nutrient discharge - “For years, we thought reclaimed water was good for the environment. It turns out there’s a potential it can actually cause more harm by contributing to problems like red drift algae. Now, the City of Sanibel is using new research to clean up used water. James Evans, Sanibel’s director of natural resources, says if not used carefully, reclaimed water can load nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen into our waterways. “We look at reused water, reclaimed water as an asset to our community,” Evans said. “But if it’s not treated to a high enough standard, what can happen is it can actually be a liability.” The island’s Donax Water Reclamation Facility is responsible for treating wastewater and it will soon get an upgrade. “The end result of this project will remove the nitrogen and phosphorous by approximately 50 to 70 percent, so that means the water that’s sent to our golf courses, our condominiums, and other properties throughout the island,” Evans said...The City says the two-year upgrade project is expected to be completed in March 2021…” Stephanie Byrne and Derrick Shaw report for Wink News.

Read Company asks $500,000 for county park land it scooped up at auction - “A company that bought a piece of a park at auction for less than $25,000 now wants Broward to pay a half-million dollars for the land, county officials said. Its other option: Fork over $6,000 a month in rent to use the property...Broward park officials first learned of the 2018 land purchase at West Lake Park in Hollywood in July, when No Trespassing signs went up on two hiking trails that cut through the private property. The county took down the signs and make-shift fencing that had been put up, and the company — Dorado Bells LLC — threatened to sue if park visitors kept walking on its land, county officials said. The land had been put up for auction by the county because the previous owner had not paid taxes on the property for several years. The auction was handled by the county’s tax division, which did not notify parks officials about the land being put up for sale... Clive Taylor, a board member of the Hollywood Historical Society, is infuriated over what he calls "the epitome of greed.” “Why would you want to do that to the people of Broward County?” Taylor asked. “Your legacy is you took a piece of environmentally sensitive land and you’re holding it hostage ..." Most of the private parcels date back a century, said Taylor, who has researched the park’s history. The land was offered to investors by Hollywood Land Co. developer Joseph Young, whose plans to build a dream city were dashed by a 1926 hurricane and the Great Depression, Taylor said. It wasn’t until the 1940s and 1950s that portions of the land in other sections of Hollywood started being developed, he said. By the time the land that now makes up West Lake Park was considered for development in the 1970s, a new force had emerged in the county. “At that time, luckily for us, environmentalism kicked in,” Taylor said. In exchange for allowing the development of West Lake Village, the rest of the property was turned over for use as a park...Some of the small-time investors and their descendants never sold their properties. Taylor said. Some keep paying taxes on the property, thinking that eventually the land will be developed — like everything else in South Florida — and that there’ll be a profit for them. Others think it’s a novelty to be able to say they own swamp land in South Florida, he said... Taylor said the county should have had a process in place, so that it acquired the land when it became available…” Larry Barszewski reports for the Orlando Sentinel.


From Our Readers

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Job Openings:

Associate Director - Center for Earth Jurisprudence

Botanist - The Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI)/Florida State University

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Upcoming Environmental Events:

September 20th - 4:00-6:00pm - Pensacola Climate Strike - (Pensacola) - Join 350 Pensacola, Healthy Gulf and millions around the world for a global climate strike. On September 20, people will walk out of school, work, and home to join young climate strikers demanding an end to the age of fossil fuels and action on climate change. Inspired by our youth but including all ages, we will gather for music, art, and inspiring words from local climate leaders. Meet at Plaza de Luna, 900 S. Palafox St., Pensacola. The presentation is part of a regular series of events and presentations on climate change and related issues sponsored by 350 Pensacola. For more information: 350pensacola@gmail.com or the Facebook event page here.

September 23rd – 1:00pm- 5:00pm – Alachua County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Gainesville) – Attend the Alachua County Delegation meeting at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall, 3000 NW 83rd St E-127, Gainesville, FL 32606. For more information, contact McGuire.Suzanne@flsenate.gov.

September 23rd - 2:00pm-3:30pm - Union County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Lake Butler) - Attend the Union County Delegation meeting at the Lake Butler City Commission Chamber, 200 SW 1st St., Lake Butler, FL 32054. To participate in the delegation meeting, email Rep. Payne’s office at Tammy.Still@myfloridahouse.gov before 3:00pm September 19.

September 23 - 4:30pm-6:30pm - Bradford County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Starke) - Attend the Bradford County Delegation meeting at the Bradford County Commission Chamber, County Courthouse, 945 N Temple Ave, Starke, FL 32091. To participate in the delegation meeting, email contact Rep. Payne’s office at Tammy.Still@myfloridahouse.gov before 3:00pm September 19th.

September 23 - 2:00pm-4:00pm - Citrus County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Inverness) - Attend the Citrus County Delegation meeting at the Citrus Board of County Commissioners’ Chamber Room, Citrus County Court House, 110 N. Apopka Avenue, Inverness, FL. To participate in the delegation meeting, email Adele Hembree at Adele.Hembree@myfloridahouse.gov before September 2nd to request an appearance form.

September 23 - 1:30pm - Desoto County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Arcadia) - Attend the Desoto County Delegation meeting at the DeSoto County Commission Board Room, 201 East Oak Street, Arcadia, FL 34266. Email Anne Bell for additional information Anne.Bell@myfloridahouse.gov.

September 23rd– 4:00pm – Gulf County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Port St. Joe) – Attend the Gulf County Legislative Delegation meeting in the Administration building, 1000 Cecil G. Costin Sr. Blvd, Port St. Joe, FL. For more information contact Senator Montford’s legislative assistant, Varna Mitchell, at Mitchell.Varna@flsenate.gov or 850-487-5003.

September 23rd – 6:00pm – Franklin County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Apalachicola)  - Attend the Franklin County Legislative Delegation meeting at the County Commission Meeting Room, 34 Forbes St., Apalachicola, FL.

September 23 - 5:30pm-8:00pm - Lagoon Straight Talk - (Cocoa Beach)- Join the Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition for the ‘Lagoon Straight Talk’ event at the Courtyard Marriott, Cocoa Beach. Speakers include MJ Waters of the BIRLC, Senator Debbie Mayfield, Virginia Barker, Jim McKnight, and Duane DeFreese discussing topics such as “People, Pollution, the Problem”, wastewater treatment upgrades, and funding solutions. There will be a Q & A session with panel members following presentations. Light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Questions to be submitted in writing by audience members. Registration and additional information: https://www.facebook.com/BIRLC .

September 24th – 9:00am – Indian River County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Vero Beach) – Attend the Indian River County Delegation meeting at the Indian River County Commission Chambers, 1801 27th St, Vero Beach, FL 32960. Additional information forthcoming.

September 24th, September 25th - 9:00am - 4th FDEP Blue-Green Algae Task Force meeting - (Naples) - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is hosting the fourth and fifth meetings of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force. The key focus of the Task Force is to support funding and restoration initiatives, such as prioritizing solutions and making recommendations to expedite nutrient reductions in Lake Okeechobee and the downstream estuaries. Due to Hurricane Dorian, the fourth meeting was rescheduled to Sept. 24. This meeting will cover public health and stormwater regulations as planned. The following day, the fifth meeting will focus on discussing the task force’s recommendations. Both agendas will be available on the Task Force website. Meetings to be hosted at Florida Gulf Coast University, Kapnick Center, 4940 Bayshore Drive, Naples FL 34112.

September 25 - 2:00pm-6:00pm - Brevard County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Cape Canaveral) - Attend the Brevard County Delegation meeting at the Canaveral Port Authority Commission Room, 445 Challenger Road, Cape Canaveral FL 32920. To participate in the delegation meeting, email complete the Appearance Request Form here before 5:00pm September 10th. For more information, email Lindsey Swindle at Swindle.Lindsey@flsenate.gov.

September 25 - 2:00pm-4:00pm - Putnam County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Palatka) - Attend the Putnam County Delegation meeting at the Board of County Commissioners Board Room, 2509 Crill Ave, Suite 200, Palatka FL 32177. Stay tuned for contact information and speaker request forms.

September 25th – 10:30am CST – Holmes County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Bonifay) – Attend the Holmes County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners, 107 E. Virginia Avenue Bonifay, FL. Public testimony during the Legislative Delegation Meetings is welcome. To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Legislation Delegation meetings, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainer’s district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, September 13th.  

September 25th -  2:15pm CST – Jackson County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Marianna) – Attend the Jackson County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Jackson County School Board Chambers, 2903 Jefferson Street Marianna, FL.. To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Jackson County Legislation Delegation meeting, please email brad.drake@myfloridahouse.gov or ann.mcgraw@myfloridahouse.gov or contact Rep. Drake’s district office at (850) 951-0547 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, September 13th. 

September 25th – 9:00am CST – Walton County Legislative Delegation meeting – (DeFuniak Springs) – Attend the Walton County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Walton County Board of County Commissioners, 76 North 6th Street DeFuniak Springs, FL. Public testimony during the Legislative Delegation Meetings is welcome. To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Walton County Legislation Delegation meeting, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainer’s district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, September 13th.

September 25th – 11:45am CST – Washington County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Chipley) – Attend the Washington County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Washington County Board of County Commissioners building, 1331 South Blvd. Chipley, FL. To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Washington County Legislation Delegation meeting, please email brad.drake@myfloridahouse.gov or ann.mcgraw@myfloridahouse.gov or contact Rep. Drake’s district office at (850) 951-0547 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, September 13th. 

September 28th - National Public Lands Day - (Statewide) - In celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day and National Public Lands Day, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection invites Florida residents and visitors to volunteer at events in Florida’s state parks, aquatic preserves and national estuarine research reserves Sept. 21-28, 2019. Sept. 21 is International Coastal Cleanup Day, the world’s largest volunteer effort to help protect oceans, lakes and rivers, and Sept. 28 is National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands.DEP will join partners in offering statewide beach and trail cleanups, exotic plant removals, native plantings, and informational sessions throughout the week to promote volunteerism and encourage the preservation of Florida’s natural resources. Find a National Public Lands Day event near you.

September 30th - October 2nd- Public Land Acquisition & Management (PLAM) Partnership 2019 Conference - (St. Augustine) - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is proud to announce the Public Land Acquisition and Management (PLAM) Partnership Conference. This statewide conference focuses on public land acquisition and management issues in Florida. PLAM has typically been hosted on a rotating basis by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the five water management districts. The conference will be held at the World Golf Village Renaissance Resort (500 S Legacy Trail, St. Augustine, FL 32092). WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Local, regional, state, federal, non-profit and private land managers; Land acquisition specialists and agents; Water managers; Engineers, planners, attorneys, surveyors, appraisers, architects; Public officials; Non-profit groups; Consultants; Others interested in conservation land planning. Registration coming soon. For more information, click here.

October 1st – 1:00-5:00pm (CST) – Bay County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Panama City) – Attend the Bay County Legislative Delegation meeting at the  Bay County Government Building, 840 W 11th St., Panama City, FL 32401. To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Bay County Legislation Delegation meeting, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainer’s district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4:00 p.m., Friday, September 20.

October 2nd – 9:00am – Manatee County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Bradenton) – Attend the Manatee County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Manatee County Commission Chambers, 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL. To be placed on the agenda, please contact Meagan Hebel at meagan.hebel@myfloridahouse.gov no later than noon on Wednesday September 25th.

October 3rd - 9:00am-12:00pm - Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation meeting - (West Palm Beach) - Attend the Palm Beach County Delegation meeting at the Norton Museum of Art, 1450 Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach FL 33401. To be placed on the official agenda of a Delegation hearing, presenters must have completed a Participation Request Form and have submitted all printed materials to the delegation office by Noon, seven (7) business days prior to the scheduled hearing. Fifteen (15) copies of printed material should be submitted to be included in the Members’ hearing folders. Anyone interested in addressing the Legislative Delegation at a Public Hearing should call the Delegation Office at 561-355-3452 or email vnowlan@pbcgov.org. The deadline for submission of local bills to the Delegation Office is September 20, noon. Click here for the Hearing Information Sheet for the 2020 session for instructions on how to be placed on the official agenda and/or the presenter request form.

October 7th – 5:30pm-7:00pm – Escambia County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Pensacola) - Members of Escambia County’s State Legislative Delegation will hold a public hearing at the Pensacola State College Jean and Paul Amos Performance Studio, 1000 College Boulevard Pensacola, FL. 32504. Delegation members will consider local bills, hear presentations from government entities, and take public testimony on proposals for the 2020 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature. Any member of the public is welcome to attend. To request an appearance form to be placed on the meeting agenda, individuals should contact Senator Doug Broxson’s office at (850) 595-1036 or email: brown.kevin@flsenate.gov no later than 5 p.m., Wednesday, October 2, 2019.

October 8th – 8:00am-11:00am – Charlotte County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Punta Gorda) – Attend the Charlotte County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950. To be placed on the agenda, email Cynthia.beckett@myfloridahouse.gov before 4:00pm on October 1st, 2019. For more information, see meeting notice here.

October 9th - 1:30pm - Lake County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Leesburg) -Attend the Lake County Delegation meeting at the Paul P. Williams Fine Arts Auditorium, Lake-Sumter State College, 9501 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg, FL 34788. To participate in the delegation meeting, complete the public speaker request form here before September 18th. Email Rachel Barnes for additional information: BARNES.RACHEL@flsenate.gov.

October 9th - 4:00pm- Nassau County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Yulee) - Attend the Nassau County Delegation meeting at the Nassau County Commission Chambers, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, Florida 32097. Stay tuned for contact information and speaker request forms.

October 10th - 6:30pm-8:30pm - Follow the Ichetucknee - (Lake City) - Mark your calendars now for an informal celebration of the Ichetucknee at Halpatter Brewing Company, 264 NE Hernando Avenue, Lake City, Florida 32055. Admission is free! You'll enjoy: Viewing new and newly scored videos about the Ichetucknee by collaborators Eric Flagg and Michael Amish; Meeting directors and members of the Ichetucknee Alliance; Socializing with people who love the Ichetucknee; Tasting craft beer and munching on pizza; Exploring our interconnections with the aquifer, the Ichetucknee, and each other; Finding out what you can do to help restore, protect and preserve the Ichetucknee. We are thrilled that the generous proprietors of Halpatter have offered their venue for this event. Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. There's also information about this event on our Facebook page here.

October 10th - 2:30pm - Clay County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Green Cove Springs) -Attend the Clay County Delegation meeting at the Clay County Commission Chambers, 477 Houston St. Green Cove Springs, FL 32043. To participate in the delegation meeting, complete the public speaker request form here before 3:00pm October 8th. Email Tammy Still for additional information: Tammy.Still@myfloridahouse.gov.

October 11th - 8:00am-11:00am - Pasco County Legislative Delegation meeting - (New Port Richey) - Attend the Pasco County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Performing Arts Center at Pasco-Hernando State College West Campus, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654. This annual public meeting is an opportunity for citizens, elected officials, cities and local government, and other civic organizations to address the delegation before the start of the 2020 Legislative Session. If you would like to be placed on the printed agenda, please contact Representative Mariano’s Office at alexander.alt@myfloridahouse.gov or (727) 861-4806, by noon on Friday, October 4, 2019. You may also complete a Speaker’s Form on the day of the meeting and you will be afforded time to speak in the order in which it was received. Please submit or bring seven (7) copies of all handouts to the meeting for distribution.  If you would like more information regarding this meeting, please contact Alexander Alt by email (at the above listed email address) or call (727) 861-4806.

October 11th-13th - 2nd Annual Festival of Flight & Flowers - (Eustis, Lake County) - Returning again this year, the Festival of Flight and Flowers weekend will provide visitors and local residents access to professionals and experts that specialize in native plants, outdoor recreation, wildflowers, bird and butterfly watching, and much more around Lake County Florida.  This year we are lucky to have Birding by Bus join us as our Keynote Speakers and special trip leaders. The weekend comprises of a one day festival on Saturday, October 12, in downtown Eustis, Florida, surrounded by field trips, conservation walks, and bird watching throughout Lake County, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We have biologists and nature experts leading the way on guided immersive field trips all over Lake County allowing you to experience Real Florida, as well as educational lectures and presentations all day on Saturday. For more information, visit the website here.

October 15th - 2:00-4:00pm - Environmental Discussions Group of Manatee County - (Bradenton) - The Environmental Discussions Group of Manatee County will hold its next program at the Braden River Library meeting room, 4915 53rd Ave. E, Bradenton, FL 34203. We will host two speakers from Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department. They will visit to describe the habitat of gopher tortoises. Also, they will discuss the plans for conversion of overgrown land at Rye Preserve to a scrub and flatwoods habitat. That type of habitat is prime for the gopher tortoises and the wildlife their burrows support. Be sure to attend to see the exciting surprise display our speakers have planned. The meeting is open to all. Please send an r.s.v.p. to resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

October 30th - 9:00AM - Collier County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Naples) -Attend the Collier County Delegation meeting at the North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livinston Rd. Naples, FL 34109. The agenda will be released to the news media on Thursday, October 17, 2019, to allow the citizens of Collier County ample time to prepare comments if they so desire. If you would like to be placed on the agenda as a presenter of a local bill or local budget request, or to speak to another issue, please contact the office at (239) 417-6200 or Priscilla.Grannis@myfloridahouse.gov by Friday, October 11, 2019. For more information, review announcement here.

October 30th – 9:00am- Lee County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Fort Myers) – Attend the Lee County Legislative Delegation meeting at Florida Southwestern State College, Nursing Building (Room AA-177), 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33919. The deadline to request placement on the meeting agenda for a general presentation before the Delegation is 5:00pm on Monday, October 21, 2019. All requests to be placed on the agenda must be submitted in writing to State Representative Dane Eagle, Chairman, Lee County Legislative Delegation, 1039 SE 9th Place, Suite 310, Cape Coral, FL 33990, or by email to dane.eagle@myfloridahouse.gov.

November 18 – 1:00pm-4:00pm – Hernando County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Brooksville) – Attend the Hernando County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Hernando County Government Center, 20 N Main Street, Courtroom A, 2nd Floor, Brooksville, FL 34601. Additional information will be forthcoming.

November 19th – 9:00am-12:30pm – Osceola County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Kissimmee) – Attend the Osceola County Legislative Delegation meeting  at the Osceola County Administration Building 1 Courthouse Square, 4th Floor, Commission Chambers Kissimmee, FL 34741. Members of the public wishing to address the delegation (limit of 3 minutes) must request a place on the agenda by submitting the Presentation Request Form.  Forms and materials may be submitted in person or via mail to: 231 Ruby Ave. Suite A, Kissimmee, FL 34741, fax: (407) 846-5011 or email to Beatriz.Marte@MyFloridaHouse.gov. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 8, 2019.

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.

Petitions

Stop South Florida's Sewage Sludge from Polluting the St. Johns River!

Stop Giving Away Florida’s Water

Save Lake County-Say NO to the Round Lake Road Extension

Save the Heritage Trees at Martin Luther King Jr. Park - Winter Park

Help Save Our Panthers

Thinking of going electric? Nextcar Pledge

Another Gulf is Possible

Save the Serenova Tract in Pasco – Say NO to the Ridge Road Extension

Florida Solar Bill of Rights

Protect Florida’s Gulf Coast from Offshore Drilling

Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

We hope you enjoy this service and find it valuable. Our goal is to provide you with the latest and most relevant environmental news for Floridians. 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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About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 80 conservation-minded organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.  

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