FCC News Brief - November 18, 2016

David Fleshler reports for the Sun Sentinel – “A controversial proposal to drill for oil in the Everglades…was rejected Wednesday by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection…” Read State rejects plan to drill for oil in Everglades near Miramar

Stephen Hudak reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “Orange County commissioners, peppered with emails from frustrated opponents of a controversial residential project, narrowly rejected a mega-development that would have added 1,999 homes in rural east Orange…Critics of the project, also known as “Sustany,” wanted the commission to put off a decision until December when Emily Bonilla replaces Ted Edwards on the board…Bonilla whipped Edwards in last week’s election, ousting the veteran commissioner who had supported both “Sustany” and “The Grow,” a companion mega-development on the east side of the Econlockhatchee River. The…Econ river…has served as the line between urban and rural life in east Orange for a quarter century…The Grow…was approved this summer despite protests…It will add 2,000 homes in east Orange and contribute millions for improvements on State Road 50 and Chuluota Road… [O]pponents…contend the urban-style development would destroy the rural character of their community, threaten bears and other wildlife and bring more traffic.” Read Orange County rejects controversial project east of the Econ River
Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “ ‘The EPA isn’t going to be abolished,’ said Nathaniel P. “Nat” Reed…, a longtime Treasure Coast environmentalist and former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. ‘But its efforts to combat climate change could be subject to intense review.’…Trump could try to ‘cut the hell out of the EPA’s budget,’ Reed said, ‘but he’ll need Congress to go along. Even though both chambers are now held by Republicans, the number of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate is really close. I don’t think any radical change in the agencies is going to happen.’…Agencies involved with environmental restoration need to emphasize how their projects benefit the country’s infrastructure, Reed said. For example: Projects to increase the flow of water to the Everglades and reduce the flow of polluted water to the St. Lucie River will help replenish the aquifers South Florida depends on for drinking water.” Read Trump threat to abolish EPA could affect Indian River Lagoon

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “ ‘A Trump administration will…work alongside you to restore and protect the beautiful Everglades…’ The soon-to-be 45th president of the United States went on to assure the crowd that dwindling water supplies in Florida, where he owns three golf courses, would be protected. ‘Our plan will…help you upgrade water and wastewater- and you know you have a huge problem with wastewater- so that the Florida aquifer is pure and safe from pollution…We will also repair the Herbert Hoover dike…’…Trump is the first developer to occupy the White House. Everglades restoration…is essentially a giant infrastructure job. And many of the solutions to climate change in South Florida come down to construction: raising roads, fortifying coastlines and updating flood controls… ‘This is water infrastructure,’ said Eric Eikenberg… ‘It costs billions and employs thousands of jobs, just like the infrastructure he’s talking about…’ Trump has vowed to slash environmental regulations, revive the sagging coal industry and increase drilling- moves that could make Everglades restoration a moot point…Whether Trump means what he says remains to be seen. In 2009, he was among 55 CEOs and prominent people to back a full-page New York Times ad urging Obama and Congress to act on climate change…Trump…appointed David Bernhardt to oversee the transition of the Interior Department. Bernhardt…represents drilling and mining interests fighting the government on endangered species protections and environmental regulations.” Read What will a Trump presidency mean for Florida’s environment?

Naples Herald staff reports – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported the death of another Florida panther…as the result of a vehicle crash. The adult female was discovered in Collier County…This is the 37th Florida panther death in Southwest Florida this calendar year and the 29th known to be the result of a collision with a motor vehicle. FWC reports that only 14 newborn panthers are known of this year.” Read Crash Claims 37th Florida Panther of 2016

Jimmy Orth writes for The Florida Times Union – “Florida’s waterways are suffering from significant pollution problems, such as fertilizer runoff, poorly treated municipal and industrial wastewater, toxic chemicals and failing septic tanks. Combined with the impacts from a rapidly growing population, we have a potential recipe for disaster…[T]he St. Johns Riverkeeper is releasing  new documentary, “Troubled Waters,” this Sundayevening at 6:30 on WJXT Channel 4. The film highlights…the politics that are undermining our environmental protections and the impending water crisis that we face. More importantly, it serves as an important call to action…[W]e often act as if [water] is an infinite commodity that can be exploited and used indiscriminately. We simply cannot afford to continue to sacrifice our valuable water resources for the politics of the moment and the fortunes of a few.” Read Documentary targets Florida’s endangered waterways

Mitch Perry reports for Florida Politics – “U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham is speaking out critically about the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, after she reviewed public records regarding the massive sinkhole at Mosaic’s facility… ‘Unless there are records that were not produced as required by law, the disclosures show an alarming lack of communication among state regulators about a threat to the health and safety of Florida families and our environment,’ said Graham in a statement. ‘I am very concerned that we had a watchdog agency asleep at the wheel.’” ReadGwen Graham still not satisfied after receiving DEP records about sinkhole

Amy Green reports for WMFE – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved 13 new Critical Wildlife Areas.” ReadNew Protected Areas for Florida’s Imperiled Birds




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.



URGENT: Reschedule the Lake Pickett North Development Hearing!

Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

Now or Neverglades Declaration

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

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

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

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state


Upcoming Environmental Events

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

November 19, 11:00 am – Attend North Florida Land Trust’s Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival at Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station in Jacksonville. There will be a great lineup of “Brewgrass” music outside on the marsh and an array of food trucks and local brews. You can also sign up for a guided kayak tour or guided hike around the island. Click here to purchase tickets.

December 1-2 – Attend the rescheduled Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. FRC includes 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, along with more than 80 industry product and services exhibitors. For more information, click here.

December 6, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center, 99 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643. December’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. For more information, click here.

December 14, 12:45 pm – Come learn about irrigation improvements for homeowners in The Villages. The meeting will take place in the Belvedere Library. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.



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About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 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

Founder and Chairman, Bob Graham; Vice-Chairmen, Nathaniel Pryor Reed & Lee Constantine