John Vidal and Oliver Milman report for The Guardian – “Just days after the historic Paris agreement officially came into force, climate denier Donald Trump’s victory has thrown the global deal into uncertainty and raised fears that the US will reverse the ambitious environmental course charted under Barack Obama…Trump has called climate change a ‘hoax,’ placing him virtually alone among world leaders on the validity of the science. The real estate magnate has promised to embark upon a four-year process of withdrawing the US from the Paris deal and has targeted the billions and billion and billions’ given to UN climate programs and clean energy development. Domestically, Trump has promised to reboot America’s ailing coal industry, as well as expand gas and oil drilling…He also plans to scrap Barack Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan, which is the main policy designed to lower US emissions. Recent analysis by Lux Research estimated that a Trump presidency would raise US greenhouse gas output by 16% by the end of his second term, should he get one, compared to a Hillary Clinton administration. Such a shift could prove key in not only pushing the world towards dangerous climate change but also dissuading other nations from making the required cuts in emissions…Segolene Royale, the French environment minister who helped negotiate the Paris accord told journalists in Marrakech that the US could not withdraw from the treaty easily. ‘The Paris agreement prohibits any exit for a period of three years, plus a year-long notice period, so there will be four stable years,’ she said. ‘We must be extremely attentive and responsive to each time there is an attempt made to weaken this agreement,’ she said…Zou Ji, deputy director general at China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, said: ‘China’s climate strategy and policy is in accordance with China’s national interest, and is not dependent on the US presidency.’” Read Paris climate deal thrown into uncertainty by US election result
The Trust for Public Land shares – “Voters across the nation approved local and state ballot measures providing more than $6 billion for land conservation, parks, and restoration…Many of the ballot measures called for tax increases or bonds… - Donald Trump…won the state of Florida and overwhelmingly carried Lee County and Brevard County. On the same ballot, Lee County voters gave 84-16% approval and Brevard County voters 62-38% approval for measures to provide funding for land conservation and restoration. In Alachua County, Florida, voters picked Hillary Clinton…and also approved by 60-40% a ½-cent sales tax for parks and protecting environmentally sensitive land.” Read Voters Approve Billions for Local Parks and Natural Areas
Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Regional water managers are in negotiations to swap a yet-to-be-disclosed amount of conservation land within the Herky Huffman/Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area with a local rancher to improve flood control and water quality in the St. Johns River. But those who hunt, boat and view wildlife there were having none of it… Swapping unique habitat and hunting grounds ‘for swampland’ to turn into pasture for cattle would be ‘sacrilegious,’ Rosenfield (a longtime member of the Florida Trail Association) [said.]…Appraisals are underway…and are expected back by Dec. 12. The earliest the deal would go before the district’s governing board is at their regular meeting Jan. 10 or Feb. 14…The Bull Creek Wildlife Area is stomping grounds for several endangered or threatened species, including the Florida panther, the red-cockaded woodpecker, the gopher tortoise and the Eastern indigo snake…The land provides flood protection in storms, as well as hunting, fishing, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, camping, canoeing and wildlife viewing.” Read Nature lovers weigh in on idea of Bull Creek land swap
Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “Florida voters rejected Amendment 1…, the utility-backed measure to limit rooftop solar expansion…[U]tilities are likely to turn next to the Florida Legislature, or the Public Service Commission, to push through proposals that weaken the state’s net metering laws that allow homeowners to be reimbursed for the excess energy their solar panels generate, and end tax rebates to solar customers.” Read Florida voters say no to misleading solar amendment
Bruce Ritchie reports – “In the Senate district around Gainesville, Republican state Rep. Keith Perry won against former state Sen. Rod Smith…The national League of Conservation Voters targeted Perry for defeat in the race, labeling him one of its national “dirty dozen” at the state level. In response, Perry’s campaign pointed out that Florida Conservation Voters previously gave Smith low marks for his environmental record when he served in the Senate…[S]tate Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez defeated Republican Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla..The Sierra Club and Bullsugar.org endorsed Rodriguez, who was one of only two representatives to vote against a water bill, SB 552…Rubio easily defeated U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who had the backing of groups including the Sierra Club, Environment Florida and the Everglades Trust…And former republican Gov. Charlie Crist…defeated Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly…Crist, who touted action on climate change while as governor…was endorsed by the Sierra Club and Environment Florida…Environmental groups and FloridaStrong also targeted Rep. Dana Young for defeat because of her support for the fracking regulation bill and water bill. She easily defeated lawyer Bob Buesing, who was endorsed by environmental groups…Rep. Matt Caldwell…easily fended off Democrat challenger John W. Scott, a local Sierra Club activist…Caldwell was targeted by the Sierra Club, the Everglades Trust and Bullsugar.org…” Read Some wins, some losses for enviro-backed candidates in legislative races
Ryan Ray reports for The News Service of Florida – “Despite some changes to reassure the business community, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection continued to hear objections…to a pollution-notification rule…Within 24 hours after the initial public notification, according to the revised language released Friday, the responsible parties would have another day to release specifics of the pollution’s likely effects. The revisions also specify exactly how the news media would have to be notified… ‘This is, I think, an undue burden on these companies…We feel like notifying DEP and letting DEP notify the local governments would be the best course of action,’ said Tisha Keller of the Florida Trucking Association. David Childs, representing the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Water Environment Association Utility Council, stressed that the department should notify the public, as it has ‘toxicologists, biologists and communications staff, as well as the bully pulpit of the executive branch of state government,’…Despite the ongoing concerns, the department has indicated it will continue according to its plan to begin finalizing the rule immediately after 5 p.m. Wednesday, when a public comment period formally ends.” Read Pollution notification plan continues to draw objections
Rick Stafford writes for The Conversation – “For many years, many commercially important fish have been unsustainably caught, and today many of the world’s commercial fisheries are on the verge of collapse…Several studies foresee that the majority of the ocean will be occupied by little more than a combination of jellyfish and plastic waste…Since most commercially caught fish are predators, fishing and shark finning are resulting in a rapidly decreasing number of predators in the marine ecosystem. Our research success that this removal of predators is likely to lead to an increase in ocean ecosystems’ CO2 production, and ultimately that fishing and shark finning are contributing to climate change.” Read How overfishing and shark-finning could increase the pace of climate change
TC Palm Editorial Board writes – “The Florida Department of Environmental Protection…takes samples for testing only if blue-green algae is observed in the water…Here’s the rub: While the blue-green algae may be gone, their toxins may still be present…[T]esting should be a routine occurrence- regardless of the visible presence of blue-green algae…[R]esidents who play, win and fish in our waters deserve a measure of confidence that toxins are not present at unsafe levels.” Read State agency should conduct routine testing of Treasure Coast waterways
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
September – November – Participate in The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2016. For more information and to sign up, click here.
November 12, 8:00 am – Participate in Rethink Energy Florida’s 5K Energy Run/Walk 2016. The race will be followed by an after party and awards at Township by Madison Social. For more information and to register, click here.
November 12, 8:30 am – Join Tom Morris and Dave Wilson for the Florida Springs Institute November Outing to the Alapaha Dead River. On this outing, we will hike through a lovely hardwood forest and explore some of the most breathtaking geology in Florida. For more information and to register, click here.
November 12-13, 9:00 am – Attend Ocali Country Days at the Silver River Museum in Ocala. Visitors will experience the Florida of yesteryear with Living History exhibits highlighting life during the 1800s. There will be bluegrass, blues & old time music; tram tours of the State Park; Hands-on Activities for kids; Old Time Puppet Shows; Folk Craft Demos & Vendors; great food, funnel cakes, and kettle corn; a Civil War Cannon Firing Demo; and more.
November 15, 3:00 pm Attend The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expeditions: Movie and Lecture in Ocala. Carlton Ward, Jr. will describe the first Florida Wildlife Corridor trek. Then The Forgotten Coast will be aired. Afterwards, there will be closing commentary and time for Q&A with the executive directors of The Conservation Trust and the Florida Wildlife Corridor. For more information and to register, 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.
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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.
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