The Associated Press reports – “[T]wo more endangered Florida panthers have been killed in vehicle collisions…[T]he remains of a 2-year-old female panther were recovered Friday, and the remains of a female panther kitten were recovered Saturday…[B]oth were killed in Lee County. So far this year, 34 panthers have been killed on southwest Florida’s roads. That’s up from 30 fatal collisions with vehicles in 2015. Only about 180 of the big cats remain in the wild.” Read Panther death toll on southwest Florida roads rises to 34
Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “CEPP, which was envisioned as a way to fast-track sending some excess Lake Okeechobee water south instead of to the St. Lucie River estuaries by building a project on land already in public hands, won’t be finished until at least 2030. And its effect on Lake O discharges will be limited. CEPP is designed to store, treat and send south about 65.2 billion gallons of water. More than 720 billion gallons of Lake O water was discharged this year…Congress’ approval of the water development act authorizes CEPP, but it doesn’t appropriate the money to pay for it…Ideally, Congress will make annual appropriations to the corps to pay for each step of the work. Meanwhile, the water district will be asking the state Legislature to pay the state share. Getting money through the federal pipeline usually takes about two years…Getting state money takes about a year. The first step…will be a “validation study to more specifically define CEPP’s scope and cost.” That should take place in fiscal year 2018. Designing and engineering the project will take a couple more years. Construction will begin in the south with removing obstacles to water flow…The final phase will be building a shallow reservoir…” Read Congress Oks bill with Everglades plan to move Lake Okeechobee discharges south
Jerry Iannelli writes for the Miami New Times – “[A]t last week’s Miami-Dade County Commission meeting…commissioners…shot down a simple resolution that would have supported [Sen. Negron’s sugar land purchase proposal.]…A similar resolution passed unanimously last year…[T]he county commission received a letter from the South Florida Water Management District’s president, Pete Antonacci. In his letter, Antonacci said the land buy was no longer a priority for the state and would conflict with the lake’s Integrated Delivery Schedule…Antonacci also met directly with members of the county commission to push that message…Joe Kyles- the mayor of South Bay..., a community that relies heavily on the sugar industry- claimed Levine Cava’s [resolution] would kill jobs in his small town.” Read Miami-Dade County Commissioners Refuse to Support Plan to Restore the Everglades
USA Today Network-Florida’s Editorial Board writes – “[G]iven recent developments, there may be more pressure this time around to approve [fracking.] The decision last month by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output almost certainly will spur efforts nationwide to increase domestic oil production. Additionally, President-elect Donald Trump favors the expansion of domestic drilling…Hydraulic fracturing…uses unknown chemicals and an enormous amount of water – a precious commodity in the Sunshine State…In a hopeful sign, new Florida Senator President Joe Negron…opposed the 2016 (fracking) legislation. ‘I voted against last year’s fracking bill because I did not think it adequately protected the environment,’ Negron said. ‘My guiding principle on fracking legislation is to protect the environment and safeguard our water resources.’…Sen. Gary Farmer…and Rep. Evan Jenne…have filed bills that would ban hydraulic fracturing…State Sen. Dana Young…has said she also plans to propose a statewide fracking ban…Keep fracking out of Florida.” Read Keep fracking out of Florida
Dinah Voyles Pulver reports for The Daytona Beach News-Journal – “Nearly 100 manatees died after collisions with boats in Florida waterways this year, including 12 in Volusia County- an all-time high for the state and county.” Read Boat-related manatee deaths hit new record in Florida, Volusia
Bob Mercer writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “Bob Knight got one thing right: We have an impending water supply crisis we need to address. But he suggests the Florida Legislature and agencies have done little to solve the problem…In addition to data collection, agencies have identified and prioritized issues and potential solutions that impact spring flow and water quality.” Read Progress in protecting our water resources
Andrew Gillum writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “If President-elect Donald Trump wants to know if climate change is real, he need look no further than communities across the great state of Florida…Climate change is a neighbor losing all their personal possessions due to floods. Climate change is a senior citizen struggling with the summer heat in a home without air conditioning. Climate change is a student missing school because an asthma attack sent her from homeroom to the emergency room. That’s why I support the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan…When fully implemented, the Clean Power Plan will generate $54 billion in annual climate and health benefits, and prevent up to 3,600 deaths nationwide. And if states like Florida include energy efficiency measures in their compliance plans, families can save more than $300 per year on their utility bills…[T]wo-thirds of Americans – and two-thirds of Floridians – support the Clean Power Plan…[W]e demand climate action.” Read Trump’s election shouldn’t stop climate action
Carl Hiaasen writes for the Miami Herald – “If you were the attorney general of Oklahoma, you’d be thrilled to go to Washington, D.C. – and not just for the opportunity to gut a federal agency that you despise. A bonus benefit of leaving that part of the Midwest is getting away from the many earthquakes caused by oil and natural gas operations…The New York Times found that energy lobbyists drafted…letters that Pruitt sent under his own name to the Interior Department, the Office of Management and Budget, and even President Obama…Now [Pruitt’s] been selected to shrink and enfeeble the EPA…The president who signed the agency into law was Richard Nixon, a Republican with no burning passion for environmental causes. Still there was a bipartisan understanding in Washington that most Americans…wanted clean air and clean water…” Read ‘Tool of the energy industry’ will run Trump administration’s EPA
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 15, 12:00 pm – Participate in 1000 Friends of Florida’s FREE webinar: Lake Pickett North: A Citizen Advocacy Success Story. The Orange County Board of County Commissioners’ vote on November 15 to deny a massive proposed development outside of the Urban Services Area provided a major victory both for the environment and for the citizen advocates who led the charge. For more information and to register, click here.
January 13 – Attend the 26th Annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference in Fort Myers. For more information and to register, click here.
January 28, 9:30 AM - Attend the 1st Nature's Spirit Conference hosted by the Pagan Environmental Alliance and the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches to discuss how science, belief in nature, and activism can tap into greater community involvement. For more information, click here.
January 29, 10:00 AM – Attend Southwest Florida Veg Fest in Fort Myers. For more information, click here.
February 15, 12:00 pm – Participate in 1000 Friends of Florida’s FREE webinar: Implementing Water 2070: Water Conservation Planning for Florida Communities. Dr. Pierce Jones, Director of the University of Florida’s Program for Resource Efficient Communities, will discuss water conservation planning for Florida’s communities based on a series of studies he’s conducted on behalf of the Toho Water Authority, Envision Alachua (Plum Creek), and other local governments, developers, and water authorities. For more information and to register, click here.
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