FCC News Brief - December 16, 2016

James Call reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “[FDOT] wants 43 acres of Wakulla Springs State Park to widen Crawfordville Highway…The project elevates the highway six feet…and includes four storm water drainage ponds…[T]he Wakulla Springs Alliance (WSA) and five other groups object to [including] storm water drainage ponds on a karst plain near the iconic Wakulla Springs…(WSA’s) McGlynn notes that Tallahassee has spent more than $200 million reducing the flow of nitrates into the spring. He can’t understand why anyone would agree to build holding ponds that will add more nitrates…to Wakulla Springs…WSA members and others from the Apalachee Audubon Society, Audubon Florida, Defenders of Wildlife, Florida Wildlife Federation, Friends of Wakulla Springs drafted a joint letter to the ARC listing their concerns and suggesting ways minimizing the impact on the region’s wildlife and springs…The group [wants] DOT to build wildlife underpasses for deer, bear and gopher tortoises to cross underneath U.S. 319… ‘This is exacerbating the habitat fragmentation through a public lands corridor that begins in the Apalachicola National Forest in Leon and runs through Wakulla Springs State Park and continues down to the coast and the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge,’ said Kent Wimmer, of the Defenders of Wildlife.” Read 43 acres of Wakulla Springs State Park sought for Crawfordville Highway project

Maggy Hurchalla writes for my Palm Beach Post – “Someone needs to point out that former Pahokee Mayor J.P. Sasser’s view of Everglades Restoration is a mythological beast…Here are the facts: 1. CERP…has always required buying a large amount of land south of Lake O. Without that land for storage, treatment and conveyance, Everglades’ restoration won’t work, Miami’s water supply will more rapidly go salt…2. The unfinished reservoir…was designed to give most of the stored water to sugar growers, and less water to the everglades than CERP called for. It did not include water quality treatment. It was an expensive mistake in the wrong place.” Read Negron on right track for Everglades restoration

Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel – “Climate change…[means] it will take more water – and potentially more taxpayer money- to save the Everglades, according to new scientific findings…[Restoration] is expected to get harder as sea-level rise pushes more saltwater into the Everglades and rising temperatures accelerate evaporation of water supplies during prolonged droughts. To compensate, more water-storage alternatives should be added to Everglades restoration plans…Even with those changes, the committee warns that the looming effects of…climate change may require a re-examination of long-term Everglades restoration goals…[S]ea level rise by 2 feet by 2100 would bring more saltwater that changes what lives and grows on the southern end of the Everglades. ‘It may be that there’s no amount of water that can keep the southern end of the Everglades the way that it is now,’ said University of Florida professor Karl Havens…” Read Everglades’ water at risk from sea-level rise, scientists say

The Herald Tribune Editorial Board writes – “Efforts to protect endangered species in Southwest Florida recorded some impressive gains recently, and also some disheartening losses. The gains were made in this year’s record-breaking sea-turtle nesting season…The losses have come in…the steadily increasing number of Florida panthers killed by motorists…Urban development and agriculture in Collier and Lee counties and in South Florida have restricted the panthers’ habitat and access to food sources. A year ago, nine Florida members of Congress – including Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key- called for the federal government to establish a “critical habitat” designation for the Florida panther. That designation would heighten environmental scrutiny of federal projects…that could impact publicly owned panther lands. A renewal of that effort in Congress- along with reduced speed limits and increased enforcement on roads that cross the panthers’ habitat- appears to be essential if the dwindling species is to avoid another record year of losses.” Read Endangered species’ gains and losses

The Bradenton Herald Editorial Board writes – “Ill-considered, rampant sprawl threatens our clean water supply and, in turn, agriculture and tourism…Manatee County Commissioners recently approved changes in the Land Development Code to shift away from the old suburban-oriented customs and instead encourage redevelopment along the county’s six urban corridors, where expensive infrastructure already exists…Florida Forever…which had preserved 2.5 million acres while receiving some $300 million annually, first began hemorrhaging money in 2008 and only get a fraction of the once robust allocation. In retaliation, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in 2014 that dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars annually into land acquisition and restoration projects.” Read Clean water supply vital to Florida’s future growth but state lacks vision

Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency would be bad for the country and devastating for Florida, say state and local environmentalists…Florida is the state most at risk of sea level rise and climate change, Draper said. ‘Not dealing with the issue…will cause billions of dollars in damage and property loss…’…Along the Treasure Coast, the first effect of sea level rise will be saltwater contamination of aquifers…The EPA can determine what bodies of water are covered under the federal Clean Water Act, and there’s a real risk that a Pruitt-led EPA could remove federal protection for tens of thousands of acres of wetlands in Florida, Draper said.” Read Environmentalists recoil at Trump’s choice to lead EPA

Juliet Eilperin reports for The Washington Post – “President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke, who has represented Montana’s at-large congressional seat for one term, to serve as secretary of the Department of the Interior…A lifelong hunter and fisherman, the 55-year old Zinke has defended public access to federal lands even though he frequently votes against environmentalists on issues ranging from coal extraction to oil and gas drilling. This summer, he quit his post as a member of the GOP platform-writing committee after the group included language that would have transferred federal land ownership to the states…He has…pushed for full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund…Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said the congressman’s ‘brief political career has been substantially devoted to attacking endangered species and the Endangered Species Act,’…” Read Trump taps Montana congressman Ryan Zinke as interior secretary

Rob Jordan reports for Stanford News – “A major opportunity for avoiding climate change’s worst impacts lies in reducing methane emissions, particularly from food production, according to a pair of new studies.” Read Methane from food production could be wildcard in combating climate change, Stanford scientist says

 

 

 

 

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.

 


Petitions

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

 

 

Job Openings

CEJ Staff Attorney

 

 

Upcoming Environmental Events

January 3, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs. January’s lecture is on Springs Biology. For more information, click here.

January 11, 12:45 – Attend the Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library Community Room. John Wilchyski will talk about the Butterfly Works farm and Maia McGuire, from the University of Florida, will discuss micro-plastics. Maia will bring microscopes so the audience can see what is in their drinking water. For more information, and to RSVP, contact resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

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 7, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs. February’s lecture is on Springs Stresses: Groundwater Pumping, Fertilizers, Wastewater Disposal, & Recreation. For more information, click here.

February 9-11 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference: Land Conservation: The Worth of the Earth at the University of Florida. 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.

 

 

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 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



Search Daily News Briefs below: