Cody Dulaney reports for News Press – “Lee County…Commissioners unanimously adopted…the federal and state legislative platforms for 2017, and most of the state agenda deals with water quality and land conservation.” Read Lee County sets focus on water quality, land conservation in 2017
Sean Kinane reports for WMNF – “Construction of the Sabal Trail oil pipeline continues in north…and central Florida;…there have been two people arrested during…protests…Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson of the Sierra Club says…one activist was arrested in Gilchrist County and another near the Suwannee County city of Live Oak…[J]osh Peebles…came as a navy veteran… ‘he walked across the highway…and the police arrested him for jaywalking…Gilchrist County, there was another situation- not a demonstration…There was a tour…[T]he police stopped us as we were driving and wanted to see our license and registrations. One of the people that was with us…was questioning the officer: Why did she have to show him anything when she felt she was doing nothing wrong? And within a matter of seconds he was arresting her.’” Read Update on Florida’s Sabal Trail gas pipeline arrests
Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “[A] Department of Environmental Protection deputy secretary, Gary Clark, told ‘colleagues’ that the new (State Parks) director will be Lisa Edgar. She is an outgoing board member of the state Public Service Commission and former employee at DEP and other state agencies…In a DEP press release, Edgar said, ‘…[A]s a frequent visitor of our state parks, I’ve seen first-hand the high caliber of the Florida Park Service team. I look forward to working with this team to continue to achieve the Florida state parks mission to provide…recreation while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources.’” Read Utility regulator gets Florida parks job
Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Last week, with no explanation, the longtime boss of the…Florida state parks system was abruptly demoted…The Florida Department of Environmental Protection…announced that his replacement will be Lisa Edgar, a Public Service Commission member who has been repeatedly accused of favoring utilities over customers. ‘She does not do an adequate job of representing he ratepayers and consumers of…Florida,’ state Sen. Jack Latvala…said during a 2013 hearing on her reappointment to the commission…[Edgar] has no background running state parks. Forgione, by contrast, joined the DEP as a park ranger in 1983… ‘She has years of experience protecting Florida’s natural resources as a former DEP deputy secretary,’ Engel (DEP spokeswoman) said, ‘as well as service to the state as chief environmental policy analyst…under both Govs. Chiles and Bush.’…The year the governor was sworn in, Forgione rushed out a plan to let private contractors design, build and operate new campsites in 56 state parks where camping had not previously been allowed. The campsites would have to accommodate…popup trailers and RVs…” Read Controversial Public Service Commission member will be the next boss of Florida’s parks
Michael Moline reports for Florida Politics – “Senate President Joe Negron…defended his plan to store runoff from Lake Okeechobee instead of sending it into coastal estuaries where the nutrient-rich water can feed noxious algae blooms.” Read Joe Negron addresses Okeechobee overflow in broad-ranging briefing
Anthony B. Chen, Hector H. Sandoval, & Rich Doty report for BEBR – “Florida’s estimated freshwater consumption increased for both public supply (utility) use and agricultural use until the year 2000, but has declined steadily since then.” Read Florida Water Use And Conservation
Nick Evans reports for WFSU – “Ranchers in two southwest Florida counties are eligible for federal funding to protect panthers…The [FWC] will coordinate the program which provides help with building fencing and compensating ranchers for cattle lost to panthers.” Read SW Florida Ranchers Eligible for Support to Preserve Panthers
Anne Delaney reports for the Pensacola News Journal – “Santa Rosa County received $150,000 from the [FWC], and the county will match the funds to purchase approximately 2,400 fully automated Kodiak bear-resistant cants. ‘Our goal is to build a buffer and to eliminate an attraction and get the bears to go back to the berries and whatever bears eat,’ said Santa Rosa County Environmental Manager Ron Hixson…. ‘It’s a much more robust can than (modifying) existing cans,’ Hixson said…In October, Santa Rosa passed a bear safety ordinance…The ordinance requires residents to ‘retain waste or trash until pickup and place trash in a receptacle that morning and remove it thereafter,’…” Read Santa Rosa receives “BearWise” funding
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
December 29 – Participate in statewide protests against the Sabal Trail Pipeline. For more information, click here or contact organizer Colleen Gariton at (352) 339- 1748.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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