Florida Politics reports – “Sen. Jeff Brandes has filed [Senate Bill 90] to implement [Amendment 4] to give tax breaks to companies that buy and install solar devices and equipment…A House companion bill has not yet been filed. Brandes said…he hopes House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, who supported the effort to get the amendment on the ballot…, will sponsor the House implementing bill.” Read Jeff Brandes files Amendment 4 implementing bill
Laura Geggel reports for Live Science – “A Burmese python in the Everglades…gulped down three whole deer- one doe and two fawns- before wildlife officials captured and euthanized it…The gustatory feat sets a record… ‘If a python is capable of eating three deer in three months,’ what else are they eating that we don’t know about, [Scott Bobcack, an associate professor of biology at Dickinson College] asked. ‘We don’t even know how many of them are out there [in the Everglades].’” Read Ravenous 14-Foot Python Caught with 3 Deer in Its Gut
Amy Green reports for WMFE – “The Old World Climbing Fern…is spreading into Central Florida…Stephen Enloe of the University of Florida’s Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants says the fast-growing fern smothers everything in its path, including trees. ‘It also burns very nicely, and so it can act as a fire ladder up into trees as it burns, and that is a major, major problem.’ In the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge…the state claims the federal government is failing to control the fern. Now the fern is appearing for the first time as far north as Jacksonville.” Read Florida’s latest invasive plant species moves into Central Florida after spawning National Refuge dispute
Daniel Andres writes for News Press – “As…our waters begin to clear, many Southwest Florida residents will breathe a sigh of relief. But for those of us who make our living on the water, we will continue to suffer from the lasting effects of the man-made Lake Okeechobee discharges into our estuaries..[O]yster and seagrass beds do not regrow overnight – it takes years of proper management to repair the damage inflicted by mere weeks of high volume freshwater discharges…Incoming Florida Senate President Joe Negron…has proposed buying…acres of agricultural land south of the lake to create a reservoir that would be used to store excess water so that it can be cleaned and conveyed south into the Everglades and Florida Bay where it is desperately needed…There are many projects south of the lake at various stages of completion…These projects are designed to overcome the current obstacles to sending water south, and will not be utilized to their full potential unless we have sufficient water storage…in the Everglades Agricultural Area to provide a constant supply of freshwater to Florida Bay.” Read 2016 rough year for water but time to build on solutions
J.P. Sasser writes for my Palm Beach Post – “When the Everglades Reservoir and restoration were originally designed, permitted and funded almost 20 years ago, the first to oppose the reservoir were the environmental groups. Their reasoning was that it would be more of an aid to the sugar industry than it would benefit restoration…Then the environmentalists pushed for the construction of the reservoir to be halted immediately…[T]he Miccosukee Tribe sued the state to continue with the construction of the reservoir…[C]onstruction of the reservoir was halted after hundreds of millions of tax dollars were spent. And now we are back to spending more billions for a reservoir that oddly is no longer ‘useless’ or ‘too expensive.’…The fact that none of our elected officials supporting this…nor any of the environmental groups have engaged the Glades communities in meaningful dialogue…makes one thing perfectly clear- it is more about an agenda of killing agriculture south of the lake than it is about stopping the discharges and restoring the Everglades.” Read Everglades restoration principals freezing out Glades
Kevin Bouffard reports for The Ledger – “The Mosaic Co…has sent out letters to more than 200 residents near its New Wales fertilizer manufacturing plant with an offer to test their wells every three months next year and twice in 2018…As of Thursday, Mosaic has tested 1,329 wells in the immediate area of the…gypsum stack that collapsed…None has shown signs of contamination related to the accident…” Read Mosaic announces new water well testing program
Meredith Rutland Bauer reports for Motherboard– “An international coalition of mayors recently formed the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, a group of about 7,100 city mayors from six continents to take greater action to avoid climate impacts and demonstrate how local action can impact the global stage...” Read Mayors Unite to Fight Climate Change from City to City
Rebecca Savransky reports for MSN – “Federal officials have denied the final permits required for the Dakota Access Pipeline…The Army Corps of Engineers…announced it would instead conduct an environmental impact review of the 1,170-mile pipeline project and determine if there are other ways to route it to avoid a crossing on the Missouri River…Dakota Access developer Energy Transfer Partners…has a strong ally in President-elect Donald Trump… ‘In the year 2016, we should not continue to trample on Native American sovereignty,’ said Sen. Bernie Sanders… ‘We should not endanger the water supply of millions of people…We should not become more dependent on fossil fuel and accelerate the planetary crisis of climate change.’” Read Feds deny permit for Dakota Access pipeline
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