FCC News Brief - January 11, 2017



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Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “The irrigation permit (for Sleepy Creek) was scheduled for a final vote of approval Tuesday, but a coalition of environmental groups filed legal action Monday, meaning the matter will go to a state hearing judge for further action…The legal action against Sleepy Creek and the water district was filed by the St. Johns Riverkeeper, Florida Defenders of the Environment, the Silver Springs Alliance and an individual, Alice Gardner.” Read State poised to allow aquifer pumping near Silver Springs

Ron Littlepage writes for The Florida Times Union – “[P]rotesters…aim…was the recommendation by the district’s staff that the governing board approve a permit to allow Sleepy Creek Lands…to pump more than a million gallons of water a day out of the aquifer…Even with the item off the agenda, about 125 people attended the previously planned protest. And many of those represented organizations that have the support of thousands of more people. ‘Today we stand united,’ Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeepr, told the group. That’s what it’s going to take to reverse the damage Scott and his appointees are doing to the environment.” Read Protests were needed to protect Florida’s precious water resources

Jeff Burlew reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Members of the Senate Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation grilled Department of Environmental Protection brass…on its handling of controversial new water pollution limits…Sen. Jack Latvala…asked whether the agency factored in the vacancies (on the ERC) when it moved up its timeline for ERC approval…‘Why something that is so important to our people’s health, so important to our state…why would we accelerate it like that?’ Sen. Gary Farmer…asked…about agency moves to block legal challenges mounted by the city of Miami, the Seminole Tribe of Florida and others… ‘I don’t understand why the department would invoke a procedural technicality to dismiss a substantive review of something as important as our water quality,’ Farmer said…Sen. Linda Stewart…asked whether the standards were lowered to allow for fracking.” Read Lawmakers grill DEP over water pollution limits

Vic Micolucci and Jodi Mohrmann report for News 4 Jax – “An “environmental war” is brewing in North Florida. Protesters are worried the Sabal Trail pipeline…will cause an environmental disaster and contaminate the state’s drinking water…News4Jax walked the woods along the Suwannee River in Live Oak, where protesters have set up camp in the hopes of halting further construction on the pipeline…Some of the most die-hard “Water Protectors” have put everything else on hold to protest, living in Sacred Water Camps…They’ve been there for five months…Some demonstrators have blocked the trucks from entering job sites for the project. At least 16, including a military veteran, have been arrested…The “Water Protectors” are planning a massive civil disobedience protest – Jan. 14 & 15 – to stop the pipeline from crossing the Suwannee River. It’ll be at the Suwannee River State Park…” Read Protesters launch ‘environmental war’ to stop pipeline

Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “The South Florida Water Management District is challenging an environmental group’s study that supports building an Everglades water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee…[T]he district’s Alkintunde O. Owosina, bureau chief of hydrology and hydraulics, said that…the (Everglades) [F]oundation report is misleading and is based on ‘irresponsible science.’” Read S. Fla water managers criticize group’s Everglades reservoir report

Tom McLaughlin reports for NWF Daily News – “The…Eglin reservation…provides a vast swath of land and varying ecosystems where a host of unique and rare plants and animals coexist with the military mission…In all, 38 species of plants and animals listed by state or federal agencies as endangered, and 41 more that are considered threatened, take refuge and receive support to survive on the reservation. The towering king…is the longleaf pine, the tree whose presence many of the reservation’s inhabitants depend on…Longleaf pines once covered more than 60 million acres in the southeastern United States…but…the trees were nearly eradicated years go.” Read Endangered species thrive on Eglin’s reservation

Robbie Gramer writes for Foreign Policy – “On Monday, Science published a new policy study titled, “The Irreversible Momentum of Clean Energy.” The study’s author says curbing greenhouse gas emissions no longer has to come at the cost of economic growth, and suggests being green is good for business. The study’s author is U.S. President Barack Obama.” Read Obama Just Quietly Authored a Wonky Study on Climate Change in Case Donald Trump Reads Those Things

Ryan Mills and Eric Staats report for the Naples Daily News – “For decades the island had been eroding…But for several years the stretch of beach where these pelicans lounged has grown. March Rachal, the sanctuary manager, attributed the growth to wave attenuation devices…installed just offshore starting in 2011. WADS are hollow concrete pyramids that Thomas Brown, CEO of…Living Shoreline Solutions, said ‘kill wave energy to stop erosion.’…[W]ith beach renourishment costs skyrocketing and sand sources harder to find, some advocates believe the state should consider erosion solutions other than renourishment…Untested projects have trouble obtaining state and federal permits, and they require extensive monitoring…” Read Shrinking Shores: Does innovation hold the key to a solution for beaches?




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.



Protect Weeki Wachee Springs; Stop the 7 Diamonds Mine in Pasco County

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



Upcoming Environmental Events

January 11, 6:00 PM – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Shark Expert Eric Hovland in Sait Petersburg. For more information, 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 14, 3:30 PM – Attend Earth2Trump Roadshow of Resistance in St. Petersburg. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

January 15, 1:00 PM – Attend Earth2Trump Roadshow of Resistance in Saint Augustine. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

January 18, 12:00 PM – Participate in 1000 Friends of Florida’s Free Webinar: 2017 Florida Legislative Preview. Learn about key community planning and conservation bills to be considered during the 2017 legislative session and how they could impact state and local governance in Florida. For more information and to register, click here.

January 20, 8:00 AM – Attend the State of Biscayne Bay Restoration Workshop in Miami. For more information and to register, click here.

January 21, 10:30 AM – Attend Solar: Unlimited Energy for the Sunshine State at the Homosassa Library (4100 S. Grandmarch Ave) in Homosassa. For more information, contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

January 22, 11:00 AM – Attend the Red Hills Fire Festival in Tallahassee. The festival will include wagon rides, wildlife, live prescribed fire, equipment demonstrations, fire talks with experts, kids activities, food trucks, and live music. For more information, contact Brian Wiebler at (850) 363 – 1079 or 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 28, 10:00 AM – Attend a free Solar Information Meeting of the Space Coast Solar Co-op in Palm Bay. For more information and to register, click here.

January 29, 10:00 AM – Attend Southwest Florida Veg Fest in Fort Myers. For more information, click here.

January 29, 6:00 PM – Attend The Nile Project at Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale. The show takes the audience on a journey up and down the Nile River basin through vibrant, joyful and original music that combines the traditions of 11 countries along the river. The Nile Project’s mission is to, ‘…empower the citizens of the Nile basin to foster the sustainability of the Nile River’s ecosystem. For more information, click here. To buy tickets, click here. Limited Supply Offer for FCC News Brief Readers: Use Promo Code “Water” for 25% off tickets!

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.

February 15, 6:30 pm – Attend Troubled Waters: Tallahassee Screening and Panel Discussion at the Challenger Learning Center IMAX (200 South Duval St, Tallahassee, FL 32301). Florida’s waterways are suffering from significant pollution problems. Combined with the impacts from a rapidly growing population, we have a potential recipe for disaster. The documentary will be shown (48) minutes and followed by a panel discussion featuring Lisa Rinaman, St. Johns Riverkeeper; Sarah Owen Gledhill, Florida Wildlife Federation; and Ryan Smart, 1000 Friends of Florida. For more information and your FREE tickets, click here.




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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.

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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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