FCC News Brief - January 15, 2017



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Luis Zaldivar reports for Folio Weekly - “The [Sabal Trail Pipeline] has finally gotten some attention from the media in the last few weeks, as activists have demonstrated their opposition all across Florida. Now the fight has reached a whole new level, with the announcement that the Seminole Nation will build four indigenous-led camps in the Levy, Marion, Citrus and Alachua counties…In a disturbing video from December, indigenous people tearfully claim that the pipeline has been built through their burial grounds, which they say the company had promised to divert around…Environmentalists are hoping to halt the pipeline before it is built through the Florida springs; currently at least five camps (one led by protesters and four led by the Seminole Nation) are in the way.” Read Seminole Nation rises against Sabal Trail Pipeline

Desiree Carver reports for The Valdosta Daily Times – “For the first time in its history, Suwannee River State Park closed due to overcrowded conditions due to the large turnout for a Sabal Trail pipeline protest Saturday…Hundreds of protestors gathered, many with signs and musical instruments, to protest the pipeline project.” Read Hundreds protest pipeline

Sarah Mueller reports for WFSU – “Planning for the south reservoir was moved to 2021. But Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg said by that time it will be too late. The state’s option to purchase land from US Sugar expires in 2020 and now they company wants to keep it.” Read Environmental Group Supports Southern Reservoir as Water Debate Ensues

Brook Hines writes for The Florida Squeeze – “This is a ginormous, densely-packed industrial cattle production site that has for years petitioned governmental entities to divert as much as 13.2 million gallons of water per day to water the grass. That’s more than the city of Ocala uses. And that’s all being diverted to a for-profit industrial cattle production operation that will have dire environmental impact with or without the water diversion. And never mind that it’s standard industry practice to use rain water for growing grass. It’s not like Central Florida lacks rain. As Bob Knight, director of the Howard T. Odum Springs Institute wrote…, ‘Grass in Marion County, the same grass that supports Ocala’s renowned thoroughbred horses, grows just fine with rainfall and without irrigation…’…[L]et’s send thanks to these groups for stepping up for Florida’s water: St. Johns Riverkeeper, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Silver Springs Alliance, and Ocala resident Alice Gardiner. Use those links to find them on Facebook, donate a few dollars for legal costs and keep them in your thoughts as this matter works its way through court.” Read Rick Scott’s Kleptocracy is Coming for Our Springs (Again) – This Time We’re Fighting Back in Court

Public News Service reports – “The advocacy group Clean Air Moms Action is running a series of television ads highlighting what it says is Scott Pruitt’s long history of opposing clean air and water standards…As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt shut down his office’s environmental enforcement unit and actively crusaded against some of the EPA’s health and environmental regulations. His confirmation hearing has not yet been scheduled. Castillo says mothers can control many factors in their children’s lives, but the air they breathe isn’t one of them.” Read Florida Moms Rally Against EPA Nominee

The Suwannee Democrat reports – “The governing boards of the St. Johns River and Suwannee River water management districts are meeting Tuesday to jointly consider the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan.” Read Water Management districts to consider North Florida Regional Water Supply

Donna Legare writes for the Tallahasee Democrat – “Our state parks are Florida’s highest quality natural treasures…One of the people we can thank for the quality and biological integrity of our state parks is Jim Stevenson. Jim is a retired senior biologist with the Department of Environmental Protection. Jim began his...career with the Department as a park ranger…He served as Chief Biologist for the Florida State Park System for 20 years during which he guided the restoration and protection of state park natural features. Jim also organized and coordinated spring basin interagency working groups for Wakulla Spring and Ichetucknee Springs for 18 years…Jim will present a program, Florida’s Grandest State Parks: Values and Threats at the next Apalachee Audubon Society meeting…” Read State parks preserve natural treasures

Eric Staats reports for News Press – “Wood storks have been spotted nesting…at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary for the first time since 2014, a hopeful sign for the declining Southwest Florida population, scientists say. Corkscrew has been in the middle of its longest nesting drought since record-keeping began in 1958. Back then, storks would build as many as 6,000 nests each year. But they have nested at Corkscrew only two other times in the past 11 years…Wood stork nesting is all about water levels…Cornell (with Audubon of the Western Everglades) said the return of nesting this year amounts to a quirk of rain patterns, not any proactive step that was taken to improve the storks’ chances of nesting at Corkscrew.” Read Nesting wood storks return to Corkscrew Swamp for first time since 2014





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 17, 11:00 AM – The St. Johns River and Suwannee River Water Management Districts will consider the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan at Alachua City Hall (15100 N.W. 142 Terrace) in Alachua. The final draft plan can be viewed 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 19, 7:00 PM – Attend Audubon Society Meeting and talk on “Florida’s Grandest State Parks: Values and Threats” at the FSU King Life Science Building (319 Stadium Drive) in Tallahassee

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 8, 12:45 pm – Attend the Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd.) in The Villages. The guest speaker is Margaret Stewart, Esq., Associate Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence. Margaret will discuss Florida’s current water laws, how they’re enforced, and why they are insufficient. RSVP to resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

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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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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