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Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “A project designed to mitigate environmental damage caused by the crosstown Parkway Bridge does more harm than good, according to a local conservation group. The $1 million handicapped-accessible kayak launch and access road the city built will harm wildlife and native plants in the Halpatiokee section of the Savannas Preserve State Park…” Read Port St. Lucie ‘assault’ on land along North Fork ‘obscene,’ alliance says
Brad Rogers writes for the Ocala Star Banner – “There has to be a better way. A way that doesn’t require clear-cutting thousands of acres of rural woodlands. A way that doesn’t endanger some of our most important and sensitive waterways. A way where the process doesn’t thumb its nose at the very people who have to live the final result…If the pipeline is as safe as Sabal Trail says, then just run it down I-75, or U.S. 19 to the west. Why destroy 1,000 acres…of woodlands and green space…? Why cut open the floors of our rivers and, likely, the crest of the aquifer?...What a defeat for the people.” Read Sabal Trail’s slash and gash
Terence Smith reports for Creative Loafing – “In St. Pete…a gathering of about 150 marched through downtown to call attention to the [Sabal Trail Pipeline.] The protest was part of a statewide action, with synchronized action in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Jacksonville…Kasey Cavanaugh, who said she hiked…along the proposed Florida leg of the pipeline…described what she saw. ‘…It’s going right through people’s yards, it’s going through state parks, it’s going through all our major rivers, the Suwannee the Withlacoochee and the Santa Fe…’…The next step for organizers is a mass civil disobedience demonstration at Suwannee River State Park on January 14 and 15.” Read In St. Pete, activists give hard no to proposed Florida pipeline
Kevin Robinson reports for the Pensacola News Journal – “[Florida Clean Water Network Inc.] has filed a lawsuit asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create and implement new, more stringent guidelines limiting the toxins that can be released into Florida’s surface water.” Read Navarre group sues EPA over clean water
The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “If the Legislature doesn’t update the Everglades Forever Act, it will take forever to save what remains of the Everglades… ‘The way the law is written,’ said Audubon Florida Executive Director Eric Draper, ‘the state doesn’t hold people accountable. The (annual) target is so easy to hit that it’s like a basketball player just dropping the ball into the basket.’” Read Toughen the Everglades Forever Act
Larry Griffin reports for Florida Politics – “Senator Linda Stewart spent her Monday getting the ball rolling on a bill that would require a 48-hour notice to be given to the public in the case of any spill that contaminates the state’s waters.” Read New Linda Stewart bill would require 48 hour notice of any spill or contamination in water
Fox 4 reports – “A clean water advocacy group kicked off a daily protest on the bridge to Fort Myers Beach, Sunday. Members of the Southwest Florida Clean Water Movement demonstrated with signs reading messages like ‘Tourists beware, Toxic water,’…They will continue demonstrating…until they get the Fort Myers Beach town council to agree to regular water quality testing.” Read Clean water group starts daily protest on FMB
William Shallcross writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “Wall Street investors have been buying up for-profit utility companies having discovered (in Florida, particularly) that they are entitled to a statutory guaranteed return on investment…These investors pump money…to upgrade long-neglected capital systems, but not altruistically, as the strategy is to recover their costs at a guaranteed profit, while some people question the valuations supporting rate increase requests. The downside is that that profit comes from commensurately increased consumer billing rates…Furthermore, the way water and sewer rates are structured in Florida – ostensibly to promote water conservation by punishing large residential users- disproportionately burden large and often the poorest households the most.” Read Customers of for-profit water, sewer utilities: Rate shock ahead
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.
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 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 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 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 email@example.com.
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.
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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.
For more information on the FCC visit https://www.wearefcc.org/
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