FCC News Brief - January 4, 2017



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A.G. Gancarski reports for Florida Politics – “Sen. Rob Bradley introduced Senate Bill 234, which is intended to change the appropriations formula of 2014’s Water and Land Constitutional Amendment. Specifically, Bradley wants to ensure that the St. Johns River Water Management District gets its share. And as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources, the Clay County Republican is well-positioned to get this bill through. The bill would annually earmark $35 million, minus money for debt service, for projects related to the St. Johns, its tributaries, and the Keystone Lake region. Included among those projects: land management and acquisition, and recreational opportunity and public access improvements.” Read Rob Bradley seeks Amendment 1 money for St. Johns River

Glenn Compton writes for the Herald Tribune – “The phosphate industry has had over 50 years to figure out a way to dispose of its radioactive gypsum wastes, but instead it stores the waste – 1 billion tons and counting – in stacks throughout Florida. These stacks have been known to breach and create sinkholes, threatening surface waters and the Floridan aquifer…Approximately 40 percent of the mined-out lands (in Florida) have been left in toxic-waste clay settling areas…The phosphate industry should not be permitted to externalize the costs of its operation in the form of adverse health effects, loss of valuable habitat, restricted future land-use options, reduced water supplies or actual destruction of our drinking water supply…Tell the Manatee County Commission on Jan. 26 to stand up to Mosaic and to deny the request to rezone this land.” Read Fight phosphate rezoning

Ann B. Shortelle writes for the Herald Tribune – “To correct a bit of misinformation published recently in a Sun reader’s opinion, the [North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan] is based on a 20-year planning period…The plan identifies projects sufficient to address the region’s future water needs…” Read Plan addresses region’s water needs

Robert Knight writes for The Gainesville Sun – “The Floridan Aquifer has been depleted…by excessive groundwater withdrawals…Yet Florida’s water managers continue to issue permits for this most precious water supply, at the expense of the state’s water bodies…[C]lose inspection reveals that there is not a single mention of reducing the amount of water pumped from the Floridan Aquifer (in the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan.) No mention of a sustainable groundwater yield…A farming operation, phosphate mine, water bottler or other large-scale water user can still receive a permit to extract groundwater, with no cost for the water!...[T]he water management districts have drafted a plan that provides more free water to private, for-profit enterprises, at a projected cost to the public of $390 million dollars! The proposed publicly funded water supply projects that would be needed to offset existing and new water allocation permits include building reservoirs, pumping and piping surface water from the St. Johns and Suwannee Rivers, recharging the aquifer with reclaimed water, treating stormwater and wastewater, and desalinization.” Read The true cost of water

Jane Harrison reports for Lakeside News – “More water from Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River will green lawns, flush toilets, and process goods in metro Atlanta under a new water management plan announced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers…[T]he plan predicts no changes in flow into Florida on the Apalachicola River.” Read WCM to sate metro Atlanta’s thirst

Michael Yoshida reports for Action News Jax – “Protestors in Jacksonville rallied against [the Sabal Trail Pipeline] on Thursday…[T]he Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office had to shut down streets… ‘People can’t just have this attitude that we can have a party on the planet and just leave and leave it to others to pick up,’ Robinson said.” Read Streets closed during Sabal Trail Pipeline protest in San Marco

Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “[Port St. Lucie] wants to build a water farm with seven reservoirs along the C-23 Canal on…McCarty Ranch Preserve, an expansive municipal park…[T]hey could keep nearly 9 billion gallons of polluted water a year out of the river and lagoon…In about 20 years, the city plans to build a water treatment plant at the McCarty Ranch…[U]sing public land for water farms is significantly less expensive than contracting with private landowners to hold water…” Read Port St. Lucie seeks $8 million for McCarty Ranch water farm

Jim Ash reports for WFSU – “[S]ome of the nation’s biggest green groups are turning the Exxon Mobil CEO, former Texas Governor and Oklahoma attorney general into poster children for one of the most successful environmental fundraising campaigns in modern history.” Read A Trump Backlash is Turning the Environmental Movement Even Greener





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.



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




Job Openings

CEJ Staff Attorney



Upcoming Environmental Events

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 resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

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 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 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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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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