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Sarah Mueller reports for WFSU – “Two North Florida lawmakers met with Wakulla County residents…to hear their concerns ahead of the upcoming legislative session. Many of the residents told state Sen. Bill Montford…and State Rep. Hasley Beshears…they’re concerned about water quality…Several residents asked the legislators to oppose hydraulic gas and oil drilling, known as fracking, because of concerns it could contaminate drinking water.” Read Water Quality Leads Concerns of North Florida Residents
Grant Miller writes for Miami’s Community Newspapers – “It makes one wonder why if FPL has so much money to waste on a phony and expensive campaign to make it harder for you to get solar, then why should they be allowed to raise our power bills?...We all know about the leaking cooling canals at Turkey Point and that FPL is still planning to build two new nuclear reactors…FPL is also leading on a pipeline project called Sabal Trail to transport out of state fracked gas to Florida…Let’s not commit ourselves to dangerous energy choices. When you build pipelines and power plants, they are around for decades. There is too much at stake. It’s time to move away from risky and costly energy sources and focus on clean…renewable energy like solar.” Read Say no to dirty energy
Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “In his 2016-17 budget request, Scott proposed $185 million for land acquisition and land management. That included $63 million for land acquisition programs that previously received funding under Florida Forever. Some environmentalists say that wasn’t enough, considering the statewide voter support for the 2014 ballot initiative, known then as Amendment 1… ‘I would hope the governor will put in at least $100 million for Florida Forever’ in his upcoming budget request, Draper (Audubon Florida’s executive director) said. This year, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam also is requesting $50 million in the 2017-18 state budget for agricultural conservation easements, which most environmental groups support.” Read Environmentalists give mixed assessment of Scott’s 2014 spending pledge
News Service of Florida reports – “A special master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court has given Florida and Georgia a Jan. 24 deadline ‘to reach a framework for settlement’ of a contentious legal fight over water rights…He…directed the states to ‘exchange good faith offers designed to address the opposing party’s concerns’… ‘The parties should consider solutions…including importation of water from outside the [ACF] River Basin to supplement streamflow during drought periods,’ Lancaster wrote.” Read Settlement sought in Florida-Georgia water war
Terry LaPlante writes for Florida Today – “Rep. Mike Miller has agreed to sponsor a bill to ban fracking in Florida. I urge everyone to contact their representatives and ask them to co-sponsor this bill…The oil and gas industry acknowledges that the fracking operations require millions of gallons of water a day for each fracking site and that they need to dispose of this highly polluted and unusable water.” Read Ban fracking for our protection
Nancy Klingener reports for WLRN – “A relatively small Keys-based water utility (The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority) is objecting to expansion plans by mainland giant Florida Power & Light…The FKAA is concerned about a plume of saltwater that has traveled from the cooling canals toward the wellfield…Peter Robbins said the new units would not use the cooling canals that are the source of the hypersaline water. Instead they would use reclaimed water…and a system of cooling towers. And he said FPL is…drawing up the hypersaline water and disposing of it…Zuelch (executive director at FKAA) said the stakes are too high to take any chances… ‘The thing with a water well is that you put saltwater in it, it’s dead,’ he said ‘It’s not fixable.’” Read Keys Water Utility Objects to Expansion at Turkey Point
David Smiley reports for the Miami Herald – “[E]ngineers and scientsists are…digging into prehistoric rock formations, deeper than any municipal government has before in search of a better solution for a $5.2 billion problem:…Due to changes in state law, Miami-Dade’s water and sewer department has nine years to stop pumping most of the 300 million gallons of treated waste generated each day…into the ocean through outfall pipes. Much of that waste water…has to be highly cleansed and re-purposed. But in a county with more than 2 million users, officials say the only way to fully comply with the new law without breaking the bank is to dispose of up to hundreds of millions of gallons of treated waste by shooting it…below South Florida’s drinking supply…[S]ome are still wary of injection wells, which under different classifications can also be used to dispose of industrial waste or for fracking. Florida is the only state that allows Class I municipal injection wells for effluent…” Read 10,000-foot injection well could change how Miami flushes
Margaret Eubank writes for the TC Palm – “I would like Big Sugar to be a team player for all Floridians. I believe in balance. I understand Big Sugar needs to make a profit…I would like Sen. Negron’s proposal to be approved by the Legislature. Big Sugar can give a little…Big Sugar has profited for years by borrowing water…Big Sugar also benefits from a tariff on imported sugar…I hope and pray Big Sugar will find a way to work with all Floridians for the betterment of all of us and the environment.” Read Big Sugar can thrive, and threatened waters can survive, too
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 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 email@example.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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.
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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