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Apalachicola Riverkeeper shares – “Georgia’s move killed the much-praised weather bill over an amendment by Florida Senator…Nelson…which would have authorized funds for a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Water Center. Nelson wanted more scientific evidence brought to bear on the water wars. ‘The Georgia delegation saw this as a threat to them damming up the Chattahoochee and using as much water as they want,’ Nelson told reports…Georgia’s House members opposed the National Water Center over its intended role in facilitating collaboration across water management agencies – and the consequences for the water dispute. ‘It was again another example of Georgia being unwilling to…work with Florida in any way to try to resolve this three-decade-long water issue…,’ former Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham…told Politico. ‘The Georgia delegation is afraid of science, plain and simple,’ said Apalachicola Riverkeeper Dan Tonsmeire.” Read Floridians Decry Georgia Moves to Block Tri-State Water Solution
Sarah Heard writes for my Palm Beach Post – “It is a fact that more water flows into Lake O from the north than the lake can store. That’s why there is an Everglades south of the lake – a broad river of grass to carry the excess lake water south. It is a fact that Florida Bay and the Everglades need that flow to survive. Miami-Dade County needs it to protect its water supply against salt water intrusion…Two years ago…we couldn’t send [water] south because the stormwater treatment areas were full to capacity with runoff from farm fields. Buying land south of the Lake is not about building a big reservoir to dump Lake Okeechobee water into when the current system has forced us into an emergency. The purpose is to build an interconnected system to store, treat, and move water that keeps us from continuously ending up in an emergency situation.” Read Negron’s plan for Everglades worth considering
The News Press Editorial Board writes – “[W]ater storage is needed north and south of the lake, but it certainly is not the only solution. How that water is treated is just as important as how and where we store it. The Caloosahatchee Reservoir…does not have a treatment component built into it. Storing dirty water and eventually releasing dirty water into the river, when it needs it during dry season, only delays when the pollution is released. We are still awaiting details of…Negron’s plan…Without those details, it is difficult to understand the merits of purchasing more agricultural land, when there already is 60,000 acres worth of storage designated in the CEPP plan. Much more storage and treatment would be needed to help create what many experts claim is needed – a proper flow way south to the Everglades and Florida Bay. But be careful, the Everglades is typically flooded during rainy season and can’t handle much more now. Also, federal regulations protect wildlife there from any significant water increase.” Read Prioritizing Southwest Florida issues for 2017
The Ocala Star Banner Editorial Board writes – “The board should reject the (Sleepy Creek) request until the district explains in full its sudden water find, especially since rivers, springs and lakes throughout the district continue to show declining levels – a reflection of the district’s increasingly obvious focus on issuing permits rather than protecting our water supply…After three years of analysis, the St. Johns staff in 2014 found not only that Sleepy Creek’s original request…would be harmful to the springs and the rivers they feed, but also that Marion County is overpermitted...Shortly after…there was a house cleaning at the St. Johns headquarters, including the executive director and many of those involved in the Sleepy Creek analyses…[T]he bigger issue is the water district’s – all five of them, really – insistence that there is plenty of water when a billionaire…comes knocking but then issue repeated warnings that we do not have enough groundwater to meet Florida’s needs a generation down the road. It can’t be both ways…The sudden about-face on Sleepy Creek smells of same-old politics rather than new science.” Read New science or same ol’ politics on Sleepy Creek permit?
David Fleshler reports for the Sun Sentinel – “Anyone can buy an Argentine black and white tegu lizard for less than $200 at exotic pet stores in Deerfield Beach, Miami and other cities. But down in the Everglades, state wildlife officers are trapping and killing those same South American reptiles as nuisance animals. The escaped and released pets are chomping their way through bird and turtles nests and threatening to spread around the state. A Miami state senator has introduced a bill to pay for hunters to go into the Everglades…to kill tegus…But despite calls to ban sales to the public, the state wildlife commission says it is not contemplating any restrictions…Michael Barrera…said…people would catch them for free if the United States would loosen export restrictions. A market for tegus exists in China, Indonesia and other countries as pets, food and sources of leather. He said he would offer trappers bounties, if it were legal, so he could obtain them and export them.” Read The tegu problem: Exotic lizard is legal but poses threat to Everglades
Thom Stork writes for the Palm Beach Post – “[T]he Florida Reef Tract…is in huge trouble. (Surprisingly many do not know we have the world’s third-largest living coral reef off the Florida coast.) We’re on our way to losing this state and national treasure that is home to more than 1,400 species of marine plants and animals…Losing it would be catastrophic for all Floridians given that the Florida Reef tract, comprising more than 40 species of coral, supports our fishing and tourism industries and is a strong defense against coastal storm damage.” Read Saving Florida’s coral reefs must be a priority
John S. Quarterman writes for The Valdosta Daily Times – “Sabal Trail and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection assured us there would be no problems drilling a 36-inch natural gas pipeline through the fragile karst limestone under the Suwannee River in Florida, yet already Sabal Trail’s pilot hole under the Withlachoochee River in Georgia caused a frac-out of drilling mud into the river and a sinkhole. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should halt construction and do a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement…Sabal Trail has already caused numerous sinkholes in Florida, including two in public roads, exactly as multiple Florida landowners and WWALS exert witness Dennis Price P.G. had warned FDEP…We must insist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cancel the destructive…Sabal Trail boondoggle while we get on deploying solar power in the sunny southeast.” Read Solar power versus Sabal Trail
Jerry Iannelli writes for the Miami New Times – “[I]t’s more than a bit alarming that…FPL is pushing ahead with plans to inject radioactive waste into the Floridan Aquifer’s lowest zone over the next few decades, after building two new nuclear reactors…Environmentalists contend the plan could leak carcinogens…right into South Florida’s largest drinking water source…[G]overnment documents themselves say the Floridan’s boulder zone could possibly leak into the ocean.” Read FPL Wants to Store Radioactive Waste Under Our Drinking Water Supply
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 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.
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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