FCC News Brief - October 12, 2017

Douglas Hanks reports for the Miami Herald – “Miami-Dade commissioners again blocked extending the Dolphin Expressway southwest into Kendall because the expansion plan required the busy road to cross the boundary designed to protect low-lying areas around the Everglades from urban development… ‘Building more highways will contribute to more sprawl,’ Valerie Robbin, a Sierra Club member, told commissioners. ‘I think it would make more sense to invest in transit systems inside the UDB and get away from adding more roads and traffic.’” Read Push to extend Dolphin Expressway into Kendall blocked again over development fears

Arek Srkissian reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “A group of Republicans from the House and Senate [support] a bill that would ban fracking in Florida… Sen. Dana Young said SB 462 was similar to a bill she filed during the last legislative session that was rejected by House Republican Leader Ray Rodrigues… Rodrigues… will not support the bill without a scientific study to determine how fracking impacts the environment. Rodrigues… said without a study, the bill would leave the state susceptible to lawsuits from property owners over a violation of a state law known as the Harris Act… ‘If you don’t have a study you’re taking property from people with no evidence there’s a public good that necessitates that taking, which then subjects it to the Harris claims.’” Read Republicans attempt another statewide fracking ban

The Associated Press reports – “The Supreme Court says it will hear a dispute between Florida and Georgia over water rights… Florida is suing Georgia, claiming Atlanta homes and businesses and South Georgia famers use too much water, and not enough flows down the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers to Florida’s Apalachicola River. Florida blames Georgia for the crash of the oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay, and asks the Supreme Court to limit Georgia’s water use. A lawyer appointed by the court to oversee the suit recommended that the justices side with Georgia. Florida has objected to the lawyer’s recommendation.” Read Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Georgia, Florida Dispute Over Water

Ron Littlepage writes for the Florida Times Union – “The 10th annual State of the Lower St. Johns River Basin report was released, and among the findings was a decline in the amount of nutrients in the river. So take a bow if you have been careful in how you use fertilizer on your landscaping. Go ahead and give some credit to the state Department of Environmental Protection for establishing rules, which certainly could be stronger, for reducing the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous going into the river. And get over being mad about the storm water fee you pay as a property owner in Jacksonville. Better treatment of runoff is having an impact. But don’t bask in the applause for too long. Much work still needs to be done… The annual report notes that the amount of nitrogen in the river is still too high, and although the level of phosphorus in the river’s main stem is satisfactory, that’s not the case in the river’s tributaries… [T]he number of algal blooms remains too high and there has been no change in that. The overload of nasty bacteria, especially in the river’s tributaries, is still a concern. And the salinity in the river continues to increase, which can kill off submerged aquatic vegetation that is critical for the survival of the river’s critters… The (Ocklawaha) reservoir drowned 9,000 acres of flood plain, including 600 acres that was part of the Ocala National Forest. The Defenders of the Environment want the Forest Service to reclaim its property by removing the dam, which doesn’t even have a permit needed to operate from the state anymore. Freeing the Ocklawaha – the largest tributary of the St. Johns – will return millions of gallons of freshwater a day to the river, which would help reduce the salinity problems noted in the river study.” Read Some good news in St. Johns River report card

Dacia L Johnson reports for the TC Palm – “A group of elementary students in Orange Park teamed up with Inwater Research Group… to create a device to transport endangered sea turtle nests during disasters such as hurricanes.” Read Students develop device to relocate sea turtle nests during Hurricane Irma

Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer report for The New York Times – “The [EPA] announced… that Scott Pruitt… had signed a measure to repeal [the Clean Power Plan]… Under the… Plan,… the E.P.A. assumed utilities could reduce emissions at individual plants by taking actions outside of those plants – say, by replacing coal plants with wind farms elsewhere. Industry groups and more than two dozen states challenged this move in court, arguing that the E.P.A. can look only at cleanup measures that can be undertaken at the plants themselves… If Mr. Pruitt does end up pursuing a replacement rule, it would almost certainly be confined to inside-the-fence-line measures, like upgrading coal-plant boilers… Even in the absence of the [Clean Power Plan], many utilities across the country have opted to shift to natural gas, wind and solar, driven by cost concerns and state-level policies… A new analysis by the research firm Rhodium Group estimated that [U.S.] electricity emissions are currently on track to fall 27 to 35 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, roughly in the range of what the Clean Power Plan originally envisioned, even if the regulation is repealed. But John Larsen, the author of the Rhodium Group analysis, estimated that if Mr. Obama’s policies had remained in place, as many as 21 states would have had to make deeper reductions than they are currently expected to do without the rule… and emissions most likely would have fallen further than the 32 percent originally envisioned… Mr. Pruitt’s proposal for repeal will now have to go through a formal public-comment period before being finalized, a process that could take months. Mr. Pruitt will also ask the public for comment on what a replacement rule should look like… Environmental groups and Democratic-controlled states are expected to challenge these moves on multiple fronts… That raises the question of whether the Trump administration can craft and finalize a replacement rule by the 2020 election. Failure to do so, some industry groups worry, could allow a new administration to start over and impose a more stringent climate plan on power plants.” Read E.P.A. Announces Repeal of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule

Karlin Brulliard reports for The Washington Post – “University of Central Florida researchers… said that more than half the green sea turtle nests along the 13 miles of Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge – a crucially important U.S. spot for both green and loggerhead sea turtles – were washed out by the storm surge (from Hurricane Irma) last month. Loggerhead turtles, which nest and hatch earlier in the season at the same site, got off a bit easier: 24 percent of their nests were lost… Unusually high tides are now compounding the troubles… because the eggs in remaining nests, and in those that green turtles have made since Irma, aren’t likely to do well when submerged under saltwater… ‘One hurricane in the grand scheme of things is not going to cause a population crash,’ [Mansfield, an assistant biology professor who directs the university’s Marine Turtle Research Group] said, provided Irma isn’t the harbinger of a more storm-heavy future. Frequent lashing hurricanes, along with coastal erosion or efforts to “armor” beaches against erosion that interfere with turtles’ access to the nesting grounds, could spell problems for Florida’s sea turtles.” Read Hurricane Irma wiped out thousands of sea turtle nests

Keith Bradsher reports for the New York Times – “There is a powerful reason that automakers worldwide are speeding up their efforts to develop electric vehicles – and that reason is China. Propelled by vast amounts of government money and visions of dominating next-generation technologies, China has become the world’s biggest supporter of electric cars… Beijing has already called for one out of every five cars sold in China to run on alternative fuel by 2025… Already, China is the world’s largest maker and seller of electric cars. Chinese buyers are on track to snap up almost 300,000 of them this year, three times the number expected to be sold in the United States and more than the rest of the world combined… Behind the scenes, China is recruiting some of the world’s best electrical engineering talent, even in the United States.” Read China Hastens the World Toward an Electric-Car Future

 

 

 

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.


Job Openings

Florida Digital Marketing Specialist for The Nature Conservancy

Staff Attorney in St. Petersburg for the Center for Biological Diversity

Organizing Representative in Miami for Sierra Club Florida

Administrative Director for the Apalachicola Riverkeeper

 

Petitions

Save Endangered Sea Turtles from Drowning in Shrimp Trawls

Defend Attacks on the Marine Mammal Protection Act

Protect Florida’s Gulf Coast from Offshore Drilling

 Protect Weeki Wachee Springs; Stop the 7 Diamonds Mine in Pasco County

Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Paynes Prairie in danger

Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

 

Upcoming Environmental Events    

October 16, 9:30 am – Attend the Suwannee County Delegation meeting at City Hall (101 White Ave SE) in Live Oak. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 16, 9:30 am – Attend the Orange County Delegation meeting on the 1st Floor of the Orange County Administration Center (201 South Rosalind Ave.) in Orlando. Testimony from citizens and community entities will begin at 2:30 PM. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 16, 2:00 pm – Attend the Columbia County Delegation meeting at the Administration Room of Florida Gateway College (149 SE College PL) in Lake City. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 16, 2:30 pm – Attend the Hernando County Delegation meeting at the Hernando County Commission Chambers (20 N. Main St., Room 263) in Brookesville. Contact Dorothy Dilworth beforehand and let her know you’d like to speak at the meeting. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 16, 5:00 pm – Attend the Taylor County Delegation meeting at 224 South Jefferson Street in Perry. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 16, 5:30 pm – Attend the Santa Rosa County Delegation meeting at Pensacola State College South Santa Rosa Center (5075 Gulf Breeze Parkway) in Gulf Breeze. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 17, 9:00 am – Attend the Palm Beach County Delegation meeting at the Solid Waste Authority Auditorium (7501 N. Jog Road) in West Palm Beach. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 17, 6:00 pm – Attend the Madison County Delegation meeting at 229 SW Pinckney St., Suite 107 in Madison. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 18, 9:00 am – Attend the Lee County Delegation meeting in the Nursing Building (Room AA-177) of Florida Southwestern State College at 8099 College Parkway in Fort Myers. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 18, 9:00 am – Attend the Broward County Delegation meeting at the Sunrise Civic Center (10610 West Oakland Park, Blvd) in Sunrise. You are encouraged to sign up to speak by October 15th by clicking here. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 18, 12:00 pm – Attend 1000 Friends of Florida’s webinar: Implementing Florida 2070: Successful Local Conservation Ballot Measures in Florida. The Trust for Public Land’s Will Abberger and Pegeen Hanrahan will share proven strategies to assist Florida communities with the design and passage of local ballot measures to generate new public funds for parks and land conservation. For more information and to register, click here. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 18, 1:00 pm – Attend the Sumter County Delegation meeting in the conference room of The Villages Sumter County Service Center (7375 Powell Rd) in Wildwood. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 18, 4:00 pm – Attend the Clay County Delegation meeting on the 4th Floor of the Administration Building at 477 Houston Street in Green Cover Springs. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 18, 6:30 pm – The Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute, the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, and the League of Women Voters of Orange County, Florida invite you to join us for an informational program on restoring the Wekiva River and Springs. Speakers include Dr. Robert Knight of FSI, Margaret Stewart of CEJ, and a panel discussion featuring local and state leaders on water initiatives for the upcoming 2018 legislative session. This event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30 with light refreshments served. For more information, and to register, click here.

October 19, 9:00 am – Attend the Martin County Delegation meeting at Indian River State College Wolf High – Technology Center (2400 E. Salerno Road) in Stuart. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 19, 9:00 am – Attend the Collier County Delegation meeting at North Collier Regional Park (15000 Livingston Rd.) in Naples. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 19, 9:00 am – Attend the Charlotte County Delegation meeting at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association (2001 Shreve St.) in Punta Gorda. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 19, 9:00 am – Attend the Manatee County Delegation meeting at the Manatee County Board of County Commission Chambers (1112 Manatee Ave W) in Bradenton. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 19, 1:00 pm – Attend the Marion County Delegation meeting in the Klein Center at the College of Central Florida Auditorium (3001 SW College Rd) in Ocala. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 19, 2:00 pm – Attend the St. Lucie County Delegation meeting at Indian River State College Kight Center for Emerging Technologies (3209 Virginia Avenue) in Fort Pierce. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 19, 6:30 pm – Attend “Natural Treasures of the Florida Panhandle,” a presentation by Bruce Means, Coastal Plains Institute, at The King Life Sciences Building, FSU, in Tallahassee.

October 20, 9:00 am – Attend the St. Johns County Delegation meeting at the St. Johns County Auditorium in the County Administration Building (500 San Sebastian View) in St. Augustine. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 20, 10:00 am – Attend the Hendry County Delegation meeting at LaBelle City Hall (481 W. Hickpochee Ave.) in LaBelle. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 20, 4:00 pm – Attend the Flagler County Delegation meeting at the City of Palm Coast Council Chamber (160 Lake Ave) in Palm Coast. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 21, 1:00 pm – Attend a Legislative Training Workshop hosted by the Sierra Club-Suwannee-St. John’s Group, the League of Women Voters of Citrus County, and the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee at the Dunnellon Public Library (20351 Robinson Road) in Dunnellon. Attendance is free, limited to the first 50 people to register. Panelists for Q&A include: Florida Senator Charlie Dean, Bob Palmer, PhD, former Staff Director of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives; Brain Coleman, Citrus County Board of County Commissioners; Dave Cullen, Sierra Club lobbyist; Walter Green, Dunnellon Mayor; Whitey Markle, Chair of Sierra Club Suwannee St-Johns group; and Nathan Whitt, former Dunnellon Mayor. For more information, contact Kathryn Taubert at kataubert@gmail.com.

October 28, 11:30 am – Join the Silver Springs Alliance for a scavenger hunt as you paddle this iconic waterway in Silver Springs.  Channel the spirits of Florida's river past by dressing up in a costume that reflects Florida's cultural heritage: Spanish conquistadors, pioneers, steamboat travelers, or movie characters from the Spring's film legacy!  Be creative and win a prize in our costume contest! All ages are welcome! Proceeds from this event will support the Silver Springs Alliance’s efforts to protect Silver Springs and River. For more information and to register, click here.

October 30, 4:00 pm – Attend the Nassau County Delegation meeting at the Nassau County Commission Chamber (96135 Nassau Place, Suite 1) in Yulee. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 30, 5:30 pm – Attend the Leon County Delegation meeting at the Leon County Board of County Commission Chambers (5th Floor of the Leon County Courthouse at 301 S Monroe St) in Tallahassee. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

 

 

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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Please send all suggestions, comments, and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

 

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of 80 conservation-minded 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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