FCC News Brief - October 14, 2017

Anne Harvey Holbrook writes for the Chiefland Citizen – “Florida is facing a water supply crisis. Large portions of the state are deemed “Water Resource Caution Areas” (WRCAs). The Legislature has directed the Department of Environmental Protection (DE)) and regional Water Management Districts to identify “alternative water supply” sources, including reclaimed and reused water and even expensive desalinized seawater…While adaptive measures like conservation and reuse will necessarily play a major role in ensuring adequate water supplies for Florida’s future, the state will ultimately also have to address regulatory shortcomings. There is currently a presumption in favor of granting water permits whether or not supply is available, resulting in the gradual depletion of groundwater. A key flaw in the system is that once a permit has been issued, it is rarely revoked, even if water supplies continue to dwindle. Moreover, agricultural use typically is not metered, meaning that it is virtually impossible for regulators to really know how much groundwater is being withdrawn. Ultimately, Florida’s best-laid plans for water supply planning are based on insufficient data about one of the state’s largest water use sectors.” Read Florida’s dwindling water supply needs conservation, regulatory reform

Jason Garcia reports for Florida Trend – “The 2010 election… marked the beginning of the [League of Women Voter’s] emergence as one of the most influential interest groups in Florida politics. Following the Fair Districts campaign and litigation, the league supported a campaign to pass a constitutional amendment funding land preservation and another to defeat an amendment giving the state’s big utilities more control over the future of solar power… The transformation is largely the work of one person: (Deirdre) Macnab… ‘It all began with Deirdre,’ says Michele Levy… ‘Before her, we weren’t that much of an activist organization. She said we had to be visible, we had to stand up for issues, we had to take positions, and we had to be brave.’” Read Deirdre Macnab transformed the Florida League of Women Voters

John Henry November writes for The Florida Times Union – “The St. Johns River… is… under threat… JaxPort is gearing up to start dredging the St. Johns by year’s end. This project could have a disastrous impact on our already threatened estuaries and conservation lands, including one of Northeast Florida’s “crown jewels” – the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve. Citizens must act now by asking city leadership to stop the dredging before it’s too late… Decades of shoreline erosion and increasing levels of silt in the St. Johns River have already blocked essential sunlight from the once-thriving seagrass communities that provide critical habitat for marine life (including dolphins and fish). The National Park Service’s comments on the project’s environmental impact statement highlighted significant concerns that dredging could result in even more shoreline erosion and additional saltwater intrusion… Contact your City Council members and ask them to support holding a public forum on this ill-conceived project.” Read Citizens must take action to protect the St. Johns River

Steve Patterson reports for The Florida Times Union – “An environmental group created to protect the Ocklawaha River is suing the U.S. Forest Service in a bid to breach the Rodman Dam blocking the river’s flow through Putnam County… The state ‘is occupying Ocala National Forest both without a permit and in violation of the terms of the original… [permit], long since expired,’ the suit said… The suit is a way to settle a dispute between the Defenders (of the Environment) and the Forest Service over whether a federal permit for the dam, located inside the national forest, really expired in 1998. Deciding the permit expired could lead to the dam being demolished, because the permit requires removal of structures on Forest Service property once it expires… In March…, the [Forest Service] told Defenders that it didn’t consider the permit expired. The Forest Service said… that the state could keep on using national forest lands until an application for another permit is approved or denied. The point should have been decided years ago, said the Defenders’ executive director, Jim Gross. ‘You can’t do this forever,’ Gross said of the inaction.” Read Group’s lawsuit challenges state use of Rodman Dam, seeks its removal

The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “With [Lake Okeechobee] hitting its highest level in 12 years, Gov. Rick Scott has renewed his call for Congress to jump-start repairs of the lake’s more-than-70-year-old earthen dike, which is considered one of the country’s most at-risk of failing… Congress must step up. More money is needed to speed dike repair, which at its current pace won’t get done until 2025. That’s way too long to fix a dike that engineers warned in 2006 posed ‘a grave and imminent danger to the people and the environment of South Florida.’ … Hurricane Irma reminded us of the need to move faster. When Irma looked like it was headed straight for the lake, evacuations were ordered for Pahokee, Belle Glade and other lakeside towns because of fears the storm could be too much for the dike… Congressional funding for the dike during the past five years has averaged about $90 million a year… It would take about $200 million a year to finish the job by the governor’s 2022 goal… Meanwhile, a new state proposal to explore pumping lake water deep underground risks sidetracking efforts to get more water flowing into the Everglades… Fixing the overall problem will require the acquisition of more land to get more Lake Okeechobee water flowing south to the Everglades.” Read Help needed now for Lake Okeechobee’s troubled dike

Tia Mitchell reports for the Florida Times Union – “Hurricane Irma has made worse an already gloomy financial outlook for Florida and will impact the state’s bottom line for years to come. Budget analysts had already predicted a $1.6 billion budget shortfall by 2020… On top of that is Irma, which has already caused the state to use $141 million in rainy day funds… Amy Baker, Florida’s chief economist, urged state lawmakers to take ‘corrective action’ in the upcoming 2018 legislative session that could include cutting the budget, reversing tax cuts, raising taxes or dipping into reserves. The storm costs come as the hurricane season had disrupted the state’s economy.” Read Florida budget woes go from bad to worse after Irma

Mark Reynolds write for Centre Daily Times – “The policy that finds favor across the political spectrum is a steadily rising fee on carbon with revenue returned to households. This approach uses the power of the market to hold fossil fuels accountable for the damage they inflict on our society… By returning revenue from the carbon fee equally to all households, we can shield individuals and families from the economic impact of rising energy costs associated with the fee… REMI found that after 20 years, CO2 emissions would be reduced 50 percent below 1990 levels. At the same time, 2.8 million jobs would be added because of the economic stimulus of returning revenue to consumers. In other words, this policy is a win-win for both our environment and our economy… In repealing the Clean Power Plan, the Trump administration shows that it’s bent on removing government regulations around climate change. That means it’s up to Congress to make the market solve the problem instead.” Read Carbon fee policy is a ‘win-win’ for environment and economy

James Temple reports for MIT Technology Review – “Nearly two dozen wildfires have burned almost 170,000 acres across California this week, destroying thousands of structures and killing 23 people so far… Thousands of residents have been forced from their homes, and hundreds are missing… Regardless of what produced the initial sparks,… there’s a good chance that human-induced climate change made it easier for those fires to spread. The clearest way in which global warming increases wildfire risk… is higher temperatures. Warmer air draws moisture from plants… and soil, increasing what’s known as fuel aridity. This provides the dry fuel and conditions that feed wildfires. Other climatic factors can also contribute, including decreased rainfall and reduced or earlier-melting mountain snowpack. Human factors can increase the dangers as well, including increased development along wilderness boundaries and fuel suppression efforts that can build up fuel, making fires more deadly when they do ignite… [I]n several earlier papers, [Noah Diffenbaugh, a professor of earth system science at Stanford] and his coauthors concluded that human-influenced global warming ‘very likely’ contributed to California’s recent five-year drought… [T]he drought killed ‘millions of trees’…, building up huge amounts of fuel. Separately, while the 2016-2017 winter was an extremely wet season, it was followed by a dry and blistering summer that set temperature records around the state… [A]nthropogenic climate change has doubled the area scorched by forest fires during the last three decades across the American West… according to a study last year in Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesRead Did Climate Change Fuel California’s Devastating Fires? Probably.

 

 

 

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 Pesacola 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.

October 31, 2:30 pm – Attend the Polk County Delegation meeting at the Florida Department of Citrus (605 E Main St) in Bartow. 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.

Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page.

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 over 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/



Search Daily News Briefs: