FCC News Brief - October 18, 2017

Kirby Wilson reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Floridians say the environment is a top five issue for the state, and they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is… 56 percent of Floridians favor a tax whose revenue would be used to address environmental issues… [T]he survey detailed a number of areas of environmental concern for Floridians, including loss of land, invasive species and rising sea levels. Public opinion of the state government’s handling of environmental issues has gotten less favorable over the past five years, the survey showed.” Read Poll: Majority of Floridians favor tax earmarked for environmental protection

The Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “The $1.66 billion Wekiva Parkway, now under construction, is paved with compromise. The last link in Orlando’s beltway, traversing the environmentally sensitive Wekiva River Basin, would not have been undertaken without a deal meticulously crafted over more than six months by a 28-member task force… Recommendations from the task force became the basis for a 2004 bill authorizing the parkway… One of the key task force recommendations in the law was a strict cap on interchanges for the highway to limit its environmental impact and discourage sprawling development in the basin, an oasis of natural springs, wetlands, forests and wildlife. But now Orange County Commissioner Bryan Nelson, whose district includes the Wekiva Parkway, plans to float the idea… of making permanent a temporary interchange… Commissioners need to shoot down this terrible idea before it reaches Tallahassee, where environmental protection usually takes a back seat to development. Current plans call for the temporary interchange to be removed when other sections of the parkway are completed… The undeveloped acreage surrounding the now-temporary interchange is a critical recharge area for the region’s underground drinking water supply. And state and local governments shelled out more than $100 million in public funds to buy two adjacent, environmentally sensitive properties to protect them from development and preserve them for water recharge and wildlife habitat… Converting a temporary interchange to a permanent one could add millions of dollars to the cost of the parkway… And it would invite a lawsuit from environmental groups, followed by a lengthy and costly legal battle… Greenlighting one new interchange… would make it harder to rule out others in the future.” Read Don’t unravel compromise behind Wekiva Parkway

Bill Smith reports for the News Press – “Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass questioned whether [Lee] County can really be flood proof given the willingness of people to live in areas prone to flooding… ‘Half of South Florida is built in a swamp, it doesn’t look like a swamp, it looks like condos and golf courses and commercial shopping centers,’ (Commissioner Frank) Mann said. ‘When it rains a lot we flood, I’d rather warn them than subsidize the building of it and continue the mistakes we’ve made for a hundred years now.’ Commissioners bandied about the possibility of requiring notices on deeds that the buyer take the property with full knowledge that flooding is highly probable.” Read Cost of avoiding another Irma: ‘Hundreds of millions’ in Lee County

Bill Smith reports for News Press – “[A] proposed limerock mine off State Road 82 near Corkscrew Road has been advanced to an expected December hearing. The bid for a permit to mine 1,8737 of a 4,200-acre site off State Road 82 has been stalled for years. First, a judge struck down a county zoning change that would have barred the mining in the environmentally sensitive Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource area of east Lee County… Old Corkscew Plantation is used for citrus farming. In addition to agricultural use, the site includes 1,112 acres of wetlands… Mining would produce more than four million tons of material per year, requiring nine hours per day of blasting and producing 1,400 daily mining truck trips… AIM has endorsed suggestions that Corkscrew Road be widened to six lanes between Three Oaks and Ben Hill Griffin parkways, and pushing forward with an eight-lane configuration for SR 82 from Daniels Parkway to 40th Street Southwest.” Read Corkscrew mine plan clears hurdle; could add 1,400 rock truck trips per day to heavily traveled roads

The Ocala Star Banner Editorial Board writes – “Taking the Rodman down will not destroy quality fishing, as dam supporters say. A free-flowing Ocklawaha will likely become filled with fish and remain a draw to fisherman. FDE and others say the river has lost more than 20 species of fish, not to mention manatees, because the dam blocks upstream movement and spawning. The Silver River, which feeds into the Ocklawaha, has lost more than 90 percent of its fish population since the dam was built… It is time to remove the dam, which FDE and others estimate will cost $20 million. Let the river flow free, let the fish and other species return to their natural habitat and help our waterways flush like nature intended them to.” Read Take down the Rodman Dam

Tyler Treadway reports for the USA Today Network – “Rainfall runoff and Lake Okeechobee discharges since Hurricane Irma hit… have turned miles of Atlantic beaches and Indian River Lagoon waters the color of coffee… Gilmore, lead scientist for Estuarine, Coastal & Ocean Science… [said,] ‘The chemicals (from crops and lawns) kill the plankton in the (St. Lucie) river and lagoon that all the fish depend on for food.’ The fish can flee and some see an influx of brown water each fall as a signal to head to the ocean to spawn, he said. Oysters and sea grass can’t leave, and they’re dying because the influx of fresh water lowers the salinity they need to survive… Extra-high tides that threatened to flood low-lying areas along the St. Lucie River last week actually did the oysters a favor by pushing more salt water into the river.” Read Hurricane Irma’s runoff draws brown line of pollution on Florida’s Atlantic Coast

Adam Wernick reports for PRI – “When Hurricane Irma hit Florida, it blasted an estimated 3 to 10 feet of storm surge into the Everglades. Combined with the drenching rain, the storm may change the vegetation patterns of the enormous wetland… Over many decades, the Everglades were systematically drained for development… All of this draining and channelizing the wetlands have weakened the Everglades’ resilience and its ability to buffer storms… Development created ‘a number of pulses, much larger than natural, of freshwater into the coast and this has affected the marine ecosystem,’ [Miralles-Wilhelm] (a University of Maryland hydrologist) explains. Storm surges bring sudden, large amounts of saltwater back into the system, which, in a way, recreates the natural interface that was lost.” Read Will the Everglades be different after Hurricane Irma?

Amanda Kooser reports for Cnet – “A study on alligator diets finds the carnivorous reptiles… have a sweet tooth for sharks… While alligators are freshwater animals and sharks live in saltwater, their territories sometimes overlap… [A]lligators can… sip fresh rainwater off the surface of salt water in order to spend time in a marine environment… The alligators aren’t exactly tucking into Great Whites. The research team found evidence the reptiles eat several different kinds of small sharks and one type of stringray.” Read Alligators will eat sharks when given the chance

 

 

 

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

 

 

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 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, 5:00 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/



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