FCC News Brief - October 24, 2017

Jim Turner reports for the News Service of Florida – “[A] proposal by Gov. Rick Scott… includes increased funding for the state’s springs, beaches and parks, along with $355 million for Everglades restoration, $50 million to help the federal government speed repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee and $50 million for Florida Forever, the state’s most prominent land-preservation fund... [C]oncerns remain that more funding is needed for Florida Forever and that Scott isn’t adequately addressing the problems of sea-level rise and climate change. ‘Hurricane Irma made it devastatingly clear that we need bold action and visionary leadership to confront the growing problems associated with sea-level rise and climate change,’ Florida Conservation Voters Executive Director Aliki Moncrief said. ‘A robustly funded Florida Forever enables us to mitigate these problems by strategically conserving important wetlands and floodplains.’… The package includes $55 million for natural springs, $100 million for beaches and $50 million for the state parks… Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat running for governor in 2018, said Scott talks big on the environment when he’s about to appear on the ballot. ‘He promised that he’d request $150 million for Florida Forever each year in his second term --- and we’re on Year #7 of his administration and he’s now promising only $50 million,’ Gillum said… ‘… Delivering one-third of a promise is not a promise kept.’” Read Gov. Scott calls for more money for Florida’s environment

 

Eric Staats reports for the Naples Daily News – “Four stretches of road in Collier County rank among the worst hot spots for vehicle collisions with endangered Florida panthers, according to a new report. The report by a committee of panther advocates, road planners and wildlife agency representatives lists almost 20 road segments in Collier and Hendry counties as candidates for wildlife crossings to reduce panther deaths. ‘This should send up some red flags about the need to look at these segments more closely,’ said Florida Wildlife Federation field representative Nancy Payton, the committee chairwoman. The study of vehicle collisions, the most common cause of death for panthers, is part of a larger effort by the US. Fish and Wildlife Service to review the pace of Florida panther recovery… A key to building a wildlife crossing is having large areas of preserve land on either side, something scientists call connectivity… Four hot spots along the Alligator Alley section of Interstate 75… were addressed when the DOT raised fencing along the side of the highway and built wildlife ledges beneath two bridges. The hot spot report cites efforts by conservationists to put more land into preserve north of the western end of that stretch of highway in Collier before considering new wildlife crossings there.” Read Florida panther hot spot report aims to focus wildlife crossings where needed most

 

Nicole Johnson writes for the News Press – “As the 2018 state legislative session approaches, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and our more than 6,000 supporting families are asking our elected officials to prioritize and pass bills that protect our most valued resource: our water. These efforts are reflected in our top legislative priority, a statewide ban on well stimulation treatments (commonly known as fracking), which has been proposed through Senate Bill 462 and House Bill 237. We applaud the leadership of Sen. Dana Young… and Rep. Kathleen Peters… in filing these critical bills. These risky drilling practices use hazardous chemicals and can result in surface spills and water contamination… [T]hese stimulation treatments use high volumes of freshwater mixed with toxic chemicals. Any water that returns to the surface after the well stimulation treatments includes trace radioactive elements and briny saltwater from underground. The water cannot be reused to replenish groundwater resources, which is the source of drinking water for more than 90 percent of Floridians. South Florida’s oil is of poor quality, and Florida’s reserves represent a mere one tenth of 1 percent of the oil in the United States. The proposed legislation would still allow these reserves to be extracted by conventional methods, providing continued access by mineral rights holders.” Read Fracking a danger to state water supplies

Brittany Levine Beckman reports for Mashable – “A coral restoration team from Florida’s Mote Marine Laboratory was checking on its underwater nursery for the first time since Hurricane Irma… The team of scientists grows coral, which is then planted out on reefs decimated by global warming and other human abuses… While the infrastructure, including the PVC trees where corals hang… survived the storm, much of the vibrant coral within the 60-by-80 meter site did not… The reefs are vital for the Florida coastline because the… structures act as a buffer from powerful waves. They’re also important for the economy, as the sea life the reefs support helps feed the state and reel in tourists. Globally, restoring coral reefs is taking on new urgency as more frequent and severe coral bleaching events kill reefs that are less tolerant of unusually high water temperatures.” Read Coral reefs in Florida Keys hit hard this hurricane season, but there are signs of recovery

Amy Green reports for WMFE – “New research shows plastic pollution is widespread in Florida’s coastal waters… Lead researcher Maia McGuire says volunteers collected 1,000 samples and found at least one plastic item in nearly 90 percent of the samples. ‘To me that’s pretty alarming. You can dip a one-liter bottle into the water anywhere around the state and almost guarantee there’s going to be at least one piece of plastic in it.’” Read Plastics Widespread in Florida Coastal Waterways

Jonathan Webber writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “The Endangered Species Act… has prevented more than 99 percent of listed species from going extinct, including several species located in the rapidly growing and developing state of Florida… [M]embers of Congress have repeatedly tried to undermine the Endangered Species Act. Now is not the time to be watering down or repealing the… Act… I hope those Florida members who have not yet expressed their support for the common-sense safeguards in the act will join Nelson and Buchanan in their courageous defense.” Read Endangered Species Act’s not broken; don’t fix it

Mark Woods writes for The Florida Times Union – “Five years after Pelican Island was created, Roosevelt used the Antiquities Act to protect more than 800,000 acres in Arizona as Grand Canyon National Monument. It’s one of quite a few iconic national parks that started as a national monument. Ralph Henry Cameron, an Arizona senator and businessman who fought against Grand Canyon National Monument, eventually sued. He didn’t want all that land locked away. He wanted more mining. He said the Antiquities Act was being misused, that it was designed to protect small ancient sites, not large landscapes. The Supreme Court ruled against Cameron in 1920. Nearly 100 years later, this same argument has been renewed. In April, President Trump issued an executive order for Zinke to review 27 national monuments created by the last three administrations… [Zinke] only visited eight of the 27 national monuments under review. While he talked about listening to local voices, he often avoided some of the most local and American of voices – tribes supporting the monuments – and produced a report that dismissed public comments overwhelmingly opposing changes as a ‘well-orchestrated national campaign.’ His report recommends changes to 10 parks.” Read Some swamps (and rivers and lakes) we shouldn’t drain

Eric Lipton reports for The New York Times – “For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water. The chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, has been linked to kidney cancer, birth defects, immune system disorders and other serious health problems. So scientists and administrators in the EPA’s Office of Water were alarmed in late May when a top Trump administration appointee insisted upon the rewriting of a rule to make it harder to track the health consequences of the chemical, and therefore regulate it.” Read Safety experts worry as industry insider changes EPA’s stance on toxic chemicals

 

 

 

 

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

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 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.

November 1, 1:00 pm – Attend the Duval County Delegation meeting on the 1st Floor of of Jacksonville City Hall (117 W Duval St.) in Jacksonville. 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.

November 1, 1:30 pm – Attend the Pinellas County Delegation meeting at the Tarpon Springs Campus of St. Petersburg College (600 E Klosterman Rd) in Tarpon 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.

November 3, 9:00 am – Attend the Volusia County Delegation meeting at the Ormand Beach City Hall Chamber (22 South Beach St.) in Ormand. 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.

November 3, 9:30 am – Attend the Hillsborough County Delegation meeting at the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds Grimes Family Agricultural Center (2508 W. Oak Ave) in Plant 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.

November 3, 3:00 pm – Attend the Citrus County Delegation meeting at the Citrus County Courthouse (110 North Apopka Ave.) in Inverness. 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.

November 8, 12:45 pm – Attend Bats and Bees – Important for Nature at the Belvedere Library Community Room (325 Belvedere Blvd.) in The Villages. Shari Blissett-Clark, of the Florida Bat Conservancy, will discuss the work of the conservancy to protect native bat populations in Florida. She will also bring a sample of a bat house that is available for purchase. Carmen Fraccica, of the Florida Bureau of Plant & Apiary Inspection, will discuss beekeeping in Florida. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

November 20, 9:00 am – Attend the Walton County Delegation meeting at the Walton County Board of County Commissioners Chambers (76 North 6th Street) in DeFuniak. 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.

November 20, 10:30 am – Attend the Holmes County Delegation meeting at the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners Chambers (107 E. Virginia Ave.) in Bonifay. 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.

November 20, 11:45 am – Attend the Washington County Delegation meeting at the Washington County Board of County Commissioners Chambers (1331 South Blvd.) in Chipley. 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.

November 20, 2:15 pm – Attend the Jackson County Delegation meeting at the Jackson County Board of County Commissioners Chambers (2864 Madison Street) in Marianna. 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.

November 21, 5:00 pm – Attend the Liberty County Delegation meeting at the Liberty County Clerk-Circuit (10818 NW State Road 20) in Bristol. 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.

November 27, 9:00 am – Attend the Pasco County Delegation meeting at the Wesley Chapel Center for the Arts (30651 Wells Rd.) in Wesley Chapel. 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.

November 29, 9:00 am – Attend the Indian River County Delegation meeting at 1801 27th St in Vero 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.

December 1, 8:30 am – Attend the Palm Beach County Delegation meeting at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center of Palm Beach State College (1977 SW College Drive) in Belle Glade. 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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