FCC News Brief - October 27, 2017

Jim Turner and Lloyd Dunkelberger report for the News Service of Florida – “(Governor) Graham… said Scott’s proposal to spend $50 million on the once-celebrated Florida Forever preservation program doesn’t meet the needs of the program. ‘We have to decide the kind of Florida we want to leave behind for future generations,’ said Graham… ‘The only way to leave behind a better Florida is to make significant investments to conserve Florida’s most critical natural and working landscapes now.’ Bob Graham is chairman of the Florida Conservation Coalition, which includes groups such as Audubon Florida, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Defenders of Wildlife, the Florida Conservation Voters Education Fund, the Florida Wildlife Federation, the League of Women Voters, 1000 Friends of Florida, the Sierra Club, St. Johns Riverkeeper and the Trust for Public Land… The documentary stamp tax is expected to generate $862.2 million next fiscal year for a trust fund used to carry out the (Water and Land Conservation) amendment… The Florida Conservation Coalition believes the largest part of that money, about $300 million [this] year, should go into statewide conservation programs, including the Florida Forever priority list, the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program and the Florida Communities Trust program. In the past, Florida Forever received about $300 million annually… ‘All we’re asking is that current state leadership continue a decades-long tradition of protecting the lands that are critical for our economy and our quality of life,’ Bob Graham said.” Read Environmental Funding Draws Debate

Tom Hoctor writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “This trend of grossly underfunding land protection started in 2009, after several decades of strong bipartisan effort to fund these efforts, and if this continues many iconic landscapes, critical wildlife habitat, and lands essential for providing clean and sufficient water, flood control, storm protection, clean air, and recreation opportunities will be lost forever… So, what might have been protected if Florida Forever received full funding over the last eight years…? If we had that $2.4 billion and assume a general average of $4,000 an acre for protection costs, we could have protected approximately 600,000 acres of land or even more given very low land costs during the recession. For comparison the Ocala National Forest… is approximately 500,000 acres. There is currently approximately 2.4 million acres of land waiting for protection on the Florida Forever list. That means if we had fully funded Florida Forever we would have protected a full 25 percent of the lands essential for conservation… This is something that we all have the power to change by both contacting our legislators and by the way we vote in the next election. Let them know that protecting Florida’s water, wildlife, and quality of life is at least as important as maintaining and adding to our built infrastructure.” Read The Legislature is thwarting the people’s will and the state Constitution in refusing to fund Florida Forever

Tony Judnich reports for NWF Daily News – “’We have a lot of park projects and a lot of recreational amenities in the queue,’ Destin spokesman Doug Rainer said… For example, officials in late August issued a final development order to the nonprofit Trust for Public Land to begin work on the estimated $8.7 million Capt. Leonard Destin Park. This trust-owned, 3.3-acre park… along Chotawhatchee Bay will feature a beach area, kayak launch, splash pad, restrooms, a parking area and picnic facilities.” Read Parks in the pipeline

Stephen Leahy reports for Motherboard – “A new study published… in Nature provides the first hard evidence that conservation spending to set up and protect nature reserves and parks is saving species. Between 1992-2003, $14.4 billion was spent in total in the 109 countries studied… The investment resulted in a 29 percent-per-country average decrease in the rate of biodiversity decline between 1996-2008, the new paper concludes. It takes a few years before investments in conservation show results, lead author Anthony Waldron, a conservation scientist at Oxford University, [said.]… The data was used to create an evidence-based model that estimates how effective additional investments would be, based on each country’s unique socioeconomic context such as population and economic growth, and expansion of agriculture… An additional $5 million investment in conservation could have slowed the loss of plant, animal, and other species by 50 percent in Peru and 90 percent in Rwanda during the period studied, according to the model… ‘The main message is the conservation is working, but that we need to boost investment to meet international policy targets,’ co-author Joseph Tobias… said… Altogether the goods and services that nature provides is estimated to be worth between $125-145 trillion USD per year… An accompanying commentary in Nature notes that halting the decline in global biodiversity would be ‘remarkably cheap,’ amounting to less than 0.01 percent of global gross domestic product.” Read The World Spent $14.4 Billion on Conservation, and it Actually Worked

The News Service of Florida reports – “Eight counties and two homeowners’ associations have applied for state money aimed at keeping bears away from residential communities. The requests for the annual “BearWise” money total $998,425, with $515,283 available from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. ‘Feeding on garbage is the main reason why Florida black bears appear in neighborhoods,’ David Telesco, who leads the commission’s bear management program, said in a prepared statement… A key factor in awarding part of the money is a requirement by the state that applicants have ordinances requiring that trash be secured while awaiting pickup… An announcement on the money will be made in November. The counties that have applied are Collier, Franklin, Highlands, Lake, Orange, Seminole, Volusia and Walton.” Read Communities seek money to prevent bear dangers

Meredith Brown reports for Sierra Club – “In July, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) began its five-year review of the Florida panther… As part of the review, the FWS and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) issued a report that claims up to 230 panthers are now living in southwest Florida… [T]he Florida Chapter (of the Sierra Club) submitted its own technical report, which states that the population in 2015, at its highest, was 139. According to the chapter, the FWS numbers are based on outdated research, and the agency is neglecting to take into account the factors driving the panther to extinction: habitat loss and fragmentation, which will be exacerbated by climate change… Jackalone (Director of the Florida Sierra Club) says that the commission is making decisions about the panther ‘with an eye on how this wildlife is impacting economic growth interests in Florida.’ Development, he says, is a driving force for FWC decision-making and, in turn, influences the FWS… The federal recovery plan for the panther requires three viable populations of at least 240 individuals for a minimum of 12 years (two panther generations) as conditions to consider delisting the species from the ESA. In addition, sufficient habitat must be secured… Ranchers, developers, and some hunters have pressured government agencies to consider panthers as “incidental take.” Jackalone explains that this would make it legal to shoot a panther if it were to become a nuisance to livestock and to destroy panther habitat, or even kill a panther, to create new subdivisions of homes.” Read Will the Endangered Florida Panther be Delisted?

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “What’s black and white all over, puts on a mesmerizing mating performance and definitely doesn’t belong in Florida? A parasitic African songbird that could threaten the state’s native birds. In the last month, three different South Florida birders have spotted pin-tailed whydahs, the first such sightings in decades… While no one is suggesting the sightings mark the arrival of the state’s next invasive species, their appearance in the wild has set off a few alarms… All three sightings occurred after Hurricane Irma struck South Florida, making it likely the storm played a part in their appearance.” Read Exotic bird makes SoFla scene. Its equally exotic sex dance could spell trouble for natives

Terry Spencer reports for the Associated Press – “The Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees the Herbert Hoover Dike, said… that recently activated daily inspections show that while there is some increased seepage as the water level now exceeds 17 feet, the barrier’s integrity has not been compromised… While there has been seepage and even some flowing water coming through the dike, the water has not been carrying material from inside the barrier. That would be a sign of possible weakening… The biggest concern with the high water level would be a late-season tropical storm… In addition to adding feet of water to the lake – the added weight would put additional pressure on the dike. A storm that passed directly overhead also could cause the water to slosh from one side to the other like in a bathtub. That could cause the dike to fail.” Read US government: Inspections show Lake Okeechobee’s dike sound

 

 

 

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 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 4, 11:00 am – Attend Clean Energy Fest at the UWF Historic Trust’s Museum Plaza (120 Church St) in Pensacola. This event celebrates a clean energy future through art, food, live music, and dynamic people showcasing solar, wind, and people-power for the 21st century. Children’s activities with hands-on play around the ideas of conservation and clean energy will take place all day long. For more information visit Clean Energy Fest 2017 on Facebook, email 350pensacola@gmail.com, or call (850) 687 – 9968.

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 16, 7:00 pm – Attend Rivers, Birds and Water Wars with Todd Engstrom at the King Life Science Building (319 Stadium Drive) in Tallahassee. For more information, click here.

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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