FCC News Brief - October 5, 2017

Duhane Lindo reports for ABC 7 – “Despite a long line of public opposition at Tuesday’s meeting, the Manatee County Commission has approved the Aqua by the Bay project.” Read Aqua by the Bay approved despite opposition

Ali Schmitz reports for the TC Palm – “The newly expanded Caulkins Water Farm, which pulls water from the C-44 Canal, launched Tuesday… The farm will remove up to 35 billion gallons of water – a combination of Lake Okeechobee discharges and local farmland runoff- each year from the C-44 Canal, preventing it from reaching and polluting the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.” Read Expanded Caulkins Water Farm launches, aims to reduce discharges

Teresa Stepzinski reports for the Florida Times Union – “Florida wildlife authorities want public comment about potential species conservation measures and permitting guidelines for several state-designated species including the Black Creek crayfish and Florida pine snake – found throughout Northeast Florida… Beginning Sept. 8 the guidelines will be available for public review and comment through Oct. 25… To survive, the crayfish needs higher quality water, which means it’s vulnerable to pollution including silt, damming and changes in water temperature. Those threats result from increased urbanization, road shoulder erosion, mining and cultivation of trees, according to the Fish and Wildlife Commission.” Read FWC seeks public input on Black Creek crayfish, other threatened species

Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “The former state legislator… Gov. Rick Scott named to regulate the state’s utilities used his clout to block efforts to put a measure on the 2014 ballot to make it easier for businesses to install solar panels – the same month he partied with a Duke Energy lobbyist - and routinely used his political committee to finance daily meals and expenses. Ritch Workman, 44, the governor’s surprise pick to replace Ronald A. Brise on the Public Service Commission, has no utility experience… ‘I just don’t see the need to continue to expand the incentives and underwriting of solar,’ he told the Herald/Times… Workman’s appointment to the PSC is effective Jan. 2. He must receive confirmation from the Florida Senate.” Read Florida’s new utility regulator: Uber driver, donkey farmer, legislator

Eleanor Cummins writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “Japan isn’t the only place taking its energetic future into its own hands, though it may be unique in that its efforts to decentralize energy are actually supported by a central government. As global climate change increases the likelihood of devastating storms, everyone’s looking to diversify power system, from Indians using solar panels to power through monsoon season to Brooklynites warding off a second Superstorm Sandy with a blockchain-based energy exchange. The United States already has 160 microgrids, which are loosely defined as a system that allows people to operate in “island mode,” where they’re running on independently generated energy, typically from solar panels but also fossil fuels or wind… [T]he most effective microgrids have to be built by a community – or, in a best case scenario like Japan’s a local government – that can pick up any individual’s slack. Right now, Florida, Texas and, especially, Puerto Rico are facing incredible challenges as they begin to rebuild. But they’re also afforded a unique opportunity to think strategically about what they want for their futures and to set an example for the rest of the world gripped by an increasingly calamitous climate.” Read Hurricanes devastated the grid, so let’s think outside the wire to make them better

Jennifer Sorentrue reports for my Palm Beach Post – “An administrative law judge… signed off on an environmental permit that All Aboard Florida’s Brightline needs to build the second phase of its project connecting its West Palm Beach station to Orlando… Earlier this year, Martin and St. Lucie counties challenged Brightline’s permit request, arguing that it only looks at portions of the project and that the changes would harm water quality in the area.” Read After legal fight, Water District given OK to issue Brightline permits

Bruce Formhals reports for Lake County Florida News – “Lake County is rolling out its bear-resistant garbage cart program, with approximately 840 specialized carts available for county residents living in areas with the most reported human-bear interactions. ‘The distribution of carts is timely, as bears are most active during the fall months,’ said Mary Hamilton, Environmental Services Manager… The carts, purchased through a $200,000… FWC grant, are available at a discounted price of $40… Residents should be aware of their surroundings to avoid potential conflicts with bears, and follow Lake County’s ordinance that requires trash to be kept secure.” Read Lake County rolls out bear-resistant garbage cart program

Timothy Cama reports for The Hill – “More than 6 in 10 Americans believe that climate change is a problem that the federal government needs to address, according to a new poll… [A] large majority of Americans in both major parties believe that climate change is happening… 51 percent of respondents were willing to pay $1 a month to combat global warming, a figure that dropped to 18 percent when the prospective monthly fee increased to $100… ‘Although half of households said they were unwilling to pay anything for a carbon policy in their monthly electricity bills, on average Americans would pay about $30 per month, as a meaningful share of households report that they are willing to pay a substantial amount,’ [Michael Greenstone, director of the Energy Policy Institute] said… Only 17 percent of respondents said they support fracking. But if the pollster said it would save the respondent significantly on natural gas bill, support averaged 41 percent… 41 percent of respondents said they opposed Trump’s plan to repeal the Clean Power Plan…” Read Poll: Most Americans want government to fight climate change

 

 

 

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

Administrative Director for the Apalachicola Riverkeeper

 

Petitions

Petition to Deny Long Bar Pointe – Aqua by the Bay

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 7, 9:00 am – Attend the 2017 Everglades Symposium: Citizen Empowerment in Miami. For more information and to register, click here.

October 11, 12:45 pm – Attend the Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library Community Room in The Villages. Gary Kuhl and Amy Giannotti will be speaking. Gary Kuhl is a former Executive Director of the SWFWMD and Amy Giannotti is the Water & Lakes Manager in Winter Park, FL. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

October 11, 6:30 pm – Attend “Stop the Drill! Protecting the FL Coast from Offshore Drilling” at the West Florida Public Library (239 N. Spring St.) in Pensacola. Erin Handy of Oceana will update attendees on the push to lease parts of the Gulf for drilling, and share how citizens and businesses can get involved in the battle to keep the rigs away. She will also educate attendees on the seismic testing process which is blamed for the harm and death of whales and other marine life. For more information, contact 350pensacola@gmail.com

October 11, 7:00 pm – Attend “Losing the Grand Canyon: FAF Presents an Unforgettable Evening with Kevin Fedarko” in Orlando. Kevin is one of 24 who have hiked the entire 800-mile journey through the Canyon. What he learned along the way should concern all of us in Florida who love our environmental treasures. The evening will be moderated by Diane Roberts and tickets are $50. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, 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 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: 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.

 

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.  

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