FCC News Brief - October 9, 2017

The Gainesville Sun Editorial Board writes – “It’s about time that officials in Tallahassee again make the same kind of commitment to land conservation as Alachua County has long made… The tide might finally be turning. Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet have in the past year dipped into money that has long sat in the Florida Forever program for such purchases as Blue Springs Park… and a mile of land fronting the Santa Fe River. Scott’s Department of Environmental Protection… recently proposed dedicating $50 million toward Florida Forever in the next state budget. It falls well short of the $300 million that had been spent annually on Florida Forever before recent reductions, but it’s a start. Better yet, state Sen. Rob Bradley has introduced legislation mandating at least $100 million in annual Florida Forever spending from Amendment 1 money…. Spending money on land conservation and springs restoration provides wide-ranging benefits. Keeping land important to recharging the aquifer from being paved over… protects water quality and quantity as well as prevents flooding. Hurricane Irma showed the importance of protecting wetlands and other land bordering water bodies to help shield communities from storm damage. Conserving and connecting environmentally sensitive lands also provides passage for wildlife and recreational opportunities for people… The state now needs to follow through on renewed commitments to dedicate more funding to land conservation… throughout Florida.” Read State must commit to conservation

Bob Messersmith writes for the Citrus County Chronicle – “A report released by the governments of Canada, United States and Mexico last year, “The State of North American Birds 2016,” announced that because of a ‘multitude of threats, over a third of the bird species in North America are ‘of significant conservation concern’… Even in the Sunshine State, birds cannot seem to get a break… We contaminate their drinking water and build homes on lands that used to be their nesting areas... To change that, in 2014, Florida voters approved a constitutional Amendment that allocated 33 percent of net revenue from the existing excise tax to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund… In defiance of the Florida voter, [the Legislature decided] to channel the most substantial chunk of the land preservation money… to routine expenses previously funded through other sources… ‘It’s not the ‘land management trust fund.’ It’s not the ‘existing agencies operations trust fund.’ It’s the Land Acquisition Trust Fund,’ said Will Abberger, chairman, Florida’s Water and Land Legacy… The Washington Post is reporting the Trump Administration is secretly taking the first steps toward opening the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling… The Arctic Refuge is where over 200 bird species go to nest every summer. Many of these birds, like the Northern Pintail, spend their winters in Florida… Florida birds like the Dunlin, Peregrine Falcons, and the Horned Grebe might have had their start… on the Alaska Coastal plain and then come to Florida… Seismic testing will disturb these nesting places…” Read Birds can’t catch a break in Florida

Hannah Morse reports for the Bradenton Herald – “The approval of Aqua by the Bay, a giant development planned for West Bradenton along Sarasota Bay, left a sour taste in some local environmentalists’ mouths… An unofficial coalition of environmental groups – including Suncoast Waterkeeper, the local chapter of the Sierra Club, the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage and Manasota-88- that has honed in on land-use issues plans to gather later this month to plot out their next move. They believe the Manatee Board of County Commissioners did not follow the Land Development Code or the Comprehensive Plan, in reaching its decision.” Read Aqua by the Bay opponents consider their next move

Jeff Burley reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Hulk wants to smash fracking in Florida. Or at least Mark Ruffalo, the actor who plays him in the movies, does. Ruffalo [joined] Floridians Against Fracking in a conference call… to discuss efforts to enact a statewide ban on the controversial drilling technique. Kim Ross, president of ReThink Energy Florida and a member of Floridians Against Fracking, said Ruffalo will share his expertise in the fight against fracking in New York and Maryland, both of which adopted statewide bans… Last year, legislation that would have prohibited fracking in Florida died in a stalemate between the House and Senate over the need for a scientific study into potential fracking dangers. Next week, state Sen. Dana Young…, who sponsored last year’s Senate bill, is expected to announce new legislation to ban fracking… Rep. Kathleen Peters… [has filed] the House companion bill.” Read Hulk actor wants to smash fracking in Florida

Dan Tonsmeire writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Calhoun County commissioners recently approved a proposal by the Spooner Oil Company to drill an exploratory well in the southern part of the county. It’s a bad bet for the Chipola and Apalachicola rivers, for the region’s drinking water supply, and for the people. Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection would be wise to stop this proposal in its tracks… [I]t brings the risk of releasing harmful chemicals into the wetlands and into the Chipola and Dead Lakes. A period of heavy rain could be disastrous if it carries toxins into the river system… Keep in mind, too, that drilling to 12,900 feet as Spooner proposes, means going through the Floridan aquifer, the source of the water we drink, bathe in and use for irrigating crops. That’s a hole punched through our aquifer, a resource we depend on for survival. If a disaster happens,… [w]hat the people of Calhoun… lose is a fragile system that is already being choked off by overuse upstream… Furthermore, Spooner says its testing will require 100,000 gallons of water per day, water that would otherwise support flows to the already thirsty and depleted river and bay. Georgia could well point to this as evidence we aren’t concerned about water withdrawals in the basin… Spooner estimates it might extract 19 million barrels of oil, which will yield 100 million barrels of brine and sludge with it. Spooner’s solution to disposing of this mess is deep-well injection, which opens up a new set of environmental and public health concerns… The Apalachicola Riverkeeper… and many others… have been working hard to help restore a healthy flow of water to our river and bay. We need allies in that fight, not opportunists willing to push it even closer to the edge.” Read Opinion: Oil and rivers don’t mix

Chuck Weber reports for CBS 12 – “U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke… visited Lake Okeechobee, getting a firsthand look at work to reinforce Lake O’s vulnerable levee… CBS12 asked Secretary Zinke about the recent push by Glades residents, Governor Rick Scott, and others, to speed up the reinforcement work. ‘From President Trump, we want it done yesterday,’ said Zinke. ‘He wants to win. So anything I can do to remove the regulation, streamline the process.’ But it ultimately will come down to getting Congress to appropriate more money sooner for the reinforcement work… ‘Above everything else is to make sure we restore the system, to make sure long-term, the Everglades and the system return to health,’ Zinke said.” Read Interior Secretary visits Lake Okeechobee, pledges Trump support for Everglades

Carrie Scherpelz writes for the Sun Sentinel – “No one I talked to is aware of [the Climate Solutions Caucus], but many are hopeful and curious… ‘Did you know that more people were employed in solar power last year than in generating electricity through coal, gas and oil energy combined?... A large majority of Americans support expanding both solar and wind power because we all care about jobs. The more clean energy jobs, the more we can reduce the carbon emissions that are overheating our atmosphere.’ Emphasizing the need to speed up the transition to clean energy, I explain a conservative policy that will correct a serious problem in the free market. ‘Right now the price of fossil fuels doesn’t reflect the damage carbon emissions cause. If we end fossil fuel subsidies and put a tax on carbon, the market will respond to the new price signal. When it costs more to pollute, we will pollute less, reward clean energy innovation and put the brakes on our carbon-fueled economy.’… [T]he policy I prefer – Carbon Fee and Dividend… [is] one that many economists favor. A carbon tax, gradually rising over time, is collected at the source of pollution. The money is then distributed as a regular dividend check, divided equally among all Americans. This policy would reduce greenhouse gas emissions 52 percent below 1990 levels and create an economic stimulus that adds 2.8 million jobs to the economy within twenty years…” Read When climate change comes knocking at your door

Lisa Friedman reports for the New York Times – “President Trump… nominated Andrew R. Wheeler, a coal lobbyist with links to outspoken deniers of established science on climate change, to help lead the Environmental Protection Agency. In announcing Mr. Wheeler, a former aide to Senator James M. Inhofe, to be deputy administrator of the agency, the White House tapped an experienced legislative hand reviled by environmental activists but hailed by industry as having the know-how to dismantle Obama-era fossil fuel regulations. The nomination comes at a critical moment for the E.P.A. as the agency prepares to repeal a sweeping climate change regulation known as the Clean Power Plan. It would also fill a key high-level position at the agency, where many top offices remain vacant… ‘In Andrew Wheeler, the President has tapped yet another fossil fuel industry lobbyist to help in the capture of the Environmental Protection Agency for big polluters,’ [Senator Sheldon Whitehouse] said. ‘He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere ear the office to which he’s been nominated, but here we are.’” Read Trump Nominates a Coal Lobbyist to Be No. 2 at E.P.A.

 

 

 

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

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 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. 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 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.

 

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 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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