FCC News Brief - November 12, 2017

Stuart Korfhage reports for The St. Augustine Record “Sen. Rob Bradley sponsored Senate Bill 370 this year. The bill… would guarantee $100 million each year to the Florida Forever Trust Fund for land conservation… Some proponents of the bill say they’re glad to support it but would like to see the funding increase… A program that used to see $300 million annually saw just $15 million a year ago and nothing in the current year. But there seems to be a growing sentiment in state government to do a better job protecting Florida’s natural environment, which acts as a draw for tourists and residents and also helps mitigate flooding when properly managed. Ryan Smart, president of environmental group 1000 Friends of Florida, said Florida Forever is gaining some popularity with lawmakers who see the fiscal advantages of preserving sensitive land. ‘You look at the Everglades (for example), it’s very expensive to fix something once you’ve done the damage,’ Smart said. ‘So as an investment, to be able to get out in front of that and prevent damage in the first place is not only good for the environment but is really the conservative thing to do from a tax and economic standpoint.’… ‘It’s really huge for us in the environmental community to have someone like Sen. Bradley to take the lead,’ McCarthy (executive director of the North Florida Land Trust) said… ‘There could be a significant (local) benefit, and frankly it’s about time,’ McCarthy said.” Read Local conservationists hoping SB 370 becomes first step to properly funding Florida Forever

Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida “Georgia environmental groups are calling on their state to implement recommendations for curbing agricultural water use to avoid future legal fights. Florida… sued Georgia in the Supreme Court over water use… While recommending earlier this year that the case be dismissed, a court adviser concluded that Georgia’s agricultural water use was ‘largely unrestrained.’ The Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments in the case. But the Georgia Water Coalition says that no matter the outcome, Georgia remains vulnerable to future legal challenges if it doesn’t regulate its water use… Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal… appointed the state task force to investigate unpermitted agricultural water use in Georgia. The Georgia Water Coalition said the state task force issued draft recommendations in March that were never publicized. Those recommendations deal with agricultural water use permitting, water metering, compliance and budgeting to administer programs. The coalition says the state has moved forward to require meters for agricultural water use along the Flint River and the Suwannee River, which also flows into Florida…Manganiello (of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper) said other recommendations from the task force are not being implemented.” Read Georgia groups say state must curb farm water use to avoid future fights with Florida

Eric Staats reports for the Naples Daily News – “A bill to ban all forms of fracking in Florida faces an uphill climb in the state Legislature next year, a Naples lawmaker said Thursday. ‘Frankly, I’m not sure that bill is going to go anywhere,’ said state Sen. Kathleen Passidomo… Passidomo, whose district includes the site of an exploratory oil well that ignited a firestorm over fracking in 2013, said she would favor a moratorium on the controversial process until the issue can be studied further… Opponents of [fracking-like activities] say it risks contaminating underground water supplies in Florida and poses problems with how to dispose of waste byproduct… State Sen. Dana Young… and state Rep. Kathleen Peters… have filed ban bills, but neither has been scheduled for a hearing… The practice still is rare in Florida, [Passidomo] said, giving legislators time to order an independent study before taking any action.” Read Naples lawmaker sees uphill climb for fracking ban bill in Florida Legislature in 2018

Eric Staats reports for the Naples Daily News – “A vehicle killed a Florida panther near Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary… It was the 20th panther roadkill of 2017…” Read Vehicle kills Florida panther near Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “Water flowing into Everglades National Park during the wettest rainy season on record, along with a powerful hurricane, exceeded court-ordered limits for marsh-killing phosphorus, the South Florida Water Management District revealed this week… Florida Bay, which looked like it might be spared the worst after Irma, is now struggling with thick algae in the central bay and elevated amounts in the northeast part… Biscayne Bay is also wrestling with spreading algae, which can shade seagrass and deplete oxygen in the water.” Read A pollution alarm for Everglades after Florida’s super wet year, but how bad is it?

David Habel writes for the TC Palm “I read about Florida trying to lure jobs and businesses to Florida. We moved to Vero five years ago, not because of jobs, but because of the river. I found it by visiting a friend here and falling in love with the place… If Florida would like more people and businesses to move here, it had better figure out how to clean up this mess of a river because that’s why we all moved here… The total disregard for the state’s most valuable asset, water, was not obvious to me when we chose Florida as a place to live while getting near retirement age. It’s pretty obvious now.” Read Florida’s disregard for the state’s most valuable asset is obvious

Christopher O’Donnell reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “As Irma approached Florida, the Southwest Florida Water Management District… opened two flood gates at the southwest corner of the Medard Reservoir releasing… water… toward the Alafia… At its peak, the reservoir was discharging 191 million gallons of water per day into the already swollen floodwaters of the Alafia… [R]esidents whose homes were damaged… blame the agency for contributing to the flooding… It has deepened the mistrust between the agency and some residents who feel their homes are put at risk to protect more wealthy homes in the area.” Read As Irma flooded Alafia homes, Swiftmud sent more water their way

Julie Leibach reports for PBS – “Williams-Guillen is an ecologist and director of conservation science at Pasco Pacifico, a nonprofit organization focused on preserving biodiversity in Nicaragua. In 2015, she and her colleagues entered a competition called the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge… which called for ideas to fight illegal wildlife trafficking… [A]n idea dawned on her: implant fake sea turtle eggs with geolocators, and stick them in fresh sea turtle nests. If the decoys look real enough, unsuspecting poachers might nab them along with the real eggs, thus revealing their movements to conservationists interested in mapping out trafficking routes… [T]he Challenge awarded Paso Pacifico [a]… prize to further develop the project… Godfrey (the executive director of the Sea Turtle Conservancy) says, ‘… [C]atching people and finding out where these routes are, to me, isn’t the weak link in the process. The weak link is the will to enforce the law on the part of the government.’” Read ‘Spy Eggs’ Track Illegal Sea Turtle Egg Trade

 

 

 

From Our Readers

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Job Openings

Florida Field Campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity

Project & Content Manager for The Nature Conservancy (Job ID 45848)

Apalachicola Riverkeeper/Executive Director

Staff Attorney in St. Petersburg for the Center for Biological Diversity

Organizing Representative in Miami for Sierra Club Florida

 

Petitions

Tell Congress to Stop Attacking Protections for Dolphins and Whales

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events    

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 17, 5:00 pm Central Time – Attend the Apalachicola Riverkeeper Meet & Greet at the Historic First National Bank Building (2875 Caledonia Street) in Marianna. The Board of the Apalachicola Riverkeeper will join supporters for free refreshments. The Apalachicola Riverkeepr, Dan Tonsmeire, will give a river and bay report. For more information, email outreach@apalachicolariverkeeper.org.

November 20, 8:30 am – Attend the Highlands County Delegation meeting at the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners Chambers (600 S. Commerce Ave.) in Sebring. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@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, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, 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, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, 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, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, 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, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, 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, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, 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, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, 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, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, 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, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

December 1, 9:30 am – Attend the Sh.O.R.E Symposium (“Sharing Our Research with Everyone”) in New Smyrna Beach. Hear from leading IRL professionals and student researchers. The keynote address will be given by bestselling author and marine biologist, Dr. Wallace J Nichols. 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 and most relevant environmental news for Floridians. 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 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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