FCC News Brief - November 15, 2017

Cleveland Tinker reports for The Gainesville Sun – “Alachua County and the city of Gainesville take pride in their reputations as tree-loving communities, and [Sen. Steube’s] proposal to dismantle local tree ordinances is not germinating well locally – or throughout the state… Tree ordinances like the ones on the books in Alachua County and Gainesville… protect open forest areas that help keep hurricanes from becoming as devastating as they otherwise might be, limit soil erosion, help reduce global warming, provide habitat for wildlife and protect the beauty of trees… Officials in cities with tree ordinances, such as Jacksonville and Tallahassee, have already gone on record with their opposition to the proposed bill, and have been joined by 1000 Friends of Florida, a statewide nonprofit that monitors land management and other issues, in opposing the bill.” Read Worries grow with lawmaker’s plan to kill tree rules

The Ledger Editorial Board writes – “[T]he Legislature is about to hand Polk County and other local governments more reasons to grouse about undermining home rule. One example came Monday when the respected environmental group 1000 Friends of Florida called attention to one bill now making its way through the ongoing legislative committee meetings. It seems that Rep. Katie Edwards, a Plantation Democrat, and Sen. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican, believe regulating trees is a power best left to Tallahassee and not city hall. Their identical bills would strip local governments of power to prohibit landowners from removing of trimming trees on their own property. The bill would also block local governments from requiring that landowners plant new trees or pay a fee toward that after removing trees… It always puzzles us why the people who complain the loudest about interference from Washington want to afflict local governments with their own mandates.” Read If a tree falls, does anyone in Tallahassee hear it?

Chad Gillis reports for News Press “A male panther was hit and killed by a vehicle in Hendry County… This is the 26th documented panther death this year… Twenty-one of the deaths have been caused by vehicles.” Read 21 Florida panthers have been killed by vehicles this year

Roger Harrabin reports for BBC “In a paper in Nature Communications, the scientists from BGS and Lancaster University estimate that up to 180 million tonnes of nitrate are stored in rocks worldwide – perhaps twice the amount stored in soils. They say this is the first global estimate of the amount of nitrate trapped between the soil layer and the water-bearing aquifers below. They warn that over time the nitrate will inevitably slowly seep into the aquifers… Matthew Ascott, hydrogeologist at the BGS and lead author, said: ‘… Water and the pollutant travels through the rocks below our feet very slowly. This and a history of intensive agriculture means that a large store of nitrate pollution has built up over time. When this pollution is released, it will continue to impact water quality for decades, in some cases, even where controls on fertilizer use have been put in place.’” Read Scale of ‘nitrate timebomb’ revealed

Jerry Iannelli writes for Miami New Times – “Florida Power & Light made $1.7 billion in profit in 2016. A reasonable person might assume a company with that much extra cash would quickly be able to use that money to fix, say, leaks in one of its power plants that are polluting the largest source of drinking water in South Florida. But instead of shouldering the cost of fixing its leaking cooling canals at Turkey Point Nuclear Generation Station…, FPL is asking state regulators for permission to pass that bill – a reported $200 million – onto consumers. In a legal brief…, the company’s loudest critic, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), demanded that FPL pay for the environmental recovery without levying what is basically a tax on its customers… The PSC is now tasked with deciding whether FPL got into this mess by accident or through negligence. If the PSC determines that FPL incurred these latest remediation costs ‘prudently’ (that is, if the salt plume grew even though FPL acted responsibly), state law says the company can charge customers for the cleanup cost. If not, FPL is on the hook.” Read FPL Wants to Charge $200 Million to Fix Water Pollution it Ignored for Years, Environmentalists Say

Alex Daugherty reports for the Miami Herald – “Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, announced… that he wants President Donald Trump to reconsider his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord after Syria joined the pact, leaving the U.S. as the only country who hasn’t signed on… ‘Climate change is a serious threat, especially for a state like Florida that has two coastlines vulnerable to rising waters,’ Buchanan said. ‘There is a reason why 196 nations across the globe support this voluntary and non-binding agreement,’ Since Trump made his decision to leave the accord, Hurricane Irma swept through the state and Buchanan drew a serious Democratic challenger who once came within 750 votes of winning a state House seat… Last week’s results have put Republicans on edge ahead of a 2018 cycle where the House of Representatives could be up for grabs.” Read Florida Republican urges Trump to support Paris Climate Accord

Rob Jordan reports for the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment – “An international research team reports that the increase in global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels has resumed after a 3-year respite and may increase again next year. Despite the findings, improved energy efficiency and a booming renewables market provide signs of hope.” Read Global Emissions Inching Up After Years of Flat Growth

Sarah Kaplan reports for The Washington Post – “In late 1992, 1,700 scientists from around the world issued a dire ‘warning to humanity.’ They said humans had pushed Earth’s ecosystems to their breaking point and were well on the way to ruining the planet. The letter listed environmental impacts like they were biblical plagues – stratospheric ozone depletion, air and water pollution, the collapse of fisheries and loss of soil productivity, deforestation, species loss and catastrophic global climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels… To mark the letter’s 25th anniversary, researchers have issued a bracing follow-up. In a communique published Monday in the journal BioScience, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries assess the world’s latest responses to various environmental threats… ‘Humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse,’ they write. This letter, spearheaded by Oregon State University ecologist William Ripple, serves as a ‘second notice,’ the authors say: ‘Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory.’… ‘The rapid global decline in ozone depleting substances shows that we can make positive change when we act decisively,’ the letter says. The authors offer 13 suggestions for reining in our impact on the planet, including establishing nature reserves, reducing food waste, developing green technologies and establishing economic incentives to shift patterns of consumption.” Read Thousands of scientists issue bleak ‘second notice’ to humanity

 

 

 

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.

December 11, 5:30 pm – Attend the Escambia County Delegation meeting at the Pensacola State college Jean and Paul Performance Studio (1000 College Coulevard) in Pensacola. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds, approximately $300 million next year, 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 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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