FCC News Brief - November 17, 2017

Mike Kiniry, Julie Glenn, & Rachel Iacovone report for WGCU “We’ll take a look at the history, and future, of Florida Forever with the Nature Conservancy’s Land Program Manager, Lindsay Stevens, and Will Abberger, director of The Trust for Public Land’s Conservation Finance service.” Read The History and Future of Florida Forever

Michael D. Bates reports for the Citrus County Chronicle – “State Sen. Wilton Simpson… said 30-40 percent of the pollution flowing into Citrus County’s rivers and springsheds is from septic systems. If something is not done to get people off septic and hooked to central sewer,  Simpson said further degradation of the waterways will result and jeopardize the work from ongoing springs restoration projects. It will also hurt the county’s economy… That’s why Simpson said one of his top priorities headed into the legislative session that begins in January is to seek state funding assistance to remove septic systems along the springsheds and make central sewer a reality for folks who live along the Chassahowitzka and Homosassa rivers, King’s Bay and the Crystal River… ‘We cannot expect the citizens of Citrus County to bear that cost, so it will be a coordinated effort from the county and other state agencies to accomplish this project,’ Simpson said.” Read Senator to seek sewer funds

Jim Tatum writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “The graphs put out by the water-management districts show a line depicting the level of the upper Floridan Aquifer in a constant downward angle from left to right, ever downward, indifferent to periods of rain and drought, showing us that our current water use in Florida is not sustainable. The aquifer, our drinking-water source, has saltwater below it… One day the piper must be paid, but since it won’t be in the lifetime of those currently giving away our water, they worry not.” Read Politics hinders springs restoration

Jeff Burlew reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Leon County commissioners agreed to examine the goal of using nothing but renewable energy by the year 2035 but stopped short of making a commitment… Last week, city commissioners voted to direct staff to come up with a recommendation for a plan to hit the goal. County commissioners said they need more information before moving forward. However, they voted 4-0 to review the request by Sustainable Tallahassee and the Tally35 Coalition. They’re expected to discuss it during their next meeting Dec. 12, when they’re also set to take up their Climate Action Plan, which they passed in 2008… Several dozen cities have committed to move toward 100 percent clean and renewable energy… ‘There are folks who are uncertain that we can achieve 100 percent by 2035,’ [Bart Bibler] said. ‘My own opinion is I’m not that hung up on the date. Let’s just get started. We have a crisis.’” Read County to consider 2035 clean energy goal

Kelsey Micbrener reports for Solar Power World – “Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Audubon Florida announced an innovative new partnership to enhance FPL’s solar power plant sites with unprecedented environmental stewardship, providing thousands of acres of habitat for native plants, birds and vital pollinators such as bumblebees and butterflies. Through the “Solar Sanctuary” partnership, FPL and Audubon Florida are working with the Florida Wildflower Foundation, Florida Native Plant Society, Wildlife Habitat Council, local Audubon chapters and others to design and implement site-specific environmental enhancements that will make FPL solar sites bird- and pollinator-friendly havens.” Read FPL and Audubon Florida team up to make solar sites wildlife friendly

Scott Powers reports for Florida Politics – “All Aboard Florida’s efforts to clear a needed environmental permit from challenges won another victory Thursday… The (South Florida) water district denied 17 exceptions filed by Martin and St. Lucie counties and entered a final order to issue an environmental resource permit to Brightline, All Aboard Florida’s train system… That clears the final legal challenges pending for All Aboard Florida, though appeals are always a prospect. All Aboard Florida… wants to open service connecting West Palm Beach and Orlando with trains running up the east coast and then turning at Cocoa to head to the Orlando International Airport… Critics, led by Martin, Indian River, and St. Lucie counties and the Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida organization, have fought against that phase arguing the trains would cause safety and environmental concerns with up to 32 trains a day crossing more than 100 at-grade street and road crossings and numerous canals and rivers at high speeds.” Read All Aboard Florida wins again in water district dispute: permit cleared

Michael Bloomberg and Jerry Brown write for The New York Times – “World leaders have been meeting in Bonn, Germany, since last week to discuss carrying out the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Sadly, though not unexpectedly, the White House and federal agencies have largely been absent from the negotiating table. But American leaders from state capitols, city halls and businesses across the country have shown up in force, and we have delivered a unified message to the world: American society remains committed to our pledge under the agreement… Together, these states, cities and businesses constitute more than half of the United States economy and, if they were a separate country, would make up the third-largest economy in the world… [W]e are already almost halfway to reaching our Paris commitment, thanks largely to consumer preferences and market forces… In the current political climate, however, there is a risk that nonfederal actions will go unrecognized by the global community. To ensure the world sees the continued commitment of the United States to tackling climate change, and the extent to which local governments and businesses are driving progress, we have introduced an initiative called America’s Pledge, which will document the progress we are making – and the bolder actions we must still take – to meet our Paris commitments. This week in Bonn, we released a report detailing existing nonfederal climate initiatives and policies across America. The report also identifies major new opportunities for cities, states and businesses to take climate action without the federal government. For instance, more states can opt in to the Regional greenhouse Gas Initiative, a carbon pricing program involving nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to drive down power plants emissions… For the United States to reach its commitment, much more needs to be done. But the world should know: We are not waiting for Washington.” Read The U.S. Is Tackling Global Warming, Even if Trump Isn’t

Juliet Eilperin and Darryl Fears report for The Washington Post – “The Trump administration is now allowing the remains of elephants legally hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia to be imported to the United States as trophies… African elephants are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that large sums paid for permits to hunt the animals could actually help them ‘by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,’ according to an agency statement… Under the Obama administration, elephant-hunting trophies were allowed in south Africa and Namibia but not in Zimbabwe because Fish and Wildlife decided in 2015 that the nation had failed to prove that its management of elephants enhanced the population… The Fish and Wildlife Service is also reviewing whether to allow elephant trophy imports from Tanzania, where poaching is rampant and the species has suffered a sharp decline in recent decades. The shift in U.S. policy comes just days after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke established an ‘International Wildlife Conservation Council” to advise him on how to increase American’s public awareness of conservation, wildlife enforcement and the ‘economic benefits that result from U.S. citizens traveling abroad to hunt.’… [T]he U.S. Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking which was codified into law last year and is led by Interior as well as the Justice and State departments, has not been active since Trump took office… Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder and senior scientist at the Nairobi-based Save the Elephants, said in an interview… that while hunting has fostered conservation in the past, allowing it now could undermine efforts to curb the widespread poaching that underpins the global ivory trade. Africans, he said, are ‘being told don’t kill elephants, and rich Americans are being allowed to come and do it…’” Read Trophies from elephant hunts in Zimbabwe were banned in the U.S. Trump just reversed that.

 

 

 

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

Senior Environmental Scientist for the Florida Springs Institute

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

Florida Solar Bill of Rights

Protect Solar in Jacksonville      

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 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 21, 7:00 pm – Attend the Calhoun County Delegation meeting at the Calhoun County Courthouse (20859 Central Ave. East, Room 130) in Blountstown. 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.

November 30, 5:30 pm Attend the Bay County Delegation meeting at the Bay County Board of County Commissioners’ Chambers (840 W 11th St.) in Panama City. 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.

December 13, 12:45 pm – Attend the next Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library Community Room (325 Belvedere Blvd.) in the Villages. Speakers include Sam Wartinbee who will discuss Villages Water-Related issues and Ranger Craig Littauer who will discuss opportunities at Silver Springs State Park. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@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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