FCC News Brief - November 19, 2017

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “For the last decade, the powerhouse couple behind Arquitectonica, a renowned architecture firm that has shaped skylines from Miami to Singapore, have been wrestling with a more earthbound problem: how to trim the protected mangroves blocking a million-dollar view of the water in one of the city’s toniest neighborhoods… Using the powerful storm as cover, [neighbors] say the couple carved up the stand, opening a new vista to Biscayne Bay… Today, the lot is a manicured, nearly treeless rolling lawn, stretching 800 feet to the shore. All that’s left of the wetland is a mitigation area, intended to make up for the years of abuse, and a leftover fringe of mangroves.” Read Miami power couple under fire over hacked mangroves. It’s not the first time.

Carlos Medina reports for the Daily Commercial – “A proposed fertilizer ordinance under consideration by Lake County has mixed support from commissioners… Despite the misgivings, the commission voted 3-2 in favor of moving the proposal forward to a public hearing. Josh Blake and Tim Sullivan voted against the move because it included a ban on nitrogen-and phosphorus-containing fertilizers between June and September… Nitrogen and phosphorous are essential nutrients in waterways…, but too much can harm water quality and cause the death of aquatic life… The proposal also would increase the distance residents could spread fertilizer from the water’s edge from 10 feet to 15 feet and would require the use of a 50 percent slow-release nitrogen fertilizer… While the ordinance calls for a blanket ban on the use of fertilizers with nitrogen and phosphorous, there are no penalties for breaking the law.” Read County’s proposed stricter fertilizer rules stir debate

Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “The South Florida Water Management District Board agreed Thursday to pay the Army Corps of Engineers up to $1.5 million for ‘technical assistance’ to help with planning the reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee… Money for the ‘technical assistance’ is part of the $3 million allocated to the district for the current fiscal year by the state legislation.” Read Lake Okeechobee reservoir: SFWMD to pay Army Corps $1.5 million to help with planning

Stephen Hudak reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “Lake, Orange and Seminole counties… are getting more state money for lock-top, bear-resistant garbage containers that are designed to keep trash in and bears out. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission announced… it was handing out another $515,283 to help 10 communities reduce continuing conflicts between people and bears. The money comes partly from the Legislature and partly from the sale of “Conserve Wildlife” specialty license plates, which feature a Florida black bear. FWC awarded $824,000 in 2016 to help bear-afflicted communities.” Read FWC hands out more cash for bear-proof trash bins to Lake, Orange and Seminole

Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “The Fort Pierce Utilities Authority has been cited by the state for spills totaling about 10.5 million gallons of treated and untreated sewage at the wastewater treatment plant and several lift stations. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection did not issue a fine for the violations of the utility’s operating permit but accepted a plan to prevent future spills said Bowdoin G. “Bo” Hutchinson, FPUA’s director of water and wastewater systems… Jill Margolius, a DEP spokeswoman, countered that in an email late Thursday, writing, ‘The department’s investigation is ongoing, and we have yet to make a decision.’… The remedies being taken by the utility include: - Installing a dedicated power feed to the treatment plant, which has already been done. – Putting a stand-by generator in place before the 2019 hurricane season. – Having portable generators available in 2018 in case both power lines fail. The automatic switch and the generator will cost a total of about $1.5 million, Hutchinson told directors.” Read DEP: Sewage spills into Indian River Lagoon by Fort Pierce utility violated permit

Hannah Morse reports for the Bradenton Herald – “In the next century, nearly 40,000 homes in the Bradenton metropolitan area could be underwater because of climate change. In a study published last month by real estate marketplace Zillow, Bradenton was listed ninth out of 10 areas across the country that will have the most houses submerged by rising seas. Miami, Tampa, Fort Myers and Naples were also listed… The amount of ocean rise projected for 2100 could sink $25.4 billion worth of homes in the 15 municipalities and unincorporated areas of the Bradenton area… Rising sea levels… have caused saltwater to back up stormwater systems and flow into the streets. To alleviate this, (Anna Maria Mayor) Murphy said the city has installed WaStop valves on eight of its 36 stormwater drains, starting in the most affected areas.” Read Bradenton area could lose $25.4 billion in homes due to climate change

Steven Mufson and Chris Mooney report for The Washington Post – “The Keystone pipeline running from Canada across the Great Plains leaked Thursday morning, spilling about 5,000 barrels of oil – or 210,000 gallons – southeast of the small town of Amherst in northeast South Dakota. The spill comes just days before a crucial decision next Monday by the Public Service Commission in Nebraska over whether to grant a permit for a new, long-delayed sister pipeline called Keystone XL, which has been mired in controversy for several years. Both are owned by Calgary-based TransCanada. The spill on the first Keystone pipeline is the latest in a series of leaks that critics of the new pipeline says shows that TransCanada should not receive another permit. ‘TransCanada cannot be trusted,’ said Jane Kleeb, head of the Nebraska Democratic Party… ‘I have full confidence that the Nebraska Public Service Commission is going to side with Nebraskans, not a foreign oil company.’” Read Keystone pipeline spills 210,000 gallons of oil on eve of permitting decision for TransCanada

Emily Cochrane reports for The New York Times – “President Trump… reversed the government’s decision to start allowing hunters to import trophies of elephants that were killed in two African countries, pending a further review… ‘Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts,’ Mr. Trump tweeted… It is unclear why Mr. Trump reversed the decision, but the announcement faced backlash from both conservatives and liberals.” Read For Now, Trump to Keep Ban on Importing Elephant Trophies

 

 

 

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 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, 6:00 pm Central Time – 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 29, 9:00 am – Attend the Alachua County Delegation meeting at the Santa Fe College NW Campus Fine Arts Hall (3000 NW 83rd St) in Gainesville. 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 7-8 – Attend the Annual Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. The Conference includes two days of technical sessions on soil and groundwater cleanup, over 90 exhibitors, and a charity golf event. For more information, 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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