Gary White reports for The Ledger – “Thursday is the holiday informally known as Turkey Day. So this seems a good occasion to list a few places in Polk County where you might actually see a turkey – a live, wild one, that is… [E]ven if you don’t (see a turkey) you will be rewarded with lovely scenery and sights of other wildlife. And the miles of hiking trails at these natural areas provide plenty of opportunity to walk off the calories you absorb…” Read Glimpses of gobblers: 5 places in Polk County where Thanksgiving hikes might yield visions of (unplucked) turkeys
Bill Bortzfield reports for WJCT – “The First Coast is home to an orchid so rare it has been declared endangered in Florida. The bright-orange Platanthera chapmanii, more commonly known as Chapman’s Fringed Orchid, has become limited to a few, sparse populations in North Florida, Southeast Georgia and one small population in Eastern Texas… ‘Whereas the flower had no legal protection before, its new endangered status provides protection against poaching, and will help the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens conserve this species across its range,’ said Snead (Jacksonville Zoo Horticulturist)… Under a FDACS approved permit, some seed is being collected for seed banking and propagation, which are among the methods used to protect species long term.” Read Orchid Found in Northern Florida Declared Endangered
Carlos Medina reports for the Daily Commercial – “A proposed Lake County summertime ban on lawn fertilizers spurred a robo call campaign backed by fertilizer industry supporters and attracted representatives from fertilizer and lawn care companies from around the state and country for Tuesday’s public hearing… After more than two hours of discussion, and facing an expected defeat, the measure got a reprieve after Commissioner Tim Sullivan, who voted against the initial proposal, switched his vote in favor of the measure. The commission voted 3-2 to approve, with Josh Blake and Wendy Breeden voting against the ordinance… ‘I think Lake County is unique. With 1,400 lakes we have to be different. I’m going to probably err on the side of caution and vote in favor…,’ Sullivan said. As a concession to those who opposed the ordinance, enforcement of the ban will not begin for a year. The county will also implement an education campaign for residents before fines go live. Breeden also asked for, and received, an exception to use phosphates on flowering plants and vegetable gardens… The proposal also increases the distance residents could spread fertilizer from the water’s edge from 10 feet to 15 feet and requires the use of a 50 percent slow-release nitrogen fertilizer.” Read Lake bans fertilizing in summertime
Ledyard King reports for the News Press – “Florida GOP Rep. Francis Rooney is raising alarm bells about a key House committee’s approval of a bill last week he said threatens Florida’s long-standing moratorium on drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Similar efforts… have been floated in the past. But Rooney, R-Naples, and others in Florida are worried this latest effort by the House Natural Resources Committee will pass through Congress without extending the ban on drilling within 125 miles of Florida’s Gulf Coast when it expires June 30, 2022. Unable to convince committee members to extend the ban, Rooney is now hoping to rally support among fellow lawmakers in Florida to back an amendment making the moratorium permanent when the bill reaches the House floor… [T]he House Committee on Natural Resources passed the “Strengthening the Economy with Critical Untapped Resources to Expand American Energy Act.” Sponsored by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., the measure would encourage states to approve or expand off-shore drilling by giving them a share of federal revenues from oil and gas drilling activities.” Read Rep. Francis Rooney worried panel’s approval of offshore drilling bill threatens ban off Florida
U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney writes for the Naples Daily News – “Offshore drilling and related activities, including seismic testing, have no place in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The moratorium on exploration in the eastern Gulf established in 2006 will expire in 2022 unless Congress acts. It is imperative for the future of Florida and our tourism-based economy that this bipartisan effort to extend the moratorium succeed.” Read Offshore drilling in Gulf not a fit for Florida
Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “Last summer,… the city of South Miami quietly switched to organic landscaping.” Read This Florida mayor takes his city organic with greener weedkiller and fertilizer
The Florida Times Union Editorial Board writes – “During a 2 ½ hour meeting held by a special City Council committee earlier this week, it was clear that Jacksonville is woefully behind in dealing with its drainage problems. Of course, these issues are multiplied by worsening storm surges and floods produced by climate change. City leaders must begin to plan for flooding, to mitigate its impact where possible, encourage people to move out of serious flooding areas and encourage new developments to be built with flooding in mind… Councilman Al Ferraro said the city needs drainage plans that work like our traffic plans. The impact of new developments on adjacent ones must be considered.” Read Jacksonville is woefully behind in dealing with drainage issues
Meredith Rutland Bauer reports for CityLab – “Hurricane Irma smashed into Jacksonville this fall, and the storm’s impact highlighted one of the worst-kept secrets in urban real estate: Floodplaisn in U.S. cities with residential properties are almost always occupied by the poorest residents of those areas, said Mechele Dickerson, a University of Texas, Austin, bankruptcy law professor and an expert in real estate equity issues.” Read When Jacksonville Floods, the Rich Don’t Worry; the Poor Fight to Get Through
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.
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