Teresa Stepzinski reports for The Florida Times Union – “The North Florida Land Trust… is forging partnerships with state and federal agencies, other conservation organizations, the military and the Florida National Guard in a project designed to benefit current and future generations. The goal is to preserve connected public and private land to form the Ocala to Osceola Corridor, commonly known as the O2O Corridor. The 80-mile corridor stretches from the Ocala National Forest to Osceola National Forest. Ultimately, it will extend to the Okefenokee Swamp in Southeast Georgia… ‘It’s critically important for wildlife habitat,’ McCarthy (president of the North Florida Land Trust) said of the corridor, which is a major north to south migration route through Florida for many animals including the black bear… McCarthy said the corridor also contains the headwaters of outstanding waterways and major recharge areas for the Florida Aquifer, which supplies water across most of Florida and in neighboring states. Conserving the land also helps with water quality and quantity, he said… The [North Florida Land Trust] aided by Camp Blanding recently acquired 415 acres of land containing an endangered sandhill forest with a longleaf pine ecosystem. The newly minted Little Rain Lake Preserve is next to Camp Blanding at the center of the corridor in southern Clay County… The preserve protects Camp Blanding from encroaching development. The facility’s neighbors also are shielded from the loud noise and low overflights typical of military training exercises, as well as smoke from prescribed burns…” Read North Florida Land Trust, partners focus on creating Ocala to Osceola wildlife corridor
Matt Weiser reports for Water Deeply – “Dam removal is a relatively new area of science. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that tearing down a dam to restore a river became a regular occurrence across the United States… In a new study…, a team of 22 scientists reviewed more than 200 studies on dam removals around the country. Their conclusions show that… [f]ish often recolonize historic upstream habitat within weeks. And sediment trapped behind dams can flush out and then reach a new stable condition in a downstream river channel within months.” Read Study: Rivers Recover Faster than Expected After Dam Removal
Chad Gillis reports for News Press – “The state appears to be moving forward with deep injection well sites north of Lake Okeechobee, but it’s doing so without support from the federal government or environmental groups. The idea is to send water from high rain events and hurricanes down 3,000 feet or more below the surface to cut back on Lake Okeechobee releases… Deep injection wells are used in many areas of Florida, Cape Coral being a local example. The city pumps billions of gallons of freshwater each year to the boulder zone rather than releasing it down the Caloosahatchee River… That water, though, [is] lost forever. So instead of replumbing the Everglades to mimic historic conditions, deep well injection sites would simply get rid of the water – water that is needed by the ecosystem during the dry season… Without Corps support, the water management district will have to pay for all costs associated with any deep injection well sites in the historic Everglades… Rae Ann Wessel with the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation said these types of wells are untested on a large scale… ‘You’re talking about pressure and volume that’s never been conceived of. We’re talking about something we’ve never tried before. People say we have all these wells, and we do, but they’re much, much smaller in volume.’” Read State moving ahead with water plan, without feds
Chris Felker reports for The Clewiston News – “Clewiston City Commissioner Phillip Roland began his promised one-man quest… to convince the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) that ‘excess use of defoliants’ to keep aquatic weeds at bay in the south end of Lake Okeechobee is having the unintended effect of killing natural vegetation and thus damaging the lake ecosystems’ health… The resolution also points out that the historically very high lake levels of recent months should be avoided at all costs and, further, that the powers that be should banish any intention to use Lake Okeechobee as a mere reservoir, holding too much water to sustain its hotbed of aquatic life… [T]he resolution specifically calls for stormwater treatment areas north of the lake and consideration of other alternatives such as deep well injection.” Read Roland crusades against ‘excess’ weed spraying
Kimberly Miller reports for my Palm Beach Post – “The Climate Science Special Report, which is overseen by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, is produced every four years and is a far-reaching study of the potential impacts of a warming world… [T]here are pieces specific to Florida, including an estimated increase in days where temperatures reach higher than 90 degrees, more frequent extreme rainfall events, rising seas and the potential for more intense hurricanes with warming ocean temperatures. Under a worse-case-scenario, South Florida could see up to 70 more days per year of temperatures warmer than 90 degrees by the mid-21st Century. West Palm Beach, on average, already has about 65 days per year above 90 degrees… Easterling (National Climate Assessment Technical Support Unit Director at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information) said with higher temperatures comes higher rainfall events because warm air holds more moisture. At the same time, warm air causes more evaporation, which, depending on the time of year, can mean higher incidences of drought. ‘You could have a lot of heavy rainfall and then drought,’ Easterling said… South Florida experienced this scenario… this year when extreme drought gripped enough of the region that the South Florida Water Management District issued a water shortage order in April. By the end of June, a glut of rain had wiped out the drought. By October, so much rain had fallen that swollen Lake Okeechobee was above 17-feet… ‘I’m afraid what we’re seeing now is a harbinger of the future,’ said Leonard Berry, professor emeritus at Florida Atlantic University’s geosciences department.” Read Dire warning: We’ll suffer more 90-degree days, climate report says
Dan Sweeney reports for the Sun Sentinel – “Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission, which meets every 20 years to propose changes to the state constitution, has finalized its proposed amendments…” Read 103 proposals for changing Florida’s constitution
David Fickling writes for Bloomberg – “About four-fifths of America’s canned pumpkin comes from one small town in central Illinois (Morton)… If unusual weather conditions cause yields to decline in Morton…, the entire national crop of canned pumpkin can fail… Central Illinois already gets about two inches more early spring rainfall than it did a century ago…, and that shift to wetter conditions with more intense downpours will probably be exacerbated over the coming decades… Pie is the least of the worries… Illinois is the biggest producer of soybeans in the U.S. and the second-biggest of corn, and the wider Midwestern breadbasket plays a crucial role in food supply worldwide… As we give thanks for this year’s good harvest, we should pause to spare a thought for what a warmer future may hold.” Read Climate Change is Coming for Your Pumpkin Pie
John Gabbatiss reports for the Independent – “Exposing lizard eggs to warmer temperatures during incubation makes the individuals that hatch from those eggs less intelligent, according to new research.” Read Climate change could be making lizards less intelligent, finds study
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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