FCC News Brief - November 7, 2017

Jim Turner reports for the News Service of Florida – “The Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee voted unanimously to support Bradley’s bill (SB 370) that would designate $100 million a year for the Florida Forever program… ‘I think we don’t spend enough of the Land Acquisition Trust Fund dollars on land acquisition,’ Bradley told reporters… ‘The voters sent a clear message in 2014… and we need to do better.’… The ‘documentary-stamp’ tax is expected to generate $862.2 million in the next fiscal year, according to an August estimate by state economists. Bradley said a review needs to be done to determine how much of the trust fund goes into agency overhead, which has been a contentious point.” Read Senate panel backs $100 million for Florida Forever

Chad Gillis reports for News Press – “[The Nature Conservancy] secured the development rights to a key piece of land in the LaBelle area, a 460-acre tract that’s expected to move the Florida panther recovery forward by giving the cats easier access to lands to the north… ‘It is real critical to have a protected corridor and we’re hopeful that we can work with the landowners to the east and west to shore up this northern bank of the Caloosahatchee,’ said Wendy Matthew, The Nature Conservancy’s project manager. ‘And then they have a lot of ranch lands to the north that they can move into with lots of prey, lots of hogs and deer there.’… ‘The big news from last year was that we documented a female north of the river,’ said Darrell Land, an FWC panther biologist. ‘… So that female and her mother managed to get across the river, and that’s quite a feat given how developed it is in Fort Myers.’ That crossing likely happened about 20 miles to the east of the Nature Conservancy lands in a more open, wider stretch of the river. The river is more narrow at the new corridor, which makes Land and others hopeful that the cats will be able to cross with less effort. ‘So that looks like the most conducive piece to get panthers to cross the river because it’s less than one-third the swim as it would be in Fort Myers,’ Land said. ‘We need to preserve and protect a segment there.’” Read Florida panther: Environmental group secures land for panthers, river crossing

Ron Cunningham writes for The Gainesville Sun – “Apalachicola Bay… is the terminus of a watershed that encompasses more than 20,000 square miles. It has for centuries received sufficient water from the mountains of north Georgia to provide life support for more than 300 species of birds, nearly 200 variations of marine life and upwards of 60 types of mammals. Not least of all the celebrated, eminently appetizing Apalachicola Bay oyster. That oyster once brought prosperity to this tiny fishing village perched on the edge of the bay… Enter the Corps. The U.S. Army Corps of engineers was created to provide for the national defense. But somewhere along the way, by an act of Congress, it also became the nation’s designated killer of rivers. And Congress decided that, for all of its natural perfection, the Apalachicola River failed to provide a superhighway for barge traffic. And so the Corps dutifully gutted it from Chattahoochee to the Gulf. As it turned out, barges never did arrive in sufficient numbers to justify all of the ensuing environmental havoc. Gutting that river was the most egregious waste of taxpayer dollars since the never-completed Cross Florida Barge Canal drowned the Ocklawaha. But what’s killing the river now is the impoundment of vast quantities of fresh water in upstream reservoirs… ‘We’ve been lobbying Congress for 20 years to make the Corps release the water that Florida needs to sustain the system,’ [Dan Tonsmiere, Apalachciola Riverkeeper] said. ‘Congress has sided with Georgia from the beginning.’ Florida has waged a long, and so far losing, legal battle with Georgia over water allocation, and the U.S. Supreme Court recently announced that it will hear oral arguments in the case. That could be good news for Florida – but for one sticking point. We are arguably suing the wrong party. Georgia doesn’t control the water flow, the Corps does. And suing a federal agency gifted with sovereign immunity is near impossible.” Read The battle to save the life of Florida’s largest river

Wyre ‘Herb’ Platt writes for The Gainesville Sun – “I resurrected an unpublished, four-page white paper written by Marjorie Harris Carr in November 1996… Carr enumerated continuing negative impacts resulting from the management of the Rodman Reservoir… The impacts included the costs of maintaining and replacement of the Rodman dam and Buckman Lock, and the unpredictable long-term costs of keeping water plants from overwhelming the reservoir and the mechanical removal required… Negative hydrological impacts included the impedance of natural nutrient flow into the St. Johns River system and natural flood control by continued flooding of the natural floodplain. The character and integrity of 20 small-to-medium-sized springs are likewise imperiled… She concluded the paper by noting the loss of several miles of prime river fishing and canoeing, and the navigation of sightseeing boats from the St. Johns River to Silver Springs – financial and aesthetic assets to the tourist industry into the 21st century… Once free, Carr concluded, ‘the Ocklawaha River will provide all of the good things to mankind with minimal cost to the taxpayer. The Ocklawaha River maintains itself. It does not need ‘managing.’’… I am sure that former Gov. Lawton Chiles and Marjorie and Archie Carr would be looking for 21st leadership on the Ocklawaha’s restoration.” Read Keeping Ocklawaha dammed has continuing costs

Dave Dunwoody reports for WUWF – “Resolutions are being introduced in both houses of the Florida Legislature, aimed at keeping the eastern Gulf of Mexico open for military training. At issue is long-time moratorium against oil drilling in that part of the Gulf. State Sen. Doug Broxson is the sponsor of Senate Resolution 550. He say’s there’s pressure form big oil to open up the area… Broxon [said,] ‘… [I]t’s considered one of the most productive parts of the Gulf. But it doesn’t compare with what our commitment to the military is.’ To that end, Broxson says they want to send an ‘undivided message’ to Congress, that Florida is ‘100 percent’ in protecting the state’s military mission.” Read Tallahassee to Washington: No Drilling in Eastern Gulf

Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “The Ocean Research & Conservation Association needs more money to enhance its fleet of remote-controlled water-quality sensors, known as Kilroys, in the Indian River Lagoon and its tributaries. But officials at the… nonprofit are reluctant to ask the Florida Legislature to increase its $250,000 annual appropriation because of a rule the House approved last year. ‘According to the new rule, if you ask for more money than your recurring funding and don’t get it, you could also lose the recurring funding,’ said Warren Falls, ORCA’s managing director. ‘It’s just not worth the risk. Keeping at least some Kilroys in the water is too important to risk losing them all.’ Instead Falls said ORCA is ‘looking real hard’ at applying for a grant under the Legacy Florida bill proposed by state Rep. Gayle Harrell… If the Legislature approves the bill during its January-to-March session, the state would be required to appropriate up to $50 million for lagoon projects.” Read Kilroy funding in jeopardy if ORCA asks Legislature for more Indian River Lagoon monitors

Steve Bousquet reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Sen. Jack Latvala was removed… as chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee as the Senate launches an independent investigation of allegations that he sexually harassed six women. Senate President Joe Negron announced that Sen. Rob Bradley… will take Latvala’s place as budget chairman… Latvala released a letter he had sent to Negron Monday, asking to take a ‘leave of absence’ from his chairmanship ‘until this matter is resolved. I look forward to defending myself against these untruthful allegations and believe I will be fully exonerated.’” Read Latvala ‘temporarily’ removed as Senate appropriations chairman

Lisa Friedman and Glenn Thrush report for The New York Times – “Directly contradicting much of the Trump administration’s position on climate change, 13 federal agencies unveiled an exhaustive scientific report... that says humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization… The global, long-term warming trend is ‘unambiguous,’ it says, and there is ‘no convincing alternative explanation’ that anything other than humans – the cars we drive, the power plants we operate, the forests we destroy – are to blame. The report was approved for release by the White House… The climate science report is part of a congressionally mandated review conducted every four years known as the National Climate Assessment… Though the study has been in the works since 2015, several scientists said… [they were worried] the report would be blocked or buried. That did not happen. Scientists who worked on the report said none of the 13 agencies that reviewed it tried to undermine its findings or changes its wording… Responsibility for approving the report fell to Gary D. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, who generally believes in the validity of climate science and thought the issue would have been a distraction from the tax (reform) push, according to an administration official with knowledge of the situation.” Read U.S. Report Says Humans Cause Climate Change, Contradicting Top Trump Officials

 

 

 

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

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

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

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Paynes Prairie in danger

Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state

 

Upcoming Environmental Events    

 

November 7, 12:00 pm - Join the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center in High Springs for Springs Academy Tuesdays; a lunchtime lecture series on Florida’s springs. November’s lecture is on Springs Hydrogeology – Floridan Aquifer, Groundwater Recharge, Spring Flows with FSI Executive Director, Dr. Robert Knight. All lectures are free and open to the public. A recommended donation of $5 is appreciated. For more information, click here or call (386) 454 – 2427.

November 8, 12:45 pm – Attend Bats and Bees – Important for Nature at the Belvedere Library Community Room (325 Belvedere Blvd.) in The Villages. Shari Blissett-Clark, of the Florida Bat Conservancy, will discuss the work of the conservancy to protect native bat populations in Florida. She will also bring a sample of a bat house that is available for purchase. Carmen Fraccica, of the Florida Bureau of Plant & Apiary Inspection, will discuss beekeeping in Florida. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

November 10, 9:00 am – Attend the Cedar Key Climate Change Conference. This conference presents an examination of the research of climate change and sea level rise as it affects Cedar Key and the Levy Coast. For more information and to register, click here.

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.

 

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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