FCC News Brief - December 20, 2017

Michael D. Bates repots for the Citrus County Chronicle – “With only a week before Christmas, it’s crunch time for people who are still looking for that last-minute gift. And if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary for your friends who like to tinker in their gardens and conserve water, you might want to consider five suggestions sent to the Chronicle by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.” Read Last-minute gifts to help conserve water

Sarah Thompson reports for WOKV – “The St. Johns River Water Management District is asking for your help saving 1 billion gallons of water, during the cooler months of December, January, and February. The district is launching a ‘Skip a Week’ campaign, asking homeowners to not water or irrigate their lawn every week and instead water it every other week of the winter… The district says using less water encourages deeper grass and plant roots, which helps make them more drought-tolerant and less susceptible to pests.” Read St. Johns River Water Management District Launching ‘Skip a Week’ Lawn Watering Campaign

FWC shares – “The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, introduced… by U.S. Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, R-NE, and Debbie Dingell, D-MI, would implement recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Panel, a coalition of business, energy and conservation leaders assembled by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The Blue Ribbon Panel emphasized both the environmental and economic benefits of creating a long-term dedicated funding source to conserve the nation’s fish and wildlife. ‘Currently there are major gaps in funding to sustain fish and wildlife species and keep them off the emergency list of endangered species,’ said FWC Chairman Bo Rivard… The Blue Ribbon Panel recommended dedicating $1.3 billion annually in existing revenue from the development of energy and mineral resources on federal lands and waters to provide funding to state fish and wildlife agencies to more fully implement well-established and widely supported state wildlife action plans. Under the act, Florida potentially could receive about $50 million a year… The FWC… requests support from Florida’s Congressional Delegation for the legislation… The resolution also calls for support from Florida’s conservation community and other state fish and wildlife agencies.” Read FWC endorses national strategy aimed at conserving fish, wildlife

The St. Johns River Water Management District shares – “The St. Johns River Water Management District has started work on a sump dredge project designed to help improve water quality at Lake Apopka… St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle [said,] ‘Improved water quality now provides conditions that are allowing native submerged plants to recolonize the lake’s bottom. As these plants expand, they provide the habitat critical to the recovery of the lake’s historic bass fishery.’” Read New dredging project is underway at Lake Apopka

Kevin Robinson reports for the Pensacola News Journal – “The University of Florida Bob Graham Center for Public Service is soliciting applications for the 2018 Future of Florida Summit. The event unites some of the state’s best and brightest students with some of the state’s premier thinkers to identify problems, propose solutions and create an action plan for implementing them. Speakers at past summits have included prominent judges, attorneys and legislators… This year’s conference, which is Feb. 8-10 at the University of Florida campus, is focused on the environment and sustainability… Meals and hotel accommodations will be provided by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service.” Read NW Fla. Students sought to help shape Florida’s future

Jill Colvin reports for the Associated Press – “President Donald Trump removed climate change from the list of worldwide threats menacing the United States… It’s a significant departure from the Obama administration, which had described climate change as an ‘urgent and growing threat to our national security.’… As far back as 2003, during George W. Bush’s presidency, a report commissioned by the Defense Department said abrupt climate change threatened ‘disruption and conflict,’ refugee crises, border tensions and more military conflicts.” Read Under Trump, climate change not a national security threat

Keith Bradsher and Lisa Friedman report for The New York Times – “China is the world’s No. 1 polluter. It burns more coal than the rest of the world combined. It produces more than a quarter of the world’s human-caused global warming gases, nearly as much as North America and Europe put together. On Tuesday, the country set out to claim another title reflecting its ambitions to change all that: keeper of the world’s largest financial market devoted to cleaning up the air. China released plans… to start a giant market to trade credits for the right to emit planet-warming greenhouse gases. The nationwide market would initially cover China’s vast, state-dominated power generation sector, which produced almost half of the country’s emissions from the burning of fossil fuels last year… Markets in Europe and at the provincial level in China have faltered because the authorities issued too many credits to existing polluters. That gave companies little reason to buy credits, or to cut their own emissions and sell the credits. Zoe Ji, the president of the China arm of the Energy Foundation, one of several Western nonprofit groups that advised the government on the new market, said that China was likely to issue many credits starting early next year in response to domestic political pressures, and then gradually tighten annual allocations to force up the price.” Read China Unveils an Ambitious Plan to Curb Climate Change Emissions

Adam Baidawi reports for The New York Times – “B.H.P. Billiton, the British-Australian mining company, said in a report… that it planned to withdraw from the World Coal Association, an international lobbying group, because of differences in climate and energy policies. The report also noted that B.H.P. would review its relationship with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in light of the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. The move highlights the delicate considerations huge mining companies must contend with as they seek to balance profit with social and environmental awareness… B.H.P. invited the industry body to provide a response before it makes a final decision next March 31 on pulling out of the group. It will similarly seek a response from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce before officially withdrawing… The company also announced that it would review its relationship with the Minerals council of Australia, the country’s foremost mining lobbying group.” Read B.H.P. Billiton, Acknowledging Climate Change, to Quit Coal Group




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

Executive Director for Audubon of the Western Everglades

Associate Director for the Center for Earth Jurisprudence

Florida Field Campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity

Project & Content Manager for The Nature Conservancy (Job ID 45848)

Staff Attorney in St. Petersburg for the Center for Biological Diversity



Save the Serenova Tract in Pasco – Say NO to the Ridge Road Extension

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    

January 9, 12:00 pm – Attend Springs Academy Tuesday, a lunchtime lecture series on Florida’s springs, in High Springs. January’s lecture is on Springs Biology with special guest Dr. Stephen Walsh of the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center. For more information, click here or call (386) 454 – 2427.

January 20, 9:00 am – Participate in the annual Newnan’s Lake Cleanup in Gainesville. Volunteers will meet at Earl P. Powers Park (5910 SE Hawthorne Rd) on the southwest edge of the lake. Current Problems will provide cleanup supplies such as bags, grabbers, gloves, nets, and scales. There will be snacks and drinks for volunteers. For more information, contact Megan Black at aar@currentproblems.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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