Peter Schorsch reports for Florida Politics – “[A] letter…signed by 60 Florida water policy experts, went to Scott, Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran. It calls on lawmakers…to come to a ‘thoughtful, comprehensive solution’ in fixing issues with the state’s water quality and quantity… ‘This solution has already been developed with input from some of the most knowledgeable scientists, engineers, and water quality experts in the world.’ Delivering the message was Henry Dean, former executive director of both the South Florida and St. Johns River Water Management Districts…The signers are recommending the completion of authorized IDS projects, which include…CERP,…CEPP,…and repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike… ‘The goal is to provide the optimum science-based sequencing of key restoration projects to deliver maximum benefits as early as possible,’ they write. The 60 experts…each have direct involvement…on a variety of restoration projects…” Read Water experts urge Tallahassee, Washington to ‘finish the job’ on Florida water quality, quantity
Lynn Hatter reports for WFSU – “House Speaker Richard Corcoran says he does not support a plan to finance the construction of a water reservoir South of Lake Okeechobee…‘On the bonding front, the House is not prepared to bond at all,’ he told reporters.” Read Corcoran Says ‘No’ to Bonding for Lake Okeechobee Land Buy
Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico – “Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam…blasted Everglades water storage proposals, bemoaned the effect of invasive parasites on cattle, wildlife and citrus, and urged the state to focus more on rural development…Putnam…touted his $50 million budget request for conservation payments to landowners through the agriculture department’s Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. Gov. Rick Scott did not include the funding…in his $83.5 billion state budget request…Putnam said he can’t speak to why the governor has not included the request, but he hopes the Legislature will fund it. ‘It is the most effective conservation tool that we have that returns the most bang for the buck for the taxpayers,’ Putnam said.” Read Putnam pushes rural development as ‘real priority,’ blasts Everglades reservoir proposals
Claire Aronson and Hannah Morse report for the Bradenton Herald – “The majority of public comment on both Thursday and all day Monday called on commissioners to deny Mosaic’s request (to approve its Master Mining Plan and rezone 3,596 acres of their Wingate East property phosphate for mining) while a handful – many Mosaic employees – asked the commission for approval…Barbara Angelucci said she had combed through the public comments sent to commissioners. More than 2,100 comments were in opposition of the rezone, she said. Only six comments were in support of it.” Read Majority of residents at meeting ask county to reject Mosaic mining expansion
Susan Salisbury reports for the Palm Beach Post – “[T]he…company slated to build two new (nuclear) reactors (at Turkey Point)…is leaving the nuclear construction business…It has forecast a deficit in the billions… ‘FPL’s Turkey Point nuclear expansion project was questionable from the beginning and now nearly a decade later with hundreds of millions of customers’ dollars spent, there is even less likelihood that this risky, expensive project will ever materialize,’ said Stephen Smith, SACE’s executive director...Smith asserts that the Florida PSC needs to immediately stop FPL from collecting any further charges from ratepayers…” Read SACE: FPL should end new nuclear reactors as Toshiba-Westinghouse falters
Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “Florida Senate President Joe Negron resigned from his job…to avoid the ‘perception’ of a conflict of interest with his proposal to curb Lake Okeechobee discharges…Negron…will leave his post as a civil litigation lawyer at Gunster Law which…represents a sugar company targeted in a bill to buy land south of Lake O for a reservoir. The bill directs the state, if it cannot find a willing seller, to execute a 2010 contract Gunster helped negotiate with U.S. Sugar Corp.” Read Sen. Joe Negron resigns from Gunster over Lake Okeechobee land-buy conflict
Steve Bousquet reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Amid House criticism of the size of the legal expenses in a…dispute over water rights, Steverson submitted his resignation…to take a new job at the Foley & Lardner law firm. That was the day after a House committee publicly posted an amendment to an ethics bill that would subject ‘appointed state officers’ (including agency heads such as Steverson) to the same six-year lobbying ban that would apply to House members who want to become lobbyists.” Read EX-DEP chief disputes Corcoran’s claim that House forced him out
Ryan Mills and Eric Staats report for the Naples Daily News – “Gov. Rick Scott announced…that his proposed budget would fully fund Florida’s $77 million share of the estimated tab to restore hurricane-damaged beaches.” Read Gov. Scott lays out funding plan for repairing hurricane-damaged beaches
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
February 2, 6:30 pm – Attend Sierra Club Adventure Coast Committee’s meeting at the Harvey Martin Democratic Center (3432 Deltona Blvd.) in Spring Hill. NOAA Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Charles Paxton will speak on climate change in Tampa Bay over time. The social begins at 6:30 and the meeting & presentation will begin at 7:00 pm.
February 4, 9:00 AM – Attend and/or volunteer at Energy Whiz in Tallahassee. This is an annual competition for elementary and middle school students to demonstrate their S.T.E.M. knowledge and skills as they relate to energy topics such as solar thermal, photovoltaics, and hydrogen technology. For more information, click here.
February 6, 7:00 pm – Attend a free Solar Co-op Information Meeting of the East Broward County Solar Co-op at Art Serve in Fort Lauderdale. To register, click here.
February 7, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs. February’s lecture is on Springs Stresses: Groundwater Pumping, Fertilizers, Wastewater Disposal, & Recreation. For more information, click here.
February 7, 7:00 pm – Attend a free Solar Co-op Information Meeting of the West Broward County Solar Co-op at Broward County Government Center West in Plantation. To register, click here.
February 7, 7:00 pm – Attend a presentation by Bill Belleville a Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring. The PPT presentation will focus on the importance of water to Florida’s culture and economy. For more information, contact Bill at Billybx@gate.net.
February 8, 12:45 pm – Attend the Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd.) in The Villages. The guest speaker is Margaret Stewart, Esq., Associate Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence. Margaret will discuss Florida’s current water laws, how they’re enforced, and why they are insufficient. RSVP to email@example.com.
February 9-11 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference: Land Conservation: The Worth of the Earth at the University of Florida. For more information, click here.
February 13, 6:00 pm – Attend Sun Power: What’s Next for Solar in Florida at the Kapnick Center Auditorium (4820 Bayshore Dr.) in Naples. This will be a panel presentation featuring Mary Dipboye, founder of Florida’s first solar co-op and a FLSUN advisory board member; Jim Henderson, president of a solar-powered business; and Chad Washburn, Deputy Director at Naples Botanical Garden, a LEED Gold Standard institution. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
February 15, 12:00 pm – Participate in 1000 Friends of Florida’s FREE webinar: Implementing Water 2070: Water Conservation Planning for Florida Communities. Dr. Pierce Jones, Director of the University of Florida’s Program for Resource Efficient Communities, will discuss water conservation planning for Florida’s communities based on a series of studies he’s conducted on behalf of the Toho Water Authority, Envision Alachua (Plum Creek), and other local governments, developers, and water authorities. For more information and to register, click here.
February 15, 6:30 pm – Attend Troubled Waters: Tallahassee Screening and Panel Discussion at the Challenger Learning Center IMAX (200 South Duval St, Tallahassee, FL 32301). Florida’s waterways are suffering from significant pollution problems. Combined with the impacts from a rapidly growing population, we have a potential recipe for disaster. The documentary will be shown (48) minutes and followed by a panel discussion featuring Lisa Rinaman, St. Johns Riverkeeper; Sarah Owen Gledhill, Florida Wildlife Federation; and Ryan Smart, 1000 Friends of Florida. For more information and your FREE tickets, click here.
March 7-9 – Attend FGCU’s Biodiversity Conference in Fort Myers. For more information and to register, click here.
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We hope you enjoy this service and find it valuable. Our goal is to provide you with the latest environmental news from around the state. 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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About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.
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