CBS Miami reports – “Florida’s two U.S. senators have joined forces to urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to not finalize water-control standards for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin… ‘…[T]he special master correctly points out that Florida has indeed suffered real harm due to Georgia’s unrestrained overconsumption of water,’ Nelson and Rubio wrote in the letter. ‘The master’s report also emphasizes the need for the Army Corps to reevaluate its position with respect to the impacts on the Apalachicola River and Bay.’ Florida’s two senators urged the Corps…to… ‘…take into account the recommendations of relevant experts at the federal agencies and the very lengthy trial record….[T]o fail to consider all of this new information would violate both the spirit and the letter of the National Environmental Policy Act,’ the senators said.” Read Rubio, Nelson Team Up to Target Water Standards
James Call reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “A proposed wildlife tunnel under Crawfordville highway ended up as road kill at Friday’s Acquisition and Restoration Council meeting. The panel approved a Department of Transportation request to take 43 acres of Wakulla Springs State Park as part of a plan to widen U.S. 319 to four lanes. Friday’s hearing was scheduled after environmentalists delayed a vote in December for officials to evaluate concerns about funneling more pollution into the world-famous deep-water spring and potential threats to bear, gopher tortoise and other wildlife living in forested public land crossed by the highway.” Read U.S. 319 to be four-lanes between Leon Sinks and Wakulla Springs
Bruce Hamilton reports for News 4 Jax – “The Save the St. Johns: Activate the River campaign aims to get people out on the water to save the river.” Read St Johns Riverkeeper launches campaign to “Save the St Johns”
Susan Salisbury reports for the Palm Beach Post – “Florida Power & Light Co…plans to add [8 “universal” solar power plants] by early 2018…Each one will produce enough electricity to power 15,000 homes…The plants will be located at sites across Florida, including three previously announced locations in Alachua, Putnam and DeSoto counties. Sites for five of the plants have not been revealed yet, but each takes up about 700 acres…” Read FPL commits to building eight solar plants by 2018
Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “Scientists reported finding 6,620 manatees this year, up from the 6,250 last year and 6,063 the year before… ‘The relatively high counts we have seen for the past three years underscore the importance of warm water habitat to manatees in Florida,’ [Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Insitute] director Gil McRae said…[One of USFWS’s arguments] for [downlisting manatees is] a computer model that shows they now stand little chance of going extinct…[Opponents] noted the computer model failed to take into account either manatees’ loss of habitat or the massive die-offs in recent years.” Read Annual Florida manatee count breaks record for third year in row
Frank Torres reports for Orlando Politics – “ ‘It’s clear that Scott Pruitt won’t protect Florida’s air, water or families and we are extremely disappointed that he will now be the next EPA administrator.’ Said Environment Florida’s State Director, Jennifer Rubiello…Florida Senator Bill Nelson voted against Pruitt’s nomination, while Senator Rubio voted in favor…” Read Environment Florida: Scott Pruitt won’t protect Florida’s air, water or families
Cynthia Barnett writes for the Los Angeles Times – “Regardless of alternative facts, fake news or scientific censorship, nature tells the truth. That truth will flood in torrential rains. It will sear in extended droughts. It will sweep into coastal homes, especially where it has been suppressed; in North Carolina, for example, where the state general assembly banned the use of sea-level rise projections in coastal policymaking, and in South Florida, where thousands of condos and rental apartments are under construction in areas known for serious tidal flooding. As in historic droughts, floods and hurricanes, the wealthy – including the peddlers of falsehoods – will be able to move or bunker up. Those who are poorer, and the ill-prepared, will be left to face the truth directly.” Read We may live in a post-truth era, but nature does not
Florence Williams writes for National Geographic – “Our brains…aren’t tireless three-pound machines; they’re easily fatigued. When we slow down, stop the busywork, and take in beautiful natural surroundings, not only do we feel restored, but our mental performance improves too. Strayer has demonstrated as much with a group of Outward Bound participants, who performed 50 percent better on creative problem-solving tasks after three days of wilderness backpacking. The three-day effect, he says, is a kind of cleaning of the mental windshield that occurs when we’ve been immersed in nature long enough.” Read This is Your Brain on Nature
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
February 23, 12:00 pm – Attend Congressman Matt Gaetz’ Legislative Update and Q&A at Grover T’s BBQ (5887 US-90) in Milton, Florida. Congressman Gaetz has proposed a bill to abolish the EPA, and peaceful protesters will be making their voices heard at this event.
February 23, 4:30 pm – Speak with Congressman Matt Gaetz at the Santa Rosa County Administration Complex (6495 Caroline St.) in Milton.
February 23, 7:00 pm – Attend Congressman Matt Gaetz’ Town Hall and Community Gathering at Oops Alley (3721 US-90) in Pace. Pizza and refreshments will be provided.
March 2, 6:30 pm – Join the Sierra Club Adventure Coast Committee when featured speaker Phil Compton will present the Sierra Club Campaign “Ready for 100,” designed to help communities transition to 100% renewable energy use. The meeting will be held at the Harvey Martin Democratic Center (3432 Deltona Blvd.) in Spring Hill. Social begins at 6:30 pm followed by the meeting and program at 7:00 pm. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 8, 12:45 pm – Attend the Villages Environmental Discussions Group Meeting at the Belvedere Library in The Villages, FL. Guest speakers will include Laura Seckbach Finn, the founder of Fly By Night, Inc., and Nigel Rudolph, from the Florida Public Archaeology Network. Laura will focus on Florida bats and Nigel will discuss the history and culture of the Crystal River. For more information and to RSVP, contact email@example.com
March 7-9 – Attend FGCU’s Biodiversity Conference in Fort Myers. For more information and to register, click here.
March 22, 10:00 AM – Participate in Reclaiming Florida’s Future for All at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee. Floridians will make their voices heard by speaking directly with their elected officials on key energy and water issues facing Florida. Public transportation from several cities across the state will be offered, as will advocacy training on March 21st. For more information and to RSVP, 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.
Please send all suggestions, comments, and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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