The Gainesville Sun reports – “A man who authorities suspect shot at the Sabal Trail pipeline and some of its equipment in Marion County Sunday morning…was shot and killed in Citrus County following a police chase.” Read Shots at Sabal Trail pipeline lead to chase, fatal shooting
Martin E. Comas reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “Seminole County [is considering enacting] some of the toughest rules in Central Florida to limit how and when homeowners can use fertilizer – including imposing a summertime ban…Hall, 75, [said,] ‘I’m all for it…I’m a kayaker, and I sometimes go to Wekiwa Springs. So I know how important it is to keep the waterways clean.’…Seminole Commissioner Lee Constantine said, ‘We have people that move and live here…because of the quality of our lakes and springs. No one is saying you can’t fertilize. What we’re saying is…use fertilizers when it’s not going to pollute our waterways as much.’…[R]epresentatives from the turf and fertilizer industries strongly oppose a ‘summer blackout’ period…Seminole is also launching an educational campaign to show property owners…about the best times, amounts and methods for applying fertilizers…Seminole’s restrictions mirror those enacted by Brevard and Volusia counties years ago…Lake County leaders plan to consider fertilizer regulations in April…” Read Seminole to enact tough new rules on fertilizers
The Ocala Star Banner Editorial Board writes – “Knowing how much water we Floridians are using is ever more important as water tables fall, lake and spring levels decline and population and overall concern about our water future grows…[T]he findings (from the St. Johns River Water Management District annual water use report)…reveal that…so many of the agricultural users and all of the so-called “self-supply” consumers – that is, people with private household or farm wells – are based on estimates because Florida does not require meters on private wells, except for the largest users…Even with many larger “permitted” users – those who use more than 100,000 gallons per day – the district depends on ‘alternative methods’ of measurement when ‘it is not feasible to meter the source.’ We are confounded by the notion that it is not feasible to meter any water well. All wells have a pipe and certainly can be fitted with some sort of a meter, if only for measuring water consumption.” Read The unknown of private wells
Thomas Hawkins writes for the Ocala Star Banner – “State Sen. Keith Perry has filed a bill that would hammer a final nail in the coffin of Florida’s once revolutionary growth management law. To protect development interests, Senate Bill 996 attacks the American right of citizens to petition government…Now, the state does not review local comprehensive plan amendments for compliance with state law. This means only affected residents – and the community organizations or not-for-profits that represent them- continue to hold local governments accountable through administrative courts…We urge you to contact Sen. Perry at 352-264-4040…and ask him to withdraw this damaging bill.” Read Perry bill aims to punish growth challenges
WFTV reports – “For decades, scientists have said Lake Apopka is ‘dead.’ Farming along the shore turned one of the nation’s best bass fishing spots into a toxic pool of sludge. But it’s finally showing some signs of life. The Florida Wildlife Commission recently stocked Lake Apopka with baby bass now that conditions finally have improved enough to keep them alive…[T]housands of acres of farmland bought by the state have been turned into a natural water filter called a ‘marsh flow way.’…John Werner, Seminole State College earth sciences professor…said… ‘It is always less expensive in the long run to protect areas like this to begin with, rather than letting them decay and then finding out we need to restore them.’…[P]rogress has a price: $112 million to buy up all that farmland…, $37 million for construction and maintenance, $21 million to get rid of pesticides in the ground and $8 million for studies…No one knows how expensive bringing Lake Apopka back to life will end up being, or how long it will take.” Read 9 Investigates cost of bringing Lake Apopka back to life
Steve Robitaille writes for The Gainesville Sun – “I want to see a return to the greater numbers and diversity of fish species that were once available in the (Oklawaha) river… [O]nly the rare manatee gets past the dam, unable to find the warm springs they counted on for survival…And Silver Springs…now suffers from reduced flow…A survey that the University of Florida food and resource economics department is conducting suggests…that a restored river would significantly increase the numbers of canoe and kayak paddlers…Millennials…like to fish…, but are more likely to be found in a kayak than in a bass boat. Their increased numbers are also likely to spend more money at local businesses…Dams are expensive to maintain and upset the natural ecology everywhere they have been constructed…Between 1915 and 1975, 46 dams in the U.S. came down. Between 1976 and 2014, that number jumped to 1,040. Not a single dam was built after 2014…The clock on the Rodman dam is ticking, and the inevitable cost of needed upkeep and repairs will not be covered by proceeds from bass-fishing tournaments. Also lost to the people of Florida is a large amount of freshwater that evaporates every day the Rodman pool remains in place…So let’s find a better location for a bass-fishing tournament in Putnam County. There are potential locations along the St. Johns and Ocklawaha…” Read Removing dam would revitalize economy
The Ledger’s Editorial Board writes – “[T]he Polk Regional Water Cooperative…was formally established last April. Its purpose was to present a united community front for Polk County in the unfolding Central Florida Water Initiative…The initiative intends to develop plans to provide adequate water for communities in relative proximity to Orlando. The Polk alliance, by teaming county government and the local municipalities, was a historic venture that sought to give the entire county a voice in water management districts’ decisions about divvying up the water supply. Another purpose was to smooth out intermural bumps created by self-interest and competition…Proponents, including us, also believed that the formation…would boost opportunities for Polk County to access state funding for water projects…The co-op board voted unanimously to seek financial help for a trio of projects that would provide an estimated 42 million gallons of water a day throughout Polk for the next two decades. The initiatives involved drilling in wellfields…as well as damming parts of the Peace Creek drainage canal to create a series of reservoirs. The price tag: $620 million. Which raised the [question]: how would the costs be shared and where would the money come from?...Twice…[the Frostproof City Council] has voted down petitions to participate in co-op projects… ‘I really felt it didn’t affect us,’ Councilman Jon Albert said during one vote…Councilman Martin Sullivan shared that he believes the co-op helps the bigger members more than the smaller ones…[C]o-op leaders soon need to address such thinking because it’s likely not exclusive to Frostproof.” Read Cooperative must stress benefits of cooperation
Ryan J. Reilly writes for the Huffington Post – “EPA chief Scott Pruitt…said that those who believed the EPA should be eliminated were ‘justified’ because of the agency’s actions during the Obama administration…At CPAC…he indicated some announcements would likely be made next week about regulations being rolled back…Pruitt, who was opposed by hundreds of former EPA employees, said that the agency did some ‘very important’ work, but added the Obama administration was too focused on climate change.” Read EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Says Those Who Want to Kill His Agency are ‘Justified’
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
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 10, 7:30 PM – Attend the Panthers vs. Wild Hockey game and support conservation efforts for the Florida panther. To buy your tickets, click here.
March 14, 9:00 AM – Participate in Florida Coasts & Ocean Advocacy Day at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee. Join the Surfrider Foundation and Florida Coastal & Ocean Coalition in sharing your support for our ocean and beaches with your legislators! Advocate for clean water, healthy beaches, and an end to plastic pollution. For more information, 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.
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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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