Amy Green reports for WMFE – “U.S. Sugar staunchly has opposed a reservoir on their land…But spokeswoman Judy Sanchez says if the Legislature approves the plan the company would honor a previous agreement authorizing the state to buy 153,000 acres.” Read U.S. Sugar Says it Will Honor Land Contract – If Reservoir Approved
Eric Eikenberg reports for the Sun Sentinel – “You’d never know it, but just a few years ago, both U.S. Sugar and the South Florida Water Management District heartily supported above ground water storage in the Everglades Agricultural Area…Using a computer-modeling tool called “Reservoir Sizing and Operations Screening”…the District’s experts tested 250,000 storage alternatives, examining various combinations of reservoir locations and sizes. For 60 days, they pored over 41 years of rainfall and hydrological data…What emerged is the proposal now being advanced by Senate President Joe Negron…[U.S. Sugar’s] senior vice president, Malcolm S. (“Bubba”) Wade, wrote in the Fort Myers News-Press that ‘any solution without a significant EAA Component won’t solve the problem.’” Read US Sugar, Water District were on same side of reservoir issue
The Graham Center shares – “President of 1000 Friends of Florida Inc. and University of Florida graduate Ryan Smart…has been selected as the 2017 Young Floridian of the Year…1000 Friends of Florida…[is] the state’s leading smart-growth advocacy organization, founded in 1986 to save special places and build better communities throughout Florida. 1000 Friends promotes land conservation, sustainable communities, affordable housing and transportation alternatives…[Smart] is a regular contributor to Florida newspapers on environmental and growth management issues and a frequent presenter at seminars and events. Smart has an impressive track record of coalition building and grassroots organizing, bringing much-needed attention to Florida’s critical environmental issues. For two-and-a-half years, he managed the Florida Conservation Coalition, where he brought together more than 50 organizations to reinvigorate efforts to conserve Florida’s precious environmental resources. Smart serves on the board of the Wakulla Springs Alliance – a coordinated effort to protect and restore spring flow water quality and the ecological health of the world’s largest, deepest freshwater spring.” Read 2017 Citizen of the Year & Young Floridian
Chad Gillis reports for News Press – “Another Florida panther was hit and killed by a vehicle, marking the sixth road kill of the year and the third panther death documented this month…Not all panther deaths are documented as the animal covers millions of acres of land south of Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River.” Read Sixth panther road kill of the year recorded
Dave Heller reports for Florida State University News – “A unique team of Florida State University faculty and students is working with concerned citizens to put the spotlight on a critically endangered river ecosystem in Florida. The Apalachicola River Project is an effort at FSU that draws upon the talents of students and faculty from multiple departments, including Digital Media Production, Media and Communication Studies, Environmental Science and Policy, and English.” Read FSU faculty and students team up to help save a river
Serena Summerfield reports for WJCT – “The St. Johns Riverkeeper is hosting a two-week event to acquaint Northeast Florida residents with the river…Guided tributary and creek tours will bring visitors to preserves and recreational areas the river runs through. But because the St. Johns River is 310 miles long, they will also witness areas experiencing issues related to low water levels – like higher levels of bacteria and salinity – which…can kill both animal and plant life…There will also be riverboat tours and cleanup events…While [Blankinship, St. Johns Riverkeeper spokeswoman] said there’s already a lot of support for river conservation at the grassroots level, it would be nice to see city officials more involved.” Read Riverkeepers Start Two Week River Awareness Event
The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “President Donald Trump is…saying...[t]he $6 billion budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would be cut by at least $323 million. The Federal Emergency Management Agency would lose $667 million from its $6 billion disaster relief fund…Trump wants to redirect the money to help accomplish his campaign promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico…[B]oth Florida senators…are pushing back…NOAA, the storm-tracking agency, is best known in Florida for its hurricane-hunter missions that give millions of residents on the Gulf Coast early warnings that save lives and property…NOAA plays a far broader role as the nation’s lead science agency, from monitoring climate change to protecting coastal resources vital to the nation’s health and economy. FEMA is the federal cleanup arm, helping people recover from natural disasters. After hurricanes Matthew and Hermine hit Florida last year, the agency paid out more than $100 million to state and local entities to help with recovery efforts.” Read Trump budget cuts put Florida coast at risk
Lisa Garcia writes for Earthjustice – “[F]ive ways that EPA budget cuts impact all of us: 1. Our wild spaces will become less majestic – and more hazardous for our health. Our national parks are one of America’s best ideas, yet the air within them…is surprisingly dirty. According to a report by the National Parks Conservation Association, every one of the 48 parks it surveyed is plagued by haze and smog pollution, which largely comes from burning fossil fuels…2. Our water and air will get dirtier…3. Our most vulnerable populations will suffer even more…4. We’ll all be less informed, especially when it comes to scientific issues…5.The economy will take a nose dive.” Read 5 Ways EPA Budget Cuts Affect You
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
March 20, 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm – Attend the Tallahassee premiere of Catching the Sun, an inspirational documentary about the global shift to solar and renewable energy. For more information and to purchase tickets ($5), 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.
April 1, 10:30 am – Attend Solar: Unlimited Energy for the Sunshine State, a free educational program on solar power, at the Coastal Region Library (8619 W. Crystal St.) in Crystal River. For more information, please contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628 – 0698 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 1, 12:30 pm - Attend a free "Solar Co-op Information Meeting" for the Sarasota County Solar Co-op at North Port Library (13800 Tamiami Trail) in Northpoint. To register, click here.
April 9, 1:00 pm – Attend the 2017 Our Santa Fe RiverFest & Songwriting Contest in Fort White. There will be live music, a silent auction, and food! For more information and tickets, click here.
April 18, 5:00 pm – Attend the Suncoast Climate Change Symposium at USFSM’s Selby Auditorium (8350 N. Tamiami Trail) in Sarasota. The symposium will host presentations on climate change and its consequences for Florida, featuring Dr. Harold Wanless of the University of Miami, noted geologist and sea-level rise expert. The sustainability manager for the City of Sarasota will also discuss Sarasota’s “Climate Adaptation Plan.” Tickets are $15 for the general public, and free for students. To purchase tickets, click here.
April 18, 5:30 pm - Attend a free "Solar Co-op Information Meeting" for the Sarasota County Solar Co-op at the North Sarasota Library (2801 Newtown Blvd) in Sarasota. To register, click here.
April 25, 5:30 pm - Attend a free "Solar Co-op Information Meeting" for the East Broward County Solar Co-op and the West Broward County Solar Co-op at the Northwest Regional Library (3151 N. University Drive) in Coral Springs. To register, click here.
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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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