Marta Zaraska reports for Discover – “Gagliano and her colleagues showed that you can train plants the same basic way you can train dogs… [P]lenty of behavioral studies show [plants] are far more brainy than we tend to assume. For one, they remember stuff… And if [plants] can’t rely on their memories to compare experiences, they can always chat with others to find out what’s going on through the mycorrhizal network, an underground system that connects roots of plants and conducts signals through interwoven bodies of fungi… Plants are also capable of recognizing their relatives by their body shape… [S]ome plants can even count.” Read Garden Greenery is Brainier Than You Think
Pam Meharg writes for Audubon Florida – “Water is the elixir of Florida; it brings life to the plants, wildlife, and people that call Florida home… [W]e are faced with great challenges as we look for ways to provide enough clean water to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population and protect the ecosystems that are supported by our water. While there are many approaches to water conservation, the approach that provides the strongest protection for our water resources is land conservation. That is what voters overwhelmingly approved when they passed the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative (Amendment 1) in 2014. Forests and wetlands are very effective at moderating the influences of pollution and naturally clean pollutants from water. Land conservation is an investment in the future as it steers growth away from sensitive water resources while providing recreational opportunities. Studies show that spending to protect forests, wetlands, and aquifer recharge areas saves money over time as the need for costly water treatment infrastructure is avoided. As Floridians struggle to fix the many problems plaguing our waterways and look for the billions of dollars needed to fund these fixes, we should remember that conserving Florida’s special places protects our valuable resources at their source.” Read Land Conservation is the Best Way to Preserve Florida’s Water Resources
Michael Moline reports for Florida Politics – “The newest project on the state’s priority list for conservation land buys is a 4,700-acre spread in eastern Alachua County, containing valuable wildlife, water, and plant resources, but also largely given over to pine harvesting. That’s if Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet approve an updated Florida Forever work plan during a meeting scheduled for June 14… Also on the Cabinet’s agenda is the purchase for nearly $5.3 million for 407 acres to protect a network of springs including Gilchrist Blue Springs… ‘Four of the six springs are named, with one (Gilchrist Blue Springs) being a large second magnitude spring that produces an average of over 44 million gallons of water per day,’ a summary reads.” Read Governor and Cabinet to take up environmental land-acquisition priorities
Fred Hiers reports for the Ocala Star Banner – “The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD)… withdrew its request to establish minimum flows and levels that would have allowed as much as 5 percent reduction in the flow of the Rainbow River, but only to revise the language… [A] spokeswoman (from SWFWMD) said… that it was not backing away from the flow reduction. Instead, it was halting the rule process to clarify its conclusions and elaborate on compliance with the proposed flows.” Read New wording, same flow levels
Tim Elfrink reports for the Miami New Times – “Every year toward the beginning of rainy season, dense clouds of black salt marsh mosquitoes begin rising from the Everglades and coastal wetlands and descending upon Miami. For years, Miami and the Keys have fought back with a powerful tool: permethrin, a pesticide effective at killing the insects before they can make life miserable for South Florida. But a new study suggests that chemicals like permethrin are also dangerous to humans. The peer-reviewed research… found an association between the pesticide use and the development of autism in children who live nearby… [P]ermethrin in particular has been the favored chemical to kill… mosquitoes for years, ever since the insects became resistant to DDT.” Read Mosquito Pesticide Sprayed All Over Miami Linked to Autism in Kids
Steve Waters reports for the Sun Sentinel – “South Florida anglers, bicyclists, bird-watchers, hikers, hunters and paddlers will soon have a new place to pursue their pastimes. At its meeting… in West Palm Beach, the South Florida Water Management District governing board approved public access for the A-1 Flow Equalization Basin, an Everglades water storage reservoir along the west side of U.S. Highway 27…” Read Everglades reservoir will be opened for fishing, paddling, hunting and biking
Dante Disparte reports for the Harvard Business Review – “President Trump… echoes a common political talking point: that fighting climate change is bad for the economy. I’d like to point out the flip side: that climate change itself is bad for the economy and investing in climate resilience is not only a national security priority, but an enormous economic opportunity.” Read If You Think Fighting Climate Change Will Be Expensive, Calculate the Cost of Letting It Happen
The Southwest Florida Water Management District shares – “Governor Rick Scott reappointed John Henslick to the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board.” Read Governor Reappoints Henslick to the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
June 13, 12:00 pm – Join the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center in High Springs for Springs Academy Tuesdays; a lunchtime lecture series on Florida’s springs. June’s lecture is on Springs Chemistry. All lectures are free and open to the public. A recommended donation of $5 is appreciated. More information is available here or by calling (386) 454 - 2427.
July 11, 12:00 pm – Join the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center in High Springs for Springs Academy Tuesdays; a lunchtime lecture series on Florida’tomors springs. July’s lecture is on Springs Biology. All lectures are free and open to the public. A recommended donation of $5 is appreciated. More information is available here or by calling (386) 454 - 2427.
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