Douglas Hanks reports for the Miami Herald – “The bid to extend the Dolphin Expressway… hit a major roadblock on Tuesday when a panel of Miami-Dade commissioners rejected the proposal, saying they couldn’t let the highway grow past the western edge of urban development. ‘I’m concerned if you put infrastructure out there, folks will see that as a green light to come in there and move the UDB,’ said Commissioner Dennis Moss… The proposal died in a 3-2 vote by the commission’s Government Operations committee… ‘What are we going to leave for future generations?’ Commissioner Rebeca Sosa asked before voting against the proposal. ‘That is our water. That is our oxygen. That is our future.’… With [this proposal] voted down in committee, the MDX can submit the proposal through the county’s planning office, like any other application seeking a change to the master (growth) plan. The full commission considers changes to the growth plan.” Read Bid to expand 836 into Kendall rejected by Miami-Dade commissioners
Cindy Swirko reports for The Gainesville Sun – “For years the privately owned Blue Springs Park along the Santa Fe River in Gilchrist County has lured locals and visitors from around the world to swim and snorkel in its chilled, transparent water… Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet are set to consider the purchase of the park by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Local environmental advocates say the purchase, at about $5.2 million, will protect the quality of the springs and of the Santa Fe River… On June 19, 2015, DEP’s Acquisition and Restoration Council voted to add the 405-acre Gilchrist Blue Springs proposal to the Florida’s First Magnitude Springs project. The proposal includes six springs, four of which are named… [and land adjacent to the park] that is now in pine production.” Read State poised to spend $5M for 405-acre Blue Springs area
Ron Littlepage writes for The Florida Times Union – “The Big Con is now in full force. JaxPort is quickly accelerating its plan to commit a boatload of your tax dollars to dredge the St. Johns River shipping channel to 47 feet even if it doesn’t make economic or environmental sense… More than $300 million was needed for the phase-out of septic tanks and another $180 million was needed for storm water improvements. Those projects would improve the health of the St. Johns River. JaxPort wants to divert money from that to dredge the channel and worsen the river’s health…” Read The big con continues for dredging the river
Jim Waymer reports for Florida Today – “Brevard County and local cities won $1.3 million in grants… to help pay for the Indian River Lagoon cleanup, including a sewer project in Micco… On Tuesday, the St. Johns River Water Management District approved rankings for its yearly cost-share program… Of greatest concern to Brevard officials was a $644,793 grant to help pay for a sewer line extension in Micco… The project will help 16 businesses and 18 residences in the Micco area now using septic tanks to hook up to the sewer system. More than $1.39 million for the project will come from the county’s voter-approved half-cent-per-dollar sales tax that began this year for lagoon cleanups.” Read Brevard receives $1.3 million in lagoon grants
Mark Generales writes for the News Press – “Deep injection wells can be built quickly and only need to be used in emergency situations to prevent discharges when larger amounts of water are flowing towards the Lake than reservoirs and ASR wells can store. They do not have to be used all the time.” Read Army Corps wrong to not support deep injection wells
Jerry Iannelli reports for Miami New Times – “When the Zika virus struck last year, Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control immediately began fogging with three pestices: BTI…; naled, a controversial chemical compound banned in Europe over links to developmental disorders in children; and permethrin, the active ingredient in home bug-killers such as Raid… [O]fficials didn’t get around to testing which pesticides kill Aedes aegypti until October – midway through Zika season and about a month after the county spent an extra $20,000 on permethrin. Once they finally performed tests, the results were unambiguous: Permethrin is nearly useless against Zika-carrying mosquitoes… A Penn State study last week linked chemicals such as permethrin to childhood autism… The County… is switching to… malathion, a… pesticide from the same family as naled. But that October test also warned that Miami’s Aedes aegypti were also “developing resistance” to malathion… The issue highlights an ongoing feud between mosquito-control experts, who say mass-level spraying is necessary to combat disease, and environmentalists and biologists, who accuse those experts of being too careless with toxic chemicals long known to be dangerous to humans and animals.” Read Miami Wasted Thousands on Untested Pesticide that Didn’t Kill Zika Mosquitos
Jim Ash reports for WFSU – “Activists are abandoning a federal challenge of Florida’s water quality standards… Florida Clean Water Network head Linda Young claims relaxed standards for some cancer-causing substances, including benzene, threaten human health… Young says it’s pointless to sue the EPA after Trump promised to ease regulations. ‘…[I]f we move forward with a mandatory duty lawsuit right now,… we’ll get some bad law out of it.’” Read Clean Water Network Drops Federal Challenge
Keith Wedgworth writes for the Palm Beach Post – “The devastating consequences of the initial version of SB 10 would have reached across our county, state and even nation. For private landowners, we would have lost our farms… This was personal for me, because I am a fourth-generation Glades farmer and, like my family before me, I take pride in the sustainably grown, carefully cultivated foods my farm delivers to American tables.” Read Glades farmer bear brunt of reservoir efforts
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
June 17, 9:00 am – Attend the Barr Hammock Preserve Celebration in Micanopy. This is the grand opening of the Southern Entrance to Alachua County’s Barr Hammock Preserve. There will be guided nature walks and a cycling tour following the ceremonial “vine” cutting. For more information, click here.
June 21, 12:00 pm – Attend 1000 Friends of Florida’s webinar: Florida Forever Advocacy: A Game Plan for 2018. Speakers at this webinar will share strategies for Florida’s environmental groups and concerned citizens to support full funding for Florida Forever in 2018. For more information and to register, click here.
June 23, 6:00 pm – Attend the Lost Springs Film Screening and Discussion in Gainesville. Matt Keene’s new documentary, “Lost Springs,” chronicles the Ocklawaha River’s hidden springs that return to life every three to give years when there is a drawdown at Rodman Reservoir. Filmmaker Matt Keene, springs artist Margaret Rolbert, boat captain and environmental activist Karen Chadwick, and St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman will share stories about the lost springs and the fight for their restoration. For more information, click here.
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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