The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board writes – “By voting to purchase Blue Springs Park in Gilchrist County, the governor and Cabinet have preserved another small slice of natural Florida… The purchase is an appropriate use of Florida Forever funds, which are intended for conserving natural land. It’s also a positive and promising early step by Noah Valenstein, the new secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, who said he intends to seek similar acquisitions… The purchase of Blue Springs by the state isn’t the wholesale change Florida needs in its water policy, which is too accommodating to developers at the expense of natural resources. But by converting this rare jewel into a state park, the state at least is preventing it from being lost to private development and ensuring that generations more Floridians will be able to enjoy it.” Read State preserves natural treasure by buying Blue Springs
Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “A state panel… agreed to evaluate four major land conservation proposals, including more than 3,700 acres along the Taylor County coastline that had been planned for development… Those four proposed conservation easements and land purchases won support from Defenders of Wildlife and local Sierra Club and Audubon chapters. The council votes follow a legislative session during which DEP’s Florida Forever land-buying program received no funding in the 2017-18 state budget despite the 2014 voter approval of a water and land conservation spending measure called Amendment 1… The four major projects approved by the ARC… were a 1,671-acre conservation easement in Hardee County, a 6,231-acre conservation easement addition at Nokuse Plantation in Walton County, the 27,188-acre proposed land buy along the Apalachicola River, and the proposed Taylor County land purchase… Kent Wimmer, northwest Florida representative at Defenders of Wildlife,… said environmental groups will tell the Legislature, ‘This is exactly the type of project that needs to be acquired, and this is why you need to appropriate the money the voters voted for to make it happen.’… The… property [in Taylor County] includes three springs and 2.5 miles along the Gulf Coast between units of the state’s Big Bend Wildlife Management Area.” Read State panel agrees to evaluate 4 major land conservation proposals
Jim Saunders reports for the News Service of Florida – “A federal appeals court… rejected a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ management of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River caused pollution problems in the Southwest Florida waterway. A three-judge panel… upheld a lower court decision to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Florida Wildlife Federation, the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. The environmental groups alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act… But the appeals court… said the case should be dismissed because the South Florida Water Management District was not properly included in the case.” Read Appeals court rejects Lake Okeechobee water lawsuit
NBC Miami reports – “An endangered Florida panther was struck and killed by a car near Immokalee – the 11th fatal collision this year out of 15 total panther deaths.” Read Three-Year-Old Panther Killed After Being Hit by Car Near Immokalee
Jim Saunders reports for the News Service of Florida – “Florida Gov. Rick Scott… signed… a measure that will carry out a constitutional amendment aimed at boosting the use of solar energy in the state… Sen. Jeff Brandes,… who sponsored the bill during this spring’s legislative session, said in a prepared statement that Scott ‘answered the will of the voters’ in signing the measure… ‘I look forward to continuing our work to diversify Florida’s energy and economy, so we can live up to our title as the Sunshine State and lead in renewable energy,’ Brandes said.” Read Bill expanding renewable energy tax break in Florida becomes law
Wilson Sayre reports for WUSF – “There will be no more Styrofoam allowed at Miami-Dade County beaches, marinas or parks… In cities like Miami Beach and Coral Gables that already banned Sytrofoam, the bans were grandfathered in. Places that didn’t have regulations in place before the state law went into effect are limited to regulating polystyrene on county- or city-owned land.” Read Take Note for Your Next Picnic: Miami-Dade County Styrofoam Ban Starts on July 1
Corbin Hiar reports for E&E News – “The Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a proposal that could shift funding away from endangered or threatened species that may be too expensive to save from extinction.” Read FWS mulls plan to steer money away from ‘futile’ species
Community News reports – “Water-Gen has developed a cutting-edge Air to Water Generating (AWG) technology and line of products for household use and large scale AWG modular units for generating clean and safe drinking water from the air… In March 2017, over 170,000 South Floridians were affected by a precautionary boil water advisory due to a power outage at a water plant. This month, with the beginning of Florida’s hurricane season, authorities have begun to re-educate its residents on the contaminant effects of hurricane damage to drinking water. Therefore, it is very timely that for the next two weeks the City of Miami Gardens will host a pilot program featuring Water-Gen’s mid-size unit that extracts water from the air and dispenses clean drinking water.” Read Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert III Brings Safe Drinking Water Solution, Water-Gen, to Florida
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
June 21, 2:00 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.
July 11, 6:00 pm – Attend a public solar information meeting at the Bob Graham Center on the University of Florida Campus in Gainesville. The Alachua County Solar Co-op is open to new members until July 28th.
July 19, 6:45 pm – Attend a public solar information meeting at the Millhopper Branch of the Alachua County library system in Gainesville. The Alachua County Solar Co-op is open to new members until July 28th.
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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 80 conservation-minded organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.
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