FCC News Brief - June 27, 2017

Lisa Rinaman writes for The Florida Times Union – “Jacksonville is blessed to have the mighty St. Johns River flowing through the heart of our city. Envision a mosaic of riverfront parks, diverse open spaces and amenities serving as a catalyst for future downtown projects. An interconnected network of trails, parks and blueways would connect our river to Downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods while providing green infrastructure that would filter runoff, create habitat and provide a buffer for our waterways.” Read Downtown’s natural asset

Teresa Stepzinski reports for The Florida Times Union – “Conservation is key, experts say, to help ensure Clay County and the rest of Northeast Florida has enough water in the coming years for drinking and to support farming and industry… Citing the total regional water supply plan, Shortelle said to meet the demand for the whole area in 2035 about 117 million gallons a day is needed to protect the natural systems and meet the projected population growth. She said that planning falls into three buckets: 41 to 54 million gallons a day of water conservation, 65 million gallons a day of resource development projects and 97 million gallons a day of water supply development projects. ‘Literally, using less is our cheapest alternative water supply,’ Shortelle said. She noted the planned Black Creek project is a water resource development project that also supports the water supply. As proposed, the plan involves installing equipment to capture up to 10 million gallons of water daily from Black Creek when it rises above certain levels then piping it to replenish the shrunken Keystone Heights area lakes.” Read Clay commission told conservation key to water supply

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “For the last quarter of a century, the North American Butterfly Association has tallied the nation’s population of butterflies thrice a year… But across the nation, and particularly in Florida, finding butterflies to count is getting more difficult as habitats continue to vanish and climate change makes butterflies’ brief lives ever more perilous. ‘Every single day there are fewer butterflies in the United States than there were the day before…,’ said geneticist Jeffrey Glassberg, NABA’s president and founder… In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added two butterflies, the Bartram’s hairstreak and Florida leafwing, to the endangered species list. The listing designated critical habitat, with rules for maintaining it. But critics have often said the designation does little in reality to protect the butterflies and their habitat on private land. After the University of Miami sold the last large tract of pine rockland – the butterflies’ only habitat – to a Palm Beach County developer, he quickly unveiled plans for a Walmart shopping center and nearly 1,000 apartments.” Read What counting Florida butterflies can tell the world about climate change

Suzanne Potter reports for the Public News Service – “If the federal government won’t take the lead on climate change – local cities will. That’s the message from the U.S. Conference of Mayors… A new Sierra Club study says if the 1,400 cities belonging to the U.S. Conference of Mayors were to reach 100-percent renewable energy targets by 2025, the U.S. would come close to meeting its goals under the Paris agreement.” Read FL Leaders Push for Climate Action at Mayors’ Conference in Miami Beach

Sean Breslin reports for The Weather Channel – “The Heartland Institute… has sent mailings to more than 300,000 science teachers across the country… in an effort to present information that conflicts with the scientific consensus that human-caused climate change is happening and will continue to accelerate unless drastic measures are taken… What’s more, a new study revealed teachers may be just as vulnerable to false information as all other Americans when it comes to climate change. A University of Missouri professor surveyed 220 secondary science teachers in Florida and Puerto Rico and found the vast majority believed notable misconceptions about climate change to be true.” Read Science Teachers Misunderstand Climate Change as much as the Average American, and Now They’re Being Fed False Information

Christopher P. Skroupa reports for Forbes – “White: ... [O]ur very survival is linked to that of the ocean. Every second breath you take comes from marine phytoplankton, tiny organisms that create half the world’s oxygen through photosynthesis… We also have the ocean to thank for many important processes, like the water cycle and weather patterns… The ocean also provides incredible resources to our nation, like seafood, security, economic growth, and so much more… [C]limate change is already happening, and it does impact our national security… [T]here are four key areas I’ll focus on.” Read Beneath the Waves – Why Climate Change Needs to be Acknowledged

Laura Entis reports for Fortune – “According to a study co-authored by Mora, if carbon emissions aren’t reduced, by 2100 New York City will experience about 50 days per year of heat and humidity conditions that has resulted in death… Meanwhile, in cities such as Orlando and Houston, this threshold will be crossed for the entire summer, making it unsafe to go outside for extended periods of time… In this brutally hot version of the future, in many U.S. cities air conditioning will become a literal life saver. Power outages… will… be… a national emergency… Roads and train tracks will melt and buckle under the heat.” Read How Climate Change will Transform the Way We Live

Bill McKibben writes for Rolling Stone – “[A]s the director of Canada’s Climate Action Network said, ‘Trump’s move to withdraw the U.S. from the (Paris) accord has resulted in the clearest… call for climate action from every corner of human civilization yet.’… The time for encouraging messages of support for the climate is over – we need action. This has been a problem for years; Democrats in particular have been able to slip by with simple declarations that they ‘believe’ in climate science. But at this point, who cares?... We need serious and immediate commitment to action. Here are three simple criteria for determining whether your local politicians are serious enough to pass the climate test: They are committed to converting to 100 percent renewable energy… They will work to keep remaining fossil fuels in the ground. Since we’re committing to 100 percent renewable, there’s absolutely no need for any new fossil-fuel infrastructure – no new pipelines, no new frack wells, no new coal mines… They understand natural gas could be the most dangerous fuel of all. For the past decade, the democratic get-out-of-jail-free-card for dealing with climate was natural gas… But two problems soon emerged. One, to get at the gas, you had to frack… and soon communities were reporting all kinds of environmental woes… Second,… the process of producing gas was releasing so much methane into the atmosphere that it was no better for the environment than burning coal… Just as bad, the flood of cheap natural gas retards the necessary swift conversion to sun and wind…” Read How to tell if Your Reps are Serious About Climate Change





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Job Openings

Administrative Director for the Apalachicola Riverkeeper

Part-time Contractor with the Florida Wildflower Foundation




Save the Last Great Place on Sarasota Bay

Protect Weeki Wachee Springs; Stop the 7 Diamonds Mine in Pasco County

Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

Now or Neverglades Declaration

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

Save the Biggest Wetland Mitigation Bank in the U . S . A . from Development

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state




Upcoming Environmental Events    

June 27, 2:00 pm – Listen to an educational webinar on how to use the Clean Water Act to file and win a citizen lawsuit. Speakers will include Heather Govern from the National Environmental Law Center and Whitey Markle from the Suwannee/St. Johns Sierra Club Group. To register, click here.

June 27, 6:30 pm – Attend St. Johns Riverkeeper’s Algal Bloom Awareness Presentation in Jacksonville. Aquatic ecologist Robert Storm Burks will explain what causes blue-green algal blooms and why they may be toxic for you and the St. Johns river. For more information and to RSVP, 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 12, 8:00 pm – Attend a showing of “Apalachicola River: An American Treasure,a documentary about Florida’s largest river, at Blue Tavern in Tallahassee. For more information and to indicate your interest in attending, click here.

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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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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