FCC News Brief - July 18, 2017

Cleveland Tinker reports for The Gainesville Sun – “Nine million gallons of water were saved during the first year of the Landscape Irrigation Efficiency Design Code enacted by the Alachua County Commission in April 2016.” Read County landscape irrigation code saved 9 million gallons of water

Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “Florida is one of a few states with a law – Florida Statute 373.62 enacted in 2010 – requiring a sensor on automatic lawn sprinklers that ‘inhibits or interrupts operation of the system during period of sufficient moisture.’ Running your sprinkler during or after a big rain could cost you $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense and $250 for a third or subsequent offenses. Law-abiding property owners can find rain sensors wherever irrigation supplies are sold, and a homeowner or irrigation professional can install them… Most South Florida lawns need about one inch of water per week, so summer rains should provide more than enough water for your lawn… ” Read Florida law: Over-watering lawns isn’t just wasteful, it can be illegal

Susan Salisbury reports for the Palm Beach Post – “[A] successful constitutional amendment intended to make it easier – and more profitable – for people… to benefit from renewable energy seems more cloudy than clear by rules being implemented in Tallahassee… In June, Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 90, putting the changes proposed in Amendment 4 into law… Patrick Altier, president of the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association, and owner of SolarTrek Inc, Ocala, said while the new law appears to offer more consumer protection, it has created a lot of uncertainty and confusion in the industry. While commercial installations will reap a definite benefit, what seems like a benefit for residential solar is, in real life, a step back.” Read New solar laws expected to boost Florida commercial installations

JoAnn Adkins reports for FIU News – “FIU will monitor the impacts of a large-scale construction project designed to save Florida Bay, according to a contract approved this week by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). SFWMD crews are completing the construction project, which will use several pump stations, detention areas and canals to move more fresh water into Taylor Slough, which connects to Florida Bay.” Read Research team selected to monitor plan that could save Florida Bay

The Suwannee Democrat reports – “The Suwannee River Water Management District has a new executive director… [T]he SRWMD Governing Board appointed Hugh Thomas to the post…” Read Thomas appointed SRWMD executive director

Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “The head of the state agency overseeing the multi-billion-dollar Everglades restoration project said this week he will no longer let his employees cooperate with the top scientists who are supposed to be advising the project. South Florida Water Management District executive director Pete Antonacci declared at a public meeting Thursday that his agency will no longer work with the National Academies of Science… because science advisors there won’t ‘tend to their knitting.’ Antonacci told his agency’s governing board that he’s angry at scientists poking their noses into things that don’t concern them and won’t back off… The National Academies of Science is America’s top collection of scientific minds. Congress created it in 1863 to provide ‘independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.’ Election to its ranks is considered one of the highest honors in science… One requirement that [Congress] put on the (Everglades restoration) project was that the people building it frequently consult with scientists to make sure they were doing it right… This is not Antonacci’s first conflict with an outside agency since he took charge of the [SFWMD]. Last year he accused a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist of threatening to throw him in jail for failing to protect… the Everglades snail kite. The biologist denied saying anything like that… Antonacci then pushed for revoking his agency’s contract with the Fish and Wildlife Service to manage the… Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.” Read Everglades restoration project leader tells top scientists: Stay in your lane

Lindsey Bever and Cleve R. Wootson Jr. report for The Washington Post – “The initial 911 call said the sinkhole was six feet wide… The sinkhole didn’t stop growing until it had swelled to 220 feet, a crater that threatened… homes in the Land O’ Lakes community… Authorities… have to be careful that household chemicals and other hazardous materials didn’t leach into groundwater during the cleanup. ‘We know that there’s contaminants,’ Guthrie said. ‘We know for sure there’s a car in there, a garage and all the chemicals inside, a drain field of one septic tank.’… The sinkhole opened up where a previous sinkhole had been stabilized in the past… Developers are allowed to build homes on the site of a stabilized sinkhole if they disclose that fact to buyers…” Read A sinkhole swallowed 2 Florida homes in hours. The devastation was captured on video.

Jennie McKeon reports for the NWF Daily News – “Keep Santa Rosa Beautiful… goes beyond picking up litter, although that is the main mission. It reaches out to the community about the importance of taking care of the environment.” Read Keeping a county clean





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Job Openings

Administrative Director for the Apalachicola Riverkeeper




Tell NOAA: Protect Marine Life from Dangerous Seismic Airgun Blasting

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

Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Paynes Prairie in danger

Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state



Upcoming Environmental Events    

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.

July 22, 1:00 pm – Attend a free, public solar information meeting at the Seminole County Mail Library (215 North Oxford Road) in Casselberry. The meeting is hosted by the Seminole County Solar Co-op. For more information, click here.

August 10, 7:00 pm – Attend Chasing Coral – Movie Night in Tallahassee. Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. Divers, photographers and scientists set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world. For more information, click here.

August 15, 7:00 – Attend a free, public solar information meeting at the Coral Gables Adult Center (2 Andalusia Ave.) in Coral Gables. The meeting is hosted by the Central Miami (North) Solar Co-op. For more information and to register, click here.

August 16, 7:00 – Attend a free, public solar information meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Church (7701 SW 76th Ave.) in Miami. The meeting is hosted by the Central Miami (South) Solar Co-op. For more information, click here.

August 20-23 – Join the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute for its annual Florida Springs Field School; four days of outdoor activities and springs education in the Ocala National Forest! Field trip locations include Silver Springs State Park, Salt Springs, Juniper Springs, and Silver Glen Springs. For more information, click here or call (386) 454 - 2427.



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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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