Sierra Club Florida writes – “The Orlando City Commission… unanimously approved a resolution establishing a goal to move Orlando to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2050. Orlando is now the largest city in Florida to make such a commitment and joins a growing movement of more than three dozen cities nationwide that have committed to a 100 percent clean energy future.” Read Orlando Becomes Largest Florida City to Commit to 100% Clean and Renewable Energy
The Treasure Coast Newspapers Editorial Board writes – “[A]fter state officials announced Pete Antonacci was leaving as executive director of the South Florida Water Management District…, we called upon the… district’s board to conduct a formal search to find the best candidate, rather than merely rubber-stamping the next crony hand-selected by Gov. Rick Scott. The district’s new executive director looks to be well-qualified indeed, though it doesn’t appear he was appointed via some transparent process. Rather, reports indicate all nine water district board members simply phoned it in, teleconferencing for a total of 20 minutes before unanimously voting to hire Ernie Marks, who had been the district’s Everglades restoration coordinator. There was no nationwide search; Marks was the only person nominated… Marks faces myriad hurdles as the district moves forward on key initiatives, including planning for a 78-billion-gallon reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee… His experience working with federal and state partners could help him mend fences with those Antonacci might have alienated… Scott might want to continue cutting property taxes in the district, but given its huge responsibilities, there comes a point where that is no longer possible. The goal, after all, is not to have the cheapest water management district possible, but the most effective. Marks appears to be a step down the latter road.” Read New water district chief a hopeful choice
Bull Sugar writes – “The cyanobacteria bloom at Canal Point on Lake Okeechobee is more than twice as toxic as last year’s highest lake reading... [T]esting showed a total mic reading of 815 micrograms per liter. That’s more than… 80 times higher than the World Health Organization’s threshold for restricting bathing in contaminated water (10 microgasms/liter). In fact, the WHO warns that concentrations of 50 micrograms/liter – 16 times lower than the sample in Lake Okeechobee today – puts bathers at risk for long-term liver damage… [I]t can go undiagnosed for years… But the DEP didn’t re-test the same area yesterday because the water wasn’t green anymore… This may be standard protocol… but it doesn’t make sense. Even when blooms aren’t visible, toxins persist. Human health risks persist. The DEP needs to change this policy, increase testing, and most important, start warning people to stay away from contaminated water.” Read Extremely Toxic Algae Bloom Just Reported on Lake Okeechobee
A.G. Gancarski reports for Florida Politics – “John Crescimbeni, who came within a few votes of being Jacksonville City Council President, was imploring the candidate who won – Anna Brosche – to hold public hearings on dredging the St. Johns River as JAXPORT wants… Councilman Tommy Hazouri, who has been working behind the scenes to build a dialogue with more transparency, seconded Crescimbeni’s call… Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, meanwhile, thinks the time for debate is over and the time for decision is nigh.” Read Public hearing on Jax dredge? Opinions vary in City Hall
Justin Gillis reports for The New York Times – “In a paper published… Wednesday, University of Florida researchers calculated that from 2011 to 2015, the sea level along the American coastline south of Cape Hatteras, N.C., rose six times faster than the long-term rate of global increase… In the paper, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the scientists proposed a mechanism to explain the rapid increase: Two large-scale atmospheric patterns had intersected to push up the water off the Southeast coast, causing a “hot spot” of sea-level rise. This new mechanism, if it holds up to scientific scrutiny, might ultimately give researchers the ability to predict tidal flooding more accurately and warn communities what to expect months in advance.” Read The sea level did, in fact, rise faster in Florida and the southeast
Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “Five former state legislators were among the 14 applicants invited for interviews later this month for a vacant Public Service Commission seat.” Read 5 former legislators still in running for PSC seats
Troy Kinsey reports for WTVY – “There’s growing concern the Florida Constitution Revision Commission could be moving too fast, not giving the public enough time to weigh in… The panel has until next spring to decide which ballot measure ought to be put before Florida voters, but, under the timeline adopted, ordinary Floridians now only have until September 22nd to turn in their proposals… It comes on top of criticism by government watchdog groups that not enough public hearings are being held, and that Governor Rick Scott’s appointees are being given out-sized power to decide what the 2018 ballot will look like.” Read Constitution Revision Commission’s timing worries Florida residents
Claire Asher reports for BBC – “Over the last two decades, scientists have found that warmer temperatures are quietly… making it harder for plants and animals to reproduce. Here are five ways that climate change is ruining sex lives.” Read Climate change is disrupting the birds and the bees
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
August 12, 4:00 pm – Participate in the Hot City-Cool City Walking Tour in Pensacola. During the walk, participants will explore old and new ways that cities can adapt to the higher temperatures and heavier rainfall of our changing climate. For more information email email@example.com, call (850) 687 – 9968, or 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.
September 16, 9:00 AM – Participate in the Big Talbot Island Cleanup. For more information, click here.
September 23, 9:00 AM – Attend “Solar Rocks for the Equinox” at Rum 138 (2070 SW County Road 138) in Fort White. The event will feature solar experts and exhibitors to showcase affordable solar energy solutions. The event is free and open to the public. Live music and local food options will be available. For more information, contact Chris Mericle (firstname.lastname@example.org, (386) 855 – 5096) or Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson (email@example.com, (352) 222 – 8893).
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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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