FCC News Brief - September 21, 2017

Brett Murphy and Joseph Cranney report for the Naples Daily News – “Emergency responders in the Everglades City area, a low-income fishing community walloped by Hurricane Irma last weekend, may be faced with a deadly public health crisis as families spend day after day in the mud, mold and water left behind by 10 feet of storm surge that destroyed hundreds of homes. The deluge of potentially toxic stormwater has raised the specter of widespread infection, sent at least half a dozen to the hospital, cost one man his leg and may have sickened another who died Saturday… Statewide, at least 34 deaths have been attributed to Hurricane Irma…” Read ‘He was crying and moaning in agony’: Public health crisis looms after Irma

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “From Florida Bay to Shark River, signs of the Category 4 hurricane could be seen in vast mats of floating dead seagrass, mangroves stripped of their leaves, and rafts of seaweed pushed far ashore... In 2015, a massive die-off triggered by a drought killed more than 60 square miles of seagrass in the bay that turned water a sulfuric yellow and threatened to trigger a massive algae bloom. So far, the blooms have not been widespread, but more dead plants could fuel a bigger bloom… It’s not clear when [Everglades National Park] will reopen to visitors, although Florida Bay remains open to boaters and commercial fishing guides.” Read After Irma, dead seagrass ‘as far as the eye can see’ in Florida Bay

Fox35 reports – “Rotting fish are piling up at the water’s edge at a Volusia County park… Officials in neighboring Seminole County say they’ve been dealing with fish kills around Lake Jesup, caused by post-hurricane flooding.” Read Rotting fish pile up along the St. John’s River

Tyler Treadway reports for the TC Palm – “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the South Florida Water Management District and the city of Port St. Lucie each say the other is responsible for cleaning up thousands of dead fish along the C-24 Canal in Port St. Lucie… Fish kills frequently follow hurricanes. Heavy rain from the storm flushes large amounts of nutrients off the land and into the water. Then bacteria in the water feed on the nutrients and multiply, sucking oxygen out of the water. Low oxygen levels cause the fish to suffocate… Water samples taken from the C-24 Canal… found high levels of toxins from pesticides, herbicides and runoff from roads…” Read FWC, SFWMD, Port St. Lucie point fingers, refuse to clean fish kill in C-24 Canal

The News Service of Florida reports – “Water started to be released Tuesday morning southwest from Lake Okeechobee, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeks to stem a post-hurricane rise in the lake’s water level… The Army Corps has resumed flows Friday from the lake east toward the St. Lucie Estuary but held off on western releases because of flooding… ‘The challenges with high water that we saw on the Caloosahatchee last week have subsided,’ Col. Jason Kirk… said…” Read Lake Okeechobee rise spurs more water releases

James Call reports for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Daws, Joyner and 12 other neighbors said when they complained about the chaos and dangers of deer hunters and dogs rampaging through the woods, they faced retaliation… A series of fires occurred on Daws’ 55 acres where he and his wife care for rescue horses and dogs. His house was also vandalized… Daws and his neighbors have filed a lawsuit that threatens to disrupt deer hunting season in the Blackwater Wildlife Management Area… Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers has ordered the [FWC] to stop Panhandle hunters and their dogs from trespassing on private property or face contempt of court charges… [T]ension is complicated by Florida’s ambitious land buying program. Tracts are acquired as they become available, creating a patchwork of public lands broken up by parcels of private property. Betty and William Tolbert’s property is completely surrounded by Blackwater. They said they can’t fish with their grandchildren on their land because deer dog hunters turn it into a ‘war zone.’ They said they erected no shooting sings that quickly became riddled with bullet holes. Hershel Holt has given up hunting on his property next to Blackwater. The 73-year-old pays more than $300 to still hunt in Alabama instead of dealing with the noise and ensuing chaos that comes with hunters and dogs chasing deer through the woods.” Read Deer dogs hunters clash with North Florida property owners

Lyndsey Gilpin reports for Inside Climate News – “Eugenio Pereira... had installed rooftop solar panels… along with an inverter that allows him to use power from the solar panels without being connected to the grid… He was able to use his appliances and his Wi-Fi, so he could continue his work… while the neighborhood waited for grid power to come back on (after Hurricane Irma)… Most rooftop solar arrays are connected to the grid, so when the public power is off, the rooftop solar power can’t be accessed – unless the customer has a stand-alone inverter… or a battery storage system… About 95 percent of [A1A Solar Contracting’s] customers are grid-tied because it’s the cheapest option… Coral Springs… used solar-powered traffic lights while its grid power was down… Solar advocates say that now – as the state rebuilds thousands of miles of damaged power infrastructure – is the perfect time for Florida to rethink grid resilience and bringing in renewable energy… Solar can… help run microgrids that are able to continue providing power to a local area when the main grid is damaged elsewhere… Florida is one of 13 states that still does not have a voluntary or mandated renewable energy standard.” Read After the Hurricane, Solar kept Florida Homes and a City’s Traffic Lights Running

Juliet Eilperin reports for The Washington Post – “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended that President Trump modify 10 national monuments created by his immediate predecessors, including shrinking the boundaries of at least four western sites… The secretary’s set of recommendations also would change the way all 10 targeted monuments are managed. It emphasizes the need to adjust the proclamations to address concerns of local officials or affected industries, saying the administration should permit ‘traditional uses’ now restricted within the monuments’ boundaries, such as grazing, logging, coal mining and commercial fishing… The White House is reviewing the recommendations and has not reached a final decision on them… Zinke also suggests the administration explore the possibility of establishing three new national monuments that would recognize either African American or Native American history.” Read Shrink at least 4 national monuments and modify a half-dozen others, Zinke tells Trump





From Our Readers

The information in this section is forwarded to you at the request of some of our readers. Inclusion in this section does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the FCC.


Job Openings

Organizing Representative in Miami for Sierra Club Florida

Administrative Director for the Apalachicola Riverkeeper




Defend Attacks on the Marine Mammal Protection Act

Protect Florida’s Gulf Coast from Offshore Drilling

 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    


September 21, 6:30 pm – Attend “An overview of the condition of the Apalachicola River and Bay and an update on the litigation and restoration,” by Dan Tonsmeire, Apalachicola Riverkeeper, at The King Life Sciences Building, FSU, in Tallahassee.

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 (cjmericle@gmail.com, (386) 855 – 5096) or Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson (merrillee.malwitz-jipson@sierraclub.org, (352) 222 – 8893).

September 26, 6:00 pm – Attend “Is Pensacola a Strong Town? – An Evening with Chuck Marohn” in Pensacola. Chuck will discuss how communities in northwest Florida can become more fiscally responsible, manage growth more responsibly and protect taxpayers from long-term expenses. For more information, and to register, click here.

October 3, 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’s springs. October’s lecture is a Springs Overview – Past, Present, and Future with FSI Executive Director, Dr. Robert Knight. All lectures are free and open to the public. A recommended donation of $5 is appreciated. For more information, click here or call (386) 454- 2427.

October 7, 9:00 am – Attend the 2017 Everglades Symposium: Citizen Empowerment in Miami. For more information and to register, click here.

October 11, 12:45 pm – Attend the Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library Community Room in The Villages. Gary Kuhl and Amy Giannotti will be speaking. Gary Kuhl is a former Executive Director of the SWFWMD and Amy Giannotti is the Water & Lakes Manager in Winter Park, FL. For more information and to RSVP, email resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

October 11, 7:00 pm – Attend “Losing the Grand Canyon: FAF Presents an Unforgettable Evening with Kevin Fedarko” in Orlando. Kevin is one of 24 who have hiked the entire 800-mile journey through the Canyon. What he learned along the way should concern all of us in Florida who love our environmental treasures. The evening will be moderated by Diane Roberts and tickets are $100. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

October 19, 6:30 pm – Attend “Natural Treasures of the Florida Panhandle,” a presentation by Bruce Means, Coastal Plains Institute, at The King Life Sciences Building, FSU, in Tallahassee.



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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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