FCC News Brief - September 4, 2017

Lucas Daprile reports for the TC Palm – “The Army Corps of Engineers has committed to creating a reservoir between Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades… The Army Corps… ‘will initiate identification of funding opportunities for the effort,’ Col. Jason A. Kirk wrote in an Aug. 31 letter to the South Florida Water Management District, after twice asking for more time to commit.” Read Army Corps will commit to, expedite Lake Okeechobee southern reservoir

Susan Salisbury reports for the Palm Beach Post – “Florida Power & Light Co. should have revealed years ago that extremely salty water from the cooling canals at its Turkey Point plant was intruding into the Biscayne Aquifer because reports indicated there was a problem, an expert witness has stated in sworn testimony. Sorab Panday, principal engineer at GSI Environmental,… also said that a $200 million 10-year clean-up project already in progress will not retract a massive underground saltwater plume that extends 5 miles west of the power plant.” Read Expert: FPL knew about Turkey Point problems years ago, fix won’t work

The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “Fort Lauderdale’s repeated sewage spills – polluting waterways and spewing waste into homes and businesses – are a consequence of city leaders’ mismanagement and poor planning. Now, years of using money intended for pipe repairs to instead pay for other city expenses leaves Fort Lauderdale vulnerable to more sewage spills, while still facing a growing price tag to fix aging pipes.” Read Fort Lauderdale, jump-start sewage pipe fixes

The Citrus County Chronicle reports – “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites the public to attend a scoping meeting to help shape future management options for the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. This invitation follows re-commencement of the FWS’s intent to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and accompanying environmental analysis for the refuge.” Read Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge to hold planning meeting

Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “More than 20,000 people gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service an earful about the future status of the endangered Florida panther, the agency’s top panther biologist said… The wildlife agency’s review will now begin in earnest, Shindle said, adding that ‘we’d like to be wrapped up by the summer of 2019.’ Any recommendation would go to the agency’s director for action – either to maintain the endangered status or to change it. If the recommendation is to change it,… that will kick off a new process, which would require more public comments.” Read More than 20,000 people commented on the endangered status of the Florida panther

Ron Littlepage writes for The Florida Times Union – “[I]f more evidence of the Big Conis needed, it can be found in the siren song JaxPort’s interim CEO, Eric Green, is singing with new lyrics that say the dredge, which has always carried a hefty price tag for local taxpayers, likely won’t cost the city any money. How is that possible? Green isn’t talking… but here’s one interpretation floating around City Hall. In 2007, the City Council approved a new agreement with the JaxPort that pledged city money to finance bonds used for improvements at the port. Those bonds are due to be paid off in the next few years. However, some interpret the agreement to mean that if JaxPort issued new bonds before then, say to pay for the deep dredge, the city would have to keep paying off the debt… That, of course, is money that could be used for other critical city needs if it wasn’t being sent to JaxPort. If this scenario is correct, saying no city money would be needed is false. A more factual statement would be that JaxPort wouldn’t have to ask the City Council for permission to spend city money. That would bring us right back to the travesty of this deal – unelected members of the JaxPort board deciding how to spend a bundle of taxpayer money.” Read JaxPort is better at spin than transparency on dredging

The News Journal Editorial Board writes – “Santa Rosa County reporter Anne Delaney delivered an important story… exposing unchecked pollution in a Garcon Point bayou and the feckless flock of state and local officials who have done nothing to stop it… Indian Bayou has been repeatedly contaminated by red clay runoff for more than a year. When it rains, clay from nearby development washes into the bayou. It stains the waters red, clouding out natural light and literally choking plants and organisms in their natural habitat… [T]he sediment has been traced to two sources…: Florida Department of Transportation projects on I-10 and run-off from red clay on unpaved county roads… [T]he pollution… is supposed to be monitored, regulated and enforced by state agencies. Furthermore, there are supposed to be penalties for those who pollute our natural resources. None of that has happened in this case… At every level,… government officials have failed the people who pay their salaries.” Read Indian Bayou’s stain on state, Santa Rosa hands

The Tampa Bay Reporter reports – “Crews are poised to begin removing tons of dirt contaminated with lead and other metals on the site of the former St. Petersburg Pistol Club.” Read St. Pete to Remove Contaminated Dirt at Former Pistol Range

 

 

 

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

 

Petitions

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 5, 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. September’s lecture is on Springs Advocacy with guest speaker Aliki Moncrief, Executive Director of Florida Conservation Voters Education Fund. 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.

September 12, 6:30 pm – Attend a screening of “Troubled Waters,” in Orlando followed by a panel discussion featuring Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine, St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman, and Professor James C. Adamski. For more information and to register, click here.

September 12, 6:30 pm – Attend Stop the Drill! At the Bayview Senior Center (2000 East Lloyd St.) in Pensacola. Erin Handy of Oceana will update the group on the push to lease parts of the Gulf of Florida for oil drilling, and share how citizens and businesses can get involved in the battle to keep the rigs away. She’ll also inform the group on seismic testing.

September 12, 7:00 pm – Attend in Algal Bloom Awareness Presentation in Orange Park. Aquatic ecologist Robert Storm Burks will explain what causes blue-green algal blooms and why they may be toxic. Learn how to report algae occurrences using Water Rangers, a new web-based app. For more information, click here.

September 16, 9:00 AM – Participate in the Big Talbot Island Cleanup. For more information, click here.

September 20, 7:00 pm – Attend the premiere of the “Hidden Secrets of Florida Springs” documentary in Winter Park. For tickets and more information, click here.

September 22-23, 9:00 AM – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium in Orlando. This is Florida’s only event focusing exclusively on native wildflowers and the wildlife depending on them. The event features field trips; garden walks; presentations on conservation issues, bees, butterflies and other wildlife; and hands-on workshops on propagation and wildflower meadow installation. For more information, click here.

September 22, 9:00 AM – Attend a Conservation Lands Workshop in Punta Gorda. For more information and to register, 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 (cjmericle@gmail.com, (386) 855 – 5096) or Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson (merrillee.malwitz-jipson@sierraclub.org, (352) 222 – 8893).

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.

 

 

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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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