FCC News Brief - December 13, 2018

Read Trump administration redefines ‘Waters of the U.S.’ - “The Trump administration today is proposing to severely restrict the number of wetlands and waterways covered by the Clean Water Act. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are unveiling a new definition for “waters of the U.S.,” or WOTUS, that would erase federal protections for streams that flow only after rainfall or snowmelt, as well as wetlands without surface water connections to larger waterways. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler celebrated the new definition, saying, “Our new, more precise definition means that hardworking Americans will spend less time determining whether they need a federal permit and more time upgrading aging infrastructure, building homes, creating jobs and growing crops to feed our families...Specifically, the new definition would apply to intermittent or perennial streams that contribute flow to navigable waters in a “typical year,” meaning over a rolling 30-year average, said EPA Office of Water chief David Ross. Ephemeral streams that flow only after heavy rains or during snowmelt would not be covered under the proposal… Wetlands with a direct surface water connection to a tributary in a “typical year” would be protected. An example, Ross said, would be a river that floods its banks every spring and flows into a forested wetland on an annual basis. The Trump rule would not protect wetlands that are separated from tributaries by land, dikes or other features. At least some of the waterways excluded by the Trump administration would have been protected by both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations…” Ariel Wittenberg reports for E & E News, Scientific American

Read Alachua County buys forest between Gainesville, prairie - “Serenola Forest, a 111-acre buffer between Williston Road and Paynes Prairie, has been purchased by Alachua County for $3.2 million largely from the Wild Places and Public Spaces sales tax approved by voters in 2016... The county plans to add trails, a wildlife viewing platform, information kiosks, benches and a parking area to make the pine and hardwood forest more accessible to the public while maintaining it as a wildlife habitat and buffer area…The Alachua County Forever program used $2,997,966 generated by the 1/2-cent sales tax to acquire 103 acres from Serenola LLC, which had paid $18 million for the property in 2006. The deal closed Dec. 6. The county has been buying environmentally sensitive land and protecting other tracts through conservation easements since voters approved the Alachua County Forever property tax in 2000. After that tax initiative ended, voters have twice approved a 1/2-cent sales tax to continue protecting land through a program now called Wild Places and Public Spaces…” Gainesville Sun staff report.

Read 3,400+ Floridians ask Ron DeSantis to address climate change - “Despite the fact that Florida is the most vulnerable state in the nation to climate change, Governor-elect Ron DeSantis has shied away from discussing the issue or his plans to address it. On Tuesday morning, environmental groups delivered DeSantis a petition with more than 3,400 signatures asking him to acknowledge the threat and become "the Governor who saved our state."...DeSantis' office did not respond to a request for comment, but in previous press statements the Governor-elect has said he is unclear on the cause of climate change (the majority of scientists say it's from fossil fuels burned by humans), although he sees the effects and wants to address them. "The sea rise may be because of human activity and the changing climate, maybe it is not, I do not know," he told Miami Herald news partner CBS4. "What I do know is I see the sea rising. I see the increase in flooding in South Florida. I think you would be a fool to not consider that is an issue we need to address." In the letter, co-signed by Miami's CLEO Institute, Environment Florida and the Sierra Club, petitioners asked DeSantis to help Florida transition to renewable energy, protect the state's waterways, charge polluters and institute a "Florida Future Fund" to pay for resilient infrastructure…” Alex Harris reports for the Miami Herald.

Read Indian River County may extend biosolids ban prompted by Blue Cypress Lake algae bloom - “Indian River County commissioners Tuesday agreed they want to extend a ban on biosolids while state officials continue to study whether spreading partially treated sewage sludge on farmland is polluting Blue Cypress Lake. Commissioners directed staff to set a public hearing at the board's Jan. 8 meeting, which is required to enact a six-month extension on the ban that expires Jan. 14. The board initially enacted a six-month ban on Class B biosolids in mid-July after algae in the western Indian River County lake bloomed with off-the-charts toxic levels. Scientific data collected by state agencies and the Ocean Research & Conservation Association indicated the bloom was caused by stormwater and groundwater runoff from nearby Pressley Ranch, which was spreading biosolids on its pastures. The benefits of biosolids to large-tract owners include free fertilizer and/or getting paid to dispose of municipal waste…” Tyler Treadway reports for the Treasure Coast Newspapers.

Read Florida ready to place new limits on shark fishing - “Using chum to attract sharks in waters used by beachgoers, surfers and divers is closer to being banned in Florida, despite concerns the change will further squeeze out “blue collar” angling. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission agreed Wednesday to place a number of shark-fishing changes on its February agenda, from the chumming restriction to a requirement that people who cast for sharks from land annually get a no-cost permit that requires taking an online educational program. Jessica McCawley, the commission’s director of marine fisheries management, said the changes are an attempt to balance the interests of anglers and other people who use state waters, while also helping the agency learn how many people engage in land-based shark fishing…” Jim Turner reports for the News Service of Florida.

Read Lawsuit filed over Trump plans for offshore drilling tests - “The lawsuit filed in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, claims the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act when it issued five permits for the use of seismic air guns. “This action is unlawful and we’re going to stop it,” Diane Hoskins, campaign director at OCEANA, said in a news release. “The Trump administration’s rash decision to harm marine mammals hundreds of thousands of times in the hope of finding oil and gas is shortsighted and dangerous.” The coalition includes OCEANA, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Center for Biological Diversity, Surfrider Foundation and the Sierra Club. The blasts are conducted in preparation for potential offshore drilling, which the administration has proposed to expand from the Atlantic to the Arctic and Pacific oceans. The five-year plan would open 90 percent of the nation’s offshore reserves to private development. Survey vessels will be required to carry observers to listen and watch for marine life and alert operators if a protected species comes within a certain distance. Surveys would be shut down when certain sensitive species or groups are observed, and penalties could be imposed for vessels that strike marine animals…” Meg Kinnard reports for the Washington Post.

Read Florida panther found dead in Collier County - “A Florida panther was killed by a vehicle in Collier County, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported.  The panther, a 1½-year-old male, was found Friday, Dec. 7, on Immokalee Road north of Jones Mining Road, the FWC reported. The next day another Florida panther was found dead in Hendry County, a 9-year-old female, bringing this year’s total deaths to 29.  Of those 29 deaths, 26 of them were due to vehicles.” Andrew Atkins reports for Naples Daily News.


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December 17, 2018 – 2:00PM-5:00PM– Alachua County Legislative Delegation – (Gainesville) – Attend the Alachua County Delegation meeting at Santa Fe College NW Campus (Fine Arts Hall, 3000 NW 83rd St. Gainesville, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To be placed on agenda, email Adriana Mitchell, Mitchell.adriana@flsenate.gov .

December 17, 2018 – 12:00PM-5:00PM– Volusia County Legislative Delegation– (Daytona Beach) – Attend the Volusia County Delegation meeting at Daytona Beach City Hall (301 S Ridgewood Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32114). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!

December 17, 2018 – 5:00PM– Leon County Legislative Delegation– (Tallahassee) – Attend the Leon County Delegation meeting at 5th Floor Commission Chambers, (301 S Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!

December 17, 2018 – 1:00PM-2:00PM– Pasco County Legislative Delegation– (Land O’Lakes) – Attend the Pasco County Delegation meeting at the Pasco County School Board District Campus (7227 Land O'Lakes Blvd, Building #3, Land O'Lakes, FL 34638). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  To be placed on the agenda, email harrison.patty@flsenate.gov by noon Wednesday December 12, 2018.

December 18, 2018 – 4:00PM-6:00PM– Clay County Legislative Delegation– (Green Cove Springs) – Attend the Clay County Delegation meeting at the Clay County Commission Chamber, (4th Floor, 447 Houston St., Green Cove Springs, FL 32043). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To be placed on the agenda, contact Tammy Still, (tammy.still@myfloridahouse.gov ).

December 18, 2018 – 1:00PM-2:00PM– Pinellas County Legislative Delegation– (Seminole) – Attend the Pinellas County Delegation meeting at the St. Petersburg College-Seminole Campus (9200 113th Street, Seminole, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  

December 18, 2018 – 5:30PM-7:00PM– Okaloosa County Legislative Delegation– (Niceville) – Attend the Okaloosa County Delegation meeting at the Northwest Florida State College, Room SSC (302 100 College Blvd E Niceville, Florida). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! If you would like to be placed on the agenda for the delegation meeting, please contact Samantha Sullivan, Legislative Assistant to Representative Ponder, at 850.833.3713 or by email at Samantha.Sullivan@myfloridahouse.gov,

December 18, 2018 – 9:30AM-4:00PM– Broward County Legislative Delegation– (Fort Lauderdale) – Attend the Broward County Delegation meeting at 115 South Andrews Avenue Room 430, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  To be placed on the agenda, complete this Speaker Form.

December 19, 2018 – 5:30PM-7:00PM– Escambia County Legislative Delegation– (Pensacola) – Attend the Escambia County Delegation meeting at the Pensacola State Colleges, Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio, (1000 College Boulevard, Pensacola FL ). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To request an appearance form to be placed on the meeting agenda, individuals should contact Senator Doug Broxson’s office at (850) 595-1036, or email: brown.kevin@flsenate.gov 

December 19, 2018 – 5:30PM-7:00PM– Santa Rosa County Legislative Delegation– (Milton) – Attend the Santa Rosa County Delegation meeting at the Santa Rosa County Commission Chambers (6495 Caroline St, #C Milton, FL 32570). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!

December 19, 2018 – 9:00AM– Manatee County Legislative Delegation– (Bradenton) – Attend the Manatee County Delegation meeting at the Manatee County Commission Chambers, (1112 W Manatee Ave, Bradenton, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To be included on the agenda, please contact Meagan Hebel at meagan.hebel@myfloridahouse.gov no later than noon Thursday December 13, 2018.

December 20, 2018 – 5:30PM– Calhoun County Legislative Delegation– (Blountstown) – Attend the Calhoun County Delegation meeting at the Calhoun County Commission Board Room, (20859 Central Ave, Blountstown, FL 32424). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!

December 20, 2018 – 9:00AM– Walton County Legislative Delegation– (DeFuniak Springs) – Attend the Walton County Delegation meeting at the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (76 N 6th St DeFuniak Springs, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Walton, Holmes, Washington and/or Jackson County Legislation Delegation meetings, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainers district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, December 14th.

December 20, 2018 – 10:30AM– Holmes County Legislative Delegation– (Bonifay) – Attend the Holmes County Delegation meeting at the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners (107 E Virginia Ave Bonifay, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Walton, Holmes, Washington and/or Jackson County Legislation Delegation meetings, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainers district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, December 14th.

December 20, 2018 – 11:45AM– Washington County Legislative Delegation– (Chipley) – Attend the Washington County Delegation meeting at the Washington County Board of County Commissioners (1331 South Blvd Chipley, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Walton, Holmes, Washington and/or Jackson County Legislation Delegation meetings, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainers district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, December 14th.

December 20, 2018 –2:15PM– Jackson County Legislative Delegation– (Marianna) – Attend the Jackson County Delegation meeting at the Jackson County School Board 2903 Jefferson St Marianna, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Walton, Holmes, Washington and/or Jackson County Legislation Delegation meetings, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainers district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, December 14th.

December 20, 2018 –5:00– Bay County Legislative Delegation– (Panama City) – Attend the Bay County Delegation meeting at the Bay County Government Building (840 W 11th St Panama City, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Walton, Holmes, Washington and/or Jackson County Legislation Delegation meetings, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainers district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, December 14th.

January 3, 2018 – 4:00PM– Nassau County Legislative Delegation– (Yulee) – Attend the Suwannee County Delegation meeting at James Page Government Complex, (96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! For more information, contact Representative Cord Byrd’s legislative Assistant Katherine Woodby at Katherine.Woodby@myfloridahouse.gov.

January 14, 2019 – 9:00AM-11:00AM– Suwannee County Legislative Delegation– (Live Oak) – Attend the Suwannee County Delegation meeting at Live Oak City Hall (101 White Ave SE, Live Oak, FL 32064). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!

January 14, 2019 1:00-3:00PM– Columbia County Legislative Delegation– (Lake City) – Attend the Columbia County Delegation meeting at the Florida Gateway College Administrative Building 1 Board Room (149 SE College Place, Lake City, FL, parking near Library). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! For more information, email Tonya Shays at shays.tonya@flsenate.gov .

January 14, 2019 4:00-6:00PM – Baker County Legislative Delegation– (Macclenny) – Attend the Baker County Delegation meeting at the Macclenny City Hall, Commission Room (118 E Macclenny Ave, Macclenny FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! For more information, email Tonya Shays at shays.tonya@flsenate.gov .

January 15, 2019 – 9:00AM– Martin County Legislative Delegation– (Stuart) – Attend the Martin County Delegation meeting at Indian River State College Chastain Campus, Wolf Technology Center (2400 E Salerno Road, Stuart FL 34997). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!

January 15, 2019 – 5:00PM-9:00PM– Brevard County Legislative Delegation– (Palm Bay City) – Attend the Brevard County Delegation meeting at Palm Bay City Council Chambers (120 Malabar Road, Palm Bay City, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  Deadline to appear is noon January 7, email Anna Budko, Anna.Budko@myfloridahouse.gov.

January 15, 2019 – 9:30AM-4:00PM– Broward County Legislative Delegation– (Fort Lauderdale) – Attend the Broward County Delegation meeting at 115 South Andrews Avenue Room 430, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  To be placed on the agenda, complete this Speaker Form. Topics for this meeting include the environment and growth management.

January 16, 2019 – 1:00PM– Dixie County Legislative Delegation– (Cross City) – Attend the Dixie County Delegation meeting at Dixie County Commission Chamber, County Courthouse, (214 NE Hwy 351, Cross City, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! 

January 16, 2019 – 9:00AM-12:00PM– Indian River County Legislative Delegation– (Vero Beach) – Attend the Indian River County Delegation meeting at Indian River County Administration Complex, (1801 27th St, Building A, Vero Beach, FL 32960). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  To participate in the delegation meeting, a request form and corresponding materials must be delivered to Sen. Mayfield's office no later than January 9. To receive a request form, email Margaret Mitchell at Mitchell.Margaret@flsenate.gov .

January 16, 2019 10:00-11:30AM – Lafayette County Legislative Delegation– (St. Mayo) – Attend the Lafayette County Delegation meeting at County Commission Chamber, Lafayette County Courthouse (120 W Main St, Mayo, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! For more information, email Tonya Shays at shays.tonya@flsenate.gov .

January 16, 2019 – 4:00PM– Gilchrist County Legislative Delegation– (Trenton) – Attend the Gilchrist County Delegation meeting at County Commission Meeting Facility, (210 S. Main Street, Trenton, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! 

January 17, 2019 – 9:00AM-12:00PM– St. Lucie County Legislative Delegation– (Fort Pierce) – Attend the St. Lucie County Delegation meeting at the Indian River State College – Ft. Pierce Campus Knight Center for Emerging Technologies Indian River State College (3209 Virginia Ave, Building V Fort Pierce, FL 34981). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! 

January 19, 2019 - 10:00am-12:00pm - Rising Sea Levels- Are we losing our coastal cities? (Deerfield) - The Deerfield Progressive Forum will host Dr. Colin Polsky, Director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies and Professor of Geosciences at Florida Atlantic University, for a discussion of sea level rise and its impacts on Florida. For 39 years progressives in South Florida have been enlightened by a series of weekly talks presented by nationally distinguished speakers on provocative current issues. Lively discussion follows each talk. The Deerfield Progressive Forum meets every Saturday morning from December through March from 10:00 AM-noon in Century Village, Deerfield Beach. For more information, visit their site here.

January 22, 2019 - 12:00pm-1:30pm - Free 2019 Florida Legislative Preview Webinar - The 60-day 2019 Florida Legislative Session starts on March 5 and is scheduled to end on May 3 of 2019.  The actions taken during the session likely will have significant public policy impacts for planning, conservation, transportation, community design and other issues of concern to many Floridians with myriad impacts for concerned citizens, professionals, local elected officials and others.  1000 Friends President Paul Owens, Policy and Planning Director Thomas Hawkins, and Board Member Emeritus and Past Chairman Lester Abberger will discuss key growth management, design, conservation and related bills including budget recommendations that may be up for consideration during the 2019 Florida Legislative Session and will discuss how this could impact state and local governance and planning in Florida. This event has been approved for 1.5 AICP CM LEGAL CREDITS for planners (#9162191) and .15 CEUs for Florida Environmental Health Professionals. 1000 Friends has applied for professional certification credits for Certified Floodplain Managers, Florida attorneys, and Florida DBPR Landscape Architecture but cannot guarantee credits will be approved.  Register at www.1000friendsofflorida.org/webinar/.

January 28, 2019 – 2:00PM-5:00PM– Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation– (Boynton Beach)– Attend the Palm Beach County Delegation meeting at Lakeside Medical Center, (39200 Hooker Highway, Belle Glade). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  To participate in the delegation meeting, complete this form and return by mail or email to Christine Shaw, Cshaw1@pbcgov.org.

January 28, 2019 – 2:30PM-6:00PM– Orange County Legislative Delegation– (Orlando)– Attend the Orange County Delegation meeting at the Orange County Administration Center, Commission Chambers (201 South Rosalind Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  To participate in the delegation meeting, email LD@ocfl.net to request an appearance form.

March 27, 2019 - 12:00pm-1:30pm - Free 2019 Florida Legislative Update Webinar - This free webinar is scheduled for a little more than three weeks into the 2019 Florida Legislative Session. The actions taken during the session likely will have significant public policy impacts for planning, conservation, transportation, community design and other issues of concern to many Floridians with myriad impacts for concerned citizens, professionals, local elected officials and others. 1000 Friends President Paul Owens, Policy and Planning Director Thomas Hawkins, and Board Member Emeritus and Past Chairman Lester Abberger will discuss key growth management, design, conservation and related bills including budget recommendations that are being considered during the 2019 Florida Legislative Session and other legislation that may surface as the session progresses. This event has been approved for 1.5 AICP CM LEGAL CREDITS for planners (#9162194). 1000 Friends has applied for professional certification credits for Certified Floodplain Managers, Florida attorneys, Florida Environmental Health Professionals, and Florida DBPR Landscape Architecture but cannot guarantee credits will be approved. Register at www.1000friendsofflorida.org/webinar/.

Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick e-mail and we will include it for you.

Petitions

Help Save Our Panthers

End collection & removal of tropical marine life from Phil Foster Park

Stop Development on Fish Island along the Matanzas River

Thinking of going electric? Nextcar Pledge

Another Gulf is Possible

Save the Serenova Tract in Pasco – Say NO to the Ridge Road Extension

Florida Solar Bill of Rights

Protect Florida’s Gulf Coast from Offshore Drilling

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

Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

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