FCC News Brief - December 18, 2018

Read ‘The worse I’ve ever seen it’: Lean Stone Crab season follows red tide in Florida- “On a good day, in a good year, a captain fishing off the shores of the Florida Everglades might catch 400 pounds of one of the state’s unrivaled delicacies, the stone crab. These are not good days. As the sun began to set on a recent cloudless afternoon, the kind that makes it unthinkable to spend winters anywhere but in Florida, Rick Collins piloted the High Cotton to a dock in Everglades City, the fishing village where three generations of his family have made a living trapping stone crab. His crew offloaded the day’s haul onto a huge scale. Seventy-three pounds. “This is about the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said Mr. Collins, 69, a crabber for more than half a century. Stone crabs are becoming increasingly tough to catch in Florida’s southern waters, the apparent victims of a prolonged toxic algae bloom known as red tide. Their disappearance from the Southwest Florida coast, where the red tide has hit hardest, has imperiled the livelihoods of experienced fishermen who have survived bad seasons before, but never such a lengthy downturn with no end in sight...Stone crab claws are a luxury commodity, freshly available for only seven months of the year and served on special occasions, including for Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s Palm Beach estate. But they help employ an industry of fishermen who are the first ones to struggle when the catch drops…”Patricia Mazzei reports for the New York Times.

Read ‘We haven’t done enough:’ Manatee protesters call for more regulation related to red tide - “Even with red tide levels dwindling across the entire state, some concerned residents say the issue is far from fixed. Amber Cannon, of Bradenton, was joined by more than 20 other protesters Saturday morning along the Palma Sola Causeway. Each held signs in support of clean water and against corporations. Supporters honked and waved as they drove by. Saturday’s protest was part of a broader movement hosted by the Hands Along the Water organization that advocates for protection of water and marine life. Similar events were held in Sarasota, Collier, Charlotte and Lee counties. At 11 a.m., attendees held hands along the coast in solidarity with the other events. This year’s red tide bloom has totally changed the way she lives her life, Cannon said. “I haven’t been in the water since June. I haven’t gone fishing. I haven’t taken my children to the beach,” she said. “It’s just heartbreaking. It’s like losing a family member.”...Protesters said their only hope is lawmakers willing to enforce environmental protection laws and further government regulation of wastewater. “Our politicians need to do something about it. They’re the only ones who can,” Pat Dowdall said. Rep. Will Robinson, R-Bradenton, took a first step this week by filing a bill that would require mandatory septic inspections every five years. Dowdall said that kind legislation has the right goal in mind, but she would like to see more direct action. “We haven’t done enough yet. We need to go to the source,” Dowdall said. “There’s no point in cleaning up the mess if you can’t stop the source…”Ryan Callihan reports for the Bradenton Herald.

Read DeSantis vows to focus on environment - “Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis calls himself a “Teddy Roosevelt conservationist” and allies say he is genuine when he vows to make the environment a top priority of the incoming administration. But some in the environmental community are skeptical — recalling how DeSantis in Congress drew bottom-scraping grades from them on a range of issues considered vital to water and land oversight. Still, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, a friend and close advisor, said DeSantis views Florida’s water woes and preservation needs through a unique lens. “He knows this needs to happen,” said Mast, who heads the incoming governor’s transition team on the environment. “Our water is the lifeblood of our environment and the environment is the lifeblood of our economy.”...Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Bo Rivard even suggested during a meeting of environmental advisors that DeSantis organize a kind of Florida water summit including his predecessor, U.S. Sen.-elect Rick Scott, and President Donald Trump, who endorsed both men in the November elections. None of these big three leaders have a record that instills confidence in environmentalists. But Rivard said the stars are aligned for top Republicans to at least do something to ease rising threats to the state’s water quality. “There are big issues to tackle,” he said. “But it might be good to get everyone in the same room.” Many environmentalists, though, scoff at such talk — pointing out that problems with nutrients flowing into state waters were amplified by Scott’s actions as governor. They doubt DeSantis will be a green crusader. “The facts and his own record suggest that may not be the case,” said Aliki Moncrief, executive director of Florida Conservation Voters, which endorsed Democrat Andrew Gillum in the governor’s race. The national League of Conservation Voters has given DeSantis a career 2 percent score — out of 100 percent — for his votes in Congress on a host of environmental issues and appointments by Trump to key administration posts…” John Kennedy reports for the Gainesville Sun.

Read FWC approves new guidelines for 9 state threatened species - “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Thursday approved Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines for nine of the more than 50 species in the agency’s Imperiled Species Management Plan. The Florida bog frog, crystal darter, Sherman’s short-tailed shrew, Georgia blind salamander, Southern tessellated darter and four species of wading birds including the little blue heron, tricolored heron, reddish egret and roseate spoonbill will benefit from the new species guidelines. Species guidelines are designed to be a tool for landowners, consultants, agency partners and other interested parties on how to conserve these species.The FWC guidelines offer options for avoidance, minimization and mitigation of take for the nine state-designated Threatened species. They provide species-specific information on key issues relevant to real-world conservation, including: Essential behavioral patterns, Survey methods, Recommended conservation practices, Exemptions or authorizations for take, Coordination with other regulatory programs, Permitting options…” Andy Hodges reports for the Sebastian Daily.

Read Ryan Zinke, face of Trump environmental rollbacks, is leaving Interior Department - “Mr. Zinke is the latest Trump official to exit an administration plagued by questions of ethical conflict. And his departure comes as Mr. Trump has begun a shake-up in his administration. In early November, the president fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and last weekend he announced that his chief of staff, John F. Kelly, was leaving. In one of the final acts of Mr. Kelly’s tenure, his team told Mr. Zinke that he should leave by year’s end or risk being fired in a potentially humiliating way, two people familiar with the discussion said...Mr. Zinke, a former Montana congressman and member of the Navy SEALs best known for riding an Irish sport horse through Washington on his first day in office, oversaw mineral extraction and conservation on roughly 500 million acres of public land. He had become the subject of several federal investigations, one of which his department’s top watchdog has referred to the Justice Department, a potential step toward a criminal investigation. The inquiries include an examination of a real estate deal involving Mr. Zinke’s family and a development group backed by the Halliburton chairman, David J. Lesar. Mr. Zinke stood to benefit from the deal, while Mr. Lesar’s oil services company stood to benefit from Mr. Zinke’s decisions on fossil fuel production...Mr. Zinke’s resignation, rather than an end to his pro-fossil fuel policies, quite likely signals a passing of the playbook. Mr. Zinke’s deputy, David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist, is expected to step in as acting head of the department…” Julie Turkewitz and Coral Davenport report for the New York Times.

Read The Miami blue was fluttering toward extinction. Then the scientists showed up - “...In the United States, Florida ranks high for its bounty of butterflies. But increasingly, the state has also climbed the list for the number of imperiled butterflies. In the last three years, two were added to the endangered species list while a third, the frosted elfin, is now being considered. The Miami blue began disappearing during the 1980s and ‘90s, as coastal construction in South Florida boomed and condos began replacing the dunes and coastal berms they inhabited. By the early ‘90s, they could only be found on Key Biscayne, although still in good numbers. In addition to the busy nursery, the research team is also trying to figure out exactly what’s keeping the Miami blue from bouncing back. Like other butterflies, scientists generally know what’s harming them — pesticides, loss of habitat, invasive species like green iguanas and changing climate — but don’t know specifics about their decline. Insects tend to be heavily reliant on their surroundings, which is why they also tend to be such a good measure of a habitat health. Butterflies can be a particularly good yardstick because they have such small ranges and many depend on specific plants to survive. The Miami blue inhabits a tiny range of just 45 to 55 yards and needs just two plants. They also play a critical role in keeping certain habitats in balance, especially the disappearing ones unique to South Florida, by pollinating native plants and serving as the first course in the food chain…” Jenny Staletovich reports for the Florida Keys News.


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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 – 9:30AM-3:30PM– Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation– (Tampa) – Attend the Hillsborough County Delegation meeting at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Ferguson Hall (1010 N Maccinnes PL Tampa, FL 33602). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To learn more and access/submit the speaker request form visit www.hillsborouthcounty.org.

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, 2019 – 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 submit request to appear is noon January 7, email Anna Budko, Anna.Budko@myfloridahouse.gov.

January 15, 2019 – 9:00AM-5:00PM– Lee County Legislative Delegation– (Fort Myers) – Attend the Lee County Delegation meeting at Florida Southwestern State College Nursing Building, Room AA-177 Fort Myers, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  Deadline to submit request to appear is noon January 7, email dane.eagle@myfloridahouse.gov for more information.

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 18, 2019 – 9:00AM-10:30AM– Okeechobee County Legislative Delegation– (Okeechobee) – Attend the Okeechobee County Delegation meeting at the Okeechobee County Government Center, Commission Chambers (304 NW 2nd Street Okeechobee, FL 34972). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To submit a speaking request, contact Justin Morgan, justin.morgan@myfloridahouse.gov or (863) 462-5019 before January 10, 2019.

January 18, 2019 – 12:00PM-2:00PM– Highlands County Legislative Delegation– (Sebring) – Attend the Highlands County Delegation meeting at the Highlands County Government Center, Commission Chambers (600 S Commerce Ave Sebring, FL 33870). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To submit a speaking request, please contact Maura Palmer, maura.palmer@myfloridahouse.gov or (863) 386-6000 if you have any questions before January 10, 2019.

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.

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