FCC News Brief - November 28, 2018

Read The Invading Sea: DeSantis must tackle climate change, sea level rise as part of environment plan - “After skimming along the Everglades on a campaign airboat tour with Broward County’s venerable ‘Alligator Ron’ Bergeron in September, Ron DeSantis, gubernatorial candidate, vowed to halt the green algae that oozes into the state’s canals and rivers, study the cause of red tides plaguing the state’s beaches, continue Everglades restoration and bar fracking and drilling for oil offshore...But there was something notably absent that day: An acknowledgment by the candidate that human activities are contributing to rapidly changing climate patterns worldwide, causing untold damage in the form of more severe floods, fires, and heat waves, as well as rising seas along the coastlines, including Florida’s. As the state’s newly elected governor, DeSantis shouldn’t remain silent for long. Just last week, less than a month after his narrow victory over Andrew Gillum, 13 U.S. Government agencies released an unsettling major scientific report that warns of grim economic consequences if nothing is done to curb global warming. Among other things, the second volume of the National Climate Assessment assigned some very specific costs to the U.S. economy if nothing is done to abate climate change...It is commendable that the new governor is willing to commit time, money and attention to conservation. During the campaign, he characterized himself as a conservationist in the mold of President Theodore Roosevelt, whose breakaway Progressive Party, also known as the “Bull Moose” Party, championed conservation as a platform plank in the 1912 presidential election...Decades later, conservation has done little to retard development in Florida. And that’s a critical point to note as the governor heads for his inauguration in January. Uncontrolled growth in Florida cannot continue unabated, given the environmental volatility facing the state today. And tighter, not diluted, regulatory enforcement must take precedence over aggressive development….” From the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board.

Read ‘I don’t believe it:’ Trump dismisses grim government report on climate change - “President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed a grim report on climate change produced by his own government, saying he didn’t believe the report’s prognosis of dire economic fallout.  Trump was asked by reporters whether he had read the report, which was released on Friday in what critics said was an attempt to bury the news over a holiday weekend. “I’ve seen it. I’ve read some of it, and it’s fine,” Trump responded. The report predicted that economic losses due to climate change in some sectors could reach hundreds of billions of dollars a year by the end of the century. Trump rejected that claim. “I don’t believe it,” he said, when a reporter asked about the grim projected economic effects. “No, no, I don’t believe it.” The annual report, mandated by Congress and put together by federal scientists, warned that every region and economy in the U.S. would be harmed. The fourth National Climate Assessment also warned that many of the projected impacts are irreversible at this point because of the way greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide linger in the environment. “While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades,” the report said…” Caitlin Oprysko reports for POLITICO.

Read Report: Warmer temperatures could fuel algae blooms - “A new federal report highlights the impacts that climate change could have on the U.S. It's also mentions toxic algae blooms, like the ones we saw in parts of South Florida earlier this year. The National Climate Report by 13 federal agencies touches on the subject. The section titled Water-Related Illnesses and Death reads in part: "Increasing water temperatures associated with climate change are projected to alter the seasonality of growth and the geographic range of harmful algae and coastal pathogens, and runoff from more frequent and intense rainfall is projected to increasingly compromise recreational waters and sources of drinking water through increased introductions of pathogens and toxic algal blooms." "That warmth during the summer months that's when we see the most cells," said Malcolm McFarland, a research associate at FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. He said he's not surprised by that report. "They really like warmer temperatures," said McFarland of harmful algae blooms. "It's going to favor their growth." Alex Hagan reports for WPTV.

Read Red tide suspected as dead dolphins wash up on Collier, Lee beaches - “Dolphins appear to be the latest victim of red tide in Southwest Florida, as 22 have washed up dead on beaches in Collier and Lee counties since last Wednesday, one official said. Blair Mase, a marine mammal stranding coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said tests need to be completed but that it seems the dolphins are being killed by brevetoxin from red tide...When water testing results come in Wednesday morning, Mase said she expects to see a spike in red tide counts. Dolphins aren’t the only animals affected by the suspected spike. Mase said dead sea turtles have been found on beaches in Lee and Collier counties and that there are reports of birds dying as well. "What's concerning is the red tide also affects dolphin prey,” Mase said. “Dolphins can die from either inhalation of the toxin or eating prey that have been exposed to the red tide.”...NOAA cannot confirm whether the latest string of dead dolphins in Lee and Collier counties has been caused by the red tide toxin until test results are completed, Mase said….” Jake Allen reports for Naples Daily News.

Read Horrible Biscayne Bay pollution worsened by 800-gallon sewage leak - “Despite its photogenic good looks, Miami Beach has long struggled with dirty water. Beach-goers routinely pollute the ocean with plastic bottles and pool floats, while pumps meant to curb flooding due to sea level rise actually just flush more fecal matter into Biscayne Bay. Earlier this year, Miami Beach joined much of Florida in being swept with a toxic red tide. Broken sewer pipes are also contributing to the problem: In October, city inspectors discovered cracks in a wastewater pipe under the bridge to the ritzy La Gorce Island in Mid-Beach. Before it could be fixed, an estimated 800 gallons of raw sewage leaked into Biscayne Bay. The leak was reported to Miami Beach commissioners in a November 15 memo. The city's public works department says the entire sewer force main needs to be replaced, noting that the temporary repairs uncovered several cracks in the pipe "which can fail at any moment." The cost to fix the sewer line is expected to exceed $239,000…” Jessica Lipscomb reports for the Miami New Times.

Read Conservation group asks House, Senate Presidents for joint select committee on climate change - “Legislative advocacy group Florida Conservation Voters is asking new leadership in the State Capitol for a joint select committee on climate change. Executive Director Aliki Moncrief’s recent letter is addressed to the Republican presidents of the Senate and House, Bill Galvano and Jose Oliva. It comes after two reports, one from the United Nations and another from federal agencies, that outline the need for climate change action...What’s the benefit of forming a single-issue committee? Moncrief says doing so can more effectively “harness the focus” of the legislature. “Creating a committee creates a forum, where these lawmakers who have an interest or maybe even some expertise in these areas can be appointed to the committees to really take a hard look,” she said. To Moncrief, tackling climate issues creates an opportunity for Republicans. “This is a huge opportunity for Republican leadership to say ‘You know what, we recognize that climate change is probably the most life-threatening, life-altering crisis that we face,’” Moncrief said. “Whether they want to talk about it from an economic angle – I mean, if they want to talk about it in terms of economics, there’s plenty of material there…” Ryan Dailey reports for WFSU.

Read Why this rainbow swamp has got people talking- “The couple were walking at First Landing State Park, Virginia, US, when they saw the unusual natural phenomenon. Jeff Ripple, a former Florida swamp walk leader, told the BBC: "The rainbow sheens found as a thin film on top of pooled water in swamps and marshes are the result of natural oils released by decaying vegetation or the biological processes of anaerobic bacteria reducing iron in soil." Jeff explained that the water needs to be still for long periods in order for the rainbows to appear. "Movement by sheet flow, current or wind disturbance would destroy the fragile rainbow film," he said. He added that he normally sees the phenomenon in smaller areas. Retired engineer Michael Hussey shared his photo of a rainbow pool in Tallahassee, Florida.  Michael said that he was watching the small, swampy area in his grounds at home each day as the water began showing different colours. "If it doesn't rain for a couple of weeks it continues to become more pronounced," he said….” Victoria Park reports for the BBC.


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Upcoming Environmental Events:

November 28 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. – FREE WORKSHOP – Martin County 2070:  What’s Next? (Stuart) - Join 1000 Friends and The Guardians of Martin County on Wednesday, November 28 to share your thoughts on steps needed now to promote a more sustainable future for Martin County. We want to hear from you about what you think are the biggest obstacles to sustainability in Martin County and what needs to be done, both short- and long-term, to overcome them.  The workshop is at the Susan H. Johnson Auditorium, Wolf High-Technology Center, 2400 SE Salerno Road, Stuart.  This event is free, no registration is required, and light refreshments will be served.  Visit www.1000friendsofflorida.org/mco2070plan to find out more.

December 1, 9:00am-4:00pm - 2018 Florida Solar Congress (Miami) - The 2018 Florida Solar Congress is a free public conference. It brings together solar supporters from across the state to learn and discuss the current solar landscape and future for solar energy in Florida. The day will include a series of presentations about solar technology and policy, as well as ways to get involved with helping to grow solar in Florida. Topics will include: solar 101, solar + battery storage for homes, grassroots solar advocacy, electric vehicles, ways to get involved, and much more! The event will conclude with a participatory open forum discussion for all attendees to discuss priorities and opportunities that solar supporters in Florida should focus on in the coming year. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all attendees! RSVP here. Interested in volunteering at this event? Email Heaven Campbell at heaven@flsun.org.

December 1, 12:00pm-4:00pm - NFLT J.J. Grey Concert- (Jacksonville) - The North Florida Land Trust presents Jacksonville-hailing J.J. Grey, singer and songwriter described by his fans as ‘the North Florida sage and soul-bent swamp rocker’ who has gained worldwide acclaim with his band, JJ Grey and Mofro. This December’s concert brings Grey back home to his beloved roots and will feature JJ Grey in a solo performance. Grey shares a commitment to the land of his north Florida home that fits perfectly with North Florida Land Trust’s mission to protect special places in the region. Grey often sings about the changing landscape in northern Florida and his soulfulness and deep beliefs come through in his music. The concert will be held at Congaree and Penn Farm & Mills: 11830 Old Kings Road, Jacksonville, FL 32219. For more information and tickets, visit the NFLT site here.

December 6, 12:00pm-1:30pm - Free Recycle Right to Meet Industry Challenges Webinar - Florida has made great strides in increasing its recycling rates but shrinking global markets for recycling materials and increased “contamination” or non-recyclables in the stream are presenting daunting challenges for the industry.  Join Karen Moore, Recycling Manager for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Dawn McCormick, Chair of the Florida Recycling Partnership and Waste Management Director of Communications; and a County Recycling Manager as they discuss these challenges and cost implications for Florida’s counties, cities and businesses.  This event has been approved for 1.5 AICP CM for planners (#9162164) 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/.

December 12, 6:00PM-8:00PM - “Evenings at the Homestead: Toxic Puzzle Film" - (Sanibel) - The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation will host "Evenings at the Homestead: Toxic Puzzle Film" on Dec. 12 at from 6 to 8 p.m. in the pavilion at the Bailey Homestead Preserve. This award-winning documentary "Toxic Puzzle," is about the hunt for a link between toxic algal blooms and ALS and Alzheimer's, and will be followed by a question-and-answer session with a panel of experts. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with refreshments available. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through Eventbrite here. For more information contact the SCCF at 239-472-2329.

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/.

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/.

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Petitions

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

Stop the spraying of glyphosate herbicide in Florida waters

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

Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

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