Bill Smith reports for the News Press – “Lee County’s politically popular 20/20 conservation fund is close to dipping below its required funding level, raising questions about future acquisitions of conservation land in an era of booming development.” Read Voters love it, but county moves slowly on renewing 20/20 conservation program
WMFE reports – “An endangered Florida panther has been struck and killed by a vehicle. It’s the 12th fatal collision this year, out of 14 total panther deaths… Florida panthers once roamed the entire Southeast, but now their habitat mostly is confined to a small region of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. Up to 230 Florida panthers remain in the wild.” Read Florida Panther Struck and Killed by Vehicle
Cleveland Tinker reports for The Gainesville Sun – “[P]roperty owners have less than nine months to take advantage of the [Alachua County Turf SWAP Rebate Program] that enables them to mow less and save up to $2,000… The rebate funds may be used for removing traditional irrigation; capping off irrigation heads that can’t be removed;… removing turf grass if high volume irrigation is also removed; designing, purchasing and installing Florida-Friendly Plants where high volume irrigation is removed;… and installing or replacing rainfall shut-off devices, including soil moisture sensors and smart controllers… The county’s EPD received a $300,000 grant from the St. Johns River Water Management District to reduce outdoor water use with the goal of restoring water flow to local springs… About 75 percent of the funds from the grant remain, and must be used by January 2019… Almost 700 irrigation heads have been removed or capped since the program started and 39 property owners have received rebates… ‘We estimate up to six million gallons of water are being saved yearly,’ Greco (water conservation coordinator for the county Environmental Protection Department) said.” Read Alachua County homeowners save water, money – losing the grass
Cristina Mendez reports for NBC2 – “Residents are being reminded to conserve water after below-average rainfall was recorded between November and March… [Lee] County is asking residents and visitors to limit lawn irrigation to the year-round water conservation ordinance… Unincorporated Lee County and municipalities have different watering restrictions. If irrigation restrictions are not followed, residents will face an initial warning and then fines.” Read Lee Co. asking residents to limit water usage during drought
Kimberly Kuizon reports for Fox 13 – “Pythons have become a big problem for southwest Florida. They’re invasive, they eat and destroy Florida’s native wildlife, and there’s not much that can be done to stop them… Partnering with Nikki Sedacca of 530 Burns Gallery, the (python) skins are now becoming fashion… The snakeskin goods range from $100 for a wallet to $3,000 for a skirt…” Read Python hunter, designer turn invasive snakes into fashion
Shannon Baker-Branstetter writes for the Sun Sentinel – “Fuel economy standards have helped raise the average mileage of cars and trucks by almost 5 miles per gallon over the last decade, helping you go farther on each fill-up. For families in Florida, that translates to savings of over $2.2 billion on gas since 2010. You will save even more on your next car or truck as fuel economy is set to continue to gradually increase through model year 2025. Thanks to increasing fuel efficiency, the average family in the Sunshine State is expected to save about $3,050 by 2030… But politicians in Washington are actively trying to halt this progress. If their efforts are successful, it will reduce your expected savings.” Read Rolling back fuel economy standards would cost Florida families more at the pump
Kevin Bouffard reports for News Chief – “On conservation, Putnam criticized the state’s current emphasis on funding acquisition programs like Florida Forever, which purchases undeveloped land for permanent conservation, while underfunding the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, administrated by the state agency he runs, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.” Read Putnam, 3 ag commissioner candidates speak at local forum
Livia Albeck-Ripka and Brad Plumer report for The New York Times – “’If you look at the past history of climate on earth, there has never been such a dramatic, rapid, change in the climate,’ said Andrea Santangeli, a postdoctoral researcher at the Finnish Museum of Natural History. ‘Species have to respond really fast,’ he said, ‘that’s really unprecedented.’ Here are five examples of mismatch, just one of the many threats that species face from global warming, that scientists have discovered so far…” Read 5 Plants and Animals Utterly Confused by Climate Change
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
April 10, 6:30 pm – Attend “Every dollar you send into the world makes an impact” at the Bayview Senior Center (2000 East Lloyd St.) in Pensacola. Join impact investor Jacey Cosentino and investment advisor Lori Ptacek of Morgan Stanley to learn more about investing with impact. Impact investing refers to investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate a measurable and beneficial social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. For more information contact email@example.com.
April 11, 12:45 pm – Attend the Villages Environmental Discussion Group at the Belvedere Library Community Room (325 Belvedere Blvd.) in The Villages. Grant Wilson, J.D., Directing Attorney of Earth Law Center, will make a presentation via Skype on the rights of Nature and rivers. For more information and to RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 11 – April 17 – Solar United Neighbors is hosting several solar co-op information sessions around Florida throughout the next few months. Attendees will learn about solar equipment, financing, and the benefits of joining a solar co-op. For a complete list of sessions, click here.
April 13, 10:00 am - Join the Florida Springs Institute and St. Johns Riverkeeper Middle Basin Office on an outing to the Seminole State Forest springs in Sorrento. Space is limited to 20 people. For more information and to register, click here.
April 14, 11:00 am – Attend the Last Straw Campaign Kickoff in Pensacola. Learn how you can modify your lifestyle to say no to straws and what you can do to get others on board. For more information, click here or contact Mary Gutierrez at email@example.com.
April 19, 7:00 pm – Attend “Garden for Wildlife with Native Plants” in Tallahassee. David Mizejewski will focus on restoring wildlife habitat in our cities, towns and neighborhoods through the use of native plants. For more information, click here.
April 21, 4:00 pm – Participate in Hike for the Corridor 2018 in Gainesville. Participants will hike to show they want Florida’s land conservation programs fully funded and the Florida Wildlife Corridor protected. For more information, click here.
April 22, 2:00 pm – Participate in ELAPP’s Florida Wildlife Corridor Connection 9-Mile Hike in Plant City. For more information, click here.
April 23, 4:00 pm – Attend a viewing of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power at the Mary Esther Public Library (100 W Hollywood Blvd) in Mary Esther. For more information, click here.
April 27-28 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium in Orlando. For more information, click here.
May 1, 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. May’s lecture is on “Springs Hydrogeology: Floridan Aquifer, Groundwater Recharge, Spring Flows” with FSI Executive Director, Dr. Robert Knight. All lecture are free and open to the public. A recommended donation of $5 is appreciated. For more information, click here or call (386) 454 – 9369.
May 3, 6:30 pm – Watch Mac Stone’s TED talk on “the Amazing Everglades” at the Harvey Martin Democratic Center (3432 Deltona Boulevard) in Spring Hill. After the TED Talk, Dr. Tom St. Clair will comment on Everglades ecology and restoration. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (352) 277 – 3330.
May 17-20 – Attend The Florida Native Plant Society’s 38th Annual Conference in Miami. For more information, click here.
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.
We hope you enjoy this service and find it valuable. Our goal is to provide you with the latest and most relevant environmental news for Floridians. 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 over 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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