Zac Anderson reports for the Herald Tribune – “Nearly 1,500 acres of cattle ranch close to Myakka River State Park will be protected from development and restored to native habitat after the federal government recently signed off on a conservation easement for the site… The deal largely is being financed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which contributed $4 million toward the easement and wetland restoration efforts… Deer Prairie Slough’s headwaters are within the easement area. The slough eventually feeds into the Myakka River… The Blackbeard’s easement will add to a growing cluster of conservation lands surrounding the… Myakka River State Park… The amount of land under protection is larger than many national parks. Conservation experts say the preserved lands are important for protecting water quality, supporting large wildlife such as Florida panthers and black bears, creating outdoor recreation opportunities and maintaining the region’s agricultural heritage… Strickland is seeking state money to preserve other sections of the Blackbeard’s property…” Read Ranch near Myakka River State Park will be preserved under conservation easement
Martin E. Comas reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “A proposal to build a community of hundreds of new homes and apartments within a protected rural area of eastern Seminole County will require extending McCulloch Road over the environmentally-sensitive Econlockhatchee River with a multi-land bridge… By extending McCulloch Road across the river…, it will lead to urban sprawl into the rural area beyond the River Cross project, residents say.” Read Bridge over Econ River proposed for multi-home development in rural Seminole
Christopher Flavelle reports for Bloomberg – “As seas rise and coasts wash away, who owns the land that goes underwater? Versions of that debate are taking place in courtrooms, legislatures, and government offices, raising the question of whether and when climate change justifies seizing private property.” Read The Fighting Has Begun Over Who Owns Land Drowned by Climate Change
Richard G. Ring writes for the Sun Sentinel – “While working as superintendent of Everglades National Park, I led the NPS participation in the development of the Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Plan. I’m deeply familiar with the complicated, expensive efforts that are needed to mitigate and repair the damage that is already occurring, but it will be a futile effort in the long run unless we also focus on addressing the underlying causes. We need to clean up our pollution that is fueling climate change… The Clean Power Plan is critical for our national parks and for Florida. EPA’s recent move to repeal this rule is simply wrong.” Read Protecting Florida’s national parks means first, facing climate threats
Dave Dunwoody reports for WUWF – “Eight years [after the BP oil spill], [Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson] remains involved in all things oil spill. The next step in fighting the rigs, he says, is voting on Amendment 9 sent out by the Constitutional Revision Commission. ‘I will be voting for that amendment, because I think it matters not only for us today, for us tomorrow and for years to come that we pass that constitutional amendment,’ Robinson said. ‘But that only protects the nine miles of state waters. We still have work to do at the federal level.’… A new report from Gulf Restoration Network, “Our Healthy Gulf,” outlines ongoing spills and safety issues with current Gulf drilling operations was also released… ‘On average, there’s a fire every three days in the Gulf of Mexico,’ Wagley (of the Gulf Restoration Network) read from the report. ‘On average, three workers die every year. There are 20 blowouts per every 1,000 new wells that are drilled…’” Read Environmental Groups Gear Up Against Florida Drilling
Jim Turner reports for the News Service of Florida – “[T]he Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission… directed staff members to craft new rules (on shark fishing from beaches, piers and bridges).” Read New Florida shark fishing rules? FWC looks at changing regulations
Regan McCarthy reports for WFSU – “Florida Wildlife Officials are considering an executive order to keep so called “Injurious wildlife species” from being brought into the state.” Read Wildlife Officials Discuss ‘Injurious Species’
Dinah Voyles Pulver reports for The Daytona Beach News-Journal – “Mike Ulrich had a problem and he was growing frustrated. The director of Volusia County Utilities was receiving what he felt was conflicting direction from two state agencies. One wanted the county to return more wastewater to the underground aquifer that flows to Blue Springs to increase the spring’s flow. The other wanted him to reduce the amount of nitrogen flowing into those aquifers to improve the quality of the water flowing from the spring… For years and nearly $13 million later, Frick (DEP) and Ulrich gathered with a bevy of local officials… to celebrate a renovated wastewater facility that can accomplish both of those goals, now and into the future.” Read Sewer plant upgrade means more, and cleaner, water at Blue Springs
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
April 27-28 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium in Orlando. For more information, click here.
April 28 – June 23 – 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.
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 email@example.com or call (352) 277 – 3330.
May 9, 12:44 pm – Attend the Villages Environmental Discussion Group at the Belvedere Library Community Room (325 Belvedere Blvd.) in The Villages. Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, Sierra Club Organizing Rep., will make a presentation entitled “Urban Fertilizers… Connections to Our Lawns, Landscape, and Florida’s Waters”. Shari Blissett-Clark, Pres. Of the FL Bat Conservancy, will make a presentation entitled “Bats in Florida’s Backyards.” For more information and to RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 11, 8:30 am – Attend the Save Our Water 2018 summit in Bonita Springs. For more information, click here.
May 17-20 – Attend The Florida Native Plant Society’s 38th Annual Conference in Miami. For more information, click here.
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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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