FCC News Brief - May 3, 2018

Bill Smith reports for News-Press – “Once… a rock mine and failed real estate venture, a square-mile parcel may be an answer to flooding problems like those brought to east Lee County by Hurricane Irma… Lee County commissioners have given staffers authority to start work to acquire all or part of a 457 to 625-acre piece of Lehigh known as Section 10, Greenbriar, Harmony Ranch and Laguna Estates. If configured in a way proposed by the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services District, Section 10 could take 3,000 to 4,000 acre feet, equivalent to 1.3 billion gallons of water, away from Bedman Creek and the Orange River, which suffered devastating flooding in the hurricane… Beyond recharging the water supply, the site could ultimately be used to take and store discharges from the… C-43 Reservoir… County commissioners have a work session set for later this month to discuss how to replenish the 20/20 fund.. In addition to the Section 10 property, the county has received an offer to buy a piece of the Babcock Ranch property for about $23 million.” Read Proposed Lehigh Conservation 20/20 purchase could reduce threat of a repeat of Irma flooding

Alex Harris reports for the Miami Herald – “[N]ew studies… show the higher temperatures brought on by climate change are already increasing the range and biting season for many mosquitoes, including the Aedes aegypti – the infamous carriers of viruses like dengue and Zika… Researchers believe the climate shifts will also raise the risks that other mosquito-borne diseases considered largely eliminated as public health threats in the mainland United States could return. Yellow fever tops that list… The trend will be felt most acutely in South Florida, where experts say the region’s warm and wet climate – as well as its reputation as an international travel hub – make it the perfect spot for mosquito-borne viruses to flourish. Most travelers to the Magic City come from countries in South America and the Caribbean where diseases spread by the insects are prevalent.” Read Mosquito season could get longer and more hazardous to your health – especially in Miami

Anthony Man reports for the Sun Sentinel – “Cleanup of the lake and restoration of the Everglades won’t happen magically, Putnam said… ‘There is no pixie dust,’ he said, later adding, ‘We all have to I think get out of this habit [of thinking] there’s black hats and white hats.’ Putnam, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor and currently state agriculture commissioner, is a champion of the (sugar) industry… Putnam’s response: ‘I am proud to stand up for our businesses in Florida, for our farmers,… the people who… grow the food that we need. We all have to lock arms and move forward together if we’re going to save our Everglades and keep Florida special. Now there are those who think, some of them who even live in entire cities that were built on the Everglades and don’t realize it, I guess they don’t know why there’s 12 foot berm on each side of the road when they drive to work every day. But all of us have had an impact on our environment by being on a state that was once 60 percent wetlands. And I support our Glades communities. I support giving them the opportunities to have good jobs and… not have to leave and be able to find a good job…’” Read Governor candidate Adam Putnam says Big Sugar isn’t Big Bad Wolf

Ali Schmitz reports for the TC Palm – “King was the first Democrat to announce he would not accept campaign contributions from the sugar industry… ‘I felt from my earliest review of environmental issues that the biggest, boldest stance that would be productive was that I should acknowledge the elephant in the room, that one industry had controlled environmental policy in Florida,’ King said… King criticized Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to stack state boards with business interests, including local water management district boards. The South Florida Water Management District board currently has no environmental activists… King said he wants the board to include more researchers and experts in their field.” Read Chris King talks sugar, Brightline in gubernatorial campaign stops on Treasure Coast

WJHG reports – “As spring temperatures rise, bears are becoming more active which increases opportunities for human conflict. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials want to remind residents now is the time to take the necessary steps around your home to reduce negative interactions with a bear… FWC officials say it’s illegal to intentionally feed bears or leave out food or garbage that might attract them… Secure household garbage in a sturdy shed, garage or a wildlife resistant container…” Read Bear activity on rise in Florida

Jenny Staletovich reports for the Miami Herald – “Miami’s position as a global hub in the import-export industry, and port entry for all things nefarious from dirty gold to smuggled songbirds, has made it a leader in yet another dubious trade: shark fins. Since 2015, Miami has led the nation in the number of shark fins imported from Hong Kong, likely caused by an increasing number of import bas in other states… Twelve states, not including Florida, currently ban imports. Oceana is now pushing for a federal ban on shark fins, arguing that the U.S… should lead by example in a global trade rife with brutal butcherings and blamed for killing 73 million sharks annually. Although the practice of slicing shark fins off at sea – called shark finning – is outlawed in the U.S., shark fins can still be legally harvested from sharks brought onshore or imported from countries without finning bans. It’s also likely that lax regulations in Malaysia and Hong King… mean fins from endangered sharks are winding up in American markets.” Read Miami now nation’s top importer of shark fins. Many states have banned the product

Jeff Tavss reports for Local 10 News – “If you can’t get to the water in Florida, just bring the 7.5 acre crystal-clear man-made lagoon to you. The first Crystal Lagoon in the U.S. opened… in Wesley Chapel… Jason Maldonado used his drone to show the epic size of the lagoon, where residents will be able to swim, kayak and sail.” Read First man-made Crystal Lagoon in U.S. opens in Florida

The London School of Economics and Political Science shares – “All of the 197 countries, nations and territories that have signed or ratified the Paris Agreement now have at least one national law or policy on climate change…” Read New study reveals all countries that have signed or ratified the Paris Agreement have at least one national law or policy on climate change





From Our Readers

The information in this section is forwarded to you at the request of some of our readers. Inclusion in this section does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the FCC.


Job Openings


Administrator for the Florida Conservation Coalition


President for 1000 Friends of Florida




Another Gulf is Possible

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

Florida Solar Bill of Rights

Tell Congress to Stop Attacking Protections for Dolphins and Whales

Save Endangered Sea Turtles from Drowning in Shrimp Trawls

Defend Attacks on the Marine Mammal Protection Act

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



Upcoming Environmental Events    


May 3 – 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 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 sierraadventurecoastcc@gmail.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 resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

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.

May 19, 10:00 am – Participate in Hands Across the Sand at Pensacola Beach. Hands Across the Sand is an annual gathering of people who come together to express their opposition to dirty fossil fuels and to champion a new era of clean, renewable energy. There will be speeches, snacks, live music, and more. For more information, click here.

May 19, 11:00 am – Participate in Hands Across the Sand at Fort Walton Beach. Hands Across the Sand is an annual gathering of people who come together to express their opposition to dirty fossil fuels and to champion a new era of clean, renewable energy. For more information, click here.

May 23, 5:30 pm – Attend Before the Flood at the Pensacola Public Library (239 N. Spring St.) in Pensacola. Before the Flood is a film that follows actor Leonardo DiCaprio to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand. Following the film, 350 Pensacola and Northwest Florida Move to Amend will discuss how the influence of corporate money in politics is delaying action on climate change and how the public can take action to free the political system of that influence. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, email 350pensacola@gmail.com.


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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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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