FCC News Brief - July 16, 2018

Matt Schudel writes for the Washington Post - “Nathaniel P. Reed, an environmentalist and one time Interior Department official who was a key architect of the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act and who spearheaded efforts to preserve wildlife and open spaces from Alaska to his longtime home state of Florida, died July 11 at a hospital in Quebec City. He was 84… ‘He was a transformational figure in Florida,’  former senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.) said in an interview. ‘Florida’s a different place today than it would have been without him.’... Read Nathaniel P. Reed, leader in efforts to protect endangered wildlife and wetlands, dies at 84.


Kimberly Miller reports for the Palm Beach Post - “Damaging releases from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries will restart Friday after the Army Corps of Engineers said it has no other alternative to ensure the integrity of the aging Herbert Hoover Dike. Col. Jason Kirk, the Corps’ Jacksonville District commander, acknowledged the discharges could worsen harmful algae blooms in Treasure Coast and western waterways, but said he fears a ‘catastrophic’ loss if the swollen lake were to breach the dike following heavy rainfall from a tropical system…” Read No alternative: Lake O water to be released despite harmful algae.


Chad Gillis writes for Fort Myers News-Press - “About 100 people gathered along the banks of Lake Okeechobee on Saturday in Clewiston to talk about water quality issues that have plagued the Everglades system for the past two months. ‘Without clean water, we’re nothing,’ said Punta Gorda fishing guide and event organizer, Josh Greer. ‘Nobody wants to come to Florida, nobody wants to come to our beaches, nobody wants to come to this beautiful lake and fish and nobody wants to come to the east coast and west coast to fish,’... Read “Dirty water drives dozens to Lake Okeechobee rally in Clewiston.

Jacob Sweet reports for the Miami Herald - “Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order Thursday requesting Florida counties to ensure beach access for the public, contradicting a law he signed four months ago...The new law left many citizens confused as to who had access to certain areas of the beach. It also made it easier for people to block off portions of the beach behind their properties, even though the public had been using it for decades…’Florida is home to the world’s best beaches,’ he continued in the release. ‘And every Floridian and visitor has the right to fully enjoy our state’s natural resources. Florida beaches belong to all of us, and people from across the world visit Florida because of them — and we are going to keep it that way…” Read Contradicting law he signed, Gov. Rick Scott asks counties to ensure access to Florida beaches.

Zach Schalk writes for Solar United Neighbors - “ The federal Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) has helped farms and rural small businesses build more than 1,200 renewable energy projects across the country. But now it’s under serious threat. The program will expire unless Congress includes funding for this popular, bipartisan program in the current Farm Bill, a sprawling piece of legislation that encompasses everything from food assistance to conservation...Renewable energy and energy efficiency assistance programs like REAP account for less than one-tenth of one percent of Farm Bill spending. But they have an outsized impact in parts of our country that need an economic boost and clean energy…” Read How the Renewable Energy for America Program grows solar, and  how you can protect it.

Hannah Vogel reports for Wink News - “Leaders in Collier County are looking into developing more towns like Ave Maria, in the eastern part of the county. A move that could bring thousands of families to the area. But concerns are rising about pushing out panthers and other wildlife. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida says a plan to replace a lot of land like this with pavement is a bad idea…” Read Eastern Collier County could see major development boom.

Valerie Mills reports for WTXL- “The Wakulla Springs Alliance board voted not to challenge the Florida Department of Environmental Protection plans to restore water quality. While the group would’ve liked to see more steps taken, they feel the plan as is, will at least make a difference. ‘I remember what springs looked like when I first came to Tallahassee- Leon County. In the early 90’s you could stand up on that dive tower and see all the way to the bottom of the spring’ said Robert Deyle, Wakulla Springs Alliance member…” Read Wakulla Springs Alliance board votes not to challenge plan to restore water quality.

Florida Sea Grant - “ What are algae blooms? When naturally occurring microscopic algae, or phytoplankton, grow to excessive levels in the ocean, estuaries, rivers, lakes and ponds, the water can become stained bright green, red, orange, and other colors. This phenomenon is called an algae bloom. Algae blooms are nearly always harmful in some manner, whether it be to people or to the ecosystems in which they occur. During an algae bloom, millions of phytoplankton cells lurk in every millileter of water, and sometimes they produce toxins. Some of these toxins can cause fish kills, respiratory distress, skin irritation…” Read Harmful algae blooms affecting Florida’s coasts.

From Our Readers

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Thinking of going electric? Nextcar Pledge

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Another Gulf is Possible

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Florida Solar Bill of Rights

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Protect Florida’s Gulf Coast from Offshore Drilling

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