FCC News Brief - July 20, 2018

US Army Corps of Engineers -  "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District announces a series of public meetings for the Draft Integrated Project Implementation Report (PIR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project (LOWRP). The Corps proposes an above-ground wetland attenuation feature (WAF) and several aquifer storage & recovery (ASR) wells in an area north of the lake. The proposed plan also calls for restoration of 5,300 acres of wetlands in the area. The draft document was released for review on July 6, 2018. ‘This plan provides additional flexibility for managing water north of the lake in a manner consistent with Everglades’ restoration goals,’ said Lisa Aley, Planning Technical Lead for the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project. ‘We hope that people join us for the public meetings, and look forward to hearing from people living and working in the area on this proposed plan.’ The Corps will accept public comment through August 20…” Read Corps announces public meetings for Lake Okeechobee watershed study.

Center for Biological Diversity press release - “Conservation groups are challenging Arizona’s attempt to assume authority over a key provision of the federal Clean Water Act. In a letter sent Friday to state policymakers, the groups raise concerns about the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) process and question the state’s ability to effectively enforce this important law, which protects U.S. waterways from pollution, degradation and disturbance by industrial and development projects. The letter questions whether the state can afford to administer the law’s Section 404 program and has the expertise to conduct the detailed scientific analysis to implement it successfully. It also cites many problems with the ADEQ process, including a lack of public notice and the development of implementation plans before assessing costs and feasibility.” Read Conservation groups assail Arizona’s attempted takeover of Clean Water Act.

NBC 2 News  - “Some wildlife experts have concerns about a major development project in Collier County. The development is supposed to happen in a 300-square-mile area east of Golden Gate Estates. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida said the plan has grown too much, and it's now putting panthers and other species at risk. The area is called the Rural Lands Stewardship Area, and the Conservancy said it's home to the Florida panther and seven other federally listed species. Collier County has changed a lot over the years….” Read Development in Collier County could put panthers in danger.

Treasure Coast Newspapers Editorial Board - “It was, in a way astonishing. At the Republican Party of Florida’s ‘Sunshine Summit’ last month, gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis accused his primary opponent Adam Putnam, of being too close to the sugar industry. Putnam, the state’s agriculture commissioner, is ‘tied at the hip’ with Big Sugar, said DeSantis, who further claimed that relationship hurts efforts to stop toxic algae blooms from fouling coastal communities in Southwest Florida and the Treasure Coast...It might be a testament to how bad Florida’s environmental problems have become…” Read As Florida’s problems worsen, environment looms larger in elections.

Darryl Fears reports for the Washington Post - "The Trump administration unveiled a proposal Thursday that would strip the Endangered Species Act of key provisions, a move that conservationists say would weaken a law enacted 45 years ago to keep plant and animal species in decline from going extinct...'Unfortunately, the sweeping changes being proposed by the Trump administration include provisions that would undercut the effectiveness of the ESA and put species at risk of extinction,' Jamie Rappaport Clark, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service under President Bill Clinton, said. 'The signal being sent by the Trump administration is clear: Protecting America’s wildlife and wild lands is simply not on their agenda...” Read Endangered Species Act stripped of key provisions in Trump administration proposal.

From Our Readers

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Job Openings

Governmental Affairs and Political Director for Sierra Club Florida

Organizing Representative for Sierra Club Florida’s Clean Energy for All Campaign

Environmental Scientist for the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute

Operations Manager for the Everglades Law Center


Upcoming Environmental Events    

August 4, 11:00 am- 1:00 pm - St. Augustine March Against Fracking: This is a family-friendly event, sponsored by multiple environmental and political organizations in Northeast Florida. Guest speakers will include Jen Lomberk (Matanzas Riverkeeper), Dr. Gary Bowers (Physician), V Miller (Campaign Director at Rethink Energy FL), and more! Nancy Shaver (Mayor of St. Augustine) will also be making an appearance. Parking is available on Anastasia Island. We will be gathering at the park on the east side of the Bridge of Lions. Marching will begin promptly at 11:30AM. For more information email Nick at: nickfamu@icloud.com.

August 13-16 - Registration is now open for Florida Springs Institute Field School. The Springs Field School will take place in Silver Springs, Florida, and includes four days of lectures and field trips on springs biology, geology, chemistry, environmental laws and advocacy from leading experts. For info and registration, click

August 17, 4:30 pm- 6:30 pm (CST) - Apalachicola Riverkeeper Meet & Greet: Learn more about Apalachicola Riverkeeper’s current and upcoming projects, including this year’s RiverTrek launch. Enjoy Wine & Beer, Tea & Soda along with light snacks. There will be door prizes! Event will be at the W.T. Neal Civic Center in Blountstown.

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.


Protect Red Wolves

Thinking of going electric? Nextcar Pledge

Rezoning 5-acres in Palm Harbor

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


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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