FCC News Brief - August 2, 2018

Conservation Florida - “ The Conservation Trust for Florida announced today that it will now be doing business as Conservation Florida (CFL). ‘We’re excited about the new name because it clearly represents what we do and where we do it,’ said Traci Deen, Conservation Florida’s executive director. ‘The shorter name is more descriptive, straightforward, and memorable.’ Deen said the name change is part of a broader outreach initiative by the nonprofit to communicate its mission to protect Florida’s natural and agricultural landscapes for future generations...Since its founding in 1999, CFL has been instrumental in helping to protect over 25,000 acres throughout the state. More than half of that acreage has been protected during the last five years. As Conservation Florida grows to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead, it remains an accredited land trust committed to long-term stability, sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.” Read Conservation Florida: name change puts greater focus on conservation.

Tyler Treadway reports for Treasure Coast Newspapers - “U.S. Rep. Brian Mast plans to introduce legislation to make federal funding available to communities impacted by harmful algal blooms and to increase the federal focus on combating the water crisis plaguing the Treasure Coast. The Palm City Republican will announce his plans to introduce the bill at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam, where blue-green algae in water discharged from Lake Okeechobee enters the St. Lucie River. Some of it is toxic…’The federal government, through the Army Corps of Engineers, has played a huge role in perpetuating the human health crisis caused by Lake Okeechobee discharges,’ Mast said in a prepared statement, ‘and they need to take responsibility for the damage by helping to pay for the cleanup.’ The government, Mast said, also needs to ‘stop prioritizing special interests over human health and put an end to the crisis once and for all.” Read U.S. Rep. Brian Mast to file bill seeking federal money in toxic blue-green algae fight.

Teresa Stepzinski reports for the Florida Times-Union - “ The survival of a rare mouse considered crucial to the ecosystem of Anastasia Island rests on the restoration of the coastal dune habitat destroyed by recent hurricanes, according to wildlife biologists working to protect the endangered species. The Anastasia Island beach mouse is vulnerable to potential extinction, the biologists say. The mice once lived on almost all the St. Johns County coastline but no more. Recent habitat loss due to Hurricanes Matthew and Irma as well as past beach development has taken a toll on the shy nocturnal rodent, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and St. Johns County scientists...The beach mouse is endemic to Anastasia Island. They are the only native animal to the island…” Read Wildlife biologists fear the future of a rare beach mouse.

Temperince Morgan, The Nature Conservancy,  writes for the Herald-Tribune - “On June 15, Judge Charles Dodson issued a ruling regarding Amendment 1, the Water and Land Legacy constitutional amendment. The Nature Conservancy is concerned that this ruling could impact funding for critical conservation efforts like management and restoration of existing state lands, Everglades restoration and other important water-quality improvement projects. In our opinion, when 75 percent of Florida voters approved Amendment 1 in 2014, the people of Florida mandated that revenue from real-estate documentary tax stamps go to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF) for conservation purposes, including land acquisition, land management, restoration, Florida’s springs and the Everglades...We believe the narrow scope of the judge’s recent ruling may preclude the Legislature from spending LATF money on conservation land that the state purchased prior to 2015, as well as on Everglades restoration and springs protection…” Read Where land funds are needed most.

Douglas Shearer writes for the Ocala Star Banner - “In the last eight years, the toxic algae problems caused by dumping the polluted waters of Lake Okeechobee into the Atlantic and Gulf waters has continually gotten worse. This is a very complex problem. Pollution from septic tanks at the headwaters of the Kissimmee River and lower Central Florida, along with agricultural interests, combine with the long history of blocking the natural flow of waters from the lake through the Everglades to cause this problem. The diversion of all this unfiltered water into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers during rainy seasons lead to large fish kills and loss of tourism dollars to both coasts of Florida...We in North Central Florida can’t just worry about roads coming here and water issues. We have to think of the whole state. We must question the people running for office on all these important issues and not just look at their marketing point put out by professionals guiding their campaigns. We must look back over the incumbent’s entire terms and not just their last years when they are up for re-election.Please choice wisely and think not just of your wallet but of why we all live here.” Read Lake Okeechobee algae crisis not just about South Florida.

Joel A. Mintz writes for the Miami Herald - “The forced resignation of Scott Pruitt as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brought celebration and relief in many quarters….Pruitt’s deputy administrator, Andrew K. Wheeler, will serve as acting administrator of the EPA for the foreseeable future. He’s a long-time Washington insider and a former chief of staff to Oklahoma Sen. James Inhoff — the Senate’s most prominent climate change denier. Wheeler spent nine years as a lobbyist for various business clients, including a major coal company. Unlike Pruitt, who harbored hopes of high elected office, Wheeler has shunned the spotlight. To his credit, he told EPA employees that he is open to hearing their advice on policy matters — a welcome change from Pruitt’s practice of ignoring and isolating his staff. He has also promised to instill more transparency in EPA’s work. Notwithstanding these pledges of a more solicitous management style, there is no evidence that Wheeler plans to depart from the radical, safeguards-busting policies of his predecessor, policies strongly favored by President Trump. If he hopes to keep his job, let alone be nominated and confirmed to be EPA’s administrator without the “acting” in his title, he will likely want to impress the boss. That makes serious deviations from Pruitt’s positions unlikely since they’re Trump’s positions, as well…” Read New EPA administrator, same menace to the environment.

Sarah Cahlan reports for NBC News Mach - “From severe coastal flooding to unusually destructive hurricanes, climate change-related sea level rise is being blamed for some big environmental ills. Now comes a new worry: Rising seas could flood the underground cables that carry the internet, potentially causing widespread outages. Seawater is likely to submerge more than 4,000 miles of internet cable in the U.S. and engulf more than a thousand data centers that house servers, routers and other hardware, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Oregon said in a paper presented July 16 at an internet conference in Montreal…” Read Rising seas could knock out the internet- and sooner than scientists thought.


From Our Readers

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Job Openings

Communications & Program Manager for Florida Wildlife Corridor

Governmental Affairs and Political Director for Sierra Club Florida

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

 

Upcoming Environmental Events    

Tidal Town Hall: Attend a Tidal Town Hall near you. These events represent a partnership between ReThink Energy Florida and First Street Foundation in an effort to provide voters with the opportunity to have an open conversation with Primary Candidates on the topic of sea level rise. Attending candidates are from both sides of the aisle and this is your chance to ask them how they plan on protecting the Sunshine State from climate change driven sea level rise:

August 65:30-8:30 pm - 330 5th St. N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Facebook event here.

August 6, 5:30 - 8:00 pm - 12000 Alumni Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32224. Facebook event here.

August 7, 5:30- 8:30 pm - En Espanol - 1951 NW 7th Ave Suite 600, Miami, FL 33136. Facebook event here

August 85:30-8:30 pm- 3975 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota FL 34232. Facebook event here

August 9, 5:30- 8:30 pm- 1000 Holt Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789. Facebook event here

August 14, 5:00-7:00 pm  - 6340 Napa Woods Way, Naples, FL 34116. Facebook event here.

August 14, 5:00 - 7:45 pm - 239 N Spring Street, Pensacola, FL. Facebook event here

August 15, 5:00 - 7:00 pm - 2000 North Recreation Park Way, North Fort Myers, FL. Facebook event here

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 7th, 12:00 pm - Springs Academy: Class 5 Springs Stresses. This Springs Academy class will be taught by Dr. Bob Knight, Executive Director of the Florida Springs Institute. Dr. Knight will be presenting an in-depth overview of Springs Stresses including groundwater pumping, fertilizers, wastewater disposal, and recreation. Held at the North Florida Environmental Center in High Springs, Florida. For more information email info@floridaspringsinstitute.org or visit the website

August 9, 6:00 - 8:45 pm - Big Bend Environmental Forum for Candidates of Primary Election- Citizens will be able to suggest questions covering environmental, energy, sustainability, and growth management issues to candidates of the county and city commissions for the Big Bend area. An open house prior to the forum will include displays by candidates and BBEF member organizations. King Life Sciences Building Auditorium, Room 1024, 319 Stadium Dr, Tallahassee FL. Facebook event here

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.

Petitions

Stop Development on Fish Island along the Matanzas River

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.

Please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join the FCC and subscribe to the Daily News Brief (both free). Also, check out our FCC Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @FLConservation

Please send all suggestions, comments, and criticism to Haley Burger at WeAreFCC@gmail.com

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.  

For more information, visit https://www.wearefcc.org/



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