From the blog of Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, John Moran’s photo essay - “I reported last month on the plight of the Caloosahatchee River and its befouled waters flowing from Lake Okeechobee; delivering slime to waterfront neighborhoods in Fort Myers and Cape Coral along the way to the Gulf Islands of Southwest Florida. Next up on our Summer of Slime photo tour is a visit to Stuart and Lake O...But it wasn’t Stuart’s reputation for abundant clean water that drew me south from Gainesville with my cameras. In effect, I’ve become a traveling crime scene photographer—and slime is the crime. A devastating outbreak of toxic algae has once again hit the St. Lucie River and the Treasure Coast, fueled by the polluted waters of Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River basin to the north. Damaging headlines trumpet the story to the nation and the world and Governor Scott has declared a state of emergency. It’s déjà vu all over again…” Read (and view) John Moran’s Florida’s Summer of Slime: Stuart and Lake Okeechobee.
Fred Grimm writes for the Sun-Sentinel - “So many times over the years, Florida has been on the verge of cleaning up this noxious mess. The fix was always deemed too expensive. Wonder how they are feeling now, the pennywise powerboys who dodged and delayed and deceived and never found the money to honor their faux commitments? They prevaricated for years. Administration after administration. And now they can see what their collective inaction wrought as plumes of toxic algae spill out of Lake Okeechobee and course down the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. Now, the Florida formerly known as paradise suffers simultaneous disasters, east coast and west coast. Another summer ruined for fishing, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, boating. With canceled hotel reservations, closed beaches, lonely restaurants and angry tourists posting their toxic green algae photos on social media… Emergency seems like the wrong word. Can a recurring, utterly predictable problem that state leaders have been promising to repair for more than four decades still qualify as an emergency?...” Read Blame long line of politicians for Florida’s recurring algae crisis.
Richard Danielson writes for the Tampa Bay Times - “Here’s a fun online gadget for a sobering task: FloodIQ.com is a website created by the nonprofit First Street Foundation to help users visualize how rising sea levels are expected to affect your risk of flooding- not only now, but up to 15 years in the future. And, yes, it gets worse. With FloodIQ.com, the First Street Foundation created an interactive map for Florida showing flood risks from both tidal flooding and a Category 1 and Category 3 hurricane this year, in 2023, 2028, and 2033. The data comes from the United States Geologic Survey and county governments, historic tide gauge readings from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, storm surge predictions from the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and property details from state and county government offices…” Read Check out this online tool to see how sea-level rise will impact your flood risk.
Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times - “For the past two years, as its executives were taking Florida politicians on secret hunting trips to the King Ranch in Texas, U.S. Sugar was planning for a massive change in its business plan. The company, which has been growing and processing sugar cane in South Florida since the 1930s, has mapped out a way to turn itself into one of Florida's biggest developers. On 67 square miles of sugar land southwest of Lake Okeechobee in Hendry County, U.S. Sugar and Hilliard Brothers of Florida, another sugar company with adjoining property, have joined forces on a project that would plop down 18,000 homes and 25 million square feet of stores, offices, warehouses and other commercial buildings amid the rural landscape. But the land that U.S. Sugar wants to designate for development is the same land that Florida officials have an option to buy for Everglades restoration. If the sugar companies' development plan is approved, that land would be worth a lot more — making it more expensive for the state to purchase…” Read U.S. Sugar plans development on land Florida wanted for Everglades restoration.
Diane Roberts writes for the Florida Phoenix- “ In Martin County, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. You may express your opinion-about a dodgy water deal, say, or damage to certain wetlands- but if you challenge the wrong billionaire, if you urge your elected representatives to take action thwarting the plans of said billionaire, you may find yourself hauled into court, financially imperiled, and told that your free speech rights are not what you thought they were, Constitution be damned. Maggy Hurchalla, longtime warrior for Florida’s environment, daughter of legendary Miami News reporter Jane Wood Reno, and sister of Janet Reno, the first woman to serve as Attorney General of the United States, has been ordered by a court in Martin County to pay the very, very rich George Lindemann Jr. $4.4 million. Read A 77-year-old South Florida environmentalist speaks out and gets sued, harassed. She won’t back down.
Jeff Burlew for the Tallahassee Democrat - “ The Big Bend Environmental Forum will host a candidate forum Thursday on the Florida State University campus. The event will feature candidates running for Tallahassee City Commission Seats 3 and 5, mayor and Leon County Commission District 3...Issues expected to be discussed include downtown development and redevelopment, water quality, environmental protection, renewable energy, sustainability and smart growth…” Read Environmental candidate forum set for Thursday.
From Our Readers
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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 8, 5:30-8:30 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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