FCC News Brief - August 19, 2019

Read Florida’s oysters in Apalachicola, Cedar Key face climate threats to survival - “Climate change isn’t a primary suspect in the stunning extermination of Apalachicola Bay oysters, a calamity pegged to a variety of atrocities. But rising sea levels, warming waters and more intense storms could conspire to ensure the bay remains a graveyard for oysters despite costly efforts to resurrect it and put the delicacies back on restaurant tables. That prospect troubles scientists at Apalachicola Bay in Florida’s Panhandle and is a worry for one of the state’s last, though struggling, strongholds of oysters -- an area of Gulf of Mexico waters surrounding the island community of Cedar Key...At more than 200 square miles, the biologically supercharged bay blends the fecund waters of the Apalachicola River and the intensely productive Gulf of Mexico, all along coastline shielded from Florida’s development pressure by national forest, wildlife refuge and Tate’s Hell State Forest. What ushered fisheries collapse there -- whether badly regulated seafood harvesting, withdrawals of river water by cities as far as Atlanta or changes in nature -- remains debated and unresolved. The added stress of climate change, potentially rendering waters too salty, warm or otherwise inhospitable for oysters, may doom the bay beyond recovery...In much of Florida, climate changes threaten to finish off environments already beaten down by development, dredging, pollution, water usage and other human-inflicted harm. The way to fight climate change, say many scientists, is to restore environments to be healthy and resilient -- to better cope…” Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel

Read Can rivers have rights? Orange County, others mulling the question - “Can rivers have rights? Should they? Orange County is contemplating those questions, considering a county charter amendment put before voters in 2020 that declares its remarkable, fragile, and threatened Wekiva and Econlockhatchee rivers have fundamental rights to exist, thrive and regenerate. The proposal also states that citizens who allege someone is harming those rivers can sue. Other Florida counties may soon be asking the same questions. Similar county charter amendments are being pushed in Lee, Alachua, Brevard, and Osceola counties, though some by petition. Supporting these efforts is the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, working with various Florida partners — such as Speak Up Wekiva in Orange County. Activists also are considering such movements in all 20 of Florida’s charter counties, said Speak Up Wekiva President Chuck O’Neal. The strategy is the newest battlefront in environmentalists’ desire to add protections to Florida’s waterways. The notion of rivers —  lakes, forests, estuaries, or other natural features — having rights is a newly-emerging legal concept, yet it has roots in a 1972 U.S. Supreme Court decision, in which Justice William O. Douglas proposed it in a dissenting opinion for an environmental dispute...“Florida has a huge problem caused by wastewater and fertilizer in our waterways … it’s 100 percent legal. It’s all permitted by the state of Florida, or some other entity in the state, allowing this to happen. So how do you put nature on a legal footing with a corporation that has a permit to dump pollution into waterways?” O’Neal said. “They always say, ‘Chuck, you have to have balance.’ Well … how do you have balance when one entity has rights as a human, and the other has no rights?” O’Neal said. “You have to have parity between a natural water body and a corporation.” Douglas apparently thought so in 1972 as well, when he acknowledged that entities such as maritime ships and corporations are considered persons “for the purposes of adjudicatory processes.” Douglas offered, in his opinion: “So it should be as respects valleys, alpine meadows, rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, ridges, groves of trees, swampland or even air that feels the destructive pressures of modern technology and modern life…” Scott powers reports for Florida Politics.

Read Sea level rise and climate change speed up destruction of Florida’s mangroves - “Current rates of sea level rise combined with increasing climate variability could accelerate the loss of mangrove-lined coastlines, according to a new United States Geological Survey (USGS) study. “These findings suggest that with higher and accelerating RSLR (relative sea level rise) today, enhanced climate variability could further hasten the loss of mangrove-lined coastlines,” stated the research, published in the Nature Communications journal last month. According to scientists, mangroves are considered resilient trees, often capable of keeping pace with high and accelerating rates of sea-level rise. But changes in climate and intense weather, such as droughts and hurricanes, can cause these plant communities to shift or disappear, resulting in lasting changes to the coastlines they protect...According to the state government, Florida has an estimated 469,000 acres of mangrove forests….According to officials Tampa Bay has lost over 44 percent of its coastal wetlands acreage; this includes both mangroves and salt marshes. The disappearing mangroves also includes those found along the Florida Bay, a body of water that lies between the Florida Keys and the state’s southern tip, within the Everglades National Park...They provide a safe habitat for birds, reptiles, fish, and other animals seeking shelter from Everglades predators. During the dry season, birds use them as a home to feed and nest. During the wet season, they serve as a defense against the strong winds of hurricanes traveling across South Florida. They also ‘consume’ tons of carbon from the atmosphere. At the end of 2016 scientists estimated the value of mangrove forests in the Everglades National Park and came up with a surprising value of between $2-$3.4 billion, according to daily Miami Herald. The Everglades is now in the midst of massive billion-dollar restoration project, scheduled to last thirty years, but which scientists say could take as much as 100 years, leaving plenty of time for sea level rise to hinder restoration efforts.” Lise Alves reports for the Miami Beach Times

Read The state of South Florida plumbing - on our waterways - “It’s been a tough summer for South Florida beaches, which have faced hot weather, seaweed and high bacteria levels. The latest example happened this week in Northeast Miami-Dade County. An underground sewer pipe under the Oleta River broke and discharged more than a million gallons of raw sewage, as of Thursday night, according to the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department. Officials say people should stay clear of waters from Maule Lake to the Intracoastal, and south between Haulover Inlet and the mainland. There’s also a no-swim advisory for beaches at Oleta River State Park, Greynolds Park and near the Haulover Inlet. The spill is the latest reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by the region’s waterways. The health of Biscayne Bay has also recently become a focus. Recent studies by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Biscayne Bay Task Force and even the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office point to problems with pollution. On the South Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson and WLRN’s environmental reporter Jenny Staletovich spoke with Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Assistant State Attorney Howard Rosen about these troubled waters…” Alexander Gonzalez and Tom Hudson report for WLRN.

Read Sewage spills keep taxing Indian River Lagoon, other waters; state issues fines, but is that enough? - “Just in the last week, thousands of gallons of raw sewage once again spilled into county canals and other waterways feeding the Indian River Lagoon, the St. Johns River and other local waters. The culprit: sewer systems that can’t keep up with the rainfall. It’s become a recurrent summer problem here, one that adds excess nitrogen, phosphorus and pathogens into the Indian River Lagoon. Algae thrives, other marine life does not. Monday night, heavy rains overloaded pipes at a Tucker Lane lift station in Cocoa, sending 7,600 gallons of raw sewage into a storm drain leading to a canal. It's just a few miles east of Lake Poinsett, an outcropping of the St. Johns River — parts of which supply drinking water to Brevardians.  Tuesday, Rockledge spilled 3,000 gallons of nutrient-rich reclaimed water into a stormwater system that flows to the lagoon when a line broke on the west side of U.S. 1, north of Eyster Boulevard...There have been at least six spills in Brevard in the past 30 days. No Brevard municipal sewer system has been immune. Local sewer plants in recent years spilled tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage during hurricanes and typical wet summers. Chronic infrastructure issues have prompted concerns over the high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in sewage, as well as the reclaimed water sprinkled on lawns to keep them green. Both help fuel algae blooms that kill seagrass and disrupt the lagoon's delicate ecosystem...State permits that allow 30 days of "emergency" sewage discharges during heavy rains provide no incentive for utilities to do expensive upgrades when paying the fines for any unauthorized sewage discharges is much cheaper, Phillips and other DEP critics said. DEP officials said their permitting is aimed at protecting coastal waters, and that the agency focuses enforcement on cleaning up environmental problems, rather than on enacting onerous fines on utilities...In response to all the spills, some have called for reallocating $100 million from Brevard's special lagoon sales tax initially targeted for muck dredging and related projects, to speed up sewer fixes and other types of lagoon cleanups. The tax — authorized in 2016 for a 10-year period — is projected to collect $486 million in a decade...Prompted by frequent sewage spills across the county — such as a 870,000-gallon sewage leak in Titusville last summer — Florida Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, has pushed for harsher penalties for local governments when such events occur.  The bill died in a house committee in May but Fine said he remains committed to cleaning up and protecting the lagoon…” Jim Waymer and Tyler Vazquez report for Florida Today.  

Read Floridians appalled by Trump administration’s callous disregard for key deer - “Call me shocked. (But not much surprised.) Shocked that of all the creatures struggling for survival under the crush of human excess, the Trump administration chose to abandon a cherished icon. I tend to avoid sappy terms like “beloved,” but how else to describe Floridians’ regard for the beleaguered key deer. So yeah, I’m shocked that even the anti-regulation industry shills who Donald Trump has appointed to run his Interior Department would contemplate denying Florida’s key deer protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act...No one who has spent time in the Lower Keys believes the Trumpsters’ assertion that everything has turned hunky-dory for the key deer. Not after the 2016 screwworm epidemic reduced their population (less than 1,000) by about 135 animals, or after Hurricane Irma sent a six-foot storm surge over National Key Deer Refuge and killed another 200 in 2017. Not with the incessant rush of motorists along A1A, who kill 150 to 170 deer a year. Never mind that the 76 percent of the key deer habitat — about 8,500 acres on Big Pine Key, No Name Key and some uninhabited islands clustered 30 miles northeast of Key West — falls less than 2 feet above sea level. And that’s steadily receding with sea level rise, which accounts for the ever-diminishing sources of fresh water. (The Trump administration dodges this particular existential threat by pretending sea level rise and global warming are mythical inventions cooked up by a world-wide conspiracy of lying climatologists. Federal scientists who say otherwise are cloistered away like Trappist monks.)...” Fred Grimm writes Opinion for the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Read Conserving energy is all the rage. Except for the electric utilities - “Just as consumers and local governments are further embracing conservation, clean energy and more sustainable living practices, Florida’s biggest utilities are backing away from those goals. The state should halt this retreat and force the power companies to redouble their efforts toward energy efficiency. That would benefit consumers, send the right message to industry and help protect the environment and public health in Florida. Utilities proposed energy-reduction goals of “zero” or nearly zero during hearings held in Tallahassee this week before the Florida Public Service Commission. State law requires publicly owned utilities and some municipal utilities to submit 10-year efficiency goals to the PSC every five years. The process is aimed at encouraging customers to reduce their power consumption by upgrading the weather protection on their homes or businesses, installing more energy-efficient appliances and equipment or taking other steps. But as the Tampa Bay Times’Malena Carollo reported, the utilities proposed benchmarks that both environmentalists and state consumer advocates dismissed for how little energy savings they produce. Duke Energy Florida requested a 15 percent reduction from its target in 2014, the last time around. Tampa Electric Co. was the only utility to propose a higher goal, but environmentalists say the increase is negligible and the company could do more…” From the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board

Read See the complicated landscape of plastic bans in the U.S.- “A battle over plastic—a material so prolific the UN calls the 90 percent of it that ends up as trash a pollution crisis—is under way in Florida. Coral Gables, a small city of 51,000 people just south of Miami, wants to ban polystyrene from restaurants and grocery stores. The Florida Retail Federation does not, and an appeals court ruling delivered yesterday says they can keep the plastic product, in part thanks to a 2016 state rule that prevents cities from regulating how polystyrene is used. The court battle demonstrates how cities and states are increasingly clashing over whether it’s legal to ban plastic. California, New York, and hundreds of municipalities in the U.S. ban or fine the use of plastic in some way. Seventeen other states, however, say it’s illegal to ban plastic items, effectively placing a ban on a ban. This kind of legal maneuvering is booming. Often, efforts to preempt plastic bans are aided by the plastics industry, which wants to ensure its products remain widely used… Often partnering with local retail and restaurant associations, the industry is at odds with environmental groups that say single-use plastic must be urgently addressed. “The plastic industry is putting a lot of their money on preemption, and they’re winning,” says Jennie Romer, an attorney at the Surfrider Foundation, a group that advocates for pro-environment policies…” Sarah Gibbens writes for National Geographic.


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:

Director of Conservation - Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary- Audubon Florida

Associate Director - Blair Audubon Visitor Center

Land Stewardship Associate - Indian River Land Trust

Executive Director - Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Program

Organizing Representative, Red Tide & Wildlands Campaign - Gainesville - Sierra Club

Organizing Representative, Red Tide & Wildlands Campaign - Ft. Myers/Naples - Sierra Club

Upcoming Environmental Events:

August 19th - 2:00pm-6:00pm - Orange County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Orlando) - Attend the Orange County Delegation meeting at the Orange County Administration Center, Commission Chambers, 201 South Rosalind Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To participate in the delegation meeting, email LD@ocfl.net for an appearance form. Appearance form can also be accessed here. Anyone wishing to speak before the Delegation must fill out a participation form and return it to the office no later than 5:00pm on August 9, 2019. Speakers will also be able to sign up at the Delegation meeting.

August 19th - 7:30pm-8:30pm - Agriculture & Conservation Easements workshop - (Callahan) - Conservation easements can be a profitable way of preserving farms and forestlands, while keeping them in production and in the family. However, there are dozens of easement programs out there, with difficult enrollment procedures and confusing rules for property owners. The UF/IFAS Nassau County Extension office has partnered with the North Florida Land Trust (NFLT) to offer a workshop on understanding how conservation easements work. NFLT's Land Protection Director, Marc Hudson will present their pros and cons, how they preserve agriculture and natural resources and how your property might qualify for one. We'll also give an overview of the various financial incentive programs available.  For further questions, please call the Nassau County Extension office at 904-530-6353 or email jdacey@ufl.edu.  Refreshments and snacks will be provided. To register (free) click here. UF/IFAS Nassau County Extension, 543350 US Highway 1, Callahan, FL 32011.

August 20th - 5:30pm-7:30pm - Santa Rosa County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Milton) - Attend the Santa Rosa County Delegation meeting at the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commission Chambers, 6495 Caroline St, Milton, FL. To be placed on the agenda for the Santa Rosa County Legislative Delegation meeting please contact Delegation Chairman Jayer Williamson’s Legislative Aide, Sydney Fowler at Sydney.Fowler@myfloridahouse.gov or (850) 995-3698 no later than 5:00 p.m. on August 16.

August 27th - 9:00am-5:00pm - M-CORES Task Force public meeting - (Tampa) - Attend the Multi-Use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) first public meeting at the Tampa Convention Center Public, 333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602. Public participation is vital to the M-CORES process, and there are many ways to share your comments or ideas. All three task forces will hold public meetings in their respective corridors. FDOT will also hold community open houses to share progress and gather input. Staff will be available at each open house to answer questions and receive comments. Check the Calendar of Events for upcoming meetings in your area. Sign up today to receive news, notices of upcoming M-CORES meetings and more.

August 27th-28th -Florida Panhandle Forests & Drinking Water Workshop - (Apalachicola) - Join the Florida Forest Service & Workshop Planning Team for a tour and workshop of the Apalachicola Estuary and Tate’s Hell State Forest to learn about the connection between healthy forests and clean water. The tours begin at 1pm on the 27th, starting at Tate’s Hell State Forest, and ending with a boat tour of the Apalachicola Estuary. The workshop begins Wednesday August 28th at 8:00am at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Nature Center in Eastpoint. The workshop agenda includes both presentations and group discussion sessions. The primary goal is for participants to leave the meeting with tangible “next steps” to accelerate community-based watershed stewardship and protection throughout the Florida Panhandle. Lunch will be included at the August 28th Workshop. For additional information and registration, visit the Eventbrite site here.

August 29 - 5:30pm-7:30pm - Okaloosa County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Shalimar) - Attend the Okaloosa County Delegation meeting at the Okaloosa County Commission Chambers, Suite 100 1250 N Eglin Parkway Shalimar, FL 32579. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! Stay tuned for contact information and speaker request forms.

August 31st - 9:00am-12:00pm - Gulf Coast Ecosystems & Sea Level Rise Impacts field trip - (Yankeetown)- The Sierra Club Adventure Coast invites you to an outing led by Eugene Kelly.  Meet at Bird Creek Beach on County Road 40/Follow That Dream Parkway, located near the mouth of the Withlacoochee River in Yankeetown, FL.  Turn right into the park just before the road ends at the boat ramp (Latitude 29.002, Longitude -82.758). This 3-hour trip will familiarize participants with the coastal ecosystems of Florida’s unspoiled Big Bend coastline and ecological consequences of sea level rise and other climate related changes on them.  We begin at Bird Creek Beach—truly a wild coast.  Bring footwear you won’t mind getting wet and muddy to walk into the salt marsh. Bring other footwear for later. For more information visit the Adventure Coast Group’s Facebook page here , or email sierraadventurecoastcc@gmail.com.

September 5th - 9:00am - Sumter County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Wildwood) - Attend the Sumter County Delegation meeting at The Villages Sumter County Service Center, Room 102, 7375 Powell Road, Wildwood, FL 34785. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To be placed on the agenda, or to submit information on local bill requirements, please call State Representative Brett T. Hage's office at (352)-315-4445. Please do so by Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019 by 4:00pm. This is an open public meeting.

September 9th - 9:00am - Sarasota County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Sarasota) - Attend the Sarasota County Delegation meeting at the Sarasota County Administration Building, First Floor/Commission Chambers, 1660 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota FL 34236. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! Interested parties wishing to be placed on the agenda should contact GeeDee Kerr in Senator Gruters’ office at kerr.geedee@flsenate.gov as soon as possible but  no later than 5:00pm on September 3, 2019 2019. Written presentations will be limited to 3 pages (can be 2-sided) per organization.  All materials must be submitted electronically and in Word format. 

September 12th - 10:00am- Martin County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Stuart) - Attend the Martin County Delegation meeting at the Indian River State College Chastain Campus, Wolf Technology Center, 2400 SE Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To participate in the delegation meeting, email Joey Planz at Joey.Planz@MyFloridaHouse.gov for an appearance form. Participation form can also be accessed here. Anyone wishing to speak before the Delegation must fill out a participation form and return it to the office no later than noon on September 2, 2019.

September 15th - 2:00pm-4:30pm - Sustainable Banking/Investing 101 - (St. Petersburg) - Most large banks and many investment funds profit off of fossil fuel expansion. But it doesn't have to be that way! Come learn how to green up your finances with the Suncoast Sierra Club. 2pm-3pm: Sustainable Banking/Q&A 3pm-4pm+: Sustainable Investing/Q&A*Snacks provided*. Visit the Facebook event page here for more information.

September 23rd - 2:00pm-3:30pm - Union County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Lake Butler) - Attend the Union County Delegation meeting at the Lake Butler City Commission Chamber, 200 SW 1st St., Lake Butler, FL 32054. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To participate in the delegation meeting, email Rep. Payne’s office at Tammy.Still@myfloridahouse.gov before 3:00pm September 19.

September 23 - 4:30pm-6:30pm - Bradford County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Starke) - Attend the Bradford County Delegation meeting at the Bradford County Commission Chamber, County Courthouse, 945 N Temple Ave, Starke, FL 32091. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To participate in the delegation meeting, email contact Rep. Payne’s office at Tammy.Still@myfloridahouse.gov before 3:00pm September 19th.

September 23 - 2:00pm-4:00pm - Citrus County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Inverness) - Attend the Citrus County Delegation meeting at the Citrus Board of County Commissioners’ Chamber Room, Citrus County Court House, 110 N. Apopka Avenue, Inverness, FL. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To participate in the delegation meeting, email Adele Hembree at Adele.Hembree@myfloridahouse.gov before September 2nd to request an appearance form.

September 23 - 1:30pm - Desoto County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Arcadia) - Attend the Desoto County Delegation meeting at the DeSoto County Commission Board Room, 201 East Oak Street, Arcadia, FL 34266. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! Email Anne Bell for additional information Anne.Bell@myfloridahouse.gov.

September 25 - 2:00pm-6:00pm - Brevard County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Cape Canaveral) - Attend the Brevard County Delegation meeting at the Canaveral Port Authority Commission Room, 445 Challenger Road, Cape Canaveral FL 32920. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To participate in the delegation meeting, email complete the Appearance Request Form here before 5:00pm September 10th. For more information, email Lindsey Swindle at Swindle.Lindsey@flsenate.gov.

September 25 - 2:00pm-4:00pm - Putnam County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Palatka) - Attend the Putnam County Delegation meeting at the Board of County Commissioners Board Room, 2509 Crill Ave, Suite 200, Palatka FL 32177. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! Stay tuned for contact information and speaker request forms.

September 30th - October 2nd- Public Land Acquisition & Management (PLAM) Partnership 2019 Conference - (St. Augustine) - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is proud to announce the Public Land Acquisition and Management (PLAM) Partnership Conference. This statewide conference focuses on public land acquisition and management issues in Florida. PLAM has typically been hosted on a rotating basis by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the five water management districts. The conference will be held at the World Golf Village Renaissance Resort (500 S Legacy Trail, St. Augustine, FL 32092). WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Local, regional, state, federal, non-profit and private land managers; Land acquisition specialists and agents; Water managers; Engineers, planners, attorneys, surveyors, appraisers, architects; Public officials; Non-profit groups; Consultants; Others interested in conservation land planning. Registration coming soon. For more information, click here.

October 3rd - 9:00am-12:00pm - Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation meeting - (West Palm Beach) - Attend the Palm Beach County Delegation meeting at the Norton Museum of Art, 1450 Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach FL 33401. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To be placed on the official agenda of a Delegation hearing, presenters must have completed a Participation Request Form and have submitted all printed materials to the delegation office by Noon, seven (7) business days prior to the scheduled hearing. Fifteen (15) copies of printed material should be submitted to be included in the Members’ hearing folders. Anyone interested in addressing the Legislative Delegation at a Public Hearing should call the Delegation Office at 561-355-3452 or email vnowlan@pbcgov.org. The deadline for submission of local bills to the Delegation Office is September 20, noon. Click here for the Hearing Information Sheet for the 2020 session for instructions on how to be placed on the official agenda and/or the presenter request form.

October 9th - 1:30pm - Lake County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Leesburg) -Attend the Lake County Delegation meeting at the Paul P. Williams Fine Arts Auditorium, Lake-Sumter State College, 9501 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg, FL 34788. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To participate in the delegation meeting, complete the public speaker request form here before September 18th. Email Rachel Barnes for additional information: BARNES.RACHEL@flsenate.gov.

October 9th - 4:00pm- Nassau County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Yulee) - Attend the Nassau County Delegation meeting at the Nassau County Commission Chambers, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, Florida 32097. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! Stay tuned for contact information and speaker request forms.

October 10th - 6:30pm-8:30pm - Follow the Ichetucknee - (Lake City) - Mark your calendars now for an informal celebration of the Ichetucknee at Halpatter Brewing Company, 264 NE Hernando Avenue, Lake City, Florida 32055. Admission is free! You'll enjoy: Viewing new and newly scored videos about the Ichetucknee by collaborators Eric Flagg and Michael Amish; Meeting directors and members of the Ichetucknee Alliance; Socializing with people who love the Ichetucknee; Tasting craft beer and munching on pizza; Exploring our interconnections with the aquifer, the Ichetucknee, and each other; Finding out what you can do to help restore, protect and preserve the Ichetucknee. We are thrilled that the generous proprietors of Halpatter have offered their venue for this event. Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. There's also information about this event on our Facebook page here.

October 10th - 2:30pm - Clay County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Green Cove Springs) -Attend the Clay County Delegation meeting at the Clay County Commission Chambers, 477 Houston St. Green Cove Springs, FL 32043. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To participate in the delegation meeting, complete the public speaker request form here before 3:00pm October 8th. Email Tammy Still for additional information: Tammy.Still@myfloridahouse.gov.

October 30th - 9:00AM - Collier County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Naples) -Attend the Collier County Delegation meeting at the North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livinston Rd. Naples, FL 34109. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! The agenda will be released to the news media on Thursday, October 17, 2019, to allow the citizens of Collier County ample time to prepare comments if they so desire. If you would like to be placed on the agenda as a presenter of a local bill or local budget request, or to speak to another issue, please contact the office at (239) 417-6200 or Priscilla.Grannis@myfloridahouse.gov by Friday, October 11, 2019. For more information, review announcement here.

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 South Florida's Sewage Sludge from Polluting the St. Johns River!

Stop Giving Away Florida’s Water

Save Lake County-Say NO to the Round Lake Road Extension

Save the Heritage Trees at Martin Luther King Jr. Park - Winter Park

Help Save Our Panthers

Thinking of going electric? Nextcar Pledge

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

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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