FCC News Brief - August 22, 2019

Read Pasco mine fight ends amid rancor of new state law on citizen land-use challenges - “Residents contesting lime-rock mining in rural, northern Pasco County have given up their six-year fight, done in by a controversial new state law critics say will limit citizen challenges to local development orders. “To say that I am vehemently upset would be an understatement,’’ said Robert J. Howell, who lives near the mines, west of U.S. 41 and about 3 miles south of the Hernando County line. “This law basically kills anybody’s right to protest a seeming contradiction in the comp plan. No average citizen can afford a lawsuit under this bill.’’ The bill is HB 7103, approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. It included a late-in-the-session addition that drew no legislative debate nor public testimony, requiring losing parties in comprehensive plan challenges to pay the opposing party’s legal bills. The environmental advocacy group 1,000 Friends of Florida called the law “destructive’’ and said “a future of poor planning and development decisions looms in Florida.’’ The group had asked DeSantis to veto the bill and now wants legislators to rescind it in 2020. "The new law DeSantis just signed is truly a sad day for Pasco County residents and even a worse one for all Floridians,'' said Myles Friedland of Land O' Lakes. "This is not a nail in the coffin. This is all the nails in the coffin. The coffin is six feet deep and the dirt is already on top of it.” Howell and Friedland were plaintiffs in legal challenges to county authorization of two rock mines in north-central Pasco.The approved mining operations defied the county’s own land-planning rules, they said, by allowing heavy industry to supersede protections for agricultural, residential and environmentally sensitive property in the vicinity...But in June, a day before DeSantis signed HB7103 into law, Howell and Friedland dropped their suits that had been pending in Pasco Circuit Court. Howell said they couldn’t take the risk of absorbing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs, even though they were confident they could win the Lago Verde suit. “It’s just agonizingly painful that we had to give up on this because the Legislature thought it was in the best interests of selected individuals to push this legislation through,’’ said Howell…” C.T. Bowen reports for the Tampa Bay Times

Read Want to bet on results of toll road studies? Warning: The deck is stacked - “How convenient: The very groups that will advise the state on new toll roads that nobody asked for and nobody can afford are the same monied interests who stand to make a killing from these publicly subsidized corridors for sprawl. This is not an exercise in smart planning but the dismal picture of business as usual in Tallahassee. At least the public can now see who will be building the case for this legislative farce. State lawmakers this year approved the largest expansion of Florida’s toll roads in decades, claiming the new toll roads would ease congestion, spur rural development and speed hurricane evacuations. The plan calls for extending the Suncoast Parkway to Georgia, building Florida’s Turnpike west to connect with the parkway and creating a toll road from Polk County south to Collier County. The Florida Department of Transportation had none of these projects on its radar. But Senate President Bill Galvano revived the idea this year after hearing a pitch from the Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Transportation Builders Association. News flash: Road builders like to build roads. Three new task forces are meeting for the first time this month to advise state officials. All three -- one for each proposed road -- will include members of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the large business lobby that was one of the loudest champion of the toll roads. As Lawrence Mower of the Times-Herald Tallahassee bureau reports, it’s becoming clear even in these early stages the outsized role special interests will play in determining where and how these roads would be built. The task forces also include representatives from groups like the Florida Trucking Association and the Florida Internet & Television Association -- industries that could make a bundle from new toll roads that speed commutes for truckers and pave the way for new subdivisions clamoring for cable and broadband…” From the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.

Read We’re challenging Florida to put public health at the heart of environmental policy - “A year ago, Florida was mired in an environmental crisis of historic proportions.  Red tide bloomed on both sides of the peninsula. Toxic blue-green algae fouled canals, lakes and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. At one point last summer, cyanobacteria — the scientific name for blue-green algae — covered 90 percent of Lake Okeechobee. Dead marine life washed ashore by the metric ton in Southwest Florida. It was repugnant for residents, a deterrent to tourists.  It also marked a turning point. Citizens, businesses and activists banded together in 2018 to demand better protection of Florida’s waters. Gov. Ron DeSantis, recognizing the groundswell, took executive action during his earliest weeks on the job — overhauling water management boards, forming task forces and pledging money for environmental restoration. Florida’s shores have been spared widespread devastation this summer — thanks largely to dissipation of the red tide bloom and temporary adjustments to how Lake Okeechobee water is managed...So far, DeSantis’ executive action has not been paired with significant legislative policy. Water-pollution limits remain too loose in Florida. The state still doesn’t have a comprehensive strategy for responding to and preventing toxic algae blooms...For starters, the state must embrace a comprehensive strategy for responding to and preventing toxic blue-green algae blooms. Twenty-two states have clear guidelines that determine how to respond to harmful algal blooms — but not Florida.  Florida is now considering similar action. There is no time to waste...Earlier this year, our six editorial boards at the USA TODAY Network-Florida articulated a five-part playbook for saving Florida’s waters in our “Turning the Toxic Tide” editorial series: Fix Florida's broken environmental regulatory system, Reinvent Florida's stripped-down approach to managing growth, Finish long-planned Everglades and estuary restoration projects, Curtail pollution from human waste, including septic tanks, sewage and biosolids, Ban offshore drilling in federal waters near Florida's shores, Public health must be the driving force behind every one of these. While 2018 was a turning point for Florida, the real work lies ahead…” From the USA Today Florida Network Editorial Boards.

Read Save Our Water summit: State representatives discuss water quality policy - “ The third annual Save Our Water summit kicked off Wednesday with a panel of state representatives discussing policy that affects water quality throughout Southwest Florida. The legislature report card panel consisted of State Senator Kathleen Passidomo, Florida representatives Dane Eagle and Bob Rommel and Aliki Moncrief, executive director of Florida Conservation Voters. Eve Samples of USA TODAY Network-Florida moderated the discussion...Samples opened the panel talking about the fact that almost every bill espousing stricter environmental regulations failed in the 2019 legislature. Eagle said that DeSantis is stepping up to the plate and making our water issues a statewide issue. "Seeing the ground swelling of support is great," Eagle said. "We had the most Everglades friendly budget in history this past year $682 million going to our environment is unprecedented."Eagle said there is work being done, but there were complications with the bills being proposed this year. "Some policy we would've liked to see passed did not get finished," he said. "A lot of those bills got combined into one bill and that bill died on the very last day of session." Rommel had a straightforward answer about whether more regulations are needed to quell the adverse effects of poor water quality. "I don't know if we need more regulations," he said. "It's very simple: we need to stick to the plan we have and the regulations we have." Moncrief took a broader approach to the discussion on regulations. "The single most important thing our lawmakers can do is to prioritize natural solutions," she said. "When we protect land, we protect water. I think a much healthier infusion of dollars has to go into key conservation programs." Karl Schneider reports for the Fort Myers News-Press.

Read Volusia County approves Blue Spring borrow pit project - “The Volusia County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to investigate using treated storm water and waste water to help restore the water flow at Blue Spring by pumping it into an old borrow pit nearby. The major new project was approved with little discussion by council members and no question or comments from the public. Blue Spring is one of 30 outstanding springs in the state, and the county and area utilities are under a variety of mandates from state government agencies to restore the water quality and improve the water flow at Blue Spring, said Mike Ulrich, Volusia County’s utilities director. A consultant, hired by the county, will spend the next year performing testing at the borrow pit site, off French Avenue just east of Blue Spring State Park, to determine if the project is feasible. The water would be treated through a series of planted wetlands in the mining pit. If feasible, the cities of Deltona, DeLand and Orange City all have agreed to split the project’s $10-$12 million construction cost with the county. The cities and the county would split the construction costs based on how much water each utility pulls from the aquifer… The district’s executive director, Ann Shortelle, spoke in favor of the project Tuesday. “I want to assure you that the technology for aquifer recharge and cleaning the water through wetlands are proven techniques,” Shortelle said. “This is not some kind of experiment.” However, Florida springs advocates and others have pointed out no other aquifer recharge project has taken place so close to a major spring.” Dinah Voyles Pulver reports for the Daytona Beach News-Journal

Read Climate change calls for bold solutions - “U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is calling on Floridians to confront the challenge of climate change, but downplaying the problem as manageable. “Americans, particularly Floridians, are right to be concerned about the changing climate,” Rubio wrote in a USA Today column published this week. “But they are also right to be concerned about a regressive overreaction.” Rubio only needs to look around the state he represents to see how climate change is already causing problems for the environment, the economy and public health, which will only worsen unless aggressive measures are taken. Given Florida’s reliance on tourism, the effects of climate change on the state’s coasts and waterways is even more worrisome. Flesh-eating bacteria has been a growing problem, especially in the unusually warm Gulf of Mexico. Warmer weather and increasing rainfall due to a changing climate also mean longer lasting and more widespread algae blooms… Agriculture is also being affected in other ways by climate change… Rubio acknowledged in the USA Today column that Florida is also likely to see increasing sunny-day flooding and other consequences of sea-level rise. But he suggested that “adaptive solutions” will be enough to limit the impact. Certainly having Rubio highlight the need to address climate change represents progress, given that his fellow Republicans too often deny the problem even exists. The term “climate change” wasn’t even allowed to be used in the administration of former Gov. Rick Scott, now the state’s other U.S. senator… While Rubio is right that innovative ideas are required to address climate change, he rejects a carbon tax or the Green New Deal as possible solutions. But climate experts have warned that significant reductions in carbon emissions are necessary to avoid the worst impacts of a warming planet. Climate change will require Floridians to adapt, but we shouldn’t shy away from taking bold actions to reduce the impact on the economy, the environment and our health…” From the Gainesville Sun Editorial Board.

Read Hidden Pond preserve latest conservation land in Orange County providing glimpses of Old Florida - “Wildflowers bloom year round and migratory birds are plentiful at Hidden Pond Preserve, a 113-acre nature sanctuary in east Orange County that is hidden no longer from the public. Newly protected by the county, the preserve opened Wednesday to residents. The preserve, located in Christmas, is the 14th property accessible to residents and visitors that was purchased by Orange County through a conservation initiative called the Green PLACE Program, which stands for Park Land Acquisition for Conservation and Environmental Protection. “The benefits of the Green PLACE program is to afford a place for our citizens and visitors to come out and relax and see glimpses of what Old Florida used to look like," program coordinator Beth Jackson said. It’s the third property to open this year. Crosby Island Marsh Preserve, a 243-acre property in southeast Orange County, had its grand opening last month. The 166-acre Lake Lucie Conservation Area opened in April in northwest Orange County. The county began buying “environmentally sensitive lands” in 1995. Hidden Pond is the 30th property acquired for a total of more than 23,000 acres. However, some properties purchased through the program won’t be open for public use because of size, location and accessibility issues, according to the county. All of the properties were previously privately-owned and were purchased by the county from “willing sellers." At the Hidden Pond ribbon-cutting ceremony, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings recalled that he heard from many residents during his campaign about the importance of acquiring and preserving more natural lands. “While we have over 23,000 acres, that’s still not enough — our goal is to continue adding some lands,” Demings said…” Lisa Maria Garza reports for the Orlando Sentinel.

Read Environmental groups sue Trump administration over Endangered Species Act changes- “Some of the country’s largest environmental organizations have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration challenging a new rule that could weaken protections for threatened and endangered species. Eight environmental groups including the Sierra Club, Earthjustice and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a joint lawsuit with the Northern District of California on Wednesday challenging the Interior Department’s move to change the way species are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Changes rolled out last week by the agency include decreasing protections for threatened species and allowing the economic impacts of protecting species to be considered prior to making listing decisions. The Trump administration rule also changes how factors like climate change can be considered in listing decisions and the review process used before projects are approved on certain species' habitats. Environmentalists say the regulatory tweaks will amount to a dramatic decrease in protection for plants and animals, arguing the changes were made largely to benefit industry groups and landowners. “Nothing in these new rules helps wildlife, period. Instead, these regulatory changes seek to make protection and recovery of threatened and endangered species harder and less predictable. We’re going to court to set things right,” Earthjustice attorney Kristen Boyles said in a statement. The lawsuit claims that the Trump administration failed to analyze how changes to the rule could impact species, a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. Administration officials have been frequently critiqued for failing to explain how the rule change will help the recovery of species. Additionally, the lawsuit argues that changes made in the final version of the rule were not included in the agency’s draft proposal, and therefore not made available to public comment — another legal violation…” Miranda Green reports for The Hill.


From Our Readers

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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 27th - 8:00am-8:00pm - 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 29th - 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. Stay tuned for contact information and speaker request forms.

August 29th - 6:00pm - Conservation Easement Workshop - (Lake City) - North Florida Land Trust has teamed up with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to host two free workshops on conservation easements. The workshops are open to landowners with forest or ranch lands in the Ocala to Osceola Wildlife Corridor, which includes parts of Columbia, Baker, Union, Bradford, Clay, Putnam, Marion and Lake Counties (see map). Landowners in these counties could be eligible to apply for conservation easements with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Representatives of the partner organizations will explain the benefits and funding opportunities. The first workshop will take place at the UF/IFAS Columbia County Extension Office at 971 W. Duval St. in Lake City. For more information, contact Susan Carr, program manager for NFLT at scarr@nflt.org or (803) 295-2229 or contact Crenal Francis, easement program coordinator at USDA at crenal.francis@usda.gov or (352) 338-9508.

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. 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 5th - 6:00pm - August 29th - 6:00pm - Conservation Easement Workshop - (Palatka) - North Florida Land Trust has teamed up with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to host two free workshops on conservation easements. The workshops are open to landowners with forest or ranch lands in the Ocala to Osceola Wildlife Corridor, which includes parts of Columbia, Baker, Union, Bradford, Clay, Putnam, Marion and Lake Counties (see map). Landowners in these counties could be eligible to apply for conservation easements with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Representatives of the partner organizations will explain the benefits and funding opportunities. The second workshop will take place at the Putnam County Extension Center at 111 Yelvington Rd., Suite 1 in East Palatka. For more information, contact Susan Carr, program manager for NFLT at scarr@nflt.org or (803) 295-2229 or contact Crenal Francis, easement program coordinator at USDA at crenal.francis@usda.gov or (352) 338-9508.

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. 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 9th – 9:30am – Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Riverview) – Attend the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Regent, 6437 Watson Road, Riverview, FL 33578. For further information and to be placed on the agenda, complete the speaker request form here by September 4th and/or email Jason Holloway at holloway.jason@flsenate.gov.

September 10th - 1:00pm-5:00pm - Marion County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Ocala) - Attend the Marion County Legislative Delegation meeting at the College of Central Florida, Klein Conference Center3001 SW College Road, Ocala, FL 34474. For additional information or to be placed on the printed agenda to address the Marion County Legislative Delegation, please contact Suzanne McGuire in Senator Perry’s office by Friday, August 29, 2019 by phone at 352-732-1249 or email mcguire.suzanne@flsenate.gov. All materials or handouts for this meeting must be sent to Suzanne McGuire in Senator Perry’s office no later than Friday, August 30, 2019. Please find appearance request form here.

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. 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 12th – 9:00am-12:00pm – Pinellas County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Clearwater) – Attend the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation meeting at the St. Petersburg College – Clearwater Campus, Auditorium, 2465 Drew St., Clearwater, FL 33765. To participate in the delegation meeting, contact Anna.Stearns@myfloridahouse.gov and submit the participant request form before September 5th. Agenda and meeting notice will be released at a later date.  

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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 1st – 3:00pm-6:30pm – Pasco County Legislative Delegation meeting – (New Port Richey) – Attend the Pasco County Legislative Delegation meeting at the River Ridge High School Performing Arts Center, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654. If you would like to be placed on the agenda, please contact Alexander.Alt@myfloridahouse.gov.

October 2nd – 9:00am – Manatee County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Bradenton) – Attend the Manatee County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Manatee County Commission Chambers, 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL. To be placed on the agenda, please contact Meagan Hebel at meagan.hebel@myfloridahouse.gov no later than noon on Wednesday September 25th.

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. 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 8th – 8:00am-11:00am – Charlotte County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Punta Gorda) – Attend the Charlotte County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950. To be placed on the agenda, email Cynthia.beckett@myfloridahouse.gov before 4:00pm on October 1st, 2019. For more information, see meeting notice here.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

November 18 – 1:00pm-4:00pm – Hernando County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Brooksville) – Attend the Hernando County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Hernando County Government Center, 20 N Main Street, Courtroom A, 2nd Floor, Brooksville, FL 34601. Additional information will be forthcoming.

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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