FCC News Brief - August 27, 2019

Read Big Florida highway expansion continues to generate big concerns - “Battle lines are forming again over plans for Florida’s biggest highway expansion since the 1950s, which is slated for its first, in-depth review Tuesday at the Tampa Convention Center. Environmental groups and planning organizations that oppose the idea of building three major toll roads through rural stretches of Florida plan on reviving attacks they leveled unsuccessfully in spring as the plan powered through the Legislature with the backing of Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton. “These are roads to ruin,” said David Cullen, a lobbyist with Sierra Club. “There is a build-at-all-costs attitude underway here and I fear that these hearings are going to demonstrate that.” Instead of a Republican-controlled Legislature, the target for opponents Tuesday will be three new task forces — comprising a total of 127 members — launching what is scheduled to be a series of hearings over the next 13 months, analyzing the cost, design and likely routes, along with the potential benefits and risks of each of the massive highway plans...The road-building industry and Florida Chamber of Commerce were the leading champions of the projects, and steered the proposal to Galvano before lawmakers convened in March. Also hanging over the projects was speculation about who could benefit from selling needed right-of-way for the work… Opponents, mostly House Democrats, echoed concerns of the Sierra Club, 1000 Friends of Florida and others during the spring legislative session — warning that the projects will threaten wetlands, springsheds, conservation and ranch lands while also promoting urban sprawl. Many also pointed out that while the legislation creating the task forces charged them with studying the environmental and economic impact of the roads, it makes clear that highway construction is to begin by 2022…” John Kennedy reports for GateHouse Capital Bureau.

Read Water district asked to drop plan to cut tax rate and use money to fight sea-level rise - “Two South Florida county mayors have made an unusual request to the agency responsible for keeping communities from flooding: Please don’t cut the property tax rate. Why would they ask another government agency to reach into their residents’ pockets? Sea level rise. A letter from the mayors of Monroe and Palm Beach counties asks the South Florida Water Management District to maintain its current property tax rate, forgoing a proposed cut. Their request would have the effect of increasing tax revenue for the district because property values have risen over the past year. They say the extra money could pay for flood-control improvements to address sea-level rise and other effects of climate change. They cite a report by the district’s own staff that upwards of $30-$70 million per year was needed to fix the canals, gates and pumps that move water to the ocean, as higher sea levels make it more difficult for the system to function...“Without these investments, the regional flood control system will struggle to keep up with rapidly changing conditions, including rising sea levels, storm surge, and more intense rainfall,” wrote Monroe County Mayor Sylvia Murphy and Palm Beach County Mayor Mack Bernard. “We cannot emphasize enough how much the economy of our region and the safety of our residents depends on a fully functional regional water management system…” David Fleshler reports for the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Read Weighing the economic value of wildlife - “I guess if you want the public to pay attention to changes in the Endangered Species Act, the best way is to accompany the proposal with an in-your-face plan to drop a beloved creature such as the Florida Key deer from the list. If you wanted to slip under the radar, the best way to do it would have been to propose to drop the perforate lichen or the papery whitlow wort from the list. These are two plant species that grow in scrub habitat in Polk County that are included in the list, though I doubt most of you have ever seen or heard of either of them. Although the future treatment of some charismatic creatures such as the deer is drawing most of the attention, the real question is how changes, such as the proposal to put more emphasis on the economic impact of protecting species, will affect the future protection of Florida species listed or proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The listed species, like all wildlife, require adequate, well-managed habitat to survive. Every listing of an endangered species requires the preparation of a recovery plan, a plan outlining what steps would be necessary to take it off the list. Buying and managing adequate appropriate habitat is usually at the top of the list of the recommendations in those plans. For the moment, the effort to expand protected habitat in Florida is more or less stalled because the Florida Legislature refuses to appropriate the land-acquisition funds approved in a 2014 constitutional referendum to deal with the backlog of high-priority acquisition projects...Wildlife has economic value, too, supporting a multibillion-dollar sector of Florida’s tourism economy. But sometimes the value is simply knowing there are rare wild animals surviving in wild places you may never visit but find value in the fact that they still exist anyway. It’s hard to put a price on that and some things in life have values that don’t show up on the cash register…” Tom Palmer writes for The Ledger

Read Scientists decry ‘ignorance’ of rolling back species protections in the midst of a mass extinction - “This week, the Trump administration finalized changes intended to weaken key provisions of the Endangered Species Act. As Darryl Fears writes for The Washington Post, the changes would “allow the administration to reduce the amount of habitat set aside for wildlife and remove tools that officials use to predict future harm to species as a result of climate change. It would also reveal for the first time in the law’s 45-year history the financial costs of protecting them." The changes have drawn widespread condemnation from the scientific community, including complaints the administration is weakening protections for vulnerable species just as scientific consensus is converging on the idea that Earth is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction event, a man-made disaster with radically destabilizing consequences. In North America alone, at least 277 plant and animal species have gone extinct since Europeans first arrived on the continent, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, regarded by scientists as the gold standard for data on threatened and endangered species. The list of the fallen includes some relatively familiar creatures, such as the passenger pigeon and the Steller’s sea cow. But it’s composed primarily of mollusks, insects and other more obscure organisms. Most importantly, it’s egregiously incomplete: Biologists estimate that only about 10 percent of the world’s plant and animal species has been identified and categorized, meaning that many are being killed off before humans are even aware of their existence…” Christopher Ingraham reports for the Washington Post.

Read That busted sewer pipe by Oleta Park was supposed to be replaced years ago by county - “For years, Miami-Dade has delayed replacing the decades-old pipe that sent at least 1 million gallons of sewage into the Oleta River earlier this month after corrosion finally caused its exterior to rupture. If earlier schedules had been followed, the 48-inch pipe installed in the 1960s would have been replaced years ago, according to budget documents. Instead, the $15 million project was delayed multiple times over the last 10 years, until an underwater stretch of the pipe’s surface deteriorated enough that it gave way about two weeks ago at the edge of Oleta River State Park. On Aug. 11, a kayaker spied gurgling water under a bridge that runs by the park in northern Biscayne Bay, the first sign of the sewage leak. Miami-Dade issued no-swim advisories for a 40-block area around the rupture. In 2009, the county’s underfunded Water and Sewer Department had scheduled the $15 million replacement of the 48-inch pipe to be finished by 2013, according to budget documents. Two years later, the deadline slid back to 2018...Delayed repairs and replacement of Miami-Dade sewer pipes has been a problem for decades. They also became the subject of a 2012 lawsuit by the Environmental Protection Agency, the latest in a string of federal actions. The suit ended in a 2014 settlement that produced a consent decree laying out a $1.8 billion plan for Miami-Dade to upgrade pipes serving treatment plants across the county…” Douglas Hanks reports for the Miami Herald.

Read Opposition grows to Ginnie Springs water bottling - “In 1972 the Florida Legislature passed the Florida Water Resources Act, which vastly updated old common law on the use of water. The act declared that water in springs, rivers and lakes was the property of the state, not of the property owners along them. It created the system of water management districts with boundaries set by water basins to try to ensure that the ecology of springs, rivers and lakes is protected while also seeing that residents with wells, farmers and municipal systems have water. But the act and later laws did not set a price on water. The taking of state water without paying the state for it is one of many factors that has opponents flooding forums and message boards, urging the Suwannee River Water Management District deny renewal of a permit for withdrawal from Ginnie Springs for a Nestlé bottling plant… Bottled water plants that tap underground flows at springs are operated by Nestlé and other companies throughout Florida. Concern about the bottling has always bubbled, but the permit sought for Ginnie Springs has produced a first-magnitude level of opposition because of declining water levels in the spring and in the Santa Fe River...the prospect of SRWMD allowing a company to take water without paying anything in return at a time when a recovery plan is in effect to try to restore water levels — an attempt to maintain its ecosystems and its value for recreation — is especially maddening to environmentalists. Our Santa Fe River board members Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and Jim Tatum cited that in a column in the Issues section of Sunday’s Sun. “What is more, we have an ethical issue with our state putting large sums of money into conservation practices and recharge projects on the Santa Fe River and then, at the same time, counteracting this action by fomenting the free extraction of a publicly owned natural resource by a for-profit company,” they wrote. “Essentially, taxpayers are funding replenishment of the aquifer and then allowing Nestlé to take it out and sell it back to us.” Floridians have never paid for water. Residents hooked up to municipal systems pay for the infrastructure needed to tap, pump, purify and pipe water into buildings. Residents who sink wells into the aquifer likewise pay for the equipment, but not the water…” Cindy Swirko reports for the Gainesville Sun.

Read Polluting Farmers Should Pay - “This year’s dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico — an area where decomposing algae consumes all oxygen in the water — logged in at nearly 7,000 square miles, about the size of New Jersey. Researchers in the Great Lakes region predict that this year’s harmful algal bloom in Lake Erie will be twice last year’s size, and larger than the 2014 bloom that shut down the drinking water supply in Toledo, Ohio. Floridians and Chesapeake Bay residents regularly experience the green gunk and odor symptomatic of algal blooms. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that all 50 states now experience harmful algal blooms. These blooms contain toxins that can make us sick after swimming or consuming tainted fish, kill pets and livestock, and raise treatment costs for drinking water. Algal blooms reduce recreational enjoyment from boating, fishing and swimming — resulting in less tourism and lower property values. The economic cost associated with the single shut down of Toledo’s drinking water system is estimated at $65 million. The common thread? Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, commonly called nutrient pollution, the bulk of which comes from agricultural fertilizer and manure runoff. The solution seems clear: Those who cause the pollution should be required to pay for the cleanup, using regulations to ensure that farmers reduce nutrient pollution...Differential treatment of agricultural polluters cannot continue. Requiring polluters to pay has been the backbone of substantial and persistent water quality gains in other sectors. Yes, such measures will raise the cost of meat, dairy and grain products, they will result in lost exports (though fewer than in our current trade war), and they will affect some farmers’ bottom lines. But without them, costs will continue to fall on families returning from a day at the beach with stomach aches, on households whose members unknowingly drink contaminated water, on pet owners whose animals suffer the effects of toxic water and on consumers who must pay for bottled drinking water. Voluntary adoption is a flawed policy. To achieve swimmable and fishable water for all Americans, we must go beyond it…” Catherine Kling writes Opinion for the New York Times.

Read Marco Rubio and Rick Scott still don’t get it about climate change - “The political arm of Big Oil and King Coal, also known as the Republican Party, has been in such total denial about climate change that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio made news this week simply by acknowledging that it’s real and that our state is in peril. In a USA Today op-ed, Rubio called for “adaptive solutions” — such as protecting Florida’s coral reefs and improving the water flow of the Everglades — to help the state cope with coastal flooding. Asked for a response, a spokesman for Sen. Rick Scott said the senator agrees with what Rubio has proposed and believes “climate change is real and requires real solutions.” But let’s hold the applause. Neither senator shows any interest in addressing the primary driver of climate change — the burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon into the atmosphere, creating a greenhouse effect. Read closely, Rubio’s article was a clear signal to the producers of oil, coal and natural gas that they have nothing to fear from him. Attempting to control carbon emissions through a tax or some “Green New Deal scheme,” he said, will fail. “The cost would set our state back, depriving us of the resources we desperately need to continue to adapt.” Adapt, Rubio says. We simply need to adapt…” From the South Florida Sun Sentinel Editorial Board.


From Our Readers

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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. Agenda here.

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. The delegation will hear public proposals and comments on the 2020 legislative session and may also vote on a local bill. To be placed on the agenda, please contact Rep. Ponder’s aide Sheri Kotzum at Sheri.Kotzum@myfloridahouse.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. CST, August 26.

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 30th - 9:00am-3:00pm - Blue-Green Algae Task Force meeting - (Gainesville) - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Blue-Green Algae Task Force will hold its next public meting at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Martin Levin Advocacy Room, 106, 309 Village Drive, Gainesville, FL 32611. This meeting will be live-streamed via the Florida Channel. During the fourth meeting, the Task Force will discuss public health and stormwater regulations. The agenda is available on the Blue-Green Algae Task Force website. All members of the public are welcome to attend.

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 4th – 5:00pm – Calhoun County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Blountstown) – Attend the Calhoun County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Calhoun County Courthouse, EOC Room (basement), 20859 Central Ave, Blountstown, FL 32424. For more information, please email Varna Mitchell at MITCHELL.VARNA@flsenate.gov.

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 - 6:00pm - Earth Ethics Environmental Education series - (Pensacola) - Join Earth Ethics in welcoming this month’s guest speaker, Grace Resendez McCaffery, owner of Latino Media Gulf Coast, Publisher of La Costa Media Gulf Coast, and Founder of the Hispanic Resource Center of Northwest Florida as she discusses Beyond the Wall: Human Rights and Social Justice beginning at 6 p.m. at Ever’man Education Center 327 W Garden Street, Pensacola, FL 32502. Earth Ethics will discuss some of the environmental impacts associated with the building of the wall. Stay up to date and let us know you’ll be joining us by visiting the Facebook event page here.  

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 13th – 1:00pm- 4:00pm – Seminole County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Sanford)  - Attend the Seminole County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office, 1101 E, First Street, Sanford, FL 32771. For additional information, please email Joseph Darcy at Joseph.Darcy@myfloridahouse.gov.

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 – 1:00pm- 5:00pm – Alachua County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Gainesville) – Attend the Alachua County Delegation meeting at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall, 3000 NW 83rd St E-127, Gainesville, FL 32606. For more information, contact McGuire.Suzanne@flsenate.gov.

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 24th – 9:00am – Indian River County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Vero Beach) – Attend the Indian River County Delegation meeting at the Indian River County Commission Chambers, 1801 27th St, Vero Beach, FL 32960. Additional information forthcoming.

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 7th – 5:30pm-7:00pm – Escambia County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Pensacola) - Members of Escambia County’s State Legislative Delegation will hold a public hearing at the Pensacola State College Jean and Paul Amos Performance Studio, 1000 College Boulevard Pensacola, FL. 32504. Delegation members will consider local bills, hear presentations from government entities, and take public testimony on proposals for the 2020 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature. Any member of the public is welcome to attend. To request an appearance form to be placed on the meeting agenda, individuals should contact Senator Doug Broxson’s office at (850) 595-1036 or email: brown.kevin@flsenate.gov no later than 5 p.m., Wednesday, October 2, 2019.

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.

November 19th – 9:00am-12:30pm – Osceola County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Kissimmee) – Attend the Osceola County Legislative Delegation meeting  at the Osceola County Administration Building 1 Courthouse Square, 4th Floor, Commission Chambers Kissimmee, FL 34741. Members of the public wishing to address the delegation (limit of 3 minutes) must request a place on the agenda by submitting the Presentation Request Form.  Forms and materials may be submitted in person or via mail to: 231 Ruby Ave. Suite A, Kissimmee, FL 34741, fax: (407) 846-5011 or email to Beatriz.Marte@MyFloridaHouse.gov. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 8, 2019.

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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

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