FCC News Brief - August 29, 2019

Read Work starts on three new toll roads in Florida - “Task forces that will study and make recommendations about three major toll-road proposals will be committed to protecting farmland and natural springs in the western side of the state, members were told Tuesday as they formally kicked off the work. Still, critics who fought the projects during this year’s legislative session because of concerns about sprawl and environmental damage, maintain the proposals are moving too fast. Reports from the task forces are due in 13 months, and construction is slated to begin in three years. The proposed roads, a major priority of Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, would expand the Suncoast Parkway from the Tampa Bay area to the Georgia border; extend the Florida Turnpike west to connect with the Suncoast Parkway; and add a new multi-use corridor, including a toll road, from Polk County to Collier County...Meanwhile, groups such as the Florida Conservation Voters, Sierra Club Florida and Progress Florida maintain opposition to roads they believe will fragment wildlife habitat, lead to urban sprawl and waste state transportation resources. Lindsay Cross, government relations director for the Florida Conservation Voters, called it “disconcerting” the corridors are being presented as “a done deal” when the long-term vision is being given only a 13-months review. “We have to question what is the urgency of this happening so quickly,” Cross said. “It makes it feel like it’s more politically driven than community driven.”...The task forces include representatives from 1000 Friends of Florida, Audubon Florida, Defenders of Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy and the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Thomas Hawkins, representing 1000 Friends of Florida, said the Tallahassee-based non-profit believes “better planning” improves the quality of life in cities and rural communities. “We’re very interested in this process both for how any transportation services that would be provided as well as for how it might impact growth and development where a corridor might pass through,” Hawkins said. Task force member Kent Wimmer, senior Northwest Florida representative for the Defenders of Wildlife, said the goal is to maintain existing wildlife corridors in the areas of the roads. A final report to the governor and Legislature is supposed to be ready by Oct. 1, 2020. Construction would begin by the end of 2022, with the roads to open to traffic before Dec. 31, 2030…” Jim Turner reports for the News Service of Florida.

Read We can’t protect Florida’s water without protecting natural lands - “Water is life. We all say it, but when it comes to protecting our waters, what are Florida’s lawmakers really doing?   By the looks of the last legislative session, unfortunately, the answer is “not enough.” Lawmakers did not pass one law to prevent human and agricultural waste from dumping into our rivers, lakes and estuaries. And they neglected to fully realize one of our most powerful and effective water protection strategies: land conservation… Florida Forever is a nationally recognized program that provides a balance between our state’s inevitable growth and the undeniable need to protect our wetlands and forests. From preserving open spaces, ranchlands and wildlife corridors to providing funding for community parks, Florida Forever gives lawmakers a cost-effective way to safeguard our waters and prevent future water-quality disasters...Unfortunately, lawmakers have continued to turn their backs on natural, conservation-based solutions to our water issues, as evidenced by their lackluster funding of Florida Forever in recent years. Rather than abandoning land conservation in favor of the next shiny technological fix or engineered solution, we must focus on preventing pollution at the source. All of the chemical treatments or toxic algae-scooping vacuums in the world won’t help us engineer our way out of this problem. The best technology we have to offer is the land right beneath our feet...Last year, the water crisis and public outrage got our lawmakers' attention. The summit and events like it are keeping the issue at the top of their minds. Now, Floridians must keep up the pressure and demand bold action that prioritizes natural solutions. I invite our lawmakers to show us they are listening and appropriate record-breaking funding to Florida Forever in the next legislative session.” Aliki Moncrief writes Opinion for the News-Press.

Read Eskamani renews push for all-renewable energy by 2050 - “Orlando state Rep. Anna Eskamani wants all of Florida’s energy to come from renewable sources by the year 2050. Eskamani, a Democrat, says the lofty goal is needed to combat the effects of climate change, which are already hitting Florida, especially along the coast. “Floridians are already feeling the effects of a warmer world,” Eskamani said. “From mosquitoes and hurricanes to harmful algal blooms and sea level rise — Florida has a lot to lose if climate change goes unchecked, and one of the most important ways to curb the impact of climate change and to build a more resilient state is through transitioning to 100% renewable energy.” Her legislation, HB 97, also calls for 40 percent renewable energy by 2030 on the part of state agencies, universities and state colleges. The plan to achieve this must be developed by the Office of Energy, housed in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, within two years and submitted to lawmakers...Still, Eskamani’s bill is unlikely to get a hearing when the Legislature meets in January. A similar bill she filed this year wasn’t discussed. “Florida is far too reliant on energy sources that pollute our air and water and our state desperately needs an aggressive plan to change that.” said Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami, who plans to file the Senate version of the bill. "Inaction fails Floridians, hurting our health, our economy and our precious ecosystems; and as ground zero when it comes to sea level rise we also need to take responsibility for tackling not just the effects but our contribution to the CAUSES of climate change. As the Sunshine State, Florida should be a nationwide leader in the push for 100 percent clean, renewable energy.” Gray Rohrer reports for the Orlando Sentinel.

Read EPA says Kendall Parkway poses risk of ‘unacceptable adverse impacts to Everglades  - “Federal environmental regulators have joined critics of Miami-Dade’s proposal to run a major freeway through wetlands, saying the plan to construct the Kendall Parkway poses “substantial and unacceptable adverse secondary impacts to the Greater Everglades.” In a letter last week to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency said a six-lane toll in West Kendall would produce direct impacts to 350 acres of freshwater wetlands in the Bird Drive Basin, an area that’s key to guaranteeing drinking water for Miami and the Florida Keys. The EPA considers the area an “aquatic resource of national importance.“ The questions from the EPA are only the latest hurdles for a project that already under fire from legal challenges, political disputes and forecasts that traffic improvements would be limited...Bird Drive Basin was once part of the Shark River Slough, the main artery for water flow in the Everglades. It’s used to recharge the region’s shallow Biscayne aquifer, the only drinking water source for communities in Miami-Dade and Miccosukee Tribe. It’s also home to native animals, wading birds and rare plants. “Freshwater wetlands are essential to the region because they provide important water quality and wildlife benefits, and serve as a filtration system that protect bodies of water,” Jeaneanne Gettle, Director of EPA’s Water Division in Atlanta, wrote in the letter. Because of its key location and the functions that it serves, Bird Drive Basin is part of the Everglades Restoration Plan, and was earmarked for restoration work to reestablish water flow south through the river of grass...Environmentalists and a developer sued MDX and Miami-Dade, arguing the project would violate the county’s growth management plan. They warned that allowing the road to get so close to the Everglades would encourage more suburban sprawl and development that could endanger protected wetlands…” Adriana Brasileiro reports for the Miami Herald.

Read Sirois seeks support from port commissioners for Port Canaveral-funded lagoon ‘trust fund’ - “Florida Rep. Tyler Sirois plans to seek support from Port Canaveral commissioners for dedicated funding to help the Indian River Lagoon. Sirois has modified his proposal since publicly announcing it at a news conference on Aug. 1. His new plan was supposed to be discussed Wednesday by the Canaveral Port Authority, but was pulled Tuesday afternoon from the agenda for additional study. Sirois originally proposed that the port designate 2% of its annual revenue for 30 years for programs to help improve the conditions of the Indian River Lagoon. The port's revenue exceeds $100 million a year, so that would amount to more than $2 million a year for lagoon projects, under Sirois' initial proposal, or more than $60 million over the 30-year period. The proposal would have been initiated through an amendment to the port's charter, and the money would have been administered by the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program. His modified proposal asks the port to start the planning process for establishing a "trust fund" that would be designated for current and future needs related to the lagoon. That trust fund could be use for local projects to help the lagoon, or could be used as a match for state or federal grants for lagoon-related projects. Sirois said he would leave the details — including how much money should go into that fund and how the fund should be allocated — up to port commissioners...Sirois sees the trust fund as an additional way to generate matching funds from the state for lagoon projects, which are competing with a number of other water-related projects around Florida for state money, and to help in "making a lasting contribution to the lagoon."...” Dave Berman reports for Florida Today.

Read Florida farmers work together to change the narrative about climate change and agriculture - “Through the Florida Climate-Smart Agriculture Working Group, Lynetta Griner is opening a discussion and developing a solution with fellow farmers across the state of Florida about a previously avoided topic — climate change. “We don’t talk about who’s causing anything,” Griner, a timber and cattle producer, said. “We just talk about how to respond, how to adapt so we can remain a viable operation. Agriculture is so important to the state of Florida.” Agriculture is Florida’s second largest industry with more than 40,000 farm operations totaling more than 9 million acres as of 2017, according to the Department of Agriculture’s website. According to a blog post on the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences website, the Working Group aims to, “focus on how to keep Florida agriculture profitable while providing nutritious food, clean energy, and ecosystem services such as water filtration and carbon sequestration.”...According to a recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, over 100 experts in 52 countries concluded that agriculture, food production and deforestation cause about 23% of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions...Climate-smart agriculture is a solution being discussed in at least three other states. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations website, CSA, “aims to tackle three main objectives: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting and building resilience to climate change; and reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.” The Working Group’s next steps include outlining an agricultural and forestry management strategy for Florida based on CSA principles and developing an “action plan” to implement that strategy…” Kaylin Parker reports for the Panama City News Herald.

Read The frightening spread of toxic algae - “Humans and animals who stumble across a brightly colored blue-green or red pool don’t always recognize the threat. Toxic algal blooms aren’t high on many people’s radar. Vacation-goers obliviously wade into ocean and lake waters that can cause gastrointestinal or respiratory problems. They eat contaminated fish and shellfish with potentially lethal consequences. Dog owners unknowingly allow their beloved pets to frolic in toxic ponds—leading to death within hours. Toxic algae is one of the quickest-spreading deadly effects of the climate crisis in the United States. As the Arctic’s glaciers melt and the Amazon’s rainforest burns, America’s lakes, rivers, and coastlines are being increasingly infiltrated by several different types of brightly colored, toxic algae bacterium that thrive in warm, nutrient-rich conditions. A report released by the Environmental Working Group earlier this month found toxic algae appearing in more bodies of water, at higher quantities, and earlier in the summer than ever before...While toxic algae blooms are supposed to be a regular occurrence in the summer, researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently forecasted that 2019 could bring some of the most abundant blooms in recent years. Toxic algae is no longer a minor inconvenience, disrupting diners’ seafood menus for a few months. It’s a neon threat on shores across the country, devastating individuals and communities, animals and people alike, as humanity belatedly struggles to respond. In states like New Jersey and Florida where algal blooms have already devastated both fishing and tourism economies, elaborate political fights—some rife with conspiracy theory—have broken out over how to manage the crises. And although 68 percent of Americans get their drinking water from lakes and rivers, algae toxins are not regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act…” Emily Atkin reports for the New Republic.

Read Coral Gables pushes state to allow cities to ban single-use plastics and Styrofoam - “Coral Gables is fighting back on a ruling that struck down both its Styrofoam and plastic bag ban two weeks ago. At its Tuesday commission meeting, the city commission voted unanimously to appeal to the Florida Supreme Court a lower court’s decision preventing the city from banning single-use plastics and Styrofoam. “This is what most of our residents want,” Commissioner Michael Mena said. Coral Gables isn’t just pushing back for the sake of its own legislation. Also on Tuesday, the commission passed a resolution asking the state to repeal state preemptions preventing local regulation of plastics and Styrofoam, which would allow cities across Florida to ban the materials. The preemptions are the basis for the 3rd District Court of Appeal’s Aug. 14 decision in favor of the Florida Retail Federation, which sued Coral Gables over its bans. The Retail Federation represents Publix, Walmart, Target and other retailers. The Federation’s representatives have said the organization’s prefers to “have a comprehensive statewide discussion” on the regulation of plastics, rather than a “patchwork” of local regulation that is “confusing to consumers and difficult for retailers,” spokesman James Miller said. But the state has failed to enact legislation to regulate plastics since the Legislature passed the preemption law in 2008, even though it has been a hot-button issue among many cities and environmentalists in Florida. The plastic bags and Styrofoam wind up in landfills and bodies of water, where they take hundreds of years to decompose and can affect wildlife…” Julia Ingram reports for the Miami Herald.


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:

Aucilla River Watershed Coalition Coordinator -Tall Timbers and the Aucilla Research Institute

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 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 25th – 10:30am CST – Holmes County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Bonifay) – Attend the Holmes County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners, 107 E. Virginia Avenue Bonifay, FL. Public testimony during the Legislative Delegation Meetings is welcome. To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Legislation Delegation meetings, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainer’s district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, September 13th.  

September 25th -  2:15pm CST – Jackson County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Marianna) – Attend the Jackson County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Jackson County School Board Chambers, 2903 Jefferson Street Marianna, FL.. To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Jackson County Legislation Delegation meeting, please email brad.drake@myfloridahouse.gov or ann.mcgraw@myfloridahouse.gov or contact Rep. Drake’s district office at (850) 951-0547 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, September 13th. 

September 25th – 9:00am CST – Walton County Legislative Delegation meeting – (DeFuniak Springs) – Attend the Walton County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Walton County Board of County Commissioners, 76 North 6th Street DeFuniak Springs, FL. Public testimony during the Legislative Delegation Meetings is welcome. To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Walton County Legislation Delegation meeting, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainer’s district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, September 13th.

September 25th – 11:45am CST – Washington County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Chipley) – Attend the Washington County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Washington County Board of County Commissioners building, 1331 South Blvd. Chipley, FL. To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Washington County Legislation Delegation meeting, please email brad.drake@myfloridahouse.gov or ann.mcgraw@myfloridahouse.gov or contact Rep. Drake’s district office at (850) 951-0547 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, September 13th. 

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.

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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