FCC News Brief - September 10, 2019

Read Court backs lawmakers in conservation fight - “In a blow to environmental groups, an appeals court Monday overturned a circuit judge’s ruling that said state lawmakers improperly diverted money that flowed from a 2014 constitutional amendment designed to boost land and water conservation. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal found that Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson erred when he ruled that money from the amendment could only be used on land purchased after the voter-approved measure took effect. Dodson’s ruling followed allegations by environmental groups that lawmakers had improperly used money from what is known as the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for other expenses, including agency expenses and salaries. The appeals court pointed to an “unsupportable reading” by Dodson of the amendment and held that the money is “not restricted to use on land purchased by the state after 2015.” “While the trial court purported to construe the plain meaning of the constitutional text, that provision does not plainly restrict the use of LATF (trust fund) revenue to improvement, management, restoration, or enhancement of lands only acquired after 2015,” said the 13-page opinion, written by appeals-court Judge Ross Bilbrey and joined by judges Joseph Lewis and Scott Makar. “(A subsection of the amendment) authorizes LATF revenue to be used to finance the acquisition of land, water areas, easements and the like. The subsection also authorizes refinancing. That the text specifically authorizes refinancing suggests that property for which the state already owns title is within the purview of permissible LATF activities.” The 2014 amendment, which was approved by 75 percent of voters, requires that 33 percent of revenues from a tax on real-estate documentary stamps go to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. The ballot summary of the amendment said, in part, that the money would be used to “acquire, restore, improve, and manage conservation lands including wetlands and forests; fish and wildlife habitat; lands protecting water resources and drinking water sources, including the Everglades, and the water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams; beaches and shores; outdoor recreational lands; working farms and ranches; and historic or geologic sites.” Environmental groups filed two lawsuits, which were later consolidated, challenging the way lawmakers carried out the amendment during the 2015 legislative session. They argued that lawmakers had used the money as what one attorney described as a “slush fund” to cover environmental expenses. Dodson last year sided with the groups and found that dozens of legislative budget appropriations were unconstitutional…Environmental groups involved in the case said they plan to continue their legal battle. “The appeals court did not even suggest that Amendment 1 established an all-purpose environmental slush fund as argued by the state.  Instead, it held only that expenditures were not restricted to acquiring new conservation lands, and remanded for trial on whether the funds had been unconstitutionally expended,” said attorney David Guest, who, along with Earthjustice, represents the litigants. “This narrow holding from the court of appeals puts us back where we were before our trial court hearing, but it does not rule on the fundamentals of conservation spending,” said St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman, whose organization was named in the 2015 lawsuit. “Florida needs this funding now more than ever, and we will continue to fight for it.” Jim Saunders reports for the News Service of Florida and Brendan Rivers reports for WJCT.

Read We’re turning our waters into algae factories - “Listen, if you think waiting for Dorian to make up its mind was a tedious exercise in quiet desperation, try waiting for our politicians to do something about Florida’s other warm water crisis. The same climate change-driven conditions that are conspiring to make hurricanes slower, more destructive and less predictable are also fueling the explosive growth of toxic algae in our lakes and rivers and red tides in our coastal waters. “Florida waters are in trouble,” warns the Florida Conservation Coalition. “Across the state, point and non-point source pollution plague the quality of our rivers, springs, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters, and have created ecological, economic and health crises.” And here’s the thing. Hurricanes may be here today and gone tomorrow. But our blue-green algae and red tide problems won’t blow away. They will only to get worse thanks to our failure to exercise stewardship over our most precious natural resource, the life-giving waters around us. We know why this is happening. It’s neither an act of God nor the fickle finger of nature. Let us count just some of the ways we have been turning our waters into algae factories. More than a billion gallons of wastewater discharged into Tampa Bay in just four years. South Florida, unable to handle its own sewage sludge, has been trucking it north, ostensibly to “fertilize” farmlands, but ultimately to turn the St. Johns River green. The Big Ag retention basin formerly known as Lake Okeechobee continues to spew its filth west into the Caloosahatchee River and east into the St. Lucie. The Indian River Lagoon is suffering the death of a thousand point sources — septic tanks, stormwater runoff, lawn fertilizer overuse and more. When we hear the word “infrastructure,” we are conditioned to think roads and highways. But Florida’s algae crisis is very much a result of our failure to modernize sewage treatment systems, replace aging septic tanks, insist on more responsible agriculture practices and otherwise invest in water quality infrastructure. Under the flimsy excuse of providing better hurricane evacuation routes Florida will spend billions for new toll highways which will only further abet the runaway growth and over development that is killing Florida’s environmental integrity…” Ron Cunningham writes Opinion for the Gainesville Sun

Read The Florida activist is 78. The legal judgement against her is $4 million - “Maggy Hurchalla’s piece of Florida heaven is a patch of pristine Atlantic shore accessible only by boat in St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park. She and her husband nicknamed it the “End of the World” when they first came upon it half a century ago, after paddling south along the barrier island to the water’s end. She still likes to skinny-dip at the beach. Ms. Hurchalla, 78, could spend her remaining years kayaking here, readily outpacing paddlers less than half her age. Or traveling the country, giving speeches about the legacy of her sister, Janet Reno, the first female attorney general of the United States. But instead of reveling in her retirement, Ms. Hurchalla, who has devoted her life to protecting the untamed Florida wilderness that she loved, has been fighting a public battle with a rock-mining company — and losing. A jury decided last year that Ms. Hurchalla should pay $4.4 million in damages to Lake Point Restoration, a company that has a limestone mining operation in Martin County, along Florida’s Treasure Coast. Lake Point sued her for interfering with a contract after she emailed Martin County commissioners, urging them to back out of a water deal with the company that had initially been approved as a public-private partnership that could keep polluted water out of a nearby estuary. Ms. Hurchalla argued that she had merely exercised her First Amendment rights. The legal saga involved secret emails, the ownership of Florida’s fresh water, and the constitutional rights to free speech and to petition the government. Three months ago, a state appeals court upheld the verdict, alarming environmental and free speech organizations that had implored the three-judge panel to consider how profoundly such a precedent could chill citizens’ ability to question their leaders…” Patricia Mazzei reports for the New York Times.

Read Is Florida ready for 2030?  - “The year 2030 is just around the corner for Florida, so addressing challenges on a statewide level requires immediate action. That’s what the Florida Chamber Foundation has done with its report titled “Florida: 2030.” It’s clear that Florida will be a dramatically transformed state by 2030. Some examples: The population will continue to grow; Florida will have about 5 million new residents. About 1 in 4 Floridians will be 65 or older. Non-ethnic whites will become a minority by 2030, and nearly 1 in 5 Floridians will be foreign-born. People will pack the cities. Rural areas will account for 86 percent of Florida’s land area but just 10 percent of its population. Millennials will take over as the dominant age group, but they will be dealing with massive amounts of student loan debt...The Chamber report, as detailed as it is, must be paired with a report by a coalition of Florida environmental groups titled “Trouble in Paradise.” The report calls for acquiring and protecting land to protect drinking water, fisheries and recreation. The challenges posed by sea level rise and storm surge contain billion-dollar price tags;. The best way to deal with storm surge and sea level rise is by protecting our wetlands. Resilience is the key. Prevention is cheaper than repair damage. In addition the Floridan Aquifer, Florida’s precious underground water supply, is going to be stressed as millions of new residents pack into coastal communities — so the springs that need the Aquifer must be protected. So are we actually ready for 2030?” From the Florida Times-Union Editorial Board.

Read Don’t stop with SAFEBOR to protect Santa Fe - “If corporations are now being treated like people under the law, why not rivers? Alachua County voters might be asking themselves that question when they head to the polls next fall. Environmental advocates are seeking to put an initiative called the Santa Fe River Bill of Rights, aka SAFEBOR, on the November 2020 ballot. The charter amendment would recognize the legal rights of the Santa Fe River, its springs and tributaries, and the Floridan Aquifer within the county. Supporters argue that a new approach is needed to prevent environmental damage rather than just react to it. Under the current system, “we have to wait until the river is polluted to do anything to defend it,” David Moritz, chairman of the SAFEBOR group, told a gathering of supporters last month at the Millhopper Branch Library in Gainesville. Clearly something needs to change to better protect the Santa Fe. Groundwater pollution from agriculture, septic tanks and other sources, along with the excessive pumping of the aquifer that feeds the springs and river, have fueled algae blooms and other environmental problems… But SAFEBOR supporters have several obstacles to overcome before any new protections become law. First, they will have to collect more than 18,000 signatures by February in order to qualify the initiative for the ballot. If approved, Alachua County commissioners would then be responsible for passing the ordinances that define violations and corresponding penalties… But if another effort to grant legal rights to a water body if any indication, that might not be the final word. In February, more than 60 percent of voters in a special election in Toledo, Ohio, passed an initiative to establish a bill of rights for Lake Erie. But the measure was subsequently challenged in a federal lawsuit, and an amendment was later passed in Ohio’s state budget that essentially invalidated the initiative. With efforts like SAFEBOR also happening with other Florida waterways, one can imagine a similar scenario happening during the state legislative session here…If voters want to reverse the damage being done to the Santa Fe and other parts of our environment, they shouldn’t stop with SAFEBOR. Voters must start treating every election like a referendum on the environment, choosing local, state and federal candidates accordingly.” From the Gainesville Sun Editorial Board.

Read Manatee County asked to commit to renewable energy - “The forecast is gloomy, to say the least: A rising heat index, higher tides, more intense storms, a vanishing Arctic and Amazon. Yet, according to a presentation made Monday to about 100 members and guests of the League of Women Voters of Manatee County, those dire projections can be avoided if the heat-trapping gases associated with fossil fuels are significantly reduced. The league invited several guest speakers to discuss climate change to show its support for the Manatee Clean Energy Alliance, a citizens group that is petitioning Manatee County government to follow the city of Sarasota’s example and make a commitment to renewable energy. Lynn Nilssen, co-coordinator of the Sarasota Ready For 100 Committee, told the audience about how that group joined the National Sierra Club’s effort to get local governments to convert to solar and wind power. In 2017, the Sarasota City Commission accepted the challenge — pledging to get 100% of its municipal operations on renewable energy by 2030 and the municipality’s private sector doing the same by 2045.“If we don’t set goals we’re never going to get there,” Nilssen said. The Ready For 100 effort in Sarasota “shows you what citizen activism can do…” Dale White reports for the Herald-Tribune.

Read What’s the real cost of single-use plastics - “Consider: Collins Dictionary named “single-use” its word of the year in 2018, pointing to a 400% increase in usage since 2013. According to the publisher the term means “made to be used only once ... items whose unchecked proliferation is blamed for damaging the environment and affecting the food chain.” That same year, according to National Geographic, Great Britain’s Royal Statistical Society named its Statistic of the Year: 90.5% of the estimated plastic ever made has not been recycled. Closer to home, many Florida cities and fewer counties have put plastic straw and Styrofoam bans on their books over the past year. After back-and-forth legal battles in local courts, the 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled in mid-August state law preempts local government from banning single-use bags and containers...Florida set regulations for improved recycling years ago. One goal was to be at 50% by 2015 and 75% by 2020. How are we doing? The average rate in 2017 in Florida was 42%. Charlotte County leads the state with a 72% adjusted recycling rate. Closer to home, how are we doing in St. Johns County? According to the DEP, the 2017 adjusted recycling rate here was 19%. From where we sit, that’s unacceptable — and inexcusable. If we can’t handle poisonous plastics on the tail end, we need to curb it from the front end. The existing equation equals mounds of waste, crippled seas and dying animals. All for 4 cents…” From the St. Augustine Record Editorial Board.


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:

Botanist - The Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI)/Florida State University

Senior Director of Development - Mercy for Animals

Florida Field Organizer - Our Climate

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:

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 12th - 6:30pm-8:00pm - Big Bend Sierra Club program on Marine Debris (Tallahassee) - The Big Bend Sierra Club welcomes you to attend a program including an overview of marine debris impacts, a discussion on research, removal and prevention efforts in Florida, and a review of updates in progress to the Florida Marine Debris Reduction Plan and the Marine Debris Cross Team in GOMA’s Governors’ Action Plan IV. This program will be presented by Dr. Jennifer McGee, FWC’s Marine Debris Coordinator, who also serves as the Lead for Research and Data on the Florida Marine Debris Planning Team and Chair for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance’s (GOMA) Marine Debris Cross Team Initiative. Event post. Address: 1834 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee.

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 17th - 6:00-8:00pm - DEP Public Meeting Regarding Drawdown of Rodman Reservoir - (Palatka) - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting to discuss the drawdown of the Rodman Reservoir along the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway. The drawdown will be conducted from October 2019 through April 2020. Public meeting will be held at the Ravine Gardens State Park, 1600 Twigg St., Paltatka, FL 32177.

September 20th - 4:00-6:00pm - Pensacola Climate Strike - (Pensacola) - Join 350 Pensacola, Healthy Gulf and millions around the world for a global climate strike. On September 20, people will walk out of school, work, and home to join young climate strikers demanding an end to the age of fossil fuels and action on climate change. Inspired by our youth but including all ages, we will gather for music, art, and inspiring words from local climate leaders. Meet at Plaza de Luna, 900 S. Palafox St., Pensacola. The presentation is part of a regular series of events and presentations on climate change and related issues sponsored by 350 Pensacola. For more information: 350pensacola@gmail.com or the Facebook event page here.

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 23 - 5:30pm-8:00pm - Lagoon Straight Talk - (Cocoa Beach)- Join the Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition for the ‘Lagoon Straight Talk’ event at the Courtyard Marriott, Cocoa Beach. Speakers include MJ Waters of the BIRLC, Senator Debbie Mayfield, Virginia Barker, Jim McKnight, and Duane DeFreese discussing topics such as “People, Pollution, the Problem”, wastewater treatment upgrades, and funding solutions. There will be a Q & A session with panel members following presentations. Light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Questions to be submitted in writing by audience members. Registration and additional information: https://www.facebook.com/BIRLC .

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 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 11th - 8:00am-11:00am - Pasco County Legislative Delegation meeting - (New Port Richey) - Attend the Pasco County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Performing Arts Center at Pasco-Hernando State College West Campus, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654. This annual public meeting is an opportunity for citizens, elected officials, cities and local government, and other civic organizations to address the delegation before the start of the 2020 Legislative Session. If you would like to be placed on the printed agenda, please contact Representative Mariano’s Office at alexander.alt@myfloridahouse.gov or (727) 861-4806, by noon on Friday, October 4, 2019. You may also complete a Speaker’s Form on the day of the meeting and you will be afforded time to speak in the order in which it was received. Please submit or bring seven (7) copies of all handouts to the meeting for distribution.  If you would like more information regarding this meeting, please contact Alexander Alt by email (at the above listed email address) or call (727) 861-4806.

October 11th-13th - 2nd Annual Festival of Flight & Flowers - (Eustis, Lake County) - Returning again this year, the Festival of Flight and Flowers weekend will provide visitors and local residents access to professionals and experts that specialize in native plants, outdoor recreation, wildflowers, bird and butterfly watching, and much more around Lake County Florida.  This year we are lucky to have Birding by Bus join us as our Keynote Speakers and special trip leaders. The weekend comprises of a one day festival on Saturday, October 12, in downtown Eustis, Florida, surrounded by field trips, conservation walks, and bird watching throughout Lake County, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We have biologists and nature experts leading the way on guided immersive field trips all over Lake County allowing you to experience Real Florida, as well as educational lectures and presentations all day on Saturday. For more information, visit the website here.

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.

October 30th – 9:00am- Lee County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Fort Myers) – Attend the Lee County Legislative Delegation meeting at Florida Southwestern State College, Nursing Building (Room AA-177), 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33919. The deadline to request placement on the meeting agenda for a general presentation before the Delegation is 5:00pm on Monday, October 21, 2019. All requests to be placed on the agenda must be submitted in writing to State Representative Dane Eagle, Chairman, Lee County Legislative Delegation, 1039 SE 9th Place, Suite 310, Cape Coral, FL 33990, or by email to dane.eagle@myfloridahouse.gov.

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.  

For more information, visit https://www.wearefcc.org/



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