FCC News Brief - September 12, 2019

Read Environmental groups back to square one in Amendment 1 lawsuit - “A lengthy legal battle over a voter-approved amendment to fund environmental programs isn’t likely to be settled anytime soon. A new appellate court ruling has put sponsors back to square one. When 75 percent of voters approved Amendment 1 in 2014, many believed they were guaranteeing a funding source for the environment. The amendment allocated 33 percent of revenues from real-estate documentary stamps to the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund “We want restored Florida Forever funding, which was $300 million. We want Everglades restoration, which was $200 million, and we want some more money going to land management,” said Aliki Moncrief with the Florida Conservation Voters Instead of spending the money to purchase and maintain environmental lands, the Legislature used much of it to cover things like administrative costs. Lawmakers’ spending choices spurred a lawsuit from environmental groups like The Florida Wildlife Federation. "The Legislature has a history of ignoring what people put in the constitution. They just shifted this money to use it as an environmental slush fund,” said FWF President Preston Robertson. Despite an initial court victory in 2018 which found 185 appropriations totaling more than $420 million unconstitutional, the groups are now facing a major setback. An appellate court sent the case back to the trial court without deciding whether the funds are being misused. For environmental groups, it’s a major disappointment. “We're going back to trial and having to argue this all over again,” said Robertson. The appellate court focused its decision on a narrow aspect of the initial ruling. It rejected the original judge’s determination that Amendment 1 funds could only be spent on lands purchased after the amendment took effect in 2015…” Jake Stofan reports for the Capitol News Service

Read Do as voters intended with ballot measures - “When a ballot measure gets passed that Florida lawmakers don’t like, they shouldn’t be allowed to just ignore the will of voters. Yet that has happened repeatedly in recent years. Florida voters have approved several state constitutional amendments on issues that the Legislature had refused to address, such as land conservation, medical marijuana and voting rights. Each time, state lawmakers subsequently implemented these changes very differently than the way that voters intended. Sometimes the courts have stepped in, but too often lawmakers have gotten away with it. The latest example involves Amendment 1, the conservation measure passed by 75% of voters in 2014. The measure was supposed to set aside a third of revenue from a state tax on real-estate transactions over 20 years to fund land and water conservation. Instead, the Legislature has used the money to pay for things only tangentially related to land conservation, such as insurance premiums, vehicle purchases and salaries. Land conservation has been an afterthought: This year, for example, $33 million was appropriated for the Florida Forever land-conservation program as compared to the $300 million level at which the program had been historically funded. Last year Leon County Circuit Court Judge Charles Dodson ruled that lawmakers were only authorized to spend the money on new land purchases, but an appeals court overturned the ruling Monday in a decision the News Service of Florida called “a blow to environmental groups.” The case now returns to Dodson’s court...Hopefully he still has the latitude to prevent lawmakers from using the money for purposes far different than what voters intended…” From the Gainesville Sun Editorial Board.

Read Gov. Ron DeSantis announces recurring funding to Everglades restoration, increase in DEP fines - “Gov. Ron DeSantis traveled to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples on Wednesday to announce two strategies regarding Everglades restoration and the Department of Environmental Protection. Early in his tenure, DeSantis recommended $625 million to fund Everglades restoration. During his announcement Wednesday, the governor said he wants that amount to be funded each year...As a second announcement, DeSantis is recommending Florida Department of Environmental Protection raise its fees 50% for municipalities that do not properly handle wastewater. "When you're spewing sewage and waste into state waters, that becomes an issue for us," he said. "We're going to do a 50% increase in the amount of fines people will face, particularly the municipalities that have had a problem with this…” Karl Schneider reports for Naples Daily News

Read House passes bill to permanently ban offshore drilling off Florida’s Gulf Coast - The House of Representatives passed a bill to permanently ban offshore drilling off Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday, a move Florida lawmakers said will help the state’s tourism industry and military installations. The bill, Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act, passed with a vote of 248-180, with 22 Republicans joining 226 Democrats in favor. Four Democrats and one independent, along with 174 Republicans, voted against the bill. Only one of Florida’s 27 House members voted against the bill, Republican Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Gainesville. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Naples, Florida’s most pro-environment Republican member of Congress, sponsored the legislation and 12 other Florida lawmakers from both parties signed on...“I think it’s an important first step,” Rooney said in an interview with the Miami Herald. “We’re all going to have to all work together to convince President Trump that this is so important for Florida, that he’s got to support us on this.” Rooney’s bill now heads to the U.S. Senate, where Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has a bill that would also ban offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, but only through 2027. Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott signed onto Rubio’s bill yesterday. A congressional source said the White House issued a veto threat on Rooney’s bill because the Trump administration is uncomfortable with a permanent ban on offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, though the White House is open to Rubio’s plan. Rooney said a permanent ban would help stabilize the state’s fishing and tourism industries. He noted that business on Florida’s west coast suffered after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, even though the environmental effects were mainly limited to the Florida Panhandle hundreds of miles away…” Alex Daugherty reports for the Miami Herald.

Read Movement grows in Florida to preserve nature and drinking water by granting legal rights to rivers - “Efforts in five Florida counties could result in legally enforceable rights for rivers, as a way to save drinking water and ecosystems. According to a release from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and Speak Up Wekiva on Wednesday, grassroots groups in Alachua, Orange, Lee, Brevard, and Osceola counties are advancing county-wide laws to recognize the legally enforceable rights of the Santa Fe River, Wekiva River, Econlockhatchee River, Caloosahatchee River, Indian River Lagoon and the Kissimmee River. The laws are being proposed in each county through the citizens’ ballot initiative process or through county charter review commissions. In addition to "Rights of Nature," the proposed laws would also recognize rights of local residents to a healthy environment and clean water. Business entities and governments would be prohibited from violating these rights. The groups are hoping to allow Floridians in those counties a chance to vote on these measures in 2020. According to its website, the mission of CELDF is "to establish and protect rights - including worker and environmental rights, and rights of nature." The group is assisting in drafting the measures to "use municipal law-making to recognize the legal rights of ecosystems." This includes taking on corporate polluters of Florida rivers, springs and aquifers, as well as fighting statewide preemption laws…” Dave Plotkin writes for Orlando Weekly

Read Hillsborough local governments are working together to manage growth. That’s good.  - “The divide between the resources Hillsborough County has available and its public service needs has created a welcome byproduct: There is new interest by local officials in collaborating to meet the challenges for the future. While much of the focus up to now has been on schools, this more united effort could improve public services, save taxpayers money and help protect the region’s natural resources. As the Tampa Bay Times’ Anastasia Dawson reported, Hillsborough County commissioners, school board members, and city council members from Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City came together for the first time in memory last month to discuss how planning by each government could impact school safety and public infrastructure. While County Commission Chairman Les Miller noted the effect a disjointed planning process could have on school placement and safety, the silo mentality by different local governments undermines growth management across the board, worsening the impact of sprawl and leading to costly, inefficient outlays for public services...An outside planning consultant told the group that Hillsborough’s challenges are not unique; communities nationwide are spending more on transportation, housing and public services to keep up with the demands of growth. One way to maximize resources is to turn schools into social hubs for a community, co-locating facilities such as libraries or community health centers to provide residents more of a one-stop destination for public services. The idea is not new; city halls were designed on the same principle, providing a single place for residents to pay a water bill, file a complaint or meet with an elected official…” From the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.

Read Benefits of investing in climate adaptation far outweigh costs, commission says - “Images of devastating storm damage and droughts around the world this year have been drawing attention to the risks of global warming, particularly to the world's poorest people. Cutting emissions is critical to minimizing those risks, but a new report argues that the world needs to devote an equally urgent effort to adapting to the changes that are sure to come. The report, released Tuesday by the Global Commission on Adaptation, argues that a drastic increase in investing in adaptation measures, such as early warning systems and resilient infrastructure, would not only avoid tremendous human suffering and economic losses, it would bring benefits that would outweigh the costs nearly four-to-one. "For years we have seen adaptation frankly as the Cinderella of climate change, way behind mitigation," said Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and a member of the adaptation commission. "The message of this report is either we delay and pay or we plan and prosper."..For example, the report says: Investing in drought-resistant crops and irrigation could help protect small-scale farms from rising temperatures, while doing nothing could lead yields to shrink by 30 percent by mid-century. Investing in water infrastructure and natural watersheds could improve resilience to droughts and expand access to clean water, while failing to act could expose an additional 1.4 billion people to water shortages at least one month each year by 2050…” Nicholas Kusnetz reports for WLRN.


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 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 24th, September 25th - 9:00am - 4th FDEP Blue-Green Algae Task Force meeting - (Naples) - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is hosting the fourth and fifth meetings of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force. The key focus of the Task Force is to support funding and restoration initiatives, such as prioritizing solutions and making recommendations to expedite nutrient reductions in Lake Okeechobee and the downstream estuaries. Due to Hurricane Dorian, the fourth meeting was rescheduled to Sept. 24. This meeting will cover public health and stormwater regulations as planned. The following day, the fifth meeting will focus on discussing the task force’s recommendations. Both agendas will be available on the Task Force website. Meetings to be hosted at Florida Gulf Coast University, Kapnick Center, 4940 Bayshore Drive, Naples FL 34112.

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 15th - 2:00-4:00pm - Environmental Discussions Group of Manatee County - (Bradenton) - The Environmental Discussions Group of Manatee County will hold its next program at the Braden River Library meeting room, 4915 53rd Ave. E, Bradenton, FL 34203. We will host two speakers from Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department. They will visit to describe the habitat of gopher tortoises. Also, they will discuss the plans for conversion of overgrown land at Rye Preserve to a scrub and flatwoods habitat. That type of habitat is prime for the gopher tortoises and the wildlife their burrows support. Be sure to attend to see the exciting surprise display our speakers have planned. The meeting is open to all. Please send an r.s.v.p. to resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

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

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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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