FCC News Brief - September 13, 2019

Read DeSantis reappoints two Suwannee water board members - “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reappointed two members of the Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board Wednesday, a day after the district was forced to cancel a meeting and budget public hearing because it did not have the required number of members. Charles Keith of Lake City, whose initial appointment was rescinded by DeSantis shortly after he took office in January, and Richard Schwab of Perry were reappointed. Schwab’s appointment expired in March but terms can be extended an additional 180 days. Keith and Alphonsas Alexander were removed from the board by DeSantis. The terms of Schwab, Bradley Williams and Kevin Brown ended in March. The return of Keith and Schwab gives the district six members. Three vacancies still exist but the district now has the required five members to take action.” Cindy Swirko reports for the Gainesville Sun

Read Gov. Ron DeSantis wants tougher fines for sewage spills. Is it because of St. Petersburg? - “The fines for environmental crimes such as spilling sewage could go up in Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that he wants the Florida Legislature to increase the fines levied against entities ― such as municipal governments and companies ― that spew sewage and commit other environmental violations. The governor said he wants to take a bigger “bite” out of those who, he said, haven’t taken past fines seriously. As an example, he specifically referenced the Tampa Bay area, which has had its share of sewage incidents in recent years, most notably in St. Petersburg...The governor’s spokeswoman, Helen Aguirre Ferré, said he was not making a veiled reference to St. Petersburg’s 2015-16 sewage crisis, in which the city’s aging system discharged up to a billion gallons of wastewater into neighborhoods and waterways, and even pumped it underground. The city also released up to 200 million gallons of it into the Tampa Bay itself, a state waterway. But Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein told the Times/Herald what St. Petersburg went through is a “good one to explain the intent behind this legislation.”... DeSantis’ announcement drew a mixed reaction from environmentalists. Michelle Allen, senior Florida organizer for Food and Water Watch, called it the “wrong approach” because it would simply increase a penalty rather than provide violators with more support. “I don’t think the municipalities need harsher fines," she said. "There’s a reason these things are happening: It’s because they don’t have the funding to update the infrastructure.” In fact, the state report into St. Petersburg’s spills criticized two decades of city leadership for failing to invest in its wastewater system. It also specifically criticized the Kriseman administration for closing one of the city’s four sewage plants before the crisis, then for poor decision-making during the crisis… But Kimberly Mitchell, the executive director of the Everglades Trust, said this announcement is a signal that both polluters and the enforcers within state government are going to “straighten up.” “Nobody before (DeSantis) has ever been willing to look at this comprehensively from 30,000-foot level and six-foot level and that’s what he’s doing to start pushing us in a smarter direction…” Josh Solomon and Emily L. Mahoney report for the Tampa Bay Times.

Read Water district buying land for $618M Everglades restoration project in Collier - “A state water agency is moving closer to completing an Everglades restoration project in Collier County that's expected to provide wildlife habitat and improve water quality and flows leading into the Ten Thousand Islands area.  The South Florida Water Management District is expected Thursday to approve $2.4 million for the acquisition of three parcels totaling about 91 acres in the Picayune Strand State Forest. "This was an area that was originally designed by Gulf American (Land) Corporation that went belly-up," said governing board member Charlette Roman. "There were miles of canals, 270 miles of shell rock roads, and they were going to sell thousands of lots there before they went bankrupt."..The item is on the governing board's consent agenda and is not expected to be brought up at Thursday's monthly governing board meeting... Buying the land back took years as more than 17,000 people had bought properties there, and many of those owners lived outside of the United States and had purchased the lots for a vacation home. Located about two miles east of Naples, Picayune Strand is about 73,000 acres in size and is bordered to the north by Interstate 75 and the south by U.S. 41. The project will cost about $618 million and is expected to be completed in 2022. The strand is home to Florida panthers, black bears, bobcats, bald eagles, Big Cypress fox squirrels and gopher tortoises...Meredith Budd with the Florida Wildlife Federation said the overall project is crucial to water flows and quality in this part of Collier. "This is a monumental project that will bring back thousands upon thousands of acres of wetlands and upland habitat, and that habitat is home to birds, woods storks, all the way to our iconic Florida panther," Budd said. "This is a very important piece of Everglades restoration, so I'm encouraged…” Chad Gillis reports for the Fort Myers News-Press

Read 4 billion particles of tiny plastics pollute Tampa Bay, study finds - “To the naked eye, the waters of Tampa Bay look clean and inviting. But a new study says the bay, Florida’s largest estuary, is awash in tiny bits of plastic. The study, published Thursday in the scientific journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, found about four billion particles of microplastics in the bay. Microplastics are each a 1/8 of an inch or smaller — tiny fragments of plastic bags or bottles, or threads from polyester clothing, discarded fishing line and other artificially manufactured jetsam. Next up: a study that looks at how those bits of microplastics might be affecting manatees and other marine creatures that make their homes in the bay, according to Kinsley McEachern, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg marine sciences graduate student who led the study. “Harmful chemicals and toxic organic pollutants like pesticides stick to them,” she said. And because the chemicals on microplastics can mimic hormones, "they can cause reproduction difficulties. It could have impacts throughout the entire food chain.” So far, she said, there have been no studies on the impact on humans...The microplastics cascade into the bay from stormwater and, in the case of fabrics, from the washing machines that feed into municipal sewer treatment plants that eventually dump into the bay...The bits of plastic are of a size similar to plankton. Oysters, clams and mussels in the bay filter seawater to consume tiny bits of food, and thus wind up collecting the microplastics too, which then begin being passed through the food chain…” Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times.

Read Trump administration to finalize rollback of clean water protections - “The Trump administration on Thursday is expected to complete the legal repeal of a major Obama-era clean water regulation, which had placed limits on polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands and water bodies. The rollback of the 2015 measure, known as the Waters of the United States rule, has been widely expected since the early days of the Trump administration, when President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to begin the work of repealing and replacing it. Weakening the Obama-era water rule had been a central campaign pledge for Mr. Trump, who characterized it as a federal land-grab that impinged on the rights of farmers, rural landowners and real estate developers to use their property as they see fit. Environmentalists say Mr. Trump’s push to loosen clean-water regulations represents an assault on the nation’s streams and wetlands at a moment when Mr. Trump has repeatedly declared his commitment to “crystal-clean water”...The rollback is the latest in a series of actions by the Trump administration to weaken or undo major environmental rules. Others include proposals to loosen regulations on planet-warming emissions from cars, power plants and oil and gas drilling rigs; moves designed to push new drilling in the vast Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and efforts to weaken Endangered Species Act protections. Environmentalists assailed the move. “With many of our cities and towns living with unsafe drinking water, now is not the time to cut back on clean water enforcement,” said Laura Rubin, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. But agricultural groups, an important political constituency for Mr. Trump, praised the repeal of a regulation that they said had restricted how farmers could use their land…” Coral Davenport reports for the New York Times.

Read High levels of fecal pollution found at 7 local beaches - “A health advisory has been issued for two beaches in Walton County and five in Okaloosa County after water quality tests revealed high amounts of fecal matter. According to a report from the Florida Department of Health Walton County, Eastern Lake Beach and the Inlet Beach Access in Walton tested positive for high levels of enterococci, an enteric bacteria that normally inhabits the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. In Okaloosa County, advisories were issued for Garniers Park of Fort Walton Beach, Poquito Park of Shalimar, Lincoln Park of Valparaiso, Rocky Bayou State Park of Niceville, and James Lee Park of Destin. The health advisories are based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards for enterococci. As an indicator of fecal pollution, the bacteria can cause diseases, infections and rashes. Fecal pollution can be caused by storm water runoff, pets and wildlife and human sewage…” Nathan Cobb reports for GateHouse Media Florida.

Read Mississippi beaches have been vacant for 2 months as a toxic algae bloom lurks offshore- “Ship Island Excursions has survived hurricanes, global recessions, a world war and a host of economic challenges since the ferry company began taking passengers to the barrier islands that dot coastal Mississippi in the 1920s. But this year, a new threat has emerged: an explosion of blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, that has shut down virtually all of Mississippi’s beaches since July 4. No one knows when the algae will disappear, and many wonder how many businesses that operate in the region will survive the hit...Scientists have never seen anything like this before in the ocean off the Mississippi coast ― blue-green algal blooms are normally confined to fresh-water species. Mississippi officials say the bloom is the result of record flooding this year in the Midwest, which has pushed a deluge of polluted, nitrogen-rich water down the Mississippi River. It has forced state officials to issue water and health advisories warning people to stay out of the water and to avoid contaminated seafood. Exposure to the algae can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney and liver damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s particularly dangerous for pets; dogs in several Southern states have died after exposure to blue-green algae in freshwater environments this summer. Mississippi business and fishery experts say they’ve never seen such a massive algal bloom spread in coastal waters. Many blame the record 10 trillion gallons of Mississippi River water that the Army Corps of Engineers diverted from the flooding New Orleans area. The Corps opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway twice for a record 123 days, pouring fertilizer and industrial waste-laden river water into Lake Pontchartrain, which drains into the Mississippi Sound…” Rocky Kistner reports for Huffpost


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 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

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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