FCC News Brief - September 9, 2019

Read The plight of Florida’s turtles tells a troubling story about climate destruction - “The sun is just rising above the cypress and pine forest as a dozen people step from sweatpants into wetsuits. Masks and fins emerge from trunks. The cicadas are already singing.  A gray pickup with a University of Miami vanity plate pulls in, black Rubbermaid bins piled high in the bed. Jerry Johnston steps out. He is a turtle biologist and the leader of this group, made up of community members and his students at Santa Fe College in nearby Gainesville. The woods of north Florida are not the first place you’d expect to find people suiting up to do turtle research. We’re six hours north of Miami’s famous sandy beaches and sea turtles, but the Sante Fe River basin is within a globally significant turtle diversity hotspot, home to 14 native species of freshwater turtles. That’s almost as many as the entire Amazon River system, which is more than 2,000 times its size. Part of what makes this region a great home for turtles is its karst geology —limestone that was once the floor of a shallow sea underlies almost the entire state. Freshwater from this limestone aquifer flows to the surface at almost 50 freshwater springs along 23 miles of the lower Santa Fe River. These springs are direct links between the river and the underlying aquifer, which provides drinking water to more than 90% of Floridians. But over-extraction of water to serve Florida’s growing population — Florida is now the third most populous state in the U.S. — as well as more extreme weather and pollution from farms and households are contributing to huge changes in the springs and the river ecosystem. Most of the freshwater springs are now carpeted with algae. The turtles’ once -well-stocked underwater salad bar is disappearing, signaling trouble for the water that more than 17 million Floridians rely on every day. Yet most are unaware of what’s happening to the water beneath their feet and the threatened ecosystems in their backyards. These freshwater springs are eyes into the aquifer and into the health of Florida’s drinking water, reflecting effects from changes in water quality and quantity…” Jennifer Adler writes for the HuffPost’s “This New World”

Read Tampa water rates will nearly double in next eight years, but ‘toilet to tap’ plan on hold - “The City Council approved a massive $2.9 billion utility rate increase Thursday night that will pay for most expensive and extensive infrastructure project in Tampa history. Mayor Jane Castor’s proposal to fix the city’s aging water and sewer systems will see the average residential bill increase from the current $41.29 to about $80 by 2028. Her chief of staff John Bennett told council members that the city won’t regret spending billions to slow and eventually end the nearly constant water main breaks and sewer line cave-ins. There have been more than 3,500 such failures in the last two years alone. “I think it’s time to celebrate what’s underground as much as we celebrate what’s above ground,” Bennett said...Earlier Thursday, Castor smoothed the way for approval of her program by stripping out $300 million dedicated to a proposal to convert wastewater to drinking water. Dubbed “toilet to tap” by critics, it had caused a rift with other local governments, especially St. Petersburg and last month five Tampa City Council members came out against it...Customers will see an increase in their bills starting in the November billing cycle. The average bill will increase from $41.29 to $46.50 a month, about half the regional average…” Charlie Frago reports for the Tampa Bay Times.

Read Sewer overflows may have spilled more than 100,000 gallons. Some may have gone into river - “When too much rain infiltrated pipes and caused sanitary sewer systems in Manatee County to overflow last month, initial estimates were that more than 1,000 gallons of water and waste water spilled. Updated reports to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection show new estimates that more than 100,000 gallons was released. Some of it may have ended in the Manatee River. There were nearly a dozen reported sanitary sewer system overflows or spills reported in the span of a few days in August when several inches of rain was dumped across Manatee County...So much rain caused the collection system to surcharge, creating several of the spills reported in Manatee County between Aug. 12 and Aug. 16…” Sara Nealeigh reports for the Bradenton Herald.

Read Habitat key to saving the pine snake in Florida - “Five feet of white, brown and black scales lay coiled up in the road in the upper Suwannee River Valley as Ryan Sims drove up at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 23. It was an adult pine snake, soaking up the sun for warmth — a rare sighting — said the natural resource specialist. “I was just doing a routine drive through,” Sims said, “and it was basking in the road ... that’s encouraging.” Sims, a snake expert with the Suwannee River Water Management District, said the unusual finding means restoration efforts to help the threatened species are working. “It’s tough being a pine snake,” he said. “They’ve got the deck stacked three-high against them.” The Florida pine snake, listed as threatened by state environmental officials, is a non-venomous snake native to the state and parts of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. It lives mostly underground in burrows...It is often mistaken for the rattlesnake and killed by humans or run over while crossing roads, Sims said. However, the pine snake’s biggest threat is habitat loss. Pine snakes live in high and dry places, he explained — the same places humans like to build and farm on. The longleaf pine forests and sandhills that historically housed the snakes are now home to suburbia. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Bradley O’Hanlon said that about 97% of the snake’s original habitat is now taken over by farming and housing. Because the snakes live 80% of their lives underground, they are hard to count, he said, but he estimates over 30,000 adult pine snakes live in the state…” Danielle Ivanov reports for the Ocala Star Banner.

Read Fight over Topsail Hill: Preservationists resist more accesses to the state park - “Estus Whitfield said he remembers in the 1950s and 1960s catching bluegill and bass with his dad in the coastal dune lakes in South Walton County. When he left for college “the area was totally isolated,” he said, and when he returned in the early 1970s: “I was lost. I didn’t recognize the place.” Now, the 77-year-old Whitfield said the area where he grew up has become “wall-to-wall development.” However, thanks to Whitfield, Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Grayton Beach State Park and Point Washington State Forest, where he roamed as a child, all remain preserved by the state. That’s because Whitfield served as the chief environmental adviser for 28 years to Florida governors Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, Bob Martinez, Lawton Chiles, Buddy MacKay and Jeb Bush, and led the push to snap up those pristine lands...Many South Walton residents feel just like Whitfield, who holds a master’s degree in wildlife and forestry, is a founding member of the Florida Conservation Coalition and considers himself a lifelong environmentalist. They have resisted Cypress Dunes, Emerald Walk, Beach Highland, Topsail Village and Cypress Lake subdivisions along the west end of County Road 30A, whose residents have continually tried since 2014 to establish their own public beach access to Topsail Hill Preserve’s 3.2 miles of sandy white Gulf of Mexico shoreline...The South Walton skirmish broke out again when the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Recreation and Parks held a public hearing Aug. 22 at the South Walton Campus of Northwest Florida State College to seek public comment on its unit management plan, or UMP. Every 10 years, the agency reviews its state park plans. Opponents like Celeste Cobena, a longtime environmental advocate, want preservation of the wet prairies and their pitcher plants, coastal pine scrub and old-growth long leaf pines, and, most importantly of all, the coastal dune lakes that thrive in the Topsail Hill Preserve. Also within the rare coastal ecosystem are 13 imperiled species, such as the Choctawhatchee beach mouse, gopher tortoises and snowy plovers…” Duwayne Escobedo reports for Northwest Florida Daily News.

Read Proposed villages in rural Collier draw concerns from environmentalists - “Growth in rural Collier County could be taking a new form. Large swaths of undeveloped land east of Golden Gate Estates, including 4,000 acres once slated to be a new town, might be transformed into a group of smaller villages, a move that has drawn concern from some environmentalists. Arguing that bureaucracy and "economic overreach” by the county had forced its hand, Collier Enterprises earlier this year withdrew its Rural Lands West application for the new town… For Collier Enterprises, the move from town to villages was in part motivated by a more compact timeline and a reduction in costs.  Whereas planning for a town looks 20 or 30 years into the future, villages are smaller in scale and plans look closer to 10 years out, said Patrick Utter, senior vice president of real estate for Collier Enterprises. That includes planning for roads, water, sewer, parks and emergency services. With Rural Lands West, the company had to “overbuild” certain infrastructure, Utter said. Major four- to six-lane roads, for instance, were needed to serve the project, driving up costs. With the reduction in development footprint, the acreage slated for preservation has also shrunk. Development of the town would have required preserving more than 12,000 acres of agriculture, wildlife habitat and environmental flowways. It also would have restored more than 900 acres of farm fields to wetlands and habitat... Ninety percent of land slated for development is farm fields, Utter said. "We're repurposing land that's been farmed for decades," he said...Representatives from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, which opposed Rural Lands West, said all three villages proposed by Collier Enterprises will impact Florida panther habitat, including primary panther habitat and adult breeding habitat. “These are the areas that best available science says development needs to be directed away from,” said Nicole Johnson, director of environmental policy for the Conservancy. “So environmentally, this is an absolute disaster.” Johnson said the proposed development is “nothing more than absolute, massive urban sprawl.” “Instead of having a cohesive new town, you have all of these smaller villages that are being brought in, I assume to avoid the infrastructure that new towns require,” she said. For both Rural Lands West and the new proposed villages, the location is inappropriate, said April Olson, a senior environmental planning specialist with the Conservancy. The Conservancy supports a recommendation made by county staff in a white paper on the RLSA to create an “aggregation rule for villages,” Olson said. “What they’re saying is if you have a lot of these smaller villages that are adjacent to each other or very close to each other and under a common ownership, then … that project should apply to town standards, the stricter standards for towns,” she said…” Patrick Riley reports for the Naples Daily News.

Read Ponte Vedra Corporation proposes stay on Outpost development - “The Ponte Vedra Corporation, a subsidiary of GATE Petroleum Company, is not backing down on its land use change issue for The Outpost property, but it is making the sale of the land to conservationists more feasible. In a release issued Friday, PVC announced its willingness to “self impose a three-year stay of development on the property, allowing time for public entities or private preservation groups to secure funding and purchase the property.” The approximately 100-acre parcel in northern St. Johns County has been the subject of a lawsuit and intense public debate as the owners have tried to get the land changed from a land use of Conservation to Residential-A Coastal and CV. PVC wants approval so that it can put a maximum of 66 homes on the 74 upland acres of the property. In August, the county Planning and Zoning Agency voted 3-2 to recommend transmittal of the application to the state. The County Commission will decide on that at its Sept. 17 meeting. At the PZA meeting, hundreds of county residents came out to oppose the land use change, and many of them expressed that opposition during about two hours of public comment. But the PZA dismissed the public opposition and environmental concerns — many of which were brought forward by citizen action group Save Guana Now — citing the property rights of the owners. What Save Guana Now members and others would like is for the property to be purchased by the state or a conservation organization so that it is preserved instead of developed. This proposal by PVC allows groups like the North Florida Land Trust the opportunity to line up funding to keep the land in conservation…” Stuart Korfhage reports for the St. Augustine Record.


From Our Readers

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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 9th - 6:00pm - Earth Ethics Environmental Education series - (Pensacola) - Join Earth Ethics in welcoming this month’s guest speaker, Grace Resendez McCaffery, owner of Latino Media Gulf Coast, Publisher of La Costa Media Gulf Coast, and Founder of the Hispanic Resource Center of Northwest Florida as she discusses Beyond the Wall: Human Rights and Social Justice beginning at 6 p.m. at Ever’man Education Center 327 W Garden Street, Pensacola, FL 32502. Earth Ethics will discuss some of the environmental impacts associated with the building of the wall. Stay up to date and let us know you’ll be joining us by visiting the Facebook event page here.  

September 9th - 9:00am - Sarasota County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Sarasota) - Attend the Sarasota County Delegation meeting at the Sarasota County Administration Building, First Floor/Commission Chambers, 1660 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota FL 34236. Interested parties wishing to be placed on the agenda should contact GeeDee Kerr in Senator Gruters’ office at kerr.geedee@flsenate.gov as soon as possible but  no later than 5:00pm on September 3, 2019 2019. Written presentations will be limited to 3 pages (can be 2-sided) per organization.  All materials must be submitted electronically and in Word format. 

September 9th – 9:30am – Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Riverview) – Attend the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Regent, 6437 Watson Road, Riverview, FL 33578. For further information and to be placed on the agenda, complete the speaker request form here by September 4th and/or email Jason Holloway at holloway.jason@flsenate.gov.

September 10th - 1:00pm-5:00pm - Marion County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Ocala) - Attend the Marion County Legislative Delegation meeting at the College of Central Florida, Klein Conference Center3001 SW College Road, Ocala, FL 34474. For additional information or to be placed on the printed agenda to address the Marion County Legislative Delegation, please contact Suzanne McGuire in Senator Perry’s office by Friday, August 29, 2019 by phone at 352-732-1249 or email mcguire.suzanne@flsenate.gov. All materials or handouts for this meeting must be sent to Suzanne McGuire in Senator Perry’s office no later than Friday, August 30, 2019. Please find appearance request form here.

September 12th - 10:00am- Martin County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Stuart) - Attend the Martin County Delegation meeting at the Indian River State College Chastain Campus, Wolf Technology Center, 2400 SE Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997. To participate in the delegation meeting, email Joey Planz at Joey.Planz@MyFloridaHouse.gov for an appearance form. Participation form can also be accessed here. Anyone wishing to speak before the Delegation must fill out a participation form and return it to the office no later than noon on September 2, 2019.

September 12th – 9:00am-12:00pm – Pinellas County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Clearwater) – Attend the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation meeting at the St. Petersburg College – Clearwater Campus, Auditorium, 2465 Drew St., Clearwater, FL 33765. To participate in the delegation meeting, contact Anna.Stearns@myfloridahouse.gov and submit the participant request form before September 5th. Agenda and meeting notice will be released at a later date.  

September 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 20th - 4:00-6:00pm - Pensacola Climate Strike - (Pensacola) - Join 350 Pensacola 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

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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