Friday, November 14, 2008

Florida environmental and wildlife news for the week ending 11-14-08


Contaminated sugar fields could add millions to Everglades cleanup costs
By Curtis Morgan
Miami Herald
More than half the land the state is poised to acquire from sugar growers has levels of pollution that could harm wildlife and cost tens of millions of dollars to clean up.

West Kendall Community Council approves controversial development
By Xavier A. Martinez
Miami Herald
In a 5-1 vote, the West Kendall Community Council passed a motion Monday recommending approval of the controversial Lennar led Parkland 2018 development, a 6,841 residential unit community estimated to eventually be the home for 18,000 people in Southwest Miami-Dade.

Climate change threatens Florida's drinking water supply
By Asjylyn Loder
St. Pete Times
If climatologists are right, Florida's future could be a thirsty one: Climate change, blamed for eating away at Florida's coastline, is also quietly encroaching on the state's drinking water.

Bush makes last-minute environmental deregulation push
By Renee Schoof
McClatchy News Service
Miami Herald
In the next few weeks, the Bush administration is expected to relax environmental-protection rules on power plants near national parks, uranium mining near the Grand Canyon and more mountaintop-removal coal mining in Appalachia.

White Ibis in Everglades National Park.


Florida and U.S. Sugar Revamp Everglades Deal
By Damien Cave
New York Times
Gov. Charlie Crist and the United States Sugar Corporation are close to an agreement that would scale back the state’s ambitious purchase of the company to gain a wide swath of land for Everglades restoration, environmental groups close to the negotiations said Monday.

U.S. Sugar deal draws water managers' concern
By Curtis Morgan
Miami Herald
Related: Florida-Big Sugar deal boosts towns, firm
The governor may be sweet on the new Big Sugar deal, but the water managers he appointed still have plenty of reservations.

Is deal enough to save Glades?
By Kate spinner
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
In front of the home where Marjory Stoneman Douglas wrote the famous book that dubbed the Everglades a River of Grass, environmental advocates, water managers and sugar producers on Wednesday applauded Gov. Charlie Crist's latest, less costly plan to buy U.S. Sugar land and save the national treasure.

U.S. Sugar: Reduced $1.3B Everglades deal will save tax dollars, 1,700 jobs
By Paul Quinlan
Palm Beach Post
From five months of intense negotiation amid a global economic quake, a deal emerged after all: Florida will buy nearly all of U.S. Sugar's farmland - a tract nearly the size of New York City - for $1.34 billion to restore the Everglades, the company announced today.

FWC undercover investigation nets multi-million-dollar marine-life theft ring
Press Release
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
A six-month undercover investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has led to the arrest of eight members of a Tampa Bay area crime ring, engaged in a multi-million-dollar scheme to illegally exploit and export the state’s marine resources.

FPL customers pay for others' mistakes
Miami Herald
If a bad employee makes a costly error -- whether intentional or not -- there isn't much mystery about who will pay for the damage.

Progress Energy can hike rates 25%
Associated Press
Orlando Sentinel
Progress Energy, a key electricity provider in Central Florida, received approval to boost rates 25 percent, the largest in a series of approvals Wednesday

Officials say increase in sea turtle nests locally
By Valli Finney
Naples News
A dramatic increase in the number of loggerhead sea turtle nests locally is good news.

Ga. governor questions Fla. argument in water wars
By Brendan Farrington
Associated Press
Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue looks at his state's pristine coastline and then at the development Florida allows on its shores and said he wonders how Florida officials can preach about the environment.

High court sides with Navy on sonar use
By Bo Petersen
Charleston Post and Courier
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Wednesday might have torpedoed environmental opposition to proposed Navy sonar ranges off the East Coast.

Florida hoteliers key in on green
By Cindy Swirko
Gainesville Sun
Not that you should do this at the next hotel you visit, but you could flush a potato down the toilet without fear of it stopping it up if the toilet is like the water-saving model on display at the first-ever Florida Green Lodging Conference in Gainesville.

Does $11.5M Econlockhatchee deal cross the line?
By Kevin Spear
Orlando Sentinel
The Econlockhatchee River is an imperiled environmental treasure and a designated barrier east of Orlando that developers aren't supposed to cross.

Rarity of One Hawk Species Mysterious
By Tom Palmer
Lakeland Ledger
First time I saw a short-tailed hawk was 25 years ago at Flamingo in Everglades National Park.

2006 vandalism at FPL nuclear plant raises concern about worker screenings
By Susan Salisbury
Palm Beach Post
Information unveiled this week raises troubling questions about a 2006 act of vandalism at Florida Power & Light Co.'s Turkey Point nuclear power plant - vandalism that has already cost utility customers $6.2 million

Loggerhead sea turtles: Thriving or declining?
By Ludmilla Lelis
Orlando Sentinel
It was a better season in Florida for loggerhead sea turtles, with more nests dug at many beaches than last year.

Disease imperils iconic native palms
By Kate Spinner
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
A deadly bacteria that is killing imported, high-maintenance palms decorating Florida landscapes now threatens the ubiquitous sabal palm, emblazoned on the state seal.

New try at state birding
By Mark Lane
Daytona Beach News-Journal
In most places, using a state symbol as a civics teaching tool would be a simple, noncontroversial thing to do. But this is Florida. There are political traps one can't foresee.

Bald eagles at risk again in Florida
Pensacola News-Journal
When I found a bird with a broken wing several years ago, I gently scooped it into a box and took it to the Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida at its former location near Midway.

Bald Eagle in flight over Kennedy Space Center.

Wildwood Preservation Society is a non-profit 501(c)(4) project of the Advocacy Consortium for the Common Good. Click here to learn more.

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