Thursday, February 12, 2009

Florida environmental and wildlife news for the week ending 2-13-09


Miami-Dade's stance on urban development boundary: Yes and no
By Fred Grimm
Miami Herald
Miami-Dade County, defending a decision to allow developers to breach the Urban Development Boundary, was up against damning evidence from compelling experts. Those experts just happened to be on the county payroll.

Click the banner above to visit Hold The Line’s website and help protect Miami-Dade’s UDB.

Volunteers work to make sure turtles survive
By Sarah Rose Stewart
Florida Times-Union
Related: Click here to visit the Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch website.
Hours before many residents along the beaches of Amelia Island rise on summer mornings, the sea turtles nesting there are hard at work on their lives' ambition: reproduction.

Congressional panel told drilling in gulf off Florida too big of a risk
By Wes Allison
St. Pete Times
Related: Click here to visit Environment Florida’s page on offshore oil drilling.
D.T. Minich, executive director of the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday that drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico is not worth the risk to the environment and the area's economy.

Gainesville proposes solution for Paynes Prairie pollution
By Bruce Ritchie
Florida Environmental News
Related: Click here to visit the Friends of Paynes Prairie website.
Dirty stormwater runoff laden with nutrients and trash for decades has been spilling onto Paynes Prairie State Preserve near Gainesville before flowing underground into the Floridan Aquifer -- the source of the region's drinking water.

Endangered wood stork at Paynes Prairie


New endangered species: the flatwoods salamander
By Teresa Stepzinski
Florida Times-Union
A shy, diminutive salamander native to South Georgia, North Florida and coastal South Carolina has been listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Endangered Flatwoods Salamander

Environmental group files petition against new nuke plant
By Fred Hiers
Ocala Star-Banner
Related: Click here to read the NIRS petition to the nuclear regulatory agency.
The Ecology Party of Florida has joined the Nuclear Information Resource Service (NIRS) in an attempt to stop the construction of two proposed nuclear reactors in Levy County.

Dirty energy loan guarantees stripped from compromise stimulus bill
By Sue Sturgis
Facing South
Clean energy advocates scored a victory yesterday when a provision to provide $50 billion worth of taxpayer loan guarantees for new nuclear and high-tech coal plants was stripped out of the final version of the economic stimulus bill negotiated by the House and Senate.

Can developers keep green promises?
By Ludmilla Lelis
Orlando Sentinel
For decades, one of Florida's last huge undeveloped tracts -- 59,000 acres of swamps and pine mostly in southeast Volusia County -- was considered a "sleeping giant," used for timber farming and hunting.

State Senate bill would give voters say on U.S. Sugar deal
By Paul Quinlan
Palm Beach Post
Anger in Tallahassee over Gov. Charlie Crist's $1.34 billion bid to restore the Everglades could help a proposed law that threatens to block financing for the deal.

Powerful chairman criticizes EPA waterways plan
By Bruce Ritchie
Florida Environmental News
The chairman of the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday criticized a federal plan to set new water quality standards for nutrients in Florida within a year.

Defenders of black bears in Chassahowitzka unhappy as developer moves closer to land swap
By Barbara Behrendt
St. Pete Times
Related: Pasco land swap would be bad for black bears
The planned SunWest Harbourtowne development in Pasco's far northwest corner got a boost Thursday with the approval of a controversial land swap that conservation groups say could lead to the extinction of the black bears in the Chassahowitzka wilderness.

Progress Energy to lower bills 11 percent
By Asjylyn Loder
St. Pete Times
Progress Energy Florida customers reeling from a recent 24 percent increase in their electric bills will get some welcome relief in April, but it may be short-lived.

Everglades: Florida’s Natural Heritage May Not Be Inherited
By Amadu Wiltshire
The University of Tampa Minaret
Over 50 percent of the Everglades have reached the point of no return due to man’s uncaring activities in the region.

Chamber’s plan to block Florida Hometown Democracy discriminates against military, local elections offices
By Kelly Cornelius
Creative Loafing
Here we go again. Is there no end to the dirty tricks the growth machine in Florida is willing to go to in order to stop Florida Hometown Democracy?

Northeast Florida may become a 'caution area'
By Steve Patterson
Florida Times-Union
Aquifer levels will drop seriously in Northeast Florida within 20 years if a growing population doesn’t waste less water, new estimates by water managers warn.

For years, tens of millions of gallons of drinking water have been dumped in Orlando area
By Kevin Spear
Orlando Sentinel
Before you feel guilty about a drippy faucet or a long shower, think about what happens to water inside a patch of southeast Orange County suburbia.

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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