Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Urgent action needed to save Florida Forever funding

UPDATE 4/29/09: Here is the latest, urgent update from the Florida Forever Coalition including suggested action/talking points: http://bit.ly/12y9Eb

Please read the important update below from from our friends at the Florida Forever Coalition and take action.

As we enter the final scheduled week of Florida's legislative session, funding for Florida Forever (FF) funding is still in jeopardy.

The Status: The Senate bill that deals with closing the documentary stamp tax loophole is still on track to pass in the Senate. SB 2430 would provide approximately $46M in additional doc stamp revenue for next fiscal year. A portion of this would be used to provide up to $50M in FF bonds and $50M for Everglades bonds for next fiscal year. The bill makes sure FF bonds are safe (assurance) for investors, and allow the state to issue bonds for $250M for FF for this year.

In an advance-planned, last minute maneuver, the House introduced HB 1219 that would allow oil and gas drilling within three miles of Florida's coast. In an effort to give it an environmental spin, the sponsors are proposing to fund FL Forever through oil and gas lease revenues. The Florida Forever Coalition believes oil and gas drilling lease revenues are not an appropriate, reliable solution to Florida Forever funding, and that the leases could not generate sufficient, predictable revenue to support Florida Forever bonds next year or for several years after that.

Recommended Actions:
Senate - need Senate to approve tax loophole bill (SB 2430) that will fund FF next year, let this year's bonds be sold and ensure environmental bond repayments - contact editorial boards, Senators, etc.
House - regarding the drilling bill (HB 1219) - contact House members/leadership and state that FF funding for NEXT YEAR is critical - drilling revenue will not be sufficient or available next year
Governor - contact Gov. Crist to encourage him to come out against drilling and in favor of FF funding for next year.
Overall message - FL Forever funding is not secured yet - support the Senate's approach in funding FF for next year.

Thanks to Sens. Atwater, Alexander, Baker, Lawson, Gelber for their roles in support of Florida Forever. Continue to forward resolutions, news stories, and elected officials' comments regarding Florida Forever to info@supportfloridaforever.org.

A strong, coordinated final hour effort is essential to obtain funding for Florida Forever.

Thank you,

The Florida Forever Coalition Steering Committee

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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Friday, April 24, 2009

Florida environmental and wildlife news for the week ending 4-24-09


Legislators back lifting ban on oil drilling off Florida coast
By Mary Ellen Klas
St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau
Related editorial: Shameful oil drilling ploy
In a full-barreled appeal to the House Policy Council, the oil and gas industry persuaded lawmakers to vote, 17-6, along party lines Tuesday for a bill that opens state waters to exploration and taps into new revenues for the state's ailing budget.

On Earth Day, Crist says he's open-minded to drilling
By Bruce Ritchie
Celebrating Earth Day outside the Capitol on Wednesday, Gov. Charlie Crist said he is open minded to HB 1219, which would allow oil drilling off the Florida coast.

Florida House moves to assist developers
By Jim Ash
Ft. Myers News-Press
In the name of economic development, and over the heated objections of environmental groups, the House on Thursday gave preliminary approval to an overhaul of growth-management laws designed to help recession-weary developers.

Developers still salivating over Florida land
The Associated Press
Miami Herald
Despite a rapidly deteriorating housing market and plunging real estate values, Florida is experiencing an unprecedented number of requests to build new homes and develop commercial property.

Develop, bulldoze, fill, pave; repeat
By Diane Roberts
St. Petersburg Times
Related editorial: Growth 'solution' still a problem
It's not Wall Street greed or the housing bubble. It's not our regressive tax structure, the big breaks we gave to the rich in the 1990s, or the way we bet our futures on other people's Magic Kingdom fantasies.

Renewable energy projects in jeopardy
By Russell Ray
Tampa Tribune
Several renewable energy projects in Florida may be scuttled or delayed if lawmakers fail to pass legislation requiring utilities to get 20 percent of their power from renewable or clean energy sources by 2020.



USGS: What happened to the Everglades?
By Russell McLendon
Morther Nature Network
The Everglades first emerged in South Florida about 5,000 years ago, after the last ice age ended.

Surprise departure from water board could shift voting margin for Crist's U.S. Sugar deal
By Paul Quinlan
Palm Beach Post
Gov. Charlie Crist's proposed half-billion-dollar land purchase from U.S. Sugar Corp. will not be affected by a recent resignation from the regional water board that must sign off on the deal.

Gainesville at the forefront of the future of energy
By Kevin Spear
Orlando Sentinel
The future of energy as dreamed about by ardent environmentalists would bring a mini-electric plant to every garage or every rooftop.

NRC hearing focuses on environmental concerns
By Lou Elliott Jones
Chiefland Citizen
A coalition of environmental groups has filed a petition with the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission asking what no one in Levy County has thus far voiced about the proposed two-unit nuclear plant near Inglis.

Benefits of a 'smart' power grid in South Florida debated
By John Dorschner
Miami Herald
When Kevin Linn of Coral Springs received a special power meter last October, he was able to check his usage day by day and hour by hour via the Internet. He found spikes in midday when no one was home -- the water heater was churning away.

Slow pace on energy bill could slow Babcock solar array
By Michael Peltier
Naples News
Babcock Ranch developer Syd Kitson said Tuesday that reluctance on the part of state lawmakers may dim the chances that Babcock Ranch's solar array will see the light of day this year.

Environmental, farming groups concerned about tax breaks
By Bruce Ritchie
A House committee on Wednesday passed a bill that would exempt conservation lands from being taxed as approved by voters last November.

Proposal may avoid shut down for longline grouper fishermen
By Stephen Nohlgren
St. Petersburg Times
Commercial longline grouper fishermen, facing a devastating shutdown because of loggerhead turtle deaths, gained a possible reprieve Friday — but only in the long run.

Sea turtles need help now
By Carl Safina
Tallahassee Democrat
Sea turtles will soon start crawling ashore to nest on Florida's shores in a ritual that's millions of years old. But unless we make changes, fewer turtles will reach the beaches.

Florida Legislators Are Not Making the Environment a Priority, According to Audubon of Florida
Press Release
According to the Audubon of Florida, state legislators are not acting in the spirit of Earth Day or in the interests of Florida residents as two environmental issues make their way through the legislature.

Nature Conservancy Applauds Legislators for Advancing Creative Solution for Funding Florida Forever
Press Release
Nature Conservancy
Closing corporate tax loophole would generate documentary stamp tax revenue to fund state’s conservation program.

Want to pay $35 million to help T. Rowe Price destroy our wetlands in the middle of a drought?
By Chris Hrabovsky
Creative Loafing
Want to pay $35 million to help T. Rowe Price destroy our wetlands in the middle of a drought?

Riverkeeper pledges continued river protection
By Jimmy Orth
St. Augustine Record
On Monday, April 13, our St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) demonstrated how far it has drifted from its mission when it approved a permit application from Seminole County to begin withdrawing water from the St. Johns River for irrigation purposes.

The Quicksand Economy
By Alan Farago
When Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner spoke to the Economic Club in Washington yesterday and said the United States bears a substantial share of responsibility for a global economic crisis and its multi-trillion dollar costs, he might have pointedly singled out the epicenter of the housing market crash-- the state of Florida-- where the absence of regulations governing financial derivatives matched laws designed to fail: in particular, regulations protecting the public from the excesses of suburban sprawl.

Gone: Mass Extinction and the Hazards of Earth's Vanishing Biodiversity
By Julia Whitty
Mother Jones
By the end of the century, half of all species on Earth may be extinct due to global warming and other causes. Who will survive the world's dwindling biodiversity, and why?

'Most Wanted' list seeks environmental criminals
Staff Report
Miami Herald
It's not just the FBI that has a Most Wanted list; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has one, too.

Drilling off Florida coast still a bad idea
Miami Herald
A bill passed by the House Policy Council on Tuesday was the first crack in the heretofore impenetrable wall against oil and gas drilling off Florida's coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Supporters, however, used a stacked deck to get the job done.

New drilling bill is a preposterous giveaway
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Rep. Dean Cannon's plan to open Florida's coast to oil and gas drilling deserves all the ridicule it's getting, given its sheer preposterousness.

Florida wetlands

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

"it's all connected"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Florida environmental and wildlife news for the week ending 4-17-09


State decides to ban freshwater turtle harvesting
By Craig Pittman
St. Petersburg Times
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission press release
Humane Society of the United States
press release
Center for Biological Diversity
press release
The state's wildlife agency voted unanimously today to ban the harvest of freshwater turtles throughout Florida, the strongest such ban in the nation.

Senate includes Florida Forever funding
By Bruce Ritchie
Contact your legislators in support of Florida Forever via Progress Florida’s online action
Support the
Florida Forever Coalition
Sen. Carey Baker and Sen. Al Lawson have found a way to put money in the budget for the Florida Forever land-buying program and appear to have the blessing of Sen. JD Alexander, the chamber's top budget writer.

Groups sue federal government over sea turtles
By Brian Skoloff
Associated Press
Earthjustice press release
Center for Biological Diversity
press release
Palm Beach Post
A half dozen conservation groups sued the federal government on Wednesday, claiming the agency that oversees the Gulf of Mexico fishery is violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to protect threatened sea turtles.

State rethinking growth laws
By Jim Saunders
Daytona Beach News-Journal
When lawmakers made major changes to Florida's growth-management system in 2005, the state was awash in development.

The state of sunshine
By Asjylyn Loder
St. Petersburg Times
Solar power in the Sunshine State has exploded in the past three years, providing millions of dollars in new projects and hundreds of jobs even as most of Florida's economy withered.

Renewable Power Needed, Not Nuclear
By Michael Dobson
Lakeland Ledger
Florida has a chance to lead, but not today.

Florida soft shell turtle in the Everglades


FWC concludes 2-day meeting in Tallahassee
Press Release
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
Related: Peregrine falcon rules, controversy coming
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wrapped up its two-day session Thursday, April 16, in Tallahassee.

Peregrine falcon

Monkeys in paradise
By Rick Folstad
Tampa Tribune
There's a small monkey staring at us from the trunk of a dead tree.

5 lawmakers ask Pres. Obama to protect panthers
Associated Press
Miami Herald
Five members of Congress have asked President Obama to protect the Florida panther.

Dry skies have water managers running low on options to protect faucets
By Paul Quinlan
Palm Beach Post
An unprecedented shortage of rain has water and utility managers pondering how to weather what could soon go down as South Florida's worst dry season ever recorded.

This plan helps politicians, does little for River of Grass
By Dexter W. Lehtinen
Orlando Sentinel
After his first and second new "visions" for Everglades restoration collapsed, Gov. Charlie Crist announced a third ill-conceived idea for buying U.S. Sugar Corp. land.

Rundown of Environmental Issues We Are Facing
By Geniusofdespair
Eye On Miami
Here is a quick rundown of what we are facing on the environmental front.

Call on Your Legislator to Pass Clean Car Laws Now
Audubon of Florida News
The Legislature is holding hostage bills that would adopt emissions standards for cars and light trucks to reduce the greenhouse gases.

Solving the energy crisis and ending bailouts- for real!
By Chris Hrabovsky
Creative Loafing
The truth is, “bailouts”, are not just limited to Wall Street thieves. Energy Companies like Progress Energy have been granted a “pre-emptive bailout”, for a boondoggle that hasn’t even been built yet

New Martin growth push is on
By Sally Swartz
Palm Beach Post
The latest push for more development in Martin County started on March 20, a Friday, when an inch-thick packet hit county commissioners' desks.

Alarming number of sea turtles wash ashore
By Caren Burmeister
Florida Times-Union
Dead and sick sea turtles are washing up on beaches at roughly three times the normal rate from Duval to Brevard County, and biologists don't know why.

Digging below the surface
TC Palm
Call it the dumbing down of "environmental protection."

Growth 'solution' still a problem
St. Petersburg Times
As the legislative session heads into its final two weeks, the most egregious efforts to dismantle growth management, wipe out impact fees and kill the state's planning agency may be fading.

Loggerhead sea turtle

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

"it's all connected"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Help save Florida Forever

Note: Wildwood Preservation Society assisted Leon County in the acquisition of a $2.35 million dollar matching grant to conserve sensitive land including endangered wood stork foraging habitat in Fred George Basin. The grant was obtained via Florida Forever, the state's successful land conservation program. See the message below from Progress Florida and take action to save Florida Forever from shortsighted, unnecessary budget cuts. When taking action you will be asked for your zip code so the message will be sent to the appropriate lawmakers – you must be a Florida resident to participate. More background and info is at the Florida Forever Coalition website. Thank you!

Our sandy white beaches, magnificent springs, wetlands teeming with wildlife, these are the natural treasures that define our state. Unfortunately, Florida's flagship land conservation program that protects these gems, Florida Forever, is in serious trouble. If the legislature's budget is approved as currently written, our hallmark land conservation program will receive NO FUNDING.

We can't allow that to happen. Click here to contact your legislators in support of the Florida Forever program. Then, please forward this message to your friends and family.
Sprawling development has carved wildlife habitat into smaller and smaller pieces, divided by highways or paved over altogether for shopping malls and office parks -- threatening state symbols such as the Florida panther and the Florida black bear. The Florida Forever program has been a success story in the fight to protect Florida's remaining open spaces, protecting more than two million acres throughout the state.

A new poll released by The Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land shows that 81% of Florida voters hold a favorable impression of land protection and 67% support continued funding of Florida Forever. Yet despite such overwhelming public support, the legislature is very close to suspending this critical program, and that's why we need your help right now.

Please take a moment and urge your representatives to continue funding Florida Forever. Then, please forward this message to your friends and family.

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

"it's all connected"

Friday, April 10, 2009

Florida environmental and wildlife news for the week ending 4-10-09


U.S. Sugar Corp. tells Florida negotiators: Take land deal or leave it
By Andy Reid
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Lingering cost concerns about the state's scaled-down $533 million Everglades land deal prompted a take-it-or-leave-it message Thursday from U.S. Sugar Corp.

Florida's worsening drought sparks water fights
By Curtis Morgan
Miami Herald
Everglades marshes and Big Cypress swamps are drying up. Estuaries at the mouths of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers are turning too salty.

U.S. reps ask administration for more Florida panther protection
By Craig Pittman
St. Pete Times
Although the Florida panther has been on the endangered species list for 40 years, the government has never officially designated what its "critical habitat" would be.

Rally urges support for Florida Forever
By Bruce Ritchie
With budget cuts threatening to end the nation's largest land conservation program, environmental groups on Monday released poll results they said showed support for the state's Florida Forever land-buying program.

A Solar-Powered Solution to Florida Sprawl
By Michael Grunwald
Time Magazine
An NFL lineman turned visionary developer today is unveiling startlingly ambitious plans for a solar-powered city of tomorrow in southwest Florida's outback, featuring the world's largest photovoltaic solar plant, a truly smart power grid, recharging stations for electric vehicles and a variety of other green innovations.

The hidden costs of nuclear power
By PlentyMag.com
Mother Nature News
As one of Florida’s largest utilities prepared to unveil details about its nuclear plans in March 2008, its executives showed a noticeable wariness about one detail in particular: the price.

Young want a green future
By Lyndsey Scofield
Tampa Tribune
The next generation is ready. Will our leaders lead us?

Editorial Cartoon by Jim Morin, Miami Herald


Manatee deaths on the rise
By PlentyMag.com
Mother Nature Network
More than 100 newborn manatees were found dead in 2008, up from 59 in 2007, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

Budget cuts end program to track endangered Florida panther
By Associated Press
TC Palm
Budget woes are forcing state wildlife officials to cut a program that tracks endangered Florida panthers with GPS-equipped collars.

Protect Florida panther habitat from development
By Andrew McElwaine
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The Florida panther is one of the most endangered animals on Earth, with only 80 to 100 remaining.

Fish and Wildlife to review 13 Florida endangered species
Staff Report
Orlando Sentinel
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct status reviews of 13 plants on Florida's endangered species list.

Proposal would protect Florida springs
By Jim Saunders and Dinah Voyles Pulver
Daytona Beach News-Journal
State Sen. Lee Constantine describes springs as "one of the last and most-unique treasures" of Florida.

Proposed cuts to petroleum cleanup raise civic concerns
By Jim Ash
Tallahassee Democrat
Engineers and environmentalists warned Monday about proposed budget cuts to a $151.7 million program that pays for some 5,000 active cleanup projects where plumes of gasoline and other petroleum products threaten drinking-water supplies.

Ethanol producers, once riding high in Fla. and elsewhere, now struggle
By David Adams
St. Pete Times
A year ago, the ethanol industry was riding high on spiraling gas prices that made corn-based biofuel a highly attractive home-grown supplement to costly gasoline.

McKeel: Lift Moratorium On Offshore Oil Drilling
By Bill Rufty
Lakeland Ledger
Legislation by Rep. Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland, requesting Congress withdraw a moratorium barring drilling for oil and gas in the eastern Gulf of Mexico is one step away from being voted on by the Florida House.

Look for a change in Florida's growth law
By Howard Troxler
St. Pete Times
It's always risky to predict what the Legislature will do.

Relaxing growth rules could open floodgates to more sprawl
By Anthony Westbury
TC Palm
So, how did Florida get into such a bottomless financial pit?

Florida Forever: Keep it going
Florida Times-Union
It would be a shame if the state's landmark Florida Forever environmental land-buying program does not last beyond this year.

Florida Forever
Gainesville Sun
Alachua County residents have twice voted with their pocketbooks in favor of land preservation; once several years ago in creating Alachua County Forever, and again last year to provide a new funding source for it.

Developers, politicians reach deal on bear habitat, but nature loses
St. Pete Times
Who looks out for Florida's wildlife in Aripeka?

No drilling in the Gulf
Gainesville Sun
It isn't hard to be a voice of reason against a chorus chanting, "Drill, baby, drill." But credit goes to Ken Salazar, the new Interior Secretary, who is undertaking a serious review of U.S. energy policy.

Critically endangered Florida panther

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

"it's all connected"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Florida Earth Day Jam April 18th in Tallahassee

Florida Earth Day Jam is Florida’s largest Earth Day celebration. The Earth Day Jam is an all-day music festival and environmental exposition that will be held Saturday, April 18 at The Bradfordville Blues Club and is organized by the parents, teachers, children and alumni of The Magnolia School of Tallahassee.

The Magnolia community is committed to serving the community at large with its environmental education component. As they did for their wildly successful concert in 2006, dozens of our area’s environmental organizations will participate in the environmental exposition going on all day during the show. With the music, the vendors and the green exposition on site, this year’s Jam will be more exciting than ever, and will provide valuable outreach opportunities for our environmental nonprofit partners.

Leon County Commissioner Cliff Thaell and Tallahassee City Commissioner Andrew D. Gillum serve as honorary co-chairs of this regional Earth Day observance and celebration.

Musicians, artisans, vendors and exhibitors are being added every day. Support Florida Earth Day Jam!

Click here for more info and to purchase tickets.
here to visit Florida Earth Jam on MySpace.

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

"it's all connected"

Friday, April 3, 2009

Florida environmental and wildlife news for the week ending 4-3-09

Wildwood Preservation Society in the news

Fred George Basin Clean-Up
Reported by Kelsey Johnson
WCTV CBS News Tallahassee

Folks from around the capital city gathered to get a little dirty in order to pick up after litterbugs.

The Wildwood Preservation Society and Family Tree teamed up to grab a garbage bag in order to pick up trash that has collected around the Fred George basin.

About fifteen people showed up to lend a helping hand to their community.

"That's my favorite thing is the fact that you can have so much community come together and understand how everything is connected." says Founder of the Wildwood Preservation Society, Misty Penton.

Organizers say cleaning the basin of debris helps to prevent contamination in our drinking water, flooding, and helps protects endangered wildlife that live nearby.

WPS founder Misty Penton with WCTV reporter Kelsey Johnson


Department of Community Affairs: What happens to Florida if this growth management gatekeeper goes away?
By Craig Pittman
St. Pete Times
Take action: Sign on to Progress Florida’s letter to the legislature
Think of it as the Gatekeeper. When a developer wants to fill in an Everglades marsh, or a condo builder wants to toss up a couple thousand units on a flood-prone beach, local officials may say yes — but the Florida Department of Community Affairs steps in to say, "Whoa."

Neither Chamber Likely to Fund Florida Forever
By Bruce Ritchie
The News Service of Florida via Wakulla.com
Take action: Support Florida Forever
Gov. Charlie Crist and environmentalists said Wednesday they're not giving up on the state's land-buying program despite there being zero money for it so far in the House and Senate versions of the proposed 2009-10 state budget.

Smarten up naval sonar to save the whales
By Jean-Michel Cousteau and Joel R. Reynolds
Christian Science Monitor
The Bush administration may be gone, but whales and other marine life along our coasts will be hearing from it for years to come – literally.

New sugar deal: Crist announces 72,500 acres for $533 million
By Michael C. Bender, Paul Quinlan and Susan Salisbury
Palm Beach Post
Gov. Charlie Crist still proposes buying a huge swath of U.S. Sugar Corp.'s farmland to save the Everglades.

Nuclear, coal are "clean" energy in Senate bill
By Bruce Ritchie
A proposal to require Florida utilities by 2020 to produce at least 20 percent of their electricity from "clean energy" sources including nuclear and coal was approved by a Senate committee today.

Ample evidence Florida's feeling effects of climate change
By Georgia Tasker
Palm Beach Post via Miami Herald
Maybe the fish are on to something. Don Hammond, who catches, tags and releases dolphin-fish (also known as mahi-mahi), says those Florida natives are being hooked in some unusual places.

Florida should end Ponzi scheme based on growth, economist says
By Gimleteye
Eye On Miami
"It is now obvious that the reason we're experiencing a simultaneous meltdown in the financial system and the climate system is because we have been mispricing risk in both arenas-- producing a huge excess of both toxic assets and toxic air that now threatens the stability of the whole planet."

Editorial Cartoon by Jim Morin, Miami Herald


Advocates concerned for bay amidst budget cuts
By Laura Morales
Miami Herald
At least $10 million for water managers to buy endangered Biscayne Bay wetland is gone, and more than $140,000 has been slashed from the Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas program.

Shoreline at Biscayne Bay

Senate Passes Bill on Growth Management
By Bill Kaczor
Lakeland Ledger
Related Palm Beach Post editorial: Keep checks on bad growth
The sponsor of a growth management law intended to curtail urban sprawl apologized because in the real world it had the opposite result as the Senate on Thursday passed a new measure he filed to fix that mistake.

Uproar over Chinese drywall; Floridians say it's making them ill and hurting home values
By Paul Owers
South Florida Sun-sentinel
Homeowners in Florida and other states are mounting a charge against defective Chinese drywall, saying it's making them sick and damaging their homes built during the housing boom.

State urged to win race for energy
By Sara Kennedy
Bradenton Herald
At a time of tremendous urgency in energy policy, states with an “open for business” sign on the door have a chance to create the next generation of jobs and profits in renewable energy, expected to be among the largest new markets on the planet, environmentalists say.

Is energy reform fizzling?
By Zac Anderson
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
For two years Gov. Charlie Crist has championed energy reform, saying Florida must turn to alternative and renewable power sources and rely less on coal, gas and oil.

Florida renewable energy lobby opposes 'nuclear' in definition
By Staff Writer
St. Pete Times
The renewable energy lobby — including environmentalists, energy companies and even farmers — called on Florida legislators in a letter sent Friday to pass a strong renewable energy requirement.

Florida Forever? Not this year
By Aaron Deslatte
Orlando Sentinel
Florida's heralded land-conservation program that has preserved millions of acres of green space during the past two decades is going away — at least for a year.

Swiftmud agrees to swap bear habitat for developer's land
By Jodie Tillman
St. Pete Times
Water district officials Tuesday approved a controversial land swap that gives SunWest Harbourtowne developers 90 acres of bear habitat in exchange for a nearby 400-acre parcel.

Dry weather brings South Florida a bumper crop of wading birds
By Jennifer Sorentrue
Palm Beach Post
South Florida's wading birds are resilient. After a dismal nesting season last year, scientists have seen a surge in the number of great egrets, white ibises and endangered wood storks breeding in western Palm Beach County marshes and other parts of the Everglades.

Take Extra Care on Waterways as Manatees Migrate After a Rough Winter
FWC Press Release
The FWC urges boaters to follow the posted speed zones and watch for manatees as temperatures warm.

The 30 Year War on the Environment
By Gimleteye
Eye On Miami
Fifty years ago, Rachel Carson wrote the clarion call of the environmental movement, "Silent Spring", and was attacked by the chemical industry.

Don't take away the DCA
By Ernie Padgett
Pensacola News-Journal
Some interesting and negative things are happening in the Legislature relative to the best way to manage growth in Florida.

Don't destroy Florida's key watchdog on growth, land use
TC Palm
The state of Florida's key growth management agency is under attack in the 2009 Legislature.

Out of the ground, bottled into profits
Daytona Beach News-Journal
The fresh water beneath Florida is an ever more precious public resource as demand outstrips rainfall's ability to replenish the aquifers.

Endangered in Brevard: White House should rescind Bush-era rules that threaten many species
Florida Today
The success of the Endangered Species Act can be seen in our own backyard, where it has helped save animals by protecting the lands and waters where they live.

From brink of extinction
Daytona Beach News-Journal
If the Endangered Species Act were a polar bear, it would look eviscerated and bleeding on ice.

Fred George Pond, Leon County

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

"it's all connected"