Saturday, May 2, 2009

Florida environmental and wildlife news for the week ending 5-1-09


Future of Florida Forever depends on sugar's support
By Jim Ash
Pensacola News Journal
The fate of Florida Forever now rests in a few powerful hands.

Click the picture above to visit the Florida Forever Coalition.

Environmental bills die as House, Senate adjourn
By Bruce Ritchie
No renewable energy bill. No money for Florida Forever land-buying or Everglades restoration. No California auto emissions bill. No springs bill.

Clean energy bill backed by Fla. Gov. Crist dies
By Brendan Farrington
The Associated Press
One of Gov. Charlie Crist's top priorities died as lawmakers failed to take up a clean energy bill before going home Friday with plans only to return to vote on a budget next week.

Progress Energy seeks rate hike despite nuclear plant delay
By Asjylyn Loder
St. Petersburg Times
Click here to visit
Progress Energy announced Friday a 20-month delay in building its $17 billion nuclear plant, but its customers will continue to pay for it.

Record of 39 calves born to right whales
By Jim Waymer
Florida Today
North Atlantic right whales had a banner year for breeding and several lucky escapes from perilous entanglements.

Gov't revokes rule limiting species protections
By H. Josef Hebert
The Associated Press
The Obama administration's move means scientists, not bureaucrats, once again must determine threats to endangered species.

Endangered species, such as the rare Florida panther, are expected to receive more protection following the reversal of a Bush-era regulation.


$96 million more approved for Everglades restoration
By William E. Gibson
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Everglades restoration got $96 million of economic-recovery money on Tuesday, mostly to pay for construction of a storage reservoir in Palm Beach County and improved water flow through Picayune Strand in Collier County.

River of cash: Stimulus aid for Glades
By Curtis Morgan and Lesley Clark
Miami Herald
Consider the sluggish effort to save the Glades officially stimulated.

High costs delaying nuclear power
By Mark Williams
The Associated Press
A ghost from the nuclear industry's early years has reappeared.

Florida House votes to weaken growth regulations
By Mary Ellen Klas
St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau
Related Howard Troxler column: Is Florida without growth management what you want?
After Republican lawmakers openly chastised the governor's growth management chief Wednesday, the House passed a bill that weakens the state's growth regulations in return for encouraging tighter development in urban areas.

Offshore drilling passes first hurdle in House
By Jim Ash
Florida Today
Related editorial: Big Oil's ambush
A bitterly divided House gave preliminary approval today to a controversial plan by Republican leaders to allow oil and gas drilling as close as three miles from Florida's beaches.

Powerful gulf oil drilling lobby faces strong resistance in Florida
By Lucy Morgan and Mary Ellen Klas
St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau
Dangling the promise of millions for the state's dwindling budget, a group of mostly unidentified oil and gas companies is bankrolling a last-minute fight to bring offshore drilling to Florida's coastline.

Community Affairs chief opposes Fla. growth bills
The Associated Press
Miami Herald
Florida's top planning official has declared his opposition to a pair of growth management bills awaiting floor votes in the Legislature.

Zoning action arouses anger
By Laura Figueroa
Miami Herald
Local activists are upset by the Sunrise City Commission's creation of a new zoning designation to smooth the way for developing a tract bordering the Everglades.

End of leaking tanks cleanup could threaten water
By Bruce Ritchie
Florida's cleanup program for protecting groundwater from leaking underground tanks at gas stations will effectively end under a budget agreement between House and Senate leaders, Sen. Carey Baker said today.

FPL canals criticized as health risk
By Curtis Morgan
Miami Herald
Environmentalists and national park managers plan to fight FPL's push for rock mining approval at a county hearing, saying Turkey Point plans will put supplies of fresh water at risk.

Threatened Sea Turtles Receive Long Overdue Protections
Staff Report
Foster Folly News
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued an emergency closure of the bottom longline sector of the Gulf of Mexico reef fish fishery today in an effort to protect sea turtles from injury and death.

Local black bears are on the move
By Joe Seelig
Highlands Today
According to Pat Behnke, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman, young Florida black bears are on the move leaving their mother's home range and venturing out on their own.

Falcon to be removed from endangered list
By Mark DeCotis
Florida Today
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is finalizing a management plan for the peregrine falcon that would allow the bird of prey to be removed from the state's endangered species list.

Ecologists band together for the birds
By Yvette C. Hammett
Tampa Tribune
Determined ecologists intent on saving America's migratory songbirds from landing on the endangered species list are studying how they use part of Tampa Bay's restored shoreline as a temporary stopover on their long migratory journey each year.

'Just build, baby' should be Legislature's new slogan
By Ron Littlepage
Florida Times-Union
Florida sure has done a bang up job of managing growth.

Unrestricted growth no solution to state's stagnant economy
Miami Herald
The Florida Legislature is at it again, tinkering with the state's growth-management laws at the behest of builders.

Head off Florida land rush
Palm Beach Post
The growth-at-any-cost Florida House wants to return to the bad old days when a developer could plop down a new town just about anywhere in the state.

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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