Friday, July 3, 2009

Florida environmental and wildlife news for the week ending 7-3-09


Boom in wood stork numbers sparks debate over endangered status
By Curtis Morgan
Miami Herald
Related editorial: Don't delist bird
Related Palm Beach Post story: Endangered wading birds making a comeback
The wood stork, an ungainly duckling among the Everglades' elegant wading birds, has been breeding in numbers unseen in decades.

Endangered wood storks nesting in Fred George Basin, Leon County, June 2009

Crist signs water-management bill
By Jim Ash
Tallahassee Democrat
St. Petersburg Times editorial: Crist bows down to developers again
Orlando Sentinel editorial: Our gray governor
Angering conservationists and siding with developers, Gov. Charlie Crist on Tuesday signed a controversial bill that would give water management district staff working behind closed doors more power to grant lucrative water rights.

Editorial cartoon by Dana Summers, Orlando Sentinel.

Hometown Democracy Amendment on 2010 Ballot (audio story)
By Trimmel Gomes
WFSU Public Radio
Related Eye on Miami story: On Florida Hometown Democracy, For Four!
Support Florida Hometown Democracy here.
The Florida Supreme Court last week ruled Hometown Democracy amendment will appear on the November of 2010 ballot.

Most of Fla. delegation remains opposed to drilling
By Bruce Ritchie
Related Tampa Tribune story: Nelson gathers drill ban support
Florida's two U.S. senators and 22 of its 25 representatives have signed a letter to House and Senate leaders reaffirming their opposition to oil drilling that could encroach upon military missions in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Why the latest oil drilling bill has a good shot of passing
By Jeremy Wallace
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sign the Progress Florida action alert here.
"The drilling fight is more about a regional battle than it is about partisanship," said Mark Ferrulo, of Progress Florida, a group based in St. Petersburg fighting the drilling proposal.

Politicians Reconsider Drilling Off Florida Coast (includes audio)
By Greg Allen
For years, oil production has been largely banned in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

Navy vs. Environmentalists Off Florida Coast
By Clifford Krauss
New York Times
Related Florida Times-Union story: Florida still probing Navy range’s environmental effects
Perhaps the last thing the Navy is looking for at the moment is a tangle with environmentalists.

Critically endangered Atlantic Right Whales


Turtle Lives Hinge on Eco-Passage
By Joe Follick
Lakeland Ledger
With the marshy lily pads of Lake Jackson to his right and a steady stream of zooming tractor-trailers to his left, Matt Aresco was again patrolling the one-mile stretch of U.S. 27 just minutes north of the Capitol last week where he has spent thousand of hours in the past decade.

Florida Keys "ground zero" for sea-level rise
By Cammy Clark
Miami Herald
Treasure salvors searching for an 18th-century wreck in the Florida Straits a few years ago made a fascinating but little noticed discovery. Not buried treasure. Buried land.

'Resilient' natural areas combat climate change, experts say
By Bruce Ritchie
More than 50 representatives of environmental groups and state and federal agencies gathered in Leon County Thursday to discuss revising strategies for protecting Florida's wildlife in response to climate change.

Building a Bridge for Everglades Survival
By Gina Presson
Public News Service
The Everglades has been called the River of Grass, but conservation groups say it may be in danger of drying up without immediate bridging along the Tamiami Trail between Miami and Naples.

State still lets Central Florida's sludge foul Everglades, critics say
By Kevin Spear
Orlando Sentinel
The foul waters of Lake Okeechobee, the failing health of the Everglades and even sick dolphins along the South Florida coast might seem like troubles so distant they could hardly be the Orlando area's responsibility.

U.S. money going for reefs
By Cammy Clark
Miami Herald
An underwater nursery project to restore the struggling coral reefs along Florida's southern coast and the U.S. Virgin Islands will receive $3.3 million in national stimulus funding, according to an announcement Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hints of a comeback as scallop season opens
By Bruce Ritchie
The expansive sea grasses in the clear waters off Taylor County wave gently in the currents and shimmering light while occasionally revealing an orange starfish, a blue crab or a clump of gray oysters.

The goal: make solar more accessible
By Tom Bayles
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Despite myriad rules that some say dissuade Floridians from using solar power and force them to remain addicted to fossil fuels, Bill Johnson of upstart Brilliant Harvest says solar power is a key element of the state's economic future.

Toddler's death renews calls to ban importing pythons to Florida
By Keith Morelli
Tampa Tribune
The suffocation of a toddler by a pet python is bolstering calls to ban the importation of the reptiles.

State park admission fees on the rise
By Nick Walter
Bradenton Herald
Florida state park enthusiasts will pay a few more dollars to enter the parks beginning Wednesday.

Editorial cartoon by Jim Morin, Miami Herald.

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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