Friday, August 28, 2009

Florida environmental and wildlife news for the week ending 8-28-09


Senator Nelson: No drilling off Florida's coast (includes audio)
By Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Community Radio Tampa
Related: Sierra Club Report: Don’t Rig Our Coastal Economy
Senator Bill Nelson said today he will do whatever it takes to make sure a proposal to allow offshore drilling near Florida's coast is rejected in the Senate.

Sen. Landrieu's plan to export Louisiana's coastal destruction to Florida
By Sue Sturgis
Facing South
While Louisiana struggles to restore coastal wetlands ravaged in large part by decades of oil and gas drilling, its senior senator is leading the effort to lift the ban on drilling off Florida's Panhandle.

State Amendment 4 Opposition is The Pot Calling The Kettle Black
By Jill Elverton
Eye On Miami
I keep getting news releases from this young man, Ryan Houck, (who worked for U.S. Senator Martinez) of Floridians for Smarter Growth.

Florida's growth management boss fends off developers' criticism
By Michael Van Sickler
St. Petersburg Times
All summer, Tom Pelham has been Public Enemy No. 1 for developers unhappy with his interpretation of a law passed this year designed to ease regulation of growth.

Judge: Water managers can borrow $650 million for U.S. Sugar deal
By Tony Doris
Palm Beach Post
Water managers' plans to buy a vast swath of sugar cane land for Everglades restoration got a boost today when a judge cleared them to borrow $650 million for the initial purchase.

Florida environmental projects rescued
By Jim Ash
Tallahassee Democrat
For the first time in 20 years, the governor and Cabinet on Tuesday approved a priority list for the nation's largest environmental land buying program without any new money to pay for it.

Future of Apalachicola Bay Hangs on Water Battle (audio story)
By Margie Menzel
WFSU Public Radio Tallahassee
The 19-year court battle among Florida, Georgia and Alabama over the river system they share has flared up again.

Coming to a beach near you? Joel Sandoval, a spill response worker with Miller Environmental, tosses a bag with sand and tar on top of more than a dozen other bags Tuesday, July 28, 2009, as he and other workers clean tar off Malaquite Beach in Corpus Christi, Texas.


Climate panel rejects scrapping energy test
By Bruce Ritchie
A state climate panel today rejected a commissioner's recommendation for Florida to replace its test for analyzing energy programs -- a test that environmentalists have argued is a barrier to conservation.

As loggerhead populations decline, group wants turtle on endangered list
By Kevin Lollar
Ft. Myers News-Press
A recent report states that most populations of loggerhead sea turtles worldwide, including those that nest on Southwest Florida beaches, are at risk of extinction.

Eliminate bottom longlines altogether
By Gary Appelson
Tallahassee Democrat
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has an excellent record of protecting Florida's marine resources and safeguarding our coasts from oil and gas development to sustain our unique environment, economy and way of life.

Is it finally time to drill for oil of Florida's coast?
Two views on the topic.
Florida Times-Union
Advocates for oil drilling off the coast of Florida appear to be gathering momentum as the state seeks much-needed revenue and more jobs.

State senator backs drilling off Gulf Coast
By Rick Neale
Florida Today
Florida lawmakers should open the Gulf Coast to offshore oil drilling to help fund schools, State Sen. Mike Haridopolos believes.

EPA Agrees to Set Limits on Florida Fertilizer and Waste Pollution (includes audio)
By Gina Presson
Public News Service Florida
The Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups represented by Earthjustice have negotiated a deal to set limits on the amount of fertilizer and waste that can be released into Florida's waterways.

Environmental group wants to extend coral reef protection
By David Fleshler
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
An environmental group has petitioned the federal government to extend a coral protection zone 15 miles up the Palm Beach County coast, where it could interfere with plans to widen eroded beaches.

In the Florida Keys, staghorn, elkhorn coral making a comeback
By Curtis Morgan
Miami Herald
Every August or September on nights following a full moon, divers descend into the dark, warm waters off the Florida Keys to watch group sex -- a fascinating reproductive eruption known as the annual coral spawn.

Ag Commissioner Bronson pushes conservation easements
By Bruce Ritchie
Gov. Charlie Crist and the Cabinet on Tuesday approved a new conservation lands purchase list but only after Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson insisted that the elected panel also should approve a state work plan for buying land.

Drilling debate digs for real solutions
By Bill Cotterell
Tallahassee Democrat
The head of Florida's most powerful business group said Thursday a "radical left-wing fringe" of voters is stopping the state from cashing in on offshore oil drilling.

Pro-Drilling, Anti-Carbon Cap (audio story)
By Steve Newborn
WUSF Public Radio Tampa
A group calling themselves Energy Citizens held a rally that included a glossy video presentation, live music and Cuban sandwiches.

Political clout bolsters FPL push for rate increase
By Mary Ellen Klas
Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times Tallahassee Bureau
Related: FPL chief says his $3.6 million pay is justified
Related: Sparks fly as FPL rate-increase hearing opens
When Florida's largest electric utility goes to state regulators Monday to ask for permission to dramatically raise rates, it will have recent history, powerful supporters and financial clout on its side.

Beaches Energy weighs nuclear energy option
By Caren Burmeister
Florida Times-Union
The Beaches-area electric utility could tap into the first nuclear power plant to be built in Florida since 1976 as part of a long-term plan to diversify energy resources and limit pollution and price fluctuations.

Citrus County residents plan protest of proposed nuclear plant
Staff Writer
St. Petersburg Times
Angered by Progress Energy Florida's proposed rate hikes, a group of Citrus County residents are taking their opposition of the utility to the streets and the media.

Editorial cartoon by Andy Marlette, Pensacola News Journal.

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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