Friday, February 26, 2010

Florida environmental and wildlife news for the week ending 2-26-10


Environmental fight brewing over rock mining push on former Everglades land

By Andy Reid

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Palm Beach Aggregates plans to expand its rock mining to 2,300 acres — allowing 25 more years of digging — in an area environmentalists contend threatens Everglades restoration.

Crist restocks water board with backers of his Everglades restoration plan

By Michael C. Bender and Paul Quinlan

Palm Beach Post

Environmentalists who favor Gov. Charlie Crist's monumental Everglades restoration land deal with U.S. Sugar Corp. saw the odds of success improve Wednesday, when Crist named two allies and re-appointed a third to the board of the South Florida Water Management District, in advance of another crucial vote on the half-billion-dollar purchase.

Florida Springs Day Takes Over Capitol Courtyard!

Audubon of Florida

Springs advocates from across Florida converged on the Capitol courtyard last Tuesday to call on the Florida Legislature to pass meaningful springs protection legislation this year.

Take A Hike, Florida

By Alexis Diao

WFSU Public Radio Tallahassee

Some local environmentalists spent their Saturday morning picking up trash in the Fred George Basin, a sources for Tallahassee's drinking wells. The basin's clean-up is one of ten events throughout the state collectively called "Take a Hike, Florida."

Activists request Florida Forever funding statewide and at Sacred Lands

By Sean Kinane

WMNF Community Radio Tampa

In his budget request for the current year, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has included funding for the purchase of environmentally sensitive lands through a program called Florida Forever.

"Think Before You Throw" Anti-Litter Campaign

By Heather Biance

WCTV CBS News Tallahassee

Americans produce 160-million tons of garbage each year,which is enough to fill 11-million garbage trucks.

Manatees rescued from chilly Fla. waters

The Associated Press

Miami Herald

Wildlife officials are working to rescue distressed manatees across the state.

Corkscrew sanctuary officially designated as a Wetland of International Importance

By Eric Staats

Naples News

Fans of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary have always viewed its towering cypress forest and long vistas of wet prairie to be world-class.

A clearing in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.


The Big Oil roundup: news and information about Big Oil’s push to rig Florida’s coastline for the week ending 2-26-10:

Palin slimes Florida with oil-drilling push

By Tony Plakas

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The unctuous Sarah Palin recently surfaced in Florida on a national tour like an unwanted oil spill, spewing her slippery nonsense to thousands of race fans at the Daytona International Speedway.

Experts: 2010 may not be make, break for drilling

By Melissa Nelson

The Associated Press

The Florida House last year voted to allow exploration for oil and natural gas in state waters, but the Senate didn't bring it up for a vote. This year the issue may not come up for a vote at all - but it will still weigh heavy in the upcoming session's background.

Offshore oil drilling not in Florida session

By Lindsay Ubinas

10 Connects News Tampa Bay

Florida legislators agree that offshore oil drilling is an important issue but they still might not tackle it during their upcoming session.

Century Commission report tackles oil drilling

By Bruce Ritchie

A state panel's draft report issued today takes on the major questions and concerns about allowing oil drilling off Florida's coastline.

Hands Across the Sand Spreads Message "Love Tourists, Not Drilling"

By Heidi Lux

Tampa Bay Informer

Hands Across the Sand, a statewide, peaceful protest against offshore drilling, was held throughout Florida's beaches on February 13th.

Local politicians weigh in on drilling

Staff Report

Bradenton Herald

State Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton: “Offshore drilling? I oppose it. Although there are ebbs and flows from a public perspective, there are better ways to address it than to put at risk our coastline.”

Love tourists, not drilling banner flying high over St. Petersburg Beach during Hands Across the Sand event, February 13, 2010.


Write Your State Senator: Big Oil's Promises Are "Empty"Big Oil and their hired hands in Tallahassee have sworn that drilling Florida’s coast would be “invisible” – that there would be no unsightly rigs just a few miles off our coast. We know different – and a recent eye opening story in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune has proven Big Oil’s promises completely “empty.” Click the picture above – keeping the pressure on by letting our State Senators know people like you are paying attention is how we’ll beat Big Oil.

Pass a Resolution To Protect Florida's Beaches Now, via Audubon of Florida.
Urge President Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force to recommend against offshore drilling within any previously protected coastal waters, via Defenders of Wildlife.
Tell Obama: Offshore Drilling is NOT the Answer to Energy Crisis, via Oceana.
Help Drill for Solutions Not for Oil, via Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
Let us decide! Petition to Governor Charlie Crist, Senate President Jeff Atwater, and House Speaker Larry Cretul, via Civic Concern.
Contact Your Officials About New Drilling Off Florida's Coasts, via Civic Concern.
Ask your state legislators to keep the rigs out, via Save the Manatee Club.
Write a letter to the editor, via Audubon of Florida.
Write your state legislators, via Audubon of Florida.
Urge Senate President Jeff Atwater to oppose offshore oil drilling, via Progress Florida.
Tell Sen. Atwater Not To Allow Oil Drilling In Special Session, via Audubon of Florida.
Sign the petition against oil drilling, via Protect Florida’s Beaches.
Tell Salazar: No drilling off Florida's Coast, via Environment Florida.
Tell new Senator LeMieux to Repower America, via Environment Florida.
Related action: Don't go drill crazy in the Everglades, via Center for Biological Diversity.
Related action:
Keep oil drilling out of climate change legislation, via Oceana.

Hands Across The Sand website; their Twitter page is here.
Protect Florida’s Beaches, recently launched coalition website.
Protect Florida’s Beaches on Facebook.
Think, Baby, Think blog via Protect Florida’s Beaches.
Don’t Drill Florida website.
Don’t Drill Florida Facebook page.
Save Our Shores Florida website; their Twitter page is here.
Save Our Shores Florida Facebook page.
Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition website.
Environment Florida offshore drilling page.
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy offshore drilling page.
Skytruth blog, an excellent source of info.
Not the Answer blog, courtesy Surfrider Foundation.
Eye-opening map of oil and gas leases and infrastructure in Gulf of Mexico, via MMS., online hub of drilling proponents; their Twitter page is here.

Cumulative oil slick "footprint" resulting from the 10-week Montara oil platform blowout and spill that occurred in the Timor Sea off Western Australia in 2009; superimposed on the Gulf coast of Florida for scale. More info here.


Rep. Murzin slams Pelham again, backs off

By Bruce Ritchie

Rep. Dave Murzin on Wednesday told a Florida Chamber of Commerce audience that he still wants Florida Department of Community Affairs Secretary Tom Pelham to leave state government.

Volunteers find more murky water near airport site

By Pat Kelly

Panama City News Herald

Patrice Couch guided her small skiff north up Crooked Creek on Monday with a sure hand, looking for submerged logs.

Boaters warned off whale encounters

By Dinah Voyles Pulver

Daytona Beach News-Journal

Groups of rare North Atlantic right whales have entertained beachgoers and hotel guests along the Volusia County coast since Sunday but proved a too-tempting target for a few boaters who soon found themselves chatting with law enforcement officers.

Run-Ins With Endangered Right Whales Becoming Too Common

Reported by Jason Wheeler

Central Florida News 13

Sightings of North Atlantic right whales are rising off Central Florida’s coast, but so are run-ins between the whales and humans.

Fishermen enlist members of Congress to oppose red snapper ban

By Ludmilla Lelis

Orlando Sentinel

Still reeling from a federal ban on fishing for red snapper, Central Florida captains and fishermen joined more than 2,000 people at the United We Fish rally today in Washington, D.C., protesting afederal law that they say is destroying jobs and the fishing industry along Florida’s east coast.

Environmental group hopes to extend deadline for Everglades restoration project

By Jim Mayfield

TC Palm

The Rivers Coalition voted unanimously Thursday to urge the South Florida Water Management Board of Governors to extend the closing deadline for the $500 million land purchase from U.S. Sugar Corp. for the district’s River of Grass Everglades restoration project.

St. Johns district looks to strengthen water reuse programs

By Fred Hiers

Ocala Star-Banner

The St. Johns River Water Management District board is looking to squeeze the most out of water conservation and will meet next month to develop rules that could require its 16-county members to strengthen water reuse programs.

Farmton's changing the rules

By Lesley Blackner

Orlando Sentinel

Related editorial: How to beat Amendment 4

Are Volusia and Brevard county commissioners Stepford wives or Stockholm-syndrome victims?

St. Pete Times alum to lead Hometown Democracy

By Adam C. Smith

Buzz Blog

Julie Hauserman, former reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, Tallahassee Democrat and Stuart News, has been named campaign manager for Florida Hometown Democracy, Constitutional Amendment 4 on the November ballot.

Amendment 4 campaign manager named

By Tom Palmer

Lakeland Ledger

Julie Hauserman has been hired to head the campaign to get voter approval for Amendment 4, the Florida Hometown Democracy measure, the St. Pete Times Political Buzz reports.

Huge number of manatees gather in Lee County

By Kevin Lollar

Ft. Myers News-Press

Almost 900 manatees have turned the Orange River into a cold-water marine-mammal traffic jam.

Scrub Lupine Project Sees Early Progress

By Tom Palmer

Lakeland Ledger

A little more than a year ago, a daring experiment began.

Birds Flock to Restored Wetlands Along Kissimmee River

By Tom Palmer

Lakeland Ledger

The marsh ahead of the boat was a sea of white.

Fishermen taking snapper ban fight to Washington

By Jordan Kahn

Daytona Beach News-Journal

Because of new laws, small businesses are reeling, the federal government is being sued and a legislative fight is entering round two. And this isn't about health care or Wall Street bailouts.

Most Florida Democrats get a thumbs-up from enviros

By Mark Matthews

Orlando Sentinel

Seven Florida Democrats in Congress earned a perfect score from environmentalists in an annual scorecard released this morning that rated lawmakers for 2009 votes that included the American Clean Energy and Security Act and as well as the controversial $787 billion stimulus bill.

Orlando is home for two rules meetings

By Bruce Ritchie

Rules meetings and workshops -- they sound boring.

County pays to preserve Merritt Island waterfront

By Rick Neale

Florida Today

Encroached by towering condominiums, Ms. Apples Crab Shack, Doc's Bait House and future fisheries at Blue Crab Cove are now considerably closer to perpetual preservation.

Local kids take a hike

By Tyler Jett

Independent Alligator

Eric Thompson looked down, his white Nike shoes barely safe from the mud.

Bald Eagles Return To Pembroke Pines

By Joan Murray

CBS 4 News Miami

For the first time in almost 40 years, bald eagles are making their home in a county famous for snowbirds.

Fish and fishermen: sustainable species?

By Kate Spinner

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Charter captains, bait shops and commercial fishing fleets from Key West to Puget Sound are losing jobs and money as sweeping restrictions on dozens of fish take effect nationwide, based on data that regulators know is inaccurate.

Python-hunting season set for next month

By Susan Cocking

Miami Herald

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Monday announced a special hunting season targeting Burmese pythons on state lands in South Florida March 8 through April 17.

Nelson wades into fisheries debate

By Bruce Ritchie

In advance of a protest in Washington by recreational and commercial fishermen, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson said today he will file legislation to address red snapper fishing restrictions.

Rare storks visiting our lake are treat

By Sherry Boas

Orlando Sentinel

On a recent morning, two wood storks were trolling for food in the recently submerged shoreline.

Florida must take advantage of biopower

By Charles H. Bronson

Tallahassee Democrat

As Florida's agriculture and consumer services commissioner, one of my proudest achievements is Florida's status as a leader in the biofuel industry.

Fox pens are inhumane and a threat to public health


Pensacola News Journal

Imagine the outcry from animal activists if the state decided to regulate dog fighting instead of banning the barbaric practice like it rightly has done for decades.

Before the development, nail down the details


St. Petersburg Times

Nailing down the details on planned protections for black bear habitat shouldn't be superseded by private sector interests pitching a high-end resort and residential community in Aripeka.

It’s time for Florida to work on water quality


Bradenton Herald

Since the state of Florida dawdled for more than a decade over a federal mandate to set limits on farm and urban runoff and water pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stepped in with proposed regulations last month.

Clean springs


Daytona Beach News-Journal

Once a mermaid, Barbara Wynn became a militant.

It's still a threat


Miami Herald

More than two-thirds of the nation's land mass had snow on the ground when the day dawned, and then it snowed ever so slightly in Florida to make it 49 states out of 50.The weather is unsettling this winter.

Manatee Springs State Park.

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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