Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sierra Club members hit the Florida beaches for Hands Across the Sand

Sierra Club members joined and helped organize Hands Across the Sand events on beaches and cities across Florida on Saturday, May 20. At noon for 15 minutes, participants locked hands to say no to fossil fuels and yes to clean energy. Hands Across the Sand was launched in 2010 just two months before the BP oil disaster, but this was the first since Trump announced intentions to expand drilling and seismic airgun blasting off the Arctic, Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and on public lands throughout the U.S.

In Florida, 27 Hands Across the Sand events were scheduled, while nationally, 100 events in 20 states took place. Main sponsors were: Sierra Club, Oceana, Surfrider Foundation, Environment Florida, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Friends of the Earth, Gulf Restoration Network, Chart 411 and Urban Paradise Guild. Here are just some of the highlights:

Treasure Island (Tampa/St. Pete)


St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman/Photo by Steve McMurtry

Photo by Shannon Kalahar


Fernandina Beach

Photo by Jonna Wood


Photo by Jonna Wood

Pompano Beach

Photo: Surfrider Broward
























Miami Beach

Aerial photo by Christian Mock
Photo by Sam Van Leer

Indian Rocks Beach (near Largo)

Photo by Phil Hanna


Key West, Smathers Beach


Photo provided by Hands Across the Sand Facebook



Photo by Jeane LaRance


Jacksonville Beach

Photo provided by Hands Across the Sand


Tallahassee, the Capitol

Photo provided by Grant Gelhardt
Media:

Pompano Beach: http://wsvn.com/news/local/dozens-hold-hands-on-pompano-beach-to-protest-offshore-drilling/
Treasure Island (Tampa/St. Pete): http://www.tbreporter.com/environment/offshore-drilling-treasure-island-mayor/
Miami Beach: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article152128532.html
Fernandina Beach: https://fernandinaobserver.com/2017/05/22/concerned-citizens-join-together-to-support-clean-energy-and-renewables-hands-across-the-sand/
Pensacola: http://weartv.com/news/local/environmental-advocates-join-hands-across-the-sand
Ft. Myers: http://www.news-press.com/story/news/local/cape-coral/2017/05/20/hands-across-sand-hits-cape-fm-beach-no-substitute-water/334293001/






Monday, May 22, 2017

Mayor Philip Levine Endorses Goal Of 100% Clean Energy on Miami Beach

Mayor Philip Levine displays proclamation with Ready for 100 activists.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine issued a proclamation last Wednesday supporting an aim to power the densely-populated barrier island entirely with clean and renewable energy. Miami Beach, known for its wide beaches and pastel-colored art-deco hotels, is one of the cities most-threatened by climate change's rising seas.

Supporting the measure at City Hall were 12 Sierra Club Miami Group members, and representatives of allies Miami Surfrider and 350 South Florida who held signs that read "Clean Energy For All." The Mayor also proclaimed Wednesday, May 17, "Sierra Club Day."

Tens of thousands join Hands Across the Sand
on Miami Beach against fossil fuels in 2010
Emily Gorman, representing the Sierra Club, thanked the Mayor and Commission and said clean energy presents an opportunity "not just for our pocketbooks, but for our communities and our economies."

City staffers shared plans to update their Climate Action Plan, and Vice-Mayor Kristen Rosen Gonzalez introduced a measure to commit the city's municipal buildings to 100% clean and renewable energy supply by 2025. In addition, all City Commissioners voiced their support for Sierra Club and its Ready for 100 campaign to shift cities to 100 percent clean and renewable energy.

“As mayor of Miami Beach, I am proud to support a vision of 100 percent clean energy for my community.  Our vibrant, historic city will be a model for other communities around the world on the importance of addressing the threat of climate change. We have already taken steps to expand renewable energy and we will continue to improve our infrastructure and innovate clean energy solutions for a stronger Miami Beach,” said Mayor Levine. 

Mayor Levine is a national co-chair of the new Mayors for 100% Clean Energy, a new effort to engage and recruit mayors to endorse a goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy in cities across the country.

“Cities can help lead the transition away from dirty fuels to renewable energy, but it will require boldness and ambition to get it done," said Frank Jackalone, Sierra Club Florida Chapter Director. "The Sierra Club applauds Mayor Levine for supporting a vision of powering Miami Beach with 100 percent clean, renewable energy."

Florida created more than 1,700 new jobs in the state’s growing solar industry last year, according to a report released earlier this year by The Solar Foundation. Florida is now home to 8,260 solar jobs—an increase of 26 percent from 2015 figures. According to the Solar Foundation, the Miami metropolitan area gained 811 solar jobs from 2015 to 2016, representing a 31 percent increase.

Miami Beach will host the U.S. Mayors Conference June 23-26. Sierra Club Ready For 100 nationwide campaign leaders will meet in Miami Beach to participate in trainings and other events that week.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

ALERT: Unhealthy Smog Making Breathing Difficult for Floridians

For the first time in years, many Floridians are suffering from high levels of unhealthy smog. 

Orlando is still suffering from its worst smog in years. 
This week, smog levels have spiked in cities like Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale. That's hazardous for people with asthma, heart disease and COPD, reaching levels unhealthy for everyone. The main source, emissions from our cars, trucks and buses' tailpipes, has been exacerbated recently by additional nitrogen oxide from fires. Today, as smog levels begin to decline in the Tampa Bay area, cities like Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando are still suffering from dangerously high levels that mean that exercise outdoors in the late afternoon is off limits for sensitive people, and not a good idea for anyone.


Most Floridians have had a rough time breathing this week. 
Where does smog come from? Our tailpipes' nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions combine with Florida sunshine throughout the day to convert to ozone. Power plants burning coal and, to a lesser degree, natural gas, also contribute, but not at levels as significant as our own cars' tailpipes. Smog levels increase throughout the afternoon, peaking as people get off work and go walk the dog or jog, and then rapidly decreasing after sunset. Summer rains help wash nitrogen out the air (and into lakes and rivers!), but in May, with our seasonal dry conditions, smog builds up. Combine that with a stagnant high pressure system and wildfires that contribute more nitrogen along with particulate, and you have what Hillsborough County EPC Air Quality staff Alain Watson today described to us as a "perfect storm" for unhealthy smog.
Florida's had several days in both the Orange and Red Alert levels this week. 

You can't see and smell smog like you can the particulate-laden smoke from fires, so being aware of the risk is important, especially those whose asthma or other conditions make them more sensitive. Media in central and south Florida have been busy alerting the community this week. The Hillsborough Environmental Protection Commission's Air Quality office sends alerts upon request. You can get on EPC's list by calling 813-627-2600, ext. 1298.

What can you do to make the air healthier for everyone to breathe? Maybe you can't fight forest fires like Smokey the Bear, but you can fight smog at its main source.

This weekend, take Mom for a test drive in an Electric Vehicle, like a Nissan Leaf or Tesla, or a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle like a Chevy Volt that only uses gas on trips over 50 miles. Great deals are abundant on both new and used EVs and PHEVs that'll save you big bucks on fuel and maintenance, while eliminating your own personal smog contribution. As utilities, business and homeowners continue to add more solar power, the net amount of air pollution your EV causes from generation of electricity it runs on, already much lower than even a Prius, will continue to decline over the life of the vehicle, making your EV cleaner each year, while any car that runs on gas or diesel will remain just as dirty a source of smog as it is today.

Consider joining Sierra Club staff and other members who've made the switch to a clean, quiet electric vehicle, and next weekend, Saturday May 20, drive your new EV to your local beach to Join Hands Across the Sand and say No to new offshore seismic testing and oil drilling for new sources of oil that are now completely unnecessary. Tell Donald Trump: "no thanks, we don't need any new oil rigs - we're trying to quit!"

Phil Compton, Senior Organizing Representative
Sierra Club's FL Healthy Air & Ready for 100 Campaigns
1990 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(o) 727-824-8813, ext. 303      (c) 813-841-3601 


Everglades Reservoir law is an improvement, but we can't let up the fight

Another Year in the Pines, Everglades NP. Photo by Paul Marcellini

Everglades Reservoir bill becomes law
Sierra Club backed legislation but urges vigilance


Statement of Sierra Club Florida Chapter Director Frank Jackalone:

Sierra Club supported the Everglades Reservoir bill, which the Governor signed this week. We backed the bill because, on balance, its passage benefited the Everglades and Florida's coastal waters.

The law funding construction of a reservoir will help reduce Lake Okeechobee freshwater discharges that have been producing toxic algae in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries, as well as send clean freshwater south to replenish aquifers, the Everglades and Florida Bay. Restoring these freshwater flows to the south will also improve the resiliency of South Florida from sea level rise and saltwater intrusion.

House and Senate leaders improved the final version of SB 10 by removing earlier provisions that would have used Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF) revenue to fund Phase I of the C-51 water supply project and other inappropriate uses of voter mandated funding set aside for conservation and recreational land protection. Unfortunately, the bill still includes the LATF as a potential funding source for Phase II of the C-51 reservoir, which would be an impermissible expenditure of funds from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund under Article X, Section 28 of the Florida Constitution. We continue to oppose funding for all water supply projects from LATF monies.

While the new law speeds up the process for storing water on public land south of the Lake, it failed to provide any of the 60,000 acres of additional sugar land requested in the original bill for water storage, treatment and conveyance. The law also prohibits the state from using the power of eminent domain to acquire sugar lands, an important tool sometimes necessary to protect the Everglades, prevent ecological collapse, and preserve the water supply for 6 million people. The law forces more water to be stacked up in a smaller footprint, driving up costs and limiting options. We also remain very concerned that the South Florida Water Management District plans to rely on Aquifer Storage and Recovery and Deep Injection Wells north of the Lake instead of buying more land and building adequate above ground storage, which would provide more ecological benefits in line with Everglades restoration goals.

We are very pleased however that the law provides training programs and preference for Lakeside residents to secure jobs building the new reservoir.

We hope that this is just the beginning of serious efforts to transition the Lakeside communities to a diversified, stronger economy that protects its vast natural resources and public health.

###

The House passed the measure with a 99-19 vote; the Senate passed it 33-0.

The Governor signed SB 10 into law on May 9, 2017

Details of SB 10:

Accelerates the state's 20-year goal of storing water south of Lake Okeechobee.

Requires SFWMD to develop a project plan for an Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir that provides at least 240,000 acre-feet (about 78 billion gallons) of water storage by utilizing the A-2 parcel (14,000 acres of state-owned land), land swaps, early termination of leases, and land acquisition.

Provides for at least two-thirds of the water storage capacity of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) Component G.

Allows the A-1 parcel to remain a Flow Equalization Basin (FEB) as provided for in the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), or to be utilized for the EAA Reservoir if SFWMD can provide for at least 360,000 acre-feet of water storage.

Requires SFWMD to include increased canal conveyance improvements, if needed, and features to meet water quality standards in the EAA Reservoir project.  

Provides deadlines for submitting the plan to Congress as a post-authorization change report, which will seek approval of the use of the A-2 parcel in a different manner than was authorized in CEPP.

If the Corps has not approved the post-authorization change report and submitted it to Congress by October 1, 2018 or the post-authorization change report is not approved by Congress by December 31, 2019, SFWMD must request the Corps to develop a project implementation report for the EAA Reservoir Project located somewhere else.

Prohibits the use of eminent domain to obtain privately held land.

Provides for termination of the U.S. Sugar option agreement prior to the October 2020 expiration date if the post-authorization change report receives congressional approval or SFWMD certifies to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House that acquisition of the land necessary for the EAA reservoir project has been completed.

Authorizes the use of Florida Forever bonds in an amount of up to $800 million for the costs of land acquisition, planning and construction of the EAA reservoir project.

Appropriates $30 million from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF) to the Everglades Trust Fund, in the 2017-18 fiscal year, for the purposes of acquiring land or negotiating leases to implement or for planning or construction of the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir project.

Appropriates $3 million from the LATF to the Everglades Trust Fund in the 2017-18 fiscal year for the development of the CEPP post-authorization change report.

Amends the LATF distribution to include $64 million of additional funding for the EAA reservoir project.

Appropriates $30 million from the General Revenue Trust Fund to the Water Protection and Sustainability Program Trust Fund to provide a loan for implementation of Phase I of the C-51 reservoir project.

Appropriates $1 million from the LATF to the Everglades Trust Fund in the 2017-18 fiscal year for the purpose of negotiating Phase II of the C-51 reservoir and provides the LATF as a potential funding source for the implementation of Phase II of the C-51 reservoir.

Creates the water storage facility revolving loan fund and requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to adopt rules for its implementation.

Creates the Everglades Restoration Agricultural Community Employment Training Program within the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to provide grants to stimulate and support training and employment programs that seek to re-train and employ displaced agricultural workers.

Requires SFWMD to give preferential hiring treatment to displaced agricultural workers, consistent with their qualifications and abilities, for construction and operation of the EAA reservoir project.

Terminates the inmate labor work program on state-owned lands in the EAA.

Important deadlines:

By July 1, 2017 SFWMD must request that the US Army Corps jointly develop a post-authorization change report for the Central Everglades Planning Project to revise the A-2 parcel element of the project.

By July 31, 2017, SFWMD must contact the lessors and landowners of 3,200 acres of state-owned land and 500 acres of privately-owned land just west of the A-2 parcel. SFWMD must express interest in acquiring this land through purchase, exchange, or terminating leases.

If the US Army Corps agrees to begin developing the post-authorization report, work on the report must begin by August 1, 2017.

SFWMD must report the status of the post-authorization change report to Fla Legislature by January 9, 2018.

SFWMD and Corps must submit the post-authorization change report to Congress by October 1, 2018.*

The post-authorization change report must be approved by Congress by December 1, 2019.*

*If these two deadlines are not met (and no extension is granted), then the SFWMD must request that the Corps initiate the planning for the EAA Reservoir project that will result in a new Project Implementation Report (PIR) and may continue to build CEPP components as planned in the 2014 PIR.


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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Sierra Club applauds bill enacting pro-solar tax exemption for business. Urges Governor to sign.

Sierra Club Florida today applauded the passage of SB 90 sponsored by Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), which carries out last year's constitutional amendment providing solar tax exemptions for commercial property owners

The bill implementing Amendment 4, grants businesses an 80 percent exemption from property taxes on renewable energy devices, like solar panels, similar to the 100 percent exemption Florida homeowners currently enjoy.

In August of 2016, the pro-solar Amendment 4 was approved by 73 percent of voters. Amendment 1, an anti-solar bill was defeated by voters three months later. Sierra Club Florida's volunteers worked tirelessly to secure Amendment 4's passage and to defeat Amendment 1.

The overwhelming support for the Amendment 4 implementation bill by both chambers of the Florida Legislature is a major victory for solar power in the Sunshine State. The bill now heads to Governor Rick Scott's desk. Sierra Club strongly urges him to sign it.

If SB 90 is signed into law it will put a major chink in the armor of Florida utilities FPL and Duke Energy, which have sought to stymie private rooftop solar installations. The law is seen as a major stimulus for the growing Florida solar industry. Currently, Florida utilities generate less than one percent of power from solar power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Florida utilities now rely almost entirely on climate-change-causing fossil fuels like natural gas and coal and expensive, risky non-renewable nuclear reactors.

Studies show clean, renewable solar energy could supply all of the state's energy needs


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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sierra Club impact felt in Climate Marches across Florida

Thousands of Floridians marched, rallied and biked for climate justice last Saturday. Sierra Club staff and volunteers organized, supported and participated in 22 events across the Sunshine State, including Mar-A-Lago, Trump's so-called Winter White House.

The mass-mobilization was organized by many organizations. Some were led by the Sierra Club and allies like 350.org, Surfrider and Environment Florida, some by climate justice organizations like Organize Florida and the Miami Climate Alliance, some by resistance groups like Indivisible and Women's March, and some were organized by teams of groups and individuals, alike. There are too many to name. A special note of thanks to Kimberly Miller who quickly organized a great event in Jacksonville with the Sierra Club Northeast FL group.

Sierra Club convened statewide weekly coordination calls for the month preceding, so staff or volunteers from a variety of organizations could compare notes, receive information and be part of a unified Florida effort. Sierra Club encouraged every major and mid-sized city to participate.  Our Florida Sierra Club volunteers and staff worked directly on individual marches and on statewide media and outreach.


March to Mar-A-Lago, West Palm Beach

A crowd of around 500 gathered for the People’s Climate March on Mar-a-Lago.  The march kicked off with a rally across the water from Mar-a-Lago at George Petty Park . The Rally consisted of a series of speakers including:  Laura Morales of the Citizens Climate Lobby, Rabbi Barry Silver on behalf of the Palm Beach County Environmental Alliance and Congregation L ' Dor Va-Dor, Alex Newell Taylor of the Florida’s Women’s March, Patrick Ferguson of  Sierra Club Florida, and David Gibson of Peace, Justice, Sustainability Florida, along with musical performances by Allegra Miles and the “Raging Grannies.” Participants then marched on Trump’s "Winter Whitehouse" of Mar-a-Lago to demand climate change solutions and an end to climate change denial! Sierra Club organizer Patrick Ferguson was a speaker at the rally and was quoted in the Palm Beach Post the next day.

Protesters march past Mar-A-Lago (in background).  Image by Derick Dublin.

Sierra Club banner waves at Mar-A-Lago march
Hundreds gather before the march to Mar-A-Lago. Photo by Steve Hawes.




Media: Palm Beach Post, CBS 12


Miami

In Miami, several hundred marched from Little Havana's Jose Marti Park, which experienced extensive flooding last year due to sea level rise, to the Lyric Theater in Overtown, Miami's historic African-American community. The event was organized by the Miami Climate Alliance. Five musical groups represented Miami's diverse communities at the event. Some of the props included a two-person operated Polar Bear and a Green Bus. There was also a 45-foot black snake, with the words FPL and Sabal Trail on the side, representing the Florida power company's interest in a fracked gas pipeline being built through the state.

Marching down the streets of Miami. Photo by Raul Swinderman
Photo by Jon Ullman


Photo by Blanca Mesa



Media: Miami HeraldCBS 4, FOX 7


Tampa Bay

On the hottest April day on record, over 500 residents of the Tampa Bay region rallied and marched in downtown Tampa at the Tampa Bay Peoples' Climate March. The event was organized Organize Florida and a broad coalition of local, state and national environmental and health care organizations and kicked off the Mayors for 100% Clean Energy campaign for the city. 500+ signed Sierra Club's petition asking Mayor Bob Buckhorn to join his peers in supporting a vision of 100% clean energy for Tampa's community, and over 80 wrote handwritten letters to the mayor. Sierra Club Florida Chapter Director Frank Jackalone was a speaker at the event.


Preparing for the March. Photo by Jose Barriga

Photo by Jose Barriga

Hundreds march through downtown Tampa. Photo by Jose Barriga



Press: Tampa Bay TimesWMNF-FM (preview podcast), FOX 13, CBS 10, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, (w/ Sierra comments/members), NBC 8 (w/ sierra comments), SaintPetersBlog (Sierra Club Chapter Director Frank Jackalone quoted)



Ft. Lauderdale

Nearly 600 people rallied and marched in Fort Lauderdale. A rally was held at George English Park, followed by a march along Sunrise Blvd toward the beach on A1A that had been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.  Event was led by Women’s March Florida, with support from Sierra Club and other organizations. Diana Umpierre, Sierra organizer for Everglades Restoration campaign and President of International Dark-Sky Association, shared her reasons for marching and for hope. Other rally speakers included Emma Collum (Executive Director of Women’s March FL), Tim Canova (Progress for All), Louis Merlin, Rebecca Harvey (Citizens’ Climate Lobby), Kelsey Reider (climate change biologist), Dr. Keren Prize-Bolter (sea level rise expert), Richard WhiteCloud (sea turtle conservationist), Paola Espitia (marine biologist) and several panel speakers representing indigenous, black and other environmental justice communities.

Marching along Sunrise Blvd, toward A1A (beach). Photo by Garrin Evan/ garrinevan.com

Protesters holding Sierra signs to resist Trump’s hate and demand climate action now. Photo by Diana Umpierre/ Sierra Club.

Rally at Ft Lauderdale beach, along section of AIA that had been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Diana Umpierre/ Sierra Club.




Orlando

On Saturday, April 29th, Organize Florida and its allies gathered to march for jobs, justice, and climate in the Pine Hills community.  The march ignited change by lifting up the voices of the Pine Hills community and those most impacted by climate change- communities of color and low-income communities. The march closed with a healing circle, and a community event that included food, performances, yoga, and activities for kids. The message is clear, climate action must be rooted in Racial, Economic, and Gender Justice. 


Photo by Ricardo Williams



Photo: Organize Florida
WMFE 90.7, Windmere Sun


Gainesville

Despite heat stroke potential in the air, over 300 people participated in solidarity efforts to raise attention to the National Climate Movement.  A diversified group of citizens representing health, labor, bi-partisan politics, environment and community came together for the first time to build relationships that will have a lasting purpose of alliance. They marched through searing temperatures shouting chants for justice, peace and healing in a troubled world. Shana Smith, local community builder, emceed the event with facts about our global climate crisis and songs such as "This Land is Your Land" and her own local rendition of "Paradise".  Speakers included  Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson a Sierra Club Organizer, Wes Wheeler of the Gainesville Solar CoOp, Mayor Lauren Poe, Alachua County Commissioner Ken Cornell and poet E. Stanley Richardson.

Gainesville People's Climate Sister March, photo by John Moran

Shana Smith, community builder and chantress, emceed the event, photo by John Moran
Press: WCJB Channel 20

Pensacola



In the midst of an old southern city, more than 300 motivated souls came together in Pensacola to stand for action on climate change. We marched, chanted, sang, and danced in celebration of our living planet and the transition to clean energy. A most memorable part of the March was when dozens of marchers, from children to elders, came forward to tell their personal stories of why they marched. From children and grandchildren, to the wonders of a living planet, for justice, for the health of wildlife--there were many beautiful and powerful stories told. The event was organized by 350 Pensacola.



Photo by Community Unlimited, Facebook.

Photo by Community Unlimited, Facebook.

Photo by Community Unlimited, Facebook.

Press: WUWF 88.1 FM, SANDSpaper 


Sarasota

Hundreds of Sarasota County climate activists rallied along US 41 at Bayfront Park to clamor for an end to our dependence on dirty fuels and a move toward green energy on the gulf coast. The event focused on the local Ready for 100 % clean energy initiative for the City of Sarasota, where residents are preparing to take their fight to the city commission on June 5. The event was organized by the Sarasota Climate Justice Coalition.
Sarasota rallies for climate justice and clean energy

Sierra Club's Lynn Nilssen speaks to the crowd





























Jacksonville

For Our Future, Sierra Club, Green Party, New Town Urban Farm and other organizations joined together to discuss local environmental injustices here in Jacksonville. We heard from Nathaniel Borden of Fairway Oaks Homeowners Association who are fighting the City of Jacksonville and Habijax for building homes on a known contaminated site. Janet Stanko and Karen Morian talked about state based legislation against fracking and sea level rise. Together, we took a stand just one week after Earth Day - and on Donald Trump’s 100th day in office -  to take the first steps in building a long-term grassroots movement that will fight for bold climate action to protect our communities, city and planet. We look forward to the work we will do together.



Group gathers at New Town Urban Farm in Jacksonville. Photo by Kimberly Miller.














Listening to Environmental Justice activists at New Town Urban Farm. Photo by Kimberly Miller.
Press: News 4 Jax



Ft. Myers

Ft. Myers residents rallied at Centennial Park and marched to the Edison Bridge and back. Organized by A.J. Amedure and Ruth Scott of the Sierra Club Calusa Group.



WGCU-FMNBC 2

Tallahassee 


On the steps of the Florida Capitol, more than 100 people and a dancing manatee turned out for a rally organized by Surfrider Florida and the Big Bend Group of the Sierra Club.


A crowd gathers at the State Capitol.

In Florida, the beloved Manatee is threatened by climate change.



St. Petersburg

More than 100 people rallied and marched in St Petersburg in solidarity to People's Climate March in DC. Rally speakers included St. Petersburg City Council Chair Darden Rice.

Photo by Michael Fox, Facebook

Flagler Beach

The "Rally by the Sea" was the sister Climate March event  in Flagler Beach.The march over the Flagler bridge was attended by over 200 people, empowering their message of support . The rally continued at Veterans park with passionate speakers  addressing climate change, social justice, equal rights, plastic bag pollution, and jobs. This was the first event in Flagler in many years and attendance was encouraging. Coquina Coast Democratic Progressive Caucus and Sierra Club Volusia-Flagler Group with support from other groups and individuals.

Crowd turns out on Flagler Beach.

Sierra Club booth at Rally by the Sea on Flagler Beach

Press: Flagler Live

Naples

About 200 people came out to a People’s Climate event by the Collier County Government Complex in Naples, FL. They rallied and waved signs to passing motorists who were really positive to them. Event was organized by Indivisible Collier with support from other groups and concerned citizens.

Photo by Jeanne Emerick


The Villages

In Florida's Trump-friendly retirement enclave, The Villages, climate protesters organized a flash-mob.





Sebring

91 people attended a rally and forum at the Sebring Civic Center.

Photo by Highland County Democrats, Facebook

Key West

Hosted by Women's March Florida-Florida Keys Chapter and City of Key West - Preserve Island Life Campaign. Mayor Cates spoke about what the City has been doing about Climate Change. Also present: Trophia Buterfly Foundation, Monroe County Extension Service, Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority.

The southernmost Climate March in the U.S.

Pasco and Pinellas County Bike Rides

In Pasco and Pinellas Counties, over 20 people participated in bike rides (Bike CD12) as part of People's Climate March. Areas involved included: Lake Tarpon, Clearwater/ Safety Harbor, Odessa, New Port Richey and Dade City. According to the lead organizer, Elize Mysels with Pasco Activists, the most valuable outcome of this effort was the new connections made, which has even led to some of them uniting to take action on some local issues.

New Port Richie Bike ride. Photo courtesy of  Pasco Activists