Friday, April 29, 2011

Top Florida Environmental News - April 29, 2011


Contents
Sierra Club Florida in the News
Energy   (oil, coal, nuclear, bio-, solar, wind, efficiency, transit, recycling)
Habitat  (wildlife, land use, growth management, public lands)
Water    (pollution, hydrology, wetlands, phosphate, mining, water supply)



Sierra Club Florida in the News
Activists rip environmental law rewrite
Tbo.com - Jerome R. Stockfisch - April 29, 2011
Opponents quickly mobilized, with the Sierra Club, Audubon of Florida, 1000 Friends of Florida, the Nature Conservancy, the Florida Wildlife Federation, and the National Parks Conservation Association holding a Thursday morning press conference prior ...



Enviro groups oppose "monster bill"
WFSU - by Sascha Cordner - April 28, 2011
...David Cullen with the Sierra Club of Florida talked about the issues he had with the mining provisions in the bill. He says one of the things the bill does is prevent local governments from enforcing or adopting ordinances to protect their environmental resources...



Environment: Last stand for the Florida panther?
Summit County Citizens Voice - Bob Berwyn - ‎April 29, 2011‎
“At this rate, any possibility that the panther will recover will soon be lost forever unless our legal effort is successful,” said Eric E. Huber, a seniror staff attorney with the Sierra Club and lead counsel for the groups. The appeal is in response ...


Ray St. Louis column: Real Spring Break kids are making laws
North Florida Herald - ‎April 28, 2011
Governor Scott has now firmly aligned the state in opposition to organizations such as the Florida Wildlife Federation, St. Johns Riverkeeper, and the Sierra Club, which have been pressuring the EPA to enforce stricter nutrient limits on Florida's ...




Energy 

Power Play
Gulf Coast Business Review - Jay Brady - April 29, 2011
Efficiency of electric utilities vs. independent renewable energy industry. When the state terminated its solar rebate program last year, many small firms that install solar power systems saw a dramatic decrease in business. At Sarasota's Elite Solar ...


Paul Flemming: To drill or not to drill
Tallahassee Democrat (blog) - ‎April 29, 2011
Republican presidential nominee front-runner John McCain said Congress should lift the federal ban on offshoredrilling for oil. Then-Gov. Charlie Crist tweaked his position and said it was worth considering exploration off Florida's coast.1 Proponents ...


Pensacola Beach still rocking in the green
Pensacola News Journal - Kimberly Blair - ‎April 29, 2011‎
Business is still booming on Pensacola Beach, despite the lingering affects of the BP oil spill and recession and high fuel prices. Overall revenue for room rentals, retail, food, alcohol and the sale of convenience store goods was up 36 percent for ...

City, FPU partner for energy savings
Fernandina Beach News-Leader - ‎April 29, 2011‎
Florida Public Utilities (FPU) and the city of Fernandina Beach have implemented a three-year partnership to identify, develop, demonstrate and evaluate energy efficiency and conservation initiatives within the city. The initiatives will at a minimum ...

Scripps partnership with FPL is tip of energy research plans
South Florida Business Journal - Paul Brinkmann - April 29, 2011
Scripps Florida is known for drug development research, but wants to use its chemistry know-how to boost energy efficiency. A recent announcement from Scripps Florida about a new partnership with Florida Power & Light Co. is just the tip of a vision to ...




Habitat  
Repealing Florida's growth-management law just got a lot easier
Orlando Sentinel (blog) - April 29, 2011
TALLAHASSEE — The business lobby quest to repeal Florida's once-heralded growth management law just got a little easier as the clock winds down on the lawmaking session. As part of the ongoing budget negotiations between House and Senate Republicans, ...



Mosquito control comes with environmental costs
Tampabay.com - ‎April 28, 2011‎
In Everglades National Park, where spraying pesticides is banned, one unprotected human can be a walking blood-meal buffet for as many as 500 mosquitoes per minute. And how many bites does it take to ruin a poolside barbecue, or at least generate the ...

We asked you: Are Florida's growth-management laws too strict?
Orlando Sentinel - ‎April 29, 2011
How could growth-management laws be too strict? We were still seeing urban sprawl under them. With the recession, a lot of strip malls and homes sit empty, but instead of maintaining them, developers want to build new ones. ...  


Snail farming could help save the endangered Everglades snail kite
Sun-Sentinel (blog) - ‎April 28, 2011
In a bid to save the endangered Everglades snail kite, South Florida scientists are snail farming to try to add to the finicky bird's food supply. The snail kite is a medium-sized bird of prey that primarily feeds on apple snails that live in Lake ...
Clam Bayou bouncing back
10 Connects - ‎April 28, 2011‎
An area that was once filled in for a condo project that never materialized is now a tidal lagoon with native plants andwildlife. "People will have access to this; be able to come here in their canoes and kayaks-fish, bird watch and otherwise use the ...



Burrowing owls not threatened by Cape construction 
NBC2 News - ‎April 28, 2011
Wildlife activist Pascha Donaldson, with Friends of Wildlife, says there are likely baby owls nesting in a burrow next to the construction site. "That's when you really don't want to get near them or disturb them," she said. ...



Toyota Hero Award Project aims to Save Turtle Mound 
University of Central Florida - Zenaida Gonzalez - ‎April 29, 2011‎
The project, which runs Saturday and Sunday, is one of six national finalists in the 2011 Field & Stream Magazine and Toyota Hero for a Day Conservation Projects Competition. The competition aims to recognize individual efforts to protect fish  ...

Beach restrictions begin Sunday 
Historic City News - ‎April 29, 2011
To ensure compliance with the St. Johns County Habitat Conservation Plan and Incidental Take Permit, which protect five species of sea turtles and the native Anastasia Island Beach Mouse, beach driving and lighting restrictions also go into effect ...


US Sugar's cane, Clewiston's lifeblood, is still going strong after 80 years
Palm Beach Post - ‎April 29, 2011‎
Charlie Crist announced a proposed $1.75 billion buyout of US Sugar Corp. for Everglades restoration. After much turmoil, the deal was pared down to 27000 acres. In August 2010 the South Florida Water Management District voted to pay the company $197 ...
Inside the Conservancy Wildlife Clinic: Accommodating wildlife makes a difference
Naples Daily News - Joanna Fitzgerald - ‎April 29, 2011
A bobcat and six eastern screech owls were among the 67 animals admitted to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic this past week. Other admissions include three red-bellied woodpeckers, a cooper's hawk, a grey catbird, ...



Water    

Mining Deregulation Bill
Island Sand Paper - ‎April 29, 2011
Senate Bill 1122 rewrites all growth management statutes in Florida, making individual counties responsible for what was previously the state's job, but at the same time it reduces the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and slashes the ...

Environmentalists Win Latest Round On Water Quality 
 
Naples Daily News (blog) - Dave Trecker - ‎April 29, 2011‎
Sponsor Trudi Williams (R-Ft. Myers) was quoted as saying, "This legislation sends a powerful message to the federal government that we in Florida know what's best for our own water quality." The long-running fight has pitted conservation groups ...


Cattle groups file suit against EPA 

Florida Independent - April 29, 2011
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Florida Cattlemen’s Association filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s numeric nutrient criteria, a set of standards that would limit the amount of waste in Florida waterways.

Water managers to raise flow of water out of Lake Apopka and into the Harris ...
Orlando Sentinel - April 29, 2011
In December, the St. Johns River Water Management District closed a dam at the Apopka-Beauclair Canal to halt the discharge of water out moving out of Lake Apopka and into the lake chain. It was an effort to prevent water levels in Lake Apopka from ...
Stricter fertilizer rules could be halted by proposed law
North Florida Herald - ‎April 28, 2011
Chris Bird, Alachua County's environmental protection director, said while there aren't any specific plans to develop Alachua County-specific guidelines, to take away that flexibility would be a detriment to the conservation of North Florida's unique ...
Environmentalists decry deregulation bill that House GOP suddenly fast-tracked
Palm Beach Post - Christine Stapleton - ‎April 28, 2011
The bill (HB 991) spans the spectrum of environmental issues in Florida, from rock mining and beach renourishment to permits for fences on farmland. Introduced by Rep. James Patronis, R-Panama City, in February, it has picked up so many different ...

Editorial: Sneak attack guts local mine control
Lehigh Acres News Star - ‎April 28, 2011
Marc Beaudin/news-press.com Once again, special interests in Tallahassee are trying to destroy local governments' power to regulate rock mining, aiming to free that industry from meaningful oversight. It's a huge issue for Lee County, which has spent ...


Judge Gives EPA Authority to Oversee Florida Everglades Cleanup ...
Bloomberg Business Week - Apr 27, 2011 

A federal judge gave the U.S. Environmental ...residents of the Everglades, sued the U.S. and the EPA in June 2004. ...