WMNF: Ron DeSantis directs Florida DEP to oppose fracking and off-shore drilling

WMNF: Written by Sean Kinane. January 10, 2019.

Florida’s new governor, Ron DeSantis, announced several changes to water policy today. In an executive order, DeSantis made moves to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking), dedicate money to Everglades restoration, fight algae blooms, appoint a Chief Science Officer and create an Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency.

For reaction, WMNF News spoke with Michelle Allen, senior Florida organizer with Food and Water Watch.

“Today – on Thursday January 10th – Governor Ron DeSantis put out a statement announcing that he is going to direct the state Department of Environmental Protection [DEP] to adamantly oppose and ban fracking statewide in Florida. We are very happy to see the governor fulfilling the promise that he made on the campaign trail to protect Florida’s water by banning fracking statewide.”

And [DeSantis] also said that he wants [the DEP] ‘to take necessary actions to oppose all off-shore oil and gas activities off every coast.

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TC Palm: Bill would expedite Everglades restoration projects approved under CERP

TC Palm: Written by Staff. January 10th, 2019.

Expediting Everglades restoration is the aim of a U.S. House bill filed Thursday.

Currently, such projects must be authorized en masse through the Water Resources Development Act that Congress approves periodically, but this new bill would allow projects to be authorized more quickly and on a case-by-case basis.

The bill would approve shovel-ready projects already approved as part of the 2000 Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, also known as CERP.

U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, filed the bill. Other Florida lawmakers have filed similar bills for several years, but they all stalled.

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TC PALM: Gov. Ron DeSantis asks all SFWMD board members to resign over Florida Crystals lease

TC Palm: Written by Ali Schmitz. Jan 11th, 2019. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis, on his third day on the job, asked for the immediate resignations of all South Florida Water Management District board members during a news conference in Stuart.

The Senate would have to remove any board members who refuse, such as Vice Chair Brandon Tucker of Palm City, who said he plans to serve the last two years of his term.

"I believe I made a commitment to serve out my term," Tucker told TCPalm. "I haven't had an opportunity to meet with the governor and his staff and tell them about the issues and my positions on them."

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TAMPA BAY TIMES: Rick Scott made 84 last-minute appointments. That’s not going over well with Ron DeSantis.

Tampa Bay Times: Written by Emily L. Mahoney and Steve Contorno. January 9th, 2019.

TALLAHASSEE — Former governor and now-U.S. Sen. Rick Scott appeared fleetingly in Tallahassee on Tuesday, sitting next to Gov. Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis for just under an hour before he left to take his private plane to Washington.

Scott ended up missing DeSantis' speech, where he was praised for bringing a "laser-like focus" on job creation during his eight years governing Florida. DeSantis tweaked his pre-written remarks to tell the crowd that Scott had to leave early for his own 4 p.m. swearing-in ceremony, but wished him well.

It was a small moment, but not the first time Scott disrupted his successor's plans to take the reins.

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CBS 12: After a toxic 2018, River Warriors are hopeful for a clean 2019

CBS 12: Written by Erin MacPherson. January 7th, 2019.

STUART, Fla. (CBS12) — New year, same clean water fight.

For months, the St. Lucie Estuary has been clear of toxic blue green algae ever since the discharges from Lake Okeechobee stopped. It's been a breath of fresh air for Martin County residents -- literally.

"It feels good," said Jennie Pawlowsky as she walked along the river walk in Downtown Stuart. "It becomes beautiful again."

Pawlowsky has been fighting for clean water for years.

But last year, things changed.

"When things get so bad, I think people start to realize it’s gotta get fixed," Pawlowsky said.

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The Outbound: Why Kids Need Wilderness And Adventure More Than Ever

The Outbound: Written by Brynn Schmidt. 

Let your kids be wild.

These days, our kids’ lives are overscheduled, filled with pressure, and can be pretty intense. School, homework, sports and/or other extracurricular activities fill the week and often consumes many weekends as well. We all can feel like there is no time left to fit anything else in. There has to be. Our younger kids and teenagers need wilderness and adventure in their lives and who better to model it to them than us, their parents. I would actually argue that it is more important than a lot of the scheduled activities we have them in now. Wilderness and adventure will help develop them into well-rounded young adults.

1. Kids need the freedom to learn what life is like without a schedule.

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TAMPA BAY TIMES: Editorial: A promising start for Florida’s incoming governor

Tampa Bay Times: January 4th, 2019.

Ron DeSantis narrowly won the governor’s race by relying on President Donald Trump’s endorsement, demonizing his opponent and avoiding clear positions on many state issues. When the 40-year-old Republican is sworn into office Tuesday as the youngest governor in a century, the Tallahassee outsider will become the governor for all Floridians and face a steep learning curve. Yet DeSantis has an opportunity to be an approachable, engaged and thoughtful governor who can make a long-term impact in a vibrant state facing significant challenges.

The two months between the election and Tuesday’s inauguration have been encouraging. The transition committees reviewing various policy areas have generally been inclusive and open, and DeSantis has leaned toward solid experience and Tallahassee backgrounds in making key appointments. Seminole Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel is an excellent choice for secretary of state, the state’s chief elections official. Another strong selection is Simone Marstiller, a former appeals court judge who also worked for former Gov. Jeb Bush, to run the Department of Juvenile Justice.

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SUN SENTINEL: A to-do list for Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis on the environment | Editorial

Sun Sentinel: Written by Editorial Board. January 4th, 2019.

As a member of Congress, Ron DeSantis opposed price supports for sugar. And as a candidate for governor, he emphasized water quality and said “I don’t want to wait 15 more years” for action.

If you knew only these positions, you might think Ron DeSantis is a Democrat. But DeSantis is a Republican who ran away from the lousy environmental records of fellow Republicans Rick Scott and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who hoped to succeed Scott. Like the outgoing governor, Putnam was joined at the hip with the sugar industry, one of Florida's biggest polluters.

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PALM BEACH POST: JUST IN: Two surprise resignations in shakeup at South Florida Water Management District

PALM BEACH POST: Written by Kimberly Miller. January 5th, 2019.

The South Florida Water Management District’s lead counsel and governing board vice chairwoman have resigned their positions with the largest state steward of Everglades restoration, leaving a key staff job and four leadership seats open when additional board member terms expire in March.

Melanie Peterson, who represents areas including Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast on the nine-member board, was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott for two terms, the second of which was set to expire in March 2022. Her resignation letter to Scott is dated Jan. 1.

Brian Accardo, who was at the district for three years, said he decided before a Dec. 13 governing board meeting that he would accept an offer with a private firm focusing on environmental and government law. His last day was Friday.

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TC PALM: Ron DeSantis: I'm committed to pursuing a bold agenda for Florida

TC Palm: Written by Ron DeSantis. January 4, 2019.

On Tuesday, I will raise my right hand on the steps of Florida’s Historic Capitol to take the oath of office in much the same tradition that 45 governors have before me. With my wife, Casey, and our two young children, Madison and Mason, watching, it will be a pointed reminder that to whom much is given, much is required.

Future generations of leadership need us to get this moment in Florida history right. Our parents and grandparents did that for us, delivering a state and nation of immense strength, and, now, it is our turn to do the same. Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez and I are honored to be put in this position by the people of Florida. We are committed to pursuing a bold agenda that opens wide the gates of opportunity and makes Florida the best in the nation.

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