NEWS-PRESS: October 23, 2016. Written by Chad Gillis.
Send water south.
Few phrases stir up as much controversy in South Florida, and it's been flying off the tongues of east and west coast residents and business owners for years.
The idea is simple: create an expanded drainage system south of Lake Okeechobee in order to send lake waters where they flowed for thousands of years – to what is now Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.
Continue reading "State's option to buy sugar land expires in 2020"
NEWS-PRESS: October 24, 2016. Written by Laura Ruane.
The quality of Florida’s coastal and inland waters is everyone’s business.
But business people in Lee County feel more than just anger and anxiety when they see murky water in local bays and the Gulf following Lake Okeechobee fresh water releases:
They feel a pain in their wallets.
Continue reading "Water quality perceptions cost Lee County businesses"
BUZZFEED: October 21, 2106. Written by Dino Grandoni.
During the final stretch of the presidential race, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have found themselves stumping on a strange environmental problem: a toxic bloom of algae.
Presidential candidates have always delved into provincial issues to win votes. But unlike corn in Iowa or coal in Pennsylvania, algae emerged unexpectedly in the 2016 race — both to locals here along Florida’s Treasure Coast north of Miami and to the presidential candidates appealing to them.
EYE ON MIAMI: Clean Water Inaction: How GOP Funders Practice Psychological Warfare Against Its Own Voters
EYE ON MIAMI: October 21, 2016. Written by Gimleteye.
Only Republicans can end the psychological warfare practiced by the GOP and its top funders against the interests of voters. Case in point: Marco Rubio and clean water in Florida.
It is an article of faith among Republican voters that government should not pick winners and losers in economic competition. Much of the Republican voter frustration that propelled Donald Trump to the presidential nomination, above party favorites like Marco Rubio, sprang from discontent with undelivered promises of the values party.
How this betrayal happened, and is continuing to happen, is reflected in the way that public policies have been distorted by Republicans to favor special interests. Like Big Sugar. Here, GOP leaders in Florida have recklessly interfered with the rights of millions of Floridians to enjoy clean, safe fresh water -- now polluted because those same leaders pursued policies and laws damaging to the public interest.
SANDSPAPER: October 19, 2016. Written by Staff.
A strange state-level issue spilled into an awkward mess during a recent Pensacola City Council Meeting, when local officials were asked to back a somewhat odd effort to get legislators to dedicate more conservation funding for north Florida.
Something didn’t feel quite right. And it wasn’t just the dire warning from a local environmental advocate that a “shadowy entity” was about to “dupe” council with a “sham” resolution. It was also the weird phone calls.
“When I started getting calls, the interesting thing that I noticed was that the calls weren’t from here,” noted Councilman P.C. Wu. “I’m thinking, wait a minute, people in south Florida are calling me, telling me they want money up here in north Florida. I’ve never seen — you know, we’re not sitting here saying, ‘We should send more money to south Florida.’ So I thought it was quite puzzling to see people from south Florida calling, telling us they wanted to make sure that we get our fair share.”
Continue reading "The Big Sugar Sham?"
THE DAILY CLIMATE: October 24, 2016. Written by Debbie Harrison Rumberger.
MARATHON, Fla.—Less than a decade ago, Florida was poised to become a global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This was a time of hope—a belief that we could still avoid the most severe impacts of a rapidly warming planet.
The irony of what has happened since makes the ecosystem collapse underway right now throughout south Florida even more heartbreaking.
When Rick Scott entered the Governor's office, the hard work of building broad bi-partisan support for addressing climate change was done.
As a member of the Florida Energy and Climate Action Team, I was privileged to work with leading scientists, legislators, energy and utility leaders and environmentalists in a unified effort to see our state become a climate leader. We set out to tackle both emissions reductions and clean energy investment.
NEWS PRESS: October 19, 2016. Written by Chad Gillis.
Billions of gallons of freshwater flow down the Caloosahatchee River every year, and it carries tons upon tons of harmful nutrients to the river's estuary and coastal beach islands like Sanibel.
The impacts range from a discoloration of water to fish and marine mammal kills, as well as beach closures, hotel cancellations and a loss in local property values.
Some politicians and tourism industry groups said the brown water blanketing the coast earlier this year was harmless, that it was just a lot of water carrying a lot of natural things. But the flow of water and nutrients is far from natural, and the result is often fish and marine mammal kills, beach closures and hotel cancellations.
Continue reading "Lake O release volume can be more dangerous than water quality"
TCPALM: October 18, 2016. Written by Tyler Treadway.
Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie River could decrease again Friday, but likely won't stop yet.
At a conference call Tuesday with government and nonprofit agency scientists from throughout South Florida, Army Corps of Engineers officials seemed ready to accept requests to cut discharges from 1.16 billion gallons a day to about 750 million gallons a day.
It's a significant drop: Blue-green algae from the lake started blooming in the river in early summer, just after discharges were raised to 1.1 billion gallons a day.
Continue reading "When will Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie River end?"
NAPLES DAILY NEWS: October 19, 2016. Written by Maryann Batlle.
State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen wants more Floridians to talk about cow poop.
A 1,000-pound dairy cow can produce 80 pounds of manure a day. Florida has about 123,000 of them. All that dung has to go somewhere.
Too often, dairy farmers keep cow waste in pits, where the nutrient-rich discharge runs the risk of escaping and polluting water supplies, said Fitzenhagen. There is technology that can pipe the manure to the roots of crops on nearby farmland, which would cut back on chemical fertilizer use and remove the risk of dairies polluting water, she said.
Continue reading "Estero signs 'Now or Neverglades' declaration"
THE EVERGLADES FOUNDATION: October 14, 2016. Written by Stephen Davis, Ph.D., and Edyna Garcia.
This year’s arrival of the King Tide generated quite a bit of traction due to the impressive flooding seen in low-lying areas of South Florida. If you were to login to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and search the hashtag #KingTide, you would find photos and videos of “sunny day flooding” of seawalls, docks, yards and streets. Impacts to developed areas from King Tide flooding are readily observable and of great concern for many municipalities across South Florida. What is less apparent are the impacts of King Tides on the Everglades and the growing need for Everglades restoration.
In order to understand King Tides, we need to take it back to 8th grade Science class, as the connection between the moon, sun, and ocean is fundamental to understanding the growing contribution of sea level rise on King Tide-induced coastal flooding. The short of it is that tides and oceans are much more complex than we think!
Continue reading "The Everglades and King Tides"