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Category archives for: Environment & Water

Florida Wildlife Officials Call Bear Hunt a “Success,” Opponents Call It a Slaughter

| November 12, 2015

Some 304 bears were killed in two days and few hunters cited for violations, but critics called it a slaughter, saying most of the bears were killed on private land, where state regulations could be more easily skirted.

Two Sisters and a Solar-Electric Boat, on a 9-Day Journey for a Cause on ICW, Dock in Palm Coast

| November 2, 2015

Nancy and Paula Frainetti are spending nine days aboard a solar-aided electric boat from Miami to Jacksonville to raise awareness and money for breast cancer–and for electric boating.

Big Oil, Big Tobacco, Big Lies

| October 12, 2015

Exxon’s scientists knew by the early 1980s that human causes of global warming could be catastrophic, but quashed the findings and peddled junk science instead. It’s time to get Big Oil out of the policymaking process altogether, write Bill McKibben and Kelle Louaillier.

In Plantation Bay, 1,600 Customers Are Stuck Between Cruddy Water and Cruddier Bills

| October 2, 2015

As Flagler government fully acquires the Plantation bay utility from Bunnell, residents have seen water bills more than double, and may see further rate increases yet if the shoddy water plant is to be improved.

Growers Defend Annual Burning of Sugarcane Fields as Environmentalists Prepare to Sue

| September 30, 2015

The burns, regulated by the Florida Forest Service, are intended to make it easier for harvest machines to cut down and collect the stalks, but they emit pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde.

Fearing Costs of Long and Losing Battle, Flagler Beach Surrenders to Sea Ray

| September 28, 2015

Flagler Beach government approved a settlement agreement, 3-2, that ends its challenge of Sea Ray’s parking lot plans and the county’s land use changes.

Federal Bureaucracy Is the Monster Killing the Florida Everglades

| September 15, 2015

Federal regulations keep water from flowing south into Everglades National Park, where it could save a freshwater-dependent ecosystem dying of thirst, argues Nancy Smith.

With Florida Leading U.S. in Child Drownings, States Are Pressed to Improve Prevention

| August 30, 2015

Florida had 50 drownings of children 15 or younger last year, by far the most in the nation. California was second with 36. Better pool-safety regulations help.

Boat-Dock Permits Revoked, Flagler Re-Ignites Urgency to Finish Manatee Protection Plan

| August 17, 2015

Federal officials have revoked all boat-dock permits for non-residential homes in Flagler because a manatee protection plan and an additional speed zone are not in place.

Not So Fast on Killing Teddy: Conservationists File Suit to Stop Bear Hunting in Florida

| August 1, 2015

With permits for this fall’s hunt going on sale Monday, the Seminole County-based group Speak Up Wekiva filed a lawsuit in Leon County circuit court Friday challenging the constitutionality of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-approved bear hunt.

Algal Bloom Observed at the Confluence of Flagler’s Dead Lake and Bull Creek

| June 26, 2015

Algal blooms damage the environment because they replace vital food sources, clog fish gills, prevent sunlight from reaching seagrass and contribute to low oxygen “dead-zones” when they degrade.

Scott’s Veto Pen Hits Flagler’s Top Priority, Sinking $600,000 For Malacompra Drainage

| June 24, 2015

The $600,000 appropriation for the Malacompra drainage project was among the 450 line-items and $461 million he vetoed as he approved a $78.2 billion budget.

Environmentalists Sue Florida Lawmakers Over Amendment 1, Claiming Misuse of Dollars

| June 23, 2015

The suit seeks a court declaration that money from the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund, which will handle all the Amendment 1 funding, may not be substituted for general-revenue funds or used to pay for other services and programs.

Just as Flagler County Resolves Against Fracking, Ratepayers Will Underwrite FPL’s Fracking Bills

| June 18, 2015

FPL can invest $500 million in fracking ventures at ratepayers’ expense, making it the first utility in the nation–according to an analysis by the Public Service Commission–to spend ratepayers dollars on “non-regulated risk.”

Fossil-Fuel Utilities Band Up to Block Solar-Power Initiative Aiming to Unshackle Industry

| June 10, 2015

Florida’s largest electric utilities, AG Pam Bondi and business groups want the Supreme Court to block a proposed solar-energy ballot initiative that would go before voters in 2016.

Palm Coast Passes on Supporting County In Anti-Fracking and Drilling Resolutions

| June 10, 2015

The Palm Coast City Council chose not to sign on to a pair of resolutions opposing fracking or seismic testing for oil offshore of Florida, saying the county has already spoken.

Childhood Cancer Clusters in Florida and The Department of Health’s Lethal Silence

| June 9, 2015

Five years have passed since the University of West Florida’s Dr. Raid Amin and his team alerted the state to the presence of cancer clusters in Florida, the state Department of Health remains mum, seemingly uninterested in investigating the issue.

Senator Blasts “Hypocritical” House Over Rejecting Medicaid Money While Getting Set to Borrow

| June 8, 2015

Disagreements led Senate Appropriations Chairman Tom Lee, R-Brandon, to label the House as “hypocritical” for rejecting federal Medicaid expansion funding while being willing to issue bonds to pay for environmental projects.

Florida Leads Nation in Boating Accidents With 70 Deaths; Coast Guard Releases Safety App

| May 17, 2015

Features of the app include state boating information, a safety equipment checklist, free boating safety check requests, navigation rules, float plans, and calling features to report pollution or suspicious activity.

Florida Issues “Open Season” Bear-Hunting Rules as Humane Society Calls For Delay

| May 13, 2015

Opponents of the proposed hunt have argued the state should consider relocating problem bears and that people need to be held more responsible for leaving out unsecured food and trash that attracts bears.

Obama Comes to Everglades to Talk Climate Change. Gov. Scott Snubs Visit’s Theme.

| April 21, 2015

Obama is set to appear at Everglades National Park Wednesday to address the economic impact of climate change, a topic and phrase that was not mentioned in a release from the governor’s office Tuesday.

You May Soon Shoot Black Bears: FWC Will Set One Week in October For Hunting

| April 16, 2015

Hunting up to 200 black bears in Flagler and other parts of Florida would be allowed as part of a management plan as the state’s bear population of 2,500 is in increasing contact with its human population of nearly 20 million.

Against Voter Wishes, Proposal Would Devote Just 1% of Available Cash to Land Preservation

| March 25, 2015

Sen. Alan Hays, a Umatilla Republican in charge of budget talks with the House–which is already resisting more money for land-buying–says Florida already has enough land in public hands.

Florida Legislature to Voters For Amendment 1’s Water Protection: Drop Dead

| March 23, 2015

Even when expressed via an overwhelming majority “Yes” vote on a constitutional amendment, the Florida Legislature can and does subvert it, argues Daniel Tilson.

Reacting to Gov. Scott’s Alleged Climate Change Denial Directive, Group Demands Investigation

| March 20, 2015

Members of Forecast the Facts dropped off about 43,000 electronically signed petitions at the governor’s office, asking for an investigation. Scott, when pressed last year on the issue of climate change, evaded the question by saying he is “not a scientist.”

$772 Million Amendment 1 Spending Focuses More On Management and Water Projects Than Land Acquisition

| March 17, 2015

The plan drew mixed reviews from conservationists concerned that lawmakers disregarded the intent of voters who supported a constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 1, in November.

Amendment 1 Money For Land Conservation: House Panel Says Buy Fewer Acres, Manage More

| March 7, 2015

Again seeming to counter voter intent, a Florida House committee crafting rules on spending voter-approved dollars for land conservation would limit new land to be bought under the program.

Hearing Voters’ Demand for Conservation, Florida Senate Begins Money Game

| January 8, 2015

Since the amendment was approved, concerns have been expressed about issues such as how lawmakers will define land-preservation or water-conservation projects, how the state will determine which of its “impaired” water bodies is most critical and how to approach the reduction of stormwater runoff and agriculture fertilizer use.

Varn Park Will Close Until April 15 For $476,000 Renovations Thanks to Scenic A1A Grant

| December 5, 2014

The federal National Scenic Byways grant was the largest of just three such awards in Florida, and will have a $140,000 match from Flagler County.

Bowing to Utilities, Florida Regulators Cut Energy-Efficiency Goals and Sunset Solar Incentives

| November 28, 2014

A solar rebate program will expire at the end of 2015 and the Public Service Commission accepted a controversial staff recommendation that will lessen overall energy-efficiency goals for power companies.



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