Sunday, April 30, 2017
It is going to take multiple tools and approaches to save our Everglades. Protecting the land north of the lake from intense development is part of the solution. Wetlands throughout cattle ranches in the northern Everglades supply valuable habitat while acting as natural water storage systems that help clean and supply the drinking water to millions of people in south Florida.
Friday, April 28, 2017
In 1997, amid heavy rains, a dam broke atop one of two gypsum stacks at the Mulberry Phosphates plant on State Road 60, unleashing a 56-million gallon spill of the acidic wastewater into the Alafia River. The pollution killed everything in its path for 42 miles, eventually rolling into Hillsborough Bay. The death toll included more than 1 million baitfish and shellfish and 72,900 gamefish near the river’s mouth, 377 acres of damaged trees and other vegetation along the riverbank, and an unknown number of alligators. When state officials hit the company with a multimillion-dollar fine for the damage done, it declared bankruptcy and shut down. (Its insurance company wound up footing the bill.) Ten years later, local and state officials were still working on restoration projects. Meanwhile the old gyp stack was taken over by a larger company—Mosaic—with plans to close it permanently.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
anyone with a vested interest in the future success of the Democratic party should be doing everything they can to try and get everyone to forget about their unelectable joke of a candidate as quickly as possible so that they can maybe start winning some elections someday.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Founding father and President Thomas Jefferson once remarked, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” His words were crystal clear: in order for a free society to function, its citizens must be informed about current events, the functions of their government and the history of their nation. Jefferson’s advice, however, is increasingly ignored by his fellow Americans more than 200 years later. It seems that fewer and fewer Americans care to know about how history and governmental affairs affect them personally. The 2014 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) report found that only 18 percent of 8th graders were at least proficient in U.S. History and only 23 percent in Civics.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Saturday, April 8, 2017
For 2017, 1000 Friends has an ambitious list of proactive legislative priorities including: Saving special places by dedicating at least 25% of the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (formerly Amendment 1) each year to acquiring conservation and recreation lands through the Florida Forever and Florida Communities Trust programs. Building better communities by improving the local governments dispute resolution and providing a more equitable 'preponderance of the evidence' standard of review to impacted local governments in administrative court when dispute resolution is unsuccessful. Protecting Florida's waters by improving last year's water legislation through common sense policies that increase water conservation and reduce pollutants entering Florida's waters.
The Florida House and Senate announced their individual 2017-2018 environmental budget recommendations this week. Both chambers propose cutting environmental spending, with the Florida House proposing a shocking 25% reduction in the Department of Environmental Protection budget from last year. Equally disappointing, the Florida House defunded the state's major land protection programs Florida Forever and Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. The Florida Senate's proposed budget, offered by Sen. Rob Bradley, is equally disappointing. It recommends only $10 million for Florida Forever and no funding for Rural and Family Lands.