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  • Capitol Watch Week 6
    any longer and in fact must go into effect in three weeks though this decision could be postponed or appealed Florida political and environmental leaders have been struggling for 20 years to come up with a way to stop huge green toxic algae outbreaks that plague Florida lakes and rivers said Earthjustice Attorney David Guest Today we finally turned the corner The U S Environmental Protection Agency decided 14 years ago that limits on the pollutants that feed slime outbreaks on lakes and streams were necessary Three years ago EPA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection agreed that specific pollution limits must be quickly implemented but efforts to establish limits were met by a massive campaign by polluting industries to stop or delay the new rules Sewage manure and fertilizer spur toxic algae outbreaks that cover waterways with green slime and cause rashes breathing problems stomach disorders and worse Health authorities have had to shut down drinking water plants beaches and swimming areas Toxic algae can kill fish livestock and pets and green water diminishes home values The judge agreed that the EPA s approach which is like a speed limit sign that gives everyone fair warning of the law is good practical and necessary It replaces a 35 year old Florida rule that required studies when algae outbreaks take place but did nothing to prevent them After years of seeing toxic algae on Florida tourist beaches like Sanibel Island and at fishing destinations like the St Johns River Earthjustice filed a Clean Water Act federal lawsuit in 2008 in the Northern District of Florida on behalf of the Florida Wildlife Federation the Conservancy of Southwest Florida the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida St John s Riverkeeper and the Sierra Club In 2009 the EPA set numeric limits for the phosphorus and nitrogen that comes from sewage fertilizer and manure in the water Earthjustice is now challenging the ineffective standards to control this pollution proposed in rule by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Like the old rules the proposed rules only require studies when an algae outbreak takes place No corrective action is required until the studies are completed a process that takes five to ten years Oil and Gas Exploration on State Lands SB1158 by Senator Greg Evers appears dead for the 2012 session The bill which would have allowed energy companies to enter into partnership agreements with state land management agencies to explore and drill for oil and gas was temporarily postponed in the Senate Environmental Preservation Committee on February 22 2012 At this late point in the Session another hearing is very unlikely Protect Florida s Water Resources As directed by the Legislature in 2011 legislation the state s five water management districts streamlined their administrative costs However the cuts were so deep that many water resource protection activities are at risk Water management districts must be able to protect water supplies and natural systems This requires science regulation and the ability to fund and

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/Capitol-Watch-Week-6.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • ACTION ALERT - KEEP FLORIDA FOREVER ALIVE!
    Donations of Stock Special Donations Programs FWF Photo Contest Create A Wildlife Habitat GreenStar Certification Sweepstakes FWF Scholarship Fund ACTION ALERT KEEP FLORIDA FOREVER ALIVE Date 02 13 2012 PLEASE CONTACT the following state senators and ask them to support 15 million for the Florida Forever land protection program Florida Forever funding will be used to help buffer our existing military bases to ensure that they are not closed Funding

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/ACTION-ALERT---KEEP-FLORIDA-FOREVER-ALIVE-.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • Capitol Watch Week 2
    We also appreciated the participation of Sarah Bailey Claudia Farren and Erin Condon of Florida Defenders of the Environment Among the legislative targets for the Foundation and its allies is reversal of 2011 legislation that requires water management district budgets to be approved by the Joint Legislative Budget Commission Last Session s SB 2142 also cut water management district property tax revenues by 210 million ALERT TO PROTECT PUBLIC LANDS AND WATERS PLEASE ACT NOW Senate Bill 1362 now being discussed in the Florida Legislature will drastically change who owns lands on our rivers and lakes by redefining where public property ends and private land begins These bills if passed will give these areas known as sovereignty submerged lands which the public has owned since statehood in 1845 and now use for boating fishing hiking picnicking tourism sightseeing bird watching and hunting to private land owners who will then be able to keep out Florida spublic and jobs creating visitors Note that the House companion to SB 1362 HB1103 passed its first House committee over FWF s strenuous objection Please contact the following Senators who comprise the Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee Sen Charlie Dean dean charles web flsenate gov 850 487 5017 Sen Steve Oelrich oelrich steve web flsenate gov 850 487 5020 Sen Nan Rich rich nan web flsenate gov 850 487 5103 Sen Eleanor Sobel sobel eleanor web flsenate gov 850 487 5097 Sen Dennis Jones jones dennis web flsenate gov 850 487 5065 Sen Nancy Detert detert nancy web flsenate gov 850 487 5081 Sen Jack Latvala latvala jack web flsenate gov 805 487 5075 And tell them to please OPPOSE Senate Bill 1362 and keep our public land open for the public You may also wish to contact the Senate sponsor of SB 1362 Sen Alan Hays hays alan web flsenate gov 850487 5014 and ask him to please withdraw his support for the bill Septic Tank Inspections HB 999 will repeal a statewide requirement for septic tank inspection that passed just two years ago and is yet to be enforced In 2010 the Legislature passed SB 550 requiring septic tanks to be inspected every five years Some homeowners raised objection to the cost of inspection 2 times each decade estimated to average of less than 100 annualized Florida s springs and waterways have become choked with weeds and algae fed by nitrogen and phosphorus compounds from a variety of sources including fertilizer stormwater runoff sewage treatment plants and septic tanks The economic impact to taxpayers from such uncontrolled sources of pollution is calculated in the millions of dollars The bill with a strike all amendment passed the House Economic Affairs Committee by a 14 1 vote Members of the committee who had voiced concern about the bill as filed stated that they could support the bill for now with the addition of a strike all amendment that calls for septic tank inspections only in those counties which contain our larger first magnitude springs The

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/Capitol-Watch-Week-2.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • 7TH ANNUAL KIDS WILDLIFE HABITAT CONTEST...COMING UP!
    FWF Partners Affiliate Organizations Conservation Allies Friends Donations of Stock Special Donations Programs FWF Photo Contest Create A Wildlife Habitat GreenStar Certification Sweepstakes FWF Scholarship Fund 7TH ANNUAL KIDS WILDLIFE HABITAT CONTEST COMING UP Date 10 30 2015 On Earth Day Friday April 22 2016 the Florida Wildlife Federation will again award a commemorative plaque and an age suitable gardening book to the Florida kid or group of kids 12 years old or under who have helped to establish and maintain a habitat for wildlife at home or on school property The habitat will also be featured on our website and in our newsletter A representative from Florida Wildlife Federation will travel to the contest winner to present their award Entries close March 31 2016 The Florida Wildlife Federation is dedicated to encouraging young Floridians to be good environmentalists and to care for our native animals and plants We believe that time spent outdoors working on a habitat project is of great value in encouraging young people to learn about nature Experts say that lack of active outdoor play and projects contributes to many childhood health problems It s easy to enter Just tell us how the habitat provides the following four elements for critters you want to attract food water cover and a place to raise young Send us some photos of your habitat preferably with children working there Teachers please note that it is not necessary for schoolyard habitats to be certified by National Wildlife Federation or any other organization just that they provide the 4 necessary elements for a good wildlife habitat We are especially interested in the science that students learn in the habitat IF YOU HAVE ENTERED BEFORE AND DIDN T WIN PLEASE ENTER AGAIN A description and photos of your habitat can be e

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/7TH-ANNUAL-KIDS-WILDLIFE-HABITAT-CONTEST...COMING-UP-.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • Community Rallies to Prevent Endurance Race at Princess Place Preserve
    Sweepstakes FWF Partners Affiliate Organizations Conservation Allies Friends Donations of Stock Special Donations Programs FWF Photo Contest Create A Wildlife Habitat GreenStar Certification Sweepstakes FWF Scholarship Fund Community Rallies to Prevent Endurance Race at Princess Place Preserve Date 08 24 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 24 2015 Contact Sarah Owen Gledhill 904 347 6490 Manley Fuller 850 656 7113 Community Rallies t o Prevent Endurance Race at Princess Place Preserve St Augustine Over the course of four days Flagler County heard the voice of the community and removed Princess Place Preserve as a site for an endurance race which was expected to draw 6 000 participants and 2 000 spectators On August 19 a local news media outlet reported on the potential event that was scheduled for March 2016 The County Commission had yet to vote on the issue but the Tourism Development Council had approved it The Florida Wildlife Federation and others had expressed concern that this activity was not appropriate for this environmentally sensitive public land We are pleased to see the County respond so swiftly to the community s outrage over the idea of holding this massive event at Princess Place They could have delayed that decision for a public hearing but they listened to all the emails and phone calls and nipped it in the bud said Sarah Owen Gledhill Florida Wildlife Federation representative Endurance races are known for the use of physical obstacles which include mud pits fire climbing walls and used tires The local community was outraged that Princess Place Preserve a 1 500 acre natural and historic gem would be chosen as a site for such an intrusive activity Other sites in Flagler County are more suitable for this activity such as the county fairgrounds or a privately run ranch that promotes four

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/Community-Rallies-to-Prevent-Endurance-Race-at-Princess-Place-Preserve-.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • FWF AND OTHER CONSERVATION GROUPS FILE AMENDMENT 1 LAWSUIT
    AMENDMENT 1 LAWSUIT Date 06 23 2015 Date 06 23 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Manley K Fuller 850 567 7129 850 656 7113 FWF and Other Conservation Groups File Amendment 1 Lawsuit TALLAHASSEE On behalf of the Florida Wildlife Federation and two other Florida citizen s groups Earthjustice filed suit yesterday to ask the court to compel the Florida Legislature to comply with the Water and Land Conservation Amendment in the state Constitution The suit was filed in the Leon County Circuit Court on behalf of the Florida Wildlife Federation the St Johns Riverkeeper and the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida The Legislature did not do what the amendment requires Florida Wildlife Federation president Manley Fuller said Seventy five percent of Florida voters approved this amendment last November and they were clear that they want the state to buy conservation land Instead the Legislature took the money and used it for things it should not be spent on This is a slap in the face to Florida voters and it should not stand The Water and Land Conservation Amendment requires that for the next 20 years 33 percent of the proceeds from real estate documentary stamp taxes go for land acquisition For the upcoming year the share of the real estate taxis projected to bring in more than 740 million It s sad that a positive groundswell of popular support for conserving Florida s best places has come to this said St Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman It s a shame we have to go to court to force legislators to do what their constituents directed The constitutional amendment is clear said Earthjustice attorney David Guest A third of the tax on real estate deals is to be used to prevent every last inch of Florida land from getting chewed

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/FWF-AND-OTHER-CONSERVATION-GROUPS-FILE-AMENDMENT-1-LAWSUIT.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • We Need Your Help! DEFEND AMENDMENT 1!
    How to Help Support Us Membership Sweepstakes FWF Partners Affiliate Organizations Conservation Allies Friends Donations of Stock Special Donations Programs FWF Photo Contest Create A Wildlife Habitat GreenStar Certification Sweepstakes FWF Scholarship Fund We Need Your Help DEFEND AMENDMENT 1 Date 03 03 2016 As you are likely aware the Florida Wildlife Federation was at the forefront in passing Amendment 1 the Water and Land Legacy Amendment in November 2014 An astounding 75 of voters backed this amendment to our state constitution to direct adequate funding to popular programs like Florida Forever and to ensure wildlife habitats and water recharge areas are protected for future generations Unfortunately the Florida Legislature did the exact opposite of what the voters asked They have used Amendment 1 dollars for regular operations instead of buying and restoring fragile lands Due to the failure to do as directed by the voters the Florida Wildlife Federation took the extraordinary step of suing the Legislature We are now in litigation against our own publicly financed government which has refused to do the will of the people We need your help The government has twice tried to have our case dismissed and thankfully failed both times As the

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/We-Need-Your-Help!-DEFEND-AMENDMENT-1!.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • Capitol Watch 2016 - Week 7
    as this is an election year and our Senators and Representatives want to get home to campaign time is growing short to actually pass bills The Budget As the only bill that has to be passed every Session the budget bill is still very much up for discussion The bill number is HB 5001 General Appropriations Act As we indicated last week both the Senate and the House proposed budgets are again drastically short changing the Florida Forever program which was to be fully funded from revenue stemming from the passage of Amendment 1 by the voters The House proposes to spend only 80 million on Florida Forever and directs that much of the money be used for water resource projects not land protection The Senate proposes 52 million Historically Florida Forever was funded at 300 million per year Both chambers proposed to spend millions of Amendment 1 funds on what used to be paid for by General Revenue This is not what the voters intended and that is why we are in a lawsuit against the Legislature Please contact Senate President Andy Gardiner 850 487 5013 and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli 850 717 5051 and tell them to fully fund the Florida Forever program Fracking Earlier this Session the Florida House passed a bill which purported to regulate the petroleum extraction practice known as fracking in Florida The Senate version of this legislation SB 318 has been working its way through that chamber and this past week was voted on before the Senate Appropriations Committee Before a packed room who spoke in opposition to this chemically laden practice which would likely play havoc with our environment and health due to the karstic Swiss cheese like geology of our state Many municipalities and counties have passed resolutions opposing this practice

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/Capitol-Watch-2016---Week-7.aspx (2016-05-01)
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