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  • Florida Wildlife Federation’s New Report Demonstrates Importance of Protecting State’s Vulnerable Coast
    7113 wildfed gmail com Jay Liles Florida Wildlife Federation 850 656 7113 jliles fwfonline org Sarah Owen Gledhill Florida Wildlife Federation NE Florida Planning Advocate 904 461 1161 northeastfwf fwfonline org Florida Wildlife Feder ation s New Report Demonstrates Importance of Protecting State s Vulnerable Coast Tallahassee Fla The Florida Wildlife Federation today released a report to inform Florida lawmakers and the public about the value coastal habitats provide in protecting Florida communities and wildlife from storms and sea level rise Nature s First Line of Defense Key Reasons to Protect and Restore Coastal Habitats demonstrates the importance of implementing wise public policy and effective strategies that will help protect our vulnerable state from inevitable major storms and rising seas The Federation is proud to present Nature s First Line of Defense to policymakers and the public at large This report recognizes the multiple values of our coastal habitats including valuable fish and wildlife habitats and natural storm buffers for our communities and businesses The report offers key policy recommendations that reduce the public exposure to storms and rising seas said Federation President Manley K Fuller Florida s coastal habitats provide natural buffers for some of the most economically valuable and extensive shorelines in the nation These coastal habitats provide varying levels of storm protection through storm and flood reduction for the greatest number of people and property Additionally Florida derives immense value from our coastal regions as a source of tourism recreation and from the wildlife that lives on and relies upon our near shore environments for food and shelter Because of these high value recreational opportunities and for storm protection services it is imperative for communities to protect and restore these areas as valuable and naturally occurring first lines of defense To better prepare for such events the

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/Florida-Wildlife-Federation%E2%80%99s-New-Report-Demonstrates-Importance-of-Protecting-State%E2%80%99s-Vulnerable-Coast-.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • Proposals for mitigation from storms floated in Florida Legislature and in Congress
    or commercial structures less prone to damage from wind flood and rain HR 2398 known as the Disaster Savings Accounts Act of 2013 Amends the Internal Revenue Code to establish tax exempt disaster savings accounts to pay the expenses of homeowners for equipment and materials for mitigating the effects of a natural disaster by each of us to take up to a 5000 deduction for such costs This is much like the health savings account many of us currently use to defray the costs of doctor visits prescription drugs and other medical related expenses At a time when Congress and the Florida Legislature is struggling with government backed insurance costs it is a good idea to permit homeowners to become more weather aware by having them take on the upfront costs of storm mitigation We are all more likely to learn more about mitigation techniques and the value of storm protection if we have skin in the game FWF would like to thank Congressman Ross for introducing this novel approach to mitigation You can also play a role in seeing that HR 2398 is enacted into law The bill is currently before the House Committee on Ways and Means Your own representative in congress should offer to co sponsor this good legislation We also need Florida s U S Senators Rubio and Nelson to step up and offer similar legislation in the Senate Please send a short note to your Member of Congress asking them to co sponsor HR 2398 and to our US Senators asking them to introduce a similar measure in the Senate You can find your member of congress at www congress gov In the Florida Legislature members of the Senate Banking and Insurance committee gave a favorable vote to CS SB 542 by Senator Jeff Brandes

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/Proposals-for-mitigation-from-storms-floated-in-Florida-Legislature-and-in-Congress.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • Seas are Rising, Believe it or Not
    Americans believe that Bigfoot is definitely or probably real A May 2012 Ipsos Global Public Affairs poll found that 1 in 7 of us believe the world will end in their lifetimes whether due to the Mayan calendar or other catastrophe One bit of recent polling that speaks to what is likely a far more important issue for ourselves and our children was conducted by the conservative firm of Rasmussen Reports which found as of November 5 2012 68 of Likely Voters said global warming was at least a somewhat serious problem 38 saying it was a very serious problem But as the recent election showed what polls say is not necessarily an indication of actual fact So what is one to make of those who deny the very existence of climate change Is there a real debate about what is happening to our planet the only place we humans can exist From a purely political standpoint apparently there is at least in the United States In the world of science however there is no debate Global warming is real James Lawrence Powell a geochemist and National Science Board member appointed by both Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush took the time to examine 13 950 peer reviewed articles on climate which were published between 1991 and 2012 Out of those almost 14 000 articles only 24 rejected global warming as untrue These are articles that are based on science and verifiable data not conjecture that suits a political or economic agenda The only debate should be what we are going to do about it As temperatures rise so do sea levels and the frequency of severe weather If the Superstore known as Sandy which ripped its way through New York City and the Northeast was any indication of what

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/Seas-are-Rising%2c-Believe-it-or-Not.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • The Coastal Barrier Resources Act, 30 years of Common Sense Bipartisan Conservation on America's Shores
    US Congress passed almost unanimously and President Reagan signed the Coastal Barrier Resources Act CBRA which helps protect critical undeveloped coastal habitats reduces the public s exposure to catastrophic storm damages promotes public safety and helps to protect and buffer the built environment Barrier islands and associated wetlands provide critical habitats for fish and shellfish CBRA has saved and continues to save American taxpayers billions of dollars It helps protect sea turtles and shore birds as well as public beaches and shores where people fish swim and enjoy our coast CBRA areas constitute approximately 3 000 000 acres of beach shores and barrier islands on America s East and Gulf Coast as well as portions of the Great Lakes and approximately 750 000 acres in Florida How did this happen and how does CBRA work In the late 1970s former Congressman Tom Evans Senator John Chafee and their colleagues in Congress began working on early versions of what would become law in 1982 What did they seek to achieve They wanted to develop new and effective tools to help protect undeveloped areas along America s coast by removing federal incentives to develop these areas Why do so These areas have significant natural values and are also prone to costly and predictable storm damages from hurricanes flooding and northeasters If developed these low lying storm prone areas ability to buffer storm damages are reduced habitat values are degraded and the public is put on the hook to pay costly and recurring public subsidies for infrastructure including new roads federal flood insurance sewer grants beach replacement and more The goal is to eliminate public subsidies for development of vulnerable undeveloped areas along our coasts Private developments of these areas could still occur but without public subsidies A private individual or developer could

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/The-Coastal-Barrier-Resources-Act%2c-30-years-of-Common-Sense-Bipartisan-Conservation-on-America%27s-Shores.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • PEW - OVERFISHING STRIPS TENS OF MILLIONS FROM SOUTHEAST ECONOMY
    Wildlife Policy Clean Energy Everglades Restoration Regional Offices and Programs See what s going on in your region Looking for FWF s Latest News You can find it here Press Releases FWF Activities Florida News Blog Social Media Florida Fish Wildlife News Publication 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

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/PEW---OVERFISHING-STRIPS-TENS-OF-MILLIONS-FROM-SOUTHEAST-ECONOMY.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • Rapid Ice Melt Baffles Scientists
    Greenland s coldest and highest place Summit station showed melting Ice core records show that last happened in 1889 and occurs about once every 150 years Three satellites show what NASA calls unprecedented melting of the ice sheet that blankets the island starting on July 8 and lasting four days Most of the thick ice remains While some ice usually melts during the summer what was unusual was that the melting happened in a flash and over a widespread area You literally had this wave of warm air wash over the Greenland ice sheet and melt it NASA ice scientist Tom Wagner said Tuesday The ice melt area went from 40 of the ice sheet to 97 in four days according to NASA Until now the most extensive melt seen by satellites in the past three decades was about 55 Mr Wagner said researchers don t know how much of Greenland s ice melted but it seems to be freezing again When we see melt in places that we haven t seen before at least in a long period it makes you sit up and ask what s happening NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati said It is a big signal the meaning of which we re going to sort out for years to come About the same time a giant iceberg broke off from the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland And the National Snow and Ice Data Center on Tuesday announced that the area filled with Arctic sea ice continues near a record low Mr Wagner and other scientists said because this Greenland wide melting has happened before they can t yet determine if this is a natural rare event or one triggered by man made global warming But they do know that the edges of Greenland s ice sheets

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/Rapid-Ice-Melt-Baffles-Scientists.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • Capitol Watch End of 2012 Session Wrap Up
    preempt implementation of federal standards which our opponents have incorrectly labeled as too expensive for state implementation We have judged the proposed DEP rules to be too weak and unenforceable as to actually protecting our state waterbodies The U S Environmental Protection Agency decided 14 years ago that limits on the pollutants that feed algal 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 This issue remains the subject of a state administrative hearing involving FWF A recent National Academy of Sciences report chastised the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for confusing the difference between the incremental implementation costs that might be incurred with the EPA numeric nutrient criteria and the total long term costs of restoring all of Florida s impaired waters Governor Scott signed HB 7051 into law four days after final passage and our litigation continues Trail signage SB 268 Allows private entities to put up advertisement signs on greenways and trails A carefully crafted agreement had been reached to limit signage to a relative few trail heads parking lots and access points However a floor amendment by Senator Alan Hays deleted these provisions thus opening our greenways and trails to the potential for commercial exploitation Please ask Governor Scott to veto this bill People who use Florida s greenways and trails go to look at and enjoy nature not to be bombarded with advertisements Water Management Districts SB 1986 As finally adopted this bill removes the revenue caps instituted in 2011 and gives the Legislature the authority to review and comment on Water Management District WMD budgets The Legislature may set millage rates for WMD s if they are dissatisfied with the preliminary budgets as allowed under current law The Legislative Budget Commission LBC is authorized to reject 1 single land purchases over 10 million 2 accumulative land purchases of over 50 million in one year 3 issuance of debt 4 expenditures for outreach or management and administration in excess of 15 of total budget and 5 individual variances in WMD s tentative budgets in excess of 25 from the preliminary budgets In summary SB 1986 will largely place WMD oversight and management back under the model that existed prior to passage of 2011 legislation which so hampered the Districts ability to carry out their mission Landowner Liability HB 313 Attempts to reduce liability and duty of care to private landowners who make their land available for the purpose of hunting fishing or wildlife viewing To benefit from this limitation of liability the landowner must provide notice of the liability limits to the person or persons using the land in addition to the current requirement that the landowner make no profit from nor charge a fee for using the land Renewable Energy HB 7117 As proposed by

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/Capitol-Watch-End-of-2012-Session-Wrap-Up.aspx (2016-05-01)
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  • Capitol Watch Week 8
    play an important role in water supply The state of Florida South Florida Water Management District and the U S Department of Interior collaborated on the acquisition of East Coast Buffer lands including those in Bird Drive to provide Everglades restoration and water resource benefits Fight for Cat Fund Reform Stalls This past weekend Sen J D Alexander introduced an amendment to SB 1346 related to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Cat Fund which would shrink the hurricane fund from 17 billion to 15 billion thus reducing the risk for Florida taxpayers The amendment was adopted and the bill passed out of the Senate Budget Committee SB 1346 is an important first step to help us move towards ending the practice of subsidizing reckless coastal development in low lying coastal areas of the state thus better protecting Florida s fish and wildlife habitats Furthermore this bill would better protect all Floridians including homeowners businesses renters charities churches and automobile policyholders who are at risk of being affected by future hurricane tax assessments in the wake of the next major storm or series of storms to hit the state Supporters of our efforts to reform the state backed insurance programs met this week to discuss our options and determine the feasibility of real reform in this session With time running out it was decided that our best strategy was to drop further attempts to add amendments to other insurance related bills that are considered must pass legislation There is a general concern among members of the Legislature that premium increases on homeowners insurance would come back to haunt them in the upcoming elections Apparently our message that a major storm would send much more significant price shocks through the insurance market and onto the backs of consumers did not outweigh this concern We will try this election year to better educate policymakers and those who are running for office about this issue in hopes of gaining reforms in the next legislative session Our thanks go to all who took the time to call write and meet with your representatives about these and other important issues during the 2012 Session We will have a final report and Session Summary for you soon Federal Actions RESTORE Act adopted in the U S Senate as part of the Transportation Package FWF as part of a broad based environmental and business coalition that has advocated for passage of the RESTORE Act is delighted to report that the U S Senate adopted the Act on March 8 2012 as an amendment to the Transportation Bill thereby ensuring a significant portion of BP fine monies will come back to the Gulf states Note that the US House must also approve the Transportation bill which it is expected to do shortly Included in this amendment is additional funding for the Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund Florida s own U S Senator Bill Nelson deserves much of the credit for helping sponsor the original legislation S1400 and crafting

    Original URL path: http://www.fwfonline.org/News-and-Pressroom/Capitol-Watch-Week-8.aspx (2016-05-01)
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