Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 2:33 pm
Florida's natural springs would get $50 million, the Kissimmee River is in line for $30 million, and a wastewater plan for the Florida Keys is up for $25 million, under a newly released House proposal that would help carry out a voter-approved increase in conservation dollars.
A leader must possess imagination. -- Omar Nelson Bradley, Army General, World War II, Korean War
Military leaders depend on imagination. Conflict can spring up anywhere in the world, so leaders must be thinking about every possible scenario, every consequence on action taken or not taken. And that's what a group of retired admirals and generals are asking of political leaders: Have imagination. Consider all the possible consequences of climate change and its impact on the national security of the United States.
For more than 20 years, Palm Beach County has worked to improve Lake Worth Lagoon -- a 20-mile body of water stretching from North Palm Beach to Boynton Beach. It’s the county’s largest estuary and also infamous for its polluted past.
In Tallahassee, Florida counties and cities are battling over $700 million of Amendment 1 funds for this year’s legislative session. Palm Beach County is applying for a cut of that to continue restoration of Lake Worth Lagoon, the county’s largest estuary.
Palm Beach County has requested $3.3 million of Amendment 1 funds for Lake Worth Lagoon. Canal water and rainwater spill into the lagoon, polluting it.
The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according to scientists. Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years.
Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 11:47 am
New rules for Florida waters will be one of the first bills the House takes up when the legislative session gets underway.
But don't expect that all aspects of a voter-approved initiative to conserve water and land will sail smoothly through the 60-day session that begins March 3.
As House members and senators hammer out new rules and new funding levels required by the initiative, known as Amendment 1, a wide array of suggestions has poured in from Gov. Rick Scott, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, environmentalists and business lobbyists.
Big Cypress National Preserve runs over 729,000 acres in Collier County and bits of Monroe and Miami Dade counties. The preserve is applying to be an international “dark sky park.” There are only 20 in the world. A "dark sky park" is a place where humans get clear, starry scenery, and nocturnal animals, like the endangered Florida Panther, see better.
Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 2:11 am
The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition is biking, hiking and kayaking from Central Florida through the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. The three conservationists are trying to call attention to the need to preserve what they call the corridor's "integrity" --- an unbroken pathway for wildlife to travel. They recently led about 75 enthusiasts on a hike through the wetlands of the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.
Palm Beach County held its second roundtable Tuesday, discussing development options for the county’s Agricultural Reserve -- a 22,000-acre piece of land west of Boynton Beach and Delray Beach, just between Florida’s Turnpike and the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Farmers want to sell their land to developers because business is bad.
Budgets are said to embody values, and President Barack Obama’s budget surely shows his legislative values. The $3.9 trillion budget would levy new taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for things to help low and middle income families, like free community college.
That’s not sitting well with Republicans in the region. South Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo says it’s a political document.
Voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1 in 2014. It guarantees one-third of the state's real estate documentary tax stamp revenues for the next 20 years will be used for environmental purposes. What qualifies for the money is up to the state Legislature. Environmentalists want some of the dollars to pay for restoring the Everglades (pictured above).
More than 4 million voters approved Amendment 1 in the November 2014 election. The measure received an overwhelming 75 percent "yes" vote.
That vote unleashed hundred of millions of dollars this year and billions of dollars over the next 20 years that have to be spent on acquiring and improving Florida lands. The amendment uses fewer than 150 words to describe the types of projects the money has to be spent on. That section is highlighted in blue below.