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Environmental Roundup, Week ending October 17

Original photo by Mdf, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Original photo by Mdf, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to this week’s environmental roundup! Here’s what caught our eye in the environment this week.

Did you know Gainesville is increasingly recognized as a leader in energy? Turns out Gainesville is running ahead of its Florida peers on renewables. And since they have a city-owned utility and own their own bus fleet, they are able to run toward the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2045 even faster. Learn more at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Voices of 100% podcast.

Part-time residents of Fort Myers Beach are suing for the right to build a wooden walkway over a portion of property that has become wild, brackish marsh. In this piece from the News-Press, town leaders say the walkway will disturb “an historic lagoon” which “is not allowed under the town's rules for development,” as well as disturbing the wildlife. If successful, the legal challenge could set a precedent for similar lawsuits.

California Wildfires are costing you money! This piece is about the economic impact the blazes are having here in SWFL, especially on development, but fails to acknowledge the harm done to the environment by the rapid pace of development.

And while much attention is being paid to ongoing wildfires in California, keep in mind that Maine is on fire, too, and that temperatures in the deepest parts of the ocean are rising much faster than previously believed.

Plus, a shark species, abundant 40 years ago, is now near extinction.

If all this is too much, take a moment to watch sandpipers playing on Florida’s east coast.

And be sure to check out some of the great environmental documentaries playing next week at the 2020 Fort Myers Film Festival, where WGCU's own Mike Kiniry is on the board. Check out The Condor & The Eagle and Lamentations—both are especially moving.

We recently reported on aproposed toll road that will further threaten the endangered Florida Panther. While the deadline to comment by email has passed, the Florida Department of Transportation is having its final meeting on the subject on Monday, Oct. 19. The Southwest-Central Florida Corridor Task Force Meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Members of the public who choose to participate virtually should register online atFloridaMCORES.com/calendar-of-events/ and click on the meeting date.

Got an environment story or tip to share? Email Valerie Vande Panne at Vvandepanne @ wgcu.org.