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Environmental Roundup February 19, 2021

spoonbill chicks.jpg
Courtesy Casey King/Audubon Florida
Roseate Spoonbill Chicks

We are all connected by the environment we share. The Earth is our home. This is the space where we share the environmental stories that caught our attention this week in Florida and beyond

It’s Roseate Spoonbill nesting season, and Audubon Florida’s Everglades Science Team (EST) is out and about checking on the health of their nests--and the health of the Everglades. Read more here.

What about the turtles?!?! Sea turtles in Texas are shocked cold by the weather, and a non-profit has, so far, rescued 2,500 of them.

Manatees on Florida's Atlantic coast are struggling, with more than 300 deaths since December.

Also on the East Coast, Jacksonville’s increasing awareness of its own vulnerability to the rising tide of climate change is leading them to hire a Chief Resiliency Officer.

We’re approaching last place! Despite an abundance of sun, wind, water, and even nuclear power, Florida is one of the nation’s lowest performing states when it comes to utility energy efficiency.

Meanwhile, across the pond: Harness marine power to replace carbon energy? Yes, please, says Europe.

Up our Gulf coast in Gulfport, Mississippi, the black community is fighting a military project that they worry will further contaminate their land and water with arsenic and lead.

Like peanuts? According to this opinion piece in CivilEats, monopolies and subsidies that support the peanut industry hurt small farmers, peanut eaters--and all Americans.

For the luxury car lover, the Jaguar brand plans to be all electric by 2025.

And in the Future-Is-Here department, the first endangered species has been cloned: A black-footed ferret, using genes from an animal who passed on 30 years ago.

For the legally-minded, the Supreme Court has decided to hear a number of environment-oriented cases this year, including Florida v. Georgia, which asserts Georgia’s over-use of water is harming Florida’s oyster industry. It also has an upcoming ruling, Fish and Wildlife Service vs. Sierra Club, about public access to the government’s documents on an EPA rule. Also up for a ruling is BP PLC v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, which has the potential to set precedent for climate-oriented liability cases. Read more at E&E News.

ICYMI, a hacker tried to poison a municipal water supply, and there are some folks who work in Texas who think it’s a good idea to drill for oil in Big Cyprus. Also, the United Nations says humans need to make BIG CHANGES to keep both humanity, and nature, OK.

Our friend Amy Bennett Williams over at the News-Press has a great piece on cross-state collaboration to improve our water and environment. And Bill Smith has an update on just how much Fort Myers has agreed to pay for it's pollution... challenges.

And then there’s a Prayer Walk for the environment and Lake O, red tide is killing Royal Terns, and Pelicans are being mutilated in Manatee county.

Read all of WGCU’s environmental coverage here.

Do you know a young adult interested in nature? Applications are now being accepted for adventure scholarships for Collier County high school Juniors, Seniors, and recent graduates between the ages of 16-21. The foundation will award select students up to $5,500 to go on a structured adventure through one of three programs: Outward Bound, National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), or the Alaska Mountaineering School. Applications must be submitted by March 12, 2021. www.genedoyle.org/applications.

Got thoughts on the environment? There’s probably a public meeting you can express yourself at.

South Florida Water Management Upcoming Meetings

What: 18th Annual Public Meeting on the Long-Term Plan for Achieving Water Quality Goals for the Everglades Protection Area Tributary Basins
When: February 22, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. Click here

What: Loxahatchee River Management Coordinating Council
When: February 22, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Click here

What: Big Cypress Basin Board Meeting
When: February 25, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. Click here

What: Governing Board Business Meeting
When: March 11, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. Click here

U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board Spring Meeting will be held online:

  • Tuesday, April 20, Noon - 5:00 pm EST
  • Thursday, April 22, Noon - 5:00 pm EST
  • Wednesday, April 28, Noon - 5:00 pm EST
  • Thursday, April 29, Noon - 5:00 pm EST
  • Friday, April 30, Noon - 5:00 pm EST

The agenda, public comment registration links, and other resources will be added to the NOSB Spring 2021 Meeting webpage. All speakers making public comments must sign-up in advance.

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