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Environmental Roundup April 10, 2021

FWC photo by Carollyn Parrish
Andy Wraithmell / Courtesy FWC Flickr
FWC photo by Carollyn Parrish

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.

Two killer pieces from Craig Pittman this week, one on glyphosate and one on Piney Point.

Imagine what you could do with $11 million dollars to lobby for anything your heart desires. Here's a look athow sugar spendsit's $11 million.

Speaking of lobbying, Inside Climate News reports Big Meat and Dairy Companies Have Spent Millions Lobbying Against Climate Action. Agribusinesses, they report, “... spent $2.5 billion on lobbying from 2000-2019, compared to $6.2 billion by energy and natural resource companies.”

The rising of flood insurance rates will continue to rise, just like the water,for at least one million Floridians.

A proposed Gulf fish farm is on hold… for now. But advertising using boats just off the beach is not, at least on the coast of Volusia county.

These “ecological zombies” will eat almost anything and can adapt to live almost anywhere, reports The Fern. You’ve probably seen said “ecological zombies”--you might’ve even shot, killed, and eaten one. They are referring (of course?) to feral pigs. Read about the nationwide battle to control the rapidly growing species here.

The AP reports that births among endangered right whales are the highest they’ve been since 2015. Meanwhile, First Nations groups are sounding the alarm, that the herring population of the Pacific is on the verge of collapse, according to The Guardian. The Guardian also reports marine species are increasingly unable to live at the Equator, due to global heating.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given how much banks support the continuation of the fossil fuel industry, it turns out an “analysis finds 77% of directors on boards of seven US banks have ties to ‘climate-conflicted’ groups,” according to more work by The Guardian.

And, you might only think cow waste contributes to global warming. But guess what? Human waste does too. Hence the “Urgent Global Quest to Transform the Toilet.” Read more at Mongabay.

And ICYMI, Florida lost to Georgia in a recent Supreme Court water war.

Finally, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) “invites you to celebrate Gopher Tortoise Day on April 10. This year, you can celebrate gopher tortoises by making your yard tortoise friendly and participating in our new recognition program.” Learn more at FWC’s website.

Read all of WGCU’s environmental coverage here.

Northern Parula
Linda Steele/Audubon Photography
Northern Parula

Do & Learn

  • April 12, 2021, How long can two people live on food destined for the trash bin? Find out as the ninth annual “Ding” Darling Film Series wraps up with the documentary Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story. Pre-registration for the film is required. Watch the trailer here.
  • April 14 at 6:30pm FGCU and The Water School Presents “Let’s Talk About Water!” a virtual panel discussion about “Everyone In Between,” a new documentary by Captain’s for Clean Water on Florida’s Everglades and Bristol Bay, Alaska. Check out the movie up for discussion in advance https://captainsforcleanwater.org/everyoneinbetween/ and email Dr. Rachel Rotz, FGCU’s new hydrogeologist in the Department of Marine and Earth Sciences, at rrotz@fgcu.org to attend.
  • April 17 marks Audubon Florida’s BIRDATHON. Keep track of your observations, and submit the total number of species you saw using this form.
  • May 6 The Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership is hosting a free event via zoom to “share knowledge and mobilize the collaboration needed to build more resilient communities in our region. Learn more and register for the all day eventhere.
  • If you know a young person who would be interested in hunting, the FWC has a mentored youth hunting program. VisitMyFWC.com/YHPF.
  • Another FWC effort, the Florida Youth Conservation Center Network offers camp programs with numerous activities focused on the theme of conservation-centered recreation. Learn more by visitingFYCCN.org.

Want to influence your local environment? There’s probably a public meeting for that.

Collier County
Immokalee Redevelopment Plan Focus Groups -

The Immokalee Community Redevelopment Area will be holding several Focus Group meetings to seek input on updating the Immokalee Community Redevelopment Plan. These will be Hybrid Remote meetings and will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the CareerSource SWFL, 750 South 5th Street, Immokalee, Florida.

Culture/Recreation - Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 6:00 p.m.
Housing/Mobility - Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 6:00 p.m.
Economic Development/Community Facilities - Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 6:00 p.m.
Ecotourism & Agrotourism/Drainage & Lake Trafford - Thursday, May 6, 2021, 6:00 p.m.

If you would like to participate remotely, contact Monica Acosta via email at Monica.Acosta@colliercountyfl.gov

For more information, call (239) 867-0025.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Monday, April 12 at 10a.m. and Friday, April 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Workshop for the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) Project Delivery Team (PDT) on Port Mayaca Lock and Dam and Lake Okeechobee. Learn more, including how to join and/or comment, at https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOSOM/.

Charlotte County has several committee vacancies to fill--and many have something to do with the environment. Learn more at https://www.charlottecountyfl.gov/news/charlotte-county-committee-vacancies.stml

South Florida Water Management District Upcoming Meetings

The public is welcome to attend several upcoming public meetings, often virtually. See the SFWM Meeting Calendar for dates, times, and agendas.

U.S. Department of Agriculture to Host Public Listening Session on April 22, 2021

USDA is requesting public input from interested parties to help create a new Rural Renewable Energy Pilot Program. To ensure a diverse group of voices are heard, USDA is seeking written comments and will host a public listening session on April 22, 2021. The stakeholder listening session will be held virtually on Thursday, April 22, 2021, 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Anyone can RSVP to participate online by clicking here.

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

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

Learn more including how to attend, here.

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