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Keeping It Green

Updated: Aug. 7, 2018

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Southwest Florida
Environmental Action

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Gulf Dead ZoneWhat You May Not Want to
Know About the Gulf Dead Zone

June 13, 2016 -The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its annual forecast for the size of the Gulf of Mexico "dead zone"—an area of coastal water where low oxygen is lethal to marine life. The dead zone averages about 6,000 sq. miles or the size of the state of Connecticut.



  • Sarasota To Go 100% Renewable   Sarasota, Florida Commits to Trans-  
     ition to 100% Renewable Energy 

    June 19, 2017 - The Sarasota City Commission today adopted a goal of powering all of Sarasota with 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2045. Sarasota joins St. Petersburg as the only two cities in the state of Florida to commit to transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy.

    Click now to read the Sierra Club article.

  • How To Manage Red Tide Managing is Possible But
    Who Will Take the First Step?

    Dec. 19, 2017 - Red Tide is back. Samples taken in the Gulf of Mexico offshore from Charlotte Harbor and the Caloosahatchee River show concentrations of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis — the phytoplanktonic alga that can kill fish, poison seafood and drive tourists from the beaches — that range from low to very high.

    Click for the article by
    Andy Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper

  • Manatee Court Fight to Protect the Bay
    Lawsuit Filed to ‘Quash’
    Approval of Aqua by the Bay

    Nov. 6, 2017 - The plaintiffs include former county commissioner Joe McClash, the local environmental organization Suncoast Waterkeeper, ecotourism operators Kathe Fannon and Katie Scarlett Turin, Longboat Key resident Larry Grossman and three residents of Legends Bay

    Click now read the Herald Tribune article.

  • FPL: Solar Use Illegal During Outages Florida Power & Light Lobbyists Made
    It Illegal to Use Solar During Outages

    Sept. 18, 2017 - One thing has changed since 2005: solar. Many of the FPL customers who are living through dangerous heat without power now have solar panels on their roofs that could keep them going while FPL repairs its infrastructure. Except doing so is illegal, thanks to FPL's lobbyists, who literally ghost-wrote much of Florida's dreadful solar rules.

    Click now to shed some sunlight.

  • Tesla Powerpack Comes to Florida Storage Project to Demo
    250-kW/1-MWh Tesla Powerpack

    July 18, 2017 - Atlanta-based utility Southern Company and its Gulf Power subsidiary last week said it has launched an energy storage research project in Pensacola, Fla., at the Douglas L. McCrary Training and Storm Center.

    The project will test and evaluate a 250-kW/1-MW Tesla Powerpack lithium-ion industrial energy storage system over a two-year period. The utility said that the project will demonstrate the requirements of an energy storage system for industrial and commercial customers.

  • 1,000 Friends of Florida Webinars Upcoming Dr. John M. DeGrove Webinars

    June 21, 2017Former Senator Bob Graham will be joining the webinar as a presenter

    In 2014 an overwhelming 75% of Florida voters supported the passage of Amendment 1 which allocated a third of the tax on real estate documents to be used for purchasing and restoring conservation lands through programs like Florida Forever. Despite this clarion call from concerned citizens, Florida’s legislators have consistently refused to fund this program in the intended manner, instead siphoning off funds to pay for existing environmental programs previously paid for out of general revenue, and falling far short of the intended allocation for the purchase of conservation lands.

  • Florida Environmental IssuesFlorida Environmental Issues

    Click now for a free PDF download addressing three of the key environmental issues that South Florida is challenged with today.

  • Florida Offshore Drilling is a No-No
    10 Reasons Not to Drill for Oil Offshore of Florida

    - This reminder from Manasota-88 warns of the ten reasons not to drill for off-shore oil.

    Click now for more from the  Manasota-88.

• Welcome Page   • S.W. Fl. News

Watching Out for the Environment
Or Are We? 

Protecting the Florida Panther 

(PowerPoint Required to See Information)

Solar in the Sunshine State

Sarasota Solar Co-op


  • Radioactive Waste Water ContaminationThnk Radioactive Waste Threatening
    Drinking Water is a Bad Idea?

    Mar. 1, 2017 -The drinking water we depend on should be protected from Nuclear contamination. If Florida Power and Light (FPL) has its way, they will be storing radioactive carcinogens below Florida’s Biscayne Aquifer. The Biscayne Aquifer is the primary source of drinking water for millions of people in South Florida. We must stop this dangerous project before it begins.

    Click for a petition to Fl. legislators.

  • Fight Phosphate RezoningGlenn Compton: Fight Phosphate Rezoning

    Jan. 3, 2017 -The costs of the phosphate industry are steep - pollution, destruction of wetlands and other natural resources, and contamination of surface waters - and are borne by the communities that have the misfortune to neighbor them.

    Despite this inherent inequity, Mosaic Fertilizer LLC is now requesting that Manatee County rezone 3,500 acres to expand a phosphate strip mine in eastern Manatee County, known as the Wingate East Mine.

  • Solar Amendment: Voters Not FooledFlorida Voters Reject Solar Amendment 1

    Nov. 9, 2016 - Amendment 1, known as "Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice" or the solar amendment required a 60 percent 'yes' vote to pass and did not receive that. Fifty-one % voted 'yes' and 49% voted 'no,' according to the Associated Press.

  • What's It All About - Algae?More Chemicals Allowed in
    Fl. Waterways, Toxic Algae Blooms
    Continue to Spread Across State

    July 28, 2016 - The Environmental Regulation Commission just voted 3-2 to approve a proposal by state regulators that would set new standards on 39 chemicals not currently regulated by the Sunshine State and revise regulations on 43 toxins, most of which are carcinogenic. State regulators claim the new plan will protect more Floridians than current standards, the Miami Herald reported.

  • The Sunshine State?- Not Quite
    Solar Power Lags in Florida

    July 5, 2016 - Only one tenth of one percent of all Florida utility customers owned a renewable generating system in 2015, according to new data released by the Florida Public Service Commission.

  • Florida Slime Tracker
    Track That Slime Crime

    Florida's waterways are plagued by slime caused by fertilizer, sewage and animal manure. Click now for an interactive map allowing you to view photographs of the muck, in the areas shown on the map.

  • Watershed Excursion
    Take the Excursion

    View a slideshow of the Springs Coast waterways, brought to you by Southwest Florida Water Management District


Important Florida Links

  1,000 Friends of Florida Green Business Partnership Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
  The 2030 Challenge? Green Meeting Places South Florida Wildlands (SFWA)  
  Environment Florida Innovative Renewable Solutions Suncoast Waterkeeper  
  Florida Conservation Coalition Manasota-88 Sustainable Drinking in Sarasota  
  Floridians for Clean Water Our Phosphate Risk This Spaceship Earth  
  Floridians for Solar Choice Sierra Club of Manatee and Sarasota U.S. Green Building Council  

Southwest (mostly)Florida New Stories

  • Desoto County Commission Rules Against Phosphates
    Environmentalists Prevail Over Big Phosphate in Desoto

    Aug. 5, 2018 -ARCADIA — In a landmark action, the Desoto County County Commission recently stood up to big Phosphate. The board dismissed county planning staff eager to facilitate an approval and said no to what was expected by many to be just another rubber-stamp vote in favor of the toxic industry.

    Click now for the rest of the
    story from The Bradenton Times.

  • The Tide is Against Us - the Red Tide That Is
    A Toxic Tide Is Killing Florida Wildlife

    July 30, 2018 -Florida has an algae problem, and it’s big. This year, an overgrowth in the waters off the state’s southwestern coast is killing wildlife and making some beaches noxious.

    The toxic algal bloom, known as a red tide, is not unusual. Red tides appear off the state’s coast almost every year. But this one, still going strong after roughly nine months, is the longest since 2006, when blooms that originated in 2004 finally abated after 17 months.

    Click now to read the troubling article
    from The NY Times Climate Forward.

  • Sorry, Mosaic. Desoto Rejects Your Phosphate Mine
    Mosaic Spent 20 Years Planning New
    Phosphate Mine. Desoto County Has Rejected it

    July 27, 2018 -Mosaic Co., the world’s largest phosphate company, has spent two decades lining up a new mine in DeSoto County as part of a broader effort to move its operations south.

    But DeSoto County commissioners last week slammed the door in the company’s face, voting 4-1 against rezoning 18,000 acres from agricultural to mining.

    Click now to read the article
    from  TampaBay.com.

  • Florida’a Lack of Environmental Rules Enforcement
    Florida Racks Up Second Worst Eco-Enforcement in 30+ Years

    July 23, 2018 -During the seven years under Governor Rick Scott, environmental enforcement has hit a modern nadir, with 2017 registering some of the most anemic results on record, according to a new analysis released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The upshot is that not only is Florida’s environment bearing a greater pollution load, but also its Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is losing revenue as well as its capacity to monitor--let alone deter--eco-offenses.

    Click now to read the article
    from  Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

  • Good News For Solar Leasing Florida Regulators Approve
    Solar Lease Option for Homeowners

    Apr. 23, 2018 -Sunrun last week won the right to offer solar leases to homeowners in Florida.

    Rules on the structure of solar lease offerings in Florida were previously unclear, and homeowners, therefore, have not had a lease option for solar to date. Sunrun said it took a proactive approach to seek approval of its lease agreement from state legislators.

    Sunrun’s CEO Lynn Jurich said in a statement that the company is “delighted to now be able to offer Floridians the opportunity to lease a solar system.”

    Click now for the story
    from Renewable Energy World.

  • Sunshine State Gets a Solar Factory Florida Will Be Home to
    New 400-MW Solar Module Factory

    Apr. 2, 2018 -JinkoSolar announced last week that it plans to build a 400-MW capacity solar module manufacturing plant in Jacksonville, Florida. NextEra Energy announced that it plans to buy a significant portion of the modules from the facility over the next four years.

    The supply deal was announced by Jinko earlier this year but the counterparty had not been named.

    According to a press release, Jinko will supply NextEra Energy with up to 2,750 MW of high-efficiency solar modules – roughly 7 million solar panels – over approximately four years. In conjunction with this agreement, Jinko is opening its first U.S. factory in Jacksonville, Florida, which is expected to create more than 200 direct jobs in Florida and support additional local jobs in shipping and other related industries.

    Click now for more on this
    story from Renewable Energy World.

  • Suncoast Waterkeeper Speaks Out About Aqua Bay Whatever the Judge Said, the Aqua
    Mangrove Mitigation Bank Is Still a Bad Thing.

    By Andy Mele and Justin Bloom

    Mar. 29, 2018 - At trial , we, as the plaintiffs, were not allowed to enter into evidence the fact that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration all examined Carlos Beruff’s proposal for a mitigation bank and deemed it unworthy of processing as a credible permit application.

    And yet, there was our own Florida Department of Environmental Protection standing beside Beruff’s attorneys, zealously defending the extraordinarily inflated number of wetland mitigation credits (18.01, probably representing more than $2 million in profits) that it said could be allowed for that site. The same credits that three federal agencies rejected out of hand. Credits that will allow for the destruction of other wetlands, on other sites. And, quite possibly, allow Beruff to bury wetlands on the Aqua site itself, on the cheap.

    Click now for the Bradenton Herald opinion piece.

  • Sola Beach Swimming Risks
    Sewer leak Forces 'No Swim'
    Advisory for Palma Sola Beach

    Feb. 23, 2018 - Manatee County issued a "no swim" advisory for the Palma Sola Beach South access on Feb. 23 due to a sanitary sewer leak.

    The City of Bradenton informed the Florida Department of Health in Manatee County of a force main leak along the Palma Sola Causeway. The amount of wastewater in the spill is currently unknown.

    A "no swim" advisory indicates that contact with water may pose an increased risk of infectious disease to humans.

    Click now for more on
    this story from Spectrum Bay 9 News.

  • Can the Trump Administration Make Up Its Mind? Drilling Off Florida Is Still on
    the Table, Interior Official Says

    Jan. 19, 2018 - In a surprise statement undercutting Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s announcement last week that he would exempt Florida from President Trump’s offshore drilling plan, a senior Interior Department official said Friday that Florida’s coastal waters had not been excluded after all.

    The Trump administration is moving to allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States coastal waters, lifting a ban on drilling imposed by President Barack Obama near the end of his term.

    Click now for the NY Times Climate Fwd story.

  • Why Styrofoam is Still Allowed in Florida
    Florida Towns Started Banning Styrofoam.
    Then Industry Crumpled the Movement

    Nov. 16, 2017 -With its blue skies, palm-tree lined roads and canals winding into Biscayne Bay, the Miami suburb of Coral Gables looks like a Florida postcard. Residents want to keep it that way, but the state has blocked their efforts to fight Styrofoam litter.

    At stake is the ability of local governments up and down Florida to end the scourge of Styrofoam and to take local action on other environmental problems.

    Click now for the story from Earth Justice.

  • Florida Co-ops Make Rooftop Solar Possible for Many Co-ops In Florida Make Rooftop
    Solar Possible For More People

    Sept. 12, 2017 - How does a co-op make rooftop solar systems more affordable? Ten people who band together to buy something usually get a better price than ten people acting individually.

    That’s the idea behind the St. Pete Solar Co-op, which began in 2016 when the local League of Women Voters partnered with Florida Solar United Neighborhoods, whose mission statement says it seeks to expand “access to solar by educating Floridians about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Florida’s solar policies and its community of solar supporters.”

  • FERC Says "Yes" - Circuit Ct. Says "No" to Pipeline Sabal Trail Pipeline Rejected

    Aug. 29, 2017 - Last week, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) attempts to downplay the massive climate impacts of the Southeast Market Pipelines Project, a $3.5 billion project that includes the 515-mile Sabal Trail pipeline. FERC and the pipeline companies argued that even though the project’s purpose is to transport fracked gas through Alabama and Georgia to Florida power plants, FERC nonetheless could ignore the greenhouse gas emissions from burning the gas at those plants.

  • Protesting Phosphate Mining in Manatee County Santa Fe River, Tributary
    and Springs Threatened

    Aug. 22, 2017 - Close to 130 Florida residents descended on the rural county, coming as far as Manatee, Polk and Hamilton counties to share their first-hand experiences with phosphate mining. More than 50 people spoke against the project, many telling personal testimonies including damage to the water supply, health impacts and habitat destruction.

    Last year a giant sinkhole opened at a Mosaic phosphate mine in Polk county that polluted water with radioactive waste.

  • Orlando Commits to 100% Clean Energy Orlando Now Largest Fl. City
    To Commit To 100% Clean Energy

    Aug. 9, 2017 - The Orlando City Commission today unanimously approved a resolution establishing a goal to move Orlando to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2050. Orlando is now the largest city in Florida to make such a commitment and joins a growing movement of more than three dozen cities nationwide that have committed to a 100 percent clean energy future.

  • The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone New Jersey-Size 'Dead Zone' Is
    Largest Ever in Gulf of Mexico

    August 2, 2017 - A record-breaking, New Jersey-sized dead zone was measured by scientists in the Gulf of Mexico this week—a sign that water quality in U.S. waterways is worse than expected.

    Click for the National Geographic story.

  • Should Customers Pay For Fracked Gas Infrastructure? Sierra Club Appeals State’s
    Decision To Make FPL Customers Pay For More
    Unnecessary Fracked Gas Infrastructure

    June 28, 2017 - TALLAHASSEE, FLA—Today, in the Florida Supreme Court, the Sierra Club appealed the Public Service Commission’s decision to force FPL customers to pay for the utility’s aggressive expansion of fracked gas infrastructure, despite failing to prove it’s necessary.

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