April 15, 2023 Weekly Newsletter
Welcome to the first edition of our new weekly (and bi-weekly in the off-season) newsletter.
We will share links to various publications, news sites and resources about water quality, environmental policy, land use and other topics of interest to our members and our mission. These Newsletters will also be posted to our website for future reference.
Feel free to pass it along to friends and neighbors as we collectively spread knowledge and educate our community.
The people have the inherent political power pursuant to Article I, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution to create the fundamental right to clean and healthy waters. The passage of the amendment will declare this a fundamental right, which is indefeasible.
April is Water Conservation Month (SFWMD) - See what you can do to help save water!
Will poor planning sink our shot at state funding for lagoon? (Vero News) - County officials fear Indian River County may not receive state funding for the Indian River Lagoon due to not having a fully developed and approved management plan with local matching funds committed to shovel-ready projects despite having several projects ready to go, as other counties in Florida have similar management plans in place.
Study warns critical ocean current is nearing 'collapse.' That would be a global disaster. (USA Today) - The deep ocean current around Antarctica could collapse over the next few decades due to global warming, according to a recent study, which would impact the planet's climate and marine ecosystems for centuries to come, with the main impact for North America being sea-level rise along the East Coast.
Legislative update: ‘Session of sprawl?’ You’re soaking in it (VoteWater) - Learn about bad bills that would make paving over natural Florida easier, disenfranchise citizens, and eviscerate home rule, while pro-sprawl bills that help the clean-water cause go nowhere.
Opinion: What good is a right to fish if there are no fish? (Coastal News Today) - SB 1240 and HB 1197 would restrict the rights of citizens to impact the quality of Florida waters, while the Florida Legislature looks to expand the rights of parents, gun owners, teachers, and hunters.
Lawsuit Seeks to Suspend Onsite Permits in Florida to Save Manatees (onsiteinstaller.com) - Suing the state of Florida, Bear Warriors United is seeking a permanent injunction on permits to discharge nitrogen from septic tanks and wastewater plants into the northern part of the Indian River Lagoon, as nitrogen pollution from septic tanks is killing the seagrass that feeds manatees.
Input from many people and groups will help shape region’s water supply plan (SJRWMD) - Water managers in Florida are working with a variety of people to ensure a sustainable supply of drinking water, including quantifying water needs, identifying sources, and providing project options to ensure people and the state's waterways, plants, and animals have the water they need.
Friends of the Everglades 2023 Mid-Session Legislative Report (Friends of the Everglades) - Despite some bills that might help Florida's fragile waters going nowhere, many bills that will disempower citizens, handcuff local governments, and result in more reckless development have sailed through committee hearings with little opposition during the state's legislative session.
Scientists envision an ‘internet of the ocean,’ with sensors and autonomous vehicles that can explore the deep sea and monitor its vital signs(Coastal News Today) - Imagine an internet of the ocean with sensors and autonomous vehicles that can explore the deep sea and monitor its vital signs, including the heart of the ocean’s carbon pump, which captures about a third of all human-produced carbon dioxide and sinks it into the deep sea.
A familiar seaweed is washing up on Brevard County beaches, at record levels (Florida Today) - Anticipate record-breaking Sargassum seaweed blooms along Florida's coast, with scientists predicting the largest-ever bloom due to climate change and nutrient runoff into Caribbean waters.
Watch some of the 4th District Court of Appeals hear part of City of Vero Beach v. Indian River Shores here.
ORCA engages citizen scientists to collect data on naturally occurring and man-made toxins in fish living in the Indian River Lagoon to provide evidence of the accumulation of pollutants in the aquatic food chain that can potentially affect human and animal health. Click here for current analyses, including heavy metals, cyanotoxins, microplastics, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.