July 8, 2023 Weekly Newsletter
Holiday weeks are usually quieter weeks but that doesn't mean there's nothing worth mentioning. Although we might have fewer news articles to share than usual, we wanted to share a couple of noteworthy updates. First off, the Right to Clean Water organizers have shared an Independence Day message. It's a reminder that we need to work together to protect our natural resources.
In other news, there's a trailer out for an exciting docuseries called "Protect Our Paradise." Presented by Conservation Florida, the series focuses on Florida's precious land, water, and wildlife. It aims to shed light on the need to protect and conserve these natural resources. From what I've seen, the trailer looks quite promising, and I have a feeling it'll be a fascinating and informative series.
As we continue into the summer season, it's crucial to take care of ourselves. This year, we've seen more heat warnings than usual, so it's important to be mindful of the heat's impact (more info on dealing with extreme heat here). It's easy to underestimate how quickly the heat can affect us, so it's essential to take necessary precautions. Additionally, let's not forget about our furry friends. With temperatures on the rise, it's crucial to ensure their well-being and never leave them in a hot car while we're out shopping or running errands. Here is a link with more information and tips on how to keep pets safe in the heat.
We hope you and yours had a wonderful Independence Day wherever you are and that you are staying cool and enjoying what summer has to offer.
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A Fourth of July Message from those coordinating the Florida Right to Clean Water initiative
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness--and, in Florida, the right to clean and healthy waters.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or amend its state constitution, laying its language on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Floridians have the power, initiative, and ability to amend their state constitution to limit and restrain their state government to actions that do not harm nor threaten to harm Florida waters.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that state constitutions should not be changed for light and transient causes. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object (of special interest profit over the health, safety and welfare of Floridians) evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism by pollution and environmental destruction, it is their right, it is their duty, to amend their constitution, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of Floridians; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their state constitution with the fundamental right to clean and healthy waters.
Protect Our Paradise, presented by Conservation Florida, an exciting new original docuseries, explores Florida’s wild, wonderful places and examines environmental issues that threaten their existence. Looks really interesting, it should be available soon. Read more about it here.
News Headlines and Articles
About time Brightline, FEC, Coast Guard -- embroiled in bridge brouhaha -- resolve issue (TCPalm) - The controversy surrounding the railroad drawbridge in Stuart, Florida, involving Brightline, FEC Railway, and the Coast Guard needs to be resolved urgently to ensure a schedule is followed that accommodates marine interests and allows for the replacement of the bridge with a higher and wider one, benefiting both the boating community and the train companies.
Manatee deaths slowing, but could Lake O discharges change that? (VoteWater) - The rate of manatee deaths in Florida has slowed, but the potential discharges from Lake Okeechobee could reverse this trend due to the negative impact on water quality and the loss of seagrass, highlighting the need for actions to address pollution and redirect water to the Everglades.
(Slideshow) Algae-coated Lake O water surrounds Port Mayaca Lock and Dam (TCPalm) -Check out these pictures of Lake Okeechobee water coated in cyanobacteria, or "blue-green algae", gathers around the Port Mayaca Lock and Dam.
17th St. Bridge project delayed until September (Vero News) - The rebuilding of the 17th Street bridge in Vero Beach has been delayed until at least September due to supply chain problems, which will result in traffic disruptions during the busy winter season and prolong the four-year construction project.
Another ‘Summer of Slime,’ and our state government just made it worse | Opinion (Sun Sentinel) - Algae outbreaks in Florida's waterways caused by pollution are ruining another summer season, and despite knowing that prevention is the key, the state government has passed a budget measure that bans local communities from curbing pollution, exacerbating the problem and offering no real solutions to tackle the pollution that fuels the outbreaks, leaving residents to endure another summer of slime.
Why We Fight (VoteWater) - The article emphasizes the importance of clean water in Florida, highlighting the ongoing fight to protect waterways, combat pollution, and preserve the state's natural beauty and recreational opportunities and why individuals and groups (like the IRNA!) fight so hard for clean water.
New Florida law is ‘death knell for smart growth,’ environmentalists say (Tampa Bay Times) - Environmental activists are expressing concerns over a new Florida law, SB 540, dubbed the "sprawl bill," which allows prevailing party attorney fees in challenges to local governments' comprehensive plan amendments, potentially impacting affordable housing, conservation efforts, and hurricane evacuation routes, as citizens who oppose plan changes may have to cover legal costs if they lose to developers and local governments.
Florida Oceanographic Society executive committed to improving water quality (WFLX) - The article highlights the efforts of the Florida Oceanographic Society in monitoring water quality and advocating for improved measures to address pollution and freshwater runoff in the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon to protect the ecosystem and marine life.
University of Florida researchers test landscaping that saves water, money (Click Orlando) - University of Florida researchers are testing and promoting landscaping with native plants in Central Florida communities, which not only saves water and money but also helps mitigate the effects of climate change and reduces pollution from lawnmowers and chemicals, with the potential to create home landscapes that function like state parks.
Can We Desalinate Water without All the Mess? (Hakai Magazine) - Oneka Technologies is introducing a sustainable and practical desalination solution using small, wave-powered devices that can draw water from the ocean and remove salts and particles through reverse osmosis, offering an alternative to large, fossil fuel-powered desalination plants and addressing environmental concerns associated with the process.
What do those beach flags mean? Surf warnings to small craft advisories explained (Pensacola News Journal) - The article explains the meanings of various beach flags used in Florida, such as the double red flag indicating that the water is closed to the public, the red flag representing strong and frequent rip currents, the yellow flag indicating some rip current activity, the green flag signifying low hazard, and the purple flag representing dangerous marine life, as well as providing explanations for other water-related terms like small craft advisory and gale warning.
A Florida city famous for its water worries that it might run out of it (Washington Post) - Zephyrhills, a Florida city famous for its water, is facing a water shortage as its population booms, leading officials to implement a moratorium on new construction in order to manage water usage and prevent exceeding pumping limits, highlighting the challenges of water supply in the state amidst rapid growth and strain on essential services.
Humans have used enough groundwater to shift Earth’s tilt (Washington Post) - The extensive removal of groundwater by humans for drinking and irrigation has resulted in a shift in Earth's tilt, with the planet wobbling as it spins, according to a new study, highlighting the significant impact of human activity on the planet and the potential implications for sea level rise.
Cut Your Water Bill Today: These 4 Home Appliances Waste the Most Water (Yahoo Finance) - Learn how to decrease your water bill by identifying the four home appliances that waste the most water, such as toilets, washing machines, showerheads, and faucets, and implementing water-saving practices like adjusting water levels, using efficient models, and fixing leaks.
Florida fishing: Snapper is the go-to target; Kingfish, sailfish also in good supply (TCPalm) - Fishing in Florida's Treasure Coast is currently excellent, with snapper, sailfish, kingfish, and other species being caught, while upcoming fishing seasons, regulations, and tips for conservation are also provided.