volunteers on land and kayaks

Media Coverage

2014 Media Links

September

September 2 – Bradenton Herald – Article by Matt Johnson provides readers a thorough review about the Economic Valuation Study of Sarasota Bay.

August

August 29 – The Bradenton Times – Article about the Bay Guardian event September 27 at Cortez’s Florida Maritime Museum.

August 27 – The Ledger – Article about the SBEP-funded Economic Valuation Study of Sarasota Bay.

August 26 – ABC7 – News segment and article about the Economic Valuation Study of Sarasota Bay.

August 26 – Herald Tribune – Article about the Economic Valuation Study of Sarasota Bay. The piece includes a quality graphic and several quotes

June

June 27 – Sarasota News Leader – Article on page 92 covers the World Oceans Day events at Mote Marine Aquarium.

June 27 – Sarasota News Leader – Article on page 77 covers the 2014 Bay Partner Grants recipients.

June 17 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the 2014 Bay Partner Grant recipients.

June 17 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the 2014 Bay Partner Grant recipients.

June 16 – Bayshore Banner – Online article and photos from the SBEP presentation given by Sara Kane.

June 12 – Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative – Article about the Sea Level Rise brochure.

June 11 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the SLR brochure and web tool.

June 11 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the SLR brochure and web tool.

June 5 – Transition Sarasota – Article about the World Environment Day event.

June 1 – The Droplet – SBEP was featured in from the Florida Water Environment Association newsletter called the Droplet.

May

May 31 – The Bradenton Times – An article about the Southwest Florida Water Management District saying they want to make it faster for developers to get permits to destroy wetlands. SWFWMD wants to be in charge of issuing wetland permits instead of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

May 29 – Sarasota News Leader – Article announcing that acclaimed Florida photographer Clyde Butcher will make a presentation and answer questions at the 2014 Sarasota Bay Water Festival November 1.

May 27 – The Bradenton Times – Article indicates that the local fertilizer ban starts June 1.

May 16 – Sarasota Patch – An interesting article about the potential harm that comes to humans and pets from chemicals used on neighborhood lawns.

May 13 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the Water Festival announcing the 2014 I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest.

May 13 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about the Water Festival announcing the 2014 I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest.

May 13 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the Water Festival announcing the 2014 I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest.

May 12 – The Bradenton Times – A news posting about the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest featuring four age divisions. Winning submissions will be displayed at the 2014 Sarasota Bay Water Festival on November 1 at Ken Thompson Park.

May 1 – Scene – Article about the SBEP’s Protection, Involvement, Education and Restoration (PIER) program with the goal of educating students about local coastal ecology, promote the benefits of environmental stewardship and increase students’ environmental literacy and stewardship behaviors.

April

April 26 – The Bradenton Times – An article about the SBEP Bay Guardians completing a recent volunteer project at Perico Preserve in Manatee County.

April 25 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 66 about the plans by SBEP, Sarasota County and other local organizations to celebrate Arbor Day with classes at Twin Lakes Park.

April 24 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Charles Schelle reports that a challenge to the Manatee Urban Service Area ordinance was dropped by local developers.

April 23 – Bradenton Patch – An article about the upcoming Earth Day event and Bay Guardian volunteer outing taking place at Oscar Scherer State Park.

April 23 – Sarasota Patch – An article about the upcoming Earth Day event and Bay Guardian volunteer outing taking place at Oscar Scherer State Park.

April 22 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the upcoming Arbor Day events taking place at Twin Lakes Park.

April 22 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the upcoming Arbor Day events taking place at Twin Lakes Park.

April 21 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news brief about local plans by SBEP and other groups to celebrate Arbor Day with educational classes at Twin Lakes Park.

April 21 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Amaris Castillo regarding the recent Bay Guardian outing at Perico Preserve.

April 21 – Manatee County Water Atlas – A news brief about local plans by SBEP and other groups to celebrate Arbor Day with educational classes at Twin Lakes Park.

April 21 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – A news brief about local plans by SBEP and other groups to celebrate Arbor Day with educational classes at Twin Lakes Park.

April 18 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 91 about the SBEP reminder for residents to use slow-release fertilizer in the spring planting season.

April 18 – Sarasota News Leader – Article on page 84 about the Bay Guardian project at Oscar Scherer State Park set for April 27. Nine thousand plants will be placed in the shallow water in the park.

April 17 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news brief about the SBEP Bay Guardians planting thousands of native plants at Perico Preserve in Manatee County on April 12.

April 16 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the recent Bay Guardian volunteer event held at Perico Preserve. More than 100 volunteers helped to install 12,000 plugs of marshgrass. 

April 16 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the recent Bay Guardian volunteer event held at Perico Preserve. More than 100 volunteers helped to install 12,000 plugs of marshgrass.

April 15 – Oceana – A media release from Oceana announced that 110 local elected officials and 155 conservation and animal welfare organizations have joined the opposition against seismic airgun use along the East Coast. Six costal towns have also passed local resolutions opposing their use. In February, the U.S. government released a proposal allowing the use of airguns to look for oil and gas deposits below the ocean floor in an area twice the size of California stretching from Delaware to Florida. The Department of the Interior reports these dynamite-like blasts could injure and possibly kill up to 138,200 marine mammals like dolphins and whales. Only 500 right whales are alive worldwide.

April 14 – NOAA – The organization has an impressive website with the URL climate.gov that provides the public and elected representatives with science-based information about the ongoing impact of climate change. It includes maps, technical data, reports, and specific resources for teachers.

April 13 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Article about the prospect of developing the Bayfront area in downtown Sarasota. The effort is being promoted by Visit Sarasota County.  The more ambitious visions being discussed includes 75 acres of property on 42 acres owned by the city between Tenth Street and Boulevard of the Arts.

April 13 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Thomas Becnel about the opening of Neal Preserve in Manatee County.

April 11 – Sarasota Patch – Article encouraging residents to only use slow-release fertilizer in the spring and no fertilizer at all during the summer months.

April 11 – Bradenton Patch – Article encouraging residents to only use slow-release fertilizer in the spring and no fertilizer at all during the summer months.

April 11 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article from Associated Press reports on some of the health-related issues being reported by thousands of people seeking claims under a medical settlement BP reached with cleanup workers and coastal residents. Some 33,000 people are participating in a federal study aimed at determining any short of possible long-term health effects related to the oil spill.

April 10 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy about the grand opening of Neal Preserve located in Manatee County.

April 10 – Tampa Bay Business Journal – An article by Jane Meinhardt reports that Florida has the most BP oil spill damage claims than any other state. The oil rig explosion killed 11 workers and sent more than 200 million gallons of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. Florida claims total 82,818 or 30 percent of the total. BP has paid more than $3.8 billion for settlement claims to date according to the article.

April 10 – Palm Beach Sun Sentinel – A nearly $2 billion plan to help the Everglades and ease coastal pollution stayed alive when the South Florida Water Management District agreed to potentially pay half of the cost. That could make South Florida taxpayers, with help from state coffers, responsible for paying for much of the plan. The next step involves persuading the U.S. Congress to pay for the other half of the prospect.

April 9 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Amaris Castillo reports that the AMI Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring held a spring training workshop Tuesday for people interested in volunteering during sea turtle nesting season, which begins in May.

April 9 – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission – Here’s a good overview about why seagrass is a vital part of the bay ecosystem.

April 9 – Huffington Post – An article reports the details about plans by the EPA to curtail the number of inspections and enforcement cases nationwide over the next five years. The cutbacks include a 33-percent dip in federal inspections and evaluations and a 41 percent drop in civil judicial and administrative enforcement cases. The EPA says it plans to focus more on major pollution cases that have the most significant health, environmental and deterrence impacts.

April 8 – National Geographic – An article by Christine Amore explains how the BP Oil Spill Disaster in 2010 has harmed several species of wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. The information comes from a new report released today by the National Wildlife Federation.

April 8 – Hands Across the Sand – Online letter invites individuals and groups to host a Hands Across the Sand event on May 17. This year is the fifth anniversary of the project designed to bring awareness to the importance of clean energy.

April 8 – National Wildlife Federation – An article by Douglas Inkley looks at how 14 species that depend on a healthy Gulf are faring in the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill disaster. More than 900 bottlenose dolphins have been found dead, which is three times normal rates. Approximately 500 sea turtles have been found dead every year for the past three years.

April 8 – Al Jazeera – Online news report by Bryan Myers from Naples reports on public concerns about the prospect of oil drilling. Some residents are concerned that toxic waste from a drilling well could compromise the quality of their drinking water. As part of the drilling process, millions of gallons of wastewater laced with chemicals are injected into the ground.

April 7 – The Florida Times-Union – An article listing some of the best plant choices for coastal landscapes. Many of the native plants are tolerant to salt spray. The authors are both active members of the Florida Native Plant Society.

April 7 – Manatee County Water Atlas – News article about the U.S. Senate approving reauthorization of the National Estuary Program. More details on the April 3 posting from a media release sent by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse who introduced the bill.

April 6 – Sarasota Patch – An article by Paul Antolini about how parents can encourage their children to love the environment.

April 6 – Ocala Star Banner – A guest editorial by former state governor Kenneth MacKay, Jr., urges Florida to prioritize its springs and reduce pumping. He asserts that the current policy leads to upside-down thinking.

April 6 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Jenny Staletovich reports that horseshoe crabs are now endangered. The species provide critical food for migrating shorebirds. Scientists are not sure why the species is declining, but they suspect the pressures come from fishing, loss of habitat and a global deband for their sky-blue blood, which is used to screen for toxins in injected drugs. The horseshoe crab is not really a crab; it’s a relative of the spider and it is one of the oldest unchanged species on Earth.

April 4 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article reports that seasonal manatee speed zones are in effect statewide. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers along with federal and local law enforcement partners will be increasing patrols to help protect manatees.

April 4 – Tampa Bay Times – An editorial urges the Florida legislature to focus on protecting state waterways. The Florida Senate is working on a historic package to restore the state’s natural springs. The House is moving in the opposite direction with an anti-environmental bill that is bad for the ecosystem, bad for taxpayers, bad for local control, and bad for anyone interested in the security of the state’s drinking water supply.

April 4 – Huffington Post – An article by Hope Yen reports that industry groups and more than a dozen Republican senators are urging the Obama administration to reconsider plans to regulate many of the nation’s streams and wetlands, saying the proposed rule hurts economic activity and oversteps legal bounds. At issue is the federal Clean Water Act, which gives the EPA authority to regulate U.S. waters.

April 4 – Sun Sentinel – An article by Sean D’Oliveira reports that a business in Oakland Park has received approval from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to use LED lighting near the beach to support public safety while shielding light away from the beach to protect nesting turtles. South Florida beaches are home to nearly 2,000 turtle nests and 150,000 hatchlings each year. Turtle nesting season runs from March through October.

April 4 – Huffington Post – An article by Catherine Taibi acknowledges NBC News for focusing on the impact of climate change in a one-hour documentary hosted by Ann Curry that was aired April 6. Climate change reports have been largely ignored by major networks like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. The Sunday news shows dedicated a total of 27 minutes to climate change in all of 2013.

April 3 – Lakewood Ranch Herald – An article about the Spring Native Plant Festival and in Parrish. The event is presented by the Florida Native Plant Society and SBEP.

April 3 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the Charlotte Harbor Coastal Awareness Day set for April 26 in Punta Gorda. The public event will expand awareness about how The Nature Conservancy is helping to develop natural solutions to help coastal communities weather the impacts of storms and prepare for sea level rise in Florida.

April 3 – Florida DEP – DEP advisory announces a DEP public workshop on the future of Silver Springs State Park has been set for April 9.

April 3 – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse – The Rhode Island Senator reports that the U.S. Senate has approved the bill reauthorizing the National Estuary Program (NEP). It was approved with bipartisan support. The program was first established in 1987 by the late Republican Senator John Chafee to protect and restore estuarine habitats threatened by pollution and overdevelopment. The bill maintains the funding authorization for the NEP at $35 million per year while also limiting the amount of the funding that the EPA can use for overhead. EPA administers the NEP. This change will ensure that more funds are directed to the field programs. The NEP has 28 programs including SBEP, Tampa Bay Estuary Program and Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program.

April 3 – Huffington Post – An article by Richard Steiner poses the question will civilization collapse or evolve? He cites a recent NASA-sponsored study warning that modern industrial civilization may collapse in coming decades due to resource depletion and a growing unequal distribution of wealth. Steiner asserts that world governments are not addressing environmental issues in a serious manner. He also explains that the elite status quo is fighting against policies for sustainability in favor of short-term profits. Environmental decline has undermined many prior civilizations throughout history.

April 2 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news brief about the new posting on the website about oyster and beach monitoring programs in Sarasota County. SBEP is referenced in the report about oyster mapping and monitoring.

April 2 – Florida DEP – DEP media release announces April is Springs Protection Awareness Month. Florida has more than 300 documented springs and their health is important to Florida’s economy and environment. The DEP media release includes tips for Florida residents on how to help protect Florida springs.

April 2 – The Nature Conservancy – A recent survey by the nonprofit shows a growing global concern by parents about kids not spending enough time in nature. The survey included parents of children in the U.S., Brazil, China, France and Hong Kong. More than 82 percent of U.S. parents view spending time in nature as very important.

April 1 – Water Matters – The online blog produced by the Southwest Florida Water Management District provides a list of four tips for helping to conserve water outdoors. SWFWMD is encouraging residents to make a special focus on water conservation throughout April.

April 1 – Daytona Beach News Journal – Article by Jessie Van Berkel reports that environmentalists across Florida are fighting a proposed bill that reduces local control of water resources. The bill would limit the ability of county government to enforce regulations on springs, storm water and wetlands.

April 1 – Ecologist – An interesting article by marine scientist Mark Spalding explains that mangroves are a super-smart investment because they help sequester large amounts of carbon. Did you know that mangroves have double the living biomass of tropical forests?

April 1 – Florida DEP – A media release announces April as Water Conservation Month. Florida DEP reports that Florida is a national leader in water reuse.

April 1 – The Gainsville Sun – An editorial asserts that the so called year of water is quickly becoming the year of watered-down efforts to protect Florida springs. The editorial says the familiar call for more studies coming from the state legislature means more delays in protecting Florida waterways.

April 1 – St. Augustine Record – A guest editorial by Neil Armingeon explains the consequences of the oil and gas industry using seismic air guns to map oil and gas reserves off the Atlantic coast. The extremely loud blasts of compressed air are 100,000 times louder than a jet engine. The proposed tests will cause destructive impacts on marine wildlife, coastal ecosystems and beachside communities according to the author. The area of impact encompasses 350,000 square miles.

April 1 – The Daytona Beach News Journal – An article by Dinah Voyles Pulver reports that the Volusia County Council will consider adopting a fertilizer ordinance this week hoping to stem the tide of chemicals flowing into the area’s springs, rivers and estuaries.

April 1 – Alabama Coast United – An article raises questions about recent massive starfish kills along the Gulf Coast. Is the die off the result of the 2010 BP Oil Disaster and the oil mats located off the coast?

March

March 31 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Local newspaper reports that a U.S. District Court Judge has ruled that pumping water from farmlands into public water supplies such as Lake Okeechobee violates the Clean Water Act. Environmental groups say the ruling was long overdue. The nonprofit Earthjustice argued that the South Florida Water Management District violated federal laws by allowing agricultural companies to send polluted water into southern Florida’s water supply without decontaminating it first.

March 31 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article from Associated Press reports that the navy research sub Alvin will be taking researchers down for a look at the ocean floor. Researchers will be taking 22 dives in the Alvin to check sites they sampled in 2010 to see whether there’s been recovery since the 2010 BP Oil Spill Disaster.

March 29 – The Bradenton Times – Report by Dennis Maley indicates that House Bill 703 is moving through various committees to the alarm of environmentalists and other clean water activists. The bill would reduce local government control of wetlands, springs and storm water protections. It would also prevent any local government from reconsidering a comp plan amendment approved on bona fide agricultural lands. HB 703 is supported by Big Agriculture, Big Sugar and Big Development.

March 28 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 78 about the SBEP Bay Wise Kayak Trips scheduled for April with local professional guide Brad Tanner. The two final trips for the current season are set for April 12 and April 19.

March 28 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by noted photographer John Moran documents his experience photographing Florida springs over decades. His photos document the vibrancy and decline of the spring which he characterizes as irreplaceable. The author points to a comprehensive spring’s protection bill in the Florida Senate as a hopeful sign. The bill would provide more than $300 million a year for projects to protect and restore Florida’s springs. A companion bill in the House is stalled in committee and the House Speaker prefers to address the matter next year.

March 28 – The Gainsville Sun – An editorial criticizes the Florida legislature for what it regards as an inadequate and slow response to water issues in Florida. The author points out that the familiar call for more studies will delay action. The editorial encourages immediate positive action.

March 27 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the upcoming Bay Guardian volunteer event at Perico Preserve on Saturday, April 12.

March 27 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the upcoming Bay Guardian volunteer event at Perico Preserve on Saturday, April 12.

March 26 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An Associated Press article reports that two University of Florida institutes and the St. John’s River Water Management District are starting a three-year $3 million study of the impact of pollutants on Florida’s springs. Researchers hope to identify the areas that are the major sources of nitrates and other pollutants in the springs. The study will focus on Silver Springs in Ocala and Wekiva Springs in Apopka.

March 26 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news item reports that a team of faculty from the University of Florida is working on the development of a new educational program focused on water issues. The proposed program is called the WatershedStewardsAcademy and it will be offered through the UF/IFAS Extension. The program will be modeled after the other “Master” programs such as Master Naturalist or Master Gardner with 7 to 12 sessions. Organizers have developed a survey to help design the program.

March 26 – Houston Chronicle – An article by Jennifer Dlouhy reports that the BP Gulf Oil Spill in 2010 has caused fish heart defects in blue fin tuna, amberjack and yellow fin tuna. The findings come from a recent study by government and academic scientists published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study reports that the crude oil gushing from the failed well for nearly three months could have compromised tuna embryos and larvae.

March 25 – U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – FWC media releases announces that the government organization is conducting five-year status reviews of 25 endangered and 8 threatened species in one or more of the 10 states in the Southeast and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The public is invited to provide written information and comments concerning these species on or before May 27.

March 25 – Palm Beach Post – An editorial by Maggy Hurchalla presents some of the criticisms of a Republican representative from Panama City who generates bills that critics claim weakens environmental and growth management policies. His latest bill limits the right of local counties to protect wetlands and springs. It also gives private ownership to public water supplies through 50-year permits and negates protections from local comprehensive plans.

March 25 – Deep Sea News – An article answers 20 frequently asked questions about marine science.

March 25 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the free Bay Wise Kayak Tours in April.

March 25 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the free Bay Wise Kayak Tours in April.

March 25 – Chicago Tribune – An article by Michael Hawthorne reports that a malfunction by BP equipment allowed crude oil to spill into Lake Michigan a few miles from the Chicago city limits. Lake Michigan is the source of drinking water for 7 million people in the region.

March 24 – Washington Post – An article by Darryl Fears reports that the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster has harmed young tuna and amberjack fish species because of exposure to so much toxic crude oil. The findings come from a study led by researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

March 24 – FWC – A media release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reminds people that beach-nesting shorebirds need peace and quiet to survive. Some of the Florida beach-nesting shorebirds facing conservation challenges include the snowy plover, least tern, black skimmer, American oystercatcher and Wilson’s plover.

March 23 – Lakeland Ledger – Newspaper article by Zac Anderson with Halifax Media Services reports that a Florida representative from Bradenton is pushing a new law that would result is less stringent permitting for medium sized counties like Sarasota and Manatee. The bill exempts seven more counties in Florida from reviews of large development projects. Development interests support the measure while environmental groups have voiced concerns about future traffic congestion, urban sprawl, and pollution problems.

March 22 – Longboat Key News – A column by Sheldon and Joyce Paley emphasize the importance of the beaches and waterways to Longboat Key. The article indicates that Longboat Key is a member of the SBEP.

March 22 – Huffington Post – An article by Chris Sherman reports that a barge carrying nearly a million gallons of thick oil collided with a ship in Galveston Bay on Saturday, spilling fuel into the popular bird habitat just as the peak of the migratory shorebird season approaches.

March 22 – Huffington Post – An article by Emily Swanson reports that most Americans see climate change as a serious threat to the U.S., but only longer-term after they are long gone. Her comments referenced a recent Gallup poll. The poll found that only 36 percent of Americans expect global warming to post a serious threat to them or their way of life within their lifetime.

March 22 – Global Motherhood – An article by Jessica Prois with The Huffington Post reports that a child dies every 21 seconds from a water-related disease. The source for this ominous statistic is Water.org. The death rate represents a decrease compared to five years ago when 1,656 children were dying each day from diseases such as dysentery, dehydration, cholera and diarrhea.

March 21 – Manatee County Water Atlas – A news brief about the grand opening of Neal Preserve at 4pm on April 9. The Preserve is located at 12301 Manatee Avenue West in Bradenton.

March 21 – The Bradenton Times – An article reports that strong public opposition to acid fracking near the Everglades National Park has prompted the EPA to extent the period for public comment. More than 300 people turned out to a public hearing held last week in Naples to express opposition to the plan. An approved permit would allow the oil and gas industry to inject toxic waste into the ground.

March 20 – The Real News – An interview with Cherri Foytlin reports that Gulf residents continue to experience health problems in the aftermath of the 2010 BP oil spill disaster. The EPA recently approved BP for more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Ms. Foytlin opposes the decision and asserts that BP safety provisions are inadequate.

March 20 – Huffington Post – An article reports that BP has paid $41.6 million for new Gulf of Mexico drilling leases including a tract near the site of its major oil spill disaster in 2010. The EPA lifted a suspension on BP drilling in the Gulf last week.

March 19 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article reports that Garden Elementary School students recently learned about native plants through a program paid for by a grant from the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program.

March 19 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – News item about the SBEP Bay Guardians teaming up with Around the Bend Nature Tours, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, and Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources on a volunteer workday April 12 at Perico Preserve.

March 19 – The Bradenton Times – An article by Dennis Maley provides an update on efforts by Republican legislators to strip power away from local governments by weakening their control of comp plans designed to protect local environmental resources. Critics regard current bills as hostile to local rule and smart growth.

March 19 – Manatee County Water Atlas – News item about the SBEP Bay Guardians teaming up with Around the Bend Nature Tours, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, and Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources on a volunteer workday April 12 at Perico Preserve.

March 18 – The Bradenton Times – A news article about the Spring Native Plant Festival and Sale set for April 5 at Sweet Bay Nursery in Parrish. SBEP is one of the sponsors of the annual event organized by the Florida Native Plant Society.

March 18 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Jessie Van Berkel reports that some neighbors are complaining about too much activity and noise at a historic property next to Old Spanish Point that is managed by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. Some local residents are complaining about the noise and the heightened activity.

March 18 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Justine Griffin reports that Siesta Key Beach was ranked the third best beach in the U.S. by TripAdvisor. It was the highest ranking beach in Florida. LidoBeach rated 22 on the national list. SiestaKeyBeach ranked second last year. None of the beaches on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County made the list.

March 18 – Environment Health News – An article by Beth Parke and Joseph Davis criticizes the EPA for delays in communicating about issues impacting on environmental and public safety. A recent example is the massive chemical spill in West Virginia; it took the EPA nearly a week to comment on the disaster. The authors list many examples of the EPA responding slowly and often with insufficient responses that do not address the specific questions being posed by journalists.

March 18 – Florida DEP – Media release reports the beginning of a two-year pilot study by DEP to remove nutrients at Ichetucknee Springs State Park in Fort White, Florida. The effort is designed to improve septic tank performance in deep and sandy soils located in higher-density neighborhoods located near springs. Excessive levels of nitrate, a form of nitrogen, can cause algal mats and depress oxygen levels leading to an imbalance in the aquatic life of an ecosystem. The pilot study involves placing wood chips below a drain field to provide nitrogen removal through microbial treatment.

March 18 – Orlando Sentinel – An article reports that Florida has 10 of the nation’s 25 best beaches according to a ranking by Trip Advisor. Hawaii also had 10 of the top 25 beaches (seven of the top 10). SiestaKeyPublicBeach came in at number 3 in the U.S. and number 16 in the world. Other Florida beaches on the best of the U.S. list included St. Pete Beach (9), CaladesiIslandState Park in Dunedin (11), St. AugustineBeach (14), Bahia Honda State Park and Beach on Big Pine Key (17), PensacolaBeach (19), Panama CityBeach (20), ClearwaterBeach (21), LidoBeach (22) and NavarreBeach (25).

March 17 – Ocean Futures Society – An article by Jean-Michel Cousteau explains sustainable fish farming with a look to its potential as a solution to future food scarcity issues.

March 17 – Bloomberg – Reprint of an article listing the top 20 cities in the world that are expected to face the greatest consequence of climate change and sea level rise. Four American cities appear on the list including Miami (1), New York and Newark (3), New Orleans (12), and Virginia Beach (19).

March 17 – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission – FWC website provides helpful guidelines on viewing manatees in the wild. Manatees are protected under federal law by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and by the Endangered Species Act of 1973. It is illegal to harass, hunt, capture or kill any marine mammal. The manatee is also protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978.

March 17 – Huffington Post – An article by Ashley Powers with Reuters reports that public support of manatees has resulted in a Miami development plan being stopped. A county commissioner recently suggested relaxing guidelines intended to protect manatees on the Miami River and other waterways. Critics argued against the changes since they claim it would have resulted in extra boat traffic. Boat collisions and damage from boat props are a major threat to manatees in Florida near urban areas.

March 16 – Tampa Bay Times – An editorial opposes any plans to drill for oil off Florida’s east coast. The editorial argues that there is no economic case for opening new areas to offshore drilling – especially since the industry sits idle on more than 29 million acres of active leases.

March 16 – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission – Helpful posting on the FFWCC website provides information about algal blooms in Florida.

March 16 – 10 News – Television station website features an article with photos about current efforts to control the Tegu lizard, a large invasive lizard from South America. Florida Fish and Wildlife said there might be hundreds if not thousands of Tegus in the region. They lay 25-50 eggs at a time and March is their breeding season.

March 16 – Huffington Post – An article about a unique Washington D.C. based art exhibit focused on climate change. Voyage of Discovery is a five-month exhibit hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It explore how climate change has transformed Earth with creative pieces of artists Michele Banks, Jessica Beels and Ellyn Weiss.

March 15 – The Gainesville Sun – An article by Morgan Watkins reports that Florida House Bill 703 has drawn opposition from Alachua County government in part because it would nullify a portion of the county’s long-held wetlands protection policy, forcing the county to abide by less-protective state policies. The state bill would prohibit local governments from enforcing certain springs protection and stormwater or wetlands regulations if these regulations have been modified or readopted since July 1, 2003.

March 14 – Manatee County Water Atlas – A news listing about the SBEP Bay Guardians teaming up with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Around the Bend Nature Tours and Manatee County for a volunteer planting at Perico Preserve on April 12. Volunteers will be planting 12,000 plugs of marsh grass.

March 14 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news listing about the SBEP Bay Guardians teaming up with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Around the Bend Nature Tours and Manatee County for a volunteer planting at Perico Preserve on April 12. Volunteers will be planting 12,000 plugs of marsh grass.

March 14 – Sarasota News Leader – A news brief on page 104 about the Gulf Coast Heritage Art Exhibit now on display at the Federal Building on Orange Avenue. SBEP is sponsoring the exhibit with Sarasota Bay Watch.

March 14 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 61 by Stan Zimmerman reports that the City of Sarasota is pursuing a grant to remove exotic trees and plants from North Lido Beach. The article indicates that SBEP provided a letter of support along with the Lido Key Neighborhood Association.

March 14 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article reports that the Florida DEP has adopted restoration plans for the Manatee and Alafia River Basins. The restoration plans are designed to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus that enters the river systems and TampaBay. The Manatee River drains an area of 360 square miles westward before discharging into lower Tampa Bay.

March 14 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 46 by Stan Zimmerman reports that staffers with the City of Sarasota and the engineering design team hired to fix Lift Station 87 have argued publicly about some of the details surrounding the project. The lift station will transfer the sewage from the south side of the city to the treatment plant located on Twelfth Street. The engineers are dealing with challenges with plumbing.

March 13 – The New York Times – An article by Clifford Krauss reports that the EPA reached an agreement with BP to lift a 2012 ban that was imposed after the agency concluded that BP had not fully corrected problems that led to the well blowout in 2010 that killed 11 people, spilled millions of gallons of oil and contaminated hundreds of miles of beaches. Under the agreement, BP will be allowed to bid for new leases.

March 13 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Eric Ernst about the ongoing struggles to protect the highly threatened snowy plover birds on Siesta Key. The greatest threat is human activity given that the peak of nesting season coincides with the July 4 weekend when thousands of beachgoers descend on the beach. The bird count is estimated to be only 200 in Florida which is a significant decrease from as many as 10,000 birds in prior decades. Volunteers with Audubon are trying to protect the birds. Last year was deemed a success with 13 nests; two of which hatched producing five chicks. Four of the chicks survived long enough to fly.

March 13 – Bradenton Herald – A news brief references the Spring Native Plant Festival and Sale April 5 at Sweet Bay Nursery in Parrish. SBEP is a key sponsor of the event along with the Florida Native Plant Society.

March 13 – Huffington Post – An article reports that the EPA has lifted its ban on new federal contracts with BP, the company responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The new five-year deal with the EPA will allow BP to pursue new oil exploration leases in deepwater tracts in the Gulf of Mexico.

March 13 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Craig Pittman reports that manatees are threatening to sue the Florida Department of Health over leaky septic tanks tainting their habitat located in the Indian River Lagoon. Hundreds of manatees, dolphins and pelicans have died in the lagoon; it was once considered one of the most productive estuaries in North America. The deaths were preceded by toxic algae blooms that wiped out more than 47,000 acres of its seagrass beds. Supporters of the manatees point out that Florida knew the septic tanks were leaking harmful pollution, but continued providing permits.

March 13 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – News item reports that March 14 is the deadline to register for the Charlotte Harbor Watershed Summit set for March 25-27. Jay Leverone with SBEP is one of the speakers and Jay’s presentation will focus on Developing Numeric Nutrient Criteria for Southwest Florida Tidal Creeks.

March 12 – Huffington Post – An article by Stephen Calabria reports the findings from a recent Gallup survey regarding current priorities of American adults. Climate change ranks almost dead last on a list of 15 national priorities, slightly ahead of race relations. Only 24 percent of the 513 respondents said that they worry about climate change a great deal, while 26 percent said they worry about it a fair amount of the time. Another 56 percent said they only worry about climate change a little or not at all. The top three issues included the economy, federal spending and the budget deficit and the availability and affordability of healthcare. Worry about the environment was higher in 2007 according to Gallup.

March 12 – Manatee County Water Atlas – News item reports that Jim Griffin with the Water Atlas Program is offering a special course titled Florida’s Water Resources: Springs, Streams, Lakes and Bays.

March 11 – ABC 7 News – Local television station has a report on its website about Neal Preserve, the newest addition to the Manatee County park system. The posting references SBEP as one of the grant sources for the development of the 120-acre preserve along with the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

March 11 – Orlando Sentinel – An article by Kevin Spear points out that the state water board membership does not resemble Florida’s population in terms of diversity. Florida’s five water-management districts have few women, blacks, Hispanics or people who describe themselves as environmentalists. A common perception about the current water districts is they are dominated by men whose livelihoods are tied to water regulations.

March 11 – Bradenton Herald – An article indicates that Neal Preserve has opened in Manatee County. The 120-acre preserve is on the south side of Manatee Avenue east of the Anna Maria Bridge.

March 10 – The Bradenton Times – An article reports that the findings from the SBEP-funded Economic Valuation Study of Sarasota Bay will be released this summer.

March 10 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news items reports that Brevard County is the latest Florida County to enact a summer fertilizer ban. The ban will run from June 1 to September 30.

March 9 – The Gainesville Sun – An editorial says that Florida government water managers are making a mistake by using its groundwater as if it was a limitless resource. It points out that the issuance of endless permits by state regulators to pump groundwater has led to falling levels in the Floridian Aquifer. Florida is beginning to address the problem, but the deadline for establishing stricter standards is the end of 2019.

March 9 – The Florida Alligator – Independent newspaper features an editorial by Wayne Daltry with Riverwatch opposing current efforts by the Florida legislature to seize control of Lake Okeechobee. Florida is attempting to eliminate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and giving total water management control to the South Florida Water Management District. The editorial asserts that the proposal overlooks the history of the lake in regard to the Clean Water Act.

March 8 – The Bradenton Times – An article about Sean Russell and Lee Fox receiving SBEP Blue Dolphin Awards.

March 7 – Florida DEP – Media release from the state agency announces National Groundwater Awareness Week. The media release presents 11 tips for protecting Florida groundwater.

March 7 – The Florida Current – An article by Bruce Ritchie points reviews the contradiction with the Florida legislature fighting home rule after passing a 2011 law encouraging local management of growth decisions. Republican legislators are trying to repeal some of the local policies to support select business interests. Commissioners around the state are fighting back to assert what is commonly referred to as “home rule” in making growth management decisions.

March 7 – The Bradenton Times – An article about the SBEP Bay Guardians completing three volunteer projects at Arlington Park, Jiggs Landing and Bowlees Creek Island.

March 7 – Huffington Post – An article by Kate Sheppard reports on a new government study warning of cascading system failures caused by climate change. The National Climate Assessment Report compiled by 13 government agencies will be released in April. The collaborative reports predict that climate-fueled storms, flooding and droughts could cause multiple system failures unless changes are made to minimize the effects. Vulnerable systems include communication lines, power for sewage treatment and damage to bridges of major highways.

March 7 – The National Law Review – An article by Kerri Barsh reports about efforts by several environmental groups appealing the federal court order allowing Florida to adopt nutrient standards for its waters. Florida has established new nutrient limits but the standards are not numeric for all waterways.

March 7 – Broward Palm Beach New Times – An article by the blogger known as Fire Ant reports that an EPA hearing will be held in Naples next week to obtain public input on a request by a Texas oil company to drill a wastewater disposal well deep into the Big Cypress watershed. Florida DEP already provided preliminary approval although the oil will still faces legal challenges.

March 6 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the Gulf Coast Heritage Art Exhibit which is on display at the Federal Building in Sarasota throughout March. The free exhibit is presented by SBEP and Sarasota Bay Watch.

March 6 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the Gulf Coast Heritage Art Exhibit which is on display at the Federal Building in Sarasota throughout March. The free exhibit is presented by SBEP and Sarasota Bay Watch.

March 6 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy sheds insights about concerns some residents feel about current efforts in Manatee County to change the land development code. Critics claim the changes are mostly about supporting developers with no value to the public.

March 6 – WTXL TV – Television website provides some of the views from the Tiger Bay Club’s round table discussion about plans to dredge Big Pass and place nearly 1.1 million cubic yards of sand onto Lido’s shoreline. Supporters claim the project is essential while opponents say the efforts could harm Siesta Key.

March 6 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Eric Ernst reports that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not participate in today’s Tiger Bay Club debate concerning the potential dredging of Big Sarasota Pass. TigerBay has invited the Sarasota city engineer Alex DavisShaw to support the project. Rob Patten and Jono Miller will present arguments against the dredging.

March 6 – Miami Herald – Editorial recommends that Florida should challenge Interior Department’s oil and gas exploration plan. The newspaper predicts that the effort is a prelude to new drilling in the Atlantic. The seismic testing using blasts of compressed air create intense noise that can kill marine life such as whales and dolphins. The editorial also opposes the pollution threat to water quality with its potential adverse impact on tourism.

March 6 – The Florida Current – An article by Bruce Ritchie reports that environmental groups in Florida filed a notice in federal court that they are appealing a federal judge’s order in January siding with Florida and the U.S. EPA on their agreement in 2013 allowing the state to set pollution standards in waterways. David Guest with Earthjustice said the groups are challenging Florida’s “polluter-friendly” rules.

March 6 – TCPalm – Media website presents an article by Christin Erazo about the cities of Edgewater and New Smyrna Beach joining other cities and counties to make helping the ailing Indian River Lagoon estuary a top priority. A group of area government organizations are planning to ask the Florida legislature for $100 million for projects to improve water quality.

March 6 – Huffington Post – An article by Kate Sheppard reports that Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, has said that climate change is the worst problem facing the world today. He also criticized Charles and David Koch, conservative billionaires who have made much of their money off oil, gas and chemicals, for trying to “buy America” through campaign donations.

March 5 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An editorial acknowledges that the decision by the Florida DEP to stop the sale of conservation lands was correct. The legislature had proposed the sale last year as a means of raising $50 million to finance new purchases of environmentally sensitive lands. Instead of selling conservation lands, the DEP now plans to fund Florida Forever through the sale of other less-sensitive state-owned properties such as unused hospitals and prisons. Environmentalists opposed the DEP plan rolled out last year.

March 5 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article reports that the water atlas pages for the three Gulf Coast National Estuary Programs have a new page showing tidal stream assessments from 16 tidal streams along the west coast of Florida from north Tampa Bay to the southern part of Charlotte Harbor. The tidal creek study is being led by SBEP, Tampa Bay Estuary Program and Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program with funding from the U.S. EPA.

March 5 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy reports that the Manatee County Commission and its advisory board are meeting to consider changes in the County Land Development Code. Environmental issues will be reviewed during a future phase according to officials.

March 5 – Huffington Post – An article reports that sea level rise may eventually encroach on over 100 World Heritage Sites including Venice in Italy, the Sydney Opera House, and Japan’s Hiroshima Peace Memorial. The projections are long term (2,000 years) and presume sea levels rising as much as six feet due to global warming.

March 5 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article reports that the water atlas pages for the three Gulf Coast National Estuary Programs have a new page showing tidal stream assessments from 16 tidal streams along the west coast of Florida from north Tampa Bay to the southern part of Charlotte Harbor. The tidal creek study is being led by SBEP, Tampa Bay Estuary Program and Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program with funding from the U.S. EPA.

March 5 – Tampa Bay Times – An article reports that the Florida DEP has joined a multi-state federal lawsuit currently pending in Louisiana involving the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The case Florida filed Wednesday is separate from the suit filed last year which deals with economic losses Florida suffered as a result of the 2010 oil spill. The latest filing seeks to hold the defendants accountable for injuries to the environment the state suffered as a result of the spill.

March 5 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article reports that the water atlas pages for the three Gulf Coast National Estuary Programs have a new page showing tidal stream assessments from 16 tidal streams along the west coast of Florida from north Tampa Bay to the southern part of Charlotte Harbor. The tidal creek study is being led by SBEP, Tampa Bay Estuary Program and Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program with funding from the U.S. EPA.

March 5 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the recent SBEP Bay Guardian volunteer clean up event at Bowlees Creek Island. More than 40 volunteers participated including students from King Middle School of Bradenton and Sarasota High School.

March 5 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the recent SBEP Bay Guardian volunteer clean up event at Bowlees Creek Island. More than 40 volunteers participated including students from King Middle School of Bradenton and Sarasota High School.

March 5 – Discover – Science magazine features an article by Breanna Draxler reporting that research has revealed that baby loggerhead turtles hatching on Florida beaches spend 4-8 years near the Canary Islands. The turtles use the Gulf Stream and other currents to cross the Atlantic. The Sargasso Sea offers turtles warmer waters than the open ocean surface.

March 4 – The Florida Current – An article by Bruce Ritchie reports that the bill filed by Rep. Patronis passed its first committee Tuesday despite opposition from environmentalists, cities and counties. HB 703 deals with an array of environmental regulatory issues. It extends the “right to farm” provisions in state law to prohibit enforcement of local springs and wetlands regulations. The bill is supported by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Farm Bureau Federation and the National Waste and Recycling Association. A wide range of environmental groups oppose the bill.

March 4 – Huffington Post – An article by Reuters reports that a U.S. Appeals Court has rejected the BP request to delay payments for the 2010 Gulf Spill disaster. The decision is a setback for BP’s effort to limit payments under a multi-billion dollar settlement over the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and the ensuing rupture of BP’s Macondo oil well.

March 4 – The Bradenton Times – An article by Dennis Maley reports that Mosaic, a billion-dollar phosphate company, continues to benefit from Manatee County support even with the unexpected decision by the company to quit working with Port Manatee. The decision to abandon the facility cost the port around 750K while leading to furloughs for its 54 full-time employees. The author details how the Manatee County Commission continues to support Mosaic with approval of its requests for permitting.

March 4 – Lakewood Ranch Herald Tribune – An article reports that the Henley neighborhood along the Braden River in University Park is working with the Manatee County Extension Service to certify 32 homes as Florida-Friendly yards. The neighborhood features considerable preserve with pine and oak hammock habitat.

March 4 – Scientific American – An article by Jason Goldman reports that researchers are indicating that the oil pollution from the BP oil spill disaster in 2010 is causing Bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico to become sick. The physical maladies include lung disease, adrenal problems, low blood sugar levels, loss of body mass, and the loss of teeth. The research was conducted in August 2011 as part of the post-spill natural resource damage assessment. The area targeted for study was Barataria Bay and researchers used Sarasota Bay as a base line for comparing data since Sarasota Bay has not been impacted by the disaster.

March 4 – The Bradenton Times – An article by Joe McClash criticizes County Administrator Ed Hunzeker and other county staff and some of the commissioners for disregarding environmental protection. McClash details a series of exceptions made for local developers in connection with Long Bar Pointe. He asserts that the big developers control commissioners through campaign donations. McClash credits Commissioner Gallen for being the only current commissioner following the codes governing environmental protection.

March 3 – Huffington Post – An article acknowledges World Wildlife Day to honor the flora and fauna of planet Earth.

March 3 – The Observer – A news item about SBEP Bay Partner Grants being due today.

March 3 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An editorial criticizes Governor Scott and the Republican dominated legislators for recklessly streamlining growth planning and permitting processes. The summary includes opposition to House Bill 703 being advanced by state Representative Jimmy Patronis of Panama City. His bill would strip local governments of much of their growth-management powers. The author says the bill is an affront to home rule and community-based growth management, as well as an assault on water-supply protection.

March 3 – Washington Post – An article in the Health and Science section by Jason Goldman reports that researchers say that bottlenose dolphins in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay were suffering a host of maladies in the aftermath of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The article references SarasotaBay as the comparative location for evaluating data. Dolphins have been studied in Sarasota Bay for the past decade which provides researchers with helpful data for comparative analysis.

March 3 – Miami Herald – An article about boaters damaging seagrass off Key Biscayne is a reminder that boaters in Sarasota Bay should be aware of the potential problem when boating in shallow waters. Seagrass provides food and shelter for aquatic life and serves as a buffer against land erosion and storms. A study by University of Miami scientists showed 543 scars from propellers, anchors and hulls across the shallow coastal floor.

March 3 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Craig Pittman reports that Florida DEP is ending their program to review its conservation lands in the hunt for $50 million worth that could sell as surplus. Not a single acre was sole according to the author. A media release from DEP did not reference the cost of the canceled program for taxpayers.

March 2 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor from Bob Higgins of Bradenton says the Manatee River powerboat races could endanger the endangered manatee. He prefers sporting events that do not put manatees at risk such as sailing, kayaking and dragon boat racing.

March 1 – ABC 7 News – Local television featured a report about the SBEP Bay Guardians removing debris and exotic plants from Bowlees Creek Island.

March 1 – Grist – An article by John Upton reports that millions of dolphins and many whales could be hurt by oil industry plans to look for new deposits of oil in the Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast. The industry uses air guns to hunt for underwater oil fields. The air guns blast compressed air which sends intense sound waves to the bottom of the ocean. Thirty-four marine mammal species, which use sound to navigate, could be harmed by the seismic testing.

March 1 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Craig Pittman points out that the wide coalition of groups interested in Florida’s water problems is not sufficient to make water policies an immediate high priority in the state legislature. The speaker designee, Steve Crisafulli from Merritt Island said it’s going to take more than a year to solve the problem. He also opposes plans to invest a large amount of money to recover Indian River Lagoon because it would “take away the opportunity to work on other issues.”

February

February 28 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 81 reports that Keep Sarasota County Beautiful received the Keep America Beautiful President’s Circle Award during their recent national conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was the tenth consecutive year KSCB has been acknowledged with the award.

February 28 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill says the dozen citizens who showed up the Manatee County land use meeting did not get complete answers to their questions. The Commission approved all the requests made by Mosaic, a large phosphate company, who was seeking approval of various permits. Bill Clague, a county attorney, warned the commissioners of a lawsuit if they did not approve the permits.

February 28 – Florida DEP – A media release from DEP indicates the department is shifting its focus to potential sales of non-conservation land as a means to fund Florida Forever purchases in the future. The DEP spent six months reviewing more than 3 million acres of conservation land in order to determine what could be deemed no longer needed for conservation purposes.

February 28 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Craig Pittman reports that a 1,250-pound tar mat washed ashore recently in the surf off Pensacola Beach.

February 28 – Bradenton Herald – An editorial expresses concerns about efforts to dismantle Florida’s growth management laws to accommodate developers and builders. Senate Bill SB 372 proposed by Bradenton Republican Bill Galvano would exempt Manatee, Sarasota and five other counties from state reviews. The editorial encourages smart growth and regional collaboration and not support for SB 372.

February 28 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An editorial urges Sarasota County to revise rules to protect mangroves and wetlands on Manasota Key. The call for action follows a recent rogue effort by a resident to destroy mangroves on a undeveloped piece of land.

Febraury 28 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 72 reports that the Sarasota County Parks and Recreation Department will offer a four-week series of free educational seminars about county beaches and habitats beginning next month. The sessions will be held at Siesta Public Beach on Siesta Key.

February 28 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy reports that the Manatee County Commission approved operating permits for three phosphate mines in East Manatee. The mines are operated by Mosaic Fertilizer. The three tracts cover more than 16,000 acres. Local environmentalists expressed opposition to the decision.

February 28 – Huffington Post – An article by Kathleen Miles presents a comparative chart showing how nations around the world rank in pollution in response to climate change. The U.S. is the second-worst polluter in the world, after China, and its only climate change law is more than 50 years old. Meanwhile, 60 of the 66 other top-polluting nations have passed flagship climate change laws since 2000. The U.S. has never introduced a comprehensive climate change law.

February 27 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Josh Salman reports that land owners are planning a major effort to develop rural West Bradenton with up to 8,600 residences and nearly 4 million square feet of commercial space. No formal plans have been filed, but county planners have been meeting with the owners of the land. The developer points to the ongoing development in Lakewood Ranch as a model. Permitting could take several years and the project could be ongoing for the next couple decades.

February 27 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill reports that Mosaic Phosphate Company will be seeking to renew expiring permits and continued permission to mine acreage and mitigate the loss of wetlands. The company will make their requests today to the Manatee Board of County Commissioners.

February 27 – Huffington Post – An article by Seth Borenstein presents the findings from a joint study by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society in the United Kingdom. The groups warn that man-made global warming is worsening and will disrupt both the natural world and human society. The President of the Royal Society warns that humans have changed the chemical composition of the atmosphere and are ignoring the consequences at our peril.

February 27 – First Coast News – An article reports that the federal government has approved $6.3 million in disaster assistance funding for the Apalachicola Bay and Florida’s oyster industry. Last year, federal officials declared a fishery disaster for the oyster industry in the GulfCoast.

February 27 – Huffington Post – An article by Dominique Mosbergen reports that 42,000 threatened sea turtles are killed around the world each year since the hunting of sea turtles is allowed in 42 countries or territories including Australia, Japan and Mexico. All seven species of marine turtles are considered threatened in the wild.

February 26 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy reports that the Manatee County Board of Commisioners approved the Long Bar Point plan to build 200 homes. The vote was 6-1 with the only opposition coming from Commissioner Michael Gallen. Seventeen residents spoke against the project.

February 26 – ABC 7 News – A news report by Todd Dunn indicates that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are actively trapping the Argentine black and white tegus, an invasive lizard that can grow up to four-feet long. Experts are concerned that the tegus are a threat to various species of wildlife including mammals, birds, reptiles, and even small gopher tortoises.

February 26 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Eric Ernest reports that a Manasota Key resident in Englewood destroyed mangroves and filled wetlands in violation of Florida’s strict rules regarding environmental protection. SarasotaCounty issued a stop order and served notices of ordinance violations.

February 26 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill reports the decision by the Manatee County Commmission to approve the first 200 dwellings for Long Bar Pointe even though the majority of citizens predicted the local environment and wildlife would be harmed. Michael Gallen was the only commissioner to vote against the request on the 6-1 vote.

February 26 – Huffington Post – An article reports that 10 million scallops have died in British Columbia as a result of climate change resulting in more acidic water than prior levels.

February 26 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Craig Pittman reports that a new study from USF scientists claims that dissolved oil from the BP Oil Spill Disaster in 2010 wafted underwater all the way to Florida’s Sanibel Island resulting in sick fish. USF scientists used computer modeling to plot the path of the oil and checked the livers of diseased fish for signs of hydrocarbons with a similar chemical signature to the dispersed oil. A BP spokesperson dismissed the study as not matching the real-life findings of BP and government scientists.

February 26 – Audubon Florida – A media release lists the top Florida legislative priorities for Audubon in 2014. They include issues related to the Greater Everglades Ecosystem and Florida’s springs and land conservation.

February 25 – Florida DEP – Media release from state department presents the 2013 Plant Operations Excellence Awards. Local winners include the Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility located in SarasotaCounty. The Bee Ridge plant treats wastewater with the use of chlorine.

February 25 – ABC 7 News – Local Sarasota station reports that the Manatee County Commission voted to approve development plans at Long Bar Pointe. Opposition from more than a dozen residents did not persuade the commissioners to disapprove the project.

February 25 – Huffington Post – An article by Nick Visser reports that the oil and gas industry is one step closer toward drilling off the East Coast of the U.S. after a decades-long moratorium. Offshore oil deposits are reported to be located from the coast of Delaware to Central Florida. Seismic airguns use massive blasts of compressed air to map underground deposits of hydrocarbons. Environmentalists warn of adverse impacts on wildlife including dolphins and the North Atlantic right whale.

February 25 – News Herald – Newspaper in Northern Florida reports about the comments by the Republican Speaker of the Florida House saying no major changes to Florida’s water policies is likely to come out of the legislative session that begins March 4. Cris Costello, a regional organizer with the Sierra Club and volunteer member of the SBEP Citizens Advisory Committee says legislators prefer to stay in status quo mode unless the public demands action. She said that the current budget proposals by Governor Scott are a political ploy in an election season to create the appearance he’s doing something.

February 25 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor from Linda DeGraw of Sarasota points out that the land near the new Woodbrook II subdivision (Neal Homes) in Manatee County floods so bad that owners in the area are unable to reach their homes.

February 25 – Climate Crocks – Blog by Cartoonist Peter Sinclair presents several videos about the impact of climate change and rising sea levels in the Miami area.

February 24 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill reports on a recent public demonstration against the Long Bar Pointe development adjacent to Sarasota Bay. Opponents are demanding that the developer abide by the rules and regulations of the Land Development Code by presenting a Master Plan for the whole parcel, not piece by piece. They also demand that the developer protect wetlands and ensure pollution does not enter Sarasota Bay.

February 23 – The Bradenton Times – An editorial by Dennis Maley pokes fun at the idea that developers are somehow beleaguered and need more support from government. His comments focus on Florida Senate Bill 372 which would rid them of the “pesky oversight mechanisms” at the state level. The author also criticizes current efforts to rewrite the Manatee County Land Development Code. The bill originator (Bill Galvano of Bradenton) argues that ManateeCounty staff can complete the approval process without state oversight.

February 23 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor by William Moore of Bradenton argues that it is wrong for Florida’s governor and attorney general to meddle in the clean-up plan for Chesapeake Bay. The duo opposes efforts to clean the bay because of concerns that it could lead to higher standards enforced by the EPA.

February 23 – Naples News Press – Editorial emphasizes that water should be a high priority in Florida. It cites the lack of water flow, due to drought and human use, and nutrient pollution from agricultural and urban fertilizer and human waste as the major issues. The editorial calls for immediate action by the Florida legislature.

February 23 – Miami Herald – An editorial by David Guest with Earth Justice focuses on the decline of the state’s fresh water springs. He asserts that the pollution of the springs is preventable and reversible as long as Florida has the political will. He also urges that government hold polluters accountable instead of giving them a free pass with the public picking up the cost for fixing various problems. He says lobbyists representing the polluters have drafted the state’s rules on sewage and manure and fertilizer pollution.

February 22 – Miami Herald – An article by William Gibson reports that an intense search for oil at the western edge of the Everglades is raising homes and fears of an emerging oil boom. Energy companies are preparing to explore vast deposits that lie beneath the protected land. The prospect of oil could boost jobs and energy supplies, but it could also threaten wildlife and pose a hazard to drinking water in underground aquifers. Low-volume drilling has taken place in the Everglades since 1943 without a major spill or extensive damage.

February 21 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Elizabeth Parker about the efforts of Tom Ries and the nonprofit Ecosphere Restoration Institute to restore Ulele Spring in Tampa. Ries cobbled together $676K to restore Ulele with support from SWFWMD, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, NOAA, and the city of Tampa.

February 21 – Gainsville Sun – An article by Cindy Swirko reports on a recent discussion at the University of Florida sponsored by the Public Environmental Conference. The discussion focused on how various industries and other users compete for the use of water.

February 21 – Sarasota News Leader – A news report on page 81 regarding the SBEP Bay Wise Kayak Tour Program that runs each year from December through April.

February 21 – DEP News – Florida DEP media release announces plans for six meetings around the state seeking input on water restoration work plans set for the next two years. Workshops are scheduled for Live Oak, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Pensacola, Orlando, and Bartow.

February 21 – Rain Garden Network – Website presents 14 benefits of a rain garden.

February 21 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article reports that Manatee County will host a workshop each day from March 4 through March 7 to collect public comments regarding proposed changes to the county land development code. Supporters of the effort to change the code say the effort will help reorganize and clean up inconsistencies. Critics argue the changes are mostly designed to support local developers while weakening current protections.

February 20 – Huffington Post – An article presents a Slovakian artist’s interpretation of a future world map with changing coastlines as a result of significant sea level rise. The map shows that Florida no longer exists and that the eastern seaboard of the U.S. has been pushed back more than 100 miles. Denmark and the Netherlands are completely underwater. Global sea levels have risen about eight inches since 1880, and scientists predict they could rise another two to seven feet by 2100.

February 19 – The Bradenton Times – An article indicates that Tampa Bay Estuary Program is working with Southwest Florida Water Management District, The Mosaic Company Foundation, and TECO Energy to offer more than $600,000 this year for restoration, research and education projects in the Tampa Bay watershed. The grant program is being managed jointly by TBEP and Restore America’s Estuaries.

February 19 – Bradenton Herald – An editorial details the complaints by one of the developers of Long Bar Pointe that Manatee County exhibited favoritism in booting his bay front property out of the new Urban Service Area. He claims the adjacent land owners, IMGAcademy and Manatee Fruit Farms, received preferential treatment. Inclusion in an Urban Service Area is important because large-scale developments would be exempt from certain state review.

February 19 – Tallahassee Democrat – An article by Jennifer Portman about the recent We Want Clean Water Rally that attracted 200 water advocates from throughout Florida. The rally is part of the grassroots Clean Water Declaration campaign launched last year after toxic algae blooms ravaged Indian River Lagoon.

February 19 – The Florida Current – An article by Bruce Ritchie reports that a bill that would exempt more counties from state review of larger developments passed its second committee stop despite new opposition from the Florida Association of Counties. SB 372 would increase from 8 to 15 the number of counties exempt from review by state agencies for designated “developments of regional impact” or DRIs. The Bradenton Herald says the bill could affect the proposed Long Bar Pointe development in ManateeCounty. Bill supporters say the DRI process is long and expensive for developers.

February 19 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Michael Van Sickler details how current Florida legislators are eliminating state oversight of major projects to make it easier for developers to build new projects. A current bill sponsored by Bill Galvano of Bradenton exempts large projects from being reviewed by state officials. The bill would eliminate Urban Service Areas.

February 19 – Florida Democrat – An article by Jim Waymer reports that an advisory board to the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program wants the Florida DEP and state legislators to speed up the process of limiting nitrogen and phosphorus harming the water system. In excess, the two nutrients can trigger too much algae that clouds out seagrass and can be toxic to fish and other aquatic life.

February 18 – The Anna Maria Islander – An article by Mark Young provides an update about plans to dredge a channel along the Sarasota Bay coastline of Bradenton Beach. The project is being funded by the West Coast Inland Navigation District. The project will require seagrass mitigation and Bradenton Beach is considering a joint effort with Manatee County.

February 18 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program is seeking submissions for its 2015 wildlife calendar. The images should reflect the environment within Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, Manatee, Polk or Sarasota counties. The deadline for submissions is July 15 and there is no entry fee.

February 18 – The Florida Current – An article by Bruce Ritchie reports that a water rally in Tallahassee attracted 200 people from throughout Florida. Organizers are collecting signatures for a “clean water declaration” to send a message to state leaders.

February 18 – Tampa Bay Times – The newspaper ran the remarks by nature photographer John Moran who attended a recent clean water rally in Tallahassee. He said that the mightiest river in Florida is the river of denial that courses through the hearts and minds of legislators. He laments that powerful polluters think nothing of using public waters as their private sewers. He calls for a new era of environmental patriotism in Florida.

February 18 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the upcoming Bay Guardian volunteer event at Bowlees Creek Island in Manatee County.

February 18 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the upcoming Bay Guardian volunteer event at Bowlees Creek Island in Manatee County.

February 17 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Zac Anderson summarizes some of the key issues impacting on Florida’s environment. Critics claim that Florida under Governor Scott has made it easier for polluters to harm state waterways while asking taxpayers to pick up the cost. Cris Costello with the Sierra Club says Scott and top lawmakers have been “horrible” on environmental protection policy. Controversial decisions include the repeal of statewide growth management rules, rolling back septic tank standards and water district funding cuts.

February 17 – The Florida Current – An article by Bruce Ritchie reports and Audubon Florida is raising concerns about a bill that would require state agencies to study and report on the expansion of the use of reclaimed water. The bill wants to add “stormwater and excess surface water” as part of the definition of reclaimed water. Audubon believes the expanded definition is a move by utility companies to take water that’s needed in nature and use it for landscape irrigation. They explain that surface water is vital to wetlands and helps to recharge the entire system.

February 17 – Ocala Star Banner – Newspaper editorial says Floridians caring about water is not enough to reverse the declining quality and quantity of groundwater and other water resources. A recent survey of 516 Floridians found they ranked water as the third most important issue facing the state behind the economy and health care. Taxes and education were ranked as the fourth and fifth top concerns.

February 16 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Charles Schelle reports that Carlos Beruff, one of the developers of Long Bar Pointe, has accused Manatee County of favoritism in exempting his development from the county’s new Urban Service Area.

February 15 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Jessica De Leon reports that the Lake Manatee Dam is in a severely distressed state because of erosion. ManateeCounty officials warned that parts of the dam could be compromised because of recent rains. Repairing the dam could cost $3 million to $6 million. Replacing the dam completely could cost a minimum of $35 million.

February 15 – The Bradenton Times – An article by Dennis Maley about plans to repair damage around the Lake Manatee dam. Routine testing of the 50-year-old dam revealed areas of concern and a private consultant contracted by the county said erosion from rain could compromise parts of the dam.

February 14 – The Gainesville Sun – A guest editorial by David Guest with Earth Justice focuses on the decline of Florida’s freshwater springs choked with algae and potential health hazards. He argues that pollution in the springs is preventable and reversible. He also argues that Florida politicians need to hold polluters accountable instead of giving them a free pass while taxpayers are stuck with the bill to clean up their mess. The author says Governor Scott and the Legislature have been selling out to polluters like never before. Polluter lobbyists drafted the state’s rules on sewage, manure and fertilizer pollution.

February 14 – The Bradenton Times – An article in Environment Florida reports that Florida ranks third in the nation for Global Warming Pollution according to the Environment Florida Research & Policy Center. Carbon from power plants is the state’s largest source of global warming pollution.

February 14 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the Bay Wise Kayak Tour program offering free trips throughout Sarasota Bay. 

February 14 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the Bay Wise Kayak Tour program offering free trips throughout Sarasota Bay.

February 14 – Sarasota News Leader – Article on page 75 reports that Bay Island Siesta Association has announced opposition to dredging of BigPass as proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the renourishment of Lido Key. The group joins the Siesta Key Association, the Siesta Key Village Association and the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce in expressing opposition.

February 13 – Sun-Sentinel – An article by Andy Reid reports than a key Everglades restoration project will cost nearly $100 million more than anticipated. The Picayune Strand restoration is turning a failed development on the western edge of the Everglades back into native wildlife habitat. According to the South Florida Water Management District, unforeseen expenses are driving the price tag up to about $620 million. Picayune Strand includes 55,000 acres spread between Alligator Alley and Tamiami Trail in CollierCounty.

February 13 – The Times-Picayune – An article reports that crude oil from the BP oil spill in 2010 contains a chemical that interferes with fish heart cells, slowing heart rates, and causing irregular heartbeats that can lead to heart attacks or death. Tuna were chosen for the study conducted by researchers from StanfordUniversity and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration because the oil spill disaster occurred in an area where Atlantic Bluefin tuna were spawning.

February 12 – Orlando Sentinel – An article by Aaron Deslatte reports that House Speaker Will Weatherford said there won’t be any big water policies adopted this year, punting the potentially tough political confrontations with polluters until two Central Florida lawmakers are running the Legislature next year. This means legislators will contemplate this spring spending dollars for cleanup, but not the larger problems of pollution from farms, front lawns, waste water treatment plants and septic tanks fouling the state’s rivers, springs and lakes.

February 12 – EcoNews – An article by Alexis Baldera in Ocean Conservancy profiles Dr. Paul Montagna of TexasA&MUniversity in Corpus Christi. Montagna is studying the deep sea impacts of the BP Gulf Oil Spill disaster. His findings include a 30 percent reduction in species diversity in an area about nine square miles around the blowout site.

February 12 – Sierra Club Florida News – Sierra reports that the EPA will be holding a hearing to consider Collier Oil Drilling in Naples on March 11. The proposed exploratory well site is on five acres of agricultural land located with 1,000 feet of residences and one mile from the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Sierra opposed oil drilling in Florida.

February 12 – SWFWMD Matters – Blog author Emilio (Sonny) Vergara criticizes Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi for filing a brief in support of opposition to a plan to clean up Chesapeake Bay and improve its water quality. The bay is located in Maryland and Virginia with more than 150 rivers and streams.

February 12 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Susan Rife about the Cortez Fishing Village being profiled in a WEDU documentary Diamonds Along the Highway airing tonight.

February 12 – Market Watch – A media release announces that Scotts Miracle-Gro is making a multi-year commitment of $5 million to enhance water quality with consumer education and funding of scientific research.

February 11 – Water Online – An article by Sara Jerome reports that nutrient rich water has become a defining topic in the Florida gubernatorial race between Governor Rick Scott and former Governor Charlie Crist. Crist blames Scott for the pollution problems in rivers near Lake Okeechobee. Scott blames the Obama Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

February 11 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the SBEP Bay Guardian volunteer outing at Jiggs Landing on Saturday, February 8, where 61 volunteers planted almost 6,000 native plants.

February 11 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the SBEP Bay Guardian volunteer outing at Jiggs Landing on Saturday, February 8, where 61 volunteers planted almost 6,000 native plants.

February 10 – The Observer – A news posting about SBEP accepting applications for SBEP Bay Partner Grants.

February 10 – Tampa Bay Times – An editorial by Daniel Ruth argues that the Legislature allows cash, concrete and political conniving to trump common sense concerning the protection of Florida’s 1,000 freshwater springs. Water flow rates in many springs are reported to be declining and many are endangered with saltwater infiltration and nitrate pollution that fuels toxic algae blooms.

February 10 – Water Matters – Media release from the Southwest Florida Water Management District reports that dozens of state leaders joined the District last week in kicking off the Rock Ponds Ecosystem Restoration Project in Ruskin just north of Manatee County. The project will feature more than 1,000 acres of restored uplands and wetlands when completed in two years.

February 10 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A media release announces that Keep Sarasota County Beautiful is seeking volunteers for the 2014 Great American Cleanup set for Saturday, March 22 throughout Sarasota County.

February 9 – Bradenton Herald – The letter of the month for January is from Jaime Canfield of Bradenton who uses the SBEP decision not to contribute to the public debate about Long Bar Pointe as an example of corporations having too much influence. The author says SBEP remained silent out of fear of losing funding. The letter originally appeared on January 18.

February 9 – The News Press – Palm Beach newspaper features a warning by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that manatees are on the move with local cold fronts and warming trends. The FWC reminds boaters in Florida waters to be on the lookout for the slow-moving endangered marine mammal.

February 7 – Sarasota News Leader – Article on page 50 says the City of Sarasota will reach a milestone of not discharging waste water into Sarasota Bay in less than a year.

February 7 – Sarasota News Leader – Article on page 59 by Rachel Brown Hackney reports that the Siesta Key Village Association has joined the Siesta Key Association and the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce to oppose any dredging of the ebb shoal of Big Bass or the waterway to supply sand for the proposed $22 million re-nourishment plan for Lido Beach.

February 7 – Huffington Post – An article by Robin Wilkey reports that a new bill introduced by House Republicans would limit the ability of the EPA to recommend or implement policies. The bill, dubbed the Secret Science Reform Act, would force the EPA to publicly release its research on a topic before issuing a policy recommendation, and requires that the research be reproducible. Critics of the bill argue that it attacks the mainstays of scientific investigation.

February 7 – Sarasota News Leader – A news item on page 121 about the plan for the Historical Society of Sarasota County hosting a Cruise and Tour of Sarasota Bay on Sunday, March 9. Tickets are $40 per person.

February 6 – The Baltimore Sun – An editorial discusses the challenges of cleaning up Chesapeake Bay in the face of attorney generals from 21 states including Florida joining a lawsuit by the American Farm Bureau Federation seeking to toss out the high standards set for minimizing pollution. The Federation represents farmers against pollution controls. Apparently, some fear that the EPA will use the successful Chesapeake Bay program as a model for cleaning up other badly polluted water bodies around the U.S.

February 6 – Bradenton Patch – Article promoting the upcoming Bay Guardian volunteer event at Jiggs Landing in Sarasota on Saturday, February 8.

February 6 – Sarasota Patch – Article promoting the upcoming Bay Guardian volunteer event at Jiggs Landing in Sarasota on Saturday, February 8.

February 6 – Palm Beach Post – An article by Jeff Ostrowski reports that Florida continues to lag the nation in many measures of scientific prowess according to a study by the National Science Foundation. Hoping to reverse its low-tech reputation, state and local officials have paid more than $1.5 billion to nonprofit medical research institutes.

February 5 – Bradenton Patch – Article promoting the Bay Partner Grant program. Applications for the 2014 grants are due by 4pm on Monday, March 3.

February 5 – Sarasota Patch – Article promoting the Bay Partner Grant program. Applications for the 2014 grants are due by 4pm on Monday, March 3.

February 5 – The Current – Information website reports that 24 groups have signed a letter objecting to draft legislation providing funding for water quality improvement in Florida springs. The draft bill would require homes near springs with excess nitrogen to connect to a central sewer system or use advanced septic tanks. The groups opposing the draft legislation assert that residents of rural areas will bear the costs on their utility bills or pay for septic tank improvements.

February 4 – The Bradenton Times – Article indicates a public hearing will be held Thursday on the Long Bar Pointe development during which time the Manatee County Commission will vote on a preliminary site plan for a portion of the property. About half of the project lines in a Coastal Evacuation Area and County staff claims that no wetlands will be impacted by the proposed development.

February 4 – Tallahassee Democrat – Newspaper article by Jennifer Portman reports that the state of Florida sided with the American Farm Bureau and other pro-agricultural and development groups trying to block a plan to restore water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake Bay Foundation President Will Baker blasted Florida and other distant states for opposing bay restoration efforts.

February 4 – Manatee County Water Atlas – News report about Manatee County accepting public comments during the first week of March during a series of workshops before the County Commission as part of the ongoing process to change the county Land Development Code.

February 4 – Florida DEP – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) posted a list of basic best management practices for eco-tourism operators on its website. The list includes 19 categories.

February 4 – Sierra Club Florida News – Recent study by the Sierra Club reports that Americans support implementing strong standards for carbon pollution from power points.

February 3 – The Bradenton Times – An article about Manatee County accepting public comments as part of the ongoing process to make changes to the County Land Development Code.

February 3 – Tallahassee Democrat – An article by Dan Pennington with 1000 Friends of Florida discusses the problem with too much nitrate (fertilizer) in the water causing pollution issues with Florida springs. He argues that the Legislature needs to be serious in providing septic system regulation and he proposes the use of a Responsible Management Entity (RME) to help coordinate with the Florida DEP and county health departments.

February 3 – The Tampa Tribune – Article by Yvette Hammett about the largest restoration effort along Tampa Bay beginning near Ruskin. Over the next two years, more than 1,000 acres of former farmland along the shoreline will be transformed into a lagoon and freshwater wetlands flanked by oak and pine trees. The entire property is 2,500 acres.

February 1 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Lloyd Dunkelberger makes a case about how Florida’s environment is shaping up to be one of the defining issues in the anticipated showdown between Governor Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, the leading Democratic challenger.

February 1 – Sanibel-Captiva Islander – Article by Larry Schopp reports that nearly one million Florida voters signed petitions giving state residents the right to vote on a state constitutional amendment that will ensure a stable funding source for important water and land conservation initiatives throughout Florida.

January

January 31 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 99 provides an update on the Beach Road Drainage Project on Siesta Key. The project is designed to retain stormwater following heavy rains.

January 31 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 72 about SBEP awarding Blue Dolphin Awards to Sean Russell and Lee Fox at a reception hosted by the SBEP Citizens Advisory Committee. The Blue Dolphin Awards acknowledge local champions of SarasotaBay.

January 31 – Sarasota News Leader – A news item about the SBEP Bay Guardians completing a volunteer project at Arlington Park in Sarasota on January 25. A group of 53 Bay Guardians removed 1,227 pounds of the invasive air potato vine and seeds during the morning outing.

January 31 – Bradenton Herald – An article reports that the Florida Native Plant Society and the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program will hold their annual Spring Native Plant Festival and Sale on April 5 at Sweetbay Nursery in Parrish. The sale is from 9am to 3pm.

January 30 – The Bradenton Times – An editorial by Dennis Maley reports that scientists and agricultural researchers are beginning to worry about “peak phosphorus” and the idea that we will not be able to mine enough of this non-renewable resource to meet global food demand. Phosphorus is part of the holy trinity of modern industrial agriculture along with nitrogen and potassium.

January 30 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article reports that the EPA has awarded $9M in grants to four research institutions for water quality improvement research. The University of South Florida was one of the recipients. USF is doing research to support TampaBay and similar coastal areas as they face problems of aging wastewater collection and treatment systems.

January 30 – Audubon Florida – Media release reports the findings from the annual wading bird report from the South Florida Water Management District. The report indicates progress for ongoing nesting efforts across the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. The 2013 nesting season is estimated to be 57 percent higher than the average for 2010-2012. The White Ibis, Woods Storks and Great Egrets had the largest increases in nesting success according to the report.

January 29 – The Bradenton Times – A guest editorial by Joe McClash asserts that the proposed changes to the Manatee County Land Development Code obliterates the code protections. He says the changes would remove rules on maximum density as well as the height limits for future buildings. He recommends that the changes be scraped.

January 29 – Huffington Post – An article by Sarah Barness explores the so called mystery surrounding the high mortality of manatees in Florida. There were 829 known deaths in 2013 which is the highest annual death toll for manatees ever recorded. It is known that 276 manatees were killed in southwestern Florida by a red tide toxic algae bloom.

January 29 – The Florida Current – Newspaper focused on politics features an article by Bruce Ritchie about former Florida Governor Charlie Crist blaming current Governor Rick Scott for not stopping discharges of nutrient rich waters from Lake Okeechobee last summer. He claims the decision was motivated by campaign donations. Nan Rich of Weston, who is running against Crist for the Democratic nomination, said no attention is being paid in Florida to sea level rise, which she called a devastating issue. The comments by Crist and Rich were made at the recent Associated Press Legislative Planning Session in Tallahassee.

January 28 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the SBEP Bay Guardians completing a volunteer project at Arlington Park located in Sarasota. The outing engaged 53 adult and student volunteers and the group removed 1,227 pounds of the invasive air potato vine and seeds.

January 28 – The Times-Picayune – New Orleans newspaper features an article by Ben Alexander-Bloch that reports Gulf Coast residents do not appear to have higher chemical exposure than others across the nation as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The conclusion was presented by the head of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Researchers did find increased rates of depression and anxiety among people who worked in the spill cleanup.

January 28 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about the SBEP Bay Guardians completing a volunteer project at Arlington Park located in Sarasota. The outing engaged 53 adult and student volunteers and the group removed 1,227 pounds of the invasive air potato vine and seeds.

January 28 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the SBEP Bay Guardians completing a volunteer project at Arlington Park located in Sarasota. The outing engaged 53 adult and student volunteers and the group removed 1,227 pounds of the invasive air potato vine and seeds.

January 28 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the recent Bay Guardian volunteer event at Arlington Park in Sarasota.

January 28 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the recent Bay Guardian volunteer event at Arlington Park in Sarasota.

January 27 – The Bradenton Times – An article reports that Michael Gallen and Robin DiSabatino were the only local officials to sign the Clean Water Pledge declaring their support for the protection of clean water. Gallen and DiSabatino serve on the Manatee County Board of Commissioners.

January 27 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Eric Ernst about the plans for developing the Celery Fields as a bird sanctuary. The local Audubon Chapter is building a visitor center at the location, but the primary purpose is to store water and improve the quality of the water that eventually drains through the basin into Roberts Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

January 27 – PNJ.com – Media website for Pensacola reports that three sewers overflowed resulting in 5,000 gallons of sewage spills in Escambia County. According to the report, the spill areas were cleaned and disinfected with biocide per state law.

January 26 – Tallahassee.com – An article by Jennifer Portman reports that Wakulla County commissioners are poised to scrap wetland protections starting next month although opponents expect to have enough signatures to try to overturn the measure at the ballot box next fall. The commissioners plan to vote on February 18 to remove from its comprehensive plan a provision that calls for a 75-foot buffer around wetlands. It’s the first step to get rid of the county’s wetlands protection ordinance which bans all development within 35 feet of wetlands.

January 25 – Ocala Star Banner – An editorial written by Brad Rogers mocks Governor Scott for suddenly deciding to become an advocate of saving and restoring Florida’s ailing springs. The author points out that Scott slashed water management revenues by $495 million since 2011. He has also been a proponent of removing as many restrictions as possible to issuing new water withdrawal permits.

January 24 – Sarasota News Leader – Article on page 38 by Stan Zimmerman updates the efforts to complete the City of Sarasota Lift Station 87 in Luke Wood Park. A recent review shows another $7.5 million will be needed to complete the project if all goes well. The project is expected to millions of dollars over budget for a variety of reasons.

January 24 – Sierra Club Florida News – A news report about 100 organizations in 16 communities expressing support for clean water in Florida. The Commit to Clean Water events were held statewide to bring awareness to the risks of water pollution and the unrestrained over-consumption of water resources. The local effort involved a press conference in downtown Bradenton attended by area environmentalists as well as Manatee County Commissioners Michael Gallen and Robin DiSabatino.

January 23 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the 2013 Blue Dolphin Award winners Lee Fox and Sean Russell. Lee and Sean were honored at the SBEP’s Citizen Advisory Committee holiday party held at Mote Marine on January 21.

January 23 – Polkoutdoors.com – An article by Tom Palmer about the science and politics of sinkholes in Florida.

January 23 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the 2013 Blue Dolphin Award winners Lee Fox and Sean Russell. Lee and Sean were honored at the SBEP’s Citizen Advisory Committee holiday party held at Mote Marine on January 21.

January 23 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about four individuals being profiled as part of the Oral History Project at New College of Florida. The newest entries to the collection of interviews include Sandra Terry, Bob Richardson, Waldo Proffitt, and Betty Daily-Nugent.

January 23 – The Bradenton Times – An article reports that the Town of Longboat Key has settled a permit challenged filed by former Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash and Sierra Club seeking to prevent the construction of a massive, concrete terminal groin at the tip of Greer Island also known as Beer Can Island. Critics have argued that the concrete groins would adversely affect navigation while causing harmful erosion. The settlement will prevent the Town from installing a groin for at least five years.

January 23 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – A news item about a program January 29 featuring Dave Sackett speaking on Reaching the Media and Opinion Leaders on Water Issues. Sackett has been a pollster and consultant for Republican Governors, U.S. Senators and other leaders.

January 22 – University of Miami – A 26 minute video documentary by Kate MacMillin and Juliet Pinto forecasting the impact of rising sea levels on the future of the Miami area. Projections show that sea levels will rise as much as four feet by 2060 resulting in widespread flooding and salt water intrusion.

January 22 – WJHG Panama City – A news report about Governor Scott proposing the state spend five times more than it did last year to protect springs in Florida. Environmentalists are applauding the proposal, but they also criticize the Governor for being lax on polluters.

January 21 – Orlando Sentinel – An article by Aaron Deslatte reports that Governor Scott is seeking $55 million to help with restoration of Florida’s pollution-choked natural springs. State lawmakers and governors have been talking about beefing up protections for Florida springs for the last two decades although little has come of it thus far. Various state senators are drafting legislations for the 2014 session to tackle thorny water-quality problems in Florida’s rapidly declining lakes, natural springs and aquifer.

January 21 – The Ledger – An article by Bill Rufty reports that the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture says Florida needs a statewide water policy to support environmental and business needs. He calls water the biggest long-term issue facing Florida that is tied to tourism, agriculture and construction.

January 20 – Sarasota Patch – An article about the 2014 Bay Partner Grants available to community organizations that create projects or programs that benefit Sarasota Bay.

January 20 – Bradenton Patch – An article about the 2014 Bay Partner Grants available to community organizations that create projects or programs that benefit Sarasota Bay.

January 19 – Science Line – An article from the New York University’s science, health and environmental reporting program provides a good overview about why mangroves are important.

January 16 – SWFWMD – A media release from the Southwest Florida Water Management District reminds residents who irrigate their lawns to skip a week or more of watering during the cooler months of January and February.

January 16 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy about the latest plans for Long Bar Pointe. A proposal for 200 single family homes is slated for review Thursday by the Manatee County Planning Commission. The project would be located in a vacant, flood-prone area, and it would require special approvals to build in low-lying coastal high hazard and coastal evacuation zones.

January 16 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Craig Pittman reports that the backers of a constitutional amendment to set aside billions of dollars in tax money for purchasing environmentally sensitive land have passed the threshold to get the measure on the November 2014 ballot. Supporters of the amendment have obtained 686,000 verified petition signatures from 15 of Florida’s congressional districts.

January 15 – The Guardian – An article by Karen Hoffmann about the high mortality rate for manatees in Florida. Pollution and the destruction of seagrass beds are two of the reasons so many manatees have died the last year according to the article.

January 15 – The Florida Current – An article by Bruce Ritchie reports that the Senate budget subcommittee chair in the Florida legislature says Indian River Lagoon spending should be science based and produce reliable, verifiable and predictable results.

January 14 – The Florida Current – An article by Bruce Ritchie about a bill proceeding in the Florida legislature focused on requiring companies that engage in hydraulic fracturing to disclose the chemicals they use and allowing an exemption from public records for “trade secrets.” Florida DEP would determine whether companies’ claims of trade secrets met the requirements of state law.

January 14 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the King Tide Photo Exhibit traveling to Robinson Preserve in Bradenton.  

January 14 – Manasota County Water Atlas – An article about the King Tide Photo Exhibit being showcased at Robinson Preserve in Manatee County throughout February.

January 14 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the King Tide Photo Exhibit traveling to Robinson Preserve in Bradenton.

January 14 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the King Tide Photo Exhibit being showcased at Robinson Preserve in Manatee County throughout February.

January 14 – The Islander – Article by Mark Young reports plans by the developers of Long Bar Pointe to develop a 61-acre portion of the total 523 acres. They are presenting their latest scheme to the Board of County Commissioners Thursday morning. The development includes 220 single-family home lots.

January 14 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the King Tide Photo Exhibit being showcased at Robinson Preserve in Manatee County throughout February.

January 13 – The Bradenton Times – An article about the sea level rise photo exhibit being on display inside the Valentine House at Robinson Preserve throughout February.

January 13 – The Bradenton Times – An article about SBEP celebrating its Silver Anniversary in 2014. The local Program is one of the 28 National Estuary Programs in the U.S. and one of four in Florida. The article lists the accomplishments of SBEP.

January 12 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Eric Ernst profiles the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida. SBEP is a member of the local organization.

January 12 – Tallahassee Democrat – Newspaper features an article about the benefit of near-record rainfall helping the ailing oyster population in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Basin of Florida. Researchers say the primary reason the oyster population declined in ApalachicolaBay during 2012 was the persistent low-water flows. Oyster harvest landings declined 60 percent over the last year, resulting in a 44 percent drop in revenue.

January 10 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the upcoming Bay Wise Kayak Tour excursions on Sarasota Bay with professional guide Brad Tanner.

January 10 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about the upcoming Bay Wise Kayak Tour excursions on Sarasota Bay with professional guide Brad Tanner.

January 10 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the upcoming Bay Wise Kayak Tour excursions on Sarasota Bay with professional guide Brad Tanner.

January 10 – Pensacola Times – Article about 75 endangered sea turtles being saved by the Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission since Tuesday. The turtles were victims of what officials call a cold stun, a hypothermic state due to the recent frigid temperatures.

January 10 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 69 about the upcoming SBEP Bay Guardian volunteer outing at Arlington Park to remove air potato vines and seeds. It’s the first volunteer project scheduled for 2014.

January 10 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the Bay Wise Kayak Tours schedule and information on how the program was founded.

January 10 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the Bay Wise Kayak Tours schedule and information on how the program was founded.

January 10 – St. Johns River Water Management District – A good summary about the Indian River Lagoon, one of America’s 28 national estuary programs and one of four in Florida. The article includes a summary of the progress and the problems facing the IRL estuary system on the east coast of Florida.

January 9 – The Florida Current – Article by Bruce Ritchie about efforts by Florida legislators making plans to support filing a bill that would provide nearly $380 million a year to remove or improve septic tanks to protect springs and groundwater. Florida has more than 700 springs including 33 first-magnitude springs that discharge more than 64 million gallons daily.

January 9 – The Bradenton Times – A letter to the editor by Holly Clouse raises questions about the logic and ethics of the assumptions that a substantive development of the Long Bar Pointe area is good for the county. She points out concerns for the adverse impact on the local commercial fishing industry, tourism and the health of SarasotaBay. Long Bar Pointe is located in a Coastal High Hazard Zone. She suggests the option of some kind of land swap that would preserve Long Bar Pointe for the entire community.

January 7 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about registration being open for the Charlotte Harbor Watershed Summit set for March 25-27 in Punta Gorda. Sixty presentations are scheduled with a focus on water quality, seagrass monitoring, fisheries, shellfish, and the enhancement of public stewardship.

January 7 – The Florida Current – An article by Bruce Ritchie asserts that U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle has sided with the federal government against environmentalists regarding pollution limits in Florida. The federal judge on Tuesday sided with Florida and the U.S. EPA on their agreement in 2013 allowing Florida to set water quality standards in state waterways. Critics of the plan blame algae blooms throughout Florida on lax enforcement that permit excess sewage, fertilizer and manure to contaminate state water bodies.

January 7 – Florida DEP – A statement from the Florida DEP regarding a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle regarding numeric nutrient criteria in Florida indicates that Judge Hinkle granted the U.S. EPA motion to modify the consent degree to discontinue federal rulemaking and allow the Florida DEP to implement the most comprehensive numeric nutrient criteria in the nation. A release from the Florida DEP claims that Florida is the only state in the U.S. with comprehensive criteria for its rivers, streams, lakes, springs, estuaries, and coastal waters.

January 7 – The Bradenton Times – Article about the Bay Guardian volunteers winning the 2013 Sea Preservation Award from Keep Sarasota County Beautiful.

January 7 – The Bradenton Times – News posting about the winners of the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest that were acknowledged with custom ribbons at the recent Sarasota Bay Water Festival. A dozen local adults and students won ribbons in four age categories.

January 2 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill summarizes public opposition to the Long Bar Pointe development as part of a Best of 2013 series. He characterizes the land use debate as a battle between greed and common sense. Commissioner Larry Bustle is criticized by the author for being impartial and too dismissive of opponents to the large development project.

2013 Media Links

December

December 27 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill regarding a new ordinance making it easier for developers to avoid wetland protection restrictions in Manatee County. Critics argue the ordinance is mostly about accommodating big developers seeking ways to circumvent the Comprehensive Plan. The introduction of the term “non-viable wetland” by county staff is vague and it enables interpretation by staff and elected representatives.

December 26 – Tampa Bay Times – An editorial by Daniel Ruth criticizes the Florida DEP for sending out questionnaires asking respondents in business and government to tabulate the costs associated with 15 regulatory permits designed to protect the environment. The author criticizes the focus on protecting business interests instead of the natural resources of Florida.

December 26 – Business World Weekender – An article reports that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission blames a toxic algae bloom in the Gulf of Mexico for a record number of manatees dying in Florida waters in 2013. The 803 manatee deaths in one year are the most for any single year since record keeping began in 1974. An aerial survey conducted in 2011 claims that 4,834 manatees live in Florida waters.

December 24 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill summarizes public criticism of SBEP for not participating in the public debate in the late summer regarding Long Bar Pointe. Bill Clague, an attorney with Manatee County and the counsel for SBEP, is criticized for censuring SBEP from participating. The author asserts that Clague warned the SBEP director that the Program’s involvement would be adversarial and could result in legal action.

December 24 – Datona Beach News-Journal – A series of articles by Dianh Pulver about the problems within the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem. The various installments focus on the crisis, the wildlife being harmed, the impact on plants, the impact on water quality, and the prospective solutions.

December 24 – The Anna Maria Islander – An article by Mark Young reports that the developers of Long Bar Pointe have withdrawn their comprehensive plan amendment at the present time. No substantive reasons were given for the decision.

December 24 – Miami Herald – Article by Michael Kunzelman reports that a federal judge has rejected BP’s argument that a multibillion-dollar settlement over the company’s massive 2010 Gulf oil spill shouldn’t compensate businesses if they can’t directly trace their losses to the spill.

December 23 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Josh Salman reports that the developers of Long Bar Pointe have withdrawn plans to pursue a map amendment to the Comprehensive Plan. The article quotes one of the developers saying the focus of the development will be on housing and not a hotel.

December 23 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy reports that opponents of the proposed Long Bar Pointe development were celebrating after developers withdrew a proposed Comprehensive Plan map amendment to change some residential zoning to mixed use.

December 23 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy reports that the developers of the Long Bar Pointe project are withdrawing a proposal for a map amendment to the Manatee County Comprehensive Plan. A letter from their attorney indicates that detailed plans for future development will be presented soon. The prior map amendment hearing for January 23 has been cancelled.

December 23 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Michael Pollick reports that fertilizer maker Mosaic has cancelled a million dollar contract with the Manatee Port Authority.

December 23 – WWSB News – The local ABC affiliate has a short article on their website by Max Wintiz regarding a decision by the developers of Long Bar Pointe to focus on building homes instead of a convention center, hotel, shops and offices.

December 23 – WTSP News – An article reports that the legal agent for the developers of Long Bar Pointe has withdrawn the Comprehensive Map Amendment.

December 21 – NPR – An article by Debbie Elliott reports that work crews have collected 4.6 million pounds of oily material from Gulf Coast shorelines in 2013. BP claims to have spent $14 billion in cleanup and response activities, but the article does not indicate if this total includes the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on advertising that promotes BP running daily since the BP disaster in 2010. Most of the cleanup efforts are occurring along 55 miles of shoreline in south Louisiana.

December 21 – The Bradenton Times – An article about the efforts at Mote Marine Laboratory to create a scallop nursery. A team of staff members and volunteers are planning to raise small juvenile scallops to larger sizes. This is expected to increase the survival rate of scallops being released into Sarasota Bay. Many prior releases have failed because the small scallops are quickly eaten by predators such as crabs. The article references SBEP as a project partner.

December 20 – Tampa Bay Times – A video posting by Michael Kruse reports that 803 manatees have died this year in Florida. That’s about 16 percent of the state’s estimated manatee population of 5,000. The total number of deaths is a record according to the report.

December 20 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the upcoming Bay Guardian volunteer event at Arlington Park in Sarasota on January 25.

December 20 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the upcoming Bay Guardian volunteer event at Arlington Park in Sarasota on January 25.

December 20 – Sarasota News Leader – News article on page 59 about SBEP accepting Bay Partner Grant applications for 2014 with a deadline of March 3.

December 20 – Tampa Bay Times – An article and video by Ivan Penn about his experiences at a three-day series of workshops on energy and climate change at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The workshops included multiple reports of how rising sea levels will have a significant impact on Florida including Tampa Bay. Participating scientists report that humans are failing to stop runaway carbon emissions. NOAA projects sea level rise of 1 to 2 feet in Florida by 2050 and 4 to 6 feet by 2100.

December 20 – Florida Today – An article by Jim Waymer reports that two scientists from Florida Tech and one from the University of Florida have been awarded a contract for $865K from the St. Johns River Water Management District to study muck sediment and groundwater in the Indian River Lagoon.

December 20 – Drexel Now – An article reports the findings in a new study that exposes the organizational underpinnings and funding behind the climate change counter movement. The study reports that the largest and most consistent funding sources are well-known conservative foundations including Koch Industries and Exxon Mobil. Many of the funding sources are untraceable and represent as much as 75 percent of the total.

December 18 – Minneapolis Star Tribune – Article by Janet McConnaughey with the Associated Press summarizes a comprehensive study about dolphins in Barataria Bay to determine the extent of the damage caused by the BP Deepwater oil spill disaster in 2010. According to scientists, 14 of the 29 dolphins studied were in guarded, poor or grave condition. The study included comparisons with the dolphin population living in Sarasota Bay.

December 18 – USA Today – An article by Wendy Koch about the problems with rising sea levels through the end of the century. Scientists estimate the accelerated climb could range from 8 inches to more than six feet. The article profiles Virginia’s Tidewater region bound by creeks, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

December 17 – Sarasota Dolphin Research Program – An article by Blair Irvine explains how local researchers evaluate a dolphin’s health. The team uses a Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine the overall condition and a dolphin’s nutritional status.

December 16 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about the Bay Guardian Air Potato Roundup set for January 25 at Arlington Park in Sarasota.

December 16 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the Bay Guardian Air Potato Roundup set for January 25 at Arlington Park in Sarasota.

December 16 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the Bay Guardian Air Potato Roundup set for January 25 at Arlington Park in Sarasota.

December 15 – Florida Today – An article by Dave Berman about Brevard County Commissioners deciding to reconsider their prior vote against strong restrictions on fertilizer use in unincorporated areas of the county. Increased public awareness of the severe problems plaguing the Indian River Lagoon has prompted the Commission to take another look at the problem.

December 15 – Gainesville Sun – A column by Ron Cunningham challenges Florida regulators to make a clean water pledge instead of treating water like dirt. The author references an ongoing series in the newspaper about the slow death of Florida’s unique natural springs. He asserts there are two inconvenient truths: One is over pumping of the Floridian Aquifer is killing the springs, and two, the water that continues to come out is laden with algae-promoting nutrients from agricultural, septic tank and urban stormwater runoff.

December 15 – Bradenton Herald – An editorial by the local newspaper regarding the map amendment on Long Bar Pointe takes the position that Manatee residents should weigh in on the rewrite of the land development code. The land code addresses zoning, site development, the environment, stormwater management, parking, and landscaping among other regulations.

December 15 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Charles Schelle summarizes the public response to another Manatee hearing regarding the development of Long Bar Pointe. Most of the agencies that have reviewed the map amendment have offered no comment or objections, but the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council has raised concerns about the potential adverse effects of the development on SarasotaBay.

December 15 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy about plans for the Southwest Florida Water Management District forming two groups to help address the problem of saltwater intrusion.

December 13 – Ocala Star Banner – Editorial explains that nitrate pollution and over-pumping are slowly destroying the 700 springs in Florida. The nitrate pollution is sometimes 10 times normal levels. Environmentalists have been citing these problems for more than a decade and yet the problems persist. The editorial asserts that current lawmakers in Tallahassee refuse to have serious discussions about saving our springs, let alone taking serious steps.

December 13 – Bloomberg BNA – An article by Amena Saiyid reports that a joint analysis by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows that the benefits of implementing the draft rule asserting Clear Water Act jurisdiction over the nation’s waters and wetlands would range from $300 to $397 million annually, while the costs would be between $133 million and $200 million.

December 13 – Sierra Club Florida News – Media release reports that clean water advocates from throughout Florida have come together to announce the launch of the Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration Campaign. The Declaration has been signed by 50 organizations thus far and organizers hope to attract 100,000 signatures of a petition in support of the campaign goals.

December 13 – Upworthy – Excellent four minute video explains how humans have treated Earth over the past 100 years and what the next 100 years might hold if the temperature increases two degrees centigrade. That threshold is expected to be met within 25-30 years from now.

December 13 – Huffington Post – An article by Matt Ferner reports that 37 countries in the world face extremely high levels of water stress according to date released by the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC. Extremely high water stress means that more than 80 percent of the water available to the agricultural, domestic and industrial users in a country is being withdrawn annually and that the risk of water scarcity in a region is remarkably high. The U.S. is reported to have medium to high stress.

December 12 – Sarasota News Leader – A full page article with a photo on page 88 promotes the SBEP Bay Wise Kayak Tour Program. The annual program provides 10 guided kayak tours with a professional guide from December through April.

December 12 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 87 provides information about the last Sarasota County Rain Barrel Workshop of 2013 set for December 21.

December 12 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 51 provides an update on the timing of the release of recommendations regarding how to run millions of gallons of sewage per day under Hudson Bay.

December 12 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 34 reports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects to release a study in early 2014 showing potential impacts on Siesta Key of the planned dredging of BigPass to re-nourish LidoKeyBeach. Many residents of Siesta Key are concerned about the potential damage to Siesta Key as a result of the engineering efforts.

December 12 – Climate Central – Report about sea level and risk of flooding rising rapidly in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. A study by geoscientists at Rutgers and Tufts Universities say sea levels along the coastline between New York and Virginia rose faster than in any other century during the past 4,300 years.

December 11 – Huffington Post – An article by John Platt with Mother Nature Network profiles a new play coming in 2014 that dramatizes the human impact of the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill of 2010. The play called “Spill” is written by Leigh Fondakowski in collaboration with visual artist Reeva Wortel.

December 11 – The Florida Current – Article by Bruce Ritchie about a scientist from the Florida Institute of Technology providing Florida senators samples of the black muck that covers portions of the Indian River Lagoon. According to Professor John Trefry, 5 to 7 million cubic yards of the muck covers portions of the lagoon bottom and has helped kill 47,000 acres of sea grass. Trefry says the muck accumulated over the past 60 years from stormwater and fertilizer runoff, leaky septic tanks, erosion and other sources.

December 11 – Huffington Post – An article by Kate Sheppard reports that the recent bipartisan budget deal includes a provision that would open up new parts of the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling. Environmental groups oppose the agreement that would allow development of oil and gas reserves that cross the international maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico.

December 10 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – News item about SBEP accepting 2014 Bay Partner Grant applications. The applications are due March 3 and details are posted on the SBEP website.

December 10 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill about Manatee County starting the re-nourishment and groin construction projects. The cost for the sand project is expected to be $16 million; $10 million from the federal government and $6 million from state and local taxes. The cost for removing three existing groins and replacing them with three adjustable groins is approximately $2.8 million. Construction will take 9 months to complete.

December 10 – Manatee County Water Atlas – News item about SBEP accepting 2014 Bay Partner Grant applications. The applications are due March 3 and details are posted on the SBEP website.

December 10 – The Florida Current – An article by Bruce Ritchie about a proposed bill that would allow six more counties to avoid review by the state of some growth management decisions, continuing a trend in recent years of less state oversight. Manatee and Sarasota County are on the list.

December 10 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – News item about SBEP accepting 2014 Bay Partner Grant applications. The applications are due March 3 and details are posted on the SBEP website.

December 10 – Bradenton Patch – SBEP has announced it welcomes applications for Bay Partner Grants with a deadline of March 3, 2014.

December 10 – Sarasota Patch – SBEP has announced it welcomes applications for Bay Partner Grants with a deadline of March 3, 2014.

December 8 – The Bradenton Times – Editorial criticizes the Robinson Farms Settlement as a dangerous precedent. Manatee County Commissioners approved the settlement this week regarding an applicant’s desire to increase density on a project that lies in a Coastal High Hazard Area and Hurricane Evacuation Zone. The editorial takes the position that the Commissioners failed to act in the best interest of the citizens of Manatee County.

December 8 – Ocala Star Banner – Editorial shares information about a coalition of five Florida senators coming together to talk about bringing about serious reform to Florida’s antiquated and ineffective water policies. The group has been meeting monthly to map out political and legislative strategies that could impact on water policy, water conservation, water supply and water storage practices.

December 8 – Washington Post – An article by Darryl Fears focuses on the difficulties and failures by government to restore wetlands. America’s wetlands face the triple threat of storms, human development and rising seas. Over a four-year span, the U.S. lost more than 360,000 acres of freshwater and saltwater wetlands to fierce storms, sea-level rise and booming development along the coasts.

December 7 – The Bradenton Times – Article gives an update about the land conservation amendment that has already generated signatures from more than 350,000 registered Florida voters. The effort is designed to put a constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot that would help protect land, wildlife and water supplies near new urban development. The measure seeks to put aside more than a third of the fees collected in real estate transactions to be used in purchasing and managing environment lands throughout Florida.

December 6 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – News article about the upcoming free guided kayak trips of Sarasota Bay provided by the SBEP Bay Wise Kayak Tour Program. Ten trips are planned from December through April.

December 6 – Manatee County Water Atlas – News article about the upcoming free guided kayak trips of Sarasota Bay provided by the SBEP Bay Wise Kayak Tour Program. Ten trips are planned from December through April.

December 6 – The Bradenton Times – Article by John Rehill reports that the Manatee County Commission approved the Robinson Farms Amendment raising the density on a 20-acre parcel that lies within the Coastal Evacuation Area and Coastal High Hazard Area. Opponents to the decision say elected representatives are playing ‘hurricane roulette.’

December 6 – Saint Peters Blog – Website reports that Governor Scott has appointed Sarasota attorney Michael Moran to the Governing Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Moran served on the Sarasota County Planning Commission since 2012.

December 6 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the Bay Wise Kayak Tours, a free program offered by the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program.

December 6 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – News article about the upcoming free guided kayak trips of Sarasota Bay provided by the SBEP Bay Wise Kayak Tour Program. Ten trips are planned from December through April.

December 6 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the Bay Wise Kayak Tours, a free program offered by the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program.

December 5 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Article by Eric Ernst summarizes the opposition to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to dredge a sandbar in Big Sarasota Pass as many as 10 times over 50 years, relocate the sand on the eroded beaches of Lido Key, and holding it all together with three rock groins. Many residents fear the changes could damage Siesta Key and other residents are skeptical of the use of groins to try and manage Mother Nature. The estimated cost for the first dredging is $22.7 million.

December 5 – Tallahassee Democrat – Article by Pam McVety responds to a recent pronouncement that the Republican led legislature wants to have a state water policy. The author who was formerly in charge of state water policy for the Florida DEP explains a water policy already exists and that the issue is adhering to what it says. She asserts that water management in Florida is a mess largely because Republicans have hired non-professionals and fired professional water managers, cut the water budget in five water management districts, cut land acquisition, tried to weaken rules governing dredging, and further politicized water management issues.

December 5 – The Bradenton Times – An article by Dennis Maley reports that the former Sarasota County Environmental Services Director Rob Patten claims that the plan to dredge Big Sarasota Pass could disrupt the supply of Siesta Key Beach’s pristine white sand, while also negatively impacting on a county park at the south end of Lido Key.

December 4 – Tallahassee Democrat – An editorial by State Republican Steve Crisafulli says a future water policy for Florida must be statewide in scope, flexible so water managers can adapt to changing circumstances, and must include long-term and short-term strategies.

December 3 – Daily Commercial – An article by Chris Curry with the Halifax Media Group summarizes concerns by environmental activists in response to springs in Florida struggling with declining flow and rising pollution. The activist claim they have no strong voice left on the water management district boards charged with protecting the state’s springs, rivers, lakes and aquifer. They also point out that the state’s five water management district boards are now stacked with representatives of industry and business and lack members with expertise on environmental protection. Governor Scott has slashed water management district budgets by a combined $700 million in 2011 leading to hundreds of layoffs.

December 3 – The Tampa Tribune – An editorial supporting Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign. The petition drive would place a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would restore funding to normal levels by requiring 33 percent of the proceeds of the documentary stamp tax to be used for conservation. Florida traditionally devoted about $300 million a year to land acquisition, but that number has shrunk in recent years to less than $10 million.

December 1 – NFWF Website – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently announced $15.7 million worth of funding for six Gulf Restoration Projects in Florida that address high priority conservation needs. The funding is the first disbursements from the NFWF Gulf Environment Benefit Fund, created earlier this year as part of the settlement between the U.S. and BP.

November

November 28 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 53 by Stan Zimmerman provides an update about the new lift station being developed by the City of Sarasota on the northern shore in Luke Wood Park. The lift station may need to be eight feet deeper than originally planned.

November 28 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 100 provides an update about the stormwater project on Siesta Key Public Beach.

November 27 – Huffington Post Miami – Article by Jane Graham reports that plans for a major Wind Farm in the Everglades was scrapped. The organizers claim the lack of economic incentives for renewable energy in Florida for the reason. Some organizations have been wary about the project because of the potential impact on wild birds. The project would have placed 124 Statute of Liberty-sized wind turbines in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

November 27 – Florida Today – An article by Jim Waymer concerning ongoing research to understand the connection between plankton and the death of seagrasses in Indian River Lagoon.

November 26 – SWFWMD News – A report about the draft Regional Water Supply Plan is available for public review through January 10. The Regional Water Supply Plan quantifies existing and future water needs, ensures protection of water resources and related natural systems, and identifies sustainable water supply options.

November 25 – Audubon Florida – Audubon’s State of the Everglades Report is now available online. It includes details about the tragic conditions in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries.

November 25 – Herald Online – Interesting article by Sammy Fretwell about the impact of rising ocean levels off the coast of South Carolina. The rising water and storms are chewing up the remote, unspoiled beaches that many species depend on for survival. Erosion has claimed about 1,200 acres from four barrier islands over the past 25 years.

November 24 – Florida Today – An article by Jim Waymer about the problem of muck on the bottom of canals with access to Indian River Lagoon. An estimated 5 million to 7 million cubic yards of muck blankets the lagoon bottom in BrevardCounty according to the article. It reflects the legacy of more than a half-century of runoff and erosion.

November 22 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news item about a report about recent trends in wetland habitat in the U.S. The report indicates that more than 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are being lost on average each year.

November 22 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Lloyd Dunkelberger reports that environmental groups are nearing their goal of collecting 910,000 voter signatures by the end of the month as part of an effort to put a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot to dedicate a portion of state funding toward conservation efforts.

November 22 – Manatee County Water Atlas – A news item about a report about recent trends in wetland habitat in the U.S. The report indicates that more than 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are being lost on average each year.

November 22 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Jeremy Wallace reports that local developer Carlos Beruff told the Lakewood Ranch Republican Club on Friday that he expects to cut short his tenure on the Southwest Florida Water Management District Board, which overseas regional water policy. Beruff asserts he has achieved his goal which is to bring a business approach to the agency’s spending. He also claims the agency is providing services better and managing taxpayer dollars more efficiently.

November 22 – Naples News-Press – A news article reports that the Wildlife Conservation Commission will not repeat their 2013 Python Challenge. Nearly 1,600 people from 38 states and Canada paid $25 each to chase the invasive snakes across the Everglades. Sixty-eight snakes were captured and $5,000 was awarded for the largest snake (14-feet and three inches). The author says the hunt had zero impact on South Florida’s breeding python population.

November 22 – WGCU Radio – Online news report indicates that Florida shorebirds face a threat to their food supply. This finding comes from a recent study authored by Audubon Florida and the Pew Charitable Trusts. The diminished food supply reflects a decrease in populations of small fish species, a major food source for shorebirds and seabirds.

November 20 – The Bradenton Times – An article indicates that the Long Bar Pointe Map Amendment will be considered at a January 23 meeting. The meeting is set for 9am at the Bradenton Area Convention Center located in Palmetto. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the BOCC will have the ability to adopt the amendment, adopt it with modifications or deny the request for the map amendment. The property at Long Bar Pointe is 463 acres.

November 20 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news posting about the SBEP Bay Guardian volunteers winning the Sea Preservation Award from Keep Sarasota County Beautiful.

November 20 – Manatee County Water Atlas – A news posting about the SBEP Bay Guardian volunteers winning the Sea Preservation Award from Keep Sarasota County Beautiful.

November 19 – Bradenton Patch – An article about the SBEP Bay Guardian volunteers winning the Sea Preservation Award from Keep Sarasota County Beautiful.

November 19 – Sarasota Patch – An article about the SBEP Bay Guardian volunteers winning the Sea Preservation Award from Keep Sarasota County Beautiful.

November 16 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill focuses on the potential problems with sewage sludge by waste water treatment plant facilities. Some of the sludge is dried and processed into pellets that are then sold or given away to home owners, landscapers and farmers to use as fertilizer.

November 16 – Tampa Bay Times – Article by Craig Pittman about scientists being unsure how to stop bottle-nose dolphins from dying throughout Florida. A lot of the fatalities are occurring in three locations: the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Panhandle and Indian River Lagoon. A related concern is the death of more than 750 dolphins all along the eastern seaboard. Some scientists assert that sick dolphins reflect a sick ocean that has been poisoned by humans using oceans as a toilet for trash, chemicals and other harmful items.

November 8 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill reports that the Manatee County Commission voted to adopt an amendment which rolls back the recently approved Urban Service Area map border from the shoreline. Properties including the Cortez Fishing Village and the Long Bar Pointe development are no longer included.

November 6 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the new season of Bay Wise Kayak Tours of Sarasota Bay.

November 6 – The Bradenton Times – An article about the stormwater quality project by the City of Sarasota in an ally located behind Main Street between Lemon Avenue and Central Avenue.

November 6 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the new season of Bay Wise Kayak Tours of Sarasota Bay.

November 5 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival at Ken Thompson Park on Saturday, November 2.

November 5 – The Bradenton Times – An article about the recent Sarasota Bay Water Festival held at Ken Thompson Park.

November 5 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival at Ken Thompson Park on Saturday, November 2.

November 5 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the winners of the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest. Many of the photo submissions were on display at the second annual Sarasota Bay Water Festival.

November 5 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the winners of the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest. Many of the photo submissions were on display at the second annual Sarasota Bay Water Festival.

November 4 – The Bradenton Times – News article about the recent volunteer outing by the SBEP Bay Guardians. A group of 102 Bay Guardian volunteers removed 2,500 pounds of invasive air potato vines and seeds at North Water Tower Park in Sarasota.

November 3 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Jessica De Leon about the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival.

November 2 – ABC 7 News – A news posting and video link on the station website about the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival.

November 2 – SNN Local News 6 – A news report about the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival held Saturday at Ken Thompson Park.

November 2 – The Observer – Photo gallery by Harriet Sokmensuer showing photos from the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival.

November 1 – Siesta Sand – Local newspaper featured a news item on page 12 about the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for tomorrow at Ken Thompson Park.

November 1 – Sarasota News Leader – Article on page 64-66 about the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for Saturday.

October

October 31 – ABC 7 News – Bryan Moore was interviewed live about the Water Festival on the noon show.

October 30 – WTSP 10 News – Local television station features a report about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for Saturday. It included a video showing event highlights and referenced Vintage Paws Sanctuary as the nonprofit partner.

October 30 – The AMI Sun – Local newspaper features an article by outdoor columnist Rusty Chinnis regarding the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for this Saturday.

October 30 – The Bradenton Times – Article about the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for this Saturday. Article includes a couple photos.

October 29 – Tampa Bay Times – An events listing about the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for this Saturday at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota.

October 28 – Ticket Sarasota – An article by Gerry Galipault about the highlights of the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for Saturday at Ken Thompson Park.

October 28 – Bradenton Patch – Article covering the Water Festival on Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park.

October 28 – Visit Sarasota County – Website features information about this year’s Sarasota Bay Water Festival. Visit Sarasota County is a sponsor.

October 28 – Sarasota Patch – Article covering the Water Festival on Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park.

October 28 – Bradenton Herald – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota.

October 28 – WUSF Public Media – WUSF website features information about this year’s Sarasota Bay Water Festival. WUSF Public Media is a sponsor.

October 28 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Richard Dymond about a symposium on harmful algae blooms being held in Sarasota. The event attracted 215 scientists from 31 states.

October 26 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill provides more details about Manatee County perceiving eco-tourism as an important part of its economic future.

October 25 – WSRQ 1220 AM – The Nilon Report with Susan Nilon featured an hour long interview with Bryan and Randy Moore discussing the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival.

October 25 – The Bradenton Times – A news article about SBEP hosting four panel discussions at the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park.

October 24 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill about natural resource experts encouraging Manatee County Commissioners to direct future Restore Act funds to enhance the shorelines and estuaries that are part of Sarasota Bay.

October 24 – Friends of Sarasota County Parks – The FOSCP website features a news item and poster promoting this year’s Sarasota Bay Water Festival. FOSCP is a sponsor.

October 22 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the free water taxi running during the Water Festival which is once again provided by Freedom Boat Club.

October 22 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the free water taxi running during the Water Festival which is once again provided by Freedom Boat Club.

October 22 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival selecting Vintage Paws Sanctuary as its nonprofit partner for 2013. Vintage Paws provides care for displaced senior dogs.

October 22 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival announcing its nonprofit partner Vintage Paws Sanctuary.

October 22 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival selecting Vintage Paws Sanctuary as its nonprofit partner for 2013. Vintage Paws provides care for displaced senior dogs.

October 22 – WTSP 10 News – Report about the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota.

October 22 – WSLR Community Radio – Randy Moore with the Sarasota Bay Water Festival was interviewed for a show that will air next week.

October 22 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival selecting Vintage Paws Sanctuary as its nonprofit partner for 2013. Vintage Paws provides care for displaced senior dogs.

October 22 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival announcing its nonprofit partner Vintage Paws Sanctuary.

October 21 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – News article about the four panel discussions scheduled for the Sarasota Bay Water Festival on Saturday, November 2.

October 21 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the four panel discussions at the Water Festival being organized by SBEP.

October 21 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the four panel discussions at the Water Festival being organized by SBEP.

October 20 – Bradenton Herald – An editorial reports that the Manatee County Planning Commission is recommending that the Long Bar Pointe development along the shores of Sarasota Bay be excluded from the boundaries of the new Urban Service Area. This means the project would not qualify for exemptions from higher-level planning reviews and approvals should the county commission agree with the proposed amendment to Manatee’s Comprehensive Plan. The same editorial raises questions about how the pending large flood insurance rate increases will impact on Long Bar Pointe.

October 19 – ABC 7 News – News report about the Bay Guardian air potato roundup at North Water Tower Park held Saturday.

October 18 – Progressive News Leader – A full page photo by Kathleen Pacheco who recently won the SBEP Toast the Coast photo contest.

October 18 – Orlando Sentinel – An article by Aaron Deslatte about how environmental groups are supporting a campaign to place a question on the November 2014 ballot that would steer billions of tax dollars to conservation programs. Supporters include the Sierra Club, Trust for Public Land, Audubon of Florida, and the Wildlife Federation. The coalition has raised 1.3 million over the last year and enlisted more than 340 organizations to help push the constitutional amendment.

October 18 – Progressive News Leader – Article on page 67 about the efforts underway to build the new Lift Station 87 in Sarasota.

October 18 – Progressive News Leader – Article on page 76 about an alley in downtown Sarasota becoming a test case for ways to improve the quality of stormwater runoff.

October 18 – Progressive News Leader – Article on page 99 about Sarasota County staff evaluating expenses of alternatives for removing water from the stormwater project next to Siesta Public Beach.

October 17 – The Observer – Sarasota edition features a news item about the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest, one of the featured activities associated with the Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for November 2 at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota.

October 17 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Craig Pittman reports that more than two dozen citrus growers have repeatedly pumped thousands of gallons more water out of the aquifer than their state permit allow. According to the article, the Southwest Florida Water Management District has taken no steps to punish any of the owners of the various groves.

October 17 – Penn Energy – Article from the Florida Petroleum Council quotes a new poll by Harris Interactive claiming that 64-percent of voters in Florida support offshore drilling for domestic oil and natural gas resources.

October 17 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Ian Cummings about the Bay Guardian volunteer event at North Water Tower Park this Saturday.

October 16 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill about Manatee County looking to revamp its land development code. The new code would differentiate between rural and urban areas. The proposed changes will be posted on the county’s website soon and available for 60 days of review and comment by the staff and public.

October 16 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival announcing their final music lineup and schedule.

October 16 – Sarasota Patch – Article by Jan Thornburg announcing that the new Lift Station 87 has its own project website at liftstation87.com.

October 16 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival announcing their final music lineup and schedule.

October 14 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill about the Manatee County Planning Commission voting to recommend approval of a proposed amendment to the county’s Comprehensive Plan. The amendment would exclude coastal evacuation areas as part of the Urban Service Area recently approved by the BOCC.

October 11 – Bradenton Herald – Best bet section of the local newspaper features a news item about the annual Florida Native Plant Sale at Sweetbay Nursery in Parrish. SBEP is one of the sponsors.

October 11 – Examiner – Website article presents a summary report about the 2013 joint meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists, Florida Association of Environmental Soil Scientists and the Southwest Chapter of the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals.

October 8 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the winning photo submission to the Toast the Coast photo contest by Kathleen Pacheco.

October 8 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the winning photo submission to the Toast the Coast photo contest by Kathleen Pacheco.

October 7 – WWSB ABC 7 – Local television station features a news report on their website about the next Bay Guardian volunteer outing at North Water Tower Park set for October 19.

October 6 – The Bradenton Times – An editorial by John Rehill criticizes Mark Alderson with SBEP for not being part of the public debate regarding Long Bar Pointe in Manatee County. The headline of the article is When Money Talks, Bay Priorities Walk. The article addresses many of the issues associated with public transparency and accountability by all levels of government.

October 4 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 107 about the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest. Winning submissions will be displayed at the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival on Saturday, November 13 at Ken Thompson Park.

October 4 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 64 about the Native Plant Sale at Sweetbay Nursery in Parrish on October 12. SBEP is one of the sponsors of the event managed by the Florida Native Plant Society. Other participating organizations include the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, and the Butterfly Club.

October 4 – Sarasota News Leader – Article on page 26 by Rachel Brown Hackney about a delay in the completion of the new stormwater project on Siesta Key.

October 2 – WSLR Community Radio – Randy Moore with Triple 3 Marketing was interviewed by Nancy and Andrea for their morning show. He answered questions about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival and SBEP. Randy is the director of the Water Festival and Triple 3 Marketing is the marketing contractor for SBEP and other clients.

October 2 – Huffington Post – Article with photos showing Florida water pollution and the death of aquatic life, mammals, birds and other wildlife. U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, Florida requested photos from his constituents and over 100 photos were submitted.

October 1 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news listing about the next SBEP Bay Guardians volunteer outing at North Water Tower Park on October 19. The plan is to remove invasive Air Potato vines and seeds.

October 1 – Manatee County Water Atlas – A news listing about the next SBEP Bay Guardians volunteer outing at North Water Tower Park on October 19. The plan is to remove invasive Air Potato vines and seeds.

October 1 – The Observer – News item about the City of Sarasota and SBEP partnering to remove air potatoes at North Water Tower Park on October 19. The outing is part of the SBEP Bay Guardians volunteer program.

October 1 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news article about the final call for submissions to the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest. Winning submissions will be showcased at the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival on Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park.

October 1 – North Port Magazine – Feature article on pages 56-58 about the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival based on an interview conducted by writer Jessica Hobbs with Randy Moore. The article includes several photos and also provides details about SBEP and HDR, Inc. the Presenting and Host sponsors for 2013.

October 1 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival accepting final applications from exhibitors for the 2013 event set for Saturday, November 2.

October 1 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival accepting final applications from exhibitors for the 2013 event set for Saturday, November 2.

October 1 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival accepting final applications from exhibitors for the 2013 event set for Saturday, November 2.

October 1 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the October Bay Guardian volunteer event.

October 1 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the October Bay Guardian volunteer event.

September

September 29 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An editorial about Manasota-88 requesting that the wastewater retention ponds at the former Piney Point phosphate plant be investigated by the U.S. EPA. The nonprofit is not satisfied that the Florida DEP is addressing the problems adequately. The editorial believes the need for additional expertise from the EPA is warranted.

September 28 – Bradenton Herald – A news item about the Florida Native Plant Society native plant sale references the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program as a sponsor. The sale will take place from 9am to 2pm October 12 at Sweet Bay Nursery in Parrish.

September 27 – Sarasota News Leader – A news item on page 80 about the Bay Guardian volunteer event at North Water Tower Park on October 19.

September 27 – Sarasota News Leader – Article on page 56 about the Sarasota County commission approving a priority list for grants from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

September 27 – Sarasota News Leader – Article on page 64 about the plans for the new sewage lift station in Sarasota near the corner of U.S. 41 and U.S. 301.

September 27 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 106 about the debate on the value and threat of Australian Pines.

September 26 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest with winning submissions being displayed at the 2nd annual Water Festival.

September 26 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest with winning submissions being displayed at the 2nd annual Water Festival.

September 26 – NPR – An article by Greg Allen about the problems facing Indian River Lagoon in Florida. Over the past year, record numbers of dolphins, manatees and pelicans have turned up dead in the 150-mile long estuary along Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

September 25 – The Bradenton Times – Article by Dennis Maley says the environmental group Manasota-88 has requested the EPA conduct a site investigation at Piney Point, a former phosphate mining site where a ripped liner led to millions of gallons of hazardous discharge into local waters in 2011. The group says the Florida DEP has failed to safeguard the former plant and hopes federal involvement will lead to a more environmentally-sound outcome.

September 24 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Article by Eric Ernst about local county support for the Florida Friendly Landscaping Program. The Southwest Florida Water Management District cut the program from its budget starting October 1 and Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties are providing funding support to keep the program viable.

September 24 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Article by Josh Salman indicates that Manasota 88 is seeking an EPA investigation of Piney Point. The letter requests a probe into the Florida DEP’s oversight, and whether it violated federal laws by permitting dredging storage there. Piney Point is a former phosphate processing plan on 680 acres in north Palmetto that was abandoned in 2001 after its owner filed bankruptcy.

September 24 – Huffington Post – An article indicates that the muddy deep-sea ecosystem around the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill could take decades to recover. The findings come from a report for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

September 24 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the Water Festival announcing final call for exhibitor applications. There are more than 75 exhibitors participating at the 2013 Water Festival.

September 24 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the Water Festival announcing final call for exhibitor applications. There are more than 75 exhibitors participating at the 2013 Water Festival.

September 23 – SWFWMD News – Media release from the Southwest Florida Water Management District announces a public workshop on September 30 seeking public input about the schedule for the minimum flows and levels for area lakes, wetlands, rivers, streams and aquifers.

September 20 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the Toast the Coast photo contest celebrating National Estuaries Day on September 28. Photo submissions must be emailed to info@sarasotabay.org by the Monday, September 23 deadline.

September 20 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the Toast the Coast photo contest celebrating National Estuaries Day on September 28. Photo submissions must be emailed to info@sarasotabay.org by the Monday, September 23 deadline.

September 20 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 18 by Rachel Brown Hackney indicates that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the planned $22.7 million Lido Beach re-nourishment project will not harm BigPass or Siesta Key Public Beach.

September 20 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Charles Schelle about the ongoing process of various state and local agencies evaluating the impact of a comprehensive map amendment change to allow Long Bar Pointe to become a mixed-use development.

September 20 – Sarasota News Leader – A news brief on page 75 about the SBEP Toast to the Coast Photo Contest. The contest commemorates National Estuaries Day.

September 20 – Sarasota News Leader – An article by Stan Zimmerman on page 25 about construction crews returning to Avondale and Luke Wood Park to begin work again on Lift Station 87. A new engineering firm is taking over after a prior failed effort. Lift Station 87 will eventually handle about one-third of Sarasota’s sewage.

September 20 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 77 about a volunteer event at Red Bug Slough Preserve to mark National Public Lands Day set for Saturday, September 28. The event is being organized by Sarasota County Natural resources and the Parks and Recreation staff.

September 19 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Ian Cummings about the various issues related to the ongoing efforts to build a new life station in Sarasota. A new engineering firm, McKim and Creed, are making a fresh start on the project following a failure in 2011 by a different firm.

September 18 – Florida DEP – A news release from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection about International Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 21. The annual event started 25 years ago by the Ocean Conservancy. In 2012, more than 500,000 volunteers removed 10 million pounds of trash along various coastlines.

September 14 – The Bradenton Times – An article about the SBEP Toast the Coast Photo Contest.

September 14 – Bradenton Herald – Article by Sara Kennedy about 1,400 acres of public land listed as “surplus” by the Southwest Florida Water Management District being potentially sold in order to buy more valuable land.

September 13 – WSRQ Sarasota Talk Radio – Randy Moore, the director of the Sarasota Bay Water Festival and owner of Triple 3 Marketing, was the guest on the Susan Nilon Show. Randy answered questions about the Water Festival and SBEP. T3M is the marketing contractor for SBEP.

September 13 – Tampa Bay Times – An article profiles the citizen response to the proposed Long Bar Pointe development as a “grass roots revolt.” The editorial quotes former Manatee commissioner Joe McClash saying that the proposal would have been rejected by the Department of Community Affairs before it was eliminated. The public outcry against the development was the last and best chance to defeat it. The coalition of opponents included environmentalists, anglers, local business owners, and historians.

September 12 – The Tampa Tribune – An article announces that Robert Beltran has been named the new executive director for the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

September 11 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article about Nanette O’Hara of the TBEP making a presentation to the Palmetto Historical Park and the Manatee County Agricultural Museum about the history about the benefits of restoration.

September 9 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about the SBEP Toast the Coast Photo Contest to commemorate National Estuaries Day on September 28.

September 9 – Miami Herald – An editorial by Maggy Hurchalla, a former Martin County Commissioner, provides a good overview about the failures by the Federal and State government to protect the Everglades. She also summarizes what needs to happen to address the problems.

September 9 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the SBEP Toast the Coast Photo Contest to commemorate National Estuaries Day on September 28.

September 8 – The New York Times – An article by Lizette Alvarez about the problems in South Florida related to efforts and decisions by government to deal with heavy rainfalls overwhelming vital estuary waterways with pollutants. The pollution includes runoff from farms, ranches, septic tanks and golf courses. The Indian River Lagoon in particular is suffering the consequences of the heavy runoff with the high concentration of fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals. Environmentalists blame Governor Scott for slashing the budget of agencies that oversee water flow resulting in less experienced managers addressing the complex issues.

September 7 – Tampa Bay Times – A letter to the editor by Karen Esty of Inverness is critical of Governor Scott for gutting the Department of Community Affairs to make it more difficult for citizens to review large scale developments like Long Bar Pointe. She also criticizes Scott for appointing Carlos Beruff to head the Southwest Florida Water Management District. She characterizes the decision as putting a fox in the hen house. She says Beruff is the only person that would benefit from his 465-acre project.

September 6 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about the bands Hymn for Her and Come Back Alice performing at the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival on November 2.

September 6 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the bands Hymn for Her and Come Back Alice performing at the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival on November 2.

September 6 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the bands Hymn for Her and Come Back Alice performing at the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival on November 2.

September 6 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Craig Pittman uses the recent decision regarding Long Bar Pointe as a case study in how Florida’s growth management system works. Opposition to the project from residents, environmental groups, and anglers forced the Manatee Commission to reject the plan with the prospective channel leading to a marina.

September 6 – The Bradenton Times – An article about the final call for exhibitors participating in the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for November 2 at Ken Thompson Park.

September 6 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article about Randall Wells being nominated for an international animal conservation prize. Wells is a respected dolphin researcher associated with Mote Marine Laboratory. He has studied dolphins in Sarasota Bay since he was a high school student.

September 6 – Naples News Press – An article about the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting recently to discuss plans for responding to an expected five percent cut in their budget. The cut would reduce funding for the harmful algal bloom program by 50 percent.

September 5 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the Florida House completing a paver project with financial support from a SBEP Bay Partners Grant.

September 5 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the Florida House Institute’s recently completed paver system project supported by a Bay Partner Grant.

September 5 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about the Florida House completing a paver project with financial support from a SBEP Bay Partners Grant.

September 5 – Sarasota Patch – Article about the Florida House Institute’s recently completed paver system project supported by a Bay Partner Grant.

September 5 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the Florida Native Plant Society Native Plant Sale set for October 12 in Parrish. SBEP is a major sponsor.

September 5 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the Florida House completing a paver project with financial support from a SBEP Bay Partners Grant.

September 4 – The Bradenton Times – An article about Florida DEP still accepting comments on Long Bar Pointe as part of their required review of the plans to convert the property to Mixed Use. The State could determine that the increased intensity to Mixed Use is unacceptable although opponents believe the significant financial donations by the developers to various politicians will sway the decision.

September 3 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news brief about SBEP and the City of Sarasota collaborating to create a living shoreline project at Bay Front Park.

September 3 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Josh Salman about the owners of a former phosphate processing plant near Palmetto failing to comply with several environmental mandates after millions of gallons of tainted factory water spilled into Bishop Harbor during a Port Manatee dredging project. If the cracked and aging systems designed to store the untreated water were to fail, 525 million gallons of rainwater laden with radioactive phosphate residue would flood into Bishop Harbor. ManaSota-88, a local environmental group, is finalizing plans to petition the EPA to step in and the group is also considering a lawsuit against the state over potential violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

September 2 – The Bradenton Times – An article by Craig Pittman presents the public debate about plans by the Florida DEP to try and sell up to 160 properties that were previously acquired to preserve them from being developed. The goal is to raise $50 million by selling lower-value state land and use that money to buy land that is more important to save.

 

August

August 30 – Sarasota News Leader – Article on page 63 says that McKim & Creed, a national engineering firm, has been selected to complete the Lift Station 87 Project on a contract with the City of Sarasota. The project will improved wastewater service for City customers and protect the environment.

August 30 – Sarasota News Leader – Editorial on page 73 advocates the reopening of Midnight Pass three decades after two Siesta Key homeowners gained permission from the county and state to fill in Midnight Pass, the inlet that separated Siesta and Casey Key. The Midnight Pass Society is once again advocating for the reopening of the inlet. The editorial asserts that closing the pass has harmed the Sarasota Bay estuary. It argues that opening the pass will have a greater impact on resolving problems within Sarasota Bay than any other single action.

August 30 – SWFWMD – Hotlink provides access to many free publications available from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Topics include conserving water, teacher resources, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, nature and land, pollution and water quality, water management, and more.

August 29 – Miami Herald – An article by Brendan Farrington with Associated Press indicates that the enforcement of the state’s environmental laws has plummeted under Governor Scott and the private company attorney he picked to lead the Department of Environmental Protection. The total number of cases has dropped significantly as have the penalties assessed and the fines collected. DEP said it is taking its responsibility seriously and said the drop in cases is because of a focus on prevention.

August 29 – Wired Magazine – An article by Nadia Drake about the efforts to save Indian River Lagoon which is suffering from high wildlife mortality. In just the past year, 68 dolphins, 112 manatees and hundreds of pelicans have turned up dead along the lagoon’s shores. Noted marine environmental scientist Brian Lapointe refers to the lagoon as a toilet.

August 29 – The Tampa Tribune – An editorial by Paula Dockery gives a good overview of some of the current water issues impacting on Florida.

August 29 – The Observer – Local newspaper features an article by David Conway about the living shoreline project recently completed by the City of Sarasota and SBEP at Bay Front Park in downtown Sarasota.

August 29 – The Bradenton Times – Article quoting Manatee County staff defending their decision to waive a $20,000 application fee by the developers of Long Bar Pointe. John Barnott, the county director of building and development services, said the waiver was consistent with prior practice.

August 28 – Orlando Sentinel – An article by William Gibson reports that Governor Scoot has committed to spending $90 million on a project to add 2.6 miles of bridging to Tamiami Trail to improve water flow into Everglades National Park. The first phase, a one-mile bridge, was completed in March.

August 28 – Bradenton Herald – Editorial supports Water and Land Conservation Amendment to protect natural resources in Florida. It says that Governor Scott and the GOP-controlled Legislature has eviscerated the state’s well-designed growth management laws and gutted the funding for Florida Forever and regional water management districts that provided land acquisition programs that conserve land. More than 150,000 signatures have been collected and the goal is 683,149 signatures before February 1, 2014.

August 26 – Financial News & Daily Record – Jacksonville publication reports that Florida DEP is planning workshops throughout Florida in September and early October to present information about plans to sell some parcels of publicly held land to raise up to $50 million for future land-conservation efforts.

August 26 – The Huffington Post – An article profiles 14 U.S. cities that could see dramatic changes with sea level rise conditions over the next century. The top two at risk cities on the list are Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.

August 25 – The Bradenton Times – An article by Dennis Maley focuses on the issue of Manatee County only charging the Long Bar Pointe developers half of the application fee for a future use map change and countywide text amendment. Manatee County staff failed to acknowledge policies that were inconsistent with current rules regarding mixed use designations and coastal evacuation areas. SBEP was cited in the article for not preparing a white paper to focus on the dangers to seagrass and mangroves.

August 25 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor from Matt Bower, a resident of Bradenton, cites social media as one of the reasons opponents outmaneuvered the developers of Long Bar Pointe. He asserts that social media can balance the scales against candidates receiving large amounts of contributions.

August 24 – Miami Herald – An editorial by Carl Hiaasen criticizes Governor Scott for treating the concerns about billions of gallons of cruddy water being dumped from Lake Okkechobee into St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon as a photo-op. The Governor recently visited the St. Lucie Lock and Dam. He didn’t talk to the hundreds of demonstrators, but he did tell the media he wants to spend $40 million on a reservoir to filter some of the runoff before it reached the estuary. Governor Scott blamed the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Congress for the problems.

August 23 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about Sarasota County launching an interactive Green Map of local sustainability features. The online resource has more than 4,000 sites including sources for local produce, green buildings, green hotels, solar installations, and Florida-friendly landscaping.

August 23 – Sierra Club Florida News – A media release about the Indian River Lagoon says Governor Scott’s response is not adequate to meet the seriousness of the problem. A coalition of environmental and citizen groups rallied on Thursday ahead of a Florida Senate hearing in Stuart, Florida saying that government must act now to stop the devastating toxic algae outbreaks that are making people sick and killing wildlife.

August 23 – Florida DEP – Media release announces that the DEP Secretary appointed Drew Bartlett as Deputy Secretary for Water Policy and Ecosystem Restoration. Bartlett worked previously for DEP on implementing Florida nutrient water quality standards. He has an extensive background in water management and related issues.

August 23 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 50 about Sarasota County hosting an open house and workshop on September 5 at the Englewood Sports Complex to present a new study that examine neighborhood flooding resulting from excessive rainfall.

August 23 – Sarasota News Leader – An editorial on page 59 questions the logic of trying to manage sand on Lido Key by the City of Sarasota. Experts explain that beach renourishment is only a temporary replacement that cannot be maintained. The editorial says the use of groins and other structures is delusional folly. It encourages the Army Corps of Engineers to deny the request.

August 23 – Huffington Post – An article about BP suing the U.S. EPA as part of an effort to challenge the government’s temporary ban on BP obtaining new U.S. leases or government contracts. The BP oil disaster in 2010 resulted in 200 million gallons of oil being spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. BP argues that the EPA’s November 2012 suspension of the company from new U.S. contracts was “punitive, arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of EPA’s discretion.”

August 21 – Miami Herald – An editorial references Indian River Lagoon as a symbol of Florida’s environmental degradation. A super algae bloom in 2011 killed off more than 30,000 acres of seagrass. Additional algae blooms in 2012 have led to a record number of manatees, dolphins and pelican deaths. The editorial says that a whole ecosystem may be slowly dying while we stand by twiddling our thumbs. Governor Scott is blaming the federal government and the editorial urges a greater sense of urgency from all levels of government.

August 21 – Naples News-Press – An article by Chad Gillis indicates that the Florida Senate will hold hearings Thursday focused on cleaning up Lake Okeechobee, the Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary. A record 133 Florida manatee died this year in Lee County after a lingering toxic red tide bloom. Heavy rains have also accelerated the release of polluted waters. The Senate hearings are a fact-finding effort for state lawmakers according to the article.

August 21 – Environmental News Service – An article from Stuart, Florida focuses on environmental groups rallying ahead of a Florida State Senate Select Committee public meeting, demanding that government act to stop toxic algae slimes that are causing people to get sick while killing dolphins, manatees, birds, and fish.

August 20 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill raises questions about the legality of the process and who makes some of the budget decisions in Manatee County. County employees are reported to have reduced fees to accommodate the developer. The application fee for a Text Change Amendment is $20,000, a fee that was never paid by the developers of Long Bar Pointe. The author complains that the full cost should be the responsibility of the developers and not the taxpayers.

August 20 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Craig Pittman about a recent study reporting that some of the oil from the BP Oil Spill in 2010 ended up settling on a shelf offshore from the Tampa Bay region within a year of the spill. The study was published in Environmental Science & Technology and research is continuing.

August 20 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about two bands, Hymn for Her and Come Back Alice, being booked to perform at the Sarasota Bay Water Festival on November 2.

August 20 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about two bands, Hymn for Her and Come Back Alice, being booked to perform at the Sarasota Bay Water Festival on November 2.

August 20 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about two bands, Hymn for Her and Come Back Alice, being booked to perform at the Sarasota Bay Water Festival on November 2.

August 19 – Huffington Post – An article in The New York Times reports that a leaked draft of the U.N.’s next major climate change report warns that global sea levels could rise more than three feet by the end of the century if greenhouse emissions continue unabated. 

August 20 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill raises questions about the legality of the process and who makes some of the budget decisions in Manatee County. County employees are reported to have reduced fees to accommodate the developer. The application fee for a Text Change Amendment is $20,000, a fee that was never paid by the developers of Long Bar Pointe. The author complains that the full cost should be the responsibility of the developers and not the taxpayers.

August 19 – Bradenton Patch – News posting about two of the bands booked to perform at the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival.

August 19 – Sarasota Patch – News posting about two of the bands booked to perform at the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival.

August 19 – The Bradenton Times – Holly Clouse of Bradenton posted a letter to the editor criticizing the Tiger Bay Club of Manatee Bay for stacking the deck of an upcoming presentation about Long Bar Pointe. She says all of the speakers including Carlos Beruff are biased in favor of the development. She explains that the Club claims to be non-partisan.

August 19 – Miami Herald – A news brief about the recent scallop search around Longboat Key. Local scientists are hoping to re-establish a colony in the area with regular deposits of scallop larva. Sarasota Bay Watch says most of the prior scallop larva probably didn’t survive because of red tide, heavy rainfall and other factors. The group plans to deposit more scallop larva this fall.

August 18 – The Tampa Tribune – Editorial focuses on the importance of safeguarding Florida’s environment and explains the history of environmental protection. The newspaper encourages voters to back the Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign.

August 18 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Rachel O’Hara about volunteers on 30 boats looking for scallops at various locations in Sarasota Bay on Saturday. The scallop search was coordinated by Sarasota Bay Watch. The report didn’t reference the number of scallops found. The total was 91 last year. SBEP, Mote Marine Laboratory and Fish and Wildlife Research Institute have provided technical expertise to help the volunteer group with various seeding projects.

August 17 – The Bradenton Times – A news article about SBEP and the City of Sarasota working together to complete a living shoreline project at Bay Front Park in downtown Sarasota.

August 16 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Lloyd Dunkelberger regarding conservation land purchases in Florida. Florida has $70 million to spend on conservation land purchases this year, but $50 million of that funding is contingent on the sale of surplus state land bought under previous conservation initiatives. Audubon and other groups have lamented the decline of Florida’s conservation land-buying efforts, which once totaled $300 million or more annually.

August 16 – The Bradenton Times – An article indicating that the Southwest Florida Water Management District has let the existing water restrictions expire. Citizens can return to the Year-Round Measures that include lawn watering twice a week.

August 16 – Bradenton Times – An article by Sara Kennedy reports that the Manatee County Planning Commission is recommending that 149 acres at Robinson Preserve be rezoned as conservation land.

August 16 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 78 about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking more exhibitors for the free public festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park.

August 15 – The Bradenton Times – An editorial by Dennis Maley raises questions about SBEP being absent during the recent land use meeting regarding Long Bar Pointe. He points out the SBEP claims to be focused on restoring and protecting Sarasota Bay although the Program was a no show. The SBEP attorney Bill Clague, who also represents SBEP, claims the Program is not geared up to participate in adversarial proceedings. The author points out that a prospective white paper from SBEP could have focused on factual, science based information.   

August 15 – Florida Today – An article by Jim Waymer about a recent meeting of government officials, conservationists and other folks regarding how to clean up the Indian River Lagoon. Growing seagrass has been cited as a key benchmark for any recovery. The 156-mile long lagoon has lost about 74 square miles of seagrass since 2009.

August 14 – Florida Stormwater Association – The FSA newsletter reports that the U.S. EPA filed a motion in court last month to modify the Consent Degree concerning Numeric Nutrient Criteria (NNC) after determining that further federal rulemaking was not necessary in Florida. Florida DEP and EPA reached an agreement concerning NNC earlier this year.

August 14 – Clearwater Gazette – An article by Vicki Jackson summarizes the progress and continued issues involving efforts to restore Tampa Bay. Holly Greening, the Director of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, spoke recently to the Florida Native Plant Society. She credited progress in the bay to people, regulatory agencies and local governments working together. Greening cites sea level rise and the problem of invasive plants and animals as serious challenges ahead.

August 13 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor from William Moore of Bradenton says the recent organized opposition to the Long Bar Pointe development proves that voters can trump special interest campaign contributions.

August 13 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor from Roy McChesney of Bradenton urges the Manatee Commission to consider having public hearings in the future instead of being overwhelmed at a regularly scheduled commission meeting.

August 13 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Craig Pittman reports that Governor Scott has sued Georgia for using too much water and causing a disaster to the Apalachicola’s oyster industry. Florida’s two senators blasted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for giving Atlanta’s lawns, taps and toilets preference over Florida seafood. The oyster business in Apalachicola is under threat form a lack of water.

August 12 – The Florida Current – An article by Bruce Ritchie about the Florida Wildlife Federation and a Gulfport couple suing the U.S. EPA, claiming the federal agency and the state of Florida have failed to enforce state and federal laws for designated Outstanding Florida Waters. Water bodies receive the designation to prevent the lowering of existing water quality and to preserve the exceptional ecological and recreational significance of the waterbody, according to the Florida DEP. The Sarasota Bay Estuarine System has been designated a Florida Outstanding Water.

August 12 – The Anna Maria Islander – Local newspaper features an article by Mark Young explaining the outcome of the recent land use meeting regarding Long Bar Pointe. He referenced Commissioner Michael Gallen reminding his colleagues that Manatee County has an agreement to maintain Sarasota Bay with other municipal governments by contract with the SBEP.

August 12 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Richard Dymond about lionfish being spotted in Manatee County waters. The lionfish target small reef fish. Their only predators are humans and apparently the fish is good eating.

August 11 – TCPalm.com – Website focused on the Treasure Coast area of Florida features an article and photo of the recent public protest of discharges from Lake Okeechobee pouring into the St. Lucie Estuary. Media and organizers estimate the crowd between 2,000 and 5,000. Protestors formed a human chain across the Martin County shoreline.

August 10 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill summarizes the outcome of the recent land use meeting concerning Long Bar Pointe in Manatee County. The county commissioner sided with residents opposing destruction of mangroves and seagrass habitat. Rehill criticizes the commission chairman Larry Bustle for rushing speakers opposing the project while being accommodating to the speakers representing the developers.

August 10 – Longboat Key News – An article about the Manatee County Commission voting 4-3 to approve the Long Bar Pointe development becoming a mixed use site minus a marina and destruction of the mangroves along the shoreline. Public opposition to the expanded developed was widespread.

August 10 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor describes the approval of a scaled-down Long Bar Pointe project as a win for Manatee County. Glen Gibellina of Bradenton believes the project will eventually become a world class development attracting admiring developers and architects from around the world.

August 9 – Bradenton Patch – An article by Merab Favorite about the recent land use meeting in Manatee County regarding the Long Bar Pointe development. Most of the 1,000 citizens attending the meeting opposed the project for a variety of reasons. Ed Goff with Save Our Shores presented the Manatee County Commission with over 6,000 signatures from voters opposing any changes to the comp plan and acceptance of the map amendment.

August 9 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 78 about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking more exhibitors for the free public festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park.

August 9 – Bradenton Herald – P. Stewart of Bradenton shares her perspective on how development in Manatee County over the last decade has eroded nature.

August 9 – WTSP 10 News – A news report submitted by Kathryn Bursch about SBEP and the City of Sarasota teaming up to complete a “living shoreline” project at Bay Front Park in downtown Sarasota. Living shorelines provide a natural alternative to hardened sea walls made of concrete, rock and other materials.

August 8 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Zac Anderson about the impact of Florida lawmakers scaling back state oversight of local land use decisions in 2011. Critics worried that ill-conceived projects would gain approval more easily because of the influence of deep pocket developers asserting influence over local officials. The author uses Carlos Beruff as an example. The local developer of the Long Bar Pointe project has donated nearly $90,000 to county commission campaigns since 2009. In spite of his influence, the original plan to include a marina that would have required dredging generated widespread community opposition.

August 8 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Eric Ernst about the controversy involving the removal of Australian pine trees. The trees are an invasive species that are being removed by Sarasota County. The author profiled local residents who oppose the removal of the large trees because of the shade they provide. County Parks Manager George Tatge estimates that thousands of Australian pines cover the 100 acres that comprise Ted Sperling Park.

August 8 – The Bradenton Times – An editorial by the editor Dennis Maley regarding the decisions by the Manatee County commission yesterday concerning Long Bar Pointe. He says the rejection of the amendment to the County comprehensive plan will make it more difficult for the developers to win approval for a marina on the site. Maley points out that the approval of the development becoming zoned as a mixed use site allows for more aggressive development than had been approved previously. He criticized the commission chairman for trying to rush speakers that made public comments and not anticipating the large crowd with more chairs.

August 8 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Charles Schelle regarding the unanimous decision by the Manatee County commissioners to turn down an amendment to the comprehensive plan to allow two developers to build a boat basin along Sarasota Bay. The Long Bar Pointe project attracted massive community opposition and much of the concerns centered on a proposed basin for a boat marina.

August 7 – NOAA – A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration highlights climate change threats to the nation’s estuaries. The report focuses on the 28 reserves across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, which are managed as a partnership between NOAA and the coastal states. The three reserves in Florida include Apalachicola, RookeryBay and Guana Tolomato Matanzas.

August 7 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Jeremy Wallace about the political muscle demonstrated by the Cortez fishing community in the public debate about the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Local residents provided the foundation for widespread opposition leading to more than 1,000 residents attending the recent land use meeting.

August 7 – Restore the Gulf – Media release announces that the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council will meet August 28 to vote on the Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy Plan. The public is invited to attend the meeting in New Orleans at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

August 7 – WTSP 10 News – News report about the results of the Manatee County land use meeting regarding Long Bar Pointe development. Commissioners rejected a request by the developers to change the county comprehensive plan protecting the shoreline and other natural resources. The commissions approved changing the site to mixed zoning, but only after the developers withdrew language referencing a boat marina.

August 7 – WFLA 8 News – Station features a report about Manatee County Commissioners voting against a marina while approving Long Bar Pointe for mixed-use zoning.

August 7 – The Bradenton Times – An article by Dennis Maley reporting the decisions by the Manatee County Commission regarding Long Bar Pointe. Most opponents focused on the environmental impact of the project and particularly the large amount of seagrass that would be damaged in dredging operations and harm to the mangrove forests along the shoreline.

August 7 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news posting about the SBEP and City of Sarasota teaming up to complete a Living Shoreline project at Bay Front Park in downtown Sarasota.

August 7 – Fox 13 Tampa Bay – Television station featured a news report indicated that 1,000 people showed up for the land use meeting in Bradenton regarding the Long Bar Pointe development.

August 7 – The New York Times – An article by Michael Wines about the deaths of manatees, dolphins and pelicans pointing to the harm being done to the Indian River Lagoon estuary, one of the richest marine ecosystems in the United States. Indian River Lagoon is a national estuary of significance along with Sarasota Bay, Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor. Some experts point to decades of pollution generated by explosive coastal development as the culprit for the high rates of mortality.

August 7 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Josh Salman reporting the votes by the Manatee County Commission regarding the Long Bar Pointe project. The group rejected a request by the developers to change the comprehensive plan, but approved a map amendment to change the zoning to multi-use. The approval only occurred after the developers withdrew their plans for a marina.

August 7 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Charles Schelle reports that the Manatee County Commission split their vote in connection with the Long Bar Pointe development. They voted 7-0 against the text amendment to the comprehensive plan and 4-3 in favor of a map amendment changing the zoning from residential to mixed use. More than 1,000 people showed up for the all day meeting and the majority opposed the project.

August 7 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Elizabeth Johnson regarding the emotional divide between supporters and opponents of the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County.

August 7 – Bradenton Herald – A column by Vin Mannix details the experience of being at the land use meeting in Palmetto regarding the Long Bar Pointe development. The author acknowledged the passion and knowledge of the opposition.

August 6 – The Bradenton Times – A letter to the editor criticizes the process where local electors change rules after rules are previously approved which opens them up to corruption. David Kraner of Palmetto believes that some controls need to be established to control population densities.

August 6 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Zac Anderson indicating that nearly 1,000 people packed the Bradenton Area Convention Center Tuesday afternoon for the public hearing on the controversial Long Bar Pointe project proposing 523 acres of new development along Sarasota Bay.

August 6 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Charles Schelle indicates that Manatee County staff has determined that 42 properties in the county could be affected by the proposed text plan amendment for Long Bar Pointe.

August 6 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Robert Thayer of Bradenton is surprised the Manatee County commissioners are even considering changing the comprehensive plan since the development has no benefit to protecting dwindling wetlands. He believes the project will take away the natural beauty of the area at the determinant to tourism. He also points out that the developers contributed over $40,000 during the recent election cycle.

August 6 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Paul Curtis of Bradenton Beach encourages elected officials to abide by the will of the people and reject changes to the comprehensive plan. He recommends the property become a preserve instead of a private development.

August 6 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Sara Werner of Sarasota points out that people throughout the state oppose projects that harm wildlife and waterways. She says the only thing good about the project is the profit for the developers.

August 6 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy about today’s meeting of the Manatee County Commission regarding the controversial Long Bar Pointe development. Opponents assert that the project would cause damage to Sarasota Bay, clog the area with unwanted traffic and strip the county of its ability to protect ecologically sensitive areas. The developers claim their project will result in a benefit to the environment.

August 6 – The Bradenton Times – An article about today’s Manatee County Commission meeting regarding the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. A large crowd of opponents are expected to attend. The coverage by TBT about Long Bar Pointe has been significant.

August 5 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking more exhibitors for the free festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota.

August 5 – The Guardian – An article by Helen Davidson indicates that climate change conditions are pushing marine life toward the poles. The findings come from a study conducted by a working group of scientists from 17 institutions. Warming oceans are causing marine species to alter their breeding, feeding and migration patterns.

August 5 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking more exhibitors for the free festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota.

August 5 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the plans for Long Bar Pointe in Manatee County. Ann Balas of Tidy Island objects to any changes in zoning or proposed changes of use of the Long Bar Pointe property.

August 5 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the plans for Long Bar Pointe in Manatee County. Bob Harrington of Bradenton criticizes the commissioners for being to cozy with local developers and ignorant about land use decisions. He says the commissioners are biased in favor of the developers with Michael Gallen being the only exception.

August 5 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking more exhibitors for the free festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota.

August 5 – Tampa Bay Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking more exhibitors for the free festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota.

August 5 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the plans for Long Bar Pointe in Manatee County. Doug Calhoun of Cortez diminishes the use of the word “mitigation” by developers and their attorney as a form of double speak.

August 5 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the plans for the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Skip Hannon of Bradenton points out that approval of the development could open the door to other development on other flood plains in Manatee County.

August 5 – Bradenton Patch – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking more exhibitors for the 2013 festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park.

August 5 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Charles Schelle summarizes the issues involved with the decisions facing the Manatee County commissioners regarding Long Bar Pointe.

August 5 – WWSB ABC 7 News – A news posting about the Tuesday Manatee County Commission meeting regarding Long Bar Pointe in Manatee County.

August 5 – Sarasota Patch – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking more exhibitors for the 2013 festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park.

August 4 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Josh Salman indicating that the developers of Long Bar Pointe has a contingency plan if they fail to gain approval for their expanded vision featuring a hotel, marina and waterfront boardwalk. The developer also referenced a prospective lawsuit to contest the possible rejection of their expanded plan. The Manatee County planning staff suggested that the commissioners reject changes to the comp plan because it could open the floodgates to other coastal developments.

August 4 – The Islander – An article by Mark Young profiling the experience of a couple opponents of the Long Bar Pointe development meeting with one of the developers. Local fishing captain Kathe Fannon and Barbara Hines with Manasota-88 tried to educate Carlos Beruff about why the development is bad for the shoreline area and Sarasota Bay.

August 4 – The Bradenton Times – An editorial by Dennis Maley warns Manatee County commissioners to pay attention to the extensive organized resistance against the Long Bar Pointe project. He explains that a text amendment to the county comprehensive plan would be a dangerous change to development in fragile coastal ecosystems. He also points out that a prior county report failed to note that manatees use the area or that seagrass would be destroyed in dredging the canal.

August 4 – Bradenton Herald – A resident who previously supported the Long Bar Pointe development has flipped his position after seeing the shoreline area from a boat. Frank Howard, MD of Tidy Island opposes the environmental impact that would be caused by the removal of mangroves and dredging of seagrass with an adverse impact on tourism and the fishing industry.

August 4 – Bradenton Herald – Editorial says the Long Bar Pointe development has potential to be an economic driver as well as a retreat from Manatee County’s proud history of environmental stewardship. The newspaper calls for an environmental impact study by independent experts. They also recommend that the decision be delayed until more details are forthcoming including the environmental impacts.

August 4 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy addresses conflict of interest questions associated with the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. That includes Commissioner Benac being employed as a consultant for one of the developers prior to her election for the commission. The two developers have contributed $42,500 to six of the seven commissioners who will decide if the amendment should be granted for the project. Carlos Beruff, one of the developers, is the chair of Southwest Florida Water Management District, an agency that must grant a permit for the project to go forward. All of the public comments oppose the project.

August 4 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Charles Schelle and Sara Kennedy focuses on the public hearing set for Tuesday to discuss the Long Bar Pointe project. Two developers are looking for an amendment to the Manatee County Comprehensive Plan to allow for large, innovative mixed use development on land 200 acres or larger located on a coastal line adjacent to navigable waterways and arterial roadways.

August 4 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Charles Schelle says that the Manatee County Audubon Society believe the mixed-use development will devastate birding tourism. Other opponents include League of Women Voters of Manatee County, Manatee Coalition for Responsible Government, Manatee Fish and Game Association, the Holmes Beach City Commission, and many local and regional environmental groups. Doug Means, the planning manager for Manatee County, says the conservation and coastal elements of the comprehensive plan are the backbone of the environmental protection policies in Manatee County.

August 4 – Bradenton Herald – Commentary by Carlos Beruff, one of the developers of the Long Bar Pointe project, says much of what has been printed regarding his proposed development is inaccurate or propaganda. All 10 public comments following the commentary oppose the project.

April 4 – Bradenton Herald – Commentary by Linda Jones with the Sierra Club explains the problems with the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. She points out that the one sentence text amendment to the County comprehensive plan would exempt the developers from the entire Conservation and Coastal Management sections of the plan. That’s 47 pages of policies that protect local natural habitats, keep the water and air clean, and prevent flooding during hurricanes. She also criticizes the assurances of mitigation efforts as ineffective. Ms. Jones points out that Sarasota Bay is a national estuary.

August 4 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor takes the position that the Long Bar Pointe project is better than the alternative of a private gated community with individual private boat slips. Craig Trigueiro, MD of Lakewood Ranch expresses support for mitigation efforts.

August 3 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. Carl Parks of Bradenton says the proposed changes to the Manatee County Comprehensive Plan could set a dangerous precedent for unwise development throughout the coastal high-hazard flood areas.

August 3 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – A letter to the editor supporting the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. Marla Hough of Bradenton says the development will allow public access to the waterfront. She says that many government agencies will enforce requirements projecting water qualities and local fisheries.

August 2 – The Bradenton Times – An article by Dennis Maley reports that nearly 50 protesters showed up Thursday at the Manatee County Administrative Center to voice their opposition to the proposed Long Bar Pointe development. The citizens delivered 1,000 signatures of the more than 5,000 they say have been collected thus far. The project has drawn opposition from a broad coalition of environmentalists, charter fishing captains and neighborhood activists.

August 2 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. Larry Grossman of Longboat Key says developers are seeking too much change in the current comp plan. He says the development is “too much stuff in the wrong place” with potential harm to the bay.

August 2 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 33 by Roger Drouin outlines the planned review by a national consulting firm of the Sarasota County Environmental Utilities Department following a procurement scandal in 2011. A former utilities manager was charged with receiving illegal gifts from a contractor awarded millions in bids for sewer repair work for the county. A second problem was a billing mix-up in which customers were charged for back flow valve inspections that were never conducted. The refunds were then sent to the wrong customers.

August 2 – The Bradenton Times – An article says Mosaic Phosphate Mining Company is pumping ground water to dilute waste below state maximums. The company is permitted to pump up to 70 million gallons of water each day out of Florida’s ground water supply for the next 20 years. The permit allows the company to pump water from more than 250 wells throughout the region. These same areas have been under stringent water restrictions for 20 years. A recent investigation in the Tampa Bay Times reports that Mosaic cannot say what amount of the water being withdrawn is being used for dilution.

August 2 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. Elsye Daugherty of Bradenton says the development is about money for the developers and not for improving Manatee County.

August 2 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. Bill Burggraf of Bradenton suggests renaming the project Accordion Acres to reflect the constant changes on the numbers being provided by the two developers. He proposed Moby Dick as an alternative.

August 2 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – News item under the Business Buzz header about Plymouth Harbor getting a $3,000 grant from the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program for shoreline restoration. Boy Scout Troop 895 will help with the work as a community service project. The grant was awarded through the SBEP Bay Partners Grant Program. More than 5,000 signatures have been collected in various protest petitions.

August 2 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy and Charles Schelle about opponents of the Long Bar Pointe project delivering petitions to the Board of Manatee County Commissioners. Opponents said they are adding 100 new petitions a day to the already collected 5,375 signatures.

August 1 – Anna Maria Island Sun – An article by Joe Hendricks about the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County.

August 1 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – News brief about SBEP reminding residents not to dump medications into any drains since they can enter the waterways and harm aquatic life.

August 1 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Josh Salman about protesters visiting the Board of Manatee County Commissioners Thursday afternoon to deliver a petition with 1,000 signatures against the proposed Long Bar Pointe development.

August 1 – USA Today – Report indicates that sea-level rise could effect up to 1,400 cites in the US.

August 1 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the new rules being proposed by the EPA to modernize Clean Water Act reporting. According to the EPA, E-reporting will increase efficiency, easy burden for states and improve public access to the data.

August 1 – Sarasota Bay Real Estate – Posting on a business website references the recent acknowledgement of Sarasota being listed as one of the top 10 great waterfronts to visit across North America. The listing was compiled by USA Today. The author of the posting credits SBEP for helping to restore the local estuary system.

August 1 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – Article from the Florida Stormwater Association newsletter indicates that the US EPA filed a motion in federal court to modify the consent degree concerning Numeric Nutrient Criteria, after determining that further federal rulemaking was not necessary in Florida. The link includes another link to a draft report regarding the nutrient criteria.

 

July

July 31 – Bradenton Patch – Article reminding residents not to dump medications or other chemicals into drains. It also offered safe drop off locations for any prescription drugs.

July 31 – Sarasota Patch – Article reminding residents not to dump medications or other chemicals into drains. It also offered safe drop off locations for any prescription drugs.

July 30 – Bay News 9 – An article by Summer Smith outlines the public debate regarding the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Another protest against the project is set for August 1 outside the Manatee County administrative building.

July 30 – WWSB ABC 7 News – Local report about the impact of sea-level rise references the interactive SLR map on the SBEP website. The report includes quotes from Frank Alcock with New College, Charlie Hunsicker with Manatee County and Sara Kane with SBEP.

July 30 – SWFWMD News – A media release announcing that the Southwest Florida Water Management District has let all water shortage orders expire on July 31.

July 29 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Charles Michael Dunivin of Bradenton describes the promotion of the project as “The Wizard of Oz” with ever changing descriptions and plans.

July 28 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. Jamie Schindewolf of Bradenton criticizes the use of the words “smart growth” in describing the development. She says the project falls short of providing an environmentally responsible community.

July 28 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy indicates that supporters and opponents of the Long Bar Pointe project are deluging Manatee County commissioners with missives about the project.

July 28 – The New York Times – An article by John Broder about the new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Gina McCarthy was formerly the EPA’s head of air quality. Republican and industry representatives opposed her nomination. The Republican Party held up a confirmation vote for 136 days. The new administrator said during one of her first field trips that the EPA has to do a better job explaining its mission to hostile constituencies, including Congress and the agriculture, mining and utility industries. She also emphasizes the importance of addressing climate change in the face of resistance and inaction in Congress.

July 28 – You Tube – Video of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy addressing EPA employees.

July 28 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Charles Schelle outlines the case by developers of Long Bar Pointe that their shoreline development will enhance Sarasota Bay. Manatee County government staff has recommended the county commissioners vote against text amendment changes to the comp plan because it is inconsistent with current requirements. Most of the public comments following the article oppose the development.

July 28 – Sustainable Cities Collective – Website features an article about the popularity of birding as a potential engine of economic growth and conservation for city managers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service claims bird watching in America involves over 50 million people contributing more than $36 billion to the national economy annually.

July 27 – The News Herald – Newspaper features an article by Valerie Garman about the increased mortality rates of dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico over the past three years. A scientist reports the length and severity of the problem is unprecedented in the history of the Gulf.

July 27 – The Tampa Tribune – An editorial focused on protecting manatees reports that 600 manatees have died this year so far – about three a day – compared to 392 all of last year.

July 25 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Peggy Yawberg of Bradenton says it doesn’t make sense to build in a Coastal High Hazard flood area. She explains that nature has adapted to the low-lying area with sea grass beds and mangroves.

July 25 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor about the Long Bar Pointe development. William Moore of Bradenton reminds voters they have the option of removing commissioners who are not respectful of their wishes.

July 25 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Chuck Palmer of Bradenton points out that the developers were given permission to develop the land as long as they protected the shoreline. That understanding has morphed into a more ambitious plan that would require exceptions to the comprehensive plan. Palmer asserts that the development would cause irreparable damage to the seabed and mangroves.

July 25 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor by Steve Belack of Bradenton characterizes the Long Bar Pointe development as either a seaside-type village with a nice hotel or a private development without public access to shops, restaurants, hotel, etc. Belack used to work in the planning department for Manatee County.

July 25 – The Bradenton Times – An editorial raising concerns about potential modifications to accommodate the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. The editorial asserts that redevelopment doesn’t make sense when it includes a large, environmentally sensitive coastal area.

July 24 – The Anna Maria Islander – Article about the plans by Manatee County to do more restoration at Robinson Preserve including building an environmental center named the Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science and Technology. The Mosaic Foundation associated with the Mosaic phosphate mining company donated $4 million to purchase 150 acres of land.

July 24 – WYFT News – Article by Alexa Davies indicates that former Governor Bob Graham is supporting a new environmental conservation amendment to be placed on the November 2014 ballot. The proposed amendment would ensure Florida spends money on land and water conservation, management and restoration.

July 24 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Rich Shopes indicates that the Southwest Florida Water Management District is planning to drop funding for the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program. Swiftmud says that most of the information is already available on their website. The action would save Swiftmud about $500,000 annually.

July 24 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. Chuck Palmer of Bradenton provides details about the amount of money donated by the developers to curry favor from the sitting commissioners. The amounts include $9,500 each to Bustle, DiSabatino, Whitmore, and Benac. 

July 24 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Kevin McGill with the Associated Press reports an out-of-control natural gas well off the Louisiana coast has caught fire hours after a blowout that prompted the evacuation of 44 workers.

July 23 – Eye on Miami – A popular blog in Miami features a photo essay about the melting ice sheet in Greenland and its inevitable impact on rising sea levels. According to the author, the ice sheets are melting rapidly because the planet is heating up quickly.

July 23 – The Bradenton Times – An article by Terri Wonder summarizes the opposition to the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County.

July 23 – The Islander – Anna Maria based newspaper features an article by Mark Young about the ongoing protest of the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County.

July 23 – Sierra Club Florida News – A recent report reviewed water permits for 386 coal plants across the country to determine if the Clean Water Act was being upheld. According to the findings, at least seven plants in Florida discharged heavy metals into state waters.

July 23 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Shelby Webb says that SarasotaCounty has issued a boil-water advisory for 17,000 residents in Osprey and Venice. The warning followed a sudden drop in pressure to the primary water main.

July 22 – The Bradenton Times – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Holly Clouse of Bradenton focuses on the impact that a large development in a Coastal High Hazard area could have on taxpayers. The taxpayers will ultimately foot the bill for any future hurricanes or other natural disasters. She also points out that the area has been designated as an essential fish habitat by NOAA.

July 22 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor from Elizabeth Sullivan of East Manatee questions the credentials of developer Carlos Beruff who sits on the local board for SRQ Airport. She also questions his appointment to another board charged with preserving the region’s water supply. Beuff is one of the developers promoting the Long Bar Pointe development. Sitting governors appoint many individuals to various positions regardless of their qualifications. It’s a well established way for politicians to reward big donors that have supported their prior election campaigns.

July 22 – The Bradenton Times – A list of all the recent links related to the ongoing media coverage about the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. The media links include a recent video explaining why so many residents oppose the project.

July 22 – The Bradenton Times – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking vintage and unique boats for the 2013 festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park.

July 21 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy about local commissioners expressing concern about the potential impact of a new bridge destroying the Cortez fishing village.

July 21 – Bradenton Herald – Article about the 65-year birthday celebration for Snooty the manatee at South Florida Museum. SBEP participated with a booth along with other organizations focused on conservation and environmental stewardship.

July 21 – The Tampa Tribune – An article by Christopher Hunter about the public value of wetlands. Hunter details the specific benefits of wetlands to water quality, flood mitigation, and protection of juvenile aquatic fish species.

July 21 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Jessica De Leon about residents organizing a flotilla of boats and other watercraft to protest the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County.

July 21 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An editorial about the threats to wildlife on the Indian River Lagoon and its impact throughout Florida. The editorial points out the connection between Florida’s ecosystems and the state’s economy.

July 21 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor from William Follmer of Bradenton says concerns about seagrass damage in connection with the Long Bar Pointe development are overstated. He proposes building another bridge to Longboat Key to help address parking issues.

July 21 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor from Jim Esposito of Bradenton touts the allure of a prospective five star hotel to the Long Bar Pointe development. Esposito is the president of The Gotham Hotel Group.

July 20 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Craig Pittman about the phosphate company Mosaic pumping millions of gallons of water daily to dilute polluted waste water so it can be dumped into creeks without violating state regulations. This practice is permitted by the Florida DEP and the Southwest Florida Water Management District issued the permit to Mosaic. Some environmentalists are concerned that this practice is undermining the Florida aquifer with pools of underground contamination and diluted gyp stack waste.

July 20 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Elizabeth Johnson about the water protest by local residents regarding the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County.

July 20 – Bradenton Herald – An online slide show of 16 photos showing boaters protesting the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County.

July 20 – You Tube – A You Tube posting about the Long Bar Pointe development produced by the local Sierra Club chapter. Local fishing captains and scientists talk about the project and its potential impact on fishing, tourism and the welfare of local wildlife.

July 20 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe project. Katie Pierola, the former chairperson for the Bradenton Beach Action Committee calls the project a disease and disgrace.

July 20 – Bradenton Herald – A short editorial acknowledging the efforts in Manatee County to preserve natural land as part of the preserve system.

July 20 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – A letter to the editor from Dan Beckley of Port Charlotte advocates the use of well-maintained septic systems instead of a centralized sewer system.

July 19 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. Carmen Marina of Bradenton says the project is a “frill” for IMG families. She mocks the reference by developer Carlos Beruff about a child being in awe of seeing a five-star hotel for the first time.

July 19 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. Holly Clouse of Bradenton focuses on the area being designated a coastal high hazard area. She says the project would have an adverse impact on Sarasota Bay as well as the inland area in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. She also opposes the project because the area provides essential fish habitat.

July 19 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – A letter to the editor from Misty Servia of Bradenton indicates support for the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. She says the land can be developed while protecting the environment and the local fishing industry.

July 18 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Article by Linda Brandt in the real estate section about alternative irrigation methods as a way of conserving water. The article includes a profile of Donna and Richard Cass who started the North Port Community Gardens.

July 18 – Ocala Star Banner – Editorial decries the lack of attention on protecting and preserving Florida’s natural environmental treasures following the Great Recession and the election of Governor Scott. The editorial indicates that environmental groups are conducting a petition drive to place a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot.

July 18 – SWFWMD News – Media release from SWFWMD about their Instagram contest designed to raise awareness about springs throughout the District. The District has five major springs systems in Citrus, Hernando and Marion counties.

July 18 – The Bradenton Times – An article about plans by Bay Life Preservers and other groups to host a boat brigade in Sarasota Bay to protest the Long Bar Pointe development. The unique event will take place 2 pm on July 20 off Marker 17 in northeast Sarasota Bay.

July 17 – The AMI Sun – Local newspaper features an article by Joe Hendricks about a meeting between local residents of one of the developers of the Long Bar Pointe project. Carlos Beruff is seeking additional concessions from county commissioners in order to secure the mixed-use zoning designation needed to more forward with hi plan. Most of the attendees vigorously oppose the project.

July 17 – Tampa Bay Times – Article by Craig Pittman indicates that a government research chemist has isolated a suite of toxins on seaweed eaten by the 112 manatees that have died in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon. Some scientists thought fertilizer was the source of the pollution, but tests by Brian Lapointe from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute have found that the culprit is actually sewage. Research about the high mortality of manatees, dolphins and brown pelicans in the lagoon continues.

July 17 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Richard Dymond about the angst being felt by attorney Edward Vogler who represents the developer of the proposed Long Bar Pointe project. He claims that the benefits will overshadow the environmental impact. All of the public comments following the article oppose the development. A boat rally opposing the project is scheduled for this Saturday at Marker 17.

July 17 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Patience Sharp of Sarasota says that taking out mangroves along the shore is the dumbest idea ever because they provide protection from storm surges. She describes Manatee County as anti-environment and pro-development.

July 17 – Nature Magazine – An article by Virginia Gewin on the importance of natural defenses for limiting coastal damage. She asserts that reefs, dunes and marshes are important to protecting lives and property against storm surges and long-term sea-level rise. A research study by the Nature Conservancy identified the following habitats that offer the greatest coastal protection. They include: seagrass beds, oyster reefs, wetlands, dunes, and kelp forests.

July 16 – WWSB ABC 7 News – An article by Bobeth Yates about the growing controversy surrounding the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. The author indicates the organized movement against the project is expanding.

July 16 – Bradenton Patch – Article about the Long Bar Pointe development inviting readers to share their views.  Local residents in Manatee County are rallying to oppose the project.

July 16 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Michael Kunzelman indicates that BP has asked a federal judge on Tuesday to temporarily halt all settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim they lost money after the company’s 2010 oil spill while the former FBI Director Lous Freeh investigates alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped administer the settlement program.

July 16 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. William Ripberger of Bradenton refers to the project as a “disaster” that will result in costly sprawl. He also points out that the developer lacks hotel development experience and that most of the future jobs will be low paying.

July 16 – The Islander – Anna Maria Island newspaper features an article by Mark Young about the recent meeting in Cortez with developer Carlos Beruff and 200 residents. Many residents expressed strong opposition to the plans for a massive development at Long Bar Pointe. Beruff is trying to change the county comprehensive plan.

July 16 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy about the plans for a 150-acre expansion of Robinson Preserve in Manatee County. Officials hope the new acreage will be open in 2017.

July 15 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking new local teams for the dragon boat races being planned for the free public event on November 2.

July 15 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Article indicates that the Manatee County commission will be moving the Long Bar Pointe hearing set for 1:30pm on August 6 to the Manatee Convention Center in Palmetto.

July 15 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking new local teams for the dragon boat races being planned for the free public event on November 2.

July 15 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking new local teams for the dragon boat races being planned for the free public event on November 2.

July 15 – Manatee County Water Atlas – News posting about Nature’s Academy winning a Gulf Guardian award from the U.S. EPA for its impressive efforts to educate 47,000 fifth graders about local ecology.

July 15 – Bradenton Patch – Article about Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking new teams for the dragon boat races on November 2.

July 15 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – News posting about Nature’s Academy winning a Gulf Guardian award from the U.S. EPA for its impressive efforts to educate 47,000 fifth graders about local ecology.

July 15 – Sarasota Patch – Article about Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking new teams for the dragon boat races on November 2.

July 14 – Bradenton Herald – A column written by Vin Mannix questions can a new coastal resort development mesh with the long term appeal of Old Florida. The author explains that one of the developers, Carlos Beruff, is used to getting his way with many board appointments to acknowledge his cash donations to various electors. The author expresses interest in the project, but not at the expense of the native environment.

July 14 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Charles Schelle presents the 20-year vision of Long Bar Pointe as presented by the developers. A modification of the plan is a harbor created out of a retention pond to provide 57 docks to select homes that could accommodate 80 boats. The construction of the proposed basis would result in 2,100 linear feet of seagrass being dredged at a maximum depth of five feet. The developer and his attorney are asserting that the project is good for the environment. All of the posted public comments oppose the development.

July 14 – Associated Press – An article appearing in various newspapers in Florida discusses a study of toxic algae bloom in Indian River Lagoon. A federal researcher says three varieties of toxins are responsible for the deaths of manatees, dolphins and pelicans the past year. Brian LaPointe, a researcher with Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, suspects septic tanks, sewer plants and reclaimed water may be the culprit behind the harmful algae bloom.

July 14 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor from Harris Silverman of Bradenton supports the Long Bar Pointe development and downplays its potential impact on the environment including Sarasota Bay. The author sent the same letter to the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

July 14 – Bradenton Herald – A letter to the editor from Jessica Koelsch with the National Wildlife Federation acknowledges Manatee County for prioritizing projects such as the Robinson Preserve restoration.

July 13 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – A letter to the editor from Sandra Ripberger with the Sierra Club criticizes the newspaper for running what she describes as “promotional pieces” in describing the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. She decries the lack of any analysis of the environmental impact the project would have on Sarasota Bay.

July 13 – The Bradenton Times – A community spotlight about the non-profit group Nature’s Academy receiving a national award in the Youth Environmental Education Category for its Island Adventures Project. The program has impacted 4,700 local fifth graders since 2009.

July 13 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – A letter to the editor that supports the Long Bar Pointe development project. Harris Silverman of Bradenton says the creation of a small marina would be a boon to Manatee County residents and assures readers that the prospective channel will not hurt the bay ecology.

July 12 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill reports that most local residents were not impressed with the vision presented by Carlos Beruff for the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. The author categorized the presentation by Beruff as a “briefcase full of contradictions.” All of the public comments oppose the project.

July 12 – Bay News 9 – Television station website features an article by Summer Smith about the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. One of the developers claims the project is environmentally-friendly and that is being met with a great deal of skepticism from local residents. The developer is planning a public presentation at IMG Academy on July 19.

July 12 – Bradenton Patch – An article by Merab Favorite summarizes the recent meeting between developer Carlos Beruff and residents of Manatee County regarding the Long Bar Pointe project.

July 12 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy about developer Carlos Beruff facing a skeptical crowd of 175 Manatee County residents Thursday when he promoted the merits of his Long Bar Pointe project. Beruff was shouted down at times when he tried to talk. Beruff said his development would destroy 225 linear feet of mangroves and 2,100 linear feet of seagrass would be dredged along a 60-foot wide channel at a maximum depth of 5 feet. All 14 posted public comments expressed opposition to the project.

July 12 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Jane Pettit of Osprey expresses concern about bio-systems being destroyed and potential harm to marine life and nesting birds. She dismisses promises made by developers.

July 12 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 13 about former commissioner Jon Thaxton not being approved for the Sarasota County Planning Commission. The commissioners appointed Michael Beaumier and Paul Bispham to the planning commission denying the candidacy of the former three-term County Commissioner.

July 11 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Josh Salman details the meeting in Cortez between the developer of Long Bar Pointe and up to 200 residents opposing the project. The article details the prospective benefits and the tenants of the opposition. Carlos Beruff presents the development as good for Sarasota Bay because it would remove invasive plants and provide retention ponds to capture runoff that would normally flow into the bay.

July 11 – WTSP News – Television station features a news brief on their website about SBEP reminding residents to not use fertilizer products with nitrogen.

July 11 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Josh Salman indicates that the developers of the Long Bar Pointe project want to model their plans after a development near Destin between Pensacola and Panama City.

July 11 – Bradenton Herald – Letter to the editor from Ed Goff of Bradenton proposes that the Long Bar Pointe developers sell or donate the mangrove forest along the shoreline to Manatee County. He suggests the county could develop the area into a nature preserve with paved and unpaved trails for pedestrians and bicyclists.

July 11 – WSRQ Sarasota Talk Radio – An interview with Cris Costello with the Sierra Club and State Representative Mark Pafford on The Nilon Report regarding the problems with fertilizer runoff undermining water quality.

July 11 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – A news brief from the SBEP reminding residents in Sarasota and Manatee County to hold the use of fertilizers with nitrogen or phosphorous through September 30 to comply with current local ordinances.

July 11 – Wired Magazine – An article by Nadia Drake about the so called “mysterious” manatee and dolphin deaths in Indian River Lagoon that is confounding some scientists. The estuary along the east coast of Florida was designated an “estuary of national significance” by the EPA in 1990. The waterway stretches for 156 miles.

July 11 – Manatee County Water Atlas – A news brief from the SBEP reminding residents in Sarasota and Manatee County to hold the use of fertilizers with nitrogen or phosphorous through September 30 to comply with current local ordinances.

July 10 – Anna Maria Island Sun – An article by Joe Hendricks about a local developer of the Long Bar Pointe project agreeing to meet with opponents.

July 10 – Tampa Bay Times – An article by Craig Pittman indicates that Blake Guillory, the executive director for the Southwest Florida Water Management District, is giving consideration of leaving his $165,000 a year job to pursue a similar position with the larger South Florida Water Management District. Guillory sparked controversy the past couple years by laying off about 150 employees.

July 10 – Bradenton Herald – Article by Sara Kennedy reports that former Manatee commissioner Joe McClash wants an administrative review of the Longboat Key beach project. He asserts that the erosion control plan might harm a popular boater’s hangout known as Beer Can Island. According to McClash, the plan would reduce recreational areas currently used by thousands of people annually.

July 10 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Josh Salman and Elizabeth Johnson about the Long Bar Pointe project in Manatee County. The authors say the project is poised to become the fiercest development battle since the days of the housing boom. It could take up to 15 years and tens of millions of dollars to complete the full vision. Opponents to the project say the developers are either not aware of the potential environmental damage or don’t care. Thousands of local residents have signed online petitions opposing the project.

July 10 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe project. Deborah Carlsen Korell of Bradenton has lived in nearby Bayshore Gardens since 1967. She believes the project would harm mangroves, aquatic live including manatees, and result in too much traffic on local roads.

July 9 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – An article by Jeremy Wallace indicates that the Sarasota County Commission rejected former commissioner Jon Thaxton for a seat on the county planning board.

July 9 – The Bradenton Times – An article by John Rehill about the mounting opposition to the Long Bar Pointe development. Local organizations opposing the project include ManaSota-88, Sierra Club, Bay Life Preservers, Save Our Shores, Florida Native Plant Society, Manatee Citizens for Responsible Government, Save Our Manatee Coastline, Save Our Bays, 3PR, Audubon, Suncoast Waterkeeper, and Stop the Skyway Resort Project.

July 9 – Bradenton Herald – Article by Carl Nudi about the impact of wildlife tourism in Manatee County. The Environmental Defense Fund released a study claiming that wildlife watching, recreational fishing and hunting draw 20 million participants annually in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The same study listed 827 tourism-related businesses in Manatee County creating 13 percent of private jobs in the county.

July 9 – WSRQ Sarasota Talk Radio – Interview with Jon Thaxton and Jono Miller on The Nilon Report about the fertilizer regulations and other issues associated with “home rule” sensibilities versus local policies being set by politicians in Tallahassee. Thaxton is a former commissioner and Miller works for New College of Florida.

July 8 – The Bradenton Times – An article about the SBEP funding the deployment of 36 habitat modules in June on three artificial reefs in Sarasota Bay.

July 8 – Florida Trend – Website features a report about sea level rise planning in Florida. The article references a report issued 20 years ago by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council issuing a warning about the implications of sea level rise for Sarasota Bay. In recent years, several more communities have launched their own sea level rise studies.

July 8 – Florida Trend – An article by Lilly Rockwell about the rate of sea level rise and the long term costs for local communities. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project a sea level rise of three to seven inches by 2030. Some of the concerns from this increase include higher storm surges, added strain on the existing drainage systems, and saltwater intrusion leaking into Florida’s underground aquifers.

July 7 – The Bradenton Times – Article by former Manatee County commissioner Joe McClash argues against the plan to issue a permit for three groins on the south side of Longboat Pass. He says the long jetty will result in the destruction of Beer Can Island, a popular destinations for local boating enthusiasts. He criticizes the effort to try and save two condos that were built too close to the Gulf waters.

July 7 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Deborah Carlsen Korell of Bradenton says she is strongly against the development for a number of reasons including damage to mangroves, the noise and pollution associated with a prospective new marina, and the overall impact on local roads with so many new residents.

July 7 – The Bradenton Times – News brief in the Community Spotlight section about SBEP awarding Bay Partner Grants to nine local organizations in Sarasota and Manatee County.

July 7 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy about the plans to expand Robinson Preserve in Manatee County. The expansion could cost $4 million.

July 6 – The Bradenton Times – The online newspaper ran a recent posting from Bay Reflections as a short article in their recent edition. The headline for the article is Why Seagrass is Worth Protecting. The posting includes a photo of a juvenile fish hiding in seagrass taken by professional photographer Jimmy White of Bradenton.

July 6 – Bradenton Herald – An article by Sara Kennedy indicates that opponents of the Long Bar Pointe project have invited developer Carolos Beruff to speak during a town hall-style meeting in Cortez. The civic group “Save Our Bay” invited Beruff because so many people have questions about the proposal. The reporter was unable to confirm that Beruff has agreed to appear although a member of the group indicates he accepted the invitation. The article does not reference the date of the meeting.

July 6 – Grist Magazine – An article by Jared Green profiling the ideas of Keven Shaney, an international landscape and planning expert. Shaney claims that too many cities have an outdated approach to storm protection that makes them vulnerable to future mega-storms. Shanley advocates the use of green infrastructure which refers to human-made systems that mimic natural ones. One of the interesting insights from the interview is a reference to the popularity of wetland restoration projects in China.

July 4 – Palm Beach Sun Sentinel – An article by Andy Reid about South Florida Water Management District considering selling, donating or trading land the district owns as a way to raise revenue or reduce maintenance expenses. The district owns nearly 1.5 million acres of land from Orlando to the Keys. Some environmentalists are expressing concerns about the prospect of losing natural areas to development. Some of the land was intended for environmental restoration or water quality.

July 4 – Tampa Bay Times – Article by Kathryn Moschella about the former medical officer for Save Our Seabirds continuing to rescue birds from her farm in Wimauma. Fox was relieved of her duties recently by SOS and the action has created a backlash from former volunteers who assert that the facility is not bird-friendly. The current director of the non-profit says the allegations are unfounded.

July 4 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 24 about the City of Sarasota Commission denying the request by the owner of the second largest residence in Sarasota to reopen a channel into his yacht basin. Attorney Deborah Getzoff represents the resident. She worked for the Florida DEP from 1999 to 2011.

July 4 – Sarasota News Leader – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking vintage and unique boats for this year’s festival set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park. The article included a photo of the Sallie Adams, a 21-foot Cortez mullet boat from the 1890’s.

July 4 – Sarasota News Leader – An article on page 8 by Cooper Levey-Baker about the claims and counter claims surrounding Save Our Seabirds. The City of Sarasota Commission voted unanimously July 1 to deepen its probe of the City Island based non-profit organization.

July 3 – The Bradenton Times – Staff report about the opposition by ManaSota-88 to the proposed Long Bar Pointe development on Sarasota Bay. The article includes a copy of the letter from the environmental group to the Manatee County Commissioners. The letter details why ManaSota-88 opposes the development with a focus on its threat to Sarasota Bay and many inconsistencies with current guidelines including the Manatee County Comprehensive Plan.

July 3 – The Bradenton Times – Article about the SBEP Bay Guardians planting 3,500 native plants at Perico Preserve in May. The article included two photos including a group photo showing the volunteers from Sarasota and Manatee County.

July 3 – Bradenton Herald – Article by Sara Kennedy about the ongoing opposition to the Long Bar Pointe development project in Manatee County. Developer Carlos Beruff defended his controversial project during a phone interview. Groups opposing the project include: ManaSota-88, Sierra Club, Stop the Skyway Resort Project, Save Our Manatee Shoreline, and Bay Life Preservers.

July 3 – Insurance Journal – An article reports that Governor Scott and the Gulf Consortium – a group comprising 23 Gulf Coast counties – have reached a deal for using recovery funds related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The article did not provide specifics about the terms of the agreement.

July 3 – SWFWMD News – The Southwest Florida Water Management District offers a number of videos about water quality, Florida-friendly fertilizing, how watersheds work, and various restoration projects.

July 3 – Science Codex – An article summarizing the findings of a study about the impact of nitrogen on biodiversity. According to the analysis of 30 years of field data, adding nitrogen-based fertilizer to grasslands led to an initial increase in ecosystem productivity. However, that increase proved unsustainable because the increased nitrogen resulted in a loss of plant diversity.

July 2 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking vintage and unique watercraft to display at the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for November 2 at Ken Thompson Park. The article included a photo of the Sallie Adams, a 21-foot Cortez mullet boat from the 1890’s.

July 2 – Bradenton Herald – Article by Sara Kennedy about the opposition to the Long Bar Pointe project on Sarasota Bay. The sweeping proposal requires zoning changes and altered environmental regulations countywide.

July 2 – Sarasota County Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking vintage and unique watercraft to display at the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for November 2 at Ken Thompson Park. The article included a photo of the Sallie Adams, a 21-foot Cortez mullet boat from the 1890’s.

July 2 – Bradenton Herald – Another letter to the editor opposing plans to develop Long Bar Pointe. Karl Marshall of Bradenton says approval of the project would destroy one of the few pristine areas on Sarasota Bay. He opposes the prospect of developers ripping out mangroves and seagrasses and dredging the bay bottom to accommodate large boats.

July 2 – Bradenton Herald – Editorial explains how a recent Supreme Court ruling regarding land-use planning and environmental protection could provide property owners and developers greater leverage in securing government approval for projects. According to the editorial, the justification of environmental protection becomes more difficult as government entities now need to worry about litigation. The editorial features a photo promoting the Long Bar Pointe development.

July 2 – Manatee County Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking vintage and unique watercraft to display at the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for November 2 at Ken Thompson Park. The article included a photo of the Sallie Adams, a 21-foot Cortez mullet boat from the 1890’s.

July 2 – Bradenton Herald – Associated Press article by Jennifer Kay about the Florida Keys preparing for sea level rise conditions. A tidal gauge operating since before the Civil War has documented a sea level rise of 9 inches in the last century. Officials expect that number to double over the next 50 years.

July 2 – Sarasota Patch – Posting about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival team seeking vintage and unique boats to be displayed at the second annual festival taking place Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park.

July 2 – The Bradenton Times – A letter to the editor expresses opposition to any changes to zoning rules to accommodate the Long Bar Pointe development in Manatee County. Karl Marshall of Bradenton thanks Commissioners Robin DiSabatino and Michael Gallen for voting against the request from two area developers to make a zoning change. He criticizes the other commissioners for voting in favor of destroying the only large area of Sarasota Bay that is still a pristine nature environment.

July 2 – Bradenton Patch – Posting about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival team seeking vintage and unique boats to be displayed at the second annual festival taking place Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park.

July 2 – Longboat Key Observer – Article by Kurt Schultheis reports that the Town of Longboat Key is keeping a close eye on the Long Bar Pointe development plan across Sarasota Bay that could result in boat congestion and environmental concerns. Rusty Chinnis of Longboat Key is quoted as saying that the plan to remove mangroves and “grass flats” is too intense and that the prospective environmental damage could not be overcome with any amount of mitigation.

July 2 – Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas – An article about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival seeking vintage and unique watercraft to display at the 2013 Sarasota Bay Water Festival set for November 2 at Ken Thompson Park. The article included a photo of the Sallie Adams, a 21-foot Cortez mullet boat from the 1890’s.

July 1 – WWSB ABC 7 News – Report abou