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Florida Ecology

October 1, 2009

Florida is replete with natural scenery, despite the large population of people and the big cities. All one needs to do is do some local travel through Florida, and you’ll feel like you’re in another place and time… you can see Florida before it became a popular living and tourist destination.

One such place is the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, just east of Titusville. This huge place to experience Florida ecology is composed of approximately 140,000 acres, where you’ll see over 500 types of animals (including some that are endangered) and over 1000 plant species.

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Sebastian Marina Owner to Reimburse DEP for Stolen Grant Funds

September 17, 2009

marina-1~Courts order man to pay $65,000~

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – A Sebastian marina owner was recently ordered to pay $65,000 for restitution and investigative costs to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as a result of submitting fraudulent grant applications to DEP’s Clean Marina Program. Damien Gilliams, 49, pled no contest on August 24, 2009 in the Indian River County Court to second degree felony grand theft and received a sentence of five years probation with adjudication withheld.

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Reptile Expo & Sale Featuring Marsupial Tree Frogs

September 17, 2009

flamingo-gardens-1Sunday, October 18, 9:30-4:30

1/2 price admission is $8.50 ages 12+, $4.25 4 to 11, under 4 free.

The event, presented in cooperation with Aviculari Productions, features Stop, Look & Learn about Marsupial Tree Frogs.  The females carry their eggs in a pouch on their backs.  Come see these fascinating Peruvian beauties.  In the Kids Korner, enter the coloring contest for three age groups and win prizes of plush frogs and metals.  The whole family will enjoy competing in educational reptile Bingo. The Kool Giveaway for adults at 3 pm is a $25 gift certificate to any vendor table at the show.  Purchase quality reptiles at great prices direct from expert breeders.  Guests are not permitted to bring animals for trade, sale or show to this event.

Special 1/2 price admission is only $8.50 ages 12 and up, $4.25 children 4-11, under age 4 and members are free.  Admission includes the event, the gardens, native wildlife exhibits with panthers, bobcats, otters, alligators, tortoises, turtles, free-flight aviary with 40 species of native birds, birds of prey exhibit, live Wildlife Encounter Shows and guided tours of historic 1930s Wray Home.  A narrated 20-minute tour by tram is extra.  Food, snacks, and beverages are available.  Parking is free.

Flamingo Gardens & Wildlife Sanctuary, 3750 S Flamingo Road, Davie, 954-473-2955, www.flamingogardens.org, click on Upcoming Events for details and to sign up for emailed event alerts.

Never been to Flamingo Gardens?  Visit the website Attractions page for panoramic photos to see just a little bit of what you are missing.  Flamingo Gardens is a 60-acre botanical paradise and wildlife sanctuary which exhibits and cares for permanently injured native birds and animals that cannot survive in the wild, and provides educational programs for school and camp children. A not-for-profit organization, it is supported solely by admissions, proceeds from events, donations, visitor purchases and memberships. Visit the gardens at 3750 S Flamingo Road, Davie, just 2 miles south of I-595 on Flamingo Road.  For more information call 954-473-2955 or visit www.flamingogardens.org and click on Upcoming Events

Ammunitions Collection Event Makes Environmental Stewardship Easy

September 16, 2009

ammunitions-1~DEP, SWIX and others partner to dispose of more than 770 pounds of old or unwanted ammunition~

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), along with the Southern Waste Information eXchange, Inc. (SWIX), the state of Florida Fire Marshal’s Office and Kevin’s Guns and Sporting Goods collected more than 770 pounds of old or unwanted ammunition last weekend at an Ammunitions Collection Event in Tallahassee. This marked the fourth year DEP has co-sponsored the event.

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Progress Energy Florida’s Levy Nuclear Plant

August 12, 2009

nuclear~First nuclear units approved in Florida in 33 years~

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist, Attorney General Bill McCollum and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, serving as the Siting Board, today unanimously approved Progress Energy Florida’s site request for construction of a nuclear facility on a 3,105-acre location in Levy County. The Levy Nuclear Plant is the first nuclear facility approved in Florida since 1976.

“Today’s decision proves that Florida is on the right path toward achieving energy diversity and independence,” said Governor Crist. “I applaud Progress Energy Florida for its commitment to producing alternative energy options, creating jobs and protecting our environment for future generations.”

A need for the facility, which will consist of two 1,100 megawatt nuclear powered units, was determined by the Florida Public Service Commission last August. On December 18, 2008, Progress Energy announced it would discontinue coal use at its existing coal-fired units known as Crystal River 1 and 2 with Levy Nuclear Units 1 and 2. The Siting Board’s approval of the Levy Nuclear Plant includes a requirement for the coal-fired units to be discontinued by December 31, 2020, assuming timely licensing and construction.

“Today’s approval by the Siting Board is a significant step in the process to construct and operate the facility,” said DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole. “We are pleased that Florida companies are seeing the value of a clean and diverse energy future and are investing in energy technologies to help preserve and protect our state’s valuable natural resources.”

Federal approvals and permits required prior to construction include National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD), U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Progress Energy has already received the PSD permit and all others are currently under review.

“This is an important milestone for the proposed Levy plant,” said Vincent M. Dolan, Progress Energy Florida’s president and chief executive officer. “Carbon-free nuclear power is a strategic asset in our statewide effort to become energy-independent, to reduce our reliance on more volatile-priced fossil fuels, and to provide a balanced approach to meet the challenges of growth and climate change.”

Prior to the Governor and Cabinet’s issuing site certifications, DEP’s Siting Office reviews applications for power plants, transmission lines, and natural gas pipelines as well as coordinates certification of those facilities. The Siting Office recently launched a redesigned Web site providing streamlined access to locate and monitor site certification applications in one simple location. For more information about DEP’s Siting Office or to view the redesigned Web site, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/siting.

Nuclear power plants produce electricity through a heat-generating process know as fission, in which neutrons split uranium atoms to produce large amount of energy. These facilities produce minimal carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to climate change. In the United States, more than 100 nuclear reactors supply roughly 20 percent of the nation’s electricity. To learn more about nuclear power plants, visit http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/power.html.

Brownfields Program Annual Report

August 11, 2009

brownfields-program-annual-report1

–Report highlights economic revitalization of brownfield areas–

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently released the Florida Brownfields Redevelopment Program 2008 Annual Report.  Submitted each year to the Governor, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, the report describes DEP’s progress and level of activity in implementing the Florida Brownfields Redevelopment Act established in 1997.  The report documents the Program’s continued success in revitalizing brownfield areas despite current economic challenges.

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National Marina Day With Waves Of Green

August 7, 2009

~August 8 recognized as National Marina Day; DEP highlights Clean Marinas~

dep2TALLAHASSEE – Florida Governor Charlie Crist recently signed a proclamation honoring Saturday, Aug. 8, as National Marina Day 2009 – Celebrating America’s Gateway to Boating. Designated marinas in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Clean Marina Program are hosting special events statewide throughout the day to highlight the importance of protecting Florida’s waterways.

“With more than 1,350 miles of coastline and 50,000 miles of inland and coastal rivers supporting a $14 billion marine industry, Florida’s water resources are crucial to the state’s economy and our environment,” said DEP Director of Sustainable Initiatives Deas Bohn. “Celebrating National Marina Day is a great way to highlight the importance of green maritime practices and to recognize our Clean Marinas for their role in protecting Florida’s waterways. “

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Florida Aquarium Releases Juvenile Green Sea Turtle Friday

August 6, 2009

juvenile-green-sea-turtleA green sea turtle journeys to Spring Hill to be released after 6-months of rehabilitation at The Florida Aquarium on Friday, August 7 departing The Florida Aquarium at 10:00 a.m. (Release around 11:30 a.m. or noon.) on the West coast north of Tampa:

  • Alfred McKethan Pine Island Park: 10800 Pine Island Dr, Spring Hill, FL, 34607
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DEP Announces Stimulus Loan For City Of Pahokee Wastewater facility

August 3, 2009

–Federal funding to protect environment, stimulate economy–

dep1PAHOKEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently awarded $5.5 million to the city of Pahokee for wastewater management.  The money, part of DEP’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Program, will fund the rehabilitation of the city’s sewer collection system.

Pahokee has experienced a significant increase in sewage flows because rain water enters aged pipes that are damaged or collapsed.  This project is needed to properly seal the city’s collection system which will in turn save energy and reduce the process costs by reducing the volume of wastewater for treatment.

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DEP announces Stimulus loan for city of live oak Wastewater facility

August 3, 2009

–Federal funding to protect environment, stimulate economy–

depLIVE OAK – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently awarded $6.2 million to the city   of Live Oak for wastewater management.  The money, part of DEP’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Program, will fund the rehabilitation of the city’s sewer collection system.

Live Oak has experienced a significant increase in sewage flow because rain water enters aging pipes that are damaged or collapsed.  This project is needed to properly seal the city’s collection system, which will in turn save energy and reduce the process costs by reducing the volume of wastewater for treatment.

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