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DEP Hosts 13th Annual Power Generation Conference

July 31, 2009

~Conference engages government and industry in environmental protection~

depLAKE BUENA VISTA – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Central District office today hosted the 13th Annual Power Generation Conference at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort & Conference Center in Lake Buena Vista. The one-day conference, featuring the power generation industry, government and other stakeholders, focused on alternative energy sources, carbon reduction, and emerging trends and technologies related to climate change.

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Grow Green

July 29, 2009

grow-greenHave you always wanted to grow your own vegetables?  Enjoy the satisfaction of picking a fresh salad from your own yard.  Did you know we don’t plant vegetables in the spring?  We have to wait until it is cool enough!  Now is the ideal time, so get started.  Come to the free workshop at Flamingo Gardens on September 5th at 10 am to learn about soil, compost, fertilizers, irrigation, pest management, container gardening and how to plant your seeds.

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Clearwater Marine Aquarium Helps Release Dunham the Dolphin

July 28, 2009

release-dunhamThis morning, staff from Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), Gulf World Marine Park and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute released rehabilitated Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, Dunham. He was released shortly after 8 a.m. at the Dunedin Causeway and immediately found two other dolphins to swim with. CMA staff rescued Dunham from Anclote Key Island in December 2008. CMA staff will monitor Dunham’s progress through the use of a VHF transmitter for two months after the release. This will help provide researchers with important information about his progress and travels.

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Florida’s Lodging Facilities Play On Shades Of Green

July 21, 2009

~Florida Green Lodging Program continues to see membership growth~

florida-green-lodging-program2TALLAHASSEE – Fifteen new properties recently joined the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Green Lodging Program. The program now touts a total of 555 designated properties, proving that lodging facilities continue to see the value in green.

“Florida’s lodging industry is seeing the benefits of adopting green practices,” said DEP Director of Sustainable Initiatives Deas Bohn. “By conserving resources, cutting costs and improving their bottom line, hotels are not only protecting Florida’s environment but making choices that are good for business.”

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DEP Prevails In Suit Against Empire Core Supply

July 21, 2009

-Empire required to remediate site and pay $160,000 in penalties and costs-

dep-against-empire-core-supplySANFORD – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently filed suit and prevailed in its case against Empire Core Supply, LLC (Empire), as well as its individual owners and operators, resolving multiple violations that occurred at their facility in Seminole County beginning in 2002. The final judgment found the named defendants liable for environmental damages and requires them to conduct a site assessment, perform remediation, and pay a total of $160,000 in penalties and costs.

“The DEP takes its role in protecting the public’s health and safety seriously,” said DEP Division of Law Enforcement Director Henry Barnet. “Whether taking civil actions to be sure responsible parties remediate damages they have caused, or pursuing criminal prosecution of violators who refuse to comply with Florida’s environmental laws, we are committed to protecting our state for the enjoyment of generations to come.”

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Florida Coastal Communities To Receive Grant Funds

July 20, 2009

~ Grants to help communities restore and enhance coastal resources during difficult economic times ~

florida-coastal-communitiesTALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been awarded annual cooperative grant funds of $2.65 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to continue and enhance protection of Florida’s coastal resources. The grant funds will support several state priorities such as: restoring seagrasses; developing a derelict vessel management program and a database of geo-referenced shoreline trends; improving the state’s understanding of storm surge impacts on aquifers; and developing plans for post-disaster redevelopment and response to harmful algal blooms.

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Judge’s Ruling Signals End To Tri-State Water Dispute

July 20, 2009

~ Ruling in Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin provides opportunity for states to bring an end to 18 year battle ~

apalachicola-chattahoochee-flint-river-basinTALLAHASSEE – Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael W. Sole are delighted and satisfied with Federal Court Judge Paul Magnuson’s decision today in ongoing litigation over the waters of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin.

In the decision, U.S. District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson ruled that Congress needs to approve use of the water from Lake Lanier for water supply – which currently amounts to nearly one-quarter of the conservation storage. In addition, Judge Magnuson ordered that all water withdrawals be frozen at current levels for the next three years until Congressional authorization is given or if some other resolution is reached. If Congress does not approve a reallocation within that period, then water withdrawals from Lake Lanier will revert to “baseline” operation of the mid-1970s.

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DEP Secretary’s Visit To Florida Keys Highlights Efforts To Guarantee A Clean And Sustainable Water Supply

July 17, 2009

~Tour of Keys wastewater facilities, stimulus loan check presentation and speaking at American Water Resources Association meeting highlights of visit~

clean-and-sustainable-water-supplyKEY WEST – Today, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Michael W. Sole traveled to the Florida Keys to underscore the importance of a clean and sustainable water supply for Florida. The Secretary began his two-day trip at the First Annual “John R. Wehle” Meeting of the Florida Section of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) in Key West where he gave opening remarks.

The focus of the annual meeting was on emerging technology and techniques for better water resource management and updates on important water resource management projects and legislation.

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Florida Green Lodging Program Surpasses 500 Members

July 7, 2009

~Program’s growth offers variety for green-minded vacationers~

florida-green-lodging-program1TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Green Lodging Program recently designated its 500th property, the Holiday Inn University Center in Gainesville, among 42 others, bringing the program total to 540 designated properties. The soaring number of designated facilities offers the eco-conscious traveler scores of choices when considering lodging accommodations in Florida this summer.

“These 540 facilities are leaders in the lodging industry and prove that green is still growing in Florida,” said DEP Director of Sustainable Initiatives Deas Bohn. “The state’s lodging industry serves more than 35 million guests annually and thanks to the commitment of the facilities, guests can choose from a wide variety of hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts and even cabins that protect and preserve Florida’s natural environment.” Read the rest of this entry »

Secretary Michael W. Sole Op Ed Regarding Senate Bill 2080 (Water Bill)

July 6, 2009

water-resources-into-law-2On June 30th, Governor Charlie Crist signed Senate Bill 2080, relating to water resources, into law. Although the bill is not perfect, it is my firm belief - a belief that I expressed to the Governor - that this bill should be signed for the many benefits it provides to both to the environment and the people of Florida.

Although the new law requires the Governing Boards of the state’s five water management districts to delegate authority to approve permits to their executive directors, each of the water management districts have been - and will continue to be - committed to open government and transparency. Read the rest of this entry »

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