January 20 4 Happy New Year from the Manatee Sarasota Group · Manatee-Sarasota Group at Sarasota...
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Florida panther in crisis
BocaNot blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress
Manatee-Sarasota Group at Sarasota Bay Water Festival
Water quality activists came from every corner of the state on Saturday, November 16th, to attend the Citizens Clean Water Summit, held at the University of South Florida, Orlando. The summit was organized by Sierra Club Florida in partnership with other organiza-tions, in response to widespread toxic algae outbreaks in waterways across the state.
Why? To build solidarity among the states independent regional water movements, to create a framework for re-gional and statewide collaboration, and to lay the ground-work for a progression of joint, grass roots mobilization events to bring Floridas toxic slime disaster straight to the
public and the elected officials who represent them.The Summit was an historic event; for the first time ever,
representatives of well-known statewide organizations and small local organization volunteers came together to share stories and ideas and explore ways to work together.
On January 22, 2014 there will be a press event held in this area to coincide with 19 other events around the state. For more information, contact Cris Costello, Sierra Club, 941-922-2900.
SAVE THE DATE: We will join hundreds of other clean water advocates in Tallahassee on February 18, 2014 more details to follow in the next newsletter.
What: Manatee-Sarasota Group General MeetingWhen: Thursday, Jan.9, 204, 7 p.m Where: Sarasota Garden Club,3 Blvd. of the ArtsSpeaker: Alexis Meyer, Sierra Clubs Panther Critical Habitat Campaign
So far, 17 panther deaths have been reported in Florida this year. Florida panthers now only number 100-140, with vehicle collisions the number one cause of death. Development and human interaction in their habitat will likely cause the continued decline of this amazing animal. New threats include mining and oil exploration in primary panther habitat near Naples.
What is being done to help the panther? Establishing wildlife corridors is one solution, but so is stopping the threat of unneeded development and highways.
The Sierra Clubs Florida Panther Campaign aims to protect their remaining habitat. Lead organizer Alexis Meyer will fill us in on the current situation and
whats being done, as well as explaining how we can get involved in the campaign to save the Florida panther. On Dec. 11, Sierra Club and two other groups filed a legal challenge to the Hogan Island Quarry, a massive mine that threatens the Florida Panther, other imperiled species, and Camp Keais Strand in Collier County.
Join us and bring a snack or dessert to share during the social time.
Linda Jones, group chair
Florida panther, courtesy of Florida Dept of State, Division of Historical Resources
Happy New Year from the Manatee Sarasota Group
Volunteers came throughout the day to help at the Sierra Club booth during the Sarasota Bay Water Festival, held on November 2 at Ken Thomson Park. Approximately 120 petitions were collected for the Water and Land Legacy Program that will become a ballot initiative in 2014 to protect environmentally sensitive land in Florida.
Sierra Club Florida NewsMeeting of the minds at the Citizens Clean Water Summit
Pictured: Linda Jones, JoAnn Osmer, and Lynn Nilssen, Sierra Club mem-bers, speaking with petition signers.
Photo credit: Terri Wonder
Boca Sierra Vol. XLII Issue 1This newsletter is published monthly by the Manatee-Sarasota Group of the Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club. The intent is to inform members and interested individuals of local activities and national environmen-tal issues. Members of the Sierra Club subscribe to Boca Sierra through their annual dues. Non-member subscriptions are available for $6 annually.
2014 Executive CommitteeGroup Chair: Linda T. Jones, 941-358-3249, [email protected]
Vice Chair/Treasurer: Bob Fellman, 973-689-5556, [email protected]
Secretary: Cathy Page, 941-795-8973, [email protected]
Conservation ChairsSarasota County: Open. Manatee County: Sandra Ripberger, 941-794-3878, [email protected]
Inner City Outings: Sarah Mitchell, 941-721-7132, [email protected]
Membership: Mary Sheppard,941-752-3200, [email protected]
Outings: Jim Spencer, 941-586-7463, [email protected]
Political: Gerry Swormstedt, 941-366-9596, [email protected]
Publications/Tabling: John Myers, 941-961-7095; [email protected]
Publicity: Gerlinde Kohl, 941-474-4712, [email protected]
Group CommunicationsManatee-Sarasota Sierra Group Website www.florida.sierraclub.org/sarasota
Sierra Club Office: 2815 Proctor Road, Sarasota FL 34231, 941-922-2900; mailing address: P.O. Box 3485, Sarasota FL 34236-3485
Newsletter Editor: Tess Cieux, 202-489-7059, [email protected]
Web Admin: Joe Rufo, [email protected], 617-302-7836
Boca Design and Production: Barry Zack,[email protected]
Mailout: Lynn Nilssen, 941-284-2158, [email protected]
Executive Committee meetings are held once a month. For details about date and time, contact Linda T. Jones, Chair.
Manatee Conservation CommitteeMonday, Jan. 13, 1-3 p.m. Meeting Room, Bradenton Central Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd. Help us contribute to sound environmental policy in Manatee County. Join us and/or contact Sandra Ripberger, 794-3878 or [email protected] Everyone is welcome!
Sarasota Conservation CommitteeTuesday, Jan. 7, 6:30 p.m. We will meet at the Sierra Club office at 2815 Proctor Road (Riverview Plaza) to discuss Sarasota environmental issues. Gerry Swormstedt at 941-366-9596, [email protected] mailout need helpThursday, Jan. 16, 6 p.m. Help prepare the Boca for mailing. Meet at the Sierra Club office, 2815 Proctor Road, corner of Proctor and Swift roads. For details or directions, contact Lynn Nilssen ([email protected]) or 941-284-2158.Sierras 2014 calendars, both wall and engagement, are now available for 10 percent off the $12.95 and $13.95 respective prices. We will have them at the general meetings. You can also buy them by contacting John Myers, 941-961-7095; [email protected]
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LONG BAR POINTE UPDATEThe map amendment will come back to the Manatee Commission on January 23. We oppose approval of more intense development in the Coastal High Hazard Zone. COMMISSIONERS NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU. PLEASE EMAIL COMMISSIONERS AND ATTEND THE MEETING. For more information phone Sandy Ripberger, 794-3878.
Popular state parks continued on page 4
Popular state parks support economyThe Florida Department of Environmental Protections Florida Parks
Service hosted a record 25.5 million visitors in fiscal year 2012-2013, 592,615 more visitors than the previous year.
In 2012-2013, the Florida Park Service had an overall direct economic impact of nearly $1.2 billion on local economies throughout the state. Direct economic impact is defined as the amount of new dollars spent in the local economy by non-local park visitors and by park operations funds
Exploratory HikeSaturday, Jan. 11, 8:30 a.m. Join us as we follow a drain-age system from a lake through various habitats to the headwater marsh. Parts of the hike will be off the trail, so wetable shoes and long pants are strongly recommended. Reservations with Bill Lewis: 941-355-2156Little Sarasota Bay Paddle and Lunch Saturday, Jan. 18, 10:00 a.m. We will kayak from Vamo Park across Little Sarasota Bay through birding areas, and then to the beach for a dip (weather permitting), lunch at a local restaurant and return to Vamo Park. The trip is about four hours total and the length is about five miles. This trip will be limited to eight kayaks. No rentals avail-able at put in point. Reservations: Bob Fellman: 941-689-5556 or email [email protected] River State Park Camping Friday, Jan. 31 to Sunday, Feb. 2. For this trip options
include walking, biking, fishing and exploring a copy of an Indian war fort. There will also be kayaks and canoes for rent. Pot luck supper will be served both evenings and activities will be planned for the next day. Sites are lim-ited, so please reserve early. Children are welcome. The charge for adults is $10 a night. For reservations, informa-tion and directions: Mary: 941-752-3200 or Chris: 941-747-9427.
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Chapter outings and e-mail updates See all Florida Chapter outings online at http://flor-
ida. sierraclub.org/outings/browse.asp. To get weekly updates by e-mail on upcoming outings planned by the Manatee-Sarasota Group, Suncoast, Tampa Bay and other West Central Sierra Groups, subscribe at www.florida. sierraclub.org/sarasota. Click to activate your e-newsletter subscription.
Interested in conservation issues?Conservation Chair needed for Sarasota County
For more information, contact Linda T. Jones, 941-258-3249, [email protected]
President Obama ordered federal agencies on Decem-ber 5th to more than double their use of electricity produced by renewable resources, a directive that requires them to make solar, wind and hydro power 20 percent of the governments energy portfolio by 2020.
The federal government must lead by example in fighting climate change and transitioning to a clean-en-ergy economy, Obama wrote.
The administration is committed to reducing green-house gas emissions by 17 percent over 2005 levels by 2020 to combat climate change. Power plants are the leading contributor of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide.
Environmental groups cheered the decision. Safe, clean energy sources like wind and solar are already provid-ing millions of jobs and powering millions of American homes and businesses, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement. They also have the potential to power 100 percent of our economy.
Obama noted in his order that federal agencies have reduced their annual greenhouse-gas emissions by 15 per-cent during his administration, the equivalent of remov-ing 1.5 million cars from the road.
Adapted from The Washington Post: Obama doubles the goal for renewable energy usage by federal agencies Dec. 5, 2013
President Obama pushes renewable energy
Manatee-Sarasota GroupSierra ClubP.O. Box 3485Sarasota FL 34236-3485
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet
U.S. POSTAGE PAIDMANASOTA, FLPermit NO. 50
spent in the local economy. More than $77 million was contributed to general revenues in the form of state sales taxes.
The top-visited state trail was the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail with 1,983,489 visitors and more than $91 million in direct economic impact. Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin welcomed more visitors than any other state park in Florida for the seventh year in a row with 1,044,295 visitors and more than $46.3 million in direct economic impact. In addition, 19,104 jobs were sup-ported as a result of the state park system operations. For every 1,000 people visiting a state park or trail, the total direct impact on the local community is almost $47,000. In October, the Florida Parks Service won its third Na-tional Gold Medal for Excellence, becoming not only the only state to win three gold medals, but also the only state to win two.
Rounding out the top 10 visited state parks are: Cross Florida Greenway 998,927 visitors St. Andrews State Park, Panama City 893,102 visitors Lovers Key State Park, Fort Myers Beach 846,012
visitors Gasparilla Island State Park, Boca Grande 799,811
visitors John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo
769,751 visitors Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne
657,184 visitors Sebastian Inlet State Park, Melbourne Beach 598,459
visitors Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key 582,093 visi-
torsWe have several popular state parks nearby, including
Myakka State Park and Oscar Scherer State Park. Other state parks within close proximity are Gasparilla Island State Park (Boca Grande), Lovers Key State Park (near Estero/Ft. Myers beach), Koreshan State Historic Park (Estero Bay) and Lake Manatee State Park to the north.
Adapted from the Florida Department of Environ-mental Protections DEP News: Floridas state parks and trails generated $1.2 billion in economic impact last fiscal
yearNovember 18, 2013
Popular state parks generate economic impact (continued from page 2)