NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
Ft. Myers, Florida
OCTOBER 15
Old Ft. Myers Court House
PURPOSE:

FDEP currently is reviewing the FPL permit request to discharge once-through cooling water into the Orange River in Ft. Myers. Standing Watch has requested a hearing in Ft. Myers with FDEP, FWC, USFWS, EPA and FPL present so we can express our concerns and get answers to our questions about the impact of the discharge of this water on water quality, manatees, and fisheries habitat.
Standing Watch has asked FDEP and other permit=review agencies to come to Ft. Myers to hear concerns about the re-issuance of FPL Warm Water Discharge 5-Year permit for the FPL Ft. Myers plant.
The public hearing is to be held in Ft. Myers on October 15. IT IS CRITICAL THAT STANDING WATCH MEMBERS PLAN TO ATTEND SOME OR ALL OF THIS HEARING to express your concerns about the impact warm water discharges have on manatees as well as the surrounding habitat. In addition, you can submit your questions for these agencies in advance by contacting us at: [email protected]
Background:
Electric power plants are regulated by a number of federal and state laws including the federal Clean Water Act. The plant needs a permit to discharge the once-through cooling water because under the federal Clean Water Act permits are necessary for any wastewater discharges. Once-through cooling water is considered to be wastewater. Because the once-thorough cooling water is discharged into the Orange River and because manatees (an endangered species) are present, the federal Clean Water Act requires FPL to have a Manatee Protection Plan in place.
The MPP says that in the winter time when the ambient temperature of the receiving body of water, the Orange River, gets below 61 degrees then power plant must endeavor to maintain the water in the discharge canal at 68 degrees.
Standing Watch1s Concerns:
Standing Watch is concerned that warm water discharges create an unnatural attraction for manatees and cause them to alter their behavior patterns. In Standing Watch1s opinion, causing the animals to alter their behavior can be considered a "take" and therefore would be illegal under the Endangered Species Act.
In addition, we are concerned that maintaining the water at a constant 68 degrees encourages manatees to congregate which degrades the quality of the water in the discharge canal, the Orange River and the Caloosahatchee River. Significant concentrations of manatees can cause a higher bacteria count in these waters which can, in turn, result in disease and sickness in the animal population. Diseased or sick animals are less able to get out of the way of watercraft
Additionally, manatees must travel 12 miles up river to reach the warm water and there is little or no food for them. Thus, they become weak and cold-stressed and are more likely to be hit by watercraft as they travel back to the Caloosahatchee.
Standing Watch also is concerned that no research has been done to determine whether the warm water being discharged might have contributed to or been the direct cause of the occurrence of red tide.
It is our opinion that 25% to 30% of the manatee deaths which occur each year in Southwest Florida waters are as a result of these poor water quality conditions and lack of adequate food sources.
Since manatee mortality is now linked to water access in SW Florida, Standing Watch remains concerned that the economy of the SW Florida region and the ability of the citizens of the region to enjoy their waterways is being seriously jeopardized by the creation of this unnatural warm water refuge.
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO LOG ONTO OUR WEB SITE; WWW.STANDING-WATCH.ORG AND SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS FOR FDEP, FFWCC STAFF, USFWS AND EPA. Standing Watch will submit these questions prior to the public hearing and ask that the appropriate agency respond during the hearing.


FWC TO HOLD AIRBOAT NOISE PUBLIC INPUT MEETINGS

NOTICE TO STANDING WATCH TAMPA BAY AREA MEMBERS;
THANK EACH OF YOU for all your efforts on behalf of boaters and boater's rights in the Tampa Bay area.
Even though the public hearing was held Tuesday, August 26, there are a lot of additional steps that must be taken before any rule affecting Tampa Bay is finally adopted by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC).
STANDING WATCH WILL CONTINEU TO BE INVOLVED ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE PROCESS
AND WE WILL LET YOU KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED OR IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN AND WHAT
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO HELP MAKE THE RIGHT OUTCOME HAPPEN.
Here is a timeline of the rule makign process so you will know what steps this proposal will take and upon what approximate dates actions may be taken on the proposal.
As you may know, the Local Rule Review Committee (LRRC) was created to review a Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) staff proposal for additional speed zones in Tampa Bay. The staff made the proposal because of a settlement to a law suit brought by Save the Manatee Club and others saying the state is not doing enough to protect manatees. Under the settlement agreement, the FFWCC must review and consider additional manatee protection zones in Tampa Bay (and Lee County). NOW: HERE IS THE TIME LINE FOR WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN NEXT:
1. By Sept. 15, the Local Rule Review Committee's report will be sent to the FFWCC. At that time, it also will be made public. Standing Watch will publish the proposal as quickly as we can or provide a link on this web site for you to review the proposal.
The state law allows "minority reports" to be written in response to the committee's report. These reports can either be written by members of the committee of other affected parties. Those reports also become a part of the information circulated to the Commissioners by the staff.
Standing Watch reserves the right to submit a minoritiy report if we feel that is appropriate. We need to hear from you about specifics of the proposed plan and how those proposed Zones affect boating in your area.
2. The FFWCC Commission meeting during the days of November 19 - 21 is when the FFWCC will review the plan proposed by the staff as well as the LRRCs work product and any minority reports which have been received. That meeting will take place in Duck Key/Florida Keys. We do not yet know which of these three days the plan will be on the Commission agenda. We will post that information as soon as it has been determined by FFWCC staff.3. Having reviewed the staff proposal and any other documents received, the FFWCC can take one of three steps during the November meeting:
a. direct the staff to use their original plan and publish a "notice
of rule development" to the general public which will say FFWCC intends to institute the original zones the staff proposed.
b. direct the staff to use the LRRC plan and publish a "notice of rule development" to the general public which says the FFWCC intends to institute the zones suggested by the LRRC
c. make some modifications to both proposals and direct staff to publish a "notice of rule development", with the changes noted, to the general public that says the hybrid they come up with will be the zones for Tampa Bay.
4. Once the plan is published,in the Florida Administrative Weekly and most probably on the FFWCC web site, workshop(s) will be held in the Tampa Bay area for public input. Other workshop sites also may be included in the public comment time. Standing Watch will let you know all dates and times for all workshops regardless of where they will be held. The workshop(s) will be more formal than the committee working group has been. FFWCC staff will take testimony from the public but there probably won't be the "give and take" of the working group. We anticipate workshop(s) will be held in December/January. Depending on what the proposed plan looks like, as affected boaters you either will want to show up at the public hearings to support the piece that affects you, or show up and urge the state to change the piece that affects you to better reflect what is a fair and balanced approach to manatee protection and boater's rights.
5. After the public hearings, the staff will have an opportunity to make adjustments to the plan and then take it back to the FFWCC for its final approval. Whether they make adjustments or not, the plan will again be public and we will circulate it to our members through this web site. The final FFWCC approval will probably happen in February at the FFWCC February meeting.
SOOOOOOO, you see the process is a long one!
But Standing Watch will be there every step of the way and you will know what's going on at each juncture. We will post the more specific information about the proposed zones/times,dates,places of public hearings/action items for you as boaters to consider doing to help make this plan fair and balanced between boater's rights and manatee protection.
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR SUPPORTING BOATER'S RIGHTS AND STANDING WATCH.


With the ever increasing need for someone to coordinate our interaction with the governors office and governmental agencies, and in an effort to best serve the interests of our membership, Standing Watch has decided to establish a Governmental Liaison position. We could think of no better qualified person to fill this role than our founder, Jim Kalvin.
Jim's acceptance has left the Presidency to be filled. The board of Directors of Standing Watch has elected me to this fill position.

While Jim leaves me almost impossible standards to meet, I promise to do my best.

With him in the Governmental Liaison position working in unison with our lobbyist, Bonnie Basham, I think that together we can promise a stronger, more aggressive coalition to respond to all assaults on our access and boating rights. Initially, I plan to concentrate on areas of access currently under assault, but more importantly, I plan to vastly improve member communications. Being a volunteer organization, there are many times that we become so involved in 'doing what we do' that we overlook letting the membership know what we do. You will see immediate changes in this area through the use of email, our website, this and other message boards, and our official publication. I do not want to re-actively ever answer the question 'what is Standing Watch doing' again.
Obviously, this will leave a vacancy in the position of President of the Central Florida Chapter. I have asked Phillip Tyler to take this responsibility.

I would like to invite all other organizations (CCA, FGA, SOS, CFW, and all others I may have missed) to join together with Standing Watch, establish a united front and a common mission. Together, I believe that we have the ability to regain our waterways. I look forward to working with everyone in the future.

Rusty Parsons
President - Standing Watch


 

MEDIA ADVISORY: September 13, 2002
CONTACTS: Kathalyn Gaither, (850) 488-1073
Jeff Gentry, (850) 488-2291
DEP Schedules Meetings to Discuss Spoil Islands
-- Public invited to attend --
TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled two public meetings to discuss issues regarding the private management of Picnic Island in Lee County, and Dog and Little Dog Islands in Charlotte County. All members of the public are invited.
September 18th, 7:00 p.m.
Terry Park, Conference Room
3406 Palm Beach Boulevard
Ft. Myers, FL
and
September 19th, 7:00 p.m.
Tringali Recreation Center
3460 South McCall Road
Englewood, FL


By Christie Whitman
Special to The Washington Post

July 2, 2003WASHINGTON -- Anyone who doubts that the tone of the debate over environmental policy in this city is in serious need of improvement need only look at the reaction to last week's release of the Environmental Protection Agency's first "Draft Report on the Environment."
This report, the product of more than two years' work collaborating with more than two dozen federal departments and agencies and state and private-sector contributors, is designed to help answer a question I posed at my confirmation hearing 21/2 years ago: Are America's environmental policies making our air cleaner, its water purer and its land better protected -- or not? But judging by the reaction of some professional environmentalists to our report, you'd think we had tried to pass off The Skeptical
Environmentalist as Silent Spring.
To some, it doesn't seem to matter that our report uses sound,
sophisticated scientific data to look at the actual health of our
environment and help us measure where our 30 years of effort have made a positive difference and where they haven't met expectations. Some condemn the report because it doesn't discuss global climate change. It doesn't, but it does include dozens of science-based environmental indicators for air, water and land. The report shows us where we are, so we have a better idea of what we must do to get where we want to be. For too long the environmental debate has centered on counting the number of new laws we've passed, on tallying up how much in fines, fees and penalties we've levied on polluters. Measuring process instead of progress may be easier, but it has made it difficult to adapt environmental policymaking to changing times and challenges.
When the environmental debate turns on questions of process, attempts at innovation have a hard time getting out of the starting gate. An attempt to modernize a law is cast as an effort to undermine it. A good-faith effort to try new methods of achieving better results is characterized as a retreat from existing commitments. That's why I was disappointed that so many of those people who make their living as Washington environmentalists instinctively attacked our report. Because it contradicts their public stance that the state of our environment is bad and getting worse, they shot the messenger before they could digest the message. But facts are stubborn things, as John Adams said, and the simple fact is that the environment's health has improved considerably over the past several decades. The modern, bipartisan commitment to environmental protection -- inaugurated by a Republican president, Richard Nixon, 33 years ago and sustained by six presidents from both parties ever since
--
has produced real, measurable results. That should hearten everyone who cares about the environment.I wonder why environmentalists find it so hard to admit they really havemade a difference. By many measures our air is cleaner, our drinking water purer and our land is better protected -- and they can take pride in that.But our report also shows real challenges, including sometimes unhealthyair in large parts of the country, pollution in thousands of waterwaysand increasing waste materials. These are challenges we should all work on together.Unfortunately for the tenor of public debate, too many in theenvironmental lobby want to hear only the bad news. That's why we're treated tobizarre spectacles such as what happened this spring when the Natural Resources Defense Council praised a Bush administration proposal to limitemissions from diesel engines on tractors, bulldozers and other off-road vehicles."Heresy," cried their allies, appalled at the thought that any environmental group would actually support the Bush administration.One lesson I learned during my 29 months at the EPA is that, until thetone of the debate over environmental policy changes, the next generation of environmental progress will be harder than it should be. If
environmental groups are truly interested in progress, not politics, they should letthe facts speak for themselves and seek ways to support efforts to get to a cleaner environment.
Our "Draft Report on the Environment" does just that by giving us a factual, nonpolitical look at where we are and where we need to go.
Thoughtful criticism is always welcome and productive. Mindless attacks are not.
Christie Whitman ended her tenure Sunday as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Copyright (c) 2003, Orlando Sentinel
Visit OrlandoSentinel.com

 

Governor Jeb Bush has signed SB 2586 and thus created the Office of Boating inthe Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. All boaters owe a "Thank you!" toSenator Paula Dockery, Senator Mike Bennett, Representative Greg Evers andRepresentative/Speaker Pro Tempore Lindsay Harrington, the FFWCC Commissionersand Governor Bush.
The money for the Office of Boating will be taken from a portion of the gas taxcollected at marinas.
Please take a moment to thank each of these people at the following addresses:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
AND THANK YOU TO EACH STANDING WATCH MEMBER WHO WROTE LETTERS IN SUPPORT OF SB
2586. When you get involved, we all win!



Governor Appoints Lisa Neal To Boating Advisory Council

Standing Watch Board of Directors member Lisa Neal has been appointed by Governor Bush to serve a two year term on the Governor’s Boating Advisory Council. Lisa will serve as the representative of the Boating Public.

The Boating Advisory Council was created by the Legislature to give advice to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on all issues affecting boating. The Council has one representative of the boating public, one representative of the marine industries, one representative of the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association, one representative of manatee interests, one representative of other water-related environmental interests, one representative (each) of the Coast Guard and Power Squadron and one representative from DEP and DCA. In addition, the Senate and House each have a representative. The Council is chaired by Colonel Julie Jones, FFWCC Division of Law Enforcement.

This is a significant appointment and further underscores the leadership position Standing Watch has assumed as the acknowledged voice of Florida boaters.
Lisa is from Brevard County, is an avid skier and boater and has fought for years to make sure FFWCC includes appropriate recreational areas when creating manatee zones.

Please let the USFWS know you do not support these zones and that the zones are not supported by any scientific data. Currently, there are manatee zones in 24% OF ALL THE WATER in the state! Manatee population is increasing and boat-related deaths are on the decline.


Your comments about the proposed "incidental take" rule were critical to its being set aside by the USFWS. It is critical that Standing Watch members again let the federal
government know we oppose the creation of unnecessary zones in these three area.

Please click on this link NOW and register your comments on these zones.


"Is it really true that over the next five years
The Save the Manatee Club could single-handedly succeed in destroying the thriving Southwest Florida economy?


According to the current plan proposed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service,
YES THEY WILL!!!"


URGENT
Synopsis of U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Proposed Incidental Take Regulations

  • The west coast of Florida from "Pasco County south to Whitewater Bay in Monroe County and DeSoto, Glades, and Hendry Counties" is classified as the SOUTHWEST REGION. In this SOUTHWEST REGION Service personnel "are not proposing to authorize incidental take of manatees "at this time" (incidental take means accidental death via watercraft collision). This means that they will not allow one boat related manatee death from north of Tampa Bay south to the Keys.
  • Adoption of this rule means that the Service will:
    1) "Regulate the operation of watercraft on Florida
    waters "includes" establishment of speed zones and restricted access areas "by slowing watercraft speeds or prohibiting waterborne activities in areas of importance to manatees."
    2) "watercraft access facilities (e.g., boat ramps, docks, and marinas) that provide water access to waters inhabited by manatees" Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act" requires the Corp to assess the effects of any facility under their review on a federally listed species and consult with us (USFW)" If potential adverse effects to manatees or manatee habitat are identified the permit can be specifically conditioned to avoid the adverse
    impacts, or where appropriate, denied."
  • Government "incidental takings" are exempted.
  • The "Summary of Efficiency (Economic Surplus) Losses (millions of 2001
    dollars). Nominal Impacts (listed as):
    Year 1: $18 to $25.
    Year 2: $20 to $35.
    Year 3: $21 to $44.
    Year 4: $23 to $53.
    Year 5: $25 to $62.
    5 Year total: $97,000,000.00 to $198,000,000.00."
  • "Reduction in jobs:
    Year 1: 147.
    Year 2: 170.
    Year 3: 193.
    Year 4: 217.
    Year 5: 240.
  • "Administrative costs over the next 5 years associated with ….manatee protection areas ($19 million), agency administrative efforts ($15 million), education and outreach ($3 million), permitting efforts ($4 million), and additional impacts ($11 million).
  • "The inability to authorize incidental take for the Southwest stock under the proposed rule would also impact property values…we estimate the economic cost to be $66 million over five years."
  • "Due to the inability to authorize incidental take for the Southwest stock under this proposed rule, it is assumed that the service would not concur with 37% of permit applications for the construction of new boat ramps…"
  • "Affected Establishments in the Southwest: 8,271.
    Affected establishments with less than ten employees: 4,699."


These items are verbatim from the USFW Release. These are but a few of the items that will directly affect you, and your way of life. Read the entire 51 page document, attend the scheduled meetings, and communicate your concerns directly with your local, State, and Federal elected officials.

Download the US Fish & Wildlife Proposal here, formatted in Microsoft Word.

http://www.standing-watch.org/watch.html

P.O. Box 296, Estero, FL 33928 E-mail Standing Watch
Call Standing Watch
Toll Free 1-866-263-5015 or in office
239-425-2504 ext 293
Copyright © 2001 by Standing Watch. All rights reserved.

 



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