Everglades Coalition resolutions approved at 1-18-07 meeting

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Joan B

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on: February 14, 2007, 03:56:18 PM
As you may be aware, FNPS applied for membership in the Coalition. We were accepted as member in the fall. I am serving as the FNPS representative.

There was a quarterly meeting held on Thursday, Jan 18, 2007 at the hotel site. The following resolutions were passed.

Please note that the Essentials Paper had been approved at an earlier meeting, 2 amendments were made to that document as well as adding 5 more resolutions. I will paste in these documents.

Any Questions? Please reply. Joan Bausch

2007 Essentials for Everglades Restoration

1.  Restore historic sheet flow in the southern Everglades and to Florida Bay
The Essential:  Fill in the lower C-111 canal, construct a spreader canal along the highest feasible topographic grade, while restoring flow through Taylor Slough to Florida Bay, and secure long-term protection and restoration of wetlands necessary to carry this out.

2.  Restore historic sheet flow in the Everglades
The Essential:  The maximum removal of artificial barriers to flow and ecological connectivity within the core Everglades should be initiated.  Maximum sheet flow depends on the widest possible flow-way under the Tamiami Trail. Replace the existing grade-level Tamiami Trail with an elevated roadway that will not impede water flow.  This should be financed as a transportation project.

3.  Provide adequate water storage for the Everglades
The Essential:  Secure a volume of approximately 1.6 million acre-feet of dedicated storage in the EAA and WCA for water supply to the Everglades during droughts and dry seasons.

4.  Provide for large wet year flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades
The Essential:  Create the conveyance capacity to move at least 1.5 million acre-feet of water from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades.  This will require about 45,000 additional acres of Stormwater Treatment Areas in the southern Everglades Agricultural Area.

5.  Provide additional storage water storage to protect the estuaries and Lake Okeechobee
The Essential:  Beyond the storage volume needed for the Everglades, there is a scientifically demonstrated need for at least 2.8 million acre-feet of additional storage, preferably in natural wetlands, to avoid harmful discharges to the estuaries.

6.  Restore the Kissimmee River
The Essential:  Restore and maintain historic flows of the Kissimmee River from its headwaters to Lake Okeechobee.

7.  Improve and protect water quality
The Essential:  Prevent water pollution north and south of Lake Okeechobee and from outside the core Everglades, and implement all known techniques for keeping pollutants out of the greater Everglades ecosystem.  Clean the water entering Lake Okeechobee to the water quality standards of the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act of 2000 and begin reversing decades of neglect.

8.  Prevent development that compromises greater Everglades ecosystem protection and restoration
The Essential:  Ensure effective growth management and sound permitting decisions, and acquire adequate amounts of land to avoid expensive remediation by future generations.
 
9. Restore the federal-state partnership
These essentials can only be brought about by renewal of a full working and funding partnership between the federal government and the State of Florida for Everglades restoration.  Renewing and restoring that relationship should be one of the highest priorities of the new administration in Tallahassee.

approved 11-06, approval of slightly revised 1-07 (remove word “core” in several places and add phrase underlined)




RESOLUTION

WHEREAS,  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1994 Reconnaissance Study listed as an option a  dynamic storage flow way from Lake Okeechobee through the Everglades Agricultural Area to restore the Everglades ecosystem,  known as Plan 6, and

WHEREAS, there is a scientifically and historically demonstrated need for more dynamic storage,and sheet flow, south from Lake Okeechobee, to restore the Everglades and protect the estuaries from damaging untreated freshwater releases; and

WHEREAS, interest in Plan 6 has revived as part of the solution to provide more dynamic storage and sheet flow treatment for the entire Everglades ecosystem, and as part of an increase in southern water conveyance and decompartmentalization, and with the need for an Aquifer Storage and Recovery contingency plan and the need to protect the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries from damaging Lake Okeechobee outflows, and

WHEREAS, the Plan 6 option stated that a flow way would act as a buffer between the Everglades and the developed area, greatly increase spatial extent, prevent drainage of the Everglades and reestablish natural hydropatterns within existing natural areas, create natural storage systems lost because of development, provide additional short hydroperiod wetlands critical to restoration, and improve water supply to the lower east coast, and

WHEREAS, development of the Everglades Agricultural Area, including proposals for rock mining, two power plants, a gas pipeline, two landfills, infrastructure and other development, would impede plans for restoring the Everglades, and
WHEREAS,  the Science Sub-Group created to advise on Everglades restoration declared that “It is critical to long term ecological restoration of South Florida to eventually recover or reconstitute the natural hydrologic function” of the Everglades Agricultural Area, and

WHEREAS, the Everglades Coalition has passed resolutions calling for protection of the Everglades Agricultural Area from development, increased water storage and treatment, decompartmentalization and more natural water conveyance through the Everglades ecosystem.

NOW THEREFORE the Everglades Coalition resolves and recommends

That the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District undertake the CERP Reevaluation Report, commonly known as the CERP Update, and include reconsideration of Plan 6 as a viable part of restoring the Everglades ecosystem south of Lake Okeechobee, by restoring dynamic storage and sheet flow to convey clean water south from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades, and
That evaluation include sufficient water quality treatment and the dedicated storage of an adequate volume of water for the Everglades during droughts and dry seasons, and
That the evaluation include significant steps to decompartmentalize the Everglades, such as removing levees and other obstacles to free flowing water, without which the “plug” at the end of the system will continue to inhibit southern end relief.

BE IT SO RESOLVED, on January 18, 2007



John Adornato III                                                        Mark D. Perry
National Co-Chair                                                        State Co-Chair



RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, the Glades Power Park (GPP) is a coal-fired power plant proposed by Florida Power and Light for a location in Moore Haven, Glades County, Florida; and
WHEREAS, the proposed placement of the GPP borders Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area, Lake Okeechobee, Nicodemus Slough and the headwaters of the Caloosahatchee River, all of which are vital components of the Everglades Ecosystem; and
WHEREAS, the operation of the proposed GPP will require 26 million gallons of water per day  in and near Water Supply Planning areas currently under drought restrictions; and
WHEREAS, the operation of the proposed GPP will generate oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and sulfuric acid mist, all at least five times the threshold for significant deterioration review; and
WHEREAS, the proposed plant will emit two hundred pounds of mercury per year which will be deposited on marshlands well equipped biochemically to convert it to methyl mercury; and
WHEREAS, published scientific research has demonstrated that mercury fallout occurs primarily in a 100 km radius of coal-fired electric generating stations, and
WHEREAS, this 100 km radius includes habitat where endangered and other fish and wildlife species already carry a high body burden of mercury; and
WHEREAS, the neurological impact on the developing fetus and children occurs at extremely low levels; and
WHEREAS, the emission of carbon dioxide will contribute to the accumulation of greenhouse gases, which contribute to global climate change, and according to international scientific consensus, must be significantly reduced by 2050; and
WHEREAS, the extraction and transportation of coal contributes severe societal and environmental harm, including mountaintop removal, to other regions, nations and continents.
NOW THEREFORE, THE EVERGLADES COALITION RESOLVES AND RECOMMENDS:
1)      That no coal-fired power plants should be permitted in the historic Everglades drainage basin, and
2)      That Florida should focus on conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy sources rather than construct more infrastructure dependent upon non-renewable sources, which are harmful to people and wildlife.
BE IT SO RESOLVED, on January 18, 2007



John Adornato III                                                        Mark D. Perry
National Co-Chair                                                        State Co-Chair





RESOLUTION

Whereas, the Everglades Coalition has learned that the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative is planning to build an electrical substation in North Key Largo to serve the Ocean Reef Club, Anglers Club and other customers in the area, and

Whereas, the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative has obtained a 2 acre site on the north edge of the old US Army missile base on highway C-905, on which it proposes to build and operate that substation, and

Whereas, the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative has submitted a proposed Habitat Conservation Plan to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as part of its application for an incidental taking permit under the Endangered Species Act to allow the construction of that substation, and

Whereas, protection of the habitat and numerous listed and otherwise important animals and plants has been the focus of extensive land acquisition efforts in North Key Largo by both State of Florida and United States Department of the Interior for the past 20 years, resulting in the establishment of the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park and the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, both of which are adjacent to the proposed site for the substation, and

Whereas, populations of the Key Largo Woodrat, Key Largo Cotton Mouse, Schaus swallowtail butterfly, and other endangered, threatened and otherwise protected species of animals and plants are found on or near the proposed site, and

Whereas, the Key Largo woodrat has suffered precipitous declines in numbers since the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued an incidental taking permit for Harbor Course South about 15 years ago, with the population declining from an estimated 5,000 individuals in 1988 to an estimated 200 individuals today, and

Whereas the construction and operation of the proposed substation would present unacceptable threat to the listed species in the area of the proposed substation and would create significant risks to the continued existence of the critically endangered Key Largo woodrat, and the endangered Key Largo Cotton Mouse, and

Whereas, the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s own South Florida Multi-Species Recovery Plan includes in the provisions for recovery of the Key Largo Woodrat the following provisions:

“H1.      Prevent degradation of existing habitat. The primary threat to the Key Largo woodrat is habitat loss and fragmentation caused by increasing urbanization. The range of the Key Largo woodrat has declined by more than 50 percent and remaining habitat is restricted to the northern portion of this Key.
H.1.1      Acquire all occupied habitat first, then unoccupied.   Identify priority areas for acquisition.  Acquire all occupied suitable habitat first (Priority 1), then unoccupied (Priority 2).  Unoccupied, but suitable habitat is important for future reintroduction activity. Inholding areas are also high priority.
H1.2      Protect and manage woodrat habitat.
H1.2.2.      Protect woodrats on private lands. Protect woodrat populations on private lands through acquisition, conservation easements or agreements, and education of landowners.  Develop agreements (e.g., Memorandum of Agreement) between the FWS and private landowners to minimize impacts such as feral cats and exotics.
   H1.2.3      Coordinate with Federal, State and Monroe County agencies and private entities to develop management actions to protect woodrat habitat.  Coordinate with all Federal agencies to ensure Federal actions do not impact woodrat habitat. Coordinate with these entities to ensure proposed construction activities that result in land clearing or alteration do not impact the woodrat and its habitat. … 
   H1.2.4.   Avoid clearing or disturbing hammocks.  Prevent direct clearing of hardwood hammocks. Direct construction activities toward already cleared areas.
   H1.2.5      Restrict access to woodrat habitat. Restrict access to remote habitat areas to prevent damage caused by campers, homesteaders, trash dumpers and vehicular traffic.
   H1.2.6.   Establish and protect 500-m buffers around Priority 1 habitat.  The necessity for 500-m protection zones is based on the likelihood that human influences encroach and impact the woodrat.
   H1.2.7.   Prevent fires in woodrat habitat.  Uncontrolled wildfires can quickly destroy large areas of hardwood hammocks.  Develop effective fire control plans.  Prohibit fires or smoking in or near hardwood hammocks.”

And whereas, the proposed Florida Keys Electric Cooperative substation site is Priority 1 habitat due to the discovery of a lactating Key Largo woodrat actually living on the site, and therefore should be acquired pursuant to H1.1.

Therefore, the Everglades Coalition calls on the US Fish and Wildlife Service to take the following actions consistent with the South Florida Multi-Species Recovery Plan:

Deny the application of the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative for a Section 10A Incidental Taking Permit under the Endangered Species Act.
Issue a jeopardy opinion for the Key Largo Woodrat and Key Largo Cotton Mouse with regard to proposed construction and operation by the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative at the current proposed site.
Direct location of the future substation, consistent with Section H1.2.4. above, inside the Ocean Reef Club or Anglers Club on a site that is “already cleared.”

BE IT SO RESOLVED, on January 18, 2007



John Adornato III                                                        Mark D. Perry
National Co-Chair                                                        State Co-Chair





RESOLUTION
Whereas, in 1926 Marjory Stoneman Douglas built an English style cottage on Stewart Avenue in Coconut Grove and lived and worked there until her death in 1998, and
Whereas, prior to her death the state bought the house and gave Douglas a life estate in it and after her death leased it to the Land Trust of Dae County, which now proposes to move the house to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, one reason supposedly to accommodate large numbers of school children, and
Whereas, the deteriorating condition of the house and yard and past problems involving Trust expansion plans on the lot next door have prompted some neighbors to support the move of the house, and
Whereas, moving the house would require that it be cut up and would cost much more than repairing it on its present site and would result in the loss of much of its historical significance, and
Whereas the unique cottage of 900 square feet is a reflection of Douglas’ life style and principles but it is not suitable, regardless of location, for receiving busloads of school children who could better honor her memory by fulfilling her wish that they visit the Everglades and learn to love it, and
Whereas, the community is making plans to organize a support group to work with the state in maintaining the house on its present site as a discreet museum.
NOW THEREFORE, THE EVERGLADES COALITION RESOLVES AND RECOMMENDS:
That the Marjory Stoneman Douglas remain at its current historical location and be properly repaired and maintained, and that it should not be deconstructed and moved.

BE IT SO RESOLVED, on January 18, 2007



John Adornato III                                                        Mark D. Perry
National Co-Chair                                                        State Co-Chair





RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, the Everglades Coalition supports the restoration of America’s Everglades; and

WHEREAS, the 70 mile two-lane stretch of Tamiami Trail that links east and west coasts of South Florida from Miami to Naples cuts through the heart of the Everglades, interrupting the natural flow of water to America’s most threatened wetlands wilderness; and

WHEREAS, the Everglades Coalition recognizes that in order to protect and enhance the natural flow of water to the Everglades and Florida Bay, the Tamiami Trail, built in 1928, must be transformed into a modern Skyway, and environmentally-sound elevated roadway that would allow unrestricted flow and restoration to Shark River Slough, the central artery of the Everglades; and

WHERAS, the proposed 11-mile Skyway would be similar to what has been built in Louisiana, where visitors to its majestic bayous can proudly view these natural treasures on elevated highways while imposing minimal impact on water flow and wildlife movement; and

WHEREAS, in 2001, the Science Coordination Team of the South Florida Restoration Task Force recommended in a consensus letter to the Army Corps of Engineers that the preferred alternative is to raise the entire 11-mile section and stated that only by building the Skyway could full restoration be achieved;

WHEREAS, the 11-mile Skyway has the support of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, leading business organizations and local governments;

WHEREAS, the 11-mile Skyway over the Everglades would provide hundreds of millions of dollars in business sales and more than 6,000 jobs for the local economy;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE EVERGLADES COALITION:

1. That the Everglades Coalition supports the construction of an 11-mile Everglades Skyway, and

2.  That the Everglades Coalition urges State and Federal officials to find creative sources to finance the construction of the full 11 miles.


BE IT SO RESOLVED, on January 18, 2007



John Adornato III                                                        Mark D. Perry
National Co-Chair                                                        State Co-Chair