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FWF policy positions about important issues around the state.

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Gulf of Mexico Deep-Sea Corals Need Treats Not Tricks This Halloween
Gulf of Mexico Deep-Sea Corals Need Treats Not Tricks This Halloween
In the pitch-black, bone-crushing depths of the Gulf of Mexico is a cast of creatures fit for a Halloween costume party. Vampire squid, headless chicken monsters, catsharks, sea spiders, and grouper dance with and dine on one another thanks to the deep-sea coral habitat that hosts such rare, vibrant gatherings. Dangerous as they may seem, these deep-sea dwellers have far more to fear from humans. Harmful fishing gear and energy extraction activities can permanently damage ancient corals, which could take decades to recover, if they do at all. However, a new rule being considered by the federal government could safeguard these precious habitats. In June 2018, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved Coral Amendment 9 to protect 484 square miles of deep-sea coral habitat. Now it is up to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the fishery management council, to approve the final rulemaking. The public has the opportunity to comment at this link until November 25 by going to https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0146-0034 Link to video of headless chicken monster https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUx4G19ZIpw   Please let Secretary Ross know to save the corals.   Preston Robertson Florida Wildlife Federation (850) ...
Seagrass supports ocean life, protects coasts, boosts economy and faces threats
Seagrass supports ocean life, protects coasts, boosts economy and faces threats
Seagrass supports ocean life, protects coasts, boosts economy and faces threats Seagrass supports ocean life, protects coasts, boosts economy and faces threats It's the world's perfect lawn: lush, green, and doesn't need commercial fertilizer. Seagrass-underwater plants that form dense beds extending for miles-play host to animals ranging from scallops and fish to crabs and shrimp, all of which are vital to marine ecosystems and many coastal businesses. These saltwater grasslands also provide services from erosion control to absorbing pollutants that run off land. Unfortunately, these habitats are disappearing due to threats that include coastal development, pollution, disease, warming waters, trawls, dredges, and careless boaters. Here are nine facts that show why seagrass merits protection: · Humans have used seagrasses for more than 10,000 years to fertilize fields, insulate houses, weave furniture, thatch roofs, make bandages, and fill mattresses and car seats. · More than a billion people live within 31 miles of a seagrass meadow. · Seagrass meadows are believed to be the third-most valuable ecosystem in the world after estuaries and wetlands. About 2½ acres of seagrass (roughly the ...
UPDATE ON CRITICAL LAND CONSERVATION CASE
UPDATE ON CRITICAL LAND CONSERVATION CASE
UPDATE ON CRITICAL LAND CONSERVATION CASE In November 2014, the overwhelming majority of Florida’s voters approved Amendment 1, the Water and Land Legacy Amendment. This Constitutional Amendment was to fully fund the Florida Forever program and expand conservation efforts and thus protect our water supply, open space, natural habitats and our quality of life, even as 1,000 new residents arrive in the state daily. The Florida Legislature did not follow the will of the people, and not only short-changed land protection efforts, but used money from this fund to pay for expenses with little relationship to land and water conservation. In 2015, owing to the Legislature’s reluctance to abide by Floridians’ wishes, the Florida Wildlife Federation and other conservation organizations sued the Legislature for unconstitutionally spending Amendment 1 dollars. Following months of sparring between the parties, the trial judge in Tallahassee ruled for Florida Wildlife Federation that the money was to be spent solely on land conservation efforts. The judge also ruled that the money could only be spent prospectively from the date of the Amendment. In other words, money could ...
"Firefly Skies"
The Florida Wildlife Federation is proud to offer prints of this imaginative new painting from Wildlife Artist Peter R. Gerbert. "Firefly Skies" is now available as a signed and numbered canvas print, limited to 200. Image size 12 by 18 inches, UV coated, framed (ready to hang) and unframed. Your print will come with a Certificate of Endorsement from FWF. A portion of the proceeds will directly benefit wildlife conservation efforts in Florida. To order please visit – www.PeterRGerbert.com or www.PeterRGerbert.com/ fireflyskies.htm   “Fireflies, also known as Lightning Bugs, are not flies or bugs, they are actually beetles (order Coleoptera). The blinking light from a firefly comes from a chemical reaction called bioluminescence. They appear in my backyard every year in the Spring and always fascinate me. Luckily, I was able to temporarily capture a few to be able to study their interesting detail, or I couldn’t have done this painting showing some of them up close! My concept here is that this inquisitive red fox (Vulpes vulpes) runs into them and wonders about their luminescence . . . are ...
America's Wildlife Crisis
America's Wildlife Crisis
America's Wildlife Crisis Join FWF to help save Nature! Birds - One-third of bird species in North America are in need of urgent conservation action. Fish - More than 40 percent of freshwater fish species are at risk in North America. Amphibians - Approximately 42 percent of amphibian species (frogs, toads, and salamanders) are threatened or declining in the United States. Reptiles - In the United States, 33 percent of turtles are threatened and 5 percent of other reptiles are threatened. Butterflies - Of the roughly 800 butterfly species in the United States, 17 percent are known to be at risk of extinction-but that's likely just the tip of the iceberg, since there isn't enough information on many native butterfly species. Bumblebees - More than one-quarter of North American bumblebee species are facing some degree of extinction risk. Bats - An estimated 18 percent of bat species are at risk of extinction, with an additional 13 percent potentially at risk. This places bats among the most threatened groups of North American vertebrates. Freshwater Mussels - Overall, 70 percent of freshwater mussels in North America are already extinct or imperiled.    One-third of all U.S. wildlife species are ...
FWF Defends Amendment 1 Decision in Court
FWF Defends Amendment 1 Decision in Court
FWF Defends Amendment 1 Decision in Court On July 16, 2019, Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) attorneys defended the will of the people at the appellate court in Tallahassee. This case stems from the overwhelming support of voters in 2014 in approving Amendment 1, the Water and Land Legacy Constitutional Amendment, that was to provide adequate funding for land conservation and thereby water protection in our state in the face of growth. Following passage, the Legislature did not spend the money as directed by the Amendment, and FWF sued. The trial court sided with FWF, and the Legislature appealed that decision to the First District Court of Appeals. Oral argument was heard yesterday. We now await a decision by the three judges on that court. Many thanks to our attorneys at Earthjustice for representing us, especially David Guest, Alisa Coe, Bradley Marshall and Judge Bob Benton. Keep the good thought! Preston Robertson President and CEO Florida Wildlife Federation
Big Step in Funding Fight
Big Step in Funding Fight
BIG STEP IN FUNDING FIGHT In November 2014, Floridians voted overwhelmingly in support of Amendment 1, the Water and Land Legacy Amendment, the purpose of which was to fund Florida Forever and other land and water conservation programs. Unfortunately, the Florida Legislature did not do as citizens requested, so the Florida Wildlife Federation sued the Legislature and state agencies for violating the State Constitution. We prevailed at trial and the Legislature appealed that decision to the 1st District Court of Appeals. There will be oral argument on the trial court’ decision on July 16, 2019 in Tallahassee. Please keep the good thought as we strive to have our elected representatives protect our lands and waters and keep what makes Florida special.
FWF PRESENTS AWARDS TO  OUTSTANDING CONSERVATIONISTS
FWF PRESENTS AWARDS TO OUTSTANDING CONSERVATIONISTS
FLORIDA WILDLIFE FEDERATION PRESENTS AWARDS TO OUTSTANDING CONSERVATIONISTS IN HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS ON JUNE 22, 2019 At the Florida Wildlife Federation’s Annual Conservation Awards Banquet held June 22, 2019, at the Mission Inn Resort and Spa, seven outstanding Florida conservationists were recognized for their conservation achievements. The Federation’s annual selection of conservation award winners is one of the oldest in the state. Award winners are chosen from nominations made to the Federation’s Board of Directors based on a nominee’s accomplishments on behalf of Florida’s fish, wildlife and natural resources. The following individuals and groups received wildlife statuette awards to commemorate the occasion: • Water Conservationist of the Year: Captains for Clean Water, Ft. Myers • Volunteers of the Year: Claude and April Ward, Hudson • Land Conservationists of the Year: Sam and Betty Shine, New Albany, Indiana • Forest Stewards of the Year: Ben and Louann Williams, St. Johns • Environmental Educator of the Year: Jim Schortemeyer, Naples • Conservation Organization of the Year: Alachua Conservation Trust, Gainesville • Hall of Fame: Franklin Adams, Naples The Florida Wildlife Federation, a statewide non-profit organization founded in 1936, is dedicated to protecting Florida’s ...
ACTION ALERT! CALL TO URGE VETO OF HB 7103
ACTION ALERT! CALL TO URGE VETO OF HB 7103
ACTION ALERT! CALL TO URGE VETO OF HB 7103  Please urge the Governor to VETO HB 7103 by calling him during business hours at (850) 717-9337 or reaching him via email at www.flgov.com/email-the-governor.  HB 7103 makes citizens and others liable for attorney fees should their growth management challenges not prove successful. In effect, the average citizen will no longer be able to afford the risk of challenging poor local planning and development decisions. At a time when Florida needs to better manage the impacts of growth and development, urge Gov. DeSantis to uphold the right of citizens to have meaningful a say in their community's future and VETO HB 7103. Thank you. Preston Robertson President and CEO Florida Wildlife Federation
Governor – Please Veto Two Bad Bills
Governor – Please Veto Two Bad Bills
Governor Desantis has gotten off to a good start in representing Florida as he has focused on our water crisis. His efforts on behalf of the Everglades have been noteworthy. We must act now to keep our state the beautiful one residents enjoy and jobs-creating tourists expect. Unfortunately, two bad bills recently passed by the Florida Legislature have now passed for review by the Governor. Senate Bill 7068 will create three new massive toll roads through the remaining rural portions of the peninsula. These roads will not only serve to spread unregulated sprawl over the countryside, degrade and further pollute our water supply and decimate wildlife habitat, but shackle the taxpayer with years of costly expenses. The money that will go towards SB 7068 would be much better spent on expanding existing roadways, which is what the Department of Transportation has recommended. Additionally, it could be used to improve our educational system, build public transit or for other worthy purposes. The other bill which passed, House Bill 7103, essentially stops public challenges of growth management decisions by making challengers pay attorney fees ...
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