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Put it to a vote: Should Florida allow oil drilling within 10 miles of its shores?
Save Our Seas, Beaches and Shores has an even better idea. Put it in the state constitution.
The non-profit organization operating from the offices of the Florida Wildlife Federation in Tallahassee is collecting signatures to do just that. (Surfrider is a coalition member)
It needs 678,811 signatures by Feb. 1, 2012, to force a referendum in the November 2012 general election. So far, it’s gotten about 4,000 through its website at http://sosbs.org/Home.aspx.
Palm Beach County Commission voted 5-2 today to have Environmental Resource Management (ERM) withdraw its 1.1 mile permit to construct breakwaters offshore of Singer island. The $30-50 million project, would have involved the construction of 11 limestone and granite structures placed in 12 feet of water, designed to dissipate beach erosion. Because of the downfalls in project planning and design, the Palm Beach County Commissioners have requested staff to drop its permit seeking to install these breakwaters off the coast of Singer Island and no longer continue the pursuit of other county breakwater projects. The breakwaters are a significant threat to the geological and biological coastal systems, would adversely affect sea turtle nesting and increase down drift erosion, and are a beachfront subsidy that taxpayers would have to pay for. The proposed breakwaters would have been the largest of its kind in Florida. We hope that Florida state agencies will use these examples as to why such structures should not be considered as an acceptable management strategy along our coastline.
The Coast Guard is investigating reports of a potentially large oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico not far from the Deepwater Horizon site. According to a knowledgeable source, the slick was sighted by a helicopter pilot on Friday and is about 100 miles long. A fishing boat captain said he went through the slick yesterday and it was strong enough to make his eyes burn.
According to the Times Picayune, the Coast Guard has confirmed they are investigating a potentially large 100 mile slick about 30 miles offshore. They are going to a site near the Matterhorn well site about 20 miles north of the BP Deepwater Horizon site, according to the paper. The Matterhorn field includes includes a deepwater drilling platform owned by W&T Technology. It was acquired last year from TotalFinaElf E&P.
PANAMA CITY – Michael Sturdivant came all the way from Destin to make sure his voice was heard at the environmental impact presentation held at the Bay County Government Center on Thursday night.
Sturdivant, an avid surfer and head of the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, said he has not been out in the gulf water since last July. He hasn’t allowed his son on the beach either.
“I haven’t been in the water since July 10th,” Sturdivant said. “I woke up on July 11th spitting up blood.”
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By Craig Pittman
For decades taxpayers have been footing the bill to pump extra sand onto eroding beaches around Florida. But this coming year may be different.
Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget for next year includes no money for repairing any of Florida’s 825 miles of sandy beaches.
By cutting out new state funding, Scott is guaranteeing that the millions of dollars in federal funds that go with it as a match are cut as well, warned state Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole.
That would leave no money for already-scheduled renourishment projects, including two local ones, Treasure Island and Upham Beach.