Saturday, July 2, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

FL Officials Open Virtual Public Hearing on New Aquatic Preserve

Play

Thursday, May 19, 2022   

This afternoon, members of the public will get to have a say on the management plan for the first new aquatic preserve created in Florida in 32 years.

In 2020, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation to create the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve, which will protect some 400,000 acres of seagrass spanning more than 700 square miles along Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco counties.

Keith Kolasa, aquatic services and waterways manager with the Hernando County Department of Public Works, said the goal is to be proactive in protecting many sensitive ecosystems.

"Protect and preserve a resource that's in good shape," said Kolasa, "versus trying to restore it similar to what we've seen in Tampa Bay and to the south, where there have been a lot of red tide and algae blooms."

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will host two remaining public hearings, a virtual one at 6 p.m. today to present the draft Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve Management Plan to the public for their review and feedback, and an in-person meeting next Tuesday in Crystal River.

Details are on floridadep.gov.

The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve is the second-largest aquatic preserve in Florida. Justin Grubich, science and policy officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts, said the management plan ensures that the way of life can thrive in the area that is heavily dependent on seagrass.

"Not only the biological inhabitants, all the sea turtles and manatees and fish and scallops that we like to catch and view," said Grubich, "but it also helps those coastal communities that depend on those resources for their livelihood."

Grubich said the management plan is a crucial component because it sets the road map for nearly everything that will happen at the preserve, from education to habitat monitoring.

It also identifies the priorities of maintaining those ecosystems and balancing them with public use.

Grubich said another critical component is gathering data management for research and learning about species beyond the areas currently known.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.




get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021