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ANAMAR Biologist, Jason Seitz’s Publication on Taxonomic Resolution of Sawfish Rosta Published in Endangered Species Research (ESR)

 

sawfish FILEminimizer

A synopsis of Jason Seitz and Jan Jeffrey Hoover’s evaluations of two large private collections of sawfish rosta (saws) has been published in the latest issue of ESR, an online-only international and multidisciplinary open-access journal on endangered species research.

Click here to read the article.

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Two Innovative Florida Cities Reuse Stormwater Runoff

Two Innovative Florida Cities Reuse Stormwater Runoff

 

Pioneering new solutions in Florida for the treatment and reuse of stormwater runoff, the City of Altamonte Springs, the City of Apopka, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the St. Johns River Water Management District, and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) have teamed up to create a project called A‑FIRST (FDOT Integrated Reuse and Stormwater Treatment). According to DEP’s website, A-FIRST is a $12.5-million project that captures the stormwater from I-4 then directs it to a water treatment facility where it is piped into the cities’ reclaimed water supply. The water is used for irrigation and as an alternative water supply for Apopka. According to DEP’s website, the treatment of this water is expected to cut back on the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen entering the Little Wekiva River by 99% and 98%, respectively. In many places around the world, developing sustainable uses for stormwater runoff is nothing new. However, in Florida, it is a breakthrough!

Sources:

http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLDEP/bulletins/bd3cf8

http://www.altamonte.org/index.aspx?NID=699

 

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EPA and USACE Propose Clean Water Act Clarifications

EPA and USACE Propose Clean Water Act Clarifications

In an attempt to increase efficiency in determining the coverage of the Clean Water Act (CWA), EPA and USACE have teamed up to solicit information and data from the public; the scientific community; and tribal, state, and local resource agencies to better define certain terminology within the CWA such as “waters of the United States” and “other waters” as well as to inquire which waters should be out of jurisdiction for certain CWA criteria.

“We are clarifying protection for the upstream waters that are absolutely vital to downstream communities,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Clean water is essential to every single American, from families who rely on safe places to swim and healthy fish to eat, to farmers who need abundant and reliable sources of water to grow their crops, to hunters and fishermen who depend on healthy waters for recreation and their work, and to businesses that need a steady supply of water for operations.”

"America's waters and wetlands are valuable resources that must be protected today and for future generations,” said Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy. “Today's rulemaking will better protect our aquatic resources, by strengthening the consistency, predictability, and transparency of our jurisdictional determinations. The rule's clarifications will result in a better public service nationwide."

Information was obtained from EPA and Civil Works Prepublication Version of the Proposed Rule and EPA’s Press Release regarding this proposal. 

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Tonight in Gainesville: Fragile Springs Forum

 

The Gainesville Sun is holding a forum on the condition of our region's natural springs and other issues involving water quality and quantity in our state. The Fragile Springs forum will be held March 10 at 7 p.m. at the Fine Arts Hall at Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83rd St. in Gainesville. The event is free and open to the public.

The event will include a panel discussion featuring Florida Springs Institute Director Robert Knight, Florida Farm Bureau Director of Government and Community Affairs Charles Shinn, Gainesville Regional Utilities Supervising Engineer Rick Hutton, Springs Eternal Project Co-director John Moran and Suwannee River Water Management District Executive Director Ann Shortelle.

 

http://www.bobgrahamcenter.ufl.edu/event/gainesville-sun-fragile-springs-forum

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Apalachicola Bay Weekend Oyster Harvest Closure

Apalachicola Bay Weekend Oyster Harvest Closure

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently announced that weekend closures of the oyster harvest in Apalachicola Bay will remain in effect through May 31, 2014.

Visit http://myfwc.com/news/news-releases/2013/november/15/acola-oysters/ for more details on closures concerning the Apalachicola Bay weekend oyster harvest. 

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Indian River Lagoon Crisis

Indian River Lagoon Crisis

 

In the past year, conditions in the Indian River Lagoon have developed into a major environmental crisis for Florida due to the deaths of more than 60 dolphins, 250 pelicans, and 120 manatees. Additionally, the number of blue crabs in the lagoon has declined drastically. The Indian River Lagoon is one of North America’s most diverse estuaries, with more than 4,300 plant and animal species, including 35 species that are listed as threatened or endangered. For years many concerns about the health of the lagoon have escalated because of fresh water introduction, which results in decreased salinity, toxic algae blooms, toxic quantities of nitrogen and phosphorus entering the lagoon, and superblooms of phytoplankton, all of which result in a loss of seagrass and the introduction of nonnative invasive species. These conditions can have life threatening effects on the delicate and essential flora and fauna of this region. Many taskforces of scientists are studying and monitoring the health of the lagoon while several agencies investigate the cause of the mass deaths of the dolphins, manatees, and birds.

 

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Prairie Creek Preserve

Prairie Creek Preserve

As promised, here’s another swampy gem that I enjoy exploring…Prairie Creek Preserve. This property is adjacent to the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail near Rochelle (about 10 miles east of Gainesville) and encompasses about 368 acres that were acquired from five owners from 2004 to 2008, primarily with funds from Florida Communities Trust.

The Prairie Creek Watershed drains Newnan's Lake (a 6,000-acre lake west of the city) from the south on its way to Paynes Prairie and Orange Lake. Historically, the river drained into Paynes Prairie state preserve, providing the Prairie basin with much needed water. But in the early 1940s, Camp's Canal was constructed by the Camp family to divert most of the water to Orange Lake in order to block Prairie Creek from flooding the Prairie (www.gainesvillecreeks.org).

The Prairie Creek Preserve tract offers several miles of trails that wind through mixed hardwood hammocks, planted pine trees, and natural wetlands. The three main trails in the preserve are named for land conservation activists Jane Walker, Kathy Cantwell, and Susan Wright. The Jane Walker trail is one of my favorites. It’s about a 20- to 30-minute walk one way through a hardwood hammock that transitions into a cypress swamp and ends at the peaceful Prairie Creek. There is a picnic table that offers a place to sit for a spell and enjoy the scenery.

This trail system is not always accessible; sometimes it’s performing its natural function by storing flood-waters and providing a slow recharge to the aquifer. I love seeing the swamp full of water. When I walked here last spring, the creek was completely dry. It really gives you an appreciation for how dynamic the system is from season to season. I recommend a nice walk in the woods followed by a live concert at the Prairie Creek Lodge.

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