Big Sugar Summit: Stephen E. Davis III PHD, Wetland Ecologist. Science Guy!

Big Sugar Summit: Stephen E. Davis III PHD, Wetland Ecologist, The Everglades Foundation

DSC_0023

This presentation will available thru the Sierra Club, Florida in full with all the slides. So enjoy this preview.

Stephen E Davis Wetland Ecologist  The Everglades Foundation

Stephen E Davis
Wetland Ecologist
The Everglades Foundation

http://www.evergladesfoundation.org/what-we-do/science/

“The Foundation employs a team of scientists to serve as technical expert sources for the environmental community.  These resources include providing sworn expert testimony in legal proceedings, testimony at public hearings, and general education and training for environmental partners. The Foundation also provides fellowships and internships to graduate students from regional and national universities working on Everglades projects, all to ensure that the next generation of Everglades experts will be well-trained to face the mission in front of them well into the first half of the century. Areas of fundamental interest in the science program are: hydrology, natural resource planning, water quality and ecology”

DSC_0034 DSC_0032 DSC_0029

Check this out! It’s so cool!

Leading Science Initiatives

Hydrology

Water is the key to understanding the Everglades and the built environment. One in every three Floridians relies on the Everglades for their water supply and the native flora and fauna are finely tuned to the seasonal water cycles.  Part of what we do at the Everglades Foundation is discover  how the Everglades works, convert that to mathematics, and then program it on a computer. Once you do that, you can run “what-if…” scenarios that help decide what can and should be done to restore the Everglades. Hydrology and engineering allow us to look for solutions to restore the “River of Grass.” Thomas Van Lent, Ph.D., Senior Scientist

Ecology

Ecological research at the Everglades Foundation is centered on understanding how human impacts such as the introduction and spread of exotic invasive species, urban development, off-road vehicle (ORV) use, oil and gas activity, water management and nutrient inputs have affected plant and animal life across the Everglades. To do this, we partner with agencies, academic institutions and environmental organizations across the region to tap into the extensive body of scientific information and peer-reviewed research. We analyze data and provide input regarding various social and political issues that may offset the current ecological balance of the Everglades or thwart progress of Everglades restoration. Stephen E. Davis, III, Ph.D., Wetland Ecologist

Water Quality

Restoring the Everglades will take more than just putting the right amounts of water back. It will also require that the water be clean. We conduct research on what causes imbalances in native flora and fauna, and then determine what actions are needed to correct those problems. The survival of the Everglades depends on the quality of its water. Melodie Naja, Ph.D., Water Quality Scientist

Planning and Project Implementation

Research and ideas alone will not restore the Everglades.  These ideas must be converted into specific actions and projects.  The science team at the Everglades Foundation works with government agencies and stakeholders to implement science-based solutions. We contribute modeling information, review scientific research and analyses, provide scientific and engineering input to restoration and water quality projects, and work to educate decision makers and the public on the issues. This helps to build consensus and get things done.  Hong Xu, Environmental Engineer and Aida Arik, Ecological Engineer

Synthesizing Everglades Research

“No single entity is tackling or can tackle all of these issues,” Van Lent says. “It’s actually a concerted effort on the part of government agencies, non-profit organizations such as ours, and research entities to get this accomplished.” The single most important project being accomplished by Foundation scientists is not in-the-lab, test-tube science. It’s the synthesis of all scientific work conducted on the entire Everglades ecosystem from the Kissimmee River through Lake Okeechobee and into the southern Everglades and Florida Bay.

“The project combines all the available information and seeing which is most likely to get us to the goal,” says Van Lent. “This will guide us to recommend public policy that will lead to decisions to fix the ecosystem.” The initiative, financed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, involves explaining the work of 15 top scientists in Everglades-related fields for the past decade and making their work understandable to decision-makers and the public. “We’re taking the reports off the shelf and making them useful,” says Van Lent. “We’re the bridge between the laboratory and the real application of the science. We make the science useful.”

Science!

Stephan has a bunch of studies. I tried to get an account to read but I’m not with an institution.

Check these and other research by Stephen.

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/274638205_Sea_Level_Rise_in_the_Everglades_Plant-Soil-Microbial_Feedbacks_in_Response_to_Changing_Physical_Conditions

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/259195457_Biogeochemical_effects_of_simulated_sea_level_rise_on_carbon_loss_in_an_Everglades_mangrove_peat_soil

Here is one my favorite song writer/singers/comedians/philosophers Tom Lehr teaching us “The Elements.”

Thank you Stephen for your great presentation.

Throwback Thurs: What was penny a pound and make the polluter pay?

Throwback Thurs: What was penny a pound and make the polluter pay?

As always, if you have something to add please add it.

What was penny a pound?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restoration_of_the_Everglades

“Restoration of the Everglades, however, briefly became a bipartisan cause in national politics. A controversial penny-a-pound (2 cent/kg) tax on sugar was proposed to fund some of the necessary changes to be made to help decrease phosphorus and make other improvements to water. State voters were asked to support the tax, and environmentalists paid $15 million to encourage the issue. Sugar lobbyists responded with $24 million in advertising to discourage it and succeeded; it became the most expensive ballot issue in state history.[62] How restoration might be funded became a political battleground and seemed to stall without resolution. However, in the 1996 election year, Republican senator Bob Dole proposed that Congress give the State of Florida $200 million to acquire land for the Everglades. Democratic Vice President Al Gore promised the federal government would purchase 100,000 acres (400 km2) of land in the EAA to turn it over for restoration. Politicking reduced the number to 50,000 acres (200 km2), but both Dole’s and Gore’s gestures were approved by Congress.

http://aec.ifas.ufl.edu/agcommcase/sugar.html

The purpose of this case study was to examine the impact that environmental activism can have on agriculture by focusing on the Florida sugar industry’s reaction during the 1996 “sugar tax” amendment campaign. During the campaign, proponents and opponents of the three proposed Everglades-related amendments to Florida’s constitution spent more than $40 million to sway the public. As a result of the public relations and political campaigns, communicators from Florida agricultural industries realized that they must increase their efforts to project a positive public image.

In 1996, the issue finally was contested when a small, but well-funded environmental activist group named Save Our Everglades Committee authored three proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution, collected enough signatures to get the proposals on the November 1996 ballot, and began a campaign aimed at voters in support of the amendments (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997). The Florida sugar industry spent $24 million and the Save Our Everglades Committee (SOE) spent over $14 million on the most expensive public relations campaign in the state’s history (Marcus, 1997). The three proposed amendments were as follows:

• Amendment Four: if passed, this amendment would put a penny-a-pound tax on all sugar grown in Florida. If passed, it has been estimated that sugar farmers would have had to pay $1 billion (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997).
• Amendment Five: this proposed amendment, commonly known as the “polluters pay” amendment stated that those in the Everglades Agricultural Area “who cause water pollution within the Everglades Protection area or the Everglades Agricultural area shall be primarily responsible” for paying the costs of clean-up (Kleindienst, 1997).
• Amendment Six: this amendment was designed to establish a state trust fund reserved for Everglades clean-up.

The fight

For several months before Election Day in November, Florida voters were the targets of television and radio advertisements, direct mail pieces, persuasive phone calls, and door-to-door campaigning — all related to the proposed amendments. The sugar industry, which is comprised of two large corporations, a farming cooperative, and numerous small, independent farmers, was unprepared to face a serious challenge from a well-organized activist group. In addition, the industry was surprised by early polls that indicated widespread public support for the measures.

The sugar industry considered the proposed amendments a threat to its very existence. Seldom if ever before had a single agricultural commodity been singled out as “primarily responsible” for nonpoint-source pollution (pollution that is not the result of a direct, detectable environmental accident or contamination). One sugar industry statement said that “there are few times in the life of a business when one event can have a literal life or death impact; for U. S. Sugar and the Florida sugar industry, the threat of the $1 billion tax was such an event” (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997).

For two months, the public relations battle continued, with each side of the argument accusing the other of distorting facts and deceiving the public. On November 6, Amendment Four was defeated, while Amendments Five and Six passed. Although the second two amendments passed, the sugar industry claimed the victory since the penny-per-pound tax was voted down.

Over the course of the campaign, the sugar industry responded to being referred to as “Big Sugar” (a derogatory term) by attacking the founders of SOE. The industry referred to chairperson Mary Barley as “a millionaire land development heiress” and to financial supporter Paul Tudor Jones as a “mega-wealthy Connecticut commodities broker” (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997). In addition to attempting to promote a negative image of SOE, the sugar industry also aired television and radio advertising portraying employees of the South Florida Water Management District (the regulatory agency with primary jurisdiction over the Everglades) as bureaucrats with a reputation for squandering public money on luxuries such as limousines and jet planes. This particular advertisement provoked then-Governor Lawton Chiles (who had remained quiet about the amendments issues thus far) to write a letter to the sugar industry chastising it for intentionally damaging the reputation of the water management district’s employees (Marcus, 1997).

saveeg

The sugar industry also distributed a number of press releases geared toward informing the public about the progress the sugar industry had already made toward cleaning up farm run-off. The message conveyed in several of the releases (that phosphorous levels in farm water had been reduced by 68% in just three years of voluntary management practices) was well-received by the mass media. In addition, just two weeks before the election, the start of the sugar harvest was delayed so that almost 2,000 employees could go door-to-door and personally ask communities to vote “no” (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997).”

An amazing effort by Save the Everglades!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polluter_pays_principle

In environmental law, the polluter pays principle is enacted to make the party responsible for producing pollution responsible for paying for the damage done to the natural environment. It is regarded as a regional custom because of the strong support it has received in most Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Community (EC) countries.

http://www.everglades.org/2012/02/enforce-polluters-pay/

(Miami Herald LTE, Jan 31, 2012) For 15 years Florida taxpayers have been carrying dirty water for the sugar billionaires. When Florida’s voters passed the Polluters Pay Amendment to Florida Constitution, the sugar industry was supposed to pay 100 percent of their pollution cleanup costs. In one of the most cynical abdications of governance in history, the Legislature has refused to implement Polluters Pay. In doing so, they have dumped billions in extra property taxes on the homeowners of South Florida and enabled Big Sugar to dump millions of tons of excess pollution on the Everglades.

So not only do the sugar billionaires get unearned taxpayer dollars through unnecessary federal import quotas and subsidies, but they get their pollution cleanup costs paid by the taxpayers of South Florida. Our legislators need to swear off their addiction to sugar campaign money and make them pay all their cleanup costs.

Albert Slap, Key Biscayne

Fast forward to our present legislators and Rick Scott and you’ll hear in the video they changed the law.

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-make-polluters-pay-in-everglades/2109203

The measure, HB 7065, would rewrite the state’s plan to clean pollution flowing from farms in the Everglades’ agricultural zones to the protection areas in the south. Supporters say the legislation is needed to codify the agreement between Scott and the federal government that calls on Florida to spend $880 million over 12 years to build storm water treatment and water storage to intercept runoff from the farms, preventing further pollution of an ecosystem that is vital to the state’s economy, environment and drinking water needs.

The legislation, though, does far more than that. It would roll back the enforcement of water discharge permits, clearing the way for farming operations to pollute regardless of how much the state erred in issuing them a permit or policing it. That opens a door for polluters and increases the pressure on regulators at the South Florida Water Management District to follow the Legislature’s lead in going soft on the industry. Even the district opposes that measure. It would rather keep the permitting process intact than create a public impression that the system is corrupt.

The measure also caps the industry’s financial obligation for funding the cleanup. While the legislation would extend the $25 per acre agriculture tax until 2024 — eight years longer than under current law — it holds that those payments and improved management practices would “fulfill” the industry’s obligation for the cleanup under Florida’s “Polluter Pay” requirement in the state Constitution.

That is an outright sellout. Extending the agriculture tax generates less than $7 million per year — pennies compared to the $880 million that taxpayers will spend to treat the polluted water. The very governor who forced the water management districts to cut their budgets now intends to ask Florida taxpayers to commit $32 million a year for 12 years for this program — all in addition to the money that will come from property owners in South Florida. Meanwhile the industry responsible for two-thirds of the pollution entering the Everglades walks away from any long-term obligations even before the new water projects are in place.

Just two weeks into the legislative session, HB 7065 has sailed through two committees and is headed for the House floor. This bill has leadership’s blessing, which is why Scott and the Senate are likely the last defense. Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-New Port Richey, who is shepherding the Senate bill, which is much better, needs to do what the House and several of his bay area counterparts failed to do and insist that the polluters pay their share. Shifting these costs onto the public is unfair, and every dollar the state spends on behalf of polluters is a dollar it won’t have for police, schools and other legitimate priorities.

http://audubonoffloridanews.org/?p=13332

Audubon and other organizations have objected to these changes to the Everglades Forever Act. We are hoping for some serious discussions about increasing the amount of money sugar growers pay to clean up the pollution coming off their land. We have also objected to the part of the bill that nullifies enforcement of discharge permits. This section of the bill seems deliberately written to eliminate the basis of a recent legal challenge to three discharge permits for the dirtiest Everglades farms.

The Senate companion bill – SB 768 – has none of the offending provisions.

Why Your Voice is Important

The sugar industry has dozens of lobbyists.Money has been given to legislators and political committees. Many members of the Florida House have already made up their mind on this bill. Some have been, by their own admission, heavily lobbied by the sugar industry.

– See more at: http://audubonoffloridanews.org/?p=13332#sthash.Lbu29sfm.dpuf

 hypocracy

“Back when he first ran for governor of Florida as a self-styled outsider, Rick Scott lambasted his opponent in the Republican primary for taking campaign money from U.S. Sugar, one of the worst corporate polluters of the Everglades.

Scott indignantly squeaked that Bill McCollum had been “bought and paid for” by U.S. Sugar. He said the company’s support of McCollum was “disgusting.”

“I can’t be bought,” Scott declared. Seriously, that’s what the man said. Stop gagging and read on.

Four years later, the governor’s re-election campaign is hungrily raking in money from U.S. Sugar, more than $534,000 so far.”

 So to review, and please if I got this wrong help me out!
In 1996 the Save the Everglades Committee authored three proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution, collected enough signatures to get the proposals on the November 1996 ballot.

Amendment Four: if passed, this amendment would put a penny-a-pound tax on all sugar grown in Florida. If passed, it has been estimated that sugar farmers would have had to pay $1 billion (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997).
Amendment Five: this proposed amendment, commonly known as the “polluters pay” amendment stated that those in the Everglades Agricultural Area “who cause water pollution within the Everglades Protection area or the Everglades Agricultural area shall be primarily responsible” for paying the costs of clean-up (Kleindienst, 1997).
Amendment Six: this amendment was designed to establish a state trust fund reserved for Everglades clean-up.

We lost the penny-a -pound tax but we got polluters pay and the Everglades trust. Then under Rick Scott, The measure, HB 7065, would rewrite the state’s plan to clean pollution flowing from farms in the Everglades’ agricultural zones to the protection areas in the south. Supporters say the legislation is needed to codify the agreement between Scott and the federal government that calls on Florida to spend $880 million over 12 years to build storm water treatment and water storage to intercept runoff from the farms, preventing further pollution of an ecosystem that is vital to the state’s economy, environment and drinking water needs.

What it ended up doing was rolling back the enforcement of water discharge permits, clearing the way for farming operations to pollute regardless of how much the state erred in issuing them a permit or policing it. This opens a door for polluters and increases the pressure on regulators at the South Florida Water Management District to follow the Legislature’s lead in going soft on the industry.

Then, the very governor who forced the water management districts to cut their budgets now intends to ask Florida taxpayers to commit $32 million a year for 12 years for this program — all in addition to the money that will come from property owners in South Florida. Meanwhile the industry responsible for two-thirds of the pollution entering the Everglades walks away from any long-term obligations even before the new water projects are in place.

So we went from polluters paying to us paying, the voters.

Remember us.

Slick.

Sick.

Slicky RIcky

omg

But don’t forget folks your getting ten bucks back on your inflated cell phone bill and no taxes on your textbooks.

Where was the news when this happened?

So it all comes down to one thing really. We have to make sure that we have legislators that cannot be bought off by an industry that pollutes, that really does nothing for our economy and fills the pockets of corrupt politicians. We have to pay attention and we must vote.

 

Sierra Club’s Big Sugar Summit a HIT! A Call to Action!

bigsugarsummit

Sierra Club’s Big Sugar Summit a HIT! A Call to Action!

Many thanks to Sierra Club, Florida  for an amazing day and the yummy food. Sierra Club Florida packed a day with every thing we really need to know to begin our journey to be experts on the subject of Big Sugar. You could done an entire day on each section but I think ( and correct me  if I’m wrong) this gave us the perfect overview as a place to start. I can see each part be broken down more because there is a lot information to get and loads of work to do.

Lucky for all of you there is loads of video. I shot a lot but there was an awesome videographer there who shot every single moment and that will be available soon. He will include all the bells and whistles and bless him for doing so. So consider this your very long teaser to when the big version comes out. A call to action!  I’m going to put all my video here and then I’m going to break it down.  When the whole video is complete you’ll be the first to know.

There are so many aspects to be interested in and I can see us picking the one or a few to really focus on. So I’m hoping we can put committee together to work on that special subject we were interested in. Saturday was was our associate degrees in Big Sugar. Now we need to work towards our BS, MS and PHD.

DSC_0013

a packed room

There were a lot of different people and I hoped you all walked away with the good feeling I did- a feeling of hope that we can find our way through this together. There are things that must be done and we need to find a way to do it. WE

The water must go south. We must stop the discharges, save our drinking water and stop the salt water intrusion. We must.

We must help our friends the Miccosukee’s to fix their water issues.

Not listening is no longer an option.

So here you go. This should keep you busy for a while and give you something to think about. Please share in the most positive way.

Sierra Club’s Big Sugar Summit

Introduction by Frank Jackalone, Frank is the Sierra Club’s senior field organizing manager for Florida.

DSC_0002

frank

Here is Mary Barley. Our Fairy Godmother! Thank you Mary Barley for your wisdom and leadership!

DSC_0003

mary barley

Dr Gail Hollander ,Associate Professor of Geography, Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University. Author, Raising Cane in the “Glades”: The Global Sugar Trade and the transformation of Florida.

Dr Stephen Davis is wetland ecologist at the Everglades Foundation.

Richard Grosso, Director, Environmental and Land Use Law Clinic, Shepard Broad Law Center, Nova Southeastern University

Julia Hathaway

Dr Enrique Cesar Santejo Silveira
Molecular Oncology Research Center
Barretos Cancer Hospital
Barretos, SP, Brazil

Jim Stormer
Retired Environmental Administrator, Palm Beach County Health Department

DSC_0038

David Guest, Managing Attorney, Earthjustice, Florida Office

Wolfram Alderson , Founding member of the Institute for Responsible  Nutrition.

Chairman Colly Billie, Miccosukee Tribe Keynote Speaker

Shelia Krumholtz
Executive Director, Center for Responsive Politics

Daren Bakst
Research Fellow in Agriculture Policy, Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, The Heritage Foundation.

Manley Fuller, President Florida Wildlife Federation

Hope you all enjoy and get something from the many different views!

Big Sugar Summit Buy your tickets now

bigsugarsummit

Thanks to the Sierra Club, Florida

@SierraClubFL

Buy Your Tickets Here Now!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/big-sugar-summit-tickets-16963454148

he Big Sugar Summit will pull the curtain back on the sugar industry. We’ll dig as deep into the muck as we can, in one day, to uncover just how profoundly Big Sugar affects us all. You’ll get the facts regarding the sugar industry’s influence and impact on Florida and its citizens. Our speakers will represent a wide spectrum of the political, academic, scientific and advocacy realms.
The following topics will be covered:

History of Big Sugar in the EAA

Sugar’s impact on the Everglades

Sugar burning practice and impacts

Health impacts

State-level political influence

Federal-level political influence

U.S. Sugar Program

Local economy in the EAA

Sugar Hill Sector Plan

A full agenda and speaker list will be available soon.

Note:  There will be a social hour immediately after the program.

Get to Know Know Your SFWMD Board of Govenors: Kevin Powers: Friends and Neighbors

@SFWMD

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20about%20us/governing%20board

“The South Florida Water Management District is directed by nine Governing Board members who set policy for the agency. They reside within the agency’s 16-county region and represent a cross section of interests, including the environment, agriculture, local government, recreation and business. Governing Board members are unpaid citizen volunteers appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate. They generally serve four-year terms.

 

Kevin Powers
Vice Chair

[Term: 5/2013 – 3/2017]

gb_portrait_kpowers_small

At-large member for an area that includes St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

gb_map_kpowers_en

Occupation: Partner, Indiantown Realty Corp

Professional, Business and Service Affiliations:

Director, Stuart Martin County Chamber of Commerce

Member, Indiantown Western Martin County Chamber
of Commerce

Former Director, United Way of Martin County

Former Vice President and Director, Martin County
Taxpayers Association

Former Director, Economic Council of Martin County

http://www.mceconomy.org/p/7/board-committee-leaders

and this was part of their objectives

Economic Council’s 2015 Legislative Delegation Strategic Priorities

collapse
Martin County Legislative Delegation
Monday, December 8, 2014

  

A. Waterways & the Environment
  1. Support continued funding to store, clean and move more water south from Lake Okeechobee, rather than having it discharged to tide through our estuary.  Recognize that CERP and CEPP projects need to be consistently funded until their completion.  Note that all projects help to protect the environment while providing Jobs and Economic benefit to all communities in South Florida.

A while back I wrote a piece about Kevin.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/03/20/kevin-powers-were-your-best-friends-us-hahahahahaaaa/

I wrote that A few weeks before  Kevin Powers called Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch and asked about the Solidarity Fish.

DSC_0036

http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2015/02/24/helping-the-sfwmd-catch-a-fish-solidarity-st-lucie-riverindian-river-lagoon/

I wrote that Janeen was kind enough to give him some fish to bring to Tallahassee and he was going speak to some people on our behalf. So for five minutes we were hopeful.

It must must have been quite a trip because he came back and told us that RIck Scott, The legislature and SFWMD was our best friends. So where did the fish go? Did he just say this because some people wanted some for their desk? Did some people take the fish and then say FU to all of us? What happened in Tallahassee?

You can hear it for yourself.

The last meeting I went to I honestly thought I could a glimpse of  human  being on his and others faces when I asked them what was their plan to stop the discharges. Kevin spoke about being a kid on the Indian River Lagoon and going to Boy Scout Island.

He must have gotten something really good in Tallahassee. Something better than saving our drinking water, saving South Florida from salt water intrusion, recharging the aquifers, stopping the toxic discharges.

He lives here. He can’t even run away from the damage that he has done. And during this whole time he couldn’t call his friends? He couldn’t call his neighbors and say “Hey, this is what the story is. But you know what let’s figure something out. Let’s a find a solution for the pollution!”

I totally understand people having a difference of opinion. But I also expect when people are in charge and there is a problem they find solutions and they don’t play games. We have had nothing but games played. Us. The citizens of Martin County. Your friends and neighbors.

kant2

kant

My Dad always told me to be a good friend and neighbor.  Here are 10 worse neighbors in movies.

http://listverse.com/2008/03/02/top-10-worst-neighbours-in-movies/

http://screenrant.com/bad-neighbors-movies/

What we need is a good neighbor. Someone who is concerned about us, our economy, our water, our real estate, our welfare.

We need to have a neighbor like Wilson.

or even these guys.

than this guy

Carter Hayes (played by Michael Keaton) moves in to an apartment in a nice townhouse in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights then refuses to pay rent. Not only that, he locks himself in his room and begins to tear the place apart. Then he begins introducing thousands of cockroaches in to the house! His aim? To make the house unlivable so the owners are forced to move out of it and sell it.

And I have to wonder- is this whats happening  to us?

Get to Know Know Your SFWMD Board of Govenors: Daniel O’Keefe and Festivus

@SFWMD

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20about%20us/governing%20board

“The South Florida Water Management District is directed by nine Governing Board members who set policy for the agency. They reside within the agency’s 16-county region and represent a cross section of interests, including the environment, agriculture, local government, recreation and business. Governing Board members are unpaid citizen volunteers appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate. They generally serve four-year terms.

The South Florida Water Management District encompasses two major watershed basins, the Okeechobee Basin and the Big Cypress Basin. The Big Cypress Basin also has a Basin Board, with appointed members setting policy. One Governing Board member also serves as the chair of the Big Cypress Basin Board.

The Governing Board appoints the Executive Director, who directs all South Florida Water Management District activities. The Florida Senate confirms this candidate.”

gb_map_dokeefe_en gb_portrait_dokeefe_small

Daniel O’Keefe
Chair
[Term: 5/2012 – 3/2016]
dokeefe@sfwmd.gov

Glades, Highlands, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola and Polk counties

Education:

  • J.D., with honors – University of Florida College of Law
  • B.S. in Business Administration, Business & Finance – University of Florida

Occupation:
Attorney with Shutts and Bowen LLP

Professional, Business and Service Affiliations:

  • Board Member, Smart Growth Alliance
  • Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee
  • Member, West Orange Chamber of Commerce
  • President, West Orange Political Alliance
  • Former Member, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council

From wikipedia:

“Shutts & Bowen LLP is an Am Law 200 Florida-based law firm with over 240 attorneys in seven offices in the State of Florida and one office in Europe. Shutts & Bowen was founded in 1910. Frank B. Shutts came to Miami in 1909 and became the legal representative of Henry M. Flagler and the Florida East Coast Railway Company. In 1910 he formed a professional association with Henry F. Atkinson. In 1912 Crate D. Bowen joined the firm which settled on the name Shutts and Bowen in 1919. In 1910 Shutts organized the Miami Herald Publishing Company and was its President and principal stockholder.[2] Shutts and Bowen is among the List of largest U.S. law firms by number of lawyers. Its offices are located in the Florida cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa,[3] and Tallahassee. Its Tallahassee office is headed by Bobby Brantley.[4] According to statistics submitted to American Lawyer, Shutts & Bowen recorded $127.5 million in revenue for the year 2012 with profits per partner averaging $682,000.”

http://www.floridatrend.com/article/15847/water-challenges

“Daniel O’Keefe, a real estate attorney in the Orlando office of Shutts & Bowen, is the new chairman of the South Florida Water Management District, the state agency that oversees water resources in the Everglades and 16 counties.”

What he wanted to do when he started.

Our runoff from (Orlando’s) Shingle Creek makes it to the Kissimmee chain and Lake Okeechobee, and that’s ultimately got to be cleansed. Storing more on private and public lands during the wet season, rather than just flushing it out — that’s been a successful and effective strategy, paying for that storage instead of just buying more land.

» Two other items also are a focus of mine: An assessment of lands — the district owns something like 1.4 million acres. We really need to take a serious look at that and ask ourselves, ‘Is it serving its purpose?’ If some is not, and we’re just paying to own it, should it be (sold as) surplus? We could take the money and find better ways to use those dollars. And the last thing is water supply. Just how much do we have? From all sources, surface, aquifer and alternatives such as reuse and desal, and what about the next 30 to 40 years? We expect to have a draft water-supply plan by September.

He puts out a report. You can read it here.

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/common/newsr/enews/ripple/code/pages/ripple_index.html#article02

“Recognizing that a healthy ecosystem is vital to a healthy economy, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is making significant progress on dozens of initiatives and projects to improve water quality and increase storage.

“The most effective way to achieve restoration is by completing the host of projects now being designed or under construction across the region,” said SFWMD Executive Director Blake Guillory. “Major progress is being made, from wildlife returning to the Kissimmee to heavy construction work south of Lake Okeechobee on reservoirs and treatment wetlands that will help protect coastal estuaries and the Everglades.”

Reservoir south of lake Okeechobee? no kidding. do tell!

There are other Daniel O’Keefes.

This one is missing in Australia if you come across him.

446745-daniel-o-039-keeffe

http://www.dancomehome.com

My favorite one is this one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_O%27Keefe_%28writer%29

He invented “Festivus.”

Daniel Lawrence O’Keefe (February 25, 1928 – August 29, 2012) was an editor at Reader’s Digest,[1] author, and the inventor of Festivus, an annual secular holiday now celebrated on December 23.[2] His son, Dan O’Keefe, was a writer for the Seinfeld[3] television show and incorporated the family holiday into an episode of the program,[1] and in 2005 published The Real Festivus.

Why bring this up? Because of Daniel Lawrence O’Keefe we have some great memes for Daniel O’Keefe
Chair
of the Board of Governors at SFWMD.

check em out.

festivus festivus2 festivus3

Need I say more?

well just a little more.

I think Daniel O’Keefe understands our disappointment. My main one is his seeing us as “uneducated”  and not taking the  time or having respect to sit down and hash this out.

DIrty Rats: SFWMD kicks us in the head

@SFWMD

@JaxStrong

@joenegronfl

@RepMurphyFL

@SteveCrisafulli

nail

Nail in the Coffin.

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/sfwmd-board-to-discuss-likely-reject-us-sugar-land-buy_14943889 “WEST PALM BEACH — As expected, the South Florida Water Management District board Thursday rejected the proposal to buy U.S. Sugar Corp. land south of Lake Okeechobee.

Board member Kevin Powers of Stuart made the motion to “irrevocably” terminate the option to buy 46,800 acres of U.S. Sugar land by Oct. 12. The motion was approved unanimously.”

“The deal, set to expire in October, had been fiercely championed by environmentalists as the best option for storing water from Lake Okeechobee. They envisioned the land being used to ease pressure to release polluted water into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, allowing water managers to instead hold it until it could be moved south to Florida Bay. Parts of the bay have become far too salty, killing sea grass that provides critical habitat for marine life and driving down the number of sea trout, a fish used to measure the health of the bay.”

There are really and truly constraints out there. For me, the biggest one is financial,” said board member Sandy Batchelor.”
This is what Eric Draper had to say about her when she was reappointed

Director Eric Draper:

“During her service Sandy has always put the Everglades first. She does her homework, is careful with tax dollars, and shows up to make the right decisions. Governor Scott made the right call.”

Good Call Eric Draper

Apparently, she has never heard of Amendment One.

“Our frustration comes from the fact that you do not have a Plan B,’’ said former Martin County Commissioner Maggy Hurchalla. “You keep telling us what we can’t do, not what we can do.”

Well this is it isn’t it. This entire time we’ve been going no one from SFWMD has ever suggested what they would do about the issues.