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Come to Kissimmee to help protect Lake Toho and make a difference in our community!

Join us for a planting party at the City of Kissimmee Civic Center Pond.  Volunteers are needed to plant wetland plants along the pond edge for wildlife habitat and water quality protection.  Learn about aquascaping, wetland plants and common birds that will visit the pond in the future. Get hands on experience!

Both youth and adult volunteers are needed to plant.  Businesses and groups are invited to participate.  Register online at http://plantingparty.eventbrite.com  Call Jennifer Nicholson at 407.518.2179 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  for more information.  Rain or Shine event.

After the planting party, come celebrate Kissimmee’s 131st birthday at the 2014 Kowtown Festival featuring the Kissimmee Valley Rib Rodeo taking place at Kissimmee Lakefront Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Florida Native Plant Society Grants Available

Did you know that the Florida Native Plant Society maintains grant programs for research and conservation?  Endowment Research Grants provide up to $1500 for a 1-year period to fund research that forwards the mission of the Florida Native Plant Society, "to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida." Like the Endowment Research Grants, Conservation Grants of up to $1500 are awarded for a 1-year period to support applied native plant conservation projects that promote the preservation, conservation, or restoration of rare or imperiled native plant taxa and/or communities in Florida. Proposed projects must be sponsored by a FNPS Chapter to qualify for a Conservation Grant.

Details regarding both of these grants can be found at http://www.fnps.org/participate/awards
. The application deadline is March 7, 2014. Grant recipients will be announced at the F.N.P.S. Annual Conference in Fort Myers in May of 2014. Applicants are not required to be present at this event to receive a grant

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EPA Approves DO Criteria for Florida

On September 9, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the revisions to Florida's criteria for Dissolved Oxygen (DO) as part of the recent Triennial Review of surface water quality standards. As noted in EPA's approval letter, EPA approved the DO related provisions in Chapters 62-302 and 62-303, Florida Administrative Code, and nutrient related water quality standards for the Tidal Peace River. The remaining revisions adopted as part of Triennial Review are still under review by EPA and will be addressed under separate cover at a later date. The approval letter and EPA's Decision Document for their approval have been posted to the Department's website at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wqssp/dissoxy.htm. In addition, the final Technical Support Document for DO has also been posted. The revised DO criteria are now in effect and apply to both fresh and marine waters.

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DEP Submits Status Report on NNC to Governor

As required under Chapter 2013-71, Laws of Florida, and as Part of the "Path Forward" Agreement with EPA, the Department submitted a report to the Governor and Florida Legislature, titled "Report to the Governor and Legislature: Status of Efforts to Establish Numeric Interpretations of the Narrative Nutrient Criterion for Florida Estuaries and Current Nutrient Conditions of Unimpaired Waters," dated August 1, 2013. The report has been posted to DEP's website at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wqssp/index.htm. Chapter 2013-71 and the report have also been submitted to EPA.

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Criteria posted for Estuary-specific NNC's

The Department of Environmental Protection submitted to EPA the estuary-specific numeric interpretations of the narrative nutrient criteria for the following estuaries: Perdido Bay, Pensacola Bay (including Escambia Bay), Choctawhatchee Bay, St. Andrew Bay, St. Joseph Bay, Apalachicola Bay, Suwannee Sound, Withlacoochee River, Waccasassa River, Springs Coast (Crystal River to Anclote River), Loxahatchee River, Lake Worth Lagoon, Halifax River, Guana River/Tolomato River/Matanzas River (GTM), and Nassau River. The Department also submitted numeric nutrient standards for remotely-sensed chlorophyll a for coastal offshore waters. All of these criteria have been posted on our website at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wqssp/nutrients/index.htm.

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University of Florida Hydrilla IPM RAMP

Learn about the research and control methods being developed to help fight hydrilla at UFs Entomology Department.  Visit the website at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/hydrilla.

Hydrilla is an invasive freshwater plant that causes serious environmental and economic problems in Florida. Hence, natural resource managers, research scientists, and extension specialists are evaluating new sustainable strategies for implementation in a statewide hydrilla IPM plan.

The USDA-funded project, Hydrilla IPM RAMP, is expected to reduce management costs and minimize the risk for herbicide resistance. By combining biological with chemical controls, the project will create more favorable recreational areas on lakes and rivers that have become almost unusable because of the dense surface mats associated with hydrilla infestations.

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Volunteer with Aquiferwatch!

Do you have a well on your property?Do you live in Northwest Florida? Interested in volunteering?

A new group called AquiferWatch is looking for volunteers to measure ground-water levels in north Florida. Volunteers will use specialized equipment to take a measurement from their own well once a month. Training for this activity takes no more than one hour.

Data collected for AquiferWatch will supplement groundwater data already collected by the FL Department of Environmental Protection and the NW FL Water Management District. There is much less data from the panhandle than from the peninsula of Florida, so AquiferWatch is turning to volunteers for help.

If you’re interested in volunteering or learning more, please contact Sarah Kalinoski of the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance at 850-517-6843 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . She will be coordinating individual on-site training sessions with AquiferWatch once they are able to gauge the level of interest in the NW Florida area.

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Mobile Field Guide to Florida Invasive Plants

FLIP is a new mobile field guide that can be accessed by a computer, smart phone, tablet or other device with internet browser capability.  Developed by the University of South Florida, FLIP currently contains 20 plants:  19 of the 2011 Category I invasive species and one of the 2011 Category II invasive species as designated by the Florida Exotic Plant Pest Council (FLEPPC), and will be expanded to include more. 

Check out the app at www.orange.wateratlas.org/flip

While there, why not check out the whole atlas at www.wateratlas.org

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How much pollution can your lake handle?  Visit FDEP's interactive site "Basin411"

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"The Economic Analysis of the FDEP Proposed Numeric Nutrient Criteria in Florida”, by Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis, FL State University.  Jan 20, 2012.

 http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wqssp/nutrients/docs/nnc_economic_analysis_final_report.pdf

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EPA Response letter to DEP's Nutrient Criteria Petition.

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Florida LAKEWATCH report on Florida lakes failing the new current numeric nutrient criteria. Read the report here.

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Springer, the publisher of CERF's peer-reviewed journal Estuaries and Coasts, is providing free access ('Open Access') to the articles published on past oil spills affecting coastal environments, to increase the availability of information relevant to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

To access these articles, use the following link: http://springerlink.com/content/120846/?k=oil+spill

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Coal Tar Sealant Largest Source of PAHs in Lakes: Read about this environmental health concern at USGS's newsroom at http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2651

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Upcoming Events

Abstracts Due

April 15, 2014

FLMS Board Meeting

May 9, 2014

Symposium Early Bird Registration Ends

June 1, 2014


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