GOP cut crucial weather satellites with fierce hurricane season looming « Climate Progress

Earlier this year, Congressional Republicans decided accurate weather forecasting and hurricane tracking were services the American people could live without. The GOP-sponsored 2011 spending bill slashed the budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, slashing $700 million targeted for an overhaul of the nation’s aging environmental satellite system. NOAA scientists have stated unequivocally the existing satellites will fail and if they aren’t replaced, the agency’s ability to provide life-saving information to the American people will be compromised. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator, told reporters yesterday that the agency’s hurricane outlook last year was “spot-on” and cautioned that “not having satellites and applying their latest capabilities could spell disaster“

via GOP cut crucial weather satellites with fierce hurricane season looming « Climate Progress.

Junot Diaz On What Disasters Reveal | On Point with Tom Ashbrook

There is a wonderful audio interview at this site.  Well recommended for use in South Florida–we have our “natural” and political disasters, too.

The Dominican-American writer Junot Diaz got everybody’s attention, and a Pulitzer Prize, with his fierce, funny, tragic first novel “The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” Now, in a big new essay, Diaz has moved on to bigger themes — like apocalypse and the fate of the human race.

Junot Diaz looks at our recent headlines of earthquakes, tsunamis, meltdown fears, and floods and sees revelation. Not of the hand of God, exactly. But of human realities running amok.

via Junot Diaz On What Disasters Reveal | On Point with Tom Ashbrook.

Articles Question State Unrestricted Development Policy Directions

It is not anti-development, it is managed development to protect the environment and the long term beneficial pattern of growth.

Miami Herald – Despite foreclosures, lawmakers push for more development
St. Petersburg Times – Conservation groups say Florida lawmakers going too far “streamlining” growth management laws
Florida Tribune – Environmental groups say Bennett is wrong about their support for his bills
Sarasota Herald-Tribune – Environmental groups form united front against “draconian” reforms

City of Miami Approved Dumping on Wetlands

Letter to Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection

March 31, 2011

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Mr. Donald Keirn
Environmental Specialist III
Submerged Lands & Environmental Resources Program
Department of Environmental Protection
400 N. Congress Ave., Suite 200
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Via email:

Subject: North Point, Virginia Key, Florida
Conceptual Environmental Resource Permit No. EC 13-0267159-001
Port Tunnel Contractor Deposits on wetlands, mangroves.

Dear Mr. Keirn:

We are writing to object to the dumping of excavation materials from the Miami Harbor tunnel project on Virginia Key, a barrier island within the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, an Outstanding Florida Water.

The City of Miami, the municipality that has jurisdiction over the North Point of Virginia Key, has allowed the Port of Miami Tunnel contractor, Bouygues Civil Works Florida,. Inc. access to Virginia Key for the purpose of depositing tens of thousands of cubic yards of fill material on the North Point.  The contractor has been cited  for depositing material on wetlands and destroying mangroves.  A “Notice of Violation” was issued by the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources (DERM) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is investigating.

The North Point of Virginia Key is an environmentally significant and fragile area for which the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has identified special resource designations:  Manatee No Entry Zone, the Critical Wildlife Area and Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve.

In 1994,  the Florida DEP described the North Point as “highly productive fish and wildlife habitat, as well as a movement corridor for the endangered manatee.” An extensive restoration project  created five acres of coastal hammock, four acres of dune, 12 acres of new mangrove forest and new tidal habitat where there is a thriving coastal band mangrove community of red, white, and black mangroves.

In light of the significant environmental resources of the North Point of Virginia Key and the surrounding Wildlife Refuge and Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, we are requesting that the Florida DEP:

*Issue an immediate Cease and Desist Order to prevent further damage to the area’s natural resources.

*Conduct an ecological assessment of the area to determine what damage has been caused by the most recent dumping of materials, the dumping of Port of Miami dredge materials in the 1990s as well as other uses introduced over the years by the City of Miami. These uses may be incompatible with the fragile natural resources of the uplands and submerged lands as well as contrary to the deed restrictions set by the State of Florida when it conveyed the property to the City of Miami in 1942.

*Request that the State of Florida manage the ecological restoration of the area, in partnership with Miami-Dade County’s Environmentally Endangered Lands Program or other responsible entities.

*Establish a state park, preserve or wildlife refuge on Virginia Key, in particular in the North Point and Critical Wildlife Refuge areas, to assure the protection and preservation of the area for future generations.

Thank you in advance for your attention and assistance in this matter of great public Interest.

Please add the undersigned to the list of organizations and individuals to be notified by the Florida DEP in all matters related to this issue and permit application.


Debbie Matthews, chair
Sierra Club Miami Group
P.O. Box 43-0741
S. Miami, FL 33243-0741
Phone: 305-766-0835

Robert S. Skinner
Izaak Walton League of America, Miami Chapter
2730 SW 3rd Ave # 205
Miami, FL 33129-2339
Phone: 305-285-0916

Michael Chenoweth
The Izaak Walton League, Florida Keys Chapter
P.O. Box 236
Homestead, Florida 33090-0236
Phone: (305) 451-0993

Alexis K. Segal, Esq.
Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper, Waterkeeper and Executive Director
465 Ocean Drive #417,Miami Beach, FL 33139




SC April, 2011 newsletter – – Gmail.

City of Coral Gables: Check Your Reserves For Hurricane Response


(Philip J. Klotzbach & William M. Gray: )


As of 6 April 2011, it is foreseen a well above-average activity for the 2011 Atlantic-Caribbean cyclonic season. The seasonal forecast has been reduced slightly from early December, since there is a little uncertainty about ENSO and the maintenance of an anomalously warm tropical Atlantic SST conditions. It is possible to continue to anticipate an above-average probability of United States and Caribbean major hurricane landfall.

Information obtained through March 2011 indicates that the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season will have significantly more activity than the average 1950-2000 season. We estimate that 2011 will have about 9 hurricanes (average is 5.9), 16 named storms (average is 9.6), 80 named storm days (average is 49.1), 35 hurricane days (average is 24.5), 5 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.3) and 10 major hurricane days (average is 5.0). The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 140 percent of the long-period average. We expect Atlantic basin Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2011 to be approximately 175 percent of the long-term average. We have decreased our seasonal forecast slightly from early December, due to anomalous warming in the eastern and central tropical Pacific and cooling in the tropical Atlantic. This forecast is based on a new extended-range early April statistical prediction scheme that utilizes 29 years of past data. Analog predictors are also utilized. We expect current La Niña conditions to transition to near-neutral conditions during the heart of the hurricane season. Overall, conditions remain conducive for a very active hurricane season.