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CCA FLORIDA OPPOSES PLACEMENT OF SPACE LAUNCH FACILITY IN
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE ADJACENT TO MOSQUITO LAGOON AND
OFFERS ALTERNATIVE LOCATIONS


Shiloh is no place for a launch complex


Space Florida is a public body created by the State of Florida to foster the “growth and development of a sustainable and world–leading space industry in Florida." Given Florida’s long history of hosting our nation’s space flights, the existing facilities and talent along our Space Coast and the major employment losses suffered there with the reduction of federal funding of our nation’s space program, the creation and functions of “Florida’s aerospace economic development agency” are surely worthwhile. CCA Florida applauds the effort to bring commercial space industry to our state for all of the economic benefits it will surely bestow. Likewise, it seems prudent to focus on the area surrounding NASA’s facilities already in existence and the wealth of local talent that exist there.


Space Florida recently sent a request to the U.S. Department of Transportation and NASA for the conveyance of 150 acres of land for use by Space Florida as a public airport/spaceport. The subject lands are located in an area that was known, before the Federal government acquired for the space program, as the community of Shiloh. Space Florida subsequently issued a “Request for Information for the Proposed Shiloh Launch Complex," in which it states that it is “proposing the establishment of a commercially developed, commercially operated launch complex."


Shiloh lies in a narrow strip of land between the banks of the northern end of the Indian River Lagoon to the west, and the banks of the Mosquito Lagoon to the east, which is within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and across Mosquito Lagoon from Canaveral National Seashore, generally at the northern end of the Kennedy Space Center. In its request to the U.S. DOT and NASA, Space Florida stated that the 150 Shiloh acres are “surplus” and “excess to the needs of the U.S. Government” and “are not otherwise needed for public use." The fact that the Shiloh lies within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge was not mentioned.


Nor was the fact that the area encompassing Mosquito Lagoon, the northern reaches of the Indian River Lagoon, the Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge are essentially the most pristine lands and waters left along Florida’s east coast. The area is also essential habitat for many birds and aquatic animals, some of which are endangered or federally protected. A large number of anglers, hunters, bird watchers, manatee watchers, paddlers and other wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts consider the area a primo destination for their avocations. The economic benefit from those enthusiasts to the State of Florida and those who live in the vicinity is immense, which is to say nothing of the tremendous recreational benefits conferred upon those enthusiasts by experiencing the area in what is largely its natural condition. Indeed, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge was designated in 1963 by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for use “as an inviolate sanctuary…for migratory birds."


Meanwhile, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) sits nearby, the fate of much of its facilities unknown. Several capable launch facilities already exist there and are now sitting idle. In fact, one was used by a potential beneficiary of the proposed Shiloh site, Space X, which recently launched a rocket and spacecraft from KSC. NASA began exploring ways to increase future commercial use of the Shuttle Landing Facility at KSC well before the end of the Shuttle Program, and a Final Environmental Assessment was issued in 2007 that addresses expansion of those existing facilities.


Unfortunately, this is not the first time this area has been proposed for a new launch site. In 2008, NASA itself proposed 2 alternative new launch sites very near Shiloh. At the time, Coastal Conservation Association Florida and other groups protested loudly, imploring NASA to find a way to use the facilities at KSC rather than imposing the enormously adverse environmental impacts a new launch facility would create. That proposal by NASA did not proceed, nor should this one.


The development of the Shiloh site will surely involve a very time-consuming process, including the preparation and approval of an environmental impact statement required under the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as a number of other permits. The ultimate issuance of such permits would seem questionable in light of the tremendous impact the proposed launch complex would have – construction and post-development traffic and their attendant noise, smoke, heat and noise from the launches, and storm water runoff, among them. What of access by the public to nearby lands and waters - including the Intracoastal Waterway? This heavily travelled waterway would likely be closed before, during and after launches. Such impacts and the aesthetic degradation may well lead to declining visits by the anglers, birders and other outdoor enthusiasts, which could then result in the loss of existing jobs. Why not avoid all of this and find a way to use the existing facilities at KSC?


CCA Florida has questions to ask of Space Florida and NASA, but in sum, we need to know why the existing, mostly idle facilities at KSC cannot be used to develop the same commercial launch facility that is being proposed for Shiloh?


For additional information please contact Ted Forsgren at 407-702-3567 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CCA FLORIDA NEEDS YOUR HELP TO PREVENT SEVERE UNWARRANTED ACCESS RESTRICTIONS IN EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK

CCA Florida would like to remind you that the Everglades National Park will be holding public hearings in your area next week. You will find the hearing schedule below. For more information and an address to send your comments please click here.

Dania Beach

April 8th

5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

International Game Fish Association (IGFA)
300 Gulfstream Way
Dania Beach, FL

Naples

April 9th

5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Edison State College
Collier Campus - Building J
7007 Lely Cultural Parkway
Naples, FL

Key Largo

April 10th

5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Murray Nelson Government Center
102050 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL

Miami

April 11th

5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Florida International University
Stadium Club
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL


CCA TALKING POINTS  ON EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK

PROPOSED DRAFT GENERAL MANAGEMENT PLAN

  • CCA Florida has reviewed the Proposed Draft General Management Plan Alternatives (GMP) issued by Everglades National Park and finds thePreferred Alternative Unacceptable! The Preferred Alternative denies reasonable access to anglers and boaters!
  • The Park’s Preferred Alternative will turn ONE THIRD of its waters in Florida Bay into large Pole and Troll Zones (PTZs).The scale of these PTZs is unprecedented! The PTZs are too large and, contrary to statements within the planning document, they lack reasonable access. The PTZs in the Preferred Alternative are de facto exclusionary zones. CCA is concerned that the Park has ignored several years of comments from boaters and anglers in developing its Preferred Alternative.
  • The proposed PTZs in Florida Bay are significantly influenced by tidal flow, winds and seasonal variations in water levels. These conditions as well as safety and weather concerns require access corridors. The distances proposed to access the PTZs are too great to be poled or for the use of electric trolling motors. Access corridors and idle speed access zones are necessary. The Park should establish access corridors in its proposed PTZs similar to those in use in the Pole and Troll Zones of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. These corridors should be marked with buoys.
  • CCA supports the protection of the Park's marine resources and knows that the vast majority of the anglers/boaters in the Park are good stewards of the resource. Anglers and boaters will favorably respond to better marking and educational programs. Informational markers are necessary
  • The Snake Bight PTZ should be modified to allow access through Snake Bight Channel, Christian Point and the natural deep water tidal runoffs along the Snake Bight channel.
  • CCA recommends the Park incrementally establish new and accessible PTZs, starting with the areas around Flamingo and progressing outward as funds become available to properly mark access corridors and PTZs.
  • The proposed shoreline zones will enhance the experience of anglers, but the historically used channels in those areas should be maintained for access and boating safety reasons. These lesser channels/corridors should be marked by buoys or indicated as “local knowledge required”.
  • The implementation of a PTZ along the western portion of Gopher creek is not warranted and is a no boating zone. The Cross Bays/Hurdles Creek area should not be restricted as they provide historic access and passage during rough weather.
  • South Florida and the Florida Keys will be significantly and irreparably economically harmed by the restrictions in the Preferred Alternative.
  • CCA requests now as it has in the past, that the Park establish Working Group of experienced anglers to work with Park planners to identify access corridors.
  • CCA requests the Park produce the promised study of the Snake Bight PTZ before the final GMP is issued.
  • CCA believes that additional marking is needed on the Parks access points to educate boaters on proper navigation, prevailing water levels, resource protection and areas requiring local knowledge.

 

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 Governor Rick Scott Appoints Three to Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

On March 8th Governor Rick Scott announced the newest appointees to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). CCA Florida would like to congratulate the FWC appointees. The FWC is made up of 7 Commissioners appointed by the Governor to manage Florida's fish and wildlife. Commissioners are appointed for a five year term by the Governor and are confirmed by the Florida Senate.   

It gives CCA Florida great pleasure to welcome back Commissioner Ken Wright, Commissioner Ron Bergeron and Commissioner Dick Corbett to the FWC Commission. Their commitment to the conservation of fish and wildlife in Florida is evidenced by the hard work they have done in the past and we know they will continue that strong leadership as we move forward with these tested and trusted Commissioners.

We are excited to begin working with new Commissioner Bo Rivard who Governor Scott appointed last Friday. Bo Rivard is an outdoor minded sportsman who we trust will continue the tradition of protecting Florida’s unique fishery for the enjoyment of our State’s recreational anglers as well as the many visitors who come to enjoy Florida’s vast outdoor activities.

With these most recent appointments the FWC is now made up as follows:

Chairman: Ken Wright
    Commissioner:
    Ron Bergeron
    Dick Corbett
    Brian Yablonski
    Chuck Roberts
    Liesa Priddy
    Bo Rivard

CCA Florida is pleased to continue working with old friends and begin new relationships in the fight to conserve, promote, and enhance our coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public. We applaud Governor Scott, our new Commissioner and our reappointed Commissioners.

       

gov 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
MARCH 8, 2013

CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE

(850) 717-9282
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Governor Rick Scott Appoints Three to Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Adrien “Bo” Rivard and the reappointments of Ronald M. Bergeron and Richard A. Corbett to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Rivard, 41, of Panama City, has been a partner with Harrison Rivard Duncan & Buzzett since 2002 and is the past-president of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a law degree from Samford University. He succeeds Kathy Barco and is appointed for a term beginning March 8, 2013, and ending August 1, 2017.

Bergeron, 69, of Weston, is owner and president of Bergeron Family of Companies. He is a member of the Broward County Airboat Association and the Everglades Coordinating Council. He is reappointed for a term beginning March 8, 2013, and ending August 1, 2017.

Corbett, 74, of Tampa, is owner and president of Concorde Companies. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree from Harvard University. He is reappointed for a term beginning March 8, 2013, and ending January 6, 2018.

The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

# # #

 

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Call to   Action

   

Gulf red snapper crisis opens door to misguided management schemes

   

   
         In the chaos surrounding the 2013 recreational red snapper season, it is possible that the 27-day season will be used as an excuse to propose more unfair management schemes such as catch shares and sector separation for charter/for-hire boats.
   
        CCA’s calls to reallocate red snapper as a means to provide relief to the recreational sector as a whole continue to be ignored. An army of environmental and commercial lobbyists continue to seek ways to limit recreational access to this public resource. A few hundred commercial boats continue to profit from 51 percent of all Gulf red snapper. Hundreds of thousands of recreational anglers continue to get the remaining 49 percent over a 27-day season with an allocation that was set back in the 1980s. This is crazy.
   
        Instead of seriously looking at reallocation, federal bureaucrats have chosen to promote things like a one-snapper bag limit. They fought hard to get the power to punish specific Gulf states that choose to reject the futility of federal red snapper regulations. This new federal power now means anglers in some states may face a red snapper season of as few as 11 days.
   
        We fully expect that against this backdrop of failure, renewed efforts will be made to promote things like catch shares to further limit recreational participation and give a portion of the meager recreational catch to specific charter/for hire businesses to use as their own. While hundreds of thousands of recreational anglers in private boats are left with virtually nothing, a select few businesses and their allies in the environmental community will try to escape with a gift of red snapper from the federal government.
   
        We’ve been told that federal fisheries managers and Council members don’t hear from recreational anglers enough. We’ve been told that the cadre of charter captains, environmental lobbyists and commercial snapper barons who attend every Council meeting are carrying the day and drowning out the concerns of several hundred thousand unsatisfied recreational anglers.
   
        There has never been a more critical time for anglers to make their voices heard in federal fisheries management. Take a few moments now to click the link below and contact your Council members and Council staff personally. Ask them to focus on the core issues that can benefit ourcommunity. Ask them to reject sector separation, catch shares and any other scheme to minimize recreational access to our marine resources. Demand that federal managers finally address reallocation. If possible, make plans to come to the next Gulf Council meeting, April 15-18, at the Marriott Courtyard at 1600 E. Beach Blvd. in Gulfport, Mississippi, and talk to them in person.
   
       Red snapper is no longer a conservation issue – it’s a management issue, and federal management is failing. Send a message today, before we find ourselves permanently locked out of the process..
   
    GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
   
    TEXAS
    Doug Boyd
    Patrick Riley
    Robin Riechers
   
    LOUISIANA
    Camp Matens
    Harlan Pearce
    Myron Fischer
   
    MISSISSIPPI
    Kay Williams
    Corky Perret
    Dale Diaz
   
    ALABAMA
    Dr. Bob Shipp
    Johnny Greene
    Kevin Anson
   
    FLORIDA
    Pam Dana
    John Sanchez
    Larry Abele
    Martha Bademan
   
    NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE
    Roy Crabtree
   
    Click the link below to log in and send your message:
    www.votervoice.net    

   
 
   

 

CCA Florida would like to commend the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) and their officers in another job well done. In one of the latest cases three of their officers Chris Holleman, Sandy Blackburn and Tim Sweat out of Nassau County worked together to catch two men that were illegally taking redfish. These and other FWC Officers are always working hard to conserve and protect the resource and CCA is very appreciative for the added protection they bring to the coastal areas. For more on this case please see the FWC press release below.

 

fwcclogo1

 

Florida Fish and Wildlife

Conservation Commission

 

 

 

33 gigged redfish result in fines, jail time for violators

 

Possession of 33 gigged redfish recently resulted in fines and jail time for two Fernandina Beach men.

George Bartchlette (DOB 07/16/39) and Ronald Waters (DOB 09/25/65) were caught by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers with 33 redfish taken by illegal method.

FWC officers Chris Holleman, Sandy Blackburn and Tim Sweat worked the case.

“Officer Blackburn let me know a boat was headed my way,” said Holleman, who had been on patrol at Holly Point boat ramp in Nassau County. “I could hear the vessel’s engine running as they neared in the Nassau River. When they got inside Christopher Creek, they shut down the engine. I could hear the men walking in the marsh approximately 25 yards from the ramp just before they paddled into the ramp.” 

The officers walked into the marsh and discovered two laundry baskets with 33 redfish. All the fish had punctures consistent with gig marks. There were 19 undersize redfish between 14.25 inches and 17.75 inches, one oversize redfish (29.5 inches) and 13 slot-size redfish.

“We seized the gigs and lights. The case went to the state’s attorney and we obtained arrest warrants for Bartchlette and Waters,” Holleman said.

Bartchlette was charged with over the bag limit, possession of undersize and oversize fish and illegal take because the fish had been gigged. Waters was charged with illegal take of two fish.

Both men were recently adjudicated guilty in Nassau County.

Waters was fined $1,003.

Bartchlette was fined $4,150 and sentenced to 30 days in jail. His seized equipment was forfeited to the FWC. In addition, Bartchlette received a $90 fine foroperating a vessel with no navigational lights.

“This was a great resource case,” said FWC Lt. Clint Thompson, patrol supervisor for Duval and Nassau counties. “The officers involved did an outstanding job.

“I’d also like to thank Nassau County Prosecutor Johnna Lessard, who did an outstanding job in prosecuting this case,” Thompson said.

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KP/NCR
WBD/SCB

 

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