Escambia County is right in the not-so-sweet spot of Florida counties hardest hit by 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The spill will cost tens of billions of dollars in cleanup charges, fines and settlements, and many say it is still blighting the environment. The damage still lingers, long after BP declared its work done. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is still finding oil remnants in places like Pensacola’s Fort Pickens Beach.
The Florida cabinet approved a pair of land purchases Tuesday that it says will aid in efforts to manage water retention in Southwest Florida.
Part of the $13 million purchase approved by the cabinet allows The Department of Environmental Protection to buy 670 acres in Charlotte County. This land will provide the public with recreational opportunities like hiking and wildlife exploration.
The agency says, this purchase along with another one in Collier County, are key to an ongoing hydrologic restoration project in the region.
Environmentalists are less than pleased with Florida Governor Rick Scott’s pick to head the Department of Environmental Protection. Jon Steverson is returning to the department as secretary after a stint at the Northwest Florida Water Management District.
Jon Steverson oversaw the restructuring of the Northwest Florida Water Management District as Executive Director. Prior to that, he served in the administration of former Gov. Charlie Crist—where he dealt with environmental issues.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will put more than 3 million fish into Florida’s waters this year, a good portion of which will be a special hybrid of bass. The agency says the fish is beneficial to both anglers and the environment.
There will be a little more "sunshine" in Florida, as the FWC plans to ship out its special sunshine bass breed next spring.