Interested in removing lionfish? There’s still plenty of time to compete in this year’s Lionfish Challenge, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) statewide removal incentive program. The program started on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, May 20, and ends Sept. 4. Over 5,000 lionfish have been removed from Florida waters thanks to the program, including nearly 3,700 recreational fish removals and more than 1,200 pounds commercially (equates to about 1,400 fish).
As a precautionary measure due to a naturally occurring algae bloom in St. Joseph Bay that affects shellfish, the bay scallop harvest originally scheduled to begin on July 25th in Gulf County waters will be temporarily postponed. This postponement includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County This does not impact other areas currently open for a recreational harvest. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is working closely with partners on this postponement including the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), which has also issued a precautionary closure for the harvest of clams, mussels and oysters in St. Joseph Bay.
Year-Round Water Conservation Measures Return Elsewhere
Due to lingering drought effects and water resources not recovering as quickly as other areas, the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (District) Governing Board voted to maintain once-per-week lawn watering and other restrictions in the District’s northern region, which includes Citrus, Hernando, Levy and portions of Lake, Marion and Sumter counties. This order in Marion County would be limited to the city of Dunnellon and the area encompassed by The Villages because the District has an Interagency Agreement with the St. Johns River Water Management District. The restrictions for the District’s northern region will remain in effect through Oct. 1, 2017.
CH2M and the City of North Miami Beach, Florida, have entered a 15-year partnership to deliver a best-in-class water/wastewater utility for residents and regional customers of the City. The City's regional utility, NMB Water, serves over 180,000 customers in northern Miami-Dade County, including North Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Aventura, Sunny Isles Beach, Golden Beach, and portions of unincorporated Miami-Dade County.
EPA dental effluent rule effective July 14; UNEP mercury treaty enters into force August 16
This summer, the world is taking two essential steps toward abating the damage caused by dental mercury fillings. Actions by both the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to restrict the use of dental mercury are being commended by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), a network of dentists, scientists, and other professionals. They have been researching the deleterious effects of dental mercury since 1984 and began calling for a complete ban on mercury fillings in 1985.