A roundup of news items related to climate change and other environmental issues in Florida:
O2O Wildlife Corridor scores $850M in final budget | Florida Politics
The budget is off to the presses and on track for a final vote on Friday, and what may be the biggest environmental project of the 2023 Legislative Session earned a spot in the final hours of negotiations.
Back of bill language shows lawmakers agreed to pump $850 million into the Ocala to Osceola Wildlife Corridor, also known as the O2O Corridor, which encompasses parts of North Florida, Big Cypress and South Florida and is primarily administered by the North Florida Land Trust.
The funding was a priority for Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, but the final amount is nearly double the $426 million she requested in a March 22 local funding initiative request. According to the request, the funding is primarily for land buys that synergize with Passidomo’s other environmental priority, the Florida Wildlife Corridor.
Groups to sue federal officials over manatee protection | Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — Several conservation groups announced Tuesday that they’re planning to sue federal wildlife officials, citing a failure to protect the West Indian manatee following record death rates in recent years.
The Center for Biological Diversity, Harvard Animal Law & Policy Clinic, Miami Waterkeeper and Frank S. González García filed a notice of their intention to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The notice is required by law before suing a federal agency.
The legal notice follows a November petition urging FWS to reclassify the species from threatened to endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The conservation groups said FWS was required by law to determine within 90 days whether the petition presents substantial information indicating the reclassification may be warranted. No findings have been issued yet, even though more than 150 days have gone by, the groups said.
Gov. DeSantis signs anti-ESG bill into law | Orlando Sentinel
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Tuesday a bill banning state agencies and local governments from taking climate change and diversity factors into account when investing money.
The Government and Corporate Activism Act targets ESG, or environmental, social and governance standards, derided as “woke” by DeSantis and the GOP-led Legislature in their culture war battles.
Democrats and some business owners say the law could cost the state money and impact municipal bonds.
If you have any news items of note that you think we should include in our next roundup, please email The Invading Sea Editor Nathan Crabbe at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for The Invading Sea newsletter by visiting here.