Issues of Interest

REBUILD FLORIDA MITIGATION GENERAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM $148 million has been awarded to communities through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program. The program allows local governments to develop large-scale infrastructure projects to make communities more resilient to future disasters. To see the communities who were awarded funds, go here.

HURRICANE MICHAEL RELIEF The Florida Division of Emergency Management will dispense almost $22 million in disaster recovery cost-share waivers to eligible local governments recovering from Hurricane Michael. Additionally, $4.7 million has been awarded to Chipola College and Tallahassee Community College through the Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program for Hurricane Michael Recovery. More information may be found here.

Additionally, more than $111 million was awarded to 22 communities through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Florida General Infrastructure Repair Program. The program provides an additional round of funding in the future for communities designated by HUD or the state as most impacted and distressed by Hurricane Michael.

MOSQUITOES Last summer, the Florida Department of Agriculture approved a plan for the Monroe County Mosquito Control District to release genetically modified mosquitoes developed by a Bill Gates-owned company. The District released 144,000 modified male mosquitoes into the Florida Keys. If all goes as planned, the sterile, non-bloodsucking males will mate with the bloodsucking females and the population of mosquitoes should shrink. However, there is concern that modified mosquitoes will mate with other species of mosquitoes, creating a new breed of “super mosquitoes”, which happened in Brazil in 2017.

RED SNAPPER SEASON The 2021 Gulf red snapper season will run June 4th through July 28th. This season will apply to those fishing from private recreational vessels in Gulf, state and federal waters, as well as charter vessels that do not have a federal reef fish permit and are limited to fishing in state waters only. Don’t forget you will need a license!

INVASIVE REPTILES The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted in February to adopt rules placing restrictions on the breeding, importing and ownership of invasive reptiles in Florida. As of April 29th, pet owners cannot purchase tegu lizards or green iguanas, among other nonnative reptiles newly prohibited. Those who already own them, must get them registered and microchipped. Currently, there are at least 14 invasive reptile species in Florida.

FLORIDA ORANGE PRODUCTION California’s orange production surpassed Florida by a margin of 52 million boxes to 51.7 million. Last year, Florida produced 67.4 million boxes of oranges and California 54.1 million.