Climate and Environmental changes affect population trends, economic development, tourism, health (especially the health of children), food resources, temperature extremes, air quality, water quality and weather disasters like hurricanes, floods and sea level rise.  


  • To promote governmental accountability and transparency regarding our precious, fragile Florida environment.

Chair: Lorraine Zimmerman (plzimm@bellsouth.net, 561-241-3264)

Meetings: The 4th Thursday of the month at 5:30 pm.

Location: The Summit Library in WPB,  3650 Summit Blvd, WPB 33406…

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Florida Sugar Tour

By Kathy Panko, Environmental Issues Group

Florida SugarThe Florida Sugar Cane League, Inc. hosted a tour of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) for the League of Women Voters on January 24th. The tour was both educational and fun!

Morgan Cintron, Community Relations Manager, accompanied our group on the bus ride to Clewiston. She explained that the EAA grows much more than sugar cane. It is the country’s largest supplier of winter vegetables, including sweet corn, green beans, celery, radishes, cabbage, melons, lettuce and other leafy greens, as well as rice. Sugar cane is planted from September through January and is harvested between September and late April. It is sold under the names: “Florida Crystals” or “Domino Sugar.”

Upon arrival, the group viewed a historical presentation of water management and …

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Climate Alarm


By Kathy Panko, Environmental Issues Group

Bad Weather Is No Reason For Climate Alarm

Year 2017 was filled with bad weather, much of it tragic, with whole communities struggling to recover. Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Hurricane Irma struck Florida and Puerto Rico after devastating other Caribbean Islands. Wildfires torched Napa and Ventura counties in California and Australia experienced extreme heat waves. However, by looking at the world as a whole and long-term trends (climate) rather than short-term events (weather), we can challenge the claims that 2017 was an unusual weather year and that weather is getting more extreme as the world warms.

While the United States experienced record damages in 2017, the rest of the world was hit by far fewer natural …

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Sea Level Rise



By Kathy Panko, Environmental Issues Group

The seas around Florida have been rising for eons.  How quickly they rise over the next 100 years will pose a host of challenges for the state and reshape Florida in the years to come.  Timing is everything.

Historical Perspective

Florida has 18,000 years of experience with sea-level rise.  At the peak of the last glacial cycle, when seas were far lower, you could hike south from the site of present-day Tampa to Key West.  The beach sat 100 miles to the west of present-day Fort Myers.  Florida’s experience since the peak of the Ice Age shows unequivocally that the sea has been rising ever since that hike was possible.  The bulk of the …

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One Planet Summit

one planet summitBy Kathy Panko, Environmental Issues Group

Two years after the historic Paris Agreement on climate, more than 50 heads of state, as well as environment ministers, regional leaders, and bank and finance executives met in Paris on December 12, 2017, to finance global efforts to meet the goals of the agreement.

Melting Polar Ice Caps

Temperatures below freezing (0 degrees Celsius/32 degrees Fahrenheit) are required to curtail further melting of the Polar Ice Caps.  Current global temperatures are rising at an alarming accelerated rate above freezing.  The Paris Agreement’s main goal is to keep a global temperature rise this century to less than 2 degrees C (35.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels and to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C (34.7 degrees F), if possible.  France,

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Lake Okeechobee Dike Repair

By Kathy Panko, Environmental Issues Group


Lake OkeechobeeLake Okeechobee is the second-largest natural freshwater lake in the continental United States, covering 730 square miles. It was built in the 1930’s using sand, rocks, limestone, clay and peat that came from local dredging.  The federally operated Herbert Hoover Dike that surrounds the lake requires significant reinvestment that commenced in 2001, but yet remains in desperate need of repair.

For the thousands of Floridians who live in the shadow of the 80-year old dike, there is always a fear that the earthen barrier might fail.  If the dike were built today, better material would be used and it would be packed tighter.

The Army Corps of Engineers oversees the Herbert Hoover Dike.  After Hurricane Irma caused a 3.5 foot

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Florida Citrus & Irma


By Kathy Panko, Environmental Issues Group

florida citrusHurricane Irma blew through Florida’s citrus crops on September 10th, littering the ground with the precious fruit and flooding the fields for days.  Irma arrived just weeks before the start of the grapefruit and orange harvests.  It may not be until the end of the season – March for grapefruits and May for oranges – before citrus farmers know the full impact of Irma’s destruction.  While most of us in Palm Beach County are getting back to normalcy, it’s a new normal for Florida’s agricultural industry.

The double whammy of wind and torrential rain is something that Florida citrus farmers never previously experienced.  Florida’s orange crop is expected to drop 21% (a 71 year

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Sierra Club Recycled Materials Fashion Show

The Loxahatchee Group of the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, held their annual fundraiser, the Thanks & Giving Celebration and Silent Auction, on Saturday, November 11th. The featured portion of the evening was a Trash Fashion Show by Argentine designer Aidana Baldasarre, who crafted outfits using old inner tubes, discarded highway banners and even old issues of the Sierra Club Magazine.

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Solar Co-op Kickoff


By Diane Marks

solar co-op kickoffPalm Beach started the County’s Solar Co-Op on November 1 at a Kickoff Media Event at the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center in West Palm Beach.




“It’s good for the environment, good for the economy, and good for the consumer,” states LWVPBC President, Karen Wilkerson.

Mayor Muoio of West Palm Beach; Rep. Lori Berman; Ana Puzkin, Sustainability Coordinator of Delray Beach; Jen Barenholtz, SolSmart Advisor; Alissa Jean Schafer of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; and Jody Finver from Solar United Neighborhoods of Florida spoke about the need for and advantages of solar energy and the purpose of joining the Solar Co-op.

Solar United Neighborhoods of  Florida is …

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Brown Vegetation After Hurricane Irma

By Kathy Panko, Environmental Issues Group

Burned leaves- Hurricane Irma

Florida is recovering from Hurricane Irma.  However, many plants and trees now have brown leaves on the sides where Irma blew the strongest – east and south.  Some look like they were scorched with a blowtorch because the hurricane winds lasted so long.  Gradually, leaves will turn from dark green to dull green to brown because of wind damage, known as wind burn.  Even hearty plants such as the sea grape, which survive on the oceanfront, have been affected.

Dead tree tops- Hurricane Irma

More damage could emerge in upcoming weeks as plants continue to react to the climactic change.  Some recovery results may take years.   When plants are stressed, they shut down and try to save energy.  The extremities, such as leaves, die and fall off.   …

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Solar Co-op Project


Florida Solar United NeighborhoodsBy Diane Marks


Palm Beach will be the 15th  Solar Co-Op in Florida.  The League of Women Voters in Florida is organizing these Solar Co-Ops.  Solar Co-Ops have been formed in 10 counties (some counties having several) of Florida.

Florida Solar United Neighborhoods (FLSUN) is a non-profit that educates Floridians about the benefits of solar energy and helps organize group solar installations – solar cooperatives.  FLSUN makes solar easy, understandable and affordable by holding public information sessions. Here is how the FLSUN Solar Cooperative works:

  • Homeowners form a buyers’ cooperative
  • The co-op bundles the group’s buying power
  • Members use a free-market approach in a competitive bidding process to select one installer and secure significant discounts for rooftop solar systems because of
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