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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Environmental Issues- April Minutes

NOTE- Included in the minutes: attached PDFs and documents with handouts from the meeting, such as a recommended reading list, websites with environmentally-related events, Lake Worth Lagoon info, an electronics toxic waste option (contact Richard Emory mentioned in minutes), etc. 

Draft EIG minutes meeting April 21, 2018

I. Attending were Nikki Descoteaux, Theresa Flowers, Arthur Levin, Laura Lutz, Mary Mertz, Kathy Panko and Ginny Shaller. The meeting began at 10:35 a.m. at the Okeechobee Branch Library in West Palm Beach.

II. The March 3, 2018 meeting minutes were accepted. Motion: Kathy Panko; second, Mary Mertz.

In response to a question posed at that meeting about the connection between promoting environmental legislation/issues and the mission of the LWV, LWVFL Natural Resources Chair Marty Sullivan responded that the environmental priorities …

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Fracking Update

ban fracking in floridaFRACKING UPDATE

MAY 2018

In February of 2018, The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee voted unanimously in favor of Senate Bill 462 (SB 462) to prohibit advanced well stimulation, commonly known as fracking or hydraulic fracturing. The bill then moved to the Florida Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources, where it was once again approved. This is the first time that a fracking bill successfully made it through two committees. SB 462 also made it to the Senate Appropriations Committee, but was never heard. Therefore, a fracking ban bill will be resubmitted for the 2019 session.

SB 462 seeks to ban all types of fracking in the State of Florida, including hydraulic fracking, acid fracking and matrix-acidizing. The anti-fracking fight is an example of …

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Get Sun Sense- video

Don’t pay the power company, let them pay you!

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Earth Day 2018

Earth Day 2018EARTH DAY

APRIL 22, 2018


Earth Day is the world’s largest environmental movement and the Earth Day Network is working to secure a future free of plastic pollution. Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics. From poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our waste streams and landfills, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet.

Events are being held across our community at Palm Beach State College, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Palm Beach Zoo, South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, and many more.

Check www.earthday.org for details.

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Hot Topic Review: Reality of Sea Level Rise


Reality of Sea Level Rise

A Practical Positive Approach to a Big Problem

by Kathy Panko

John EnglanderJohn Englander, Oceanographer, Consultant, and leading expert on Sea Level Rise(SLR), addressed the LWV Hot Topics Luncheon on March 21, 2018. He began by stating that SLR is a revolutionary problem. He focused on the following points:

  • What is sea level rise?
  • What do we need to do about it?
  • What can YOU do about it?

Sea level rise is an increase in global sea level as a result of an increase in the volume of water in the world’s oceans. Some people think that SLR is an environmental issue. In reality, rising sea level is an economic, land, investment, and legal liability issue. It has everything to do with …

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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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