environmentMission:

The Environmental Issues Group (EIG) seeks to educate its members and the entire league, along with  community leaders, and government officials on critical environmental issues affecting Palm Beach County.  The group follows legislative bills affecting our environment and advocates for appropriate public policy to address concerns related to climate change including: Everglades Restoration, water quality and supply, renewable energy, plastics pollution, and sea level rise.

Priorities:

  • Invite representatives of environmental agencies and organizations to share information at monthly meetings and participate in related conferences as well as field trips in order to inform ourselves on the issues so that we can disseminate the information we obtain.
  • Participate in diverse community events with our exhibits to educate members of our communities.
  • Keep up-to-date on state and local legislative efforts related to the environment and communicate our positions on bills, resolutions, and issues that affect our county, state, and country as individuals or as LWV members if requested to do so by our state or local league. Apprise the LWVPBC and the public on state or local legislative activities.
  • Participate in the LWVFL Natural Resources Group call and collaborate as appropriate with other Florida League chapters and with environmental organizations to promote awareness and advocacy of the issues.

EIG Accomplishments: 2019-2020

  • Major Events:  Organized a Cool Topics panel presentation on climate change in collaboration with the City of Delray Beach to bring awareness and address the effects of sea level rise and climate change. This year’s annual event was entitled RISE: A Climate and Art Weekend.
  • Activities:  Participated with a table-set on the theme of “Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics” at the Palm Beach Atlantic University Earth Day Fair, the RISE event in Delray Beach, and the COBWRA Water Wise & Why Symposium; attended the 3-day 2019 Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit, coordinated a field trip to the Tellus Corporation (biodegradable containers) & Everglades Agricultural Area, and participated in webinars conducted by the 1000 Friends of Florida on legislative and environmental issues.
  • Advocacy:  Requested and coordinated a recommendation from LWVPBC Board to include “Climate Emergency” in response to the LWV’s request for 2020-2022 program priorities that align with the LWV’s Making Democracy Work® initiative; provided legislative updates each month for EIG; met with Senator Lori Berman (Aide Abby Ross) on environmental issues; provided letter of support to Boca Raton City Council on its Florida Public Service resolution concerning energy efficiency; spearheaded the Climate Emergency Action Motion at the 2019 Biennial LWVFL Convention; and shared information, events and support with an informal group of mainly South Florida League environmentalists.

Chair:

Mary Mertz:    marymertz@me.com561-512-6560

Meetings:

EIG Meetings are typically held the first Saturday of each month at various branch library locations or by ZOOM.  Please confirm meeting date and location on the LWVPBC calendar.

Important Environmental Events

LWV EIG Events

04/03/2021    EIG Monthly Zoom Meeting @ 10:30 am. Check the League’s event calendar for details and registration information.

04/22/2021               Earth Day

04/24-25/2021         Virtual Earth Day by Young Leaguers

06/4 & 06/5/2021     LWVPBC Convention

Another Interesting Opportunity

LWVPBC partners with Solar United Neighbors – Palm Beach County Co-op, to host virtual solar co-op meetings (on Zoom).  Join an information session online:  March 16, 2021 and April 7, 2021 at 6:00 pm.

Register & More Information              SolarUnitedNeighbors.org/PalmBeach/Events

Join the Co-op                                                SolarUnitedNeighbors.org/PalmBeach

Links of Interest

Governmental Offices and Non-Profit Organizations

Governmental Offices – Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resource Management
http://discover.pbcgov.org/erm/Pages/default.aspx

Palm Beach County Office of Resilience
ResilientPBC@pbcgov.org

Palm Beach County Soil and Water Conservation District
https://www.pbswcd.org

Palm Beach County Water Resources Task Force
http://discover.pbcgov.org/wrtf/Pages/default.aspx

Boca Raton Office of Sustainability
https://myboca.us/1344/Sustainability

Boynton Beach Sustainability
https://www.boynton-beach.org/go-green

Delray Beach Office of Sustainability and Resiliency
https://www.delraybeachfl.gov/government/city-manager/sustainability

West Palm Beach Office of Sustainability
https://www.wpb.org/government/sustainability

 

State and Regional Governmental Agencies
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
https://www.fdacs.gov/Consumer-Resources/Protect-Our-Environment

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
https://floridadep.gov

South Florida Water Management District
www.sfwmd.gov

State of Florida Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection
https://floridadep.gov/rcp

Non-profit Environmental Groups

1000 Friends of Florida
friends@1000fof.org
https://1000fof.org/upcoming-webinars

Audubon Everglades
https://www.auduboneverglades.org

Everglades Coalition
https://www.evergladescoalition.org

Everglades Trust
https://www.evergladestrust.org

Florida Native Plants Society
www.fnps.org
https://www.fnps.org/news/society-news/2019-policy-advocacy-handbook

Florida Conservation Voters
https://www.fcvoters.org

League of Environmental Educators in Florida (LEEF)
https://www.leef-florida.org

Oceana
https://www.oceana.org

Plastic Free Florida
https://www.plasticfreefl.org

Sierra Club Loxahatchee Chapter
https://www.sierraclub.org/florida/loxahatchee

Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact
southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org

Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations Water & Wetlands Committee
(COBWRA)
www.cobwra.org

 

BLOG

Jaqui Thurlow-Lippisch (SFWMD)
https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com

CURRENT EIG INITIATIVES AND ACTIVITIES

Initiative

Description

Status

Plastics Ban

Prohibit single-use polystyrene foam cups and food containers (Styrofoam), plastic straws and utensils on city or county owned properties and facilities.

Ongoing

FAU Green Schools Recognition Program for 2020

Training and participation as judges to help determine which PBC schools will be recognized for their  environmental stewardship and culture

Competed March 2020

Eco-Leader Decal Program

Rewards Program for eco-friendly businesses

Under development

EIG Observer Corps

Members attend local governmental meetings such as county commission meetings and/or local sustainability or resilience meetings and submit updates to keep EIG members informed on environmental-related action activities.

Ongoing

EIG Outreach Committee

Staff information table at local events to promote eco-friendly practices and inform/educate communities about alternatives to single-use plastics

Ongoing

EIG Website Enhancements

Addition of information on environmental events, activities/photos, and links for members to seek/learn about such activities.

Ongoing

Open Forum(s) on the environment for candidates for county/state legislative seats in PBC in the 2020 election

Plan and prepare to co-host an open forum on the environment for candidates for state legislative seats and selected county offices in the 2020 election

Planning

Power Point Presentation (PPT) on Climate Change in PBC

Develop a PPT on impacts of Climate Change in Palm Beach County

Future project – under discussion

Power Point Presentation (PPT) on single-use Plastics

Develop a PPT on reducing use of single-use plastics and adopting alternatives to single-use plastic products

Future project – under discussion

Power Point Presentation (PPT) on water issues in PBC

Develop a PPT on water-related issues in Palm Beach County

Future project – under discussion

Brochures on Florida Women Past & Present, Protectors of Our Environment

Development of topical brochures, likely electronic versions, that can be shared with other LWV FL chapters and used for educating citizenry. Collaboration with members of LWV Broward. This serves to celebrate the Centennial of the LWV and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Completed and published 04/2020

Videos produced by “PROTECT YOUR WATER”

Click on the image below to play the video.

FRONTLINE- Plastic Wars

Click on the image below to play the video.

PBS Frontline video- Plastic Wars

RECENT ARTICLES

  • Fixing the Everglades
    Fixing the Everglades
    by Kathy Panko Environmental Issues Group – 02/15/2021 The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), approved by Congress in the year 2000, included 68 components to be completed in 20 to 30 years at a cost of $7.8 billion. The plan includes constructing reservoirs, removing levees, filling canals and building necessary structures. The aim was to restore something like the natural...
    Read more
  • EIG article 2/2021
    What to Expect Under the Biden Administration
    by Kathy Panko   What can we expect from President-elect Joe Biden as he puts climate change on center stage?  First of all, it is expected that Biden will re-enter the U.S. into the Paris (Climate) Agreement, the global pact established five years ago among 195 nations to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Upon rejoining, the U.S. will...
    Read more
  • Holiday Gift Ideas
    Holiday Gift Ideas
    The Everglades Handbook: Understanding the Ecosystem, Fourth Edition By Thomas E. Lodge Reviewed By Kathy Panko             What a great idea for holiday gift-giving!  The Third Edition of The Everglades Handbook is completely revised, updated, and now with color photographs and illustrations in every chapter. The book provides a breadth and depth of information on...
    Read more
  • OCT 2020 Cool Topic
    Cool Topic on a Hot Issue – RISE: A Climate & Art Weekend
    The League’s Environmental Issues Group (EIG) joined the City of Delray Beach at “RISE: A Climate & Art Weekend” on October 2nd for a panel discussion to learn how the effects of climate change impact our local communities and what our officials are doing about it.  The panel consisted of Mary Mertz, EIG Chair, who asked questions to city sustainability officials:...
    Read more
  • Disposable City By Mario Alejandro Ariza
    Disposable City: Miami’s Future on the Shores of Climate Catastrophe
    By Mario Alejandro Ariza   “When the waters come, please know you had kin who fought like hell to keep them from your door.”   The book’s “Dedication” reveals the author’s passion for fighting against climate change and why sea level rise will likely put Miami underwater by the end of this century.    Journalist and author, Mario Alejandro Ariza, hosted...
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  • Disposable City
    Join Us for EIG Author Presentation
                              The Environmental Issues Group is honored to host a zoom presentation held by writer and journalist, Mario Alejandro Ariza.  Mario is the author of “Disposable City: Miami’s Future on the Shores of Climate Catastrophe.” The book is his personal investigation into the present and future effects of...
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