Horse Creek Manatee Sitings 2017 - 2018

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  • 1.Dennis Mader 4224 Solomon RoadOna, Florida 33865 Hometown: Lakeland 1946 - 64 BA 1968 Eckerd College, St Pete FL Peace Corps, Tunisia 1968 -70 Local Businessman 1994-present Environmentalist: DCAP Director 2003 – 07 3PR Ex Dir 2007 -present  
  • 2.Phosphate mining activities can alter surface and ground water hydrology by changing soil and land surface composition and structure, and subsequently alter the way the water flows over and through the land.
  • 3.Since the 1960s there have been at least five spills from phosphate mining and beneficiation activities into the Peace and Alafia Rivers. In 1997, a spill of up to 50 million gallons of process water from a Mulberry Phosphate facility resulted in a massive fish kill along more than 30 miles of the Alafia River. A gypsum stack breach at a Cargill Crop Nutrition stack in Riverview during Hurricane Frances in 2004 spilled about 65 million gallons of process water into Archie Creek.
  • 4.Hardee County Planning Department 2002
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  • 6.Whether the proposed changes would be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. COMP PLAN; Conservation Element Policy 1.9.7: By 2010, the County shall regulate and/or prohibit the following activities in areas identified as being environmentally sensitive and in areas containing endangered and/or threatened wildlife, to ensure that such areas are preserved: The changing of existing drainage characteristics, sedimentation patterns, flow patterns, or flood retention characteristics; c. The disturbance of the environmentally sensitive area's water level or water table by drainage, impoundment, or other means; d. The dumping or discharging of material, or the filling of an environmentally sensitive area with material;
  • 7.f. The destruction or removal of plant life that would alter the character of an environmentally sensitive area or wildlife habitat; g. The conduct of an activity that results in a significant change of water temperature, a significant change of physical or chemical characteristics of environmentally sensitive area water sources, or the introduction of pollutants.
  • 8.Manatees of Horse Creek (Trichechus manatus latirostris) 8
  • 9.Interview: Kathleen Whaley 2402 Post Plant Road,Ona, Florida, recorded 10/31/17Lily Bridge (August 6, 2017) Sighted 3 manatees (2 adults and a calf) grazing in Horse Creek and recorded a 13 second video clip with her mobile phone.She sent the video to the FWC and Mote Marine Laboratory. Q: You say you were coming from church and you saw Manatees from the Lily Bridge? “My son saw them first and then we went down and seen them, yes.” Q: Did other people see them? Was it the congregation? “Just neighbors who had called and I guess some of the people from the church called and told their relatives, and before long everybody out here in Lily had drove down there. There were people on like side-by-sides, and four wheelers and all that kind of stuff there takin’ pictures.” 9
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  • 11.On August 20, 2017, Denise and Larry Wheeler observed three manatees in Horse Creek for 30 minutes before the manatees moved north from their property. The Wheelers live at 4550 Solomon Road in Ona, Florida 338650-9801. Horse Creek, which is in the Peace River watershed, runs through their property. At around noon they observed three manatees in Horse Creek, in their backyard, apparently eating vegetation on the river bank and vegetation floating in the creek. The Wheelers then observed the manatees swim north up stream. The Wheelers photographed the manatees and contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who declined to send out staff. 11
  • 12.Horse Creek Manatee Sitings2017 - 2018
  • 13.The Center for Biological Diversity The Service’s biological opinion on the SPE Mine does not address manatees, and the Corps’ biological assessment indicates that informal consultation resulted in a no effect determination, evaluating only whether the SPE Mine would impact manatees in Charlotte Harbor 40 miles south. 13
  • 14.The Center for Biological Diversity The AEIS (US Army Corps of Engineers Area-Wide Environmental Impact Statement 2013) likewise fails to address impacts to manatees. In its discussion of Charlotte Harbor, the Corps acknowledges manatees occur in the estuary, with no other mention of impacts to manatees specifically. 14
  • 15.Sierra Club: Comments on Draft AEIS for Central Florida Phosphate District Assuming annual average rainfall of 50 in. per year, at 4-232 the DAEIS reports that the impact on Horse Creek from the mines which impact it will be a 16% loss of flow in 2030. This highest level impact will continue for 10 years but significant impacts will continue even through 2060. 15
  • 16.Horse Creek at 4224 Solomon RoadNovember 20, 2016
  • 17.Horse Creek at 4224 Solomon RoadDecember 2, 2017
  • 18.Horse Creek at 4224 Solomon RoadMay 10, 2018
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  • 22.Between May 28 and 31, 2018, for the second year in a row, Denise and Larry Wheeler observed two manatees in Horse Creek feeding along the banks and moving upstream from their property. The Wheelers live at 4550 Solomon Road in Ona, Florida 338650-9801. Horse Creek, which is in the Peace River watershed, runs through their property. Denise Wheeler reported seeing a young manatee on May 28. Several days later looking at the creek she saw what she thought at first was a new “sandbar,” but upon closer observation she realized she was looking at a full-grown manatee (shown in the photo). 22
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