I found this thought-provoking article about the Schaus swallowtail butterfly and pesticides. It’s pretty interesting when combined with the possibility of releasing genetically modified mosquitoes and the threat of emerging mosquito-borne illnesses (like the Zika virus).
There’s also this very aggravating story about the county’s “dilemma” when it comes to buying land with state money. If they’re not prepared to go forward with $5 million in land purchases this year they might lose the opportunity for future money.
Oddly enough the Florida Keys Stewardship Act was specifically modified to set aside the first $5 million for land purchases.
Beginning in fiscal year 2016-2017 and continuing through fiscal year 2026-2027, at least $5 million of the funds allocated pursuant to this paragraph shall be spent on land acquisition within the Florida Keys Area of Critical State Concern.
I highly doubt that was an accident. I imagine the county agitated for that thinking they’d push ahead of the entities who still need state money for their sewer projects. (Incidentally, the county also needs money for Cudjoe Regional, but try selling that hopeless mess to the folks in Tallahassee.)
Unfortunately, it seems that the county has miscalculated yet again. I’m sure that $5 million will be squandered senselessly just so they don’t lose an opportunity to score more cash in the future. It’ll be interesting to see who rides to the rescue with an available plot of land priced just right and ready to go. The Toppinos? The Walshes (Ocean Properties, Ltd.)? The Spottswoods? How much will the taxpayers be expected to contribute?