For Immediate Release, January 4, 2022
Contact: Richard WhiteCloud
JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF STOP
Recommends reinstatement of permits denied by FWC
In a precedent-setting ruling, the judge rules and recommends that FWC grant STOP’s applications for renewal of permits previously denied. In her decision, the Judge stated that FWC failed to prove that STOP’s night time patrols are no longer necessary, citing the lighting ordinance compliance rate of just 23% in Broward County.
After reviewing the evidence, Judge stated that “the facts adduced in the hearing are that members of the public, comprised of tourists and citizens, are the main disturbing presence on the beaches and not STOP volunteers whose presence comprise approximately one volunteer per mile of beach.”
Notable excerpts from the Ruling:
- “STOP proved that it meets the criteria for renewal and that its marine turtle conservation activities are still needed on the urbanized beaches of Broward County. STOP proved by a preponderance of the evidence that it is entitled to renewal of MTP-195, MTP-196, and MTP-197.
- -FWC did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that STOP remains out of compliance with reporting requirements and requests for information. FWC did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that STOP volunteers use inappropriate lights and shine lights on nests in contravention of permit conditions.
- FWC did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that there no longer exists a need for the permitted activities.”
Based on the foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, it is RECOMMENDED that FWC enter a final order granting STOP's applications to renew MTP-195, MTP-196, and MTP-197. DONE AND ENTERED this 20th day of December, 2021, in Tallahassee, Leon County Florida.”
STOP has submitted the renewal request for all previously authorized permits for the 2022 season.
On behalf of the founders, volunteers and sea turtles, thank you for your support!!