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The Economic Perspective 9/29/2023

The Latest Trending Economic, Environmental and Demographic News Curated for You By The Balmoral Group

The Balmoral Group provides practical, professional and precise Economics, Data Analytics, and Engineering Consulting services and is part of a globally integrated team.

Happy Friday, everyone!

The Balmoral Group has been all over the state this week - presenting our work and learning from other experts in the field. Cortney Cortez presented TBG's "Roadmap to Resiliency" that our team completed for FDOT District 1, in collaboration with Cummins Cederberg. This was at the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association's annual Florida Resilience Conference - held this year in Fort Lauderdale (see Cortney pictured below).

Also, several of the TBG team participated in the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation's "Corridor Connect" conference in Orlando - which brought together all the groups in Florida (and others from around the world) working on conservation. The theme of the conference was "Ecology + Economy for a Better Florida" - a theme we believe strongly in and a big focus of our work. We introduced our Corridor Foundation funded project about expanding payments for ecosystem services as an additional tool for corridor conservation. Be sure to check out the video link in the Data Viz section at the end for a story on FDOT's wildlife crossings.

Today's articles feature information on dam removal, hurricane impacts, lunar ice, and more! Enjoy the read and feedback is always appreciated! Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interested. If you'd like to view previous editions please click here, or to subscribe please click here!

Have a great weekend!

California: World's Largest Dam Removal

Hoping that nature will rebound, The Klamath River Renewal Corporation is set to remove several dams from the Klamath River in a push to ‘rewild’ the surrounding environment. Four dams along the river will be removed with the Iron Gate dam being the last to be removed. Tribal activists have been a leading force in getting these dams removed to help restore the Klamath River and the salmon population upon which the area depends. The project will come with a high cost: $500 million, but with other success stories of dam removal like Elwha Dam Removal in 2011, The Renewal Corporation says this is a justified cost. Read more at NBCnews.

Belvedere Terminals to Invest $750M to Improve Florida's Fuel Supply Chain

The company announced that initially, they plan to build three fuel terminal sites for storage and supply in Jacksonville, Ormond Beach and Ft. Pierce. After these, they expect to build seven more over the next five years. The company’s supply chain is shipping from refineries to their hub in Mississippi via pipelines and then shipping fuel products to their sites in Florida via rail. The goal is for the state to rely less on ports and trucking for shipments. Read more here.

Portland, Oregon's Climate Action Plan

On Wednesday, Portland City Council unanimously approved a five-year investment plan with a $750 million investment in community-centered solutions for climate action and climate justice. This plan, called the Portland Clean Energy Fund’s (PCEF) Climate Investment Plan funds a variety of projects within funding categories such as energy efficiency and renewable energy, transportation decarbonization, green infrastructure, and regenerative agriculture, among others. This plan was developed through workshops, expert and community roundtables, surveys, and best practice sharing, ensuring community visioning and priorities. To ensure the City equitably invests in climate action, PCEF centers groups that have been historically under-resourced by sustainability, climate action, and clean energy programs. OPB

Unlocking the Mystery of Lunar Ice

Permanently shaded regions (PSRs) on the Moon are believed to contain water ice, but the source of this ice has been a mystery. New research led by the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa suggests that Earth's magnetosphere, a protective layer shielding our planet from space radiation, may have played a role in forming lunar water ice. The study reveals that Earth's plasma sheet, a region within the magnetosphere with trapped charged particles, contributes to lunar surface weathering, potentially aiding water formation in PSRs. Future research will monitor the plasma environment and lunar water content during different lunar phases, and missions like NASA's Artemis III may provide further evidence of this process. Read more here, and find the study details here.

Hurricane Idalia Losses to Shellfish and Aquaculture Industry

Hurricane Idalia had significant impacts on Florida shellfish processors and others in the aquaculture industry that were in the path of the storm. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) released estimates this week of the reported losses, which currently total over $34 million. FDACS is continuing to conduct a comprehensive damage assessment from the storm, and as losses continue to be evaluated, this number is likely to increase when damage to infrastructure and other aquaculture resources is fully assessed. Read more here.

Data Visualization of the Week Must See: Wildlife Crossing Video

Our data visualization this week isn't data in the traditional sense, but the visuals and the story are quite powerful. This FDOT video story about wildlife crossings is really a must-see. If you don't have time for the full 11 minutes and 50 seconds, then jump to minute 7, and watch just 3 minutes of it. Promise it'll be worth it. Link here:


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