environment

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is touting his environmental platform, which his campaign released this week.

Anyone interested in moves by the Trump Administration to relax restrictions on offshore drilling can have their voices heard by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As part of a series of listening sessions across the county, NOAA is coming to USF St. Petersburg at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, to talk about the health and status of our coastal waters.

NASA

As they address environmental issues on the campaign trail, Florida’s gubernatorial candidates are all for doing what is necessary to eliminate toxic algae outbreaks and for preserving natural springs and rivers.

Beach lovers in Broward please watch where you walk these days. According to the latest count,  the county's beaches are holding more than 2,300 sea turtle nests. 

 

Florida Power & Light

A battle is playing out at the state Supreme Court about whether customers of Florida Power & Light should pay for an environmental clean-up project in Miami-Dade County.

The Turtle Hospital in Marathon releases 50 to 60 sea turtles back to the ocean every year. On Friday two unusually large turtles returned to the sea — with new souvenirs from their time on land.

After an absence of many years, some very rare amphibians are back in their North Florida homeland this week. That homecoming is the result of much research, leg work and more than a little perspiration.

Beginning July 1st, Florida’s state waters will be open for bay scallop harvest. This scalloping season will be twelve times as long as 2017’s, thanks to healthier scallops in the Gulf.

From “smart traps” to underwater drones, Florida’s wildlife agency hopes five organizations will spend thousands of dollars in grant funding to find new ways to further target lionfish. The spiny invasive species eat fish native to Florida, have no natural predators, and can lay thousands of eggs over a short period of time.

The Environmental Protection Agency has completed a more than decade-long cleanup at Cascades Park. A manufactured gas plant closed more than 50 years ago had contaminated the area’s soil with chemicals.

Associated Press

On the western edge of the Florida Everglades sits 4 square miles (10 square kilometers) of gator-infested swampland, and a private firm is making big money selling it off.

The Panther Island Mitigation Bank isn't another Florida land boondoggle, but rather is part of a federal system designed to restore wetlands across the United States. Panther Island's owners preserved one of the nation's last stands of virgin bald Cyprus, a place where wood storks, otters and other native flora and fauna have returned since they removed invasive plants.

A tiny seahorse named Frito is on the mend here in Florida.

St. Johns River Water Management

Environmental officials are investigating a freshwater turtle die-off in Florida.

Delaney Reynolds is an 18-year-old college freshman at University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a climate activist. She's leading a lawsuit introduced by 18 Florida kids and teens against the state and Gov. Rick Scott over climate change, Reynolds v. State of Florida.

They’re suing him with help from the Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust.

In a memo released to state environmental officials and county health department offices on Thursday, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued a clarification of when and how local and state officials should perform tests on local water systems.

Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet are expected next month to consider whether to spend nearly $11 million to help limit future development on four ranches and farms in four counties.

The proposals would add 8,388 acres to the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, which through the use of “conservation easements” restricts future development but allows owners to continue using land for such things as agricultural operations.

Study: Boating And Swimming Can Make You Sick

Feb 1, 2018
Amy Green / WMFE

A new study shows that boating and swimming can make you sick.

Senate Passes Florida Forever Funding Package

Feb 1, 2018

Over the last three years, Florida Forever has not been the titan of land preservation it once was. The conservation program has seen significant cutbacks in funding, and has lost its effectiveness in continuing to protect the state’s vast landscape. But, a bill in the Florida Senate reestablishes Florida Forever as the model of land preservation it once was.

Amy Green / WMFE

Among the starkest markers of sea level rise are what scientists describe as ghost forests, coastal thickets left in waste by creeping salt water.

In the aftermath of any major storm, we can expect to see many toppled and uprooted trees in South Florida. But recently one massive tree in a public park in Miami-Dade was tagged with a heartfelt plea for passersby.

Stuck on the tree were two handwritten signs reading “I’m alive. So stand me up!”

“It's a good intention,” says Adrian Hunsberger, urban horticulture agent with the University of Florida/Miami-Dade County Extension Office. “But usually if it's blown over and it's laying on its side it's really beyond salvaging.”

Business Group Takes Aim At State Environmental Proposal

Nov 22, 2017

One of state's most-powerful business groups is gearing up to fight a proposal at the Florida Constitution Revision Commission that the group argues would lead to increased litigation about environmental issues.

Associated Industries of Florida announced Tuesday it has hired attorneys from the Gunster law firm to battle a proposal filed by Constitution Revision Commission member Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch that would give Floridians more legal standing when environmental problems occur.

Florida lawmakers are advancing a plan to allocate $100 million a year to the land buying program Florida Forever. Last year the legislature zeroed out its funding.

Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc not only on people and buildings, but on nature. Birds were pushed by the winds from the Caribbean into Florida, and the Category 3 storm washed away beaches and bird habitat in the Everglades and Florida Keys. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida, about Irma's impact.

Here's some of the impacts outlined by Audubon Florida:

President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget have some people on edge, especially in Florida. People associated with the Environmental Defense Fund or EDF aired grievances Tuesday morning. The proposed budget goes into effect Oct. 1, but  people from the EDF say now is the time to act.

Groups that represent industries from farming to fracking are supporting a legislative push to rewrite how government handles science when drawing up regulations.

And the whole effort has scientists worried.

Consider, for example, the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act, or HONEST Act, which passed the House in the spring and now is with the Senate. Just how "honest" it is depends on whom you ask.

Organizers acknowledge the political origins of the Tallahassee March for Science, but they are also touting the Earth Day Event as a non-partisan celebration of cold, hard facts.

Phosphate mining and production takes a heavy toll on the state's environment. But the industry also plays a key role in Florida's economy. This week on Florida Matters we’re exploring what phosphate contributes to the state, and at what price.


axlbxl / Flickr

A Florida Senate committee has advanced a bill that gives certain Florida coastal communities the power to temporarily ban or regulate the use of plastic bags.

The Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation gave the measure its first-round approval on Wednesday, gifting a small victory to those who have fought for similar legislation to pass since 2013.

While President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions and Supreme Court pick dominate the headlines, many Floridians are focused more intently on Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Two weeks before Election Day, Donald Trump made a campaign promise during a rally in Collier County that Floridians have been hearing from politicians for years:

"A Trump administration will also work alongside you to restore and protect the beautiful Everglades,” said Trump.

The Everglades restoration isn't the only environmental issue facing Florida. Sea-level rise also remains a serious threat here. 

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