Everglades

When it comes to the health of the Everglades, scientists often look to the birds. The healthier the ecosystem, the bigger the populations of wading birds like wood storks, spoonbills, egrets and herons.

Scientists say this year is shaping up to be a very good season for wading bird nesting, on the heels of a 2017 nesting season where some bird populations grew by 50 percent or more.

Amy Green / WMFE

There’s a new draft plan for more water storage north of Lake Okeechobee.

NASA

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday issued an emergency order over the reemergence of toxic algae outbreaks on both coasts, as the regions’ water quality blossoms into a political issue.

Is there anything more Floridian than a flamingo?

They’re everywhere. Pink plastic ornaments dotting lawns. On cocktail swizzlers and motel signs.

Worries Bloom Over Lake Okeechobee Algae

Jun 25, 2018
Amy Green/WMFE

There are new fears about algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee.

A proposal to extend state road 836 — the Dolphin Expressway — in Miami-Dade County could imperil future funding for Everglades restoration, critics say.

Members of the Hold the Line Coalition, a group of transportation and environment organizations, oppose extending the 836 expressway into wetland and agricultural areas outside Miami-Dade's urban development boundary. The proposed 14-mile expansion is intended to alleviate traffic in the Kendall area by providing commuters an alternative to Florida's Turnpike.

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.

National Parks Conservation Association.

An invasive and destructive pest has been identified in the farmlands near Miami, Florida agriculture officials said Tuesday.

A reservoir project that could help address water challenges in the Everglades is one step closer to being built.

Congressional committees on Thursday approved a bill that, if passed, would authorize construction of a $1.4 billion water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. The reservoir would help reduce water discharges from Lake Okeechobee that contribute to algae blooms on Florida’s coasts; it would also increase water flow south to Florida Bay.

Florida is marking a milestone in its attempt to control an infestation of Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

National Parks Conservation Association

A gigantic $4 billion retail and entertainment complex won government approval Thursday after years of debate, greenlighting what promises to be the largest mall in North America, just a few miles from the environmentally sensitive Everglades.

Miami Herald

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill aimed at reducing the number of pythons and other invasive species that cause damage in parts of the state, including the Everglades.

The bill (SB 168), which Scott signed Friday after it was unanimously approved this month by the Legislature, sets up a pilot program targeting pythons and species such as tegu lizards and lionfish.

Under the program, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be able to enter contracts with people to capture or destroy the species on public lands and in state waters.

The South Florida Water Management District announced Thursday that its board has approved handing off a design for a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to its federal partner.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will now begin reviewing the tentatively selected reservoir plan which, in conjunction with a state restoration strategies plan, provides 350,000 acre-feet of above-ground storage.

Wood storks, roseate spoonbills, ibises and egrets are among the many birds that fly, paddle and wade through the Everglades.

They draw visitors, particularly photographers, to the ecosystem. But the Everglades' birds are important for another reason: The health of wading bird communities says a lot about progress on Everglades restoration.

The State of Florida is forging ahead with a plan to build a water reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.  WFSU's Lynn Hatter talked about it with Audubon Florida’s Celeste DiPalma about a new report that lays out options for steering more water to the places that need it and less to the places that don’t.

Steve Messam describes his city, Belle Glade, as having two main exports:

"Sugar," he said, "and wide receivers."

Local lore has it that National Football League standouts -- including Super Bowl-winning wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Santonio Holmes -- hone their speed by chasing rabbits through burning fields, as controlled fires strip sugarcane of excess leaves in preparation for the harvest.

Everglades National Park is a World Heritage site, and it’s under siege from drought, invasive species and sea-level rise. 

National Parks Conservation Association

A new report estimates Hurricane Irma caused more than $5 million in damage to Everglades restoration.

Water managers planning a massive Everglades reservoir to help end polluted releases from Lake Okeechobee that regularly foul both coasts unveiled early drafts of the project Tuesday.

The Everglades' python problem is not news to most Southwest Floridians, but what may be is the effects the overabundance of the invasive species may soon have on humans well outside of the Everglades.

Interior Secretary: Trump Committed To Everglades Projects

Oct 8, 2017
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke picked up a machete to help clear a swamp buggy trail in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

With Hurricane Irma bearing down on the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, water managers in South Florida are bracing for heavy rainfall they say could exacerbate high water issues from record-setting rains the region experienced earlier this summer.

A planned reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee could take shape more quickly thanks to an Army Corps of Engineers decision.  

Army Corps Needs More Time On Negron Reservoir

Jul 27, 2017
National Parks Conservation Association

Federal assistance may be on the way for the state's latest Everglades restoration effort.

The state agency overseeing Everglades restoration is threatening to stop participating in congressionally mandated scientific reviews of its progress.

The South Florida Water Management District says it is considering withdrawing financially from the National Academies of Sciences and seeking scientific guidance elsewhere.

Spokesman Randy Smith says the scientists are overstepping their authority and threatening to slow Everglades restoration by weighing in on budgetary and engineering issues.

Animal Refuges Threatened By Flooding In Everglades

Jun 30, 2017
National Parks Conservation Association

Parts of Florida's Everglades are so waterlogged that deer, wading birds and other animals are running out of dry ground.

Amy Green/WMFE

A state plan to protect estuaries by moving water north of Lake Okeechobee underground is sparking opposition.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Florida is making it easier for people to help remove invasive Burmese pythons from the Everglades.

Senate Reservoir Measure Primed For The Floor

Apr 12, 2017

Senate President Joe Negron’s priority water project is heading for a floor vote.  After shifting and twisting through committees, the measure’s fate is uncertain.

Senate Panel Approves Revamped Water Plan

Apr 6, 2017
Amy Green / WMFE

A revised measure that seeks to create a "deep" water-storage project south of Lake Okeechobee — and win support from the House and people throughout the Glades region — was overwhelmingly backed Wednesday by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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