Everglades

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.

What makes water managers celebrate?

New pipes, of course!

One Idea In Everglades Debate: Send Water Underground

Mar 22, 2017
National Parks Conservation Association

A legislative proposal for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee for Everglades restoration is prompting bitter debate over central and south Florida’s water.

New research calls for much more water storage. One idea: Send it underground.

To explain the concept, Conversations host Nicole Creston spoke with 90.7 environmental reporter Amy Green.

Seagrass in Florida Bay has died off rapidly over the past couple of years. About 40,000 acres have been lost, harming the habitat of animals from manatees to toadfish and imperiling the area's fishing industry.

Hundreds of people packed a town hall meeting in Pahokee Friday with Florida Senate President Joe Negron. They say his proposal to build a 60,000-acre reservoir on prime farmland would be a plague to their region.

“The devastation from the loss of jobs is unimaginable at this point,” said lifelong Pahokee resident Lynda Moss. Her family owns a trucking business in the region.

[Read More about the Everglades and the efforts to restore it: River of Grass, Dying of Thirst]

Audobon

Officials say unseasonable rainfall and poor conditions caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon contributed to a poor wading bird nesting season in Florida's Everglades.

Audobon

Wading bird nests in the Everglades were at their lowest number last year since 2008.

The Everglades Foundation is touting the economic benefits of water storage south of Lake Okeechobee.

House Support Lukewarm For Negron’s Water Plan

Feb 24, 2017

It appears doubtful the House will take up, as written, a $2.4 billion proposal by Senate President Joe Negron to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee to ease the impacts of polluted water releases into estuaries on the east and west coasts.

Invasive Fern Capable Of Toppling Florida Tree

Jan 23, 2017
Amy Green

LeRoy Rodgers pulls a pair of clippers from a bag and hops off an airboat. He’ll need the clippers to cut a path through the Old World Climbing Fern choking this island of trees within the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Everglades.

Authorities say 81 false killer whales died this weekend in the southwest Everglades after their pod became stranded in shallow water.

 

Tucked inside a massive multi-billion federal waterworks bill is funding for a project proponents say is vital to the future of South Florida: the Central Everglades Planning Project.

The $1.9 billion dollars for CEPP, split between the federal and state government, is part of the $10 billion Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act. The CEPP plan will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to put forward a "a suite of restoration projects in the central Everglades."

Everglades Water Quality Nearly At Acceptable Levels

Dec 19, 2016
Associated Press

After more than two decades of work to restore water quality in the Florida Everglades it’s now nearing federal and state standards.

Scientists Seek Re-Evaluation of Everglades Restoration

Dec 19, 2016
National Parks Conservation Association.

A committee of scientists is recommending a re-evaluation of a $16 billion restoration of the Florida Everglades, the largest in American history.

Planning for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee is scheduled to begin in 2021. The reservoir is crucial to restoring the Everglades, and the project could get started sooner if funding were available.

The reservoir is aimed at restoring a more natural flow of water to the Everglades. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will work with the state on the project.

National Parks Conservation Association

Federal dollars for new Everglades restoration could flow as early as next year. The money comes from a bill making its way through Congress.

Congress passed the Water Resources Development Act on Wednesday -- and that could be a dual victory for South Florida. The act authorizes the Central Everglades Planning Project, which is slated to provide about $2 billion dollars for various ecosystem restoration efforts. And, it supports a $320 million dollar Port Everglades expansion that’s intended to help larger, heavier ships navigate the area.

 

For two decades, Florida has had an annual limit on how much phosphorous can flow out of the Everglades Agricultural Area -- a region of farmland south of Lake Okeechobee. Farmers and sugar-growers must release at least 25 percent less phosphorous than they did before the limit.

 

Negron To Pursue Money To Buy Everglades Land

Aug 10, 2016
Associated Press

Lawmakers will be asked next year to approve bonding a big chunk of environmental preservation money to support the incoming Senate president's desire to buy sugar farmland for water storage in the Everglades south of Lake Okeechobee.

It’s been nearly a year since a Miami-based family applied for a permit to build an exploratory oil-drilling well right on the fringes of the Everglades, outside of Miramar, generating an uproar in the community. 

Nevertheless, the Kanter family proceeded with the petition and it could be approved as early as late summer or early fall. 

Health Bills, Tax Cuts, 'Legacy Florida' Go To Scott

Mar 31, 2016
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida / WUSF

Scott received a handful of health-care bills, including a measure (HB 221) that addresses a controversial health-insurance issue known as "balance billing."

Alan Diaz/Associated Press

The 106 Burmese pythons captured over a monthlong hunt won't help control Florida's invasive snake population, but wildlife officials said Saturday that doesn't matter as much as the awareness they bring to the state's environmental concerns.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Registration begins soon for the Python Challenge, which encourages hunters to kill or capture pythons in the Everglades for cash prizes.

A search for oil on the Everglades’ western shore is raising both hopes and fears of an oil boom that could be a threat to the underground water supply, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel

The Senate Health Policy Committee approved a bill that would toughen punishments for assisted living facilities that mistreat residents, the News Service of Florida reports. The House has a handful of bills that would also strengthen regulations on that state’s 3,000 ALFs.  

 In other legislative news:

Much to the dismay of environmentalists, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet unanimously agreed to renew leases for two agriculture companies. Opponents say the deal could limit future restoration projects in the Everglades.

Columnist Frank Cerabino points out another crazy aspect of the Everglades python hunt: PETA advocating the use of guns, not machetes, to kill the snakes.