Citizens' Climate Lobby

Environmental advocates from around the country will be gathering at the University of South Florida for the Climate Action 2018 conference.

The goal of the event is to inform both lawmakers and the general public about the consequences that climate change has on the nation and how people may be able to stop it.

In South Florida, they all have alligators. But there are some key differences between national wildlife refuges, national parks and national preserves. Here’s a snapshot:


The state’s lawmakers are hard at work in Tallahassee as the 2018 legislative session continues. This week on the latest edition of our monthly Florida Matters news roundtable series we’re talking about some of their priorities and how they could affect residents.

After drawing widespread opposition from business and agriculture groups, a proposal to redefine legal standing for Floridians on environmental issues won’t go before voters in November.

The Judicial Committee of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission on Friday unanimously rejected the proposal (P 23), filed by commission member Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, with opponents saying it was too broad.


Now that most of the holiday presents have probably been opened, you may be thinking about eco-friendly ways to get rid of the mess. There are plenty of great ways to recycle your holiday clutter, but it’s not always so simple as throwing it all in your recycling bin.

Business Group Takes Aim At State Environmental Proposal

Nov 21, 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.

Florida Governor Rick Scott stopped by the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Monday extolling his proposal for $1.7 billion in environmental funding next year — a more than $200 million boost from the current year.

But some critics are questioning the governor’s motive for the funding increase. Environmental groups who’ve traditionally been at odds with Scott are tepidly supportive of the governor’s proposal.

Gov. Scott Calls For Boost In Environmental Spending

Oct 23, 2017
Photo Courtesy Florida Audubon

Spending on Florida's natural resources and environmental programs would grow by $220 million under a proposal by Gov. Rick Scott as he nears his final recommended state budget.

The $1.7 billion environmental package for lawmakers to consider in 2018 includes increased funding for the state's springs, beaches and parks, along with $355 million for Everglades restoration, $50 million to help the federal government speed repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee and $50 million for Florida Forever, the state's most prominent land-preservation fund.

A Senate panel has approved a plan to appropriate new dollars for the St. Johns River and Florida’s springs.  But the proposal could wind up vying for funding with a beach restoration measure.

Sarasota County

Sarasota County planners will hear a request Thursday afternoon to rezone land for a scrap recycling center next to what has been called the best bird-watching spot in the county.

Florida Forest Service

State officials say Florida is having one of its worst wildfire seasons in years. This week on Florida Matters we're talking about the impact these fires have on the state's environment and economy, and whether there's an end in sight for this dry season.

Coffee-colored water gurgles near the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam. It flows down the Caloosahatchee River, roughly 30 miles from Fort Myers.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

How do you teach kids about ecology when the natural world is shrinking around them?

In fast growing Florida, one solution is to take environmental studies outside the walls of a classroom.

The Legislature will begin its annual session early this year with the hopes of avoiding the chaos and dysfunction that marked the 2015 session and three special sessions that followed.

The 2016 Florida Legislative session starts Jan. 12, and this week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 10 at 7:30 a.m.), we are previewing some of the bills lawmakers are proposing.

The United Nations climate change conference takes place in Paris this month. World leaders hope to agree on actions to prevent global warming. At the same time, the “Climate Hope Presentation” is happening in Sarasota on Monday, Dec. 7. Presenters will discuss environmental issues, but there will be a greater emphasis on solutions. WGCU’s Jessica Meszaros spoke with one of the event’s organizers.

Judge Tosses Part Of 'Amendment 1' Challenge

Dec 4, 2015
Florida Department of Environmental Protection

A Leon County judge Thursday removed a major part of a lawsuit that contests how lawmakers decided to spend money that voters approved last year for land buying and preservation.

However, an attorney for four environmental groups challenging the state's spending called the ruling a victory.

Little Bird Key
Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Four environmental groups recently sued the state over Amendment One, which overwhelmingly was passed by voters last year. They claim state officials are diverting money that should go into the state’s conservation land-buying fund. So other groups are trying to fill the gap. Recently, one of the most productive bird nesting islands in Tampa Bay was bought by the Audubon Society. WUSF takes us on a trip to Little Bird Key, and tells us why the group is trying to raise money to pay for it.

I hop aboard an outboard with Ann Paul, who manages Audubon Florida's Coastal Islands Sanctuaries. She points her boat to the newest wildlife refuge in Tampa Bay.

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