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Environment

If you thought sea-level rise was the greatest immediate threat to South Florida’s future, you may need to think again.

There’s growing concern that the perception of the sea-level rise threat by insurers, banks and investors might submerge South Florida before rising seas do.

Scott Calls For Preparations As Storm Looms

20 hours ago

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday directed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to put high-water vehicles in position to respond as the National Hurricane Season monitored a large area of showers that extended from the northwestern Caribbean across Cuba and into the Florida peninsula.

Wikipedia Commons

A new solar co-op is being formed in Sarasota to leverage the power of group buying to get solar power installed in homes and businesses. The co-op will begin Wednesday.

Bobbie O'Brien/WUSF

Parts of Florida are experiencing several days of rain, which is expected in a state notorious for its afternoon thunderstorms. But May is supposed to be one of Florida’s driest months.

With the dry season experiencing this much rainfall, Floridians could face the threat of severe flooding when the rainy season starts.

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

Hundreds of opponents of offshore oil drilling gathered at Florida beaches and held hands.

Hands Across the Sand

An annual protest against oil drilling off Florida's coasts will once again be held Saturday. Clearwater Beach will host one of the main events for "Hands Across the Sand."

As the start of hurricane season nears, National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham wants South Florida residents to make a plan now. On Sundial, the former journalist discusses the science of forecasting, how he communicates impacts and the importance of working across industries when it comes to hurricane preparedness.

He recently spoke at the 32nd Annual Governor's Hurricane Conference in West Palm Beach. The conference is held before the start of each hurricane season and offers sessions on hurricane preparedness and communication. 

Crews have sealed a giant sinkhole that opened up beneath a fertilizer plant waste pond nearly two years ago sending millions of gallons of polluted water into Florida's main drinking water aquifer.

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.

Geologists are warning that Hawaii's Kilauea volcano — which has been belching toxic gas and oozing lava into a residential area for the past week — could erupt explosively in the coming weeks.

The possibility of such a sudden eruption will increase as lava flows from Kilauea's summit crater down its face and magma falls below the water table, the U.S. Geological Survey said. That could create steam pressure that would then explode.

The volcano could then eject "ballistic rocks" of lava up to several feet in diameter, the USGS said.

Scott, Cabinet Eye Land Conservation Projects

May 9, 2018

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.

United States Department of Agriculture Firest Service.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are asking Floridians to help with a five-year review of 35 endangered or threatened fish, wildlife, and plants.  

Solar Project Unveiled To Serve Municipal Utilities

May 7, 2018

A dozen municipal electric utilities will purchase power from a solar-energy project in Central Florida that is expected to start operating in 2020, the Florida Municipal Power Agency announced Friday. 

It’s Nesting season for Florida’s waterbirds. And, Florida wildlife officials say it’s important the public keeps its distance, while on the beach or boating on the state’s waterways.

There will be no harvesting of Goliath Grouper in Florida, for now.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

A coalition of 50 homeowners presented a report to Sarasota County Commissioners on Wednesday suggesting potential land-uses surrounding Celery Fields, which is one of the most important bird-watching spots on Florida's Gulf Coast.

In November, after a split commission rejected plans to build a recycling center near the fields, the group was given six months to create a proposal for how the land should be used.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition emerged from a swamp south of Interstate 4 late Thursday and crossed underneath the busy highway.

Learning Gate Community School

You can celebrate Earth Day with a variety of events taking place across the Tampa Bay area over the next few days.

Florida's citrus industry got some dire news Tuesday from an organization that advises the federal government on science and technical matters.

While images of destruction caused by last year's battery of hurricanes are still fresh in the minds of many Americans, including those living on Puerto Rico where after six months power is not fully restored, forecasters are cautioning the public to brace themselves for another busy hurricane season.

Colorado State Meteorologists Forecast Above-Average Hurricane Season

Apr 6, 2018

The initial Atlantic seasonal hurricane forecast released Thursday by Colorado State University calls for a slightly above average 2018 hurricane season, with 14 named storms and seven hurricanes, three of them major storms.

Heartland To Headwaters

Apr 4, 2018
Steve Newborn/WUSF Public Media

The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition team trekked through scrub, swamp and forest from one end of the state to the other. WUSF News travels with them on the third expedition, which just wrapped up. 

Florida’s 1.3 million alligators inhabit all of the state’s 67 counties, and wildlife officials are urging the public to be careful around the reptiles. The warning comes as some gators are turning up in unlikely places.

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office

Florida homeowners beware: one big gator has been found splashing in a backyard swimming pool and it took a trapper to drag it away.

Wikipedia Commons

A new report shows Florida has some of the worst water polluters in the country. And some of the worst violators are in the Tampa Bay area.

The Solar Foundation says solar jobs are on the rise in the Sunshine State.

Conor Goulding / Mote Marine Laboratory

Florida beachgoers often imagine a day on the water. Colorful umbrellas peppered across the sand, the sound of waves foaming as they crash onto the shore and the inescapable smell of saltwater nipping at your senses.

Sometimes, instead of this picturesque scene, a sickening odor of dead fish wafts across empty beaches, local restaurants are closed because they can’t prepare seafood, and residents even experience trouble breathing. The culprit is red tide.

Measure Targeting Invasive Species Signed

Mar 27, 2018

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.

Wikipedia.org

Florida’s nearshore waters would be off limits to future oil and gas drilling under a measure that moved closer Tuesday to appearing before voters in November. 

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