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Quincy Walters/WUSF

Tampa City Council members decided today to allow Ybor City’s wild chickens to continue roaming the neighborhood.

This comes after last month's meeting where some residents complained about the chickens while others spoke in favor of them. 

Judge Refuses To Leave Conservation Funding Case

Jul 19, 2018

A Leon County circuit judge this week refused a request by legislative leaders for his disqualification from a case about whether the state has properly carried out a 2014 constitutional amendment backed by environmental groups. 

WQCS

Leaking septic tanks may be causing prolonged algae blooms like the one currently killing fish and wildlife near Lake Okeechobee.

Last week, Gov. Rick Scott ordered a state of emergency for seven counties around Lake Okeechobee as a result of toxic algae blooms. Now the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from the lake because the algae has spread to both Florida coasts, hurting home values, tourism and local businesses. 

Dinorah Prevost / WUSF Public Media

As sea levels continue to rise in Florida, repeated flooding and storm surge are major concerns for Tampa Bay.

David Hastings, a climate scientist at Eckerd College, said the region could experience some of the most severe effects of climate change. He told the civic group Cafe Con Tampa on Friday that in the next 30 years, sixty-five thousand homes in Florida will flood twice a month affecting 100,000 Florida residents.

Water releases from Lake Okeechobee toward both Florida coasts will resume Friday amid political backlash and a toxic algae bloom.

Tom Matrullo

Fresh Start for the Celery Fields, a group concerned about having development coexist with one of the birding areas in Sarasota County, chose four options to use the public land Wednesday. The group presented the picks to Sarasota County Commissioners.

A man who championed Everglades restoration and inspired decades of Florida conservationists died Wednesday during a fishing trip, according to his family.

State Seeks Input On Shore-based Shark Fishing

Jul 12, 2018

The public will have a chance to weigh in on the future of shore-based shark fishing at a series of public meetings that kick off next week in Bradenton and Fort Myers. 

Florida Forest Service

Prescribed burns are a part of precautions taken throughout Florida to prevent massive forest fires by clearing flammable debris from the ground. They are meant to keep people safe, but one such burn was quite the opposite.

In the Panhandle town of Eastpoint, one of these burns grew out of control on June 24 and burnt down 36 homes. 

Florida’s wildlife agency will be holding a lionfish summit in the Fall. The goal is to find more ways to get rid of the spiny invasive species plaguing state waters.

FPL Customers To Receive Hurricane Matthew Recovery Refund

Jul 11, 2018

Florida Power & Light customers will see a small, one-time credit in August that in part corrects an “over-recovery” cost for Hurricane Matthew, which whipped the east coast in 2016.

USF College of Marine Science

Eight years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, there still is a lack of knowledge on the complex ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico.

But new research may soon be developing along the Gulf Coast. University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Innovation District will discuss a proposal for a Joint Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Wednesday.

Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection is applying to take over duties from the federal government related to protecting its wetlands. But some environmental advocates are hoping the agency will pump the breaks.

A man with a python hidden inside an external hard drive was stopped from boarding a Florida plane headed to Barbados.

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

Scott Declares Emergency Over Algae Outbreaks

Jul 10, 2018

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.

July is usually a quiet month in the tropical Atlantic. Not this year. Two tropical storms have formed in the past four days, one briefly becoming a hurricane and the other expected to by late Monday. Neither system is an imminent or significant threat. Floridians, however, might want to keep a close eye on one.

Beryl barreling west

Dike Repair Money Coming Amid Algae Woes

Jul 9, 2018

As calls grow for state action to deal with toxic algae blooms in Southeast and Southwest Florida, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced funding is in place to speed repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee.

With Governor And Legislators In Denial, This Tiny Florida Town Tries To Adapt To Climate Change

Jul 9, 2018
Isaac Babcock

This report, part of an FCIR series on climate change, was produced in partnership with WMFE, the NPR member station in Orlando. The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit news organization supported by foundations and individual contributions. For more information, visit fcir.org.

YANKEETOWN, Florida – While Florida state government bans the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in official business, this coastal fishing village of about 500 people and more water than dry land is being swallowed by the sea with almost no public attention or concern.

But town officials here are fighting back with some success.

USF College of Marine Science

A study seven years in the making by University of South Florida researchers has created a map of how many species live in the Gulf of Mexico. This will give experts an idea of how much damage would take place from a future oil spill.

Tampa Bay Watch/Facebook

The Fourth of July brought a lot of debris to shorelines from people celebrating both on land and on the water. Tampa Bay Watch will be trying to put things right during its post-4th Coastal Cleanup on Saturday.

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.

Is there anything more Floridian than a flamingo?

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

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is expected this week to sign the world's first ban on the sale of sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. The state is banning the products because of concerns they may be harming one of the state's biggest attractions — coral reefs.

While it doesn't kick in until 2021, the move is already prompting pushback.

Most business owners in South and Central Florida think renewable energy makes economic sense, according to a recent survey from the Environmental Defense Fund.

The non-profit polled 1,200 business leaders and residents from South Florida and along the I-4 corridor in the central part of the state. Two-thirds of respondents said getting energy from sources like solar and wind is a smart business decision.

The people and businesses that depend on the Apalachicola Bay just got a break from the U.S. Supreme Court—keeping a long running lawsuit over water use alive.

A massive algae outbreak is spreading in the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida.

Flickr

Some Rocky Point residents are fired up about a development plan that could affect one-third of their nine-acre lagoon, just off the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Tampa. They plan to ask Tampa City Council members Thursday not to approve the proposal.

Advocates are raising concerns about state plans for cleaning up Florida’s ailing springs.

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