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National Park Service

Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc not only on people and buildings, but on nature. Birds were pushed by the winds from the Caribbean into Florida, and the Category 3 storm washed away beaches and bird habitat in the Everglades and Florida Keys. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida, about Irma's impact.

Here's some of the impacts outlined by Audubon Florida:

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Even though Hurricane Irma is well behind us, many neighborhoods remain several feet underwater - including one along the Alafia River near Lithia.

As major Hurricane Irma makes its way to Florida, farmers across the state have to prepare their lands.

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

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

An outside review has determined that the drowning death of Snooty the Manatee could have been prevented.

South Florida Museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio announced the findings Thursday in Bradenton after a review by animal welfare attorney James Gesualdi.

State wildlife officials say human-bear interactions are on the rise, and they’re trying to educate Floridians on ways to defuse those situations. 

By P. Barkley - Biological and Chemical Research Institute, Bugwood.org, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22937790

Florida's citrus growers haven't had it easy lately, after being buffeted by canker and citrus greening. Now, they have another nemesis to worry about - citrus black spot.

Federal officials have already slapped a quarantine on exports of fruit grown in parts of Collier and Hendry counties, as well as an area along the Polk-Highlands County line.

Scott Sends More State Resources To Help Texas

Aug 28, 2017
FWC photo by Avery Bristol

Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday he is directing more resources to Texas following Hurricane Harvey.

Scott is deploying additional Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers and resources to Houston in response to additional requests from Texas for continued emergency assistance following Hurricane Harvey.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

A scrap recycling center won't be built next to popular Sarasota bird sanctuary after all.

After a public hearing that took nearly eight hours, Sarasota commissioners voted three to two late Wednesday to reject an industrial recycling plant next to Celery Fields.

President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget have some people on edge, especially in Florida. People associated with the Environmental Defense Fund or EDF aired grievances Tuesday morning. The proposed budget goes into effect Oct. 1, but  people from the EDF say now is the time to act.

Wikipedia.com

They're beautiful - and they're deadly. And they're here. Lionfish are infesting waters around Florida, and there might be one tasty way to stem the tide of this invasive species.

Lionfish were  named for the beautiful mane of deadly stingers that surround their body. They were introduced in South Florida in the mid-1980's, and have since spread throughout the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast to New England. They're voracious eaters, outcompeting everything in their path.

There’s a darker side to a rebounding Florida Panther population with state game officials reporting a spike in attacks on livestock and domestic animals in rural Southwest Florida.

A state lawmaker is once again trying to expand protections for Florida’s black bears. The bill sponsor says the plan should benefit conservationists and hunters. 

State Program Records 500th Python Kill

Aug 18, 2017

With the state trying to reduce invasive species in areas such as the Everglades, a hunter Thursday killed the 500th Burmese python in less than five months under a South Florida Water Management District program.

A leadership shuffle in the Florida Senate is lifting the hopes of anti-fracking activists.

The private board in charge of handing out funds from the BP oil spill is developing its application process. But sparsely populated Gulf Coast counties are worried they could lose out on some of the settlement money.

Residents near a stretch of the Sabal Trail Pipeline in Central Florida are reporting the sulfur-like smell of a gas leak. But the company behind the utility says the emissions are from an odorant leak, not from natural gas.

Florida wildlife officials are highlighting sandhill cranes as well as better ways for the public to coexist with the threatened bird species.

40 more wildland firefighters from Florida are now heading to the western part of the U.S. to help deal with one of the worst wildlife seasons in American history. That’s on top of the 41 sent last month.

The 2017 hurricane season, already forecast to churn out more storms than usual, is likely to get even busier.

On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration increased its forecast, just as the season peak nears, calling for 14 to 19 names storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to five major hurricanes with winds topping 111 mph. That’s slightly above the 11 to 17 named storms and two to four major hurricanes predicted at the start of the season.

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