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Environment

A bill that would have allowed the city of Tampa to increase its water supply has dried up in the state legislature. Some feared it would have reignited the area's water wars.

Wikimedia Commons

There's been a lot of hype about the lunar eclipse coming on Wednesday morning. But there may be something else going on in the pre-dawn skies that is worth waking up early for. 

Howard Hochhalter manages the Bishop Planetarium at Bradenton's South Florida Museum.  And he loves teaching people about the stars and planets. He's calling this a "trifecta of lunar events."  That is, a supermoon, (or a slightly larger moon), a blue moon (a second full moon in a calendar month), and a lunar eclipse, all rolled into one.

More Than 6,000 Manatees Counted In Florida

Jan 30, 2018
David Hinkle/USFWS

More than 6,000 manatees were counted in Florida, for the fourth consecutive year.

The count was part of a statewide annual aerial survey.

The survey serves as a loose population count. It’s conducted during Florida’s coldest days as manatees gather for warmth near deep canals, natural springs and power plants.

A state senator and congressional candidate says it’s time for Florida to have a unified strategy for sea-level rise.

To make his point this legislative session, he’s wearing rain boots in the Senate.

Florida’s offshore drilling concerns have made headlines recently. And now, nearly 80 years into the industry’s existence in Florida, state government officials are searching for some permanency on the issue. 

Scientists say a North Atlantic right whale has made another appearance in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Naples

The Naples Daily News reports that charter boat Capt. Robert Holzinger was fishing with customers about 3 miles from Naples on Monday when they spotted the endangered whale.

Florida has worked out a deal to cap the amount of money that will be paid to law firms hired to help the state in its long-running water war with Georgia.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Palm Beach County officials are reminding boaters to slow down -- it’s manatee season.

‘Operation Mermaid’ is a multi-agency effort to protect manatees from being injured by boats.

Local police departments patrolling Palm Beach County’s inlets and the Intracoastal Waterway are stepping up enforcement of speed violations.

“We don’t want anybody speeding where they shouldn’t be,” said West Palm Beach Police Officer Mickey Allen. “They could not only hit manatee, but hurt themselves as well.”

The Trump administration's promise to exempt Florida from an offshore drilling plan is not a formal action, an Interior Department official said Friday in a statement that Democrats said contradicted a high-profile announcement by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Irma Contributing To Florida's Declining Citrus Forecast

Jan 16, 2018

The Florida orange usually fares well during the winter weather, but recent numbers show citrus crops were not able to weather hurricane Irma’s storm.

The offshore drilling rigs that pepper the central Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana and Texas tap some of the nation’s richest oil and natural gas reserves.

That proven and profitable productivity is why the energy industry has pushed for decades to open vast Gulf waters off Florida’s West Coast to exploration and drilling.

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.

Julian Torres

The folks at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales say they're expecting clear skies for their second annual "HARMONY Dark Sky Festival & Star Party" Saturday, January 13 from 4 to 9:30 p.m.

Former North Florida Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham is among the Democrats running for governor this year. She says for too long the state Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott have ignored the serious effects of climate change and rising seas.

The Supreme Court on Monday appeared to be looking for a way to side with Florida in its complaint that Georgia uses too much water and leaves too little for its southern neighbor.

David Hinkle / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The year that just ended was a deadly one for manatees in Florida.

Preliminary data shows that 538 manatees were found dead in Florida waterways last year, according to state officials.

The Trump administration moved Thursday to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans with a plan that would open federal waters off California for the first time in more than three decades.

Stone crab claws are considered a delicacy by some and for many southwest Florida fisheries, the season is a critical money-making time of year.   We’re in the heart of stone crab season, which began in October and ends in May.  The 2017-2018 season started strong, but went to a low point around Thanksgiving.

Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and Governor Rick Scott are in agreement: a plan to allow offshore oil drilling by President Donald Trump's administration isn't good for Florida, and it comes as Nelson is also asking the Trump administration to pull back from repealing safety regulations made in response to the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

A Trump administration proposal vastly expanding offshore drilling is generating criticism in Florida.

The proposal is the most expansive in decades. It includes 47 potential leases off the nation’s coasts from the Atlantic Ocean to Alaska, including one in the Straits of Florida.

Julie Wraithmell of Audubon of Florida joined other environmental groups in opposing the plan nearly eight years after the nation’s biggest offshore spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Photo by Carlton Ward, Jr./Courtesy Florida Wildlife Corridor

After being starved of money for years, several proposals are gaining ground in Tallahassee that could set aside money to buy and preserve what's left of Florida's natural lands. 

As we bundle up for the chilly weather we're experiencing, you may want to do the same for your plants.


Pixnio

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.


Anthony Stansbury propped his rusty bike against a live oak tree and cast his fishing line into the rushing waters of Florida's Anclote River.

As law enforcement agencies across Florida consider using body cameras, the state’s wildlife officers are following suit.

The cold front that moved through Florida this past weekend brought a light dusting of snow in some portions of the western Panhandle and even some light frost in Southwest Florida, but the cooler temperatures left Florida agriculture operations relatively unscathed. 

Senate Backs Forever Florida, St. Johns Proposals

Dec 11, 2017

Measures that would double Gov. Rick Scott's spending request for the Florida Forever conservation program and earmark money to improve the St. Johns River continued to move easily through the Senate on Thursday.

In South Florida, iguanas are everywhere. So now the state agency responsible for protecting wildlife — and dealing with exotic species — is holding workshops to help the public cope with the prolific reptiles.

With the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season finally over, scientists are taking stock of what they say was a monumental year.

A total of 10 hurricanes swept the region. Six were major storms of Category 3 or higher, and three of those were Category 4 or higher when they made landfall, spreading havoc from the Caribbean to Texas.

The Atlantic Ocean is vast and has always made its own weather. But a typical year sees about six hurricanes, not 10. And three strong hurricanes hitting land — Harvey, Irma and Maria — is extraordinary.

So what's going on?

Satellite images this month show a harmful red tide algal bloom festering in the Gulf of Mexico-- mere miles away from the shorelines of Southwest Florida. But birds have been telling us this for over a month.

 

 


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