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Environment

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. 

Florida is increasing its solar power installations faster than almost any other state in the nation, according to a new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association.


National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service

No more computer models or projections. Finally – concrete data.

A scientific paper published in February may pave the way for a new conversation about rising sea levels using data instead of projections.

A watchdog groups say Florida is on pace for another record year for manatee deaths.

Lawmakers Funnel $100 Million To Florida Forever

Mar 10, 2018
Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Neglected for nearly a decade, the Florida Forever conservation program would get $100.8 million in a proposed $88.7 billion budget that lawmakers are expected to approve Sunday.

Rep. Ben Albritton, a Wauchula Republican who chairs the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, said most of the money would go for land preservation.

“We started at a much lower number for Florida Forever here in the House,” Albritton said. “Thank goodness, in conference (negotiations), we raised that number significantly.”

Tampa Electric is planning to build a $75 million solar farm in East Pasco County.

Pinellas County Government

Keep Pinellas Beautiful is looking for volunteers for their cleanup event at Joe’s Creek and Cross Bayou Canal on Saturday.

The event is a prelude to The Great American Cleanup, a national effort to neaten communities around the country. That takes place March 20, the first day of spring.

The national president of the Audubon Society will be speaking at its Sarasota chapter Monday (March 12). WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with David Yarnold about the local impacts of preservation and climate change, such as preserving Sarasota's Celery Fields birding area and artificial islands created to stem erosion in Tampa Bay.

Scientists are seeing concerning levels of algae this year in Florida's Indian River Lagoon just two years after massive blooms led to the worst fish kills on record.

Bethany Hanson / WUSF Public Media

A device developed by University of South Florida engineers that turns wastewater into clean water, energy and nutrients will soon be headed to South Africa.

The NEWgenerator uses membrane filtration - similar to a coffee filter - to clean dirty water and convert it for future use.

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.

A Florida Senate committee, Wednesday, advanced a bill (SB 1402) which aims to place a longstanding federal program that protects wetlands through the Clean Water Act under state control. 

The superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary says that after efforts to help the coral reef recover from Hurricane Irma, challenges loom for the marine ecosystem.

A Lee County Circuit court judge will decide in about a week if Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam can continue denying reimbursement to residents for their healthy citrus trees his department removed. 

Urban Wetlands To Clean Polluted Storm Water

Feb 15, 2018

Every time it rains, storm water drains throughout South Florida pick up a slick admixture of gasoline, soot, detergent, fertilizers and other contaminants as the runoff flows through the human-dominated landscape. 

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