LISTEN LIVE

Environment

Trump's Proposed Budget Seeks State Money For Dike Repairs

Feb 14, 2018

State dollars will be needed to speed federal repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee, under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.

Gov. Rick Scott was quick Monday to praise direction given in the proposed budget as solidifying Trump’s commitment to complete the federal dike repairs ahead of schedule.

The Trump administration’s $19.9 billion budget for NASA calls for privatizing the International Space Station. Senator Bill Nelson is blasting the proposed budget.

The budget proposal provides nearly $10 billion to support human space exploration of the moon. It pays for the Space Launch System and Orion capsule, that will launch from Kennedy Space Center, slated for a mission to the moon in 2020.

A decision to exempt Florida from a federal plan opening more waters to oil and gas exploration is not final.  Supporters and opponents were out Thursday for the federal government’s first and only public Florida hearing on its proposed five-year plan.

Renderings provided by CambridgeSeven

Mote Marine Laboratory announced plans Thursday to build a new aquarium alongside Interstate 75 in Sarasota. It's been in the works for five years. It's planned for Nathan Benderson Park, at Interstate 75 and University Parkway. The four-story building would be double the size of the existing aquarium.

Florida lawmakers want to weigh in on who really has access to the state’s beaches. A bill moving in the statehouse is meant to settle a long-running dispute between private landowners and the public, by handing the issue over to the courts.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet this week will consider a proposed deal that would help preserve more than 400 acres of rural land in Marion County and fill a gap in a greenway across part of the state.

A federal wildlife refuge north of the Everglades is setting traps for pythons to protect against the voracious invasive snake.

If you own a house in South Florida, you might want to start thinking hard about sea level rise.

The ocean here could rise a foot or more in the next 30 years -- the amount of time in a mortgage cycle -- according to University of Miami professor Harold Wanless and other researchers.  That means if you buy a house today, and rising seas put your house at risk for flooding, your property value might decrease... but your mortgage payments won’t.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

There is a possible repair solution for the Pasco County sinkhole that destroyed two homes last summer.

The Board of County Commissioners and the Public Safety office are leaning towards a decorative fence, the least expensive and safest option.

UCF Team Wants To Mine The Moon

Feb 2, 2018

Private companies want to mine the moon for water and a team at the University of Central Florida is helping them figure out just how to do that.

Planetary scientists are pretty confident there’s water on the moon and private companies like United Launch Alliance want to jump-start the mining process. Water is an important resource in space because its chemical composition can be split into hydrogen and oxygen, which could then be turned into rocket fuel.

In South Florida, they all have alligators. But there are some key differences between national wildlife refuges, national parks and national preserves. Here’s a snapshot:

Wikipedia

“The Trump Administration is playing games with Florida’s coast.”

That was the warning from Jennifer Rubiello, state director of environmental advocacy group, Environment Florida. She was speaking at a press conference Thursday that discussed Florida’s status when it comes to offshore oil drilling.

mymanatee.org

Manatee County Commissioners reopened a longtime discussion about decreasing the risk of flooding in residential areas Tuesday.

Senate Passes Florida Forever Funding Package

Feb 1, 2018

Over the last three years, Florida Forever has not been the titan of land preservation it once was. The conservation program has seen significant cutbacks in funding, and has lost its effectiveness in continuing to protect the state’s vast landscape. But, a bill in the Florida Senate reestablishes Florida Forever as the model of land preservation it once was.

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.

Pages