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Environment

Have you been exposed in any way to oil from the BP/Deepwater Horizon blowout in 2010? Then a study looking at the health effects of the spill wants to hear from you.

The study is being conducted by the National Institutes of Health. Study leader Dale Sandler says the only way they can sort out what health effects might be related to specific jobs is to include as large a study group as possible.

It's been just over two years since the Deepwater Horizon well was capped, ending the largest oil spill in U.S. history. But is it really over? The largest gathering of scientists since the spill met recently at the Tradewinds Island Resort in St. Pete Beach to discuss the damage to the Gulf - and what may yet happen.

Great Gale of 1848

Sep 24, 2012
St. Petersburg Daily Times (1914)

The Tampa Bay area suffered a direct hit by a powerful hurricane on September 25th, 1848.

The so-called Great Gale of '48 destroyed nearly every building at Fort Brooke and was the storm that created John's Pass in Pinellas County and New Pass in Sarasota.

Incredibly no one was killed, but it remains the worst hurricane on record ever to have hit Tampa.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

Electric cars seem to be finally catching on with some people - but mostly those who live and work in cities. The bugaboo has been how long it takes to get a recharge. But there is a new system that could cut the recharging time exponentially.

It's been just over two years since the Deepwater Horizon well was capped, ending the largest oil spill in U.S. history. But is it really over? Over the weekend, the largest gathering of scientists since the spill met at the Tradewinds Island Resort in St. Pete Beach to discuss the damage to the Gulf - and what may yet happen.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

The leader of the expedition that earlier this year traversed the length of Florida in 100 days talked about the expedition last night to a standing-room-only crowd at USF's St. Petersburg campus.  Carlton Ward says he's making progress on his mission to connect the state's disjointed wild areas.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

No arrests were made, although operations at TECO's Big Bend Power Plant in Apollo Beach were interrupted for a few hours Thursday due to a Republican National Convention-related protest. Five protesters chained themselves together in the middle of a road at the plant, while a sixth chained himself to a truck.

Watch: Environmental Protest at Big Bend

Aug 30, 2012
Alex Cook

Protesters in town for the RNC took a bus ride down to Apollo Beach on Thursday to support an environmental protest at TECO Energy's Big Bend power station.  

Environmental activist group Earth First! had chained themselves together in the road leading up to the plant, and police worked to free them from their constraints.  No arrests were made, and the protesters left peacefully.

Earth First! spokesperson Leah Rothschild said they chose the Big Bend station for their action because it's Florida's dirtiest power plant and TECO helped fund the RNC.

This five-day forecast says it all. Isaac's track has shifted toward New Orleans and away from Florida.

Florida is no longer under a tropical storm warning. In fact, Tampa received little rain and only some gusty winds from Isaac.

Tampa has a history of being under the gun with early hurricane forecasts, and then dodging the bullet. Hurricane Charlie led to evacuations in Tampa Bay, but a last-minute course change led it to hit Port Charlotte instead.

Isaac Poses Problems for RNC Protesters

Aug 26, 2012
Eric Mennel

With Tropical Storm Isaac looming, demonstrators in the downtown Tampa tent encampment known as “Romneyville” are short on emergency plans. 

"We’re not sure what to do at this point," says Jared Bay, one of the protesters living in Romneyville. "It will come through and just rip a tent apart. A tent won’t make it."

They’re hoping the city will find some space where the group can ride it out.

Tropical Storm Isaac has been difficult to track, but its potential to affect Florida has caused the Republican National Convention to change its plans. Events for Monday have been canceled, though the committee will convene briefly. As Alan Greenblatt reported for It's All Politics, this is now the second-consecutive Republican National Convention to be delayed by a storm.

Update at 8:55 p.m. ET. Nomination Delayed:

TS Isaac Could Turn Hurricane by Thursday

Aug 22, 2012
National Hurricane Center

Tropical storm Isaac is in the Atlantic near the Island of Guadalupe. It could head to Tampa Bay by Monday as a hurricane.

Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami, says Isaac may not be a tropical storm for long...

"It is moving into an area which is favorable for strengthening and we would expect Isaac to become a hurricane probably sometime late Thursday or on Friday," he says.

Feltgen says it's still too early to tell if Isaac will hit Tampa Bay early next week- the start of the Republican National Convention.

She was about three feet longer than the distance from an NBA free throw line to the basket. She was a bit more than twice the height of many bedroom ceilings. You could park two Smart Cars beside her with a foot or so to spare.

Those are some ways to get a sense of just how big the biggest Burmese python discovered so far in Florida was.

tampa-xway.com

The Republican National Convention is bringing lots of changes across the Tampa Bay area. And one of those changes we might want to plan ahead for is coming to the Selmon Expressway.

If you travel the Selmon Expressway, start planning your RNC detours soon.

The express way local lanes will be closed between Willow Avenue and 50th Street Monday at 12:30 a.m. through Friday at about 5 a.m. that week of the convention. 

The reversible lanes will remain open and operate as normal.

Gardening For Good In Pompano, Fla.

Aug 13, 2012

When chef Trina Spillman — trained at Le Cordon Bleu — discovered that more than one-third of the children in Broward County didn't know where their next meal was coming from, she was shocked. So she took action.

Through her Need to Feed Gardening Initiative, Trina has planted community gardens, opened a community cafe and donated fresh produce to local food pantries. She holds Summer Hat Luncheons.

Courtesy of NOAA

Hurricane Ernesto is now fading away into interior Mexico after making landfall late yesterday on the Yucatan Peninsula. But what about our chances to see a big storm? Those odds are going up - at least for now.

The word from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is we could see as many as 17 named storms before hurricane season ends in November. That's up from their initial prediction of nine storms.

The Florida Legislature has essentially gutted Florida Forever, the state's main land-buying program, starving it of any money needed to buy new environmentally-sensitive land during the past three years. And with no end in sight to the state's budget woes, that likely won't change any time soon.

Still Cleaning Up After Debby

Aug 6, 2012

The good news is it looks like tropical storm Ernesto won't touch Florida.

The bad news is people in the Tampa Bay area are still working to recover from the damage done by tropical storm Debby in late June.

And The Federal Emergency Management Agency -- FEMA -- wants people to know that there's just under a month left to register for federal disaster assistance for Debby damage.

FEMA Public Information Officer Renee Bafalis encourages people to register even if they have insurance coverage:

The massive Gulf oil spill may be receding into our collective memory. But a group of people want to keep the specter of offshore oil drilling fresh in people's minds. So they plan to gather at Florida's beaches at noon Saturday.

This will be the third straight year "Hands Across the Sands" is taking place. People will gather hands on dozens of beaches to not only protest offshore drilling, but promote the use of clean energy.

The world's oceans used to be thought of as a limitless resource to be exploited. But the world's booming population and a huge increase in the number of fishing vessels has proved the ocean's bounty to be finite. A new solution to setting limits for individual fishermen has been developed. It's called catch-share. It basically sets a limit on the number of fish that can be taken for groups of fishermen - and those shares can be traded.

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