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Environment

An anthropologist pursuing his Ph.D. at Brown University spent the past few months researching the H-2A guest worker program in Florida’s citrus industry. He heads to Mexico this summer to spend time with those workers in their own communities.

Sea World has welcomed its first baby walrus.

The baby walrus was born June 3rd, and it’s the first calf for mom Kaboodle.

Sea World veterinary teams are keeping an eye on mother and baby, who are bonding and snuggling as they sleep.

They are not currently on display, but Sea World says they will be used to teach guests about the plight of walruses due to climate change and a thinning ice pack.

There are about a quarter of a million walruses in the world.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Thousands of people drive by one of the best birding areas in Sarasota County every day without even knowing it. 

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 2:20 PM

Gov. Rick Scott has vetoed a part of the state budget that would’ve compensated residents in Lee and Broward Counties years after the state removed their healthy citrus trees. The 16-year battle for reimbursement continues.

More than 130 people turned-out in Sarasota last night to protest a concrete recycling plant. The idea was to place it next to a site that’s become a destination for bird watchers.

With the start of Hurricane season upon us, the state’s Attorney General not only wants Floridians to be prepared, she also wants the public to watch out for scammers.

Activists are abandoning a federal challenge of Florida’s water quality standards after the Trump Administration refused to step in.

Owning a resturant on the water was a dream come true for Peter Stefani. For 26 years, Stefani had watched the waves rise and fall just outside his businesses.

Still, the Nebraska native hardly had an idea of what the tide could do until Hurricane Hermine hit Cedar Key.

South Floridians are seeing the impacts of climate change firsthand, in sunny-day flooding and record-breaking temperatures as recently as Memorial Day weekend.

That's why for many, President Trump's decision Thursday to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accords constituted a betrayal.

Selby Gardens

It's a plant so rare they call it the "Queen of the Night."

And your only chance to see it bloom is - tonight.

Selby Gardens in Sarasota is hosting a "pop-up bloom-viewing party" Wednesday at 8 p.m. to show off the Selenicereus. It's a flowering cactus that blooms only once a year. Its name is derived from the Greek moon goddess and the Latin word for candle.

Sarasota County

Sarasota County planners will hear a request Thursday afternoon to rezone land for a scrap recycling center next to what has been called the best bird-watching spot in the county.

NOAA

Hurricane season is here and you're probably hearing a lot of talk about maps; storm surge maps and perhaps even flood zone maps. Here are some clear differences to help you understand what they mean for you.

Let's start with storm surge maps. They help emergency managers make plans to protect the nearly 21 million people who call Florida home -- by predicting how high the water wall forced onshore by a storm might be and how far inland it will invade. That will also help you know when it's time to head for higher ground. 

Despite a months-long season for red snapper in state waters off Florida and other Gulf states, fisherman across the Gulf of Mexico are gearing up to protest a brief three-day opening to catch the prized fish in federal Gulf waters. Fishermen argue a short opening hurts businesses and hampers anglers across the Gulf, but fishery managers say a small window is important to preserve a species still recovering from overfishing.

The Atlantic Storm season starts June 1st and while a lot of attention is given to the winds packed by hurricanes, that's not the only peril. Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Meteorologist Jeff Huffman says the latest data from hurricane or tropical related fatalities is striking.

Advocates are developing a Florida Forever rescue strategy for next year, even before Governor Rick Scott weighs in on the Legislature’s $82.4 billion spending plan.

Flickr

Three Pinellas County beaches being eroded by the Gulf of Mexico are taking one step closer toward being restored. The $30 million will be used to help restore beaches at Sand Key, Upham Beach and Treasure Island.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, considered the GOP frontrunner in next year’s governor’s race, is slamming the Legislature’s $82.4 billion spending plan.

Officials with the Florida Forest Service say recent rains are not enough to tamp down the hundreds of wildfires raging across the state. Parts of the state are still in a drought.

Conservation groups, Governor Rick Scott and Cabinet members are praising Florida’s newest top environmental regulator, Noah Valenstein, as a consensus builder dedicated to public service.

New State Environmental Chief Chosen

May 23, 2017

With Gov. Rick Scott describing him as “passionate about the environment,” Noah Valenstein was named Tuesday as Florida's next environmental secretary after a short interview with Scott and members of the state Cabinet.

Valenstein, a former Scott aide who is executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management District, will take over at the Department of Environmental Protection on June 5.

Valenstein was the only one of more than 140 applicants to be interviewed by Scott and the Cabinet for the job.

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