Environment

Some Florida environmental activists are hoping to channel public interest from one pipeline to another, by organizing a series of protests across the state. This year Native American leaders, activists and celebrities staged a months-long protest at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline, spurring the Obama Administration to ultimately halt the project. Some Florida environmentalists are taking inspiration from the Dakota Access protests in their own fight against the Sabal Trail Pipeline

Steve Linder, flickr

Fishing enthusiasts should note Florida is making some changes to mutton snapper regulations that kick in January 1.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the species is not overfished, but says data indicates the population may be lower than previously estimated.

The recreational limit for mutton snapper is essentially being cut in half. Currently there is a 10-snapper per person bag limit, and that's most kinds of snapper. But beginning in January, only five of those snappers can be mutton snapper.

www.flickr.com

Four environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to stop a plan to mine 50,000 acres of phosphate in three counties. They say the federal government hasn't looked at the overall impact of mining in the region.

Ranchers in two southwest Florida counties are eligible for federal funding to protect panthers.

King tides caused widespread flooding throughout South Florida in October and November. From Key West to West Palm Beach, pedestrians waded through streets and drivers moved their cars from massive parking lot puddles.

 

A bill that’s a major step toward restoring the Everglades’ natural water flow is on its way to President Obama.

 

Photo courtesy National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration

One of the rarest and least-known species of whales off of Florida's Gulf Coast could soon be listed as a threatened or endangered species.

St. Petersburg To Become First Green City

Dec 11, 2016
Sierra Club

The city of St. Petersburg will become the first city in Florida to completely transition to clean and renewable energy.

The city council voted unanimously on the decision which would generate electricity and power from sustainable sources like wind, water or solar with little to no pollution.

Mayor Rick Kriseman said was happy that his city was the first to do this and hopes other Florida cities do the same.

Republican Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg won big in August when voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 4, his solar tax cut ballot measure.

Proposed Bills Would Ban Fracking In Florida

Dec 5, 2016

After a fierce legislative debate early this year about fracking, a freshman senator filed a proposal Friday that would bar the use of the controversial oil and gas drilling technique in Florida.

Ikea

Florida voters recently rejected Amendment 1, which would have restricted the reselling of energy produced by solar panels to electric companies - a process known as net metering. But despite being one of the nation's sunniest states, Florida lags behind other states when it comes to solar capacity.

According to a new report by the environmental advocacy organization Environment Florida, Florida ranks third in the nation for the number of potential solar panels, but is 16th in energy derived from the sun.

Two weeks before Election Day, Donald Trump made a campaign promise during a rally in Collier County that Floridians have been hearing from politicians for years:

"A Trump administration will also work alongside you to restore and protect the beautiful Everglades,” said Trump.

The Everglades restoration isn't the only environmental issue facing Florida. Sea-level rise also remains a serious threat here. 

Invasive Plant Moves Into Central Florida

Nov 29, 2016

A fern at the heart of a dispute threatening a national wildlife refuge in the Florida Everglades is poised to become the state’s latest and greatest invasive plant species.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The Pinellas County legislative delegation met Wednesday to prevent another massive spill of sewage into the county's waterways because of overloaded - and outdated - sewage treatment systems.

But one thing is becoming clear after hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage overflowed into Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay after heavy rains this summer - a solution won't be cheap.

Florida scientists are calling on President-elect Donald Trump to acknowledge climate change as not a hoax.

The scientists are calling for a meeting with the president-elect who in tweets has described climate change as a hoax created by China or something based on faulty science.

New Research Shows Wide Scope Of Climate Change Impacts

Nov 16, 2016

New research out of the University of Florida shows climate change is affecting all aspects of life on Earth, from entire ecosystems to the genetics of individual animals.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Charlie Bellofatto stood on Ashley Drive at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa with a tambourine in one hand and a sign in the other.

The Tampa resident and Lakota Tribe member sang the Lakota “Four Directions Song” as he protested the Sabal Trail Transmission Pipeline and a crude oil pipeline being built on native land in the Midwest.

With two landslide victories under their belts, environmentalists say they are waiting to decide whether to revive a solar ballot initiative in 2018.

Several amendments to the state constitution will be on the ballot on election day, including one that would regulate solar energy. The wording of Amendment 1 has created some confusion, so WUSF's Steve Newborn shines a little light on that with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillin.

State To Preserve Thousands Of Acres For Wildlife Corridors

Oct 26, 2016

With little comment, Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet agreed Tuesday to spend more than $22 million to preserve three pieces of land covering 14,000 acres, with much of the money coming from the Florida Forever conservation program.

Two of the deals, involving cattle ranches in Polk and Okeechobee counties, cost a combined $6.16 million and will be funded through the Rural & Family Lands Protection Program. That program, backed by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, has become a more-common way in recent years for the Cabinet to protect land from future development.

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