Environment

The Florida Sierra Club’s phosphate committee has formally objected to allowing a new Mosaic Company mine in Desoto County. Placida attorney Percy Angelo sent a letter to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on September 22.

Clyde Butcher

The renowned photographer Ansel Adams once said, "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."

Clyde Butcher, whose expansive nature photographs of Florida have been compared to Adams, seemingly has to wait a bit longer. He's been known to wallow in alligator-infested waters an entire day - just waiting for the right light.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Gov. Rick Scott visited the Polk County phosphate manufacturing plant on Tuesday, where a sinkhole has spilled contaminated water into the Florida aquifer. The sinkhole formed under a phosphogypsum stack at Mosaic’s New Wales manufacturing plant south of Lakeland.

Joe Berg/Way Down Video - Courtesy Mote Marine Laboratory

Mote Marine Laboratory has announced it has raised more than $50 million in the Sarasota laboratory's first comprehensive fundraising campaign. President and CEO Michael Crosby said the money will be used for long-term sustainable projects to help preserve unique marine life.

1000 Friends of Florida

The environmental group 1000 Friends of Florida released its Florida 2070 study today. It's a series of maps that show how many people Florida will hold - and where they'll live - generations from now. 

The study says that more than 33 million people will live in Florida in 2070 - that's nearly 13 million more than today.

Hurricane Hermine was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved across Florida downing trees and flooding roads up and down the coast. Some local schools and government offices will remain closed Friday due to the heavy rain and winds blanketing the region. Others, in areas less threatened by the storm, have reopened.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has ordered government offices in 37 counties, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus, to remain closed Friday.

Winds averaging 45 MPH have forced the closure of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Gusts around 56 MPH have also been measured.

Elizabeth Herdter / USF College of Marine Science

A team of marine scientists, led by representatives of the University of South Florida, are about midway through a six-week expedition looking for evidence left over from the two largest accidental oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.

www.savetheseaturtle.org

Officials say eggs are being stolen from sea turtle nests along southwest Florida beaches.

The harbor master for the city of Naples, Roger Jacobsen, tells the Naples Daily News that an egg theft discovered Monday is the fifth nest disturbance in about a month.

WQCS

Officials are responding to fears in southwest Florida about a massive algae bloom fouling waters on the state's Atlantic coast.

The News-Press reports that the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau updated its website with water-monitoring information and live video of beaches overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

The newspaper says tourism officials also frequently post videos from Fort Myers and Sanibel beaches on social media.

Wikimedia Commons

Florida wildlife officials are seeking plans from county and local governments to reduce conflicts between bears and humans.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

With growing concerns about pesticides and where our food comes from, more people are growing their own produce right in their own yard.

This "edible landscaping" has become the basis for some businesses.

Southwest Florida Water Management District

Florida wildlife officials have voted against holding a black bear hunt this year at their quarterly meeting.

Tampa Police

UPDATE AT NOON with information on capture of bear

After a short early morning stroll through a quiet residential neighborhood and a trip up a tree, a black bear has been captured near Tampa's Adventure Island.

Tampa Police called in trappers, who tranquilized the bear, caught it in a net and put it in a cage. The bear will be returned to its natural habitat. 

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection hosted a brownfields symposium this week in Sarasota.

Brownfields are sites considered to be “environmentally contaminated.”

The state wants to spread awareness about its brownfield redevelopment program to local cities and businesses.

Fertilizer Bans Take Effect Around Indian River Lagoon

Jun 2, 2016

Fertilizer bans start Wednesday in the five-county region of the Indian River Lagoon.

The bans also apply in nearly all of the region’s municipalities.

Frequent rains wash fertilizers into the lagoon, feeding the blooms that this spring triggered the worst fish kill in the lagoon in modern history.

Duane De Freese of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program says the bans are aimed at nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients at the heart of the lagoon’s problems.

Joseph Gamble / Joseph Gamble Photography

Terry Tomalin, the outdoors editor for the Tampa Bay Times, died suddenly Thursday.

Tomalin was also a member of the faculty at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where he taught digital journalism and led the Outdoor Leadership Program. He was also a graduate of USF.

FWC

Volusia County is urging the state not to hold another bear hunt. The county council wants the state to focus on other techniques to keep black bears out of suburban areas.

The Volusia Council says hunters killed too many bears during the state-regulated hunt last year and that the population of bears in central Florida is lower than it should be.

The state’s bear management plan sets a goal of at least 1,030 black bears in the region. The council says the hunt left central Florida more than 920 bears.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

More Florida panthers could die this year than last year’s record number.

Wildlife authorities attribute the mortalities to the endangered animal’s growing population.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials have documented 22 dead panthers so far this year. All but four of the animals died in vehicle collisions. Last year, 41 panthers died.

Darrell Land of FWC says the state’s panther population is estimated at up to 180 animals, compared with a few dozen 30 years ago.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

While Florida has about a quarter of the almost 400 reported cases of Zika in the United States, no one has been infected in Florida. But that's not stopping local public health experts from advising people to protect themselves.

Amy Green / WMFE

  The Indian River Lagoon stretches about 156 miles along the Florida's east coast. And it's where Laurilee Thompson has her earliest memories.

“I had a little tiny rowboat when I was 6-years-old . . . There were barnacles and oysters and sea squirts,” the Titusville resident recalled. “You know even just the pilings in  the sea walls were alive. . . the cone Jellies used to come in the spring . . . and you get this big green explosion. There were entire ecosystems just along the sea wall.”

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