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Jessica Meszaros

Reporter/Host

Jessica Meszaros is a reporter and host of Morning Edition at WUSF Public Media.

She’s been a voice on public radio stations across Florida since 2012 - in Miami, Fort Myers, and now Tampa.

Jessica’s writing, reporting, and hosting has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters, the national Public Radio News Directors Inc. and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In June 2018, she was named the recipient of RTDNA’s N.S. Bienstock Fellowship for promising minority journalists in radio.

Jessica graduated from Florida International University in Miami, earning a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from FIU's Honors College.

Contact Jessica at 813-974-8635, on Twitter @JMMeszaros or by email at jmmeszaros@wusf.org.

One of 36 ground depressions in the Lakeside Woodlands Community in Pasco County sits among a number of homes.
Digital Heritage and Humanities Collections, USF Libraries

There are now 36 ground depressions in the Lakeside Woodlands Community in Pasco County -- that's up from 20 holes on Tuesday. 

NOAA Fisheries

The Center for Biological Diversity is suing the National Marine Fisheries Service, saying the agency did not give 12 species of U.S. coral critical habitat protection that is required by the Endangered Species Act

Pasco Media Relations & Communications

Several large holes in the ground have opened in a Pasco County neighborhood. The depressions may be forming now because the area had consecutive days of heavy rainfall, officials said.

A Florida panther.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Some of Florida's big cats are walking strangely and state wildlife officials need your help to figure out why. 

The endangered Kirtland's warbler, among other federally protected animal and plant species, could be delisted due to recovery.
Joel Trick / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Update: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is holding a meeting this week on delisting endangered species. Officials only plan to talk about Key deer, although other species are up for consideration. The story has been edited to reflect the updated information. 

Federal wildlife officials will discuss the status of the endangered Key deer Thursday. This comes as the Trump administration rolls back protections under the Endangered Species Act.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Florida agriculture leaders met in Gainesville this week to talk about climate change solutions within the industry.

The meeting came after a warning from the United Nations urging farmers and foresters to adapt to global warming -- for the sake of the environment and the agriculture industry.

WUSF's Jessica Meszaros spoke with Lynetta Usher Griner, a logger and one of the organizers of the Gainesville meeting. 

Pixabay/ vegasita

Agriculture and forestry leaders are meeting in Gainesville on Monday to talk about farming and ranching as part of the climate change solution.

Pilot whales, like the wild ones pictured here, were released back into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday after beaching near Redington Beach.
Flikr

Two pilot whales that beached themselves on Redington Beach Monday were released back into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Congress recently approved $6.25 million to study how red tide algae blooms affect people's health. Multiple facilities in Sarasota will work together on the research.

Between 2013 and 2017, Hillsborough County had the most polluted air in Florida with 16 days where it exceeded smog concentrations. No other county came close to that.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Resource Management

Florida environmental officials released a proposal last week, outlining what to do with settlement funds from the Volkswagen emission scandal. Activists are not satisfied with the state's plan.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

By Jessica Meszaros

A new study describes the future mass redistribution of plants and animals on Earth due to climate change.  The research conducted by the University of Florida and the University of Tasmania appears in the journal Nature Climate Change. An author of the study says Florida is already experiencing this migration due to global warming. Brett Scheffers, a professor of wildlife ecology at UF, spoke with WUSF's Jessica Meszaros.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Scientists and politicians in Florida are highlighting climate change ahead of the Democratic presidential debates in Miami this week.

The Board of County Commissioners for Manatee County hopes to decide between Rye Preserve and a portion of land off of Church Street to finally put the confederate monument.
Manatee County Government

Manatee County commissioners are tasked again with deciding what to do with a Confederate monument that used to stand in front of the county courthouse.

The Durrance family has grown citrus in Hardee County since the 1800s. Pictured ileft to right: Howard Trammell; husband and wife Jessica and Ian Durrance with their children Jessi, Luke, Wess and Reed; Clara Durrance; Julie Durrance; and Danny Durrance.
Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Some Florida citrus growers are finally starting to see an increase of orange production. Those who managed to stick around as the greening disease ravaged their groves have been experimenting with different variations of trees, expensive chemicals and fertilizers. 

In the fall of last year, USF researchers sent a glider to what’s called “the epicenter” of red tide—the Gulf of Mexico’s continental shelf. The device helped to measure water movements to determine how red tide blooms were distributed throughout Florida.
USF College of Marine Science

A new study shows that ocean circulation was a major cause of the toxic red tide bloom, which plagued Florida's West Coast for over a year. It expanded up to the Florida Panhandle and circled down around to the East Coast.

A Burmese python was captured in this photo beneath the nest of white ibis in Everglades National Park near Tamiami Trail.
Sophie Orzechowski / UF/IFAS

Researchers say invasive Burmese pythons are threatening wading bird nests in the Florida Everglades. 

The Gulf of Mexico Bryde's whales are genetically distinct. They're a unique subspecies compared to other Bryde's whales worldwide. They have low genetic diversity. It's critical for populations and species to have genetic diversity for survival.
NOAA Fisheries

Members of Congress want the Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whale to be federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Pixabay/heronworks

State wildlife officials are drafting a rule to protect Florida’s native songbirds from illegal trapping. Officers are seeing an increase in bird trafficking for the pet industry.

Southwest Florida Water Management District- Facebook

After 31 years with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Brandt Henningsen has retired as Chief Advisory Environmental Scientist.  

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Patchy toxic blooms have been hanging around the Gulf of Mexico for more than a year now, killing fish and other marine life.

State wildlife officials said this has been the busiest red tide event in recent memory.

FWC website

The latest red tide report shows high concentrations of the toxic algae blooms in Sarasota and Collier counties. This nearly 16-month red tide event has killed more sea turtles than ever recorded.

Respiratory irritation related to red tide was also reported over the past week in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Seabird specialists say that toxic red tide blooms in the Gulf of Mexico affect every species differently. Some shore birds are affected later than others.

Kristen Hare

The holidays are coming up, and a new book shows that Tampa Bay area residents don't have to go too far to get a vacation experience.  

beachesupdate.com

Pinellas County is publishing regular respiratory forecasts for its beaches online, as toxic red tide blooms still linger.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The state's latest report released Wednesday shows red tide blooms are persisting in three regions of Florida. 

Citrus County Sheriff's Office / Twitter

Hurricane Michael's effects are being felt in the Tampa Bay region. WUSF's Jessica Meszaros spoke with Spectrum Bay News 9 Chief Meteorologist Mike Clay about areas of concern.

Pixabay Creative Commons

A Florida group is planning to use settlement money from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill toward projects along the state's gulf coast. It was a collaboration among 23 counties from the panhandle to the Keys.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

State wildlife officials reported this past Friday that elevated levels of the organism Karenia brevis are persisting along Florida's gulf coast, which is creating toxic red tide algae blooms from Pinellas County down to Collier County.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

A toxic red tide algae bloom that’s been persisting in Southwest Florida for nearly a year is now making its way to the Tampa Bay area. It’s been most recently reported as far north as Pinellas County.

This past weekend, beachgoers on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County witnessed thousands of dead fish and other marine life wash ashore from red tide poisoning. 

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF

There’s a village in rural Guatemala where women are selling hand-sewn reusable menstrual pads. It’s a product medical experts say is necessary in some impoverished areas because women and girls cannot afford disposable pads. 

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