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environment

By Erin O’Brien

Last March, the World Economic Forum and Treepedia ranked Tampa as the leading city in the world in the amount of green space and trees. A new law signed this week by Gov. Ron DeSantis might threaten the status.

William Kemerer, Pat Gerard, and Josie Rocco accept checks on behalf of Brooksville, University Area in Tampa, and Pinellas County.
Adam Bakst / WUSF Public Media

Three Tampa Bay area communities will be able to make improvements thanks to their share of almost a million dollars in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Lealman community in Pinellas County, the University Area in Tampa, and the city of Brooksville will each receive $300,000 to clean up contaminated properties and develop community projects.

Florida lawmakers finished the 2019 legislative session Saturday by passing a budget for the upcoming year.

Environmentalists Wary Of Bleak Florida Forever Budget

Apr 29, 2019

As negotiations for the state’s yearly budget get closer and closer to a resolution, one line item has environmentalists shaking their heads.

The initial offer for funding Florida’s premier land acquisition program, Florida Forever, is less than half what some expected going into budget negotiations.

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.

The average person buys 60% more clothing items than 15 years ago, but only keeps them for about half as long.
CanStock Photo

Around 60% of clothing made around the world ends up destroyed or in landfills within a year of production. The sustainable fashion movement is highlighting the dark side of the industry.

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. 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A group of scientists from states bordering the Gulf of Mexico met in St. Petersburg Wednesday to figure out ways to deal with health problems coming from red tide and oil spills in the Gulf.

Lawmakers are pushing forward with plans to continue carving up millions of dollars voters more than four years ago directed to be spent on land and water protection, despite environmentalists’ concerns about the way the money is being used to help the Indian River Lagoon and Apalachicola Bay.

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.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar meets with environmental leaders and activists in Tampa on March, 10.
Ashley Lisenby / WUSF Public Media

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, says lawmakers cannot afford to ignore the environmental impacts of rising temperatures.

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.

Mayor Rick Kriseman delivers State of the City address at Palladium Theater in downtown St. Petersburg.
Ashley Lisenby | WUSF

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman left several controversial issues out of his State of the City address over the weekend at Palladium Theater.

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.

An 18-wheeler spins its tires through snowy mud on an undeveloped well-pad in the Powder River Basin. In the bitter morning cold, workers in black overalls and face masks move gravel where oil tanks will soon stand.

New research shows the number of butterflies and caterpillars in North Florida has been declining substantially over the last decade or so.

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. 

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.

Call it much-needed traffic relief for Kendall residents or the "Everglades Snakeway" -- but it's on its way to completion.

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.

Federal documents show a University of Florida research unit killed more than 150 birds in the past 10 years to protect plant science work.

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. 

Florida is leading the way in new energy alternatives, but also lagging behind on some major efficiency standards.   

Supreme Court To Weigh FPL Environmental Costs

Jul 24, 2018

A battle is playing out at the state Supreme Court about whether customers of Florida Power & Light should pay for an environmental clean-up project in Miami-Dade County.

More than 100 people answered the call from local students to march through downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday asking for action on climate change. 

'This Is Zero Hour' is a national climate change awareness and action campaign, but a group of recent graduates from American Heritage in Plantation organized a local campaign march that began in Esplanade Park. 

Judge Refuses To Leave Conservation Funding Case

Jul 19, 2018

A Leon County circuit judge this week refused a request by legislative leaders for his disqualification from a case about whether the state has properly carried out a 2014 constitutional amendment backed by environmental groups. 

A man who championed Everglades restoration and inspired decades of Florida conservationists died Wednesday during a fishing trip, according to his family.

Florida’s wildlife agency will be holding a lionfish summit in the Fall. The goal is to find more ways to get rid of the spiny invasive species plaguing state waters.

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