Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

With Governor And Legislators In Denial, This Tiny Florida Town Tries To Adapt To Climate Change

Jul 9, 2018
Isaac Babcock

This report, part of an FCIR series on climate change, was produced in partnership with WMFE, the NPR member station in Orlando. The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit news organization supported by foundations and individual contributions. For more information, visit

YANKEETOWN, Florida – While Florida state government bans the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in official business, this coastal fishing village of about 500 people and more water than dry land is being swallowed by the sea with almost no public attention or concern.

But town officials here are fighting back with some success.

Protests heated up outside the Statehouse in Tallahassee Friday over allegations that state employees can’t use the terms “climate change” and “global warming.” 

The claims resurfaced yesterday after Florida Division of Emergency Management head Bryan Koon avoided using either term in his response before a Senate panel about federal dollars to combat climate change.

Governor Scott denied the allegations at a press conference today in Orlando.

In the wake of a Florida Center for Investigative Reporting/WUSF News investigation, the federal agency that monitors worker safety has revealed it is investigating the illness of a U.S. postal worker.

Former postal worker Jeffrey Lill  says he became sick after coming into contact with a mysterious package from Yemen at an Orlando distribution facility.