Kate Stein

Reporter

Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.

Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read. 

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Mac Stone Photography

When it comes to the health of the Everglades, scientists often look to the birds. The healthier the ecosystem, the bigger the populations of wading birds like wood storks, spoonbills, egrets and herons.

Scientists say this year is shaping up to be a very good season for wading bird nesting, on the heels of a 2017 nesting season where some bird populations grew by 50 percent or more.

Kate Stein / WLRN

After Hurricane Irma, some people with low-wage jobs took weeks to recover the costs of supplies and days of missed work. In parts of the Florida Keys, people spent months rebuilding homes and businesses.

Everglades Foundation

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

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

A plan to build a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee was approved by federal budget officials on Tuesday, as part of an effort to reduce blue-green algae blooms on Florida's coasts.

The roughly $1.6 billion dollar reservoir project will now pass from the White House Office of Management and Budget to the U.S. Senate, where it's expected to be funded as part of a water resources bill.

Martin County Health Department

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency for seven counties experiencing blue-green algae blooms, including Palm Beach County.

The blooms are in large part due to water discharges from Lake Okeechobee. They can cause fish die-offs and respiratory irritation in humans. And it's not the first time the foul-smelling blooms have prompted an emergency declaration: in the summer of 2016, at the peak of the July tourist season, the blooms closed beaches and fishing businesses.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

If current sea-level rise trends continue, the ocean that makes many South Florida cities desirable places to live may become an existential threat.

Kate Stein / WLRN

This year, Miami-Dade County's arsenal of mosquito-fighting technology includes traps, spraying backpacks -- and mosquito-eating fish. 

Kate Stein / WLRN

The newspaper headline for August 28, 2019, reads: “Category 5 Hurricane Expected to Hit Homestead, South Miami in Three Days.”

Kate Stein / WLRN

Most business owners in South and Central Florida think renewable energy makes economic sense, according to a recent survey from the Environmental Defense Fund.

The non-profit polled 1,200 business leaders and residents from South Florida and along the I-4 corridor in the central part of the state. Two-thirds of respondents said getting energy from sources like solar and wind is a smart business decision.

Adamfirst via Wikimedia Commons

Traffic, sea-level rise and the Everglades are colliding after Miami-Dade commissioners voted Wednesday to advance a potential expressway extension to state regulators.

The proposal to extend State Road 836 aims to reduce traffic for commuters in the West Kendall area. Driving the 20 or so miles to downtown Miami during rush hour can take an hour and a half -- or more.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

In the next 30 years — about the length of a mortgage cycle — more than 300,000 U.S. homes could experience chronic flooding due to rising seas, according to a report released this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Critics of a Miami-Dade proposal to extend State Road 836 beyond the county's urban development boundary say constructing new highways in South Florida is an outdated solution to traffic problems.

C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

A proposal to extend state road 836 — the Dolphin Expressway — in Miami-Dade County could imperil future funding for Everglades restoration, critics say.

Members of the Hold the Line Coalition, a group of transportation and environment organizations, oppose extending the 836 expressway into wetland and agricultural areas outside Miami-Dade's urban development boundary. The proposed 14-mile expansion is intended to alleviate traffic in the Kendall area by providing commuters an alternative to Florida's Turnpike.

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