environment

Coral
3:02 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Study Shows South Florida Soft Corals May Withstand Climate Change

Researchers at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science are studying how coral grow under different conditions of climate change.
Credit Jenny Staletovich / Miami Herald Staff

As the oceans absorb more carbon on a planet increasingly choked by greenhouse gases, scientists worry its reefs — the great storm-deflecting rampart for much of the tropics — will crumble and fall.

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Environment
4:28 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Endangered Turtles To Swim Free After Stay In Keys Hospital

Turtle Hospital Manager Bette Zirkelbach checks the heart rate of a Kemp's ridley sea turtle. The hospital has treated and released nine of the critically endangered turtles, which were stunned by cold in New England and shipped to Florida for recovery.
Credit Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

Nine Kemp's ridley sea turtles have been released from the Turtle Hospital in Marathon and will be returned to the sea off northern Florida's Atlantic coast.

They are part of a group of 193 Kemp's ridley turtles sent to Florida from New England last month, after an early cold snap caught them before their annual migration south.

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Politics
4:24 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Jobs, Education, Tax Cuts Top Priorities In Gov. Rick Scott's Second Term

Gov. Rick Scott greets supporters at a campaign event at Orlando Harley-Davidson in November.
Credit Scott For Florida

Gov. Rick Scott’s inauguration is less than a month away. Scott is only the second Republican governor in Florida history to win reelection. Jeb Bush was the first.

Scott told reporters at the Capitol this week he'll focus on education and tax cuts, as well as growing jobs during his second term. 

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lobster casitas
5:43 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Lobster Casitas Get Thumbs Down From State

Spiny lobster are Florida's most valuable fishery, with $50 million in landings annually. Commercial divers would like to use casitas to help catch them, but trap fishermen and state regulators oppose the move.
Credit Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

For years, divers looking for lobster in the Florida Keys knew that the best place to find them was under some sort of shelter, whether a rock or something more artificial like a car hood.

John Coffin, who owns a marine salvaging business in the Lower Keys, said he got into using "casitas," or little houses, to find lobster in the late 1970s.

"It was a huge secret. I would never dive with another person," Coffin said. Still, even before GPS, other divers started following him around.

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Entrepreneurship
8:48 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

In Miami, A Hub For Green Product-Makers

Founder of EcoTech Visions Pandwe Gibson stands near raised garden beds at the incubator's North Miami-Dade location.
Credit Nadege Green / WLRN

EcoTech Visions is tucked away in a nondescript mall between the busy Northwest Seventh Avenue corridor and I-95.

Pandwe Gibson, founder of the shared space for green manufacturers, is directing workers on last minute preparations for EcoTech's Nov. 20 grand opening.

In this space, eco-friendly entrepreneurs -- or eco-preneurs -- will grow and expand their businesses. They will collaborate where possible and create jobs for the surrounding community.

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Environment
7:28 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Miles Off Key West Roams The Loneliest American Crocodile

Cletus, the sole American Crocodile to live at Dry Tortugas National Park.
Credit Mark Hedden

You shouldn’t name a crocodile or ascribe it human emotions. It’s not a pet. It’s a wild and primitive creature with a lot of very sharp teeth and a crazy powerful jaw.

But that didn’t stop anyone from naming the sole crocodile living at Dry Tortugas National Park.

Cletus. That's what most people on the park staff call the croc. A few call him Carlos. No one remembers why.

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Environment
5:52 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Scientist to Watch Scott's Climate Stance in Second Term

Eckerd College Marine Science Professor David Hastings

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 2:07 pm

One of the scientists who spoke with Governor Rick Scott about climate change watched election results from the party for losing candidate Charlie Crist.

Eckerd College marine science professor David Hastings said when he and four other scientists met with Scott in August, the governor didn’t react much to his concerns about rising sea levels. But Scott told him he was open to fixing some of the problems.

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Amendment One
6:21 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

On Environmental Funding In Florida's Constitution, Support Not Partisan

Amendment One is officially known as the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative. Environmental preservation under the amendment would be funded for the next 20 years by 33 percent of the revenue from a real estate transaction fee known as a doc stamp.
Credit Emma_L_M/flickr

Florida voters will decide whether environmental preservation becomes part of the state Constitution. Amendment 1 is a citizens’ initiative born from nearly a million petition signatures.

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Miami
9:40 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Miami Commissioner Proposes Five-Cent Plastic Bag Fee To Fund Anti-Poverty Plan

Credit Owen Byrne / Flickr Creative Commons

Miami city commissioners are trying to figure out a citywide anti-poverty plan and how they would fund the program.

Two months ago, at the urging of Commissioner Keon Hardemon, the city set aside $1.2 million into a poverty trust during its budget process. Hardemon represents the most impoverished district in the city which includes Overtown, Liberty City and Little Haiti.

On Friday morning, Hardemon, Commisioners Francis Suarez and Marc Sarnoff and about a dozen city staff members took part in a roundtable discussion about an anti-poverty strategy.

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Environment
6:01 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Look Up! It's Turkey Vulture Time In South Florida

A turkey vulture soars into South Florida.
Credit Shawn Carey / Courtesy of Keith Bildstein

We may not get the brilliant reds and yellows of leaves changing to signal a switch of season in South Florida, but there is, without question, a definite visual cue that autumn has arrived in the lowest of the lower 48.

All you have to do is look up.

In the air, circling and gliding, dipping and soaring, hopping on a thermal current for a rollercoaster ride, are the turkey vultures.

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Environment
8:45 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Florida Clean Energy Report Shows State Falls Short Of Its Potential

The Florida Solar Energy Center is a research institute of the University of Central Florida, located on a 20 acre research complex on Florida's Space Coast at UCF's Cocoa satellite campus.
Credit http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/ / Florida Solar Energy Center

A coalition of energy partners has published a census of renewable energy jobs in Florida.

The coalition includes: the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy, the Florida Chapter of Energy Services Coalition and Environmental Entrepreneurs or E2, an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Environment
6:13 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Climate Change Worsens Coastal Flooding From High Tides

Cindy Minnix waits for a bus in a flooded street on Oct. 18, 2012, in Miami Beach. A changing climate is making floods related to high tides more frequent, scientists say.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 9:58 am

A wave of high tides is expected to hit much of the East Coast this week. These special tides — king tides — occur a few times a year when the moon's orbit brings it close to the Earth.

But scientists say that lately, even normal tides throughout the year are pushing water higher up onto land. And that's causing headaches for people who live along coastlines.

As Bob Dylan might have put it, the tides, they are a changin'.

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Climate Change
5:19 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

White House Environmental Expert Sees Hope Amid Sea-Level Rise

Sea-level rise is the Southeast's big climate-change threat.
Credit David Burdick/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National, state and local leaders recently gathered in South Florida to discuss climate change at the Southeast Florida Climate Leadership Summit Program. Mike Boots, director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, was the keynote speaker.

Boots is also chair of a new task force on climate preparedness. While he was here, he toured parts of South Florida to see firsthand what could be ground zero for issues like sea-level rise.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

What are the real threats of climate change to this region?

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News
11:13 am
Tue October 7, 2014

'Blood Moon' Eclipse To Be Visible Throughout U.S.

A "blood moon" captured on the night of Jan. 20, 2000.
Fred Espenak NASA

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:59 pm

If you missed the total eclipse of the moon in April, you might have another chance: On Wednesday morning, the second of four lunar eclipses this year and next will occur.

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Environment
5:13 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Amid The Summit Climate-Speak, Plain Talk Stood Out

Credit Southeast Florida Regional Compact

Absorbing the material at the sixth annual Climate Leadership Summit was a lot like trying to drink from a fire hose. There was a lot of information, much of it technical, dense and very detailed.

The two-day event was a series of expert deep dives into hydrology and re-insurance and risk management.

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