3:44 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Evangelical Group Seeks Action On Climate Change In Florida

NASA says the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets contain three-quarters of earth’s fresh water. A total melting of those ice sheets would raise the sea level by approximately 250 feet.
Credit KEENPRESS Photography/flickr

The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has taken up the cause of climate change in Florida. The national group claims 600,000 members or supporters around the country with more than 100,000 of them in Florida. It's funded by donations and grants.

EEN is part of the Floridians for Solar Choice coalition, which is pushing a constitutional amendment that would allow Floridians to buy electricity directly from someone other than a utility company.

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6:35 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Five Years On, USF Researchers Revisit Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon burns after the wellcap blew out April 20, 2010
C-IMAGE Consortium

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:21 am

On April 20, 2010, a wellhead a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil platform.

In the subsequent leak, more than 200 million gallons of oil spilled out. On the Gulf’s surface, the oil covered up to 68-thousand square miles – an area roughly equal to the size of Florida.

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6:32 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Pres. Obama Emphasizes Effects Of Climate Change But Some Demand More Action

President Barack Obama spoke about the risks the Everglades faces because of climate change. The president quoted Marjory Stoneman Douglas: "There is no other Everglades in the world."
Credit Daniel Ducassi

President Barack Obama visited the Everglades last week to commemorate Earth Day and to talk about the risks climate change poses to South Florida, the nation, and the world. 

"If we don't act, there may not be an Everglades as we know it," the president said.

The president also used the opportunity to chide Governor Rick Scott for his administration’s unofficial ban of the phrase "climate change."

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8:55 am
Mon April 27, 2015

The Budget Battle In The Sunshine Economy

Florida's regular legislative session is due to end May 1. Lawmakers are not expected to have agreed to a new budget by then. They have until July 1 to come to a compromise.
Credit flguardian2 / Flickr Creative Commons

  Two big financial questions remain unanswered as the state Legislature enters its last days of the 2015 regular session – how will Florida's government spend money on health care and the environment?

Billions of dollars are on the line.

The dual debates over Medicaid and Amendment 1 are not linked except for the disagreement between Republicans, who control both houses of the Legislature, over how much money to spend on the health of Floridians and Florida's environment.

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Climate Change
12:48 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Chalk And Rising Seas Combine In Delray Beach

Volunteers begin to draw the chalk line along Frog Alley in Delray Beach.
Credit Lisann Ramos

If you took a stroll through Delray Beach this weekend, you may have noticed a white chalk line on certain sidewalks and roads.

Along three neighborhoods in Delray Beach a group of volunteers pushed a field marker to release three lines of chalk. Each line spans three miles.

The chalk was drawn on the line where scientists project floodwaters will reach in the next major storm. In Delray Beach that’s four feet above sea level.

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12:37 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Former Environmental Secretary Sees Lawmaker 'Hostility' Toward Land Acquisition

Amendment 1 dedicates money for the state to buy protected land, restore Florida’s natural springs and clean up the Everglades.
Credit lolo35352000/flickr

Florida voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1 last November. The citizen-led initiative is also known as the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. It sets aside 33 percent of the revenue from documentary stamps - a real estate transaction fee - for the next 20 years to fund environmental protection.

The fees are worth $750 million next year. But the Florida Legislature is dragging its feet on setting rules to divvy up the funds.

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Invasive Snakes
12:48 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Florida Wildlife Officials Order A New Python Hunt

A student holds a Burmese python from just behind its jaw during a Python Patrol training class at Tree Tops Park in Davie, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. The free class teaches how to safely and humanely capture the invasive snakes.

Florida wildlife officials are hosting another snake hunt, but they don't want to call it a hunt. It's the Python Challenge. It's not likely to put much of a dent on the growing population of the invasive species, but that doesn't mean the event will be a failure.

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4:31 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

President Obama Visits The Florida Everglades

Credit Jenny Staletovich / Miami Herald / Twitter

EVERGLADES--This was President Obama's first trip to the Everglades. In a speech that lasted about 15 minutes, the president reiterated his administration's stance on preserving fresh water and reducing carbon emissions.

Seemingly in response to Florida Gov. Rick Scott's purported ban on the phrase "climate change," the president said, "(climate change) can't be edited out." Gov. Scott has denied any such ban exists.

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9:03 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Everglades Bike Path Is Not Final, But Protesters Want Planning To Stop

R.O.G.G. protesters walking on the levee parallel to Tamiami Trail where the bike path may be built.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

The River of Grass Greenway (ROGG) is a proposed 75-mile bike path that would connect Miami to Naples. The Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department is heading up the project with other partnerships.

About 30 protesters of ROGG walked along the path recently-- from County Road 92 in Collier County to the Miccosukee Resort and Casino in Miami-Dade County over the course of five days, walking about 15 miles each day. The proposal is still in its earliest stage, but local protesters want to stop it dead in its tracks.

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9:42 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Florida National Parks Face Millions in Delayed Maintenance Costs

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 9:22 am

The National Park Service recently released a list of how much delayed maintenance projects cost for parks around the country.

In Florida, the amount comes to almost $192 million. At Everglades National Park, operators are trying to figure out what to do as that number grows.

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6:40 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Protecting Florida's Rare Coastal Dune Lakes

Sunset at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
Steve Newborn WUSF News

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 5:31 pm

Tucked into a slice of the western Florida Panhandle is one of the rarest ecosystems in the world. The Coastal Dune Lakes are where fresh water lakes occasionally mix with the salty surf of the Gulf of Mexico.  April 2 , WUSF TV will air the premiere of a documentary of this unique ecosystem, Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast.


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5:24 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Report: Wildlife Still Feeling Impact from BP Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig after the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 7:56 pm

Five years after the BP oil spill, the environmental impacts are still being felt.

According to a report released Monday by the National Wildlife Federation, animals such as dolphins were found dead at four times the historic rates in 2014. The group believes the oil spill may be to blame.

"Bottle-nosed dolphins in the places most-affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are very sick, their pregnancies are failing, and they're dying in large numbers," said Ryan Fikes, a restoration scientist with the National Wildlife Federation.

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12:43 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Florida Matters: FL Wildlife Corridor Update From The Shores of Apalachicola Bay

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 12:55 pm

Nearly 1,000 miles in 70 days -- that's how long a trio of wildlife enthusiasts are traversing the state, from Central Florida to the Alabama state line. 

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11:20 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

FAU Research Student Finds Carolina Willow Could Dry Up Florida Marshes

Carolina Willows encroaching on sawgrass in St. Johns River marshes.
Credit Michelle Budny

Florida Atlantic University held its fifth annual Broward Student Research Symposium at the Davie campus Friday. One student presenter found the Carolina willow, a native but invasive Florida plant, could dry up the state’s marshes. 

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5:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

'Super-Termite' Could Be Even More Destructive Than Parent Species

The male Asian subterranean termite (brown abdomen) and the female Formosan subterranean termite (orange abdomen) are surrounded by their hybrid offspring (eggs, larvae, workers, soldiers) in an eight-month-old colony.
Thomas Chouvenc University of Florida

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 3:19 pm

Termites are among the world's most destructive pests, causing more than a billion dollars in damage each year in the U.S. alone. Scientists in Florida have tracked the development of a new hybrid species of termite — one whose colonies grow twice as fast as the parent species.

Researchers say the new "super-termite" is even more destructive than other species and may carry a significant economic cost.

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