environment


UPDATE: If you think you've spotted  a New Guinea flatworm in your area, the recommendation is to not touch it, take a picture of it and report it to state wildlife officials at 888-IVE-GOT1.

An invasive flatworm could potentially threaten wildlife, and even people in Southwest Florida. The New Guinea Flatworm was first found in the state near Miami more than a year ago. Now, they’ve popped up in Cape Coral, and most recently, Sanibel Island. 

Nara Souza / Florida Fish and Wildlife Commision

The Everglades Foundation is set to kick off a $10 million prize to spur new technology that might offer a solution to toxic algae blooms like the one now affecting the Treasure Coast.

Algae blooms are typically caused by runoff from large-scale agriculture or sewage, which can leach large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus into fresh water. Erik Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, shares the goals and potential impact of a technology that could reduce harmful runoff in the Everglades and beyond.

What is the George Barley Prize? 

Scientists found blue-green algae again in Southwest Florida waters this week. The toxic algae has been plaguing beaches on the east coast for weeks now.  Experts say this could get worse on both coasts now because of the summer heat.

The toxic blue-green algae plaguing the Treasure Coast has inspired people to take action against one of Lake Okeechobee's largest pollutants: Big Sugar. Last week, a surf shop in Stuart started a petition asking Publix to stop buying from Florida Big Sugar.

 

“Publix is a Florida-owned company so it's got to be affecting them, the owner, in some way,” said Brent Meinhold, one of the managers of Ohana Surf Shop.

 

A massive bloom of blue-green algae has hit four southern Florida counties, blanketing beaches in foul-smelling muck and raising health and environmental concerns.

Protestors gathered Friday in Stuart near the private land visited by Senator Marco Rubio during his tour viewing areas hit by the algae.
Jill Roberts

This week on The Florida Roundup...

New details are emerging about the horror inside the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando. Transcripts of police communications also raise questions about the  law enforcement response. Why is it important to understand the police decisions involved, and what do these records indicate?

Listen here: 

Key West Wildlife Center

  Least terns are having a banner breeding year in Key West.

That's good news — the seabirds are listed as threatened by the state of Florida.

But it also means more young birds are falling from the rooftops where many least terns nest.

Miami Herald

Florida Power & Light has until June 24 to provide a plan to the state Department of Environmental Protection to stop the saltwater plume that originates in the cooling canals at its Turkey Point nuclear power plant in South Miami-Dade.

On Monday, state Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami-Dade,  told the South Florida Regional Planning Commission that it was important for people from throughout the region to weigh in and make sure the fix gets done right. 

Florida Fish And Wildlife Commission

  The boat that ran into a patch reef off Key West recently left without reporting the grounding. But it left some pieces behind.

"Essentially, this is a hit-and-run on the coral," said Sean Morton, superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. "We're on the lookout for a very large boat that is missing one prop and has probably a very large dent and damage to the hull on the front."

Logan Fazio

On a scorcher of a day at the beach, there's almost nothing like reaching into your cooler or a beach bag and taking a swig out of an ice cold water bottle.

But if they're plastic, all those little bottles add up.

It's estimated that 60 million plastic bottles are used in the United States every day, with many of them going unrecycled and ending up in landfills and in the ocean. But in Miami-Dade, a non-profit is enlisting the help of some old-fashioned technology in the fight against plastic waste: the water fountain.

How do you teach kids about ecology when the natural world is shrinking around them?

In fast growing Florida, one solution is to take environmental studies outside the walls of a classroom.

It's not just the Gators that will kill you in Florida…. Turns out the plants will too.

This summer the 2017 Guiness Book of World Records will come out. And, for the sixth year in a row, it looks like a native tree of Florida will take the title of the world's most dangerous tree. 

Spanish conquistadors dubbed the fruit of Florida’s Manchineel tree the Manzanita de la Muerte or ‘the little apple of death.’ One bite can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding, digestive tract damage or possibly kill you.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

  Key deer were almost hunted to extinction. By 1950, as few as 25-50 of the animals were left.

But the creation of the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key and protection under the Endangered Species Act have led to a comeback. The most recent population study estimates the herd at 900 to 1,000.

"They are truly one of the success stories of conservation," said Adam Emerick, a refuge biologist who gave an update on the Key deer to the Monroe County Commission this week.

Is Floatopia Aftermath To Blame For Beach Litter?

Apr 20, 2016
Barbara Corbellini Duarte

Floatopia is a biannual Miami Beach floaty party that's now causing trouble with Beach officials who say the event leaves behind too much of a mess.

 

The event, which was brought to Miami in 2012 by a group of anonymous volunteers, is organized through social media. Floatopia began in California in 2004 and also takes place in Palm Beach County.

 

Leonardo DaSilva/Flickr

A sea change has taken place at SeaWorld.

The company announced Thursday it will end captive breeding of its orcas. Animal rights’ activists have called the decision a positive step. But they also say SeaWorld could go farther.

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