environment

Sea-Level Rise
7:46 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Study: Our Water Use Is A Major Cause Of Saltwater Intrusion

Both sea-level rise and our pumping of groundwater contribute to saltwater intrusion. Freshwater is less dense than saltwater and will float on top. But with sea-level rise, saltwater pushes in and seeps into the freshwater aquifer. With withdrawals of groundwater, we lower the level of freshwater so there's less of it keep saltwater out.
Credit US Geological Survey

A study finds that South Florida maybe can’t blame the rest of the world for saltwater seeping into the groundwater, also called saltwater intrusion. 

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Politics
12:10 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Plastic Bags Survive Another Year In Florida

This plastic bag washed ashore tangled in seaweed.
Credit Susan Ford Collins/flickr

"Paper or plastic?" is a question you’ll hear at grocery stores for at least another year because a South Florida lawmaker was unsuccessful in his attempt to help cities cut down on plastic bags.

A bill would prevent places like Publix and Walmart from using plastic carryout bags if local governments wanted to ban them. It would also require stores to provide customers with reusable bags.

Some members of the Senate Environmental Preservation committee didn’t like a provision that would force customers to pay 10 cents to put their groceries in a paper bag.

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Renewable Energy
6:37 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Who Was That Tea Party Lady At The Solar Energy Rally With Charlie Crist?

RALLY IN (AND FOR) THE SUN: Hundreds of students, activists and solar energy entrepreneurs crowded the capitol grounds for Solar Uprising.
Credit Rick Stone

There was an odd moment at the Solar Uprising rally at the state capitol on Thursday, which Charlie Crist attended to be seen championing solar energy for our state.

It was provided by a woman named Debbie Dooley, who addressed the crowd a few minutes before Crist took the stage. What she said was this: "I know I'm unique in this crowd because I like Gov. Scott. But he's wrong on the issue of solar." 

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Sunshine Economy
8:58 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Bittersweet: The Sugar Industry In South Florida

Rick Roth, President of Roth Farms, stands among his sugarcane in Palm Beach County.
Credit Tom Hudson

Talking about sugar in South Florida is like talking about politics and religion in polite company. Few people are without strong opinions about the sugarcane farms stretching across the eastern Everglades south of Lake Okeechobee. The industry is a mix of government price policies, environmental regulations, trade practices and the demand for food.  

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Environment
6:45 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Coping With Climate Change In Greenland

Credit Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Contribution from the Miami Herald

On an inlet nestled between soaring cliffs, huge chunks of ice shimmer from a distance like precious stones on a cocktail ring.

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News
11:21 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Miami Closes Two More Parks Over Potential Soil Contamination

Credit Christine DiMattei

  Two more public parks in Miami are closing after potential contamination was found in the parks' soil.

The city announced Monday that it will close Billy Rolle Domino Park at 3400 Grand Ave. in Coconut Grove, and Southside Park at 100 SW 11th St. near Brickell.

The Department of Environmental Resource Management will collect more samples to determine what's next for the parks.

For the past few months, several Miami-Dade parks have closed because of soil contamination.

In September, Miami-Dade County ordered that all 112 of its parks be inspected.

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Snow In Miami
8:29 am
Tue December 24, 2013

A Snowball's Chance in Hell: What Are The Odds Of A White Christmas In Miami?

The Miami Herald front page from Jan. 20, 1977

This story originally ran Dec. 21, 2012.

Once upon a time, snow fell in Miami.

Seems whenever the weather gets even moderately cold, someone somewhere in South Florida invokes Jan. 19, 1977 -- the day it snowed in Miami.

Not only did the snow make front page news in The Miami Herald, the front page about snow made The Miami Herald Front Pages book

Arnold Markowitz wrote the day's story, the beginning of which reads as follows:

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Friday Business Report
8:08 am
Tue November 19, 2013

What If South Beach Becomes The Next Venice?

Credit Kenny Malone / WLRN

Structural engineers don't necessarily view rising sea levels as certain disaster. By definition, it's the job of the engineer to solve design and construction problems caused by environmental changes.

Business journalist Karen Rundlet examines some proposed solutions for sea-level rise. She interviews the University of Miami's Dr. Antonio Nanni about embracing some unusual possibilities. Click play to hear the interview.

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Elevation Zero
8:05 am
Mon November 18, 2013

For A Future Glimpse Of Sea-Level Rise, Check Out The King Tide

The Ghost of Sea-Level Rise Future? Last month's King Tide had pedestrians wading through knee-deep water in Miami Beach.
Credit Arianna Prothero

Want to see the effects of sea-level rise?  Don’t want to wait 50 years?  Just walk to virtually any coastal area during the natural phenomenon called “King Tide.”

There are plenty of charts, graphs and artist renderings hinting at what South Florida will look like once sea-level rise gets a foothold.  But experts say it’s probably Mother Nature who offers the most vivid preview of things to come.

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Elevation Zero
8:48 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

LISTEN: Sea-Level Rise In South Florida Town Hall

WLRN-Miami Herald News hosted a coastal-communities town hall on Nov. 7 as part of our more-than-weeklong multimedia series on the effects of sea-level rise, called Elevation Zero: Rising Seas in South Florida.

WLRN anchor Tom Hudson moderated the event, which included a panel of U.S. elected officials from East Coast districts gathered to discuss a response to the threat of rising seas. For more details on the premise, click here.

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Elevation Zero
4:00 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Sea-Level Rise Taking The Pines Out Of Big Pine Key

Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Big Pine Key takes its name from the pine forests that cover the island, about 30 miles from Key West. Rare plants and endangered animals — such as the Key deer — live in those forests.

But now the forests and hammocks are threatened by the rising seas around and beneath them.

Robert Ehrig points to a piece of land that was hardwood hammock when he came to live here 35 years ago.

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The Florida Roundup
3:44 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Sea-Level Rise Will Flood South Florida. Now What?

 

On The Florida Roundup, we continue our special coverage, Elevation Zero - Rising Seas in South Florida by looking at the predictions, the policies and the problems.

Host Tom Hudson will be joined by Curtis Morgan of the Miami Herald, Craig Pittman of the Tampa Bay Times, and Alex Chadwick, formerly of NPR and now producer/reporter of BURN: An Energy Journal.

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Elevation Zero
12:11 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Special Programming: 'Rising Seas In South Florida'

Credit Kenny Malone / WLRN

Starting Nov. 7, the WLRN-Miami Herald News staff brought you feature coverage of the effects sea-level rise has on our coastal communities.

Reporting fellow Wilson Sayre produced an hour-long special including the past weeks' feature programming and previously unaired content. The program, "Rising Seas in South Florida," was hosted by WLRN vice-president of news Tom Hudson and aired at noon on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Listen to it here:

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Elevation Zero
8:55 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Sea Level Limbo In The Caribbean: How Low Can You Go?

Map of the Caribbean showing in red the vulnerability of the Western Isles, especially The Bahamas.
Credit Google

The folks in the Bahamas hamlet of Dunmore Town seem blissfully unaware of sea level rise. One resort hotel operator I called in Dunmore, which sits on Harbour Island, dismissed it altogether.

“I was just down at our beachside bar,” she said. “I didn’t notice the sea level rising.” (Yes, she was serious.)

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Elevation Zero
3:24 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Outdated Miami Canals Too Weak For Sea-Level Rise

Credit Balthazira / Flickr Creative Commons

  It’s been more than half a century since flood-control structures such as dams and canals were constructed throughout Florida. Now, with the impact of sea-level rise on the horizon, many of these structures are becoming fragile barriers to keep floodwaters and tidal surge safely away.

Dr. Jayantha Obeysekera is in charge of assessing short- and long-term responses regarding sea-level rise for the South Florida Water Management District. He examines the canal system in Miami's Little River neighborhood, which separates the river from the ocean.

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