environment

Environment
12:07 am
Fri January 23, 2015

The Debate Over Richmond Pine Rockland

Richmond Pine Rockland is located on the 125th block of southwest 152nd street.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Protesters gathered at the Zoo Miami parking lot this past weekend to rally against development on Richmond Pine Rockland that neighbors the zoo. It’s one of the last intact pine rocklands in Miami-Dade County.

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Environment
1:56 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

South Florida Researcher To Sit With Michelle Obama For SOTU Speech

Nicole Hernandez Hammer, Florida Field Manager for Moms Clean Air Force
Credit whitehouse.gov

A South Florida sea-level rise researcher will have one of the best seats in the house for the President’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Nicole Hernandez Hammer of Boca Raton will be one of First Lady Michelle Obama’s invited guests.

Hernandez Hammer says her research shows that cities and regions most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and sea-level rise also have large Hispanic populations.

“Most people don’t know about our vulnerability. That was really eye-opening and encouraged me to go into advocacy,” she says.

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Environment
6:18 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Wilderness Island Attracts Wildlife — And Party Crowd

The sandy beach and serene atmosphere at Boca Grande makes the island attractive to wildlife like sea turtles — and boaters looking for a place to party.
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The islands west of Key West have been designated as a national wildlife refuge since 1908, when Teddy Roosevelt created the Key West National Wildlife Refuge. The intent was to protect birds from plume-hunters who were killing them for feathers to adorn ladies' hats.

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Environment
7:00 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Supporters Want Solar Choice On 2016 Ballot

Solar energy supporters are trying to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot. If they succeed, they’ll need at least 60 percent of the vote for it to pass.
Credit Mike Ray/flickr

A petition drive now underway in Florida would get a solar power amendment on the ballot in 2016. If voters approve the proposal, individuals who use the sun to generate electricity would be able to sell that electricity.

For now, only Florida’s utility companies can do that.

Supporters must collect 683,149 signatures to get the proposal before voters. At least 60 percent of voters must approve the amendment for it to be placed in the Constitution.

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Environment
1:41 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

How To Deal With Florida's Growing Panther Population

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Everglades Coalition wrapped up its 30th annual conference in Key Largo this past weekend. A panel discussion Saturday revealed that Florida’s endangered panthers are actually growing in numbers.

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Science
12:41 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

International Space Station Visible From Miami Thursday Morning

The International Space Station.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Celestially minded Miamians (and anyone else interested) will be able to view the International Space Station (ISS) with the naked eye Thursday morning, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

NASA’s “Spot the Station” widget identifies specific dates and times that the ISS will be visible without a telescope.

These windows, however, are narrow — the next opportunity for viewing the ISS will occur Thursday at 5:47 a.m., and it will only be visible for two minutes.

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News
11:44 am
Fri January 2, 2015

New Year Marks End Of Florida Hurricane Tax Assessment

Credit Flickr/CreativeCommons/tax credits.net

As Floridians ring out the old and ring in the new for 2015, there’s one thing they can say “farewell” to: a tax on their insurance bills that goes toward paying hurricane damage claims.

Insurance policies issued or renewed after Jan. 1, 2015, will no longer include the hurricane tax for the Florida Catastrophe Fund. The charge shows up on most insurance bills including homeowner and auto insurance policies.

But watchdog groups are urging policyholders to check their insurance bills, anyway. 

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Environment
11:34 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Everglades National Park Seeking "Citizen Scientists" For Bird Count

The purple gallinule, one of dozens of bird species spotted in Everglades National Park.
Credit Flickr/CreativeCommons/Bruce Tuten

 

How’d you like to become a citizen scientist and help conservation efforts in the Everglades?

Every other Saturday from Jan. 3, 2015 until late March, Everglades National Park will host its Big Day Birding Adventure.

Novice and experienced birders alike will be asked to spend the day counting birds within the varied habitats of the park -- from freshwater marsh to mangrove swamp.

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Environment
12:45 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Miami-Dade Wants Land Including Rare Forest Declared Blighted

This Bartram’s hairstreak is one of two pine rockland butterflies that were added to the Endangered Species List in September, which also protects their pineland habitat.
Credit Roger Hammer / Miami Herald

To wildlife managers, the pine rockland surrounding Zoo Miami represents what could be a last stand for the embattled forest, the biggest swath found outside the protected confines of Everglades National Park and a rare tract that has withstood the decades-long onslaught of development in South Florida.

But to a Miami-Dade County consultant, the land is a slum.

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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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