environment

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...

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 M anzanita de la M uerte or ‘the little apple of death.’ One bite can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding, digestive tract damage or...

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. Still, the deer face...

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. The first Miami Floatopia of the year took place on Saturday. That night Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco posted a video on his Facebook page...

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. Jeff Geragi founded Miami’s Animal Activists Network. Almost every Sunday for the past six years, he’s protested outside Miami’s Seaquarium, which has one orca. He says both the Seaquarium and SeaWorld should retire the orcas they currently have in captivity. "We...

Mac Stone Photography

Roseate spoonbills may not appear in plastic as lawn ornaments — but they are up there with flamingos as one of Florida's iconic birds. They're the other pink birds. Scientists from the National Audubon Society and Audubon Florida have been studying the spoonbill population of Florida Bay since 1939. First it was to determine whether the birds could come back from plume hunting in the late 19th century. Eventually the birds did make a comeback. But they've struggled in recent...

Anti-fracking Rallies: A Response to Oust Local Bans

Feb 1, 2016
Caitlin Granfield / WLRN

Anti-fracking rallies were held across the state over the weekend after the Florida House voted to prohibit local municipalities from placing their own bans on the controversial drilling practice. Fracking could take place in the Sunshine State as early as next year. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will first conduct $1 million study of the potential environmental and human health impacts of fracking. The new bill says fracking companies won’t have to disclose the chemicals...

Hear the audio version of this story. Researchers are concerned about another nonnative species moving into Florida waters. Schools of the regal damselfish now live in coral reefs on the western side of the Gulf of Mexico. The fish are not harmful, but they could be a nuisance.

Former Florida Governor Bob Graham wants Governor Rick Scott to veto a bill lawmakers say would rescue the state's troubled waterways. Scott is expected to sign the bill tomorrow. But Graham says the bill would weaken protection of Florida’s water resources. The former governor joins environment groups opposing the bill and sent Scott a letter detailing his disapproval.

In the Florida Everglades alligators are in trouble. The reptiles are scrawny, weighing 80 percent of what they should. The alligators grow slower, reproduce less and die younger. Researchers are trying to understand why the Everglades' iconic species is in decline and what it means for the ailing river of grass.

Pointing to increased numbers of manatees and improved habitat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday it wants to change the status of the sea cows from endangered to threatened.

One of the most contentious environmental issues facing state lawmakers in the upcoming session is what to do with Amendment 1. That mandated a large pot of tax money be used to buy and protect environmentally-sensitive land. But just how that money should be used is muddying the political waters.

New Water Policy Expected To Flow In Session

Dec 30, 2015
Earl Leatherberry/flickr

A statewide water-policy proposal is poised for the House and Senate floors early in the upcoming legislative session. It would set water-flow levels for the state's natural springs and guidelines for the Central Florida Water Initiative, a regional water-supply planning effort. The plan is a top priority of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, and is expected to quickly pass both chambers. But Putnam hasn't forgotten that last session, the House and Senate...

Wikimedia Commons

Arborists climbed to the top of a 2,000-year-old bald cypress tree in Seminole County Monday. They gathered clippings from the soaring cypress known as Lady Liberty as part of an effort to clone some of the world’s oldest trees and rebuild depleted forests. The idea is to rebuild forest using the genetics of the world’s sturdiest trees. Jake Millarch of the Archangle Ancient Tree Archive was one of three arborists who climbed Lady Liberty to gather clippings. “It just gives you a different...

Pages