environment

Protesters Rally Against Upcoming Bear Hunt

Oct 20, 2015
Audrey Armitage

  Dozens of protesters gathered at Lummus Park in Miami Beach on Saturday in opposition to the statewide bear hunt set to take place Oct. 24-30. Organized by a network of volunteers called “Stop the Bear Hunt,” the rally was one of many protests happening across the state.

Florida Roundup: Managing Rising Seas In South Florida

Oct 16, 2015
Climate Central

A new interactive map shows coastal cities like Miami could potentially be submerged within this century if carbon emissions worldwide continue “business as usual,” says Ben Strauss.

Strauss is vice president of sea level and climate impact at the research nonprofit Climate Central, which published the map.

It illustrates the effect of carbon emissions on sea-level rise through the year 2100.

In South Florida’s case, “the projections are difficult and unfortunate,” says Strauss.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Manatee season starts in November and there will be one more member in the herd swimming the waters around Fort Lauderdale.

A 500-lb. manatee named Piper, roughly a year old, was released back into the wild Wednesday by the crew who rescued and cared for her.

Piper was named for the pipes she swam through, getting stuck in a concrete pump drain near downtown Fort Lauderdale, where was found in May.

It’s been 20 years since Florida’s last bear hunt, and environmentalists opposed to the hunt are seeking volunteers to monitor hunters, to make sure everything is being done by the books.

Speak Up Wekiva is seeking volunteers to photograph vehicle license plates of hunters to ensure those hunters are permitted to participate.

The Argentine black and white tegu is one of the newest, biggest threats to Florida’s natural wildlife. The large, invasive lizard was first noticed in the wild roughly 10 years ago. Now, it has two main breeding populations and biologists are trying to contain them. They want to stop tegus from becoming established throughout the state.

Judge Affirms Florida Bear Hunt

Oct 2, 2015

A judge has ruled Florida's first bear hunt in two decades may proceed later this month. The judge ruled against environmentalists who argue the hunt will damage the population of the animal that was removed from the state's threatened list in 2012.

Judge George Reynolds' decision came after the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission appeared to shift its stance on a rule environmentalists had complained about.

Representatives of the state agency testified its executive director can end the hunt after the first day if its goal of 320 slain bears is met. Reynolds was satisfied.

Jim Sadle / National Park Service

  Even though a possible federal government shutdown was averted when Congress passed a bill to fund the government through Dec. 11, just the possibility still meant that one federal agency had to cancel an operation planned for the Florida Keys this week.

"We got shut down because of the potential shutdown," said Chris Eggleston, acting refuge manager for the Florida Keys. "They didn't want to start anything that would potentially make them work through the shutdown."

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Volkswagen has now admitted that it misled everyone by equipping about 11 million diesel cars with a device to cheat emissions tests.

Lisa Lowrance owns one of those cars—a 2013 Black Volkswagen Beetle TDI—and has filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in Florida against the German-based car company.

Lowrance bought the car after a long search for an eco-friendly vehicle that didn’t compromise on performance. Like the rest of the world, she found out her car was not  eco-friendly when the story broke online and in the news.

Environmentalists suing the state over the upcoming bear hunt are urging a judge to step in and stop the hunt before it starts next month. Speak Up Wekiva and activist Chuck O'Neal filed the motion in Leon County.

The motion disputes the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's claim that hunt rules will limit the number of slain bears to 320, pointing to a rule allowing hunters to kill an unlimited number of bears in the first two days of the hunt. That, they say, doesn’t protect the bears from over harvesting.

Researchers say sea turtles rebounded from a slump last year to deliver one of the strongest summer nesting seasons on record on beaches from the Carolinas to Florida.

Wildlife officials have approved the killing of 320 black bears next month during the state’s first bear hunting season in more than 20 years.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation commissioner is seeking a permit that would give her and other landowners legal coverage if they were to kill or harass endangered animals while developing thousands of acres in eastern Collier County.

The land includes habitat for the Florida panther. The commission helps oversee the species’ rebound.

This comes as the agency rethinks its role in the panther’s recovery plan. Some environmental organizations worry about the state’s timing.

Jessica Meszaros / WGCU

 

Local volunteers snorkeled Pine Island Sound recently to count scallops. It was the sixth annual Great Bay Scallop Search in Lee County. Scallop numbers were so low in the 1980s,  it caused a local fishery to close. Now, Florida Sea Grant is checking to see if those numbers are bouncing back.

Disease Threatens FL Roses

Aug 24, 2015

Florida’s $20 million rose industry is threatened by a disease that’s devastating the flower across the Eastern United States.

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