environment

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.

Regulators Asked To Reject FPL Nuclear Request

Aug 18, 2015
FPL.com / Courtesy

Florida Power & Light received pushback Tuesday from South Florida officials and other critics as it requested $34.2 million from customers to continue planning a pair of nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point complex in Miami-Dade County.

The request, if approved by the Florida Public Service Commission in October, would place the cost for new nuclear power at 34 cents on a typical residential customer's monthly bill in 2016.

Miami Herald

When you think of oil production in the U.S., it's perhaps along with images of oil wells in Texas or North Dakota, maybe Alaska. It's not something associated with travel logs of Florida.

Yet, there is oil drilling in the Sunshine State -- about 2 million barrels a year. And that is truly a drop in the bucket compared to the total amount of oil consumed in this country on a daily basis.

Miami-Dade Pine Rockland Designated "Critical Habitat"

Aug 17, 2015
Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Monday that more than 2,700 acres of pine rockland in South Miami-Dade will be designated as a “critical habitat” for two endangered plants.

These two plants — Florida brickell-bush and Carter’s small-flowered flax — can only be found in south Miami-Dade County.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

People who fish and dive love it when the winds are light and the seas are calm.

Coral reefs, not so much.

That's because calm seas means sunlight can penetrate better and heat up the water. When sea temperatures pass a 30.4 degrees Celsius average for a month — that's 86.72 degrees Fahrenheit — corals start to bleach.

The corals expel the zooxanthellae, or symbiotic algae that gives them their colors.

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