environment

Environment
4:00 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Florida Defends Land Sales; Sites In The Keys Removed From List

Credit Randy Grau / myfwc.com

Numerous parcels within the Florida Keys have been removed from the list of state-owned properties under consideration for a massive sale to help fund future land-conservation efforts.

The announcement Thursday from the state Department of Environmental Protection came as Susan Grandin, director of the Division of State Lands, defended the overall proposal to sell targeted acres of conservation lands to raise money for the purchase of more critical sites.

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Politics
11:38 am
Thu September 12, 2013

After Questions, Gov. Rick Scott Cancels $25,000 Alligator Hunt Fundraiser

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks during a Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Summit at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida on Thursday, August 22, 2013.
Credit STEPHEN M. DOWELL / MCT

Gov. Rick Scott decided that using live alligators as fundraising bait wasn’t such a great idea after all.

Without explanation, Scott’s re-election campaign on Tuesday abruptly called off a planned “private gator hunt” in New Smyrna Beach on Oct. 18 for donors willing to pay $25,000 a head. The invitations said: “Space is limited.”

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Environment
11:27 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Massive Molasses Spill Devastates Honolulu Marine Life

An image from video shot by diver Roger White for Hawaii News Now shows how the molasses spill has affected the water in part of Honolulu Harbor and killed many creatures.
Hawaii News Now

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:20 pm

"Everything down there is dead."

That's one stunning quote from Hawaii News Now's latest report about the devastating damage that's been done to the marine life off Honolulu's Sand Island by 233,000 gallons of molasses that were spilled into Honolulu harbor on Monday.

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Environment
4:50 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Florida Bans Importing Deer From Out-Of-State

Credit cwd-info.org

In an effort to keep a potentially fatal disease from decimating the state's deer population, Florida is immediately closing its borders to the importation of out-of-state deer.

The ban comes as a number of deer farmers have reportedly ramped up importation to increase their stocks because of the expected prohibition.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday unanimously agreed to prohibit the importation of deer and other cervids in an attempt to keep Chronic Wasting Disease from reaching the state's deer population.

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Hurricane Season
2:47 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

This Is What It Sounds Like To Be In A Category 5 Hurricane

Hurricane Andrew in 1992 was the last Category 5 hurricane to hit the continental U.S.
Credit NOAA / Satellite and Information Service

 

We're now more than halfway through the Atlantic hurricane season and -- knock on wood -- no Atlantic hurricanes yet. Depending on how long this continues, 2013 stands a chance of setting a record for "Latest First Atlantic Hurricane" in history.

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Environment
10:39 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Bald Eagles Are Back In A Big Way — And The Talons Are Out

Bryan Watts, a conservation biologist at the College of William and Mary, and biology graduate student Courtney Turrin, survey eagle behavior along the James River in late-summer.
Elizabeth Shogren NPR

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 8:48 pm

"It's a jungle if you're an eagle right now on the Chesapeake Bay," says Bryan Watts, a conservation biologist at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. "You have to watch your back."

Americans have long imagined their national symbol as a solitary, noble bird soaring on majestic wings. The birds are indeed gorgeous and still soar, but the notion that they are loners is outdated, Watts and other conservationists are finding.

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Environment
3:23 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Two Alligators Topping 720 Pounds Each Caught In Mississippi

Beth Trammell of Madison, Miss., poses with the 723.5-pound alligator she and five others caught over the weekend.
Ricky Flynt Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Department

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 6:24 pm

Two alligators, each weighing more than 720 pounds, were caught in Mississippi this past weekend, setting a new state record for heaviest male alligator. Both animals measured more than 13 feet in length; it took hours to get the trophies into the hunters' boats.

The huge reptiles were brought down on the same day, setting a state record that stood for less than two hours before it was broken again.

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Americas
9:54 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Ecuador To World: Pay Up To Save The Rainforest. World To Ecuador: Meh.

An aerial view of the Yasuni National Park, in Ecuador's northeastern jungle.
Dolores Ochoa AP

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 7:04 pm

The government of Ecuador has abandoned a plan that would have kept part of the Amazonian rainforest off limits to oil drilling. The initiative was an unusual one: Ecuador was promising to keep the oil in the ground, but it wanted to be paid for doing so.

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Water Policy
2:33 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Gov. Scott Announces $90 Million Everglades Plan In Ft. Myers

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 10:25 am

Gov. Rick Scott was in Fort Myers Wednesday surrounded by state, local and federal officials to discuss his plan to deal with the escalating water quality problems in Southwest and Southeast Florida due to ongoing water releases from Lake Okeechobee.

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Environment
4:38 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Sen. Nelson: We Need A New Floodgate Policy For the Everglades

Commissioner Ron Bergeron of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stands in almost four feet of water in the Florida Everglades to show the hazardous high water levels.
Credit Patience Haggin

This year’s heavy rainfall has sent water levels in the Everglades to their highest level on record for this time of year.

The high water has caused animals to take refuge on a few tree islands, where they are more vulnerable to predators.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission are calling for emergency action to have the floodgates opened immediately to lower the water levels in the conservation area of concern.

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Environment
12:10 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Where The Whale Sharks Go

A whale shark dives near the surface in waters off the coast of Mexico.
Marj Awai Georgia Aquarium

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 3:17 pm

Of all the creatures in the sea, one of the most majestic and mysterious is the whale shark. It's the biggest shark there is, 30 feet or more in length and weighing in at around 10 tons.

Among the mysteries is where this mighty fish migrates and where it gives birth. Now scientists have completed the biggest study ever of whale sharks, and they think they have some answers to those questions.

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Environment
11:20 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Tourist Dies Of Shark Attack In Hawaii, Part Of Alarming Rise

As reports of shark attacks have risen, Hawaiian officials announced a plan Tuesday to study the sharks' movements. A German tourist who had been attacked in Maui last week died Wednesday.
Oskar Garcia AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:22 pm

A German tourist in Hawaii who was attacked by a shark last week has died of her injuries, according to hospital officials in Maui. Jana Lutteropp, 20, lost her arm in the attack during a snorkeling trip last Wednesday. She is the first person to die from a shark attack in Hawaii in more than nine years.

After Lutteropp was attacked less than 100 yards from the coast at Palauea Beach, she was helped by Rick Moore, a California high school teacher who plunged into the surf to swim her back to shore.

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Environment
4:34 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Hurricane Season A Bust? Not So Fast

Hurricane Sandy
Credit FlickR/NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Almost halfway finished, the 2013 hurricane season has been a breeze in Florida.

But Craig Fugate, the federal government's top emergency manager, looks at things a little differently. His question: "Have we started playing college football yet?"

Fugate and Bryan Koon, director of the state Division of Emergency Management, held a news conference Wednesday to reinforce the message that Florida is just entering the thick of hurricane season in late August and September --- which, coincidentally is when college football starts.

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Climate Change
8:34 am
Tue August 20, 2013

How Extreme Australian Rains Made Global Sea Levels Drop

Heavy rains in Australia in 2010 and 2011 flooded farmland and homes, like these in the Queensland state town of St. George, seen here on Feb. 7. 2011.
Sally Nicol Rigney AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 9:19 am

Global sea level has been rising as a result of global warming, but in 2010 and 2011, sea level actually fell by about a quarter of an inch.

Scientists now say they know why: It has to do with extreme weather in Australia.

The sea level drop coincided with some of the worst flooding in that continent's history. Dozens of people died and torrents washed away houses and cars, forcing thousands from their homes.

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People
10:07 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Veterans Build New Army Of Divers In Shark-Infested Waters

Sgt. Sergeant Stephen Jackel dives for the first time with two prosthetic legs off the coast of West Palm Beach.
Credit Operation: Blue Pride

Once a warrior always a warrior.

For Sergeant Stephen Wayne Jackel Jr., who walks on two metal prosthetics below the knees - he’s found a new army to join after retiring from the United States Army at 34 years old. 

“We aren’t concerned about the army we’re going to build, it’s how long its going to take to build that army,” said Jackel Jr. 

That army being raised is not land-based brigade but a group of undersea soldiers, with severely injured veterans leading the way.

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