environment

Florida's Orange Crop In 'Free Fall'

Dec 9, 2015
Mark Elias / Bloomberg via Miami Herald

The outlook for production of Florida oranges, the state's signature crop, continues to drop. For the second consecutive month, the Florida orange-harvest forecast for the 2015-2016 growing season was adjusted down Wednesday by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "It's essentially in free fall," Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Wednesday while outlining some of his priorities for the 2016 legislative session. Among those priorities,...

President Obama is telling global leaders that the U.S. is taking the lead on combating climate change. But Congress would have to approve any money for the effort and Republicans are dead set against it. South Florida Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart says the president knows he's deceiving world leaders. “This is a president who seems to be, every day, more and more out of touch with the reality of the world. And so, you know, would it surprise me if the president went and promised things he...

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve sits in the middle of St. Petersburg as an oasis of sorts. Many nights, night air fills the park with sounds of chirping crickets and rustling leaves, as trees sway in the wayward wind. But one night last month, f ive local experimental musicians positioned at various points along the hiking trail joined in, creating soundscapes inspired by the landscape.

The composer John Luther Adams calls himself " deeply, deeply Alaskan ." That's where the 62-year-old lived almost his entire adult life, and he still has his cabin in the woods where he's written so much of his music. But now he and his wife split their time between an apartment in New York City and a house in Mexico right next to the Pacific Ocean. Mexico is where he wrote "Become Ocean," which won the Pulitzer Prize last year and a Grammy Award this year. It's the centerpiece of a program...

As COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, kicked off in Paris, roughly 20 people gathered outside of the French Consulate in Brickell on Monday to show support for a legally binding international agreement on climate change. Environmental groups 350 South Florida and the Miami Climate Alliance organized the rally. “We want to raise public awareness about the importance of this and stand in solidarity with the people all over the world demanding climate action now,” said Sam Van...

Noel Lopez Fernandez

Remember what the Matt Hooper character says about sharks in the 1975 Steven Spielberg film “Jaws”? “What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine,” says Hooper, played by Richard Dreyfus. “It's really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that's all.” Sharks are the bad boys of the deep, to be sure. So why would sharks swimming in Cuban waters need protection? “We really haven’t regulated shark fishing very much,”...

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

On Wednesday, South Florida will go through another King Tide. Not sure what to expect, except maybe closed roads and cars on flooded streets. Miami Beach is trying to get ahead of the problem, which is a consequence of rising seas. The city is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on pump stations, higher roads and seawalls. But Mother Nature will not be stopped, and we can pretty much say goodbye to our city. That's what a report by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...

National Park Service centennial birthday cake.
Alyssa Méndez Batista

The National Park Service turns 100 years old next year. To celebrate, Miami-Dade County partnered with award-winning photographer Clyde Butcher to showcase some of South Florida’s national parks in photographs throughout Miami International Airport. In the South terminal, a gallery of black-and-white photographs highlights different landscapes from the Everglades, Biscayne National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve. “Florida is a pretty place. I mean, it’s unique,” says Butcher while...

FWC

Fifty-seven species of fish and wildlife are so rare or face such threats that they are considered "imperiled" by the state of Florida . Now the state has 49 action plans aimed at protecting those species. Some, like several species of wading birds , share the same habitat so they're covered under the same plan. One plan calls for stabilizing shorelines and removing exotic plants to provide nesting areas for brown pelicans. Another would set up trapping and testing programs to evaluate the...

The United States and Cuba signed an agreement Wednesday to join forces and protect the vast array of fish and corals they share as countries separated by just 90 miles (140 kilometers), the first environmental accord since announcing plans to renew diplomatic relations. "We recognize we all share the same ocean and face the same challenges of understanding, managing, and conserving critical marine resources for future generations," said Kathryn Sullivan, chief of the U.S. National Oceanic...

Florida Gets Bad Grade On Climate Change Risk Preparedness

Nov 18, 2015

A new study released on Wednesday says the Sunshine state needs to do its homework to prepare for weather threats linked to climate change. It gave Florida an overall C- grade in climate change preparedness. The study by ICF International and Climate Central is the first assessment of its kind that evaluates how local governments in the U.S. face their climate change threats. These threats were divided into five categories: extreme heat, drought, wildfires, inland flooding and coastal...

Animal rights activists applauded SeaWorld's plans to end its orca shows at its San Diego park but said the company should phase out its captivity of killer whales altogether.

Sammy Mack / WLRN via Giphy

There’s a plot of land behind the swimming pool at Deerfield Beach High where science teacher Kelly Caputo points to a cluster of trees out in a field. “You can see five large Australian pines,” says Caputo. “And as beautiful as they are, they’re non-native — they take up a lot of space, water — and if we do get heavy winds, they’re probably going to create a lot of damage.” Australian Pines are an invasive species in Florida. They grow up to 90 feet tall. They grow fast. They topple easily....

Florida's controversial statewide bear hunt ended after the second day after a higher than expected number of bears had been killed with 295 bears taken overall, nearing the official limit, Florida Wildlife officials announced in a statement issued online Sunday evening.

State Makes Gains Against Fruit Flies in S. Florida

Oct 23, 2015

Florida is on the way to eradicating the largest outbreak of Oriental fruit flies in the state's history, an agriculture official told a Senate panel Tuesday. Since Aug. 26, a record 165 of the voracious insects have been found in part of Miami-Dade County that is mainly agricultural land, with an estimated 2,000 growers, nurseries and other businesses affected. The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has responded with a series of measures --- including aerial spraying...

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