environment

Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority

The Florida Keys rely on the state for help with big-ticket environmental projects like central sewers and buying land. The island chain is an Area of Critical State Concern and is under a state mandate to clean up nearshore waters by replacing septic systems and cesspits.

Three Things To Know This Hurricane Season

Jun 19, 2015
NASA/Rob Gutro / Flickr

For five months each year, the warm climate that makes Florida famous creates the ideal conditions for storms to brew. Florida hasn’t been directly hit by a hurricane in 10 years, and roughly two weeks into hurricane season the tropics seem quiet. So far.

Still, residents and emergency responders alike must be prepared for any extreme weather. Representatives from Florida Power and Light, the National Hurricane Center and the Department of Public Safety recently met in West Palm Beach to discuss what’s expected this hurricane season and what residents need to know to stay safe.

Earl Leatherberry/flickr

Florida voters passed Amendment 1 last November, and funding to carry out the amendment was considered a priority when lawmakers went into the regular session in March. The amendment is also known as the Water and Land Conservation Initiative.

For the next 20 years, the amendment requires that one–third of the revenue from a real estate tax known as documentary stamps goes toward environmental preservation.

Mark Hedden / WLRN

A 33-year-old Big Pine Key man faces a third-degree felony charge after state wildlife officers say he shot and killed an endangered Key deer because it was eating his plants.

Big Pine Key, an island about 40 miles northeast of Key West, is part of the National Key Deer Refuge. The refuge was created in 1957 to protect the diminutive deer, which had been hunted to the extent there were an estimated 55 left.

Flickr/mathias appel

Should chimpanzees -- humanity's closest living relatives in the animal kingdom -- have the same rights that you do?

A South Florida attorney says they should.  And while Steven Wise hasn't gotten a judge to agree with him yet, he did get a New York State Supreme Court justice last week to admit that the idea was "extremely interesting and well argued."  

KEENPRESS Photography/flickr

The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has taken up the cause of climate change in Florida. The national group claims 600,000 members or supporters around the country with more than 100,000 of them in Florida. It's funded by donations and grants.

EEN is part of the Floridians for Solar Choice coalition, which is pushing a constitutional amendment that would allow Floridians to buy electricity directly from someone other than a utility company.

On April 20, 2010, a wellhead a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil platform.

In the subsequent leak, more than 200 million gallons of oil spilled out. On the Gulf’s surface, the oil covered up to 68-thousand square miles – an area roughly equal to the size of Florida.

Daniel Ducassi

President Barack Obama visited the Everglades last week to commemorate Earth Day and to talk about the risks climate change poses to South Florida, the nation, and the world. 

"If we don't act, there may not be an Everglades as we know it," the president said.

The president also used the opportunity to chide Governor Rick Scott for his administration’s unofficial ban of the phrase "climate change."

flguardian2 / Flickr Creative Commons

  Two big financial questions remain unanswered as the state Legislature enters its last days of the 2015 regular session – how will Florida's government spend money on health care and the environment?

Billions of dollars are on the line.

The dual debates over Medicaid and Amendment 1 are not linked except for the disagreement between Republicans, who control both houses of the Legislature, over how much money to spend on the health of Floridians and Florida's environment.

Chalk And Rising Seas Combine In Delray Beach

Apr 27, 2015
Lisann Ramos

If you took a stroll through Delray Beach this weekend, you may have noticed a white chalk line on certain sidewalks and roads.

Along three neighborhoods in Delray Beach a group of volunteers pushed a field marker to release three lines of chalk. Each line spans three miles.

The chalk was drawn on the line where scientists project floodwaters will reach in the next major storm. In Delray Beach that’s four feet above sea level.

lolo35352000/flickr

Florida voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1 last November. The citizen-led initiative is also known as the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. It sets aside 33 percent of the revenue from documentary stamps - a real estate transaction fee - for the next 20 years to fund environmental protection.

The fees are worth $750 million next year. But the Florida Legislature is dragging its feet on setting rules to divvy up the funds.

DANIEL BOCK / FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Florida wildlife officials are hosting another snake hunt, but they don't want to call it a hunt. It's the Python Challenge. It's not likely to put much of a dent on the growing population of the invasive species, but that doesn't mean the event will be a failure.

President Obama Visits The Florida Everglades

Apr 22, 2015
Jenny Staletovich / Miami Herald / Twitter

EVERGLADES--This was President Obama's first trip to the Everglades. In a speech that lasted about 15 minutes, the president reiterated his administration's stance on preserving fresh water and reducing carbon emissions.

Seemingly in response to Florida Gov. Rick Scott's purported ban on the phrase "climate change," the president said, "(climate change) can't be edited out." Gov. Scott has denied any such ban exists.

Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

The River of Grass Greenway (ROGG) is a proposed 75-mile bike path that would connect Miami to Naples. The Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department is heading up the project with other partnerships.

About 30 protesters of ROGG walked along the path recently-- from County Road 92 in Collier County to the Miccosukee Resort and Casino in Miami-Dade County over the course of five days, walking about 15 miles each day. The proposal is still in its earliest stage, but local protesters want to stop it dead in its tracks.

The National Park Service recently released a list of how much delayed maintenance projects cost for parks around the country.

In Florida, the amount comes to almost $192 million. At Everglades National Park, operators are trying to figure out what to do as that number grows.

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