environment

Tucked into a slice of the western Florida Panhandle is one of the rarest ecosystems in the world. The Coastal Dune Lakes are where fresh water lakes occasionally mix with the salty surf of the Gulf of Mexico.  April 2 , WUSF TV will air the premiere of a documentary of this unique ecosystem, Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast.

 

Five years after the BP oil spill, the environmental impacts are still being felt.

According to a report released Monday by the National Wildlife Federation, animals such as dolphins were found dead at four times the historic rates in 2014. The group believes the oil spill may be to blame.

"Bottle-nosed dolphins in the places most-affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are very sick, their pregnancies are failing, and they're dying in large numbers," said Ryan Fikes, a restoration scientist with the National Wildlife Federation.

Nearly 1,000 miles in 70 days -- that's how long a trio of wildlife enthusiasts are traversing the state, from Central Florida to the Alabama state line. 

Michelle Budny

Florida Atlantic University held its fifth annual Broward Student Research Symposium at the Davie campus Friday. One student presenter found the Carolina willow, a native but invasive Florida plant, could dry up the state’s marshes. 

Termites are among the world's most destructive pests, causing more than a billion dollars in damage each year in the U.S. alone. Scientists in Florida have tracked the development of a new hybrid species of termite — one whose colonies grow twice as fast as the parent species.

Researchers say the new "super-termite" is even more destructive than other species and may carry a significant economic cost.

Paul/Flickr

A product made from cannabis could become one of Florida’s top crops: A bill in Tallahassee would allow Florida farmers to grow hemp.

Robert Clayton finished construction last year on a house made of hemp in Tarpon Springs. It’s thought to be the first of its kind in Florida. He testified at a Senate hearing about his research for the Hemp Industries Association.

Kenny Malone

One way Miami Beach might prepare for the threat of rising sea levels is to elevate the whole city.

“The only tried and true solution to combating rising sea levels is to raise with it,” says Eric Carpenter, public works director for the City of Miami Beach.

As the city celebrates its centennial, the top-level engineer and Miami Beach resident spoke with WLRN about how sea-level rise will affect the city’s next 100 years.

Amendment 1 Spending Plan Lands Mixed Reviews

Mar 19, 2015

Florida's natural springs would get $50 million, the Kissimmee River is in line for $30 million, and a wastewater plan for the Florida Keys is up for $25 million, under a newly released House proposal that would help carry out a voter-approved increase in conservation dollars.

Miami's Coast Is Getting A Natural Face-Lift

Mar 18, 2015
Lisann Ramos

Several South Florida municipalities have been making efforts in coastal restoration.

The city of Miami approved major projects on that front in 2010. It did so in an attempt to implement natural solutions to sea-level rise. 

Conservationists are in the process of removing invasive plant species in beach dunes that cause coastline erosion. They are also installing plants that allow dunes to grow and better absorb water.

FL Center for Environmental Studies

A leader must possess imagination. -- Omar Nelson Bradley, Army General, World War II, Korean War

Military leaders depend on imagination. Conflict can spring up anywhere in the world, so leaders must be thinking about every possible scenario, every consequence on action taken or not taken. And that's what a group of retired admirals and generals are asking of political leaders: Have imagination. Consider all the possible consequences of climate change and its impact on the national security of the United States.

Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

In Tallahassee, Florida counties and cities are battling over $700 million of Amendment 1 funds for this year’s legislative session. Palm Beach County is applying for a cut of that to continue restoration of Lake Worth Lagoon, the county’s largest estuary.

Palm Beach County has requested $3.3 million of Amendment 1 funds for Lake Worth Lagoon. Canal water and rainwater spill into the lagoon, polluting it.

In Florida, Officials Ban Term "Climate Change"

Mar 9, 2015
FCIR

The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according to scientists. Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years.

But you would not know that by talking to officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the state agency on the front lines of studying and planning for these changes.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Edoardo P. (https://flic.kr/p/ahTj37)

Swimmers beware: Miami-Dade County is having trouble holding its water.

The deluge over the weekend bathed the region in as much as eight inches of rain in some areas. But near Oleta River State Park, the flooding brought some badwater.

The North District Wastewater Treatment Plant overflowed, releasing about five million gallons of partially treated wastewater into the waters around the park.

Maul Lake, Sand Spur Island, and Biscayne Bay waters inside Haulover Inlet were also potentially affected.

Lawmakers Wade into Amendment 1 Details

Feb 27, 2015

New rules for Florida waters will be one of the first bills the House takes up when the legislative session gets underway.

But don't expect that all aspects of a voter-approved initiative to conserve water and land will sail smoothly through the 60-day session that begins March 3.

As House members and senators hammer out new rules and new funding levels required by the initiative, known as Amendment 1, a wide array of suggestions has poured in from Gov. Rick Scott, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, environmentalists and business lobbyists.

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