Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Governor Rick Scott spoke to reporters with a caged Florida panther present Tuesday at Gator Park in Miami. He announced that $150 million will go toward Everglades restoration this year and $5 billion throughout the next 20 years. Part of the plan he announced funds projects to protect panthers-- 2014 was a bad year for panther deaths. The other part is to move, clean and store Florida’s water supply.

Amber Ernst-Leonard / Florida Keys Community College

Florida Keys Community College, the state’s southernmost institution of higher education, has recently formed a new partnership with Mote Marine Laboratory. Mote is headquartered in Sarasota and has six facilities throughout the state, including one on Summerland Key.

Mote scientists will teach courses at the college, and FKCC students will apprentice at the marine lab, giving them real world experience.

Miami Forager Wants To Hand Out Free Fruit Trees

Jan 26, 2015
Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

Recently, the Knight Foundation released the finalists for its first Knight Cities Challenge.


The foundation was looking for proposals to make more than two dozen communities around the country better places to live and work, and 10 of the 126 finalists come from Miami.

Tiffany Noé is one of those finalists. She owns a small urban farm in Miami called the Little River Cooperative.

Her idea is to provide the public with free fruit trees.

The Debate Over Richmond Pine Rockland

Jan 23, 2015
Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Protesters gathered at the Zoo Miami parking lot this past weekend to rally against development on Richmond Pine Rockland that neighbors the zoo. It’s one of the last intact pine rocklands in Miami-Dade County.


A South Florida sea-level rise researcher will have one of the best seats in the house for the President’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Nicole Hernandez Hammer of Boca Raton will be one of First Lady Michelle Obama’s invited guests.

Hernandez Hammer says her research shows that cities and regions most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and sea-level rise also have large Hispanic populations.

“Most people don’t know about our vulnerability. That was really eye-opening and encouraged me to go into advocacy,” she says.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The islands west of Key West have been designated as a national wildlife refuge since 1908, when Teddy Roosevelt created the Key West National Wildlife Refuge. The intent was to protect birds from plume-hunters who were killing them for feathers to adorn ladies' hats.

Mike Ray/flickr

A petition drive now underway in Florida would get a solar power amendment on the ballot in 2016. If voters approve the proposal, individuals who use the sun to generate electricity would be able to sell that electricity.

For now, only Florida’s utility companies can do that.

Supporters must collect 683,149 signatures to get the proposal before voters. At least 60 percent of voters must approve the amendment for it to be placed in the Constitution.

How To Deal With Florida's Growing Panther Population

Jan 12, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

Everglades Coalition wrapped up its 30th annual conference in Key Largo this past weekend. A panel discussion Saturday revealed that Florida’s endangered panthers are actually growing in numbers.

Wikimedia Commons

Celestially minded Miamians (and anyone else interested) will be able to view the International Space Station (ISS) with the naked eye Thursday morning, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

NASA’s “Spot the Station” widget identifies specific dates and times that the ISS will be visible without a telescope.

These windows, however, are narrow — the next opportunity for viewing the ISS will occur Thursday at 5:47 a.m., and it will only be visible for two minutes.

Flickr/CreativeCommons/tax credits.net

As Floridians ring out the old and ring in the new for 2015, there’s one thing they can say “farewell” to: a tax on their insurance bills that goes toward paying hurricane damage claims.

Insurance policies issued or renewed after Jan. 1, 2015, will no longer include the hurricane tax for the Florida Catastrophe Fund. The charge shows up on most insurance bills including homeowner and auto insurance policies.

But watchdog groups are urging policyholders to check their insurance bills, anyway.