everglades

Martin County Health Department

Florida’s Senate President-elect Joe Negron announced Tuesday he’ll seek state lawmakers’ approval for a $2.4 billion plan to store water south of Lake Okeechobee.

 

The plan would require the acquisition of about 60,000 acres of land in an area mostly occupied by sugar growers and farmers. The goal is to reduce Lake Okeechobee water outflows that have contributed to the growth of blue-green algae on Florida's east and west coasts.

wetlands
A. Duarte via Flikr / WLRN

It’s been nearly a year since a Miami-based family applied for a permit to build an exploratory oil-drilling well right on the fringes of the Everglades, outside of Miramar, generating an uproar in the community. 

Nevertheless, the Kanter family proceeded with the petition and it could be approved as early as late summer or early fall. 

Snakes and lizards and crocodiles, oh my!

All of these creatures, which include Burmese pythons and carnivorous lizards, have turned up in Florida in recent years, sparking concerns about possible damage from invasive species and questions about how the nonnative animals came to be in the state.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Fishing guide Tad Burke is right at home on the water. It takes him less than an hour in his skiff to get from his neighborhood boat ramp in Tavernier to Rankin Key. That's a mangrove island just off the ragged southern edge of the mainland.

What Burke sees worries him.

"This used to be one of my favorite areas to fish," he said. This place used to be loaded with snook and redfish and tarpon laying off the edge of the flats out here. Now it's an area I wouldn't even consider stopping in."

Tom Hudson

The mix of organizations and agencies involved in the Everglades is about as complex as the ecosystem itself: the South Florida Water Management District, the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, the federal departments of transportation, justice and agriculture and the Miccosukee and Seminole tribes are just some of them.

 

The Man Behind The New Everglades Forever Stamp

Apr 15, 2016

The National Park Service is turning 100 this year. To celebrate, the Postal Service created a set of Forever Stamps showcasing 16 national parks. One of them is Everglades National Park. 

The photographer of the Everglades stamp is Miami native Paul Marcellini. We spoke with Marcellini about the immortalization of his photograph. 

Can you tell me about your history with the Everglades?

Mac Stone Photography

  Roseate spoonbills may not appear in plastic as lawn ornaments — but they are up there with flamingos as one of Florida's iconic birds. They're the other pink birds.

  Scientists from the National Audubon Society and Audubon Florida have been studying the spoonbill population of Florida Bay since 1939. First it was to determine whether the birds could come back from plume hunting in the late 19th century.

Creative Commons via Flickr
Dale (https://flic.kr/p/fML4tK)

It will come as no surprise to anyone with a window that it has been raining a lot more than usual this time of year in South Florida. That has a lot to do with El Nino, which has affected weather patterns across the globe.

The result is lots of rainwater in Lake Okeechobee,  where water levels have been higher than usual. In response, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been draining a larger than normal volume of water from the lake, where the water level usually falls naturally during the dry season, which runs November through May.

The reason this matters is twofold.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

  Almost 30 years ago, a seagrass die-off in Florida Bay led to massive algae blooms in the famous fishing grounds that form the southernmost end of Everglades National Park.

The collapse of the bay, and its impact on the recreational and commercial fishing industries of South Florida, helped garner support for Everglades restoration at the state and federal levels.

 

 

It feels like a high-speed chase west on the ironically named Dolphin Expressway, veering south on what follows as a seamless string of highway on the "Palmetto," the Don Shula Expressway and the Ronald Reagan Turnpike, all certifiable assaults on the nervous system.

www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice

10/07/15 - Join us for Wednesday’s Topical Currents, when we revisit the status of the Florida Everglades after decades-long efforts to restore natural water flow and habitats to Florida’s unique ecosystem. 

Bob Krist / Florida Keys News Service

Everglades National Park has released its first new management plan since 1979. The plan, which should take effect in about 30 days, includes some new rules. That includes rules for Florida Bay, the estuary at the south end of the park.

Florida Bay is a famous fishing ground. In one of the plan's biggest changes, more than 100,000 acres will be set aside as "pole and troll" zones — areas where boats could not use motors. The aim is to protect the shallow seagrass beds from propeller scarring.

Roberto Koltun / El Nuevo Herald

Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit this week -- with the state legislature as their target. The coalition claims lawmakers shortchanged environmental spending in this year's budget, going against the will of the voters.

The coalition is made up of the Florida Wildlife Federation, the St. Johns Riverkeeper and the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida. These groups claim lawmakers put millions of dollars that should go to buying land for conservation efforts, and used it for expenses not allowed by Amendment 1.

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.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

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