Florida Keys

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Development in the Florida Keys has been limited for decades by hurricane evacuation; the state requires that everyone who lives there be able to get out within 24 hours. But that may change under a new program approved Wednesday by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

People in the Florida Keys are still picking up property that got blown around by Hurricane Irma - and the Monroe County sheriff’s office is looking to return one special item that just turned up.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN News

The Avenues neighborhood on Big Pine Key was one of the cheapest places to buy or rent in the Keys for a reason: it has a lot of older ground-level or mobile homes.

When Hurricane Irma crossed the Lower Keys as a Category 4 last September, the Avenues was clobbered.


Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The state is preparing a 1,300-unit rescue to the affordable housing crisis that has gripped the Florida Keys but, to make it happen, it has had to bend some rules that planners say may only make the problem worse.

The governor and Cabinet are expected to hear a report Wednesday on a plan by the governor's Department of Economic Opportunity to allow the development of multi-family housing units for working people throughout the Keys.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Two candidates are vying to be the next Miami-Dade County District 5 Commissioner. Former commissioner Bruno Barreiro resigned the seat in March to run for Congress, leading to a special election last month.

Progressive Eileen Higgins took 35 percent of the May 22 primary, and Zoreida Barreiro, the wife of current commissioner Bruno Barreiro, was close behind with 33 percent. Higgins sat down with Sundial to discuss how she will tackle transit, sea level rise and affordable housing issues in Miami-Dade.

Hurricane Irma moved a lot of things around underwater off the Florida coast. And the storm has revealed new evidence of an old shipwreck off the Florida Keys.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The Florida Keys took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma last September. But as local governments start putting together their budgets for the next fiscal year, they recently got some good news: the property values on the island chain have increased.

Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. George Neugent is the Monroe city commissioner. Stephanie Kaple is the director of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition. Hurricane Season starts June 1 and Sundial talked to Kilngener, Neugent and Kaple about Monroe County post Irma, recovery efforts and preparedness for the upcoming season.

Rosamaria Gonzalez / USDA

A low-tech method is saving a threatened species of bird from getting sucked into jet engines at the Naval Air Station Key West airfield on Boca Chica Key.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

A new program that allows students to provide information anonymously to school officials by text message will be used throughout the Monroe County school system in the fall.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Monroe County has an offer for those who want to return home right away after a hurricane: Take a 32-hour training course and get a special pass that will get you back in the first days after a storm, before the general public.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

There are three hospitals in the Florida Keys — and one of them was critically wounded by Hurricane Irma. Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon has been operating as a field hospital since the storm. Now the hospital’s nonprofit owner is seeking some help from Middle Keys taxpayers to keep it going.

At Mote Marine Lab's Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration in the Florida Keys, Joey Mandara is like a baby sitter. But instead of children he tends to thousands of baby corals, growing in large, shallow tanks called raceways.

Mote has been doing this work for five years, raising corals from embryos into adult colonies, then planting them on Florida's reefs. Now, the emergence of a new, debilitating coral disease makes his work more important than ever.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

There’s been a lot of interest and attention on national politics since the 2016 presidential election. But in the Florida Keys, politics has always served as a form of entertainment.

Creative Commons

As the rainy season returns — along with the disease-carrying mosquitoes that reproduce in standing water — the public is getting another chance to comment on one proposed method for fighting mosquitoes.

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