In South Florida, where the Everglades meet the bays, environmental challenges abound. Sea level rise threatens homes and real estate. Invasive species imperil native plants and animals. Pesticides reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, but at what cost? 

WLRN's award-winning environment reporting strives to capture the color and complexity of human interaction with one of the most biodiverse areas of the planet.

Tom Wrasse is at his hunting shack alone. Light pours into the small room from a window framed by antlers, harvested from the surrounding central Wisconsin woods. On the opposite wall is a collage of fading photos, showing how big the hunting parties out here used to be.

Sudan, the world's last male northern white rhinoceros, died in Kenya on Monday, leaving his species one step closer to extinction, even as a group of scientists undertake an unprecedented effort to try to keep this animal from vanishing entirely.

Florida is increasing its solar power installations faster than almost any other state in the nation, according to a new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association.

No more computer models or projections. Finally – concrete data.

A scientific paper published in February may pave the way for a new conversation about rising sea levels using data instead of projections.

A bill approved by the Legislature allows utilities to pump treated sewage into Florida’s aquifer system.

Most state residents get their drinking water from the aquifers.

The measure is aimed at boosting the state’s over-tapped aquifers.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

In the southern part of the Sunshine State, solar energy is trending.

Wikimedia Commons

Forget the Easter bunny. In South Florida, spring means sea turtles.

Three types -- leatherbacks, loggerheads and green sea turtles -- lay their eggs on beaches along Florida's coasts, typically between March 1 and Oct. 31. It's exciting for conservationists, scientists and outdoor enthusiasts. But it also means South Florida residents need to take extra precautions to ensure vulnerable hatchlings make it safely to the ocean.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Palm Beach County's designated natural areas are off the agenda at Tuesday's commission meeting.

The 34 public sites are used for hiking, biking, fishing and environmental education. In two years, there may not be any money left for maintenance. Commissioners had planned to discuss an item related to funding at their regularly scheduled meeting this week.

A watchdog groups say Florida is on pace for another record year for manatee deaths.

Allen Eyestone, Palm Beach Post

The South Florida Water Management District announced Thursday that its board has approved handing off a design for a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to its federal partner.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will now begin reviewing the tentatively selected reservoir plan which, in conjunction with a state restoration strategies plan, provides 350,000 acre-feet of above-ground storage.

Some of the worst flooding during this past weekend's East Coast storm happened during high tides.

Shoreline tides are getting progressively higher. A soon-to-be-published report obtained by NPR predicts a future where flooding will be a weekly event in some coastal parts of the country.

Citing Student Safety, FIU Wants To Open Access Road Through A Nature Preserve

Mar 4, 2018
Handout Scott Galvin

Florida International University's sprawling Biscayne Bay Campus has one serious problem, President Mark Rosenberg said— there's only one way in and one way out. And complicating the issue, he said: There are three public schools on the only access road that adds to the traffic.

“We are sitting on a very dangerous situation,” he said Sunday, referring to what would happen if there is an emergency situation and people had to evacuate along 151st Street. “My highest priority is student safety.”

Kate Stein / WLRN

Palm Beach County's prized natural areas -- protected areas of dunes, wetlands, scrub and flatwood forests -- could lose money for maintenance in the next few years because of changes to funding sources.

Mark Hedden / markhedden.com

Is there anything more Floridian than a flamingo?

They’re everywhere. Pink plastic ornaments dotting lawns. On cocktail swizzlers and motel signs.

Real, live Flamingos occasionally show up in the Everglades. A couple years ago a big flock showed up in a Palm Beach County stormwater treatment area. But the official story is that these birds don't belong here. That Florida's flamingos were all hunted out of existence back in the 19th century.

Urban Wetlands To Clean Polluted Storm Water

Feb 14, 2018
Tom Hudson / WLRN

Every time it rains, storm water drains throughout South Florida pick up a slick admixture of gasoline, soot, detergent, fertilizers and other contaminants as the runoff flows through the human-dominated landscape.