Environment

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.

Kate Stein / WLRN

In one of Miami-Dade’s most flood-prone areas, county officials on Thursday night collected public input on what to do about water from storms and and rising seas.

American Dream Miami

The Miami-Dade County Commission voted on Thursday to approve the construction of American Dream Miami, billed as the largest mall project in the United States. The project had drawn vast controversy for the projected impact on traffic in the area, and for building so close to the Urban Development Boundary.

Someone appears to be producing a banned ozone-depleting chemical, interfering with the recovery of Earth's damaged ozone layer, according to a newly published study led by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The illicit emissions are believed to be coming from somewhere in eastern Asia, but nothing else is known about the offender. It's a scientific whodunit — or rather, a who's-doing-it.

Emily Michot emichot@miamiherald.com

Miami Beach won't be elevating new roads anytime soon, after fierce opposition from residents who alternatively insisted their neighborhood didn't flood and therefore didn't need higher streets, or who worried higher streets would send floodwater into their homes.

Neighbors in the city's latest stop on its internationally lauded $500 million plan to pump, pipe and elevate itself away from rising seas fought back from what they say is an unnecessary project — one they say will ruin their property values.

The oceans are getting warmer and fish are noticing. Many that live along U.S. coastlines are moving to cooler water. New research predicts that will continue, with potentially serious consequences for the fishing industry.

Updated at 3:20 a.m. ET Wednesday

A massive ash plume rising from a fissure on Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has caused authorities to issue a red alert for airplanes in the region for the first time since the mountain suddenly ramped up its activity nearly two weeks ago.

What scientists refer to as "vog" — a combination of volcanic gas and ash — reached 12,000 feet into the sky above Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes.

Courtesy Bob Branham

One of Miami Beach's cool new restaurants, a laid-back fish shack named for Biscayne Bay's iconic stilt houses, aims to serve fish so fresh that its celebrity chefs claim much of the catch comes from the docks across the street.

Just one problem: A trophy fish that sport fishermen have long fought to protect wound up on the menu.

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.

Florida Delegation Holds Hearing On Oil Drilling

May 15, 2018

Visit Florida President Ken Lawson and Brig. Gen. Evan Dertien, commander of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, are among scheduled panelists for a Florida congressional delegation hearing Thursday on drilling off the state’s coasts.

Over the past century, Louisiana has lost more than 2,000 square miles of coastline, leaving it more vulnerable to storms, flooding and sea level rise. State officials have been fighting back, building levees, artificial marshes and barrier islands. Now they want to harness the muddy Mississippi River, diverting its sediment-rich waters into shrinking marshes and wetlands.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The threat of sea level rise affects all of South Florida – from the ocean to the Everglades. The sea has risen nine inches in the past century. It’s predicted to rise another two feet in less than half that time.

 

Evidence of the higher seas can be seen around the region – including increased flooding, raising roads, flood pumps and encroaching saltwater.

Delaney Reynolds is an 18-year-old college freshman at University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a climate activist. She's leading a lawsuit introduced by 18 Florida kids and teens against the state and Gov. Rick Scott over climate change, Reynolds v. State of Florida.

They’re suing him with help from the Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust.

Danny Hwang / WLRN News

South Florida moms celebrated Mother’s Day by hosting a panel discussion about climate change resilience, calling it a "Mama Summit."

The moms, who represent a group called Moms Clean Air Force, told government officials they share a concern for a sustainable future.

Karina Castillo is the Florida Field Consultant for the group, a national community of over one million parents working to combat air pollution and climate change. She emphasized the importance of local community engagement against climate change.

Climate change is a growing threat to national security and a concern for the military. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said climate change is already impacting global stability.

Guests for Sundial for Wednesday, May 9, 2018. 

Leonard Pitts is a nationally syndicated columnist, and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. He spoke to Sundial about his recent columns about Sen. Marco Rubio including one, “What, exactly, do you stand for, Sen. Rubio? It’s hard to tell.” He shares how he feels about challenging politicians.

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