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.

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.

Courtesy

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.

A state board in California has approved a proposal to require solar panels on all new homes beginning in 2020, a measure that would increase the cost of new construction but provide savings on utilities — and help the state meet ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

California, which is routinely a leader in environmental regulatory efforts, would be the first state in the country with such a requirement. Several cities, including San Francisco and South Miami, Fla., have residential solar panel requirements.

United States Department of Agriculture Firest Service.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are asking Floridians to help with a five-year review of 35 endangered or threatened fish, wildlife, and plants.  

These species are found in the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico.

Ken Warren, a spokesperson for the Service said they're looking for information on where species are located, how many live there, and what threats they may face.

Corpus Christi Caller-Times via Miami Herald

With nesting season opening this week, Florida's sea turtles may face yet another threat from the plastic pollution choking the world's oceans.

According to a new study from Florida State University researchers, tiny, sesame seed-sized microplastics in sand could be heating up beaches and changing the balance of male and female sea turtles. Researchers sampling sand at loggerhead nesting sites along the Gulf Coast found the beads at every location they tested, with the concentration higher in dunes where turtles nest.

Amanda Rabines / WLRN News

Mosquito season has officially arrived in Florida, although many would argue it never left.

That perception may soon become reality, according to new studies that show the higher temperatures brought on by climate change are already increasing the range and biting season for many mosquitoes, including the Aedes aegypti — the infamous carriers of viruses like dengue and Zika, which hit Miami hard enough in 2016 to scare off many tourists.

BP Settlement Money Starts Flowing To Panhandle

Apr 30, 2018

BP settlement money is headed to new water and sewer lines for an industrial park, technical-education programs in two counties and expansion of the Port of Panama City.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Days after eight kids sued the state of Florida for policies they say contribute to climate change, a coalition of environment groups has launched a statewide campaign to get Floridians engaged on the issue.

Florida does not have to change its system for restoring the voting rights of felons -- for now.

Some of the first sea turtle nests of 2018 are already being discovered by Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Patrol. That’s right. The turtles are coming.

But it isn’t unusual for sea turtle nesting season to begin early, which officially runs May 1 to Oct. 31.

Researchers in Florida received funding from the federal government to restore seagrasses in the Gulf of Mexico. The goal is to protect about 30 acres of the sea floor, and repair about half of that.

It’s Nesting season for Florida’s waterbirds. And, Florida wildlife officials say it’s important the public keeps its distance, while on the beach or boating on the state’s waterways.

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