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.

A Texas company has asked state environmental regulators to allow crews to resume their hunt for oil beneath Big Cypress National Preserve in southwest Florida.

Interior Secretary: Trump Committed To Everglades Projects

Oct 8, 2017

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke picked up a machete to help clear a swamp buggy trail in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

A state legislator wants to reaffirm Florida’s commitment—to a horse and a turtle.

After Irma, Slow-Moving Crisis Headed For Lake Okeechobee

Sep 18, 2017
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The winds and outer bands of Hurricane Irma are long gone, but as rainwater drains south through Florida’s rivers and watersheds, the storm still presents a slow-moving crisis headed right for Lake Okeechobee.

As if loss of air conditioning and refrigeration weren't bad enough, widespread power outages in hurricane-battered Florida are teaming with structural failures to cause another headache: sewage overflows.

Local governments have submitted well over 100 "notices of pollution" to the state Department of Environmental Protection since Hurricane Irma struck, some involving multiple spills and releases of millions of gallons of wastewater in various stages of treatment.

President Donald Trump is nominating Tallahassee attorney Matthew Leopold for Environmental Protection Agency general counsel, and advocates say his background as a Florida regulator is a plus.

NOAA via AP

With Hurricane Irma bearing down on the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, water managers in South Florida are bracing for heavy rainfall they say could exacerbate high water issues from record-setting rains the region experienced earlier this summer.

Photo courtesy Brevard County

A $302 million clean-up of the Indian River Lagoon isn’t neglecting its shoreline.

Researchers are mapping some 200 miles of Indian River Lagoon shoreline in a first-of-its kind study in Brevard County aimed at understanding its condition.

Melinda Donnelly of the University of Central Florida led the team. She says natural shorelines help filter pollutants and provide habitat for an array of species.

At a time when the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs are facing unprecedented destruction, researchers in Australia have found a small ray of hope for the fish that make the reefs their home.

Fish are more resilient to the effects of ocean acidification than scientists had previously thought, according to research published Thursday in Scientific Reports.

Logan Riely / Miami Herald

A meeting between Miami-Dade County officials and county residents concerned about aerial mosquito spraying was cancelled Monday.

Where using plastic bags can land you a $38,000 fine

Aug 28, 2017
R
Siegfried Modola/Reuters

Discarded plastic bags are a scourge in many places across the globe. But the situation is particularly bad in Kenya. Plastic bags hang from trees and clog waterways. And in Kibera, a slum on the edge of Nairobi, there are entire hills made of them.

President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget have some people on edge, especially in Florida. People associated with the Environmental Defense Fund or EDF aired grievances Tuesday morning. The proposed budget goes into effect Oct. 1, but  people from the EDF say now is the time to act.

Bees often bring to mind images of large hives dripping with honey and buzzing with the common honey bee. But thousands of North American bee species live solitary lives gathering the nectar and pollen they need to survive. A new study by a University of Florida Ph.D. student found these lonely bees using innovative strategies to get the sugar they need when flowers are scarce.

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