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.

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.

Scientists think they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by tweaking the food that cows eat. A recent experiment from the University of California, Davis suggests that adding seaweed to cattle feed can dramatically decrease their emissions of the potent gas methane.

Jessica Weiss

Matthew Schwartz, the director of the South Florida Wildlands Association, stands in a patch of marshy grass on a large stretch of land in northwest Miami-Dade county. Cypress trees dot the landscape, which sits just a few miles from the Everglades. The water is about six inches high, enough to cover his shoes.

With hurricane season in full swing, staff at Florida's evacuation shelters are busy making preparations like what to do for specials needs evacuees and where to send victims of domestic violence. But this year they're practicing for a new issue — what to do if immigration officials want to take a look around.

Kate Stein / WLRN

This year, Miami-Dade County's arsenal of mosquito-fighting technology includes traps, spraying backpacks -- and mosquito-eating fish. 

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is expected this week to sign the world's first ban on the sale of sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. The state is banning the products because of concerns they may be harming one of the state's biggest attractions — coral reefs.

While it doesn't kick in until 2021, the move is already prompting pushback.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Most business owners in South and Central Florida think renewable energy makes economic sense, according to a recent survey from the Environmental Defense Fund.

The non-profit polled 1,200 business leaders and residents from South Florida and along the I-4 corridor in the central part of the state. Two-thirds of respondents said getting energy from sources like solar and wind is a smart business decision.

Advocates are raising concerns about state plans for cleaning up Florida’s ailing springs.

Worries Bloom Over Lake Okeechobee Algae

Jun 25, 2018

There are new fears about algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee.

Adamfirst via Wikimedia Commons

Traffic, sea-level rise and the Everglades are colliding after Miami-Dade commissioners voted Wednesday to advance a potential expressway extension to state regulators.

The proposal to extend State Road 836 aims to reduce traffic for commuters in the West Kendall area. Driving the 20 or so miles to downtown Miami during rush hour can take an hour and a half -- or more.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants discharges of polluted water out of Lake Okeechobee redirected elsewhere.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

In the next 30 years — about the length of a mortgage cycle — more than 300,000 U.S. homes could experience chronic flooding due to rising seas, according to a report released this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The U.S. Navy is dropping live bombs in a national forest in Florida this week.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the bombs began falling in the Ocala National Forest Monday. The bombing by Jacksonville's Naval Air Station jets at the Pinecastle Range Complex will continue through Thursday.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Critics of a Miami-Dade proposal to extend State Road 836 beyond the county's urban development boundary say constructing new highways in South Florida is an outdated solution to traffic problems.

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