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.

Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority

Twenty years ago, only a few areas in the Keys had central sewer systems.

The rest of the island chain was using a combination of shallow injection wells, septic tanks — and even some cesspits, basically holes in the ground that provided no treatment at all.

Since the Keys consists of fossilized coral, that meant polluted water could easily move to canals and shorelines.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Climate change is a local issue.

There’s a darker side to a rebounding Florida Panther population with state game officials reporting a spike in attacks on livestock and domestic animals in rural Southwest Florida.

The Florida Wildlife Federation is pushing for stiffer poaching penalties after a shark dragging video went viral.

Appeals Court Orders Another Look At Pipeline

Aug 23, 2017

A federal appeals court Tuesday ordered regulators to take another look at the environmental impact of a major natural-gas pipeline project, saying that an earlier review did not adequately consider resulting greenhouse-gas emissions at Florida power plants.

The developer behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, which for months drew thousands of protesters, has sued Greenpeace and several other environmental groups for their role in delaying the pipeline's construction.

When life gives you too much rain, make beer with it

Aug 22, 2017

We've all heard the expression, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That's kind of what Joris Hoebe did.

His city, Amsterdam, has two problems.

First, the city loves beer and can’t seem to stop coming up with new brews.

Second, Amsterdam is 2 meters below sea level, so it floods easily. That means it has a problem with big rains.

Hoebe’s idea was to tackle the two challenges together.

A hobby brewer himself, Hoebe was working up some homebrew one evening when it started pouring outside.

Joel Ryan / AP

The first day of school can be traumatic. Reluctant high schoolers schlep unopened summer reading books aboard early morning buses. Kindergartners sob at being separated from their parents -- and vice-versa.

State Program Records 500th Python Kill

Aug 18, 2017

With the state trying to reduce invasive species in areas such as the Everglades, a hunter Thursday killed the 500th Burmese python in less than five months under a South Florida Water Management District program.

Residents near a stretch of the Sabal Trail Pipeline in Central Florida are reporting the sulfur-like smell of a gas leak. But the company behind the utility says the emissions are from an odorant leak, not from natural gas.

Kate Stein / WLRN

In South Florida, climate change means higher seas, stronger storms and hotter summers. That could make the region unlivable within a couple hundred years. But scientists say if the world takes steps like reducing carbon emissions, we could buy ourselves some time.

A group of concerned citizens is trying to get that message out.

Courtesy of Glenn Schneider via NPR

On Aug. 21, the moon will pass between the sun and the Earth, creating a solar eclipse.

Editor's note, Aug. 10: An earlier version of this story said the draft climate report had been leaked by The New York Times, which has since updated its coverage to reflect that a version of the report was made available by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January.


A draft government report on climate says the U.S. is already experiencing the consequences of global warming. The findings sharply contrast with statements by President Trump and some members of his Cabinet, who have sought to downplay the changing climate.

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