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.

One of the most sensitive topics in Florida politics has to do with oil rigs creeping closer to our shores. Recently, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took Florida off the table when it comes to offshore oil drilling. That was lauded by Gov. Rick Scott - but it led to charges he flip-flopped.

Miami Herald

Miami commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to oppose drilling for gas and oil off Florida's coasts.

The vote follows confirmation by the U.S. Department of the Interior that Florida is among states where drilling could be expanded, despite a statement to the contrary by Interior  Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year. And the trash stays there: Whether it's grocery bags or water bottles or kids' toys, plastic is practically indestructible.

Now marine scientists have discovered that it's killing coral reefs.

A new study based on four years of diving on 159 reefs in the Pacific shows that reefs in four countries — Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar — are heavily contaminated with plastic. It clings to the coral, especially branching coral. And where it clings, it sickens or kills.

Florida’s offshore drilling concerns have made headlines recently. And now, nearly 80 years into the industry’s existence in Florida, state government officials are searching for some permanency on the issue. 

‘Blood gold’ in your jewelry is poisoning workers and the rainforest. Here’s how to stop it.

Jan 23, 2018
Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Illegal gold molded into our wedding rings, dangling around our necks and hidden in our smartphones is polluting the rainforest with toxic chemicals and exploiting workers in Latin America.

Read the Miami Herald investigative series: Dirty gold, clean cash 

Amy Green / WMFE

Steve Messam describes his city, Belle Glade, as having two main exports:

"Sugar," he said, "and wide receivers."

Local lore has it that National Football League standouts -- including Super Bowl-winning wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Santonio Holmes -- hone their speed by chasing rabbits through burning fields, as controlled fires strip sugarcane of excess leaves in preparation for the harvest.


An endangered Florida panther has been struck and killed by a vehicle.


It’s the third fatal collision this year, out of three total panther deaths.


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Tuesday that the remains of the 2-year-old male were collected Saturday near a Naples country club, east of Interstate 75.

Florida panthers once roamed the entire Southeast, but now their habitat mostly is confined to a small region of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. Up to 230 Florida panthers remain in the wild.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

Michigan residents got a surprise Tuesday night when a meteor punched through the clouds with an explosive flash. It was powerful enough to register on seismic instruments.

Courtesy of White Oak

The grasshopper sparrow, a tiny Florida prairie bird perched on the verge of extinction for the last decade, may have encountered a final, unconquerable foe: an invasive new disease quickly killing off its young.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

Nearly all of the seats on the U.S. National Park Service advisory board are vacant following a mass resignation Monday night, with ex-members citing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's unwillingness to meet with them.

Tom Hudson / WLRN

Everglades National Park is a World Heritage site, and it’s under siege from drought, invasive species and sea-level rise. 

Scientists say that climate change is having an effect on the levels of the world’s oceans.

But it’s also apparently affecting the oxygen levels throughout the oceans, as well as our coastal waters including the Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists are warning that a red tide is reemerging along the state’s southwest coast even after a recent cold front knocked it back.