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.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

So much rain so early in the wet season has led to a slow-moving crisis across South Florida: what to do with all the water before things get really bad.

Florida environmentalists are up in arms over the rollback of former President Barack Obama’s expansion of the Clean Water Act. The controversial regulation extended federal jurisdiction to small waterways, but it was on hold pending industry legal challenges. 

Thousands of people drive by one of the best birding areas in Sarasota County every day without even knowing it. 

FWC

On holidays like the Fourth of July, Floridians like to head to the beach. But state wildlife officials are reminding the public that some local residents are already there.

Shorebirds and sea turtles nest on beaches. A lot of shorebird species are listed as threatened and all the bird species are protected. The same goes for sea turtles.

Loud noises can cause adult birds to fly away from nests, and tiny chicks can get separated from their parents.

Climate scientists agree that this century is getting much warmer and that such warming will likely bring economic pain to the U.S., but economists aren't sure how much. Now, a team of scientists and economists, writing in the upcoming issue of the journal Science, says it can at least tell which parts of the country are likely to suffer the most.

Boaty McBoatface is back.

And according to the British Antarctic Survey, the world's most famous unmanned submersible returned from its inaugural voyage last week with a trove of "unprecedented data about some of the coldest abyssal ocean waters on earth."

Daniel Bock / Miami Herald

Biscayne Bay used to be a subtropical paradise with clear water and colorful coral. But urbanization and population growth have polluted the water and imperiled fish, birds, manatees and plants, particularly seagrass.  

Endangered Sea Turtle Released After Seaquarium Rehab

Jun 27, 2017
Allison Light / WLRN

Winnie the loggerhead sea turtle was released back into the ocean Tuesday morning after spending two months being nursed back to health on Key Biscayne. She was found injured near the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant in April, lethargic and thin, with a small wound on her shell from striking a boat.

Marc Averette via Wikimedia Commons

Biscayne Bay is in trouble. Biologists say about 21 square miles of its seagrass have died off in the past decade. 

Creative Commons via Flickr / Wonderlane (https://flic.kr/p/7euNF1)


Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Commissioners in Miami-Dade County and the city of Key West have voted to endorse  the Paris Climate Accord, despite President Donald Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the international agreement to cut carbon emissions earlier this month.

FWC Asks The Public To Report Fish Kills

Jun 20, 2017

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants the public to report all fish kills this summer, when high temperatures and hurricanes threaten Florida’s marine and freshwater wildlife.

Caleb Jones / AP

A mass bleaching of coral reefs worldwide is finally easing after three years, U.S. scientists announced Monday.

About three-quarters of the world's delicate coral reefs were damaged or killed by hot water in what scientists say was the largest coral catastrophe.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a global bleaching event in May 2014. It was worse than previous global bleaching events in 1998 and 2010.

A state plan to protect estuaries by moving water north of Lake Okeechobee underground is sparking opposition.

Donkeys have been loyal beasts of burden for 5,000 years, yet they still don't get a lot of respect.

In the wild, burro herds are a nuisance. In captivity, they can be mistreated. But in recent years, donkey sanctuaries have sprung up across the country. The largest among them is Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, outside of San Angelo, Texas, where the air periodically erupts with the unpeaceable sounds of donkey braying.

Pages