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Environment & Water
Category archives for: Environment & Water

Meeting With Scientists on Global Warming, Gov. Scott Shows No Interest in the Science

| August 20, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott, in a 30-minute meeting with scientists, asked whether the professors’ students were getting jobs in Florida, but showed no interest in the science under discussion or scientists’ urging him to prepare the state for the coming challenges posed by climate change.

Manatees No Longer Endangered? Not So Fast.

| August 15, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering downlisting manatees from endangered to threatened, reducing their protective status. Save the Manatee Club’s Katie Tripp argues the proposal rests on too scanty data.

Rick Scott Wants to Believe He’s Born-Again Green. The Record Is Dirtier.

| August 12, 2014

Rick Scott wants Floridians to believe that he had a Road to Damascus moment, suddenly realizing that allegiance to Mammon makes for a dirty Florida and an unhappy electorate, but his 11th hour eco-enlightenment is as hard to swallow as a cup of algae from the Indian River Lagoon, argues Diane Roberts.

Fracking in South Florida? Environmentalists Steamed Over Texas Company Drilling Near Lake Tafford

| July 5, 2014

The Dan A. Hughes Company used an unapproved method of drilling that had never been used before in Florida to extract oil from a well near Lake Trafford. Florida’s DEP has not been entirely forthcoming.

Gov. Scott Punts on Proposed Land-Preservation Amendment

| June 17, 2014

When asked after the Cabinet meeting whether he would support or oppose an amendment in November that would cement funding for land conservation into Florida’s Constitution, Scott avoided directly answering the question.

A Florida Panther Struck By a Car Last May Is Returned to the Wild After 10-Month Rehab

| March 10, 2014

The 9-month-old kitten was panther was rescued in Collier County last May after a homeowner saw it drag her hind leg. She went through two surgeries and rehabilitated in a 10-acre enclosure before she was released back into the wild on March 10 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

First Manatee Count in 3 Years Shows Healthier Number Despite 2013′s Record Deaths

| February 7, 2014

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported a preliminary count of 4,831 manatees in Florida during a statewide aerial survey conducted on Jan. 24 and Jan. 27. That’s the third-highest number of manatees recorded since such surveys began in 1991. No surveys were conducted in 2013 and 2012 because of unusually warm weather.

GOP Lawmaker Calls State’s Surplus Land Sale Program a “Disaster”

| January 13, 2014

The Department of Environmental Protection effort was created with the intent of generating $50 million and replace the defunct and once-popular Florida Forever program, but so far no money has been raised and what has become a shortened list continues to draw criticism for sites remaining under consideration.

Record 769 Manatee Deaths So Far This Year Represent 15% of Endangered Population

| October 31, 2013

With two months to go in the year, 769 manatee deaths have bee recorded in Florida waters, breaking the previous record of 766 set in 2010. Deaths are blamed mostly on a red tide bloom that started in southwest Florida in September 2012 and that only recently dissipated. Four manatees have died in Flagler so far this year.

Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Lionfish Summit Will Explore Threats to Florida’s Ecology

| October 21, 2013

As the linfish populations’ expansion threatens marine ecosystems in Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is hosting a Lionfish Summit Oct. 22-24 at the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront hotel in Cocoa Beach, to determine research and management gaps and to bring together leaders in the lionfish issue.

FPL Customers in Flagler Will Again Pay Nuke Surcharge for Plants at Least 10 Years Off

| October 2, 2013

A residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will pay about $5.5 extra a year, but the cost is part of a broader controversy over a law that allows utility companies to charge customers for power-plant construction that hasn’t even begun yet, and may never be completed.

Despite 1,000-Acre Trim, Environmentalists Warn of Too Much State Land for Sale

| September 11, 2013

The trim still leaves 4,250 acres at 48 state-held sites, such as parks, trails and management areas, that remain under consideration for sale by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection even though the lands fit criteria for protection.

Eyeing Re-Election, Scott Ends Austerity: $4 Billion Extra Spending in $74.2 Billion Budget

| January 31, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott’s $74.2 billion budget proposal unveiled Thursday is the largest in the state’s history and includes a $4 billion spending increase that targets constituencies Scott hopes to win back as he seeks re-election in 2014, among them teachers, environmentalists and what state workers will remain on the payroll.

Losing “Protection”
In Florida’s Environmental Agency

| December 31, 2012

Some of the state’s strongest protectors of our natural resources were recently expelled from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Fifty-eight of the most knowledgeable and long-serving employees were let go in order to fulfill the governor’s promise/threat of less regulation.

Florida’s Year in Review: New Districts, New Voting Problems, Renewed Economic Hope

| December 29, 2012

The biggest stories of 2012 ended up being an election and redistricting. A third ongoing story also pervaded the year’s news: The economy continued its long, slow rise from the ashes of the recession, and by year’s end the rebound – while facing the possible stomach-punch of a fiscal cliff setback – appeared to be solid.

Video: From Trayvon Martin to Crist Re-Rising, Florida’s Top 10 Stories of 2012

| December 19, 2012

The News Service of Florida’s David Royse speaks with Florida Cable Television’s Steve Wilkerson about the state’s biggest stories of the year–from election flubs to the Trayvon Martin shooting to Hispanic voter registration to the return of Charlie Crist.

Environmentalist Lawyer Clay Henderson Is Stetson’s George and Mary Hood Award Recipient

| October 16, 2012

Clay Henderson, the New Smyrna Beach lawyer and environmentalist who’s leaving his mark on Florida’s geography, is the 2012 recipient of Stetson University’s George and Mary Hood Award, one of the university’s most prestigious honors.

Proposed Conservation Amendment: $5 Billion Over 10 Years, Without Raising Taxes

| October 5, 2012

The proposed 2014 constitutional amendment, dubbed the Florida Water and Land Legacy Amendment, would set aside 33 percent of documentary tax collections for 20 years for land and water purchases, leases and restoration efforts. The taxes are collected on real estate and other legal transactions.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Charts Next Steps For Expanded Panther Population and Range

| September 9, 2012

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), working in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, plans to document where panthers are roaming beyond south Florida and develop the best practices to help people and panthers coexist.

A Few Florida Facts for Republican National Convention Delegates

| August 27, 2012

Florida under the leadership of Republican icons like Bush, Scott and Rubio, and supported by proud and unthinking GOP legislatures for the last 15 years, has happily served as the grow house for Republican policies. The results are stunning, writes former lawmaker Dan Gelber.

Disaster Recovery Days:
Rebuilding a Business After Hurricane Andrew

| August 18, 2012

When Hurricane Andrews ravaged the physical location of the main offices of his electronic protection firm in Miami 20 years ago, Frank Gromling discovered new sources of ingenuity and rewards, despite, and at times because of, the struggles to rebuild.

Hurricane Andrew 20 Years Later: Memories of Resilience in a Storm’s Wake

| August 11, 2012

Frank Gromling, who lived and worked in the path of Hurricane Andrew 20 years ago, remembers the days of the storm and its aftermath in a South Florida ravished beyond recognition. A spirit for rebirth was left intact, however.

Florida Is 6th Worst Toxic Polluter from Coal-Fired Power Plants Despite Natural Gas Gains

| August 9, 2012

Coal-fired power plants in Florida expose residents to toxic pollution at the sixth highest rate in the nation even as natural gas now accounts for almost two-thirds of the state’s power generation, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Tired of Waiting, Florida Audubon Sues Management District Over Everglades Pollution

| July 27, 2012

Florida Audubon Society on Friday filed legal petitions to force the South Florida Water Management District to enforce more-stringent laws put in place five years ago to reduce phosphorus levels in the Everglades.

Michael Klubock, Ocean-Size Hero

| June 16, 2012

Michael Klubock and his Malibu Foundation spent almost 20 years helping middle school kids understand the importance of protecting the oceans, especially against plastics. Frank Gromling showcases him.

Everglades Water Clean-Up: After Rejecting Scott’s Earlier Plan, EPA Approves Revisions

| June 14, 2012

The EPA will allow the state and the South Florida Water Management District to move forward with a historic Everglades plan for the construction of stormwater treatment areas and huge new areas of water storage.

Understated Slivers: The Unique Fragility and Vitality of Barrier Islands

| June 9, 2012

Barrier islands such as the one that hosts Flagler Beach are fragile, diverse and play a vital, understated but often unappreciated role in coastal ecology and protection. Frank Gromling provides a tour.

Best Way to Keep Florida’s Manatees Wild: Do Not Disturb

| June 7, 2012

Manatees are experts at finding food and fresh water – they don’t need our assistance. Quite the contrary, they will do far better if we can give them a wide berth and keep our distance, writes Katie Tripp.

Dolphin Deaths and Seismic Shockwaves: A Theory

| June 2, 2012

Dolphins have been washing ashore, dead, by the hundreds, in Peru. Scientists theorize that oil and gas exploration’s blasting underwater, which breaks dolphins’ bones around the ear, may be the cause.

Florida Audubon Asks for Beachgoers’ Help This Memorial Day Weekend

| May 24, 2012

This Memorial Day Weekend, Audubon is reminding Floridians to take care with Florida’s original “beach babies,” rare and declining species of waterbirds that nest on Florida’s beaches and mangrove islands.

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