environment

For a brief moment last week, just off the coast of southwestern Canada, the typically grim outlook confronting orcas took on a hopeful hue. A whale watch operator, staring through binoculars, had caught sight of a healthy calf swimming beside its mother — a rare beacon for a population that had not seen a healthy infant in years.

It was not to last, however. By the time experts with the Center for Whale Research arrived, just half an hour later, the calf had already died.

But that's not the end of this story.

Riane Roldan / WLRN NEWS

They call themselves the coral whisperers: a global band of scientists working together to save the world's coral reefs.

Ross Elliott / Flickr Creative Commons

Thousands of blacktip sharks ordinarily swim languidly off the South Florida coast. But this year the shark count is down substantially and warmer water temperatures may be the reason.

A researcher at Florida Atlantic University says a recent tally he did off Palm Beach County during the sharks' annual migration had a high of only 2,800 blacktip sharks. That's down substantially from the high of more than 12,000 sharks in 2011, according to Florida Atlantic University researcher Stephen Kajiura.

The drop is dramatic, Kajiura said.

Researchers are reporting a spiking number of sea turtle deaths in Florida waters plagued by a red tide algae bloom.

Walt Disney is the latest company to announce a plan to eliminate plastic straws. The company plans to get rid of them by mid-2019.

WMFE

Toxic algae again is blooming in Florida waterways.

The algae began in Lake Okeechobee and is spreading after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated flows to the adjoining Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers.

WMFE environmental reporter Amy Green explains some of the water management decisions behind this toxic alga in a conversation with WMMO's host Shawn Burke. 

Burke: Amy, how much algae are we talking about?

sea turtles
Courtesy of The Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program / WLRN

Beach lovers in Broward please watch where you walk these days. According to the latest count,  the county's beaches are holding more than 2,300 sea turtle nests. 

 

The county's Natural Resources Specialist Stephanie Kedzuf said that may sound like a lot, but it's pretty average for this time of year. Most nests are popping up on the county's northern beaches.

Floydphoto / Wikimedia Commons

ReThink Energy Florida and First Street Foundation are hosting a series of Tidal Town Halls where politicians will address the threat of sea level rise in Florida as part of the 2018 midterm election cycle.

The Ft. Lauderdale Tidal Town Hall will be on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Nova Southeastern University at 3301 College Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Click on the link above for details.

José Iglesias / Miami Herald

Rep. Carlos Curbelo took an election-year risk Monday when he unveiled a plan to tax greenhouse gas emissions.

This week, Discovery celebrates the 30th anniversary of Shark Week. Do you understand what that means? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!

Well, not nothing. It means that if you are under 30, Shark Week has existed since before you were born. You have never not known Shark Week! On the day you were born, someone could have said, "Boy, I'm really looking forward to Shark Week next year." And the other person would hopefully have squinted and said, "Are you?"

Miami Herald

A battle is playing out at the state Supreme Court about whether customers of Florida Power & Light should pay for an environmental clean-up project in Miami-Dade County.

 

The Florida Public Service Commission filed a brief Monday urging the Supreme Court to uphold a decision that allows FPL to recover money from customers to deal with a saltwater plume that moved from a power-plant complex into nearby groundwater.

People are talking a lot about plastic straws these days — how international corporations like Starbucks and Marriott International are banning them, and the deleterious impact they have on the environment.

climate change
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

More than 100 people answered the call from local students to march through downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday asking for action on climate change. 

'This Is Zero Hour' is a national climate change awareness and action campaign, but a group of recent graduates from American Heritage in Plantation organized a local campaign march that began in Esplanade Park. 

Faith Ward said she didn't feel like student activism had much of an impact before the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas on February 14.

There's a cycle that starts when the snow melts and the earth thaws high in Colorado's Rocky Mountains. It's a seasonal cycle based on timing and temperature, two variables that climate change is pushing increasingly out of sync.

To the outsider, it can be hard to see: Plants still grow, flowers bud, bears awake, and marmots breed. Broad-tailed hummingbirds still trill around a landscape that evokes the opening scene of The Sound of Music, with flowery meadows and granite peaks.

The captain of a charter boat carrying government scientists on an environmental research cruise near the Keys has been cited for violating environmental regulations.

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