environment

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

A toxic red tide algae bloom that’s been persisting in Southwest Florida for nearly a year is now making its way to the Tampa Bay area. It’s been most recently reported as far north as Pinellas County.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida plans to eliminate plastic straws at its six casinos in the state.

Pedro Portal, Miami Herald

Toxic algae is an increasing problem in Florida, whether it’s red tide on the state’s west coast, or from releases from Lake Okeechobee. Jill Roberts, from sister station WQCS in Fort Pierce, tells us about a statewide event to focus attention on the toxic water. Hands Along the Water will remind politicians that toxic algae is an important issue to the state's voters. 

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

The group Code for Miami aims to develop data- and technology-based solutions to local quality-of-life challenges. On Saturday, as part of a "National Day of Civic Hacking," they're inviting other local programmers and civic-minded volunteers to help them tackle some of South Florida's pressing issues.

Susan Jacobson, a journalism professor at Florida International University and a longtime Code for Miami participant, says this weekend’s event will include coding projects on transit and ocean pollution as well as sea-level rise.

Andrew West / The News Press via the Miami Herald

Everglades advocates are telling Congress to get moving on a major restoration project needed to help prevent future algae blooms like the ones currently choking inland and coastal waterways in Florida. 

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Marco Rubio announced Tuesday that he will ask federal agencies to oppose the 836 expressway expansion into West Kendall, a major roadblock for Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the Miami-Dade County Commission after they gave preliminary approval for the 14-mile highway in June.

The Republican senator’s alignment with environmentalists, who say the highway would damage the Everglades and cause urban sprawl, could affect the project’s progress due to federal land swaps from the Department of Interior that are needed before construction can begin.

State Waives Rules To Help Red Tide Cleanup

Aug 8, 2018

Cleanup rules are being waived for the removal of dead fish from areas of red tide in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. 

Tesla Motors started selling its stock to the public in 2010 — the first initial public offering of a U.S. automaker in more than a half-century. On Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he's considering a reversal — taking the electric car company private.

As he often does, the outspoken entrepreneur took to Twitter to deliver the news. "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk tweeted in early afternoon.

Andrew West / News-Press

When Florida Sea Grant director Karl Havens, who is a well-regarded expert on water and has studied pollution all over the world, began hearing about a deepening algae bloom in his own backyard in Lake Okeechobee this summer, he struggled to find information that could tell him what was going on.

State scientists sample water in the lake, but too infrequently to track rapidly evolving algae blooms. Instead, Havens had to rely on satellite images that were taken on sunny days when clouds don’t get in the way.

Scott Calls For Action On Red Tide Amid Political Clamor

Aug 6, 2018

Political broadsides continue over who is to blame for ongoing water-quality problems across South Florida, as Gov. Rick Scott on Friday ordered more action to address red tide in coastal communities. 

Riane Roldan / WLRN

There's a buzzword among people who work on quality-of-life issues in South Florida: "Resilience."

It’s a concept we often apply to a person, someone who's able to cope with difficult circumstances. But more and more, the word is being used in the context of how communities respond to issues like traffic, hurricanes, affordable housing and rising seas.

Tourists weren't scattered on beaches in southwest Florida on Thursday, but hundreds of dead fish were.

The Herald-Tribune reports that visitors piled into the parking lot of Venice Beach, got out of their cars, started hacking, coughing and sneezing and then quickly left.

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.

Pages