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.

Michal Kranz / WLRN

Time has run out for a program that's provided funding to more than 180 natural areas in Florida.

Sunday, Sept. 30 was the deadline for Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Money from the fund is used to create and maintain city, county and state parks, marinas, protected forests and historic battlefields in Florida and across the country. The fund is supported by fees on offshore oil and gas drilling.

Melanie Bell / Palm Beach Post

A stretch of South Florida beaches has been shut down until at least Monday after cities along the coast indicated a “possible red tide.”

The problems began Saturday when swimmers in the Jupiter area complained of breathing problems and eye irritation. The health concern expanded into Martin County. The town of Palm Beach closed its beaches, and on Sunday, so did Lantana to the south.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Call it much-needed traffic relief for Kendall residents or the "Everglades Snakeway" -- but it's on its way to completion.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

When a group of developers wanted to build a new industrial complex on rural land just beyond Miami’s western suburbs in 2015, their zoning application to the county cited the prospect of traffic relief from a historic expansion of State Road 836 by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority.

The controversial herbicide Roundup has been accused of causing cancer in humans and now scientists in Texas argue that the world's most popular weed killer could be partly responsible for killing off bee populations around the world.

TOM JAMES - WWW.PELICANMEDIA.TV

Florida is waiting on Congress to authorize two efforts that could help address algal blooms plaguing the state's coastal and inland waterways.

Michal Kranz / WLRN

A federal program that’s provided more than a billion dollars to protect and preserve natural areas in Florida is at risk of losing its Congressional authorization.

State Funnels More Money To Addressing Water Woes

Sep 19, 2018

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is pumping another $4 million into efforts to help local communities suffering from red tide and a massive algae outbreak, raising spending to $13 million for the water problems.

The agency’s money will be used in Pinellas, Manatee, Collier, Sarasota, Lee and Martin counties.

After a high-profile campaign to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016, a number of states moved to make it harder to protest oil and gas projects. Now in Louisiana, the first felony arrests of protesters could be a test case of these tougher laws as opponents vow a legal challenge.

Farmers across the southeastern part of North Carolina are just starting to report details about the hit they've taken from Hurricane Florence. The rain is over, but rivers still are rising, and the full picture of damage to farms and the surrounding environment probably won't be known for weeks.

Florence is now a tropical depression, but the storm’s danger is far from over. The port city of Wilmington, North Carolina, was cut off Monday because of rising floodwaters.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson heard from Wilmington resident Leslie Hudson as she was waiting in line for gas.

Interview Highlights

On attempting to find gas in Wilmington

It was a rough week for Florida's beaches, with a resurgence of red tide on the Gulf Coast and returning feces-related problems in South Florida.

The federal government, with the help of Mote Marine Laboratory, is continuing to investigate a significant spike in dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico -- and they want to know if red tide is playing a part in it.

The jury is in on marine reserves: They work. Research has repeatedly shown that fish numbers quickly climb following well-enforced fishing bans, creating tangible benefits for fishers who work the surrounding waters. In fact, many experts believe fishing will only be sustainable if marine reserves are expanded significantly.

That's why some activists and scientists are now discussing the idea of creating a marine reserve so big it would cover most of the ocean. Specifically, they want fishing banned in international waters.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

Storm surges of 9 to 13 feet and rainfall up to 40 inches: Those are two of the most dire warnings about Hurricane Florence's effect on parts of North and South Carolina. Thousands have heeded evacuation orders; others are hoping to cope with the storm in their homes or at local shelters.

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