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.

Windsor Johnson / NPR

Climate change and equity will be in the spotlight Saturday evening at a rally in Miami's Bayfront Park.

On Florida's St. Lucie River, east of Lake Okeechobee, locks and a dam hold water before it races downstream to the estuary on what is known as Florida's Treasure Coast.

Courtesy of Jody Finver

Miami-Dade residents interested in installing solar panels can join a co-op this month that will help them through the process.

The organizers say the benefits of 'going solar' extend beyond reducing the carbon emissions that lead to climate change, global warming and sea-level rise.

"Is your roof creating your electricity?" asked Jody Finver, Miami-Dade coordinator for the Solar United Neighbors co-op. "If you can create it yourself, why would you pay somebody else?"

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Miami's new professional soccer team has a name and a crest that features two birds.

The birds, Great White Herons, are unique to South Florida. They even have a national wildlife refuge named after them. 

Scores of coastal research labs around the U.S. are helping communities plan for sea level rise. But now many are starting to flood themselves, creating a dilemma: stay by the coast and endure expensive flooding, or move inland, to higher ground, but away from their subject of study.

The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium lab is located along the state's fragile coast, about 80 miles southwest of New Orleans. The giant X-shaped building is at the end of a gravel road, surrounded by open water and grassy marshes.

Hector Gabino / El Nuevo Herald

President Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have been reluctant to acknowledge the link between climate change and some of Florida's current environmental challenges, like King Tide flooding, stronger hurricanes and rising temperatures.

The vague warning jolted citizens in and around Salem, Oregon to attention on May 29.

"Civil Emergency in this area until 1128PM," read the text message alert. "Prepare for action."

It was a ham-handed message — one that left some wondering if an attack was imminent. In fact, the danger officials wanted to warn them about wasn't coming from the sky.

It was coming from their taps.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Almost a year after Hurricane Irma, cleaning up the Florida Keys is an ongoing project. A local volunteer group is tackling one of the most difficult tasks — removing all the stuff that got washed into the mangrove shorelines along the island chain.

FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION

The U.S. Geological Survey, USGS, is collecting DNA to track a new snake hybrid in the Everglades.

Amy Green / WMFE

As Florida struggles with 'red tide' algae blooms on the west coast and blue-green algae in inland waterways, a federal program to help communities deal with harmful algae outbreaks is set to lose its Congressional authorization at the end of September.

A warming world could eventually make some of our most familiar ecosystems — deciduous forests, grasslands, Arctic tundra — unrecognizable.

That's the conclusion of a team of more than 40 scientists who took a novel approach to predicting the effects of how human-caused global warming will alter ecosystems. They looked about 20,000 years back in time.

It's been a long time since Florida's Gulf Coast has seen a red tide outbreak this severe.

Kate Stein / WLRN

When it comes to sea-level rise, planners in South Florida typically use the benchmark of two feet in the next 40 years, but there’s a chance it could be less -- or more -- than that.

Andrew West / The News Press via the Miami Herald

The algae-choked waters of Lake Okeechobee and the deadly red tide along the Gulf Coast have dominated the political debate over Florida’s environment.

 

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