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.

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.

 

Joe Reilly / Graham campaign

Many South Floridians know the suave, summertime vibe of Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Margaritaville,’ which he wrote over 40 years ago on his way down to Key West.

But fewer  know about Buffett’s passion for environmental activism - especially for Florida’s ecosystem. His message to protect it reached over five thousand Parrotheads in the Hollywood ArtsPark Ampitheater Thursday night.

Scientists along Florida's Gulf Coast are working to battle an unusually intense red tide algae bloom, which has killed tons of wildlife, shut down businesses and kept tourists away from beaches this summer.

COURTESY OF THE BROWARD COUNTY SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION PROGRAM

Two sea turtles that were rehabilitated from illnesses are scheduled to be released Thursday morning in Juno Beach.

Tiffany is an adult female hawksbill and Seabastian is a juvenile loggerhead. Staff at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, where the turtles were treated, say they've recovered from infections and anemia.

It's a much-needed piece of good news for some of the oldest creatures on earth. Sea turtles have been around for more than 110 million years, but humans' impact on the environment is making it harder and harder for them to survive.

Alejandra Martinez

Caroline Lewis has made it her life mission to amplify conversations around climate change. She founded the CLEO Institute in Miami in 2010 and has focused her efforts on educating the public.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

A 22-year-old employee of a floating museum off Key West has been cited with a second-degree misdemeanor in the shooting of an osprey with a pellet gun.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

State wildlife officers are investigating the shooting of an osprey Tuesday morning at a waterfront park in Key West.

Osreys - also known as fish hawks - are protected by the migratory bird act and are listed by the state as a species of special concern in Monroe County.

Executive Director of the Key West Wildlife Center Thomas Sweets said he got the call around 11:20 a.m. that there was an osprey with a broken wing that couldn't fly at Truman Waterfront.

This year hasn't been a good one for the Florida manatee.

According to state wildlife statistics, there have been more manatee deaths so far this year than all of last year.

Plastic trash is littering the land and fouling rivers and oceans. But what we can see is only a small fraction of what's out there.

Since modern plastic was first mass-produced, 8 billion tons have been manufactured. And when it's thrown away, it doesn't just disappear. Much of it crumbles into small pieces.

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