environment

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary / NOAA

It's been more than 20 years since the last comprehensive plan to manage the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Miami Waterkeeper

A crack in a half-century old iron sewer pipe has grown and could keep leaking for up to three weeks while workers struggle to fix it, Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Director Kevin Lynskey said Friday.

Nadege Green / WLRN

James Valsaint is concerned about displacement in Little Haiti. He knows the neighborhood’s high elevation is attractive to developers and perspective homeowners because it doesn’t flood. He questions how the majority low-income residents in the area will fare as rent costs balloon and where they will go.

Damian McNamara is a homeowner in Morningside, less than a mile from Little Haiti. His neighborhood is affluent, as is the case with most coastal enclaves in South Florida.

Miami-Dade County

Over the weekend, a crack surfaced in a 55-year-old underground sewer pipe in Miami's Oleta River.

The small crack is less than two square inches in diameter and has so far spewed about a half million gallons of raw sewage. But the flow will continue as workers race to install a bypass pipe on the aging line - work they expect to complete by Thursday night.

While less severe than originally suspected when a kayacker discovered the leak Sunday, the spill is drawing attention to a worsening problem across Miami-Dade County: polluted waterways.

Courtesy of Valerie Preziosi

Four thousand years ago, rising seas decimated huge swaths of mangroves in Florida Bay.

Today, seas rising at a far greater rate, combined with increasing storms and drought, could lead to another catastrophic loss of mangroves that help keep the state from sliding into the sea, according to a new study published by the U.S. Geological Survey in the journal Nature Communications.

When Florida wildlife leaders effectively declared “open season” on iguanas, they called for the animals to be killed on private property. And just this week, they doubled down on python eradication. Both animals are considered invasive species in Florida, but recent and past issues with how the animals have been killed has led to accusations of animal cruelty. The state says all killings have to be done “humanely”. But, what does that actually mean? 

Carl Juste/Miami Herald

Randall Dasher is a fourth-generation Florida farmer and until last year, he never had a crop of iron-clay cowpeas fail.

"Something has changed and somewhere, someway, that has affected our yields," he said Monday during a panel at the University of Florida, where farmers met with U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa, scientists and agriculture officials.

View of Biscayne Bay from a downtown Miami condo.
Sam Turken / WLRN

A grand jury convened by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has sounded a dire warning about the state of Biscayne Bay, which it calls the “crown jewel of our environment.” The group warned local officials that immediate action should be taken to save it, and included a variety of recommendations.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In the last few months, Key West has banned the sale of chemical sunscreens and the use of styrofoam and some pesticides on city property. Now the city is taking on single-use plastics.

Emily Michot Miami Herald

More than a week's worth of King Tides set a new record at Virginia Key, running higher than the high tides during seasonal tides that typically hit in the fall.

For the last eight days, each high tide has set a new record for the day, said Brian McNoldy, a University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science senior researcher. At it's highest, on Aug. 2, the tide reached 2.55 feet, more than a foot above the daily average of 1.33 feet. 

Miami Herald archives

A new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration looking at 20 years worth of data on pollution has found a new risk threatening Biscayne Bay: "regime change."

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

The odds are stacked against Florida’s coral reefs.

A mysterious disease is devastating them. So is climate change, which warms and acidifies ocean waters. Development and pollution don’t help much, either.

Landmark federal legislation to help corals expired in 2000, and a new bill introduced Friday by Florida’s Republican senators would revive it.

NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER

South Florida water managers are lowering water levels in canals to prepare for heavy rains starting Friday and into the weekend. 

A tropical wave in the northwest Bahamas is expected to arrive in southeast Florida today and stay through the weekend. Heavy rain, combined with high tides, could lead to flooding in parts of southeast Florida. 

MIAMI HERALD

Florida’s first chief resilience officer, the person in charge of adapting the most vulnerable state in the nation to climate change, has an impressive resume. But it’s missing one thing — any obvious experience with climate change or resilience.

The candidate Gov. Ron Desantis is expected to name as soon as Wednesday, sources tell the Miami Herald, is Julia Nesheiwat. The governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nesheiwat had no comment. No formal announcement has been made.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

The sparkling waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary help pump $4.4 billion into the state's economy while supporting 43,000 jobs, according to a report published Tuesday.

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