environment

NOAA

A summertime Gulf of Mexico dead zone fueled by pollution flowing out of the Mississippi River watershed could be among the largest on record this year.

Canada's Parliament has passed legislation banning whales, dolphins and porpoises from being bred or held in captivity — a move that was hailed by animal rights activists.

Violations are punishable by fines of up to 200,000 Canadian dollars (about $150,000).

Florida Had Hottest May In More Than A Century

Jun 7, 2019

If last month felt hotter than normal, there's a reason. 

Drew and Joan Norman have been producing organic vegetables on 60 acres just north of Baltimore since 1983. On a recent spring day, signs of another new season at One Straw Farm were everywhere: seedlings in the greenhouse waiting to be transplanted, asparagus ready to be picked, tiny leaves of red- and green-leaf lettuce sprouting out of the ground — and rows and rows of plastic covering the ground on each field.

The largest habitat for life on Earth is the deep ocean. It's home to everything from jellyfish to giant bluefin tuna. But the deep ocean is being invaded by tiny pieces of plastic — plastic that people thought was mostly floating at the surface, and in amounts they never imagined.

C.M. Guerrero Miami Herald

A $205 million Port Miami channel expansion that left a swath of dead coral and led to a legal battle over damage is facing more controversy. 

A new study published last week concluded U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors vastly underestimated the amount of coral killed. Meanwhile, the Miami U.S. Attorney's Office last week charged the lead biologist on the project who oversaw coral monitoring with lying about working part-time for an outside consultant hired by the Corps.

Residents in the Tampa Bay area are dealing with lingering smoke after a brush fire at Brooker Creek Preserve this week.

East Lake Fire Rescue, Oldsmar Fire and the Department of Forestry helped fight the fire at the preserve in north Pinellas County. Florida Forest Service officials said the fire burned 15 acres.

Didier Noirot / OceanX

Impacts from climate change, overfishing and poor water quality continue to destroy Florida's coral reefs. The conservation nonprofit OceanX has launched a mission focused on conserving and documenting the reefs.

YouTube

During heavy rains last year in a small town outside Havana, people saw something remarkable. Large freshwater catfish called claria were swimming in the flooded streets. In a video posted on YouTube, excited locals splash out to grab them.

But that happy scene was also an environmental alert. Claria are an invasive species in Cuba. They’re supposed to be confined to aquaculture fisheries, where they’re bred for food. Outside those farms – as these claria obviously were – they’re notorious for devouring anything in their paths.

Miami Herald archives

Carnival Cruise Line agreed to cut its disposable plastic use in half across its entire fleet by 2021 under a plea agreement entered in Miami federal court Monday.

WMFE

A Hurricane Michael survivor and former White House staff member are among the applicants for the DeSantis administration’s new position of chief resilience officer.

Miami Herald

Carnival Corp. has filed nine letters of support to the federal judge overseeing its criminal case. They are from politicians, business associations and nonprofit organizations, most of whom have close financial ties to the cruise company.

The letters touting Carnival Corp.’s economic impact and charitable donations come ahead of a hearing scheduled for Monday during which U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz of Miami will review a settlement agreement reached between federal prosecutors and the Miami-based cruise company.

Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

It’s almost six months into Gov. Ron DeSantis’s first term, and the biggest shift from the Rick Scott administration has been his focus on the environment.

CARL JUSTE CJUSTE@MIAMIHERALD.COM

This story was updated at 4:30 p.m.

Three years after they joined the Rockefeller Foundation to create a grand plan to fight rising seas, climbing temperatures and other worsening climate hazards, three of South Florida’s most threatened places unveiled their blueprint Thursday.

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