environment

Environmental groups gathered at the Capitol, Monday, to suggest ideas on how Governor Ron DeSantis can help advance clean energy. 

A push to give Floridians greater choice over energy providers is heating up. Proponents say it will increase competition and drive down costs. But not everyone feels the electricity.

On Earth Day, Florida environmental groups took dead aim at a plan by lawmakers to build three new toll roads through the heart of the state.

Sam Turken / WLRN

With next year's Super Bowl in Miami-Dade County expected to draw tens of thousands of tourists to the area, a new project aims to promote sustainability and mitigate the environmental impact of the event. 

The 'Ocean to Everglades' initiative, which will begin in the coming months and run through February 2020, will feature beach cleanups, mangrove planting and coral restoration. It also seeks to harness attention on the Super Bowl to create more awareness about challenges facing South Florida’s environment, organizers say. 

More than 80% of parents in the U.S. support the teaching of climate change. And that support crosses political divides, according to the results of an exclusive new NPR/Ipsos poll: Whether they have children or not, two-thirds of Republicans and 9 in 10 Democrats agree that the subject needs to be taught in school.

A separate poll of teachers found that they are even more supportive, in theory — 86% agree that climate change should be taught.

beach clean up
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

More than 300 beachgoers in Hollywood spent their Saturday morning cleaning up trash from the sand as a part of the second annual Free Our Seas And Beyond Environmental Art Festival. 

Hosted by Nova Southeastern University and the nonprofit Free Our Seas, the festival hoped to get people out to celebrate Earth Day a few days early and learn more about threats to marine ecosystems in South Florida. 

 

Floridians Against Fracking
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

To mark Ron DeSantis's 100th day in the Governor's office, environmentalist groups gathered across several cities in Florida on Wednesday for a day of action to ban all forms of fracking, the controversial oil-drilling technique, in the state. 

A small group of about 20 people gathered in front of the state Department of Economic Opportunity in Oakland Park in the early evening to call on the governor to ban all forms of fracking, and not just some. 

J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE / AP

The Green New Deal is the most talked-about federal legislation to tackle climate change and sea level rise at the moment.

But its goals of reducing fossil fuel use and creating cleaner energy and jobs is still more an aspiration than an action plan. And in the meantime, South Florida lawmakers in Washington say they’re working on other solutions.

Among bills currently being proposed are those to create a fee on carbon, put more money for clean energy research in federal spending bills and emphasize climate change as an issue in 2020 elections.

Tom Hudson

Republicans and Democrats in Tallahassee are in agreement on at least one thing as they forge a state budget that will total around $90 billion: Florida's economy is doing well. 

The state’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, and more than 25,000 jobs were added that month.

Still, the state forecast for money coming in from sales taxes is down a little bit from forecasting just a few months ago. While still growing, the incoming tax dollars are expected to grow slower in the years ahead.

Manuel Balce / AP

The White House is reportedly considering plans to auction off Florida’s coastal waters to search for oil and natural gas.

But that may be a hard sell in the Sunshine state.

Offshore drilling is deeply unpopular in Florida, among both the general public and lawmakers. Even Republicans have warned it could cost the president support in a state that less than six months ago approved a constitutional amendment banning the practice in state waters. 

Burmese pythons, the voracious invader of the Everglades blamed for wiping out small mammals, may now be feasting another marsh resident: wading birds.

Miami Herald archives

South Florida water managers dove into Everglades restoration in back to back meetings this week.

Ten miles out in the Gulf of Mexico, off the tip of Louisiana, the fumes become overwhelming. "See how it's all rainbow sheen there? So that's oil," says Ian MacDonald, who's guiding us in a tiny fishing boat that's being tossed around by 6-foot waves.

MacDonald is a scientist at Florida State University where he studies oil spills. This one is not a black, sticky slick, but it stretches on for miles. And here, where the murky Mississippi River dumps into the Gulf, it's been leaking for more than 14 years.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

After two and a half years of work, a comprehensive report on how to better prepare Miami for all kinds of threats -- economic, health and especially climate risks -- is expected to be released by the end of May.

The effort aims to better understand the risks to resiliency. That is the popular word used as a catchall for everything from dealing with housing affordability to recovering after a hurricane to protecting against and adapting to rising seas.

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

A Senate panel on Tuesday approved a bill that would threaten local governments with hefty fines if they prohibit the sale of certain sunscreens, though lawmakers dropped an initial part of the bill that would have prevented local officials from banning plastic straws.

The bill targets sunscreens in an attempt to keep Key West from enforcing an ordinance that would ban the sale and use of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone, a chemical that a study says harms coral reefs. That ordinance is set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

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