environment

California voters will soon decide whether to ban the sale of meat and eggs from farm animals raised in cages. A November ballot measure, Proposition 12, would require more spacious digs for pigs, veal calves and egg-laying hens. It applies to animals in California and to those raised elsewhere for products sold in the Golden State.

If you're experiencing a bit of déjà vu right now, it makes sense.

Tom Hudson / WLRN News

Water is what connects us in South Florida. No matter where we are from or how we got here, or where we live or work, water surrounds us. And this time of year, the rising seas, driven by the pull of the sun and moon, can spill over our edges, bubble up from below and seep into our lives.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Visitors to a haunted house in Delray Beach last weekend were greeted by a mermaid living in a trash heap and pictures of a polluted ocean projected onto the wall.

The next room was even more bleak. The polar ice caps had melted, and everyone in coastal areas drowned.

Further into the house, a girl left bloody handprints as she banged on a window from the outside, and a boy lay on a gurney, spinning an electric drill and mumbling about applesauce. They were both driven mad by a new epidemic gripping the post-apocalyptic world.

Kate Stein / WLRN

A coalition of southeast Florida counties is leading the state in responding to vulnerabilities caused by climate change and sea-level rise, according to state environmental leaders.

On Thursday, officials and planners who represent Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties met at the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit to discuss progress on issues linked to climate change. Noah Valenstein, the secretary of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection, thanked the more than 300 people gathered.

Florida International University

Sea-level rise is beginning to impact everyday life for some neighborhoods in South Florida: roads flood, insurance prices rise, and cities and counties ask voters to help pay for adaptation projects. There may soon be impacts to the Internet.

But the water's rising only millimeters at a time. And the majority of people here don't experience serious flooding.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Transportation has become the leading source of carbon emissions in the U.S., according to the latest data.  Trucks and SUVs account for 66 percent of those emissions. This is causing experts to rethink the role of public transportation in the region. 

On Wednesday, experts took part in a panel discussion at the Regional Climate Leadership Summit in Miami Beach. The group spoke about the benefit public transportation can have on the environmental issues South Florida faces. 

Alejandra Martinez / WLRN

Global warming can feel like an overwhelming problem -- it is, after all, GLOBAL -- but many of the solutions already exist.

That was the message from one of the keynote speakers of what's been dubbed "Climate Week" in South Florida.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images via Sun Sentinel

Building the reservoir to cut Lake Okeechobee discharges is now federal law.

President Donald Trump signed the federal Water Resources Development Act Tuesday. WRDA includes a nationwide list of water projects that included the reservoir south of the lake.

The law authorizes but doesn't allocate money for the feds to pay their half of the $1.6 billion Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir.

The appropriation process could take a couple of years to get money rolling.

Andrew Quintana / WLRN

A town hall in Wynwood on Monday night involved an issue that has flooded the minds and neighborhoods of many South Florida residents—rising sea waters.

The event, hosted by WLRN, was open to the public and featured artists, scientists, and policymakers who spoke about the threat of sea level rise in South Florida and what communities can do in response to it. It was a conversation attendees said they were eager to have.

But one area that was not up for debate was the science.

Florida Center for Environmental Studies

How much do you know about sea-level rise?

How severe is the threat? And what are communities in South Florida doing to deal with higher waters?

On Monday night from 6-8 p.m., WLRN is hosting a town hall exploring the fundamentals of sea-level rise.

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Florida and Louisiana face a shared threat from sea-level rise -- a threat that's growing as higher seas increase flood risk and warmer temperatures strengthen hurricanes.

Mark Schleifstein is a Pulitzer-winning environment reporter with NOLA.com and the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. He attended high school in Miami. Schleifstein spoke with WLRN’s Kate Stein about the future of both places -- and about a community that’s already had to move away from the coast because of rising seas.

Balthazira / Flickr Creative Commons

The Everglades Trust’s endorsement of Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is startling some environmentalists and political observers.

One of the Everglades Trust’s three board members opposed the endorsement in an interview with The Gainesville Sun. Jon Mills told the paper he will support Democrat Andrew Gillum.

Other environmental groups like the Sierra Club are endorsing Gillum.

Florida Conservation Voters calls Gillum, “the only candidate with the leadership skills and vision to protect Florida’s environment.”

Wikimedia / Creative Commons

It's a good idea to protect your skin with sunscreen when you're out on the water.

But protecting reefs means giving up some of the most common sunscreens that can harm corals. Studies have found that some ingredients, especially oxybenzone and octinoxate, are harmful even in very small quantities.

In Mexico Beach, Fla., Lance Erwin is one of the lucky ones. His house is still standing. He stayed in his home during Hurricane Michael, several blocks from the beach, in a part of his house that he calls his "safe room."

"The garage door was shaking," he says. "I knew the roof was gone at that point because everything was shaking. I thought, 'Just hang in there.' I had faith everything was going to be OK."

Kate Stein / WLRN

Everglades restoration needs to do more to account for climate change.

That’s the headline of a report released Wednesday by a Congressionally-appointed committee of scientists.

The report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine says agencies involved in restoration need to do more analysis of how sea-level rise and increasing rainfall impact Everglades projects.

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