Juan Manuel Barrero Bueno / Special to the MIAMI HERALD

Over the past two decades, scientists have suggested that deforestation increases the chances that viruses and other pathogens will jump from wild animals to humans.

Jenny Staletovich / WLRN

Mainland boaters largely cut off from Florida Bay are getting a reprieve: Everglades National Park will reopen the Flamingo marina and boat ramps Monday.

Allowing water access to the nation’s 10th-largest national park, and its web of inlets and rivers, will give visitors a chance “to spread out a little more,” superintendent Pedro Ramos said in a statement, even while social distancing guidelines remain in place. 

Everglades National Park

A wildfire that burned across 1,300 acres of marshes near Everglades National Park, and threatened to ignite a muck fire in dried out wetlands, was mostly out Monday.

National Park Service

A 1,300-acre Everglades fire that ignited Sunday continued to burn Wednesday across dried out marshes, threatening to spark a more dangerous peat fire.

The fire started just east of Everglades National Park, near Southwest 112th Street and the L-31 canal, and spread north into the park, said park spokeswoman Allyson Gantt. While slower winds helped firefighters keep the fire from spreading, only 35 percent had been contained by Wednesday afternoon, she said.

Maria Esquinca

Editor's note: This story was reported before the guidance for people to stay home. We encourage people to follow social distancing guidelines. Big Cypress National Preserve, as well as the Everglades National Park are temporarily closed.


Jenny Staletovich / WLRN

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has found a Texas company damaged wetlands in Big Cypress National Preserve during its search for oil.

In a letter to Burnett Oil last week, Corps officials said in January they visited a 110-square-mile area in the preserve where the company was using heavy, 33-ton thumper trucks equipped with sonic equipment to look for oil. When they examined the area, they found wetlands had been cleared and the land elevation altered, damaging water quality in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

A scarcity of freshwater near Turkey Point has led to another legal clash between Miami-Dade County environmental regulators and Florida Power & Light.

Jenny Staletovich / WLRN

To end its losing battle to block oil exploration in Everglades wetlands, Florida plans to purchase 20,000 acres in Broward County.

Allen Eyestone / Palm Beach Post

BELLE GLADE — A stone’s throw from Dorothy McCloud’s house are fields of sugarcane, which is the reason why she keeps rat poison on hand. Whenever the crop is burned before harvesting, the rodents scurry from the fields and into nearby buildings and homes.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

South Floridians could face water restrictions in 2020 because of a dry rainy season and low water levels in Lake Okeechobee, farmers and Everglades conservationists warned Tuesday.

If the water level drops even a few feet over the driest months, they expect a drought in the spring. During droughts, consumers must water lawns on alternate days, limit car washing and conserve water use in general.

Madeline Fox / WLRN

In the background of their morning television program, observant CBS and NBC viewers might have glimpsed a wooden replica 1920s steamboat. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis released his wish list for the 2020-2021 budget. It totals 91.4 billion, with much of that $400 million increase going to education. 

Jenny Staletovich/WLRN

A stand-off between Florida’s Indian tribes and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is threatening to derail work to restore more than a half million acres of swamps and marshes.

Charles Trainor JR. /Miami Herald

South Florida builders are pushing to strip protection from farmland near the Everglades - and the controversial extension of the Dolphin Expressway - to open it up to future expansion.

The land sits outside the urban development boundary,  the line drawn to protect farm fields and wetlands - and is part of an area designated for future growth.