Florida Keys

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Almost two years ago, Hurricane Irma destroyed or did major damage to more than 4,000 homes in the Florida Keys. It also devastated many hotels, especially in the Middle and Upper Keys.

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.

Now the sanctuary is releasing a restoration blueprint that will include four alternatives for protecting the coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass flats around the Keys, from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas.

Miami Herald

The federal government is considering removing the iconic Key deer from the Endangered Species List.

Monroe County

It's been decades since Monroe County opened a new library branch. And even longer since the county built a library. That is about to change.

Construction began on a new library in Marathon last month.

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

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.

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.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The first report came in on Monday. An Antillean Palm-Swift was spotted soaring above Grassy Key.

In the world of serious birders, that's big news.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Rebuild Florida is a state program that helps people whose homes were severely damaged in Hurricane Irma. The program is also aimed at removing some homes in harm's way .

Jed Dodds

For months, a truck that serves only as a mobile billboard has been driving around downtown Key West. Its days on the island may be numbered.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Key West is taking on the island's abundant wild iguana population. They're everywhere, including city-owned property, from the old landfill known as Mount Trashmore to the historic cemetery in the center of the island. 

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

There are a lot of challenges to living in the Florida Keys. The biggest is the cost of living. But even some people who can afford to live in the Keys are leaving anyway for another reason — the lack of access to medical care.

CLAY DEGAYNER

When the Key Largo cotton mouse and woodrat were placed on the Endangered Species List in 1984, federal scientists named several factors that were imperiling the rodents’ existence. Most serious was the loss of habitat due to development.

Miami Herald archives

A former lead biologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who managed the controversial dredging of PortMiami will plead guilty to lying, her attorney told a Miami federal judge on Tuesday.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In September 2017, Hurricane Irma destroyed or majorly damaged more than 7 percent of the homes in the Keys. A lot of those were ground level and mobile homes — what passes for affordable housing on the island chain.

On Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came to Marathon to announce a new state program that will provide $140 million for affordable workforce housing.

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