Florida Keys

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Miami's new professional soccer team has a name and a crest that features two birds.

The birds, Great White Herons, are unique to South Florida. They even have a national wildlife refuge named after them. 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Almost a year after Hurricane Irma, cleaning up the Florida Keys is an ongoing project. A local volunteer group is tackling one of the most difficult tasks — removing all the stuff that got washed into the mangrove shorelines along the island chain.

Tropical Storm Gordon Forms over South Florida

Sep 3, 2018

Tropical Storm Gordon formed Monday morning near Key Largo, Florida and is expected to bring heavy rain, gusty winds and possible tornadoes to portions of South Florida Monday afternoon and night.

The storm is then likely to continue strengthening as it moves into the eastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, before making landfall across the central Gulf Coast states Tuesday night.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN News

Key West fell just short of electing a mayor Tuesday, with the top vote-getter receiving 49 percent. If she wins the runoff in November, former City Comissioner Teri Johnston would be Florida's first lesbian mayor, according to the statewide LGBTQ group Equality Florida.

Suzana Blake / NOAA Fisheries

Hurricane Irma cost Florida's fishing industries almost $200 million, according to a damage assessment released by the state and federal governments.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

A 22-year-old employee of a floating museum off Key West has been cited with a second-degree misdemeanor in the shooting of an osprey with a pellet gun.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

At 6 a.m. on a recent Thursday morning, Ernie Piton and his son dragged wooden lobster traps across their dock in Key Largo. They stabbed sharp wires through ripe, glossy fish heads, preparing for the grind of baiting and checking Florida spiny lobster traps. As the fishermen turned the key, rumbling their boat to life, they hoped for a good haul.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

One little cottage of less than 800 square feet got a lot of attention - and even a ribbon-cutting Thursday. The home, in the Avenues neighborhood of Big Pine Key, was the first Keys Cottage to be completed by the Florida Keys Community Land Trust.

Cammy Clark / Monroe County

With lots of rain and high humidity over the summer, Big Pine Key has not seen a repeat of last spring's wildfire that consumed dozens of acres. And the state forest service is trying to keep it that way.

The fire last April consumed dozens of acres and destroyed one structure. It was fueled by the dead vegetation left behind by Hurricane Irma, which crossed the Lower Keys as a Category 4 hurricane in September of 2017.

Islamorada Backs Off From Ban On Plastic Straws

Aug 10, 2018
plastic straws
Fairywren/Flickr Creative Commons

The Village of Islamorada for now will not join a growing list of municipalities, including Miami Beach, that have limited the use and sale of plastic straws.

Just as they prepare for a crucial harvest in the wake of Hurricane Irma, lobster fisherman in the Florida Keys fear a trade war with China could undermine storm recovery in the island chain.

BENBILL / FLICKR

Living in the Florida Keys is life in paradise, but it comes at a cost. 

Day-to-day life in the Keys can be a struggle despite the natural beauty of the archipelago. Still, the affordability challenges, threats from hurricanes and risk of higher seas can't dilute the Conch spirit of independence, personal resiliency and individualism. 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Monroe County already had one of the highest suicide rates in the state of Florida.

Then came Hurricane Irma. And although most of the debris has been removed from land - and lots of repairs are underway — the storm continues to impact the Keys, almost a year later.

The captain of a charter boat carrying government scientists on an environmental research cruise near the Keys has been cited for violating environmental regulations.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The Turtle Hospital in Marathon releases 50 to 60 sea turtles back to the ocean every year. On Friday two unusually large turtles returned to the sea — with new souvenirs from their time on land.

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