Florida Keys

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Two candidates are vying to be the next Miami-Dade County District 5 Commissioner. Former commissioner Bruno Barreiro resigned the seat in March to run for Congress, leading to a special election last month.

Progressive Eileen Higgins took 35 percent of the May 22 primary, and Zoreida Barreiro, the wife of current commissioner Bruno Barreiro, was close behind with 33 percent. Higgins sat down with Sundial to discuss how she will tackle transit, sea level rise and affordable housing issues in Miami-Dade.

Hurricane Irma moved a lot of things around underwater off the Florida coast. And the storm has revealed new evidence of an old shipwreck off the Florida Keys.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The Florida Keys took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma last September. But as local governments start putting together their budgets for the next fiscal year, they recently got some good news: the property values on the island chain have increased.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. George Neugent is the Monroe city commissioner. Stephanie Kaple is the director of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition. Hurricane Season starts June 1 and Sundial talked to Kilngener, Neugent and Kaple about Monroe County post Irma, recovery efforts and preparedness for the upcoming season.

Rosamaria Gonzalez / USDA

A low-tech method is saving a threatened species of bird from getting sucked into jet engines at the Naval Air Station Key West airfield on Boca Chica Key.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

A new program that allows students to provide information anonymously to school officials by text message will be used throughout the Monroe County school system in the fall.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Monroe County has an offer for those who want to return home right away after a hurricane: Take a 32-hour training course and get a special pass that will get you back in the first days after a storm, before the general public.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

There are three hospitals in the Florida Keys — and one of them was critically wounded by Hurricane Irma. Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon has been operating as a field hospital since the storm. Now the hospital’s nonprofit owner is seeking some help from Middle Keys taxpayers to keep it going.

At Mote Marine Lab's Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration in the Florida Keys, Joey Mandara is like a baby sitter. But instead of children he tends to thousands of baby corals, growing in large, shallow tanks called raceways.

Mote has been doing this work for five years, raising corals from embryos into adult colonies, then planting them on Florida's reefs. Now, the emergence of a new, debilitating coral disease makes his work more important than ever.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

There’s been a lot of interest and attention on national politics since the 2016 presidential election. But in the Florida Keys, politics has always served as a form of entertainment.

Creative Commons

As the rainy season returns — along with the disease-carrying mosquitoes that reproduce in standing water — the public is getting another chance to comment on one proposed method for fighting mosquitoes.

The Florida Keys have had a crisis in affordable housing for decades — and it got worse after Hurricane Irma.

Gov. Rick Scott now has a new proposal to add rental units for workers and get around the island chain's strict growth limits.

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

The forecasters got Hurricane Irma mostly right. At least compared to the predictions of past storms. That’s one of the conclusions from a National Hurricane Center report on the big storm that hit Florida last September.

Monroe County Fire-Rescue

A brushfire has burned about 100 acres and destroyed one home on Big Pine Key — an island that saw some of the worst devastation from Hurricane Irma.

Jack Fishman

Sofas, refrigerators, pipes and lobster traps all wound up littering the Keys reef and backcountry flats after Hurricane Irma blew through in September.

Now the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary wants to deploy volunteer divers to remove the debris.

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