Environment

In South Florida, where the Everglades meet the bays, environmental challenges abound. Sea level rise threatens homes and real estate. Invasive species imperil native plants and animals. Pesticides reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, but at what cost? 

WLRN's award-winning environment reporting strives to capture the color and complexity of human interaction with one of the most biodiverse areas of the planet.

Environment Florida Research and Policy Center compiled data from the state and found that last year, 187 of 261 beaches tested had enough pollution to put swimmers at risk of getting sick on at least one day during the year.

Irma flooding
Miami Herald archives

South Florida is bracing for the impacts of Hurricane Isaias this weekend.

In its latest advisory, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for Boca Raton up to the Volusia-Brevard County line. A hurricane warning is in effect south of Boca Raton up to Hallandale Beach, as of 5 p.m. Friday.

MICHAEL STOCKER / AP

The city of Miami, among the nation’s most vulnerable to sea rise and rising temperatures driven by climate change, is reorganizing the way it fights climate change.

Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed multiple environmental bills into law. 

WUSF's Jessica Meszaros spoke to Jane West with the advocacy organization 1000 Friends of Florida about highlights from the legislative session:

Arguably no figure looms larger than John Muir in the history of America's national parks. His writings and contributions are widely regarded as the founding ethos of environmentalism in the U.S., including by one of the country's oldest environmental groups, the Sierra Club.

But amid the nationwide reappraisal of racist monuments, the Sierra Club said Wednesday that "it's time to take down some of our own monuments," including of its founder, Muir.

Activists are suing Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing a measure into law that prevents local governments from protecting the environment.

CIMAS

A research institute at the University of Miami that has tackled climate change, hurricanes and sick reefs is getting up to $310 million from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration to continue its work.

NOAA announced Thursday that UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science would again lead the institute for the next five years.

Joletta Silver / Shedd Aquarium

On a vast, wind-battered bank wedged between Florida, Cuba and the Bahamas, scientists studying the troubling decline of queen conchs have discovered some rare happy news: a thriving conch republic.

Florida Has Thousands More Properties With High Flood Risk Than FEMA Says, According To New Study

Jul 3, 2020

About 114,000 more Florida properties are at risk of flooding in a 100-year storm than the Federal Emergency Management Agency currently estimates, according to a model released Monday by a nonprofit arguing the country has undersold its vulnerability to disasters.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released its plan to help the Florida Keys adapt to rising seas. The $5.4 billion plan would include elevating more than 7,000 homes and buying out almost 300.

NOAA / AP

The early start to the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season — the sixth in a row and the first with three named storms by June 1— has rekindled calls to move up the season’s official start.

Protections for some wetlands and streams have been rolled back by the Environmental Protection Agency, under the Trump Administration. The affected areas are ephemeral streams, which only flow part of the year, and isolated wetlands, which are not directly connected to larger bodies of water.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to protect Miami-Dade County from hurricane storm surges over the next 50 years with flood gates across rivers, and a mile-long flood wall along its upscale waterfront, could cost nearly $4.6 billion.

The tentative plan, which is now open for public comment, is the latest and most fully detailed. The plan also calls for elevating about 2,300 flood-prone structures.

Ian Linder Sheldon

The rain that pounded South Florida last week, and dumped a half foot on Miami International Airport in just two hours, also tested the limits of the old Tamiami Canal.

Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium

A team of scientists looking for coral that can better survive global warming have identified a hardier Caribbean coral in the Bahamas.

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