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.

Greta Thunberg, the activist who has quickly become a leading voice on climate change, is Time's Person of the Year for 2019. At 16, she is the youngest person to earn the title in the magazine's 92-year history.

Thunberg burst onto the world stage in the past year, organizing school strikes and protest marches to call attention to a climate crisis that she says older generations are not taking seriously enough.

NOAA

Florida has an underappreciated secret weapon to help heal its ailing reefs: prickly sea urchins.

AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD

Plans for a statewide office focused on rising sea levels and more electronic-vehicle charging stations along Florida highways are moving forward in the Senate, as Republicans have become more open to addressing climate change and emissions issues.

A. Neufeld / Coral Reef Restoration Foundation

For decades, most of the news about coral reefs has been pretty gloomy. Now the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is launching a new mission to bring back a few of those reefs.

Steve Rothaus/Miami Herald

New sea level rise projections for South Florida show an alarming trend: higher waters are coming faster than previously expected.

According to the Southeast Florida Climate Compact, seas could rise between one foot and two-and-a-half feet by 2060 – two to five inches more than 2015 projections.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

New sea level rise projections for South Florida were released Wednesday. And the numbers are up.

City of Key West

Hurricanes and high water don't recognize the boundaries between counties.

Photo courtesy IABG

U.S. and European space agencies are preparing to launch a 10-year mission aimed at measuring how much the seas will rise by 2030.

The agencies plan to launch the first of two satellites next year in what they describe as the longest-running mission of its kind on sea level rise.

The so-called Sentinel-6A satellite is scheduled to launch from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

A second identical satellite, called Sentinel-6B, will launch five years later.

Gonzalo Gaudenzi / AP

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season officially wraps up Saturday, ending another above-average season that packed lethal power.

The initial bill for surviving sea rise in the coming decades has come due for the Florida Keys — and it’s far more than Monroe County can afford itself to keep the island chain dry.

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. 

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Floridians have until Friday to weigh in on whether the state should set limits for toxic algae in water.

Florida is required to conduct reviews of water quality standards every three years under the federal Clean Water Act. This year, the state’s blue green algae task force and environmentalists have been lobbying for standards to address regular toxic outbreaks in the St. Lucie, Caloosahatchee and other Florida waterways.

They are iconic to Florida, but palm trees offer little shade to urban heat islands and capture very small amounts of carbon, a greenhouse gas contributing to global warming.

Tiffany Tompkins / Bradenton Herald

From the Unconditional Surrender monument in Sarasota to the parliament in Sweden, the world’s youth are holding weekly protests and highlighting the realities of climate change, a topic of growing importance to young men and women.

Stephanie Russo / Monroe County

There's a big pot of money coming to Florida from the federal government to help communities hit hard by recent hurricanes be more resilient in future storms. The Keys are making the case for a good chunk of that money.

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