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.

Miami Herald/Pedro Portal

New federal limits for dangerous toxins linked to blue green algae in water where people swim, boat and fish could help Florida fight the dangerous blooms.

The recommended criteria is the first ever set by the Environmental Protection Agency for two common toxins found in algae caused by cyanobacteria and would need to be adopted by Florida. But environmentalists say there's a problem: the limits are double what was originally proposed in 2016.

Sam Turken / WLRN News

More than 150 beachgoers, activists and elected officials joined hands at noon Saturday on the shore of Miami Beach to call for more environmental stewardship and to protest against offshore oil drilling and fossil fuels.

“What we’ve got are a bunch of people who care about the world, and we’re standing together along the water to say, ‘This is our beach, this our world.' To say, 'Yes to clean renewable energy,'” said Sam Van Leer, president of the non-profit Urban Paradise Guild.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday morning he will sign a bill instructing the state to build two new toll roads and extend a third through rural parts of the state.

Charles Trainor JR. / Miami Herald

Florida's ongoing water woes tops the list of problems to be tackled by the state's new chief science officer.

Courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife

It’s a milestone in the effort to save North America’s most endangered bird: For the first time wildlife managers are releasing captive-raised Florida grasshopper sparrows in the wild.

They hope to augment the fast-dwindling population on the Central Florida prairie. But they are moving ahead despite strong opposition from some researchers who say the releases could harm the sparrows on the brink of extinction.

Blenny Fish
Courtesy Jack Israel / WLRN

Anglins Fishing Pier in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea has been open since 1941, and many consider it to be a town staple. However, it has been only partially open for fishing and sightseeing since Hurricane Irma damaged part of it in 2017. 

Underwater workers first began to repair the historic structure this spring. But a small group of divers is now concerned that a tiny fish that lives among barnacles there - the Tessellated Blenny - may have had its marine habitat damaged in the process. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted "middle of the road" approaches on climate change, an apparent criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump Says He'll Push For $200 Million For Everglades Work

May 14, 2019

President Donald Trump says his administration will seek $200 million for federal work on watershed restoration in the Everglades this year. 

DeSantis Vetoes Bill On Plastic Straw Bans

May 13, 2019

In his first veto, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday rejected a bill that would have blocked local governments from banning plastic straws.

Miami Herald archives

As South Florida's ritzy coastline, bejeweled with luxury condos and posh hotels, has come under increasing threats from flooding and storm surge driven by climate change, scientists have focused on reefs to defend that wealth.

Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald

After a messy first year at their new location on Virginia Key, Ultra organizers are pulling out of the venue bordering sensitive wildlife areas and the University of Miami's Rosenstiel campus.

The Miami Herald reported organizers sent a letter to the city Wednesday saying they wanted out.

The decision comes a day before city commissioners were scheduled to vote on whether to allow the thunderous three-day music festival to return next year.

Bruce Stevens / Florida Keys Mosquito Control District

Rainy season in South Florida means it's also mosquito season. And now there's a new weapon being added to the arsenal against the insects in the Florida Keys.

Timmy Gunz/C.M. Guerrero/Martin County Health Dept / Creative Commons/Flickr/Miami Herald

Florida lawmakers have finished their work for the year. The 60-day legislative session had to have a few extra hours on Saturday for them to okay a $91.1 billion state budget.

Sam Turken / WLRN

More than 100 climate activists, South Florida elected officials and local residents gathered Tuesday evening to discuss the Green New Deal, the ambitious congressional plan to combat climate change. Many attendees left the town hall optimistic that the goals of the proposal are achievable, despite significant obstacles.

“It’s as aggressive as it needs to be,” said Daniella Vargas of Fort Lauderdale. “Anything that is going to make the changes that we need to make has to be that ambitious, if not more.”

It's early morning in an operating theater at Providence Hospital in Portland, Ore. A middle-aged woman lies on the operating table, wrapped in blankets. Surgeons are about to cut out a cancerous growth in her stomach.

But first, anesthesiologist Brian Chesebro puts her under by placing a mask over her face.

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