Environment

This map shows active oil exploration leases in the Gulf of Mexico as of August 15, 2014.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

The federal government has been slowly opening the Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean for more offshore oil development. Developers say public opinion is on their side, but not everyone shares the same view.

FWC

The lionfish continues to be problematic for Florida wildlife officials. While nice to look at, the invasive fish is harmful to the state’s nature habitat. The state wildlife agency is designating May 16th as Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day.

Florida Association of Counties

Escambia County is right in the not-so-sweet spot of Florida counties hardest hit by 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The spill will cost tens of billions of dollars in cleanup charges, fines and settlements, and many say it is still blighting the environment. The damage still lingers, long after BP declared its work done. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is still finding oil remnants in places like Pensacola’s Fort Pickens Beach.

LHatter / Courtesy of The Everglades Foundation

The Florida cabinet approved a pair of land purchases Tuesday that it says will aid in efforts to manage water retention in Southwest Florida.

Part of the $13 million purchase approved by the cabinet allows The Department of Environmental Protection to buy 670 acres in Charlotte County. This land will provide the public with recreational opportunities like hiking and wildlife exploration.

The agency says, this purchase along with another one in Collier County, are key to an ongoing hydrologic restoration project in the region.

Environmentalists are less than pleased with Florida Governor Rick Scott’s pick to head the Department of Environmental Protection. Jon Steverson is returning to the department as secretary after a stint at the Northwest Florida Water Management District.

Jon Steverson oversaw the restructuring of the Northwest Florida Water Management District as Executive Director. Prior to that, he served in the administration of former Gov. Charlie Crist—where he dealt with environmental issues.

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