Environment

Kate Payne

Florida’s coastlines and cavern systems are dotted with historic sites, from World War II era shipwrecks, to Spanish galleons, to remnants of thousand year old civilizations. But there aren’t enough archaeologists to keep up with the underwater preservation. Now the state is training amateur scuba divers to pick up some of the slack.

Lake Okeechobee and South Florida viewed from space.
public domain

The Florida Cabinet has approved a conservation easement in the Lake Okeechobee watershed.

iStockphoto

Motorists driving in Wakulla County should watch out for smoke, after a prescribed burning in the Apalachicola National Forest Monday.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection / https://www.flsenate.gov/PublishedContent/Committees/2016-2018/AEN/MeetingRecords/MeetingPacket_3946.pdf

Florida’s beaches are in constant need of restoration, to truck in sand that the sea washes away. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, miles of critically eroded beaches are in even more danger. Now a powerful lawmaker is once again trying to get funding to replenish the shorelines.

FWC's Youtube

Exotic Pet Amnesty Day is this Saturday. Florida wildlife officials are touting the day as a legal alternative to release exotic pets that owners no longer want to keep.

Adam Putnam via flickr / Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting this year’s Florida citrus crop will be the smallest since the 1940s. The state is slated to produce 54 million boxes, down from nearly 300 million in the 2000s.

Sen. Dana Young (R-Tampa)
Nick Evans

State lawmakers are pushing to ban fracking in the sunshine state.  A similar effort last year failed, but Sen. Dana Young (R-Tampa) believes this year will be different.

The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee with Sen. Rob Bradley presiding.
Nick Evans

A Senate panel has approved a plan to appropriate new dollars for the St. Johns River and Florida’s springs.  But the proposal could wind up vying for funding with a beach restoration measure.

Leon Trees / http://leontrees.org/explore/

The City of Tallahassee is suspending construction at the Welaunee development because of permit violations. The company behind the Canopy development on Welaunee Boulevard cleared a 700 foot stretch of woods and enlarged a stormwater pond without proper permits. 

FWC Flickr

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is opening an additional weekend for gray triggerfish season. 

Ichetucknee Springs State Park in High Springs, Fla.
Visit Florida

A state senator is trying to put $100 million a year into the land conservation program Florida Forever.  The Legislature didn’t appropriate anything for it this year.

Beshears (left) and Montford at the Wakulla County Commission Chambers.
Nick Evans

Wakulla County Commissioner Chuck Hess wants the state to purchase Camp Indian Springs.  One state lawmaker is proposing a novel funding source.

FWC FWRI's Flickr

The Gulf County bay scallop season is now open to harvesters, after state wildlife officials postponed the season for about two months.

Kate Payne via WFSU

Florida leads the nation in pedestrian fatalities. And some think infrastructure is to blame. Now the state Department of Transportation is transforming the way it designs streets. Tallahassee’s South Monroe Street could be one of the first to incorporate the new changes.

tablexxnx via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/tablexxnx/

Carbon monoxide poisoning from generators has reportedly killed five Floridians in the wake of Irma. Here are some ways to prevent exposure to the potentially deadly gas.

MGN Online

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on Texas may be impacting Irma victims in Florida trying to register for federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

Gulf Specimen Marine Lab via facebook

Hurricane Irma very nearly put a beloved Panhandle landmark out of business. But instead of closing their doors after 54 years, Panacea’s Gulf Specimen Marine Lab is up and running.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

President Trump is expected to make a visit to Florida this week due to Irma. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders made that announcement Tuesday.

City of Tallahassee via Twitter / https://twitter.com/COTNews

Across Florida, more than 64% of households are without power after Irma churned through the state. Here's an update on the efforts to restore utilities in the Big Bend.

Jessica Palombo via WJCT / WJCT

Jacksonville is seeing record-breaking flooding as storm surge pushes the St. Johns River over its banks. One person feeling the effects from Irma is Jessica Palombo, news director at member station WJCT.

NOAA / http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/154010.shtml?tswind120#contents

Update 9/9/17 5:00 p.m.: A voluntary evacuation notice has been issued for all of Leon County. Local officials say to expect 3-5 days without power. The region is likely to experience 18 hours worth of tropical storm force winds beginning Sunday evening into Monday.

Audubon of Florida / http://audubonoffloridanews.org/?p=11408

A planned reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee could take shape more quickly thanks to an Army Corps of Engineers decision.  

A Florida Black Bear.
Fish and Wildlife Commission via wikimedia commons

State wildlife officials say human-bear interactions are on the rise, and they’re trying to educate Floridians on ways to defuse those situations. 

Governor Rick Scott's press office

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi wants residents who desire to help Hurricane Harvey victims to be mindful of disaster relief charity scams.

Governor Rick Scott's press office

Florida is helping several states deal with their natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey.

Pages