Environment

A shrimp boat heads out into the Apalachicola Bay.
Jason Tereska / WFSU News

After years of conflict, the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up the case over Florida and Georgia’s water disputes. Somewhat surprisingly, the justices seem sympathetic to Florida’s problems, and that has some of the state’s advocates feeling optimistic.

Irma Contributing To Florida's Declining Citrus Forecast

Jan 12, 2018
Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan's twitter

The Florida orange usually fares well during the winter weather, but recent numbers show citrus crops were not able to weather hurricane Irma’s storm.

The Trump Administration will consider allowing up to 47 new oil leases in the outer continental shelf--areas, such as the eastern Gulf of Mexico, have previously been off limits.
wikimedia commons

Florida waters were removed Tuesday from White House plans to open previously protected parts of the Atlantic Ocean and eastern Gulf of Mexico to offshore oil and gas drilling.  The move was hailed by Governor Rick Scott, while drawing questions about whether the quick decision and manner of announcement by the Trump administration were done to further Scott’s political career.

FWC Monitors Ocean Life Through Cold Weather

Jan 8, 2018

Florida experienced shocking lows this past week. A shock not just for land lovers, but ocean life that surrounds the Sunshine State.

Kate Payne via WFSU

The U.S. Supreme Court appears sympathetic to Florida’s complaints in a decades-long water dispute with Georgia. The court heard oral arguments in the case Monday.

Deepwater Horizon drilling platform on fire in 2010.
US Coast Guard

Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and Governor Rick Scott are in agreement: a plan to allow offshore oil drilling by President Donald Trump's administration isn't good for Florida, and it comes as Nelson is also asking the Trump administration to pull back from repealing safety regulations made in response to the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Sustainable Tallahassee

There’s a new Apalachicola Riverkeeper. Volunteer and fundraiser Georgia Ackerman is taking over for the group’s long-serving leader Dan Tonsmeire. The transition comes as the state is preparing for a Supreme Court case about the future of the river.

Florida Memory / https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/114159

Local preservationists are working to survey a historically black neighborhood that’s feeling pressure from developers. The project could help residents protect the area from new construction.

As law enforcement agencies across Florida consider using body cameras, the state’s wildlife officers are following suit.

Josh O'Connor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast/

Florida’s top agriculture official wants more funding to fight wildfires. Firefighters worked hard to control this year’s burns, before heavy rainfall cut the season short. But winter weather conditions could fuel more fires in 2018. 

The St. Johns River
FL Division of Tourism via Florida Memory

The Florida Senate is aiming to divvy up a pot of environmental money with large chunks earmarked for Florida’s springs and the St. Johns River. 

Avery Bristol / FWC's Flickr

The Executive Director of Florida’s wildlife agency is leaving. He’s the latest to step down from a top role at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

City of Jacksonville via facebook

The impacts of hurricanes on people are well documented, and can scar communities for years. But the ecological effects of storms aren’t as obvious. 

Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission via flickr

Florida’s wildlife management agency is announcing a record number of green sea turtle nests this year. That's in spite of impacts from Hurricane Irma.

US Department of Agriculture

New Senate appropriations chairman Rob Bradley wants more of the land acquisition trust fund going to land purchasing and management. 

Kate Payne via WFSU

Southside Tallahassee residents are still worried about a proposal to build a new road through their neighborhoods. If city and county officials approve it, the street would be part of the Airport Gateway plan. A recent public meeting on the issue drew dozens of residents.

Kate Payne via WFSU

Florida lawmakers and Governor Scott are $50 million apart when it comes to funding the state’s signature land buying program. But whether it’s 50 million or 100 million, the state has backed out of such proposals before, zeroing out funding for Florida Forever three years in a row. Meanwhile millions of acres of land could be at risk of development.

Kate Payne via WFSU

Florida lawmakers are advancing a plan to allocate $100 million a year to the land buying program Florida Forever. Last year the legislature zeroed out its funding.

Office of Gov. Rick Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott is urging lawmakers to put $50 million into repairs for Lake Okeechobee’s Herbert Hoover dike.

US Department of Agriculture

Florida Governor Rick Scott is unveiling his plans for environmental spending ahead of the 2018 lawmaking session.

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.

Kimley Horn / http://www.crtpa.org/files/125489997.pdf

The Five Points intersection in Midtown Tallahassee is a source of congestion and confusion for drivers. Now a local transit board is working on improving the block where 7th Avenue, Thomasville and Meridian Roads meet.

Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency / http://www.crtpa.org/files/125489996.pdf

City of Tallahassee officials are urging residents to stay involved in plans to redesign Southside streets. Local government agencies are studying possible improvements for Orange Avenue, Lake Bradford and Springhill Roads, and they want residents to know the plans are still in the conceptual stages.

iStockphoto

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

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