Environment

Kate Payne via WFSU

The private board in charge of handing out funds from the BP oil spill is developing its application process. But sparsely populated Gulf Coast counties are worried they could lose out on some of the settlement money.

Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC. / https://infopost.spectraenergy.com/InfoPost/STTHome.asp?Pipe=STT

Residents near a stretch of the Sabal Trail Pipeline in Central Florida are reporting the sulfur-like smell of a gas leak. But the company behind the utility says the emissions are from an odorant leak, not from natural gas.

Judy Biss / UF/IFAS Extension Panhandle Agriculture Team

This month, up and coming beekeepers in the Florida Panhandle will have the opportunity to take part in a few beekeeping classes.

Jackson Blue Spring
Nick Evans

Florida Governor Rick Scott is touting $50 million to protect the state’s springs.  But that’s not the only effort state officials are working on.  In Jackson County there’s one program geared toward farmers.

Marty Folk / FWC's Flickr

Florida wildlife officials are highlighting sandhill cranes as well as better ways for the public to coexist with the threatened bird species.

Florida Forest Service facebook

40 more wildland firefighters from Florida are now heading to the western part of the U.S. to help deal with one of the worst wildlife seasons in American history. That’s on top of the 41 sent last month.

NOAA / http://www.noaa.gov/media-release/early-season-storms-one-indicator-of-active-atlantic-hurricane-season-ahead

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a more active hurricane season than initially expected. The announcement comes as Florida prepares for the peak months of the season – August through October.

Tropical Depression Six which developed into Tropical Storm Emily
NOAA and National Weather Service

Floridians are coping with rain and flooding after Tropical Storm Emily developed seemingly from nothing Sunday night. 

FWC's Flickr

Franklin County residents have at least two opportunities to make their regular trash cans bear-proof, thanks to a grant. Florida wildlife officials are looking to add hardware to help reduce human-bear conflicts in the area.

MGN Online

Drivers should be careful as they drive through the Leon County area Monday and Tuesday. A prescribed burn of the Apalachicola National Forest could leave the area a bit smoky.

Florida Memory / https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/72197

Conservationists are raising concerns about how the Lake Talquin dam is impacting wildlife. The comments come as federal regulators are reviewing the future of the hydroelectric plant there.

Piccolomini holding Butters making her way out to the release site.
Nick Evans

The eastern indigo snake is back in North Florida, at least that’s what a group of scientists is hoping.  Reintroducing the species caps off three decades off environmental restoration efforts.

Tim Donovan / FWC's Flickr

Starting Thursday, blue crab harvesters can no longer have their traps in North Florida waters. The goal is for Florida wildlife officials to use that 10-day period to get rid of lost and abandoned blue crab traps, which can have a negative impact on the environment and boaters.

Kate Payne via WFSU

Wakulla County’s commercial fishermen say they want to cooperate with local oyster farmers, within limits. The announcement comes when tensions are escalating between the groups, after vandals tampered with aquaculture equipment in the area.

The Nature Conservancy's David Printiss showing off one of the sires who fathered some of the snakes released Monday.
Nick Evans

Scientists are re-introducing indigo snakes for the first time in decades to a stretch of forest outside Tallahassee.

BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig on fire in 2010.
US Coast Guard

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council is unveiling its plan for 2017 and looking for public feedback.

Peter via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/augustusoz/

Vandals tampered with oyster aquaculture equipment in Wakulla County this weekend, which investigators say is a felony offense. WFSU spoke with one of the farmers, who says the incident is derailing this year’s crop.

FWC FWRI's Flickr

Florida wildlife officials say lionfish harvesters are crucial to getting rid of the invasive species. But, lionfish removal divers are urged to safely remove the fish without causing any natural habitat damage.

JB Mellquist via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jbmellquist/6823148831/

County and state officials are investigating reports of vandalism at North Florida oyster farms. According to the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office, navigational markers were tampered with at oyster aquaculture operations in Skipper Bay. 

Regan McCarthy WFSU News

The FBI is investigating Tallahassee’s Community Redevelopment Agency, while questions of cronyism swirl around city hall. The state’s CRAs missed the chopping block this legislative session, despite previous reports of mismanagement. WFSU looks into how the agencies’ loose structure is fueling their current predicament.

MGN Online

Despite a very active wildfire season, Florida Forest Service Firefighters will now be helping other states battle their own blazes.

Walton County Sheriff's office facebook

Especially during Hurricane Season, Florida Panhandle beaches as well as much of the Gulf coast can experience a high risk of rip currents, which can lead to drownings. One county has launched a mini-documentary to warn beachgoers about those dangers as part of a water safety project.

FWC FWRI's Flickr

As sort of a pilot, state wildlife officials are holding three different bay scallop seasons in the Florida Panhandle. While one starts Saturday, another is already underway.

FWC FWRI's Flickr

Despite a harmful algal bloom in 2015, Florida wildlife officials say the bay scallop population in Saint Joe Bay appears to be improving.

MGN Online

Despite some minor damage, Franklin County officials say the area is doing well after a tornado hit St. George Island Tuesday.

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