Environment

Courtesy AECOM

Florida’s problem with algal blooms has taken center stage, and efforts to mitigate it are in high demand. A partnership between two engineering and bioplastics companies aims to bring a new type of solution to the market. One Florida county is already trying it out.

A photo of wetlands, which will be the site of a future mall in Miami
Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

Billionaire gubernatorial candidate Jeff Greene is taking aim at one of his competitors over what he calls a “MegaMall” development planned in South Florida. Gwen Graham was quick in firing back.

This boat was destroyed in a wildfire that resulted in 36 homes being destroyed in Eastpoint, Florida near Apalachicola.   June 27, 2018.
Ryan Dailey / WFSU News

Those helping victims of Franklin County’s Eastpoint community recover from a devastating fire say all the displaced are having their needs met.

grayscale photography of raindrops
Reza Shayestehpour / Unsplash

With the heavy rains these past few days, Bay County health officials are urging residents to take proper precautions to prevent illnesses during and after flooding. That includes not allowing children to play in flood waters since it could be contaminated by sewage. Health Department spokeswoman Heather Kretzer says there’s also a tip for private well owners.

scallops
FWC FWRI's Flickr

Starting Wednesday, there will be no swimming, boating, fishing, or scalloping in certain areas of St. Joseph Bay.

Louisiana as part of a breeding program.
Rob Diaz de Villegas / WFSU TV

Once upon a time, the Red Wolf roamed the south and eastern United States, from Texas to Pennsylvania. Today, there are fewer than 40 wolves left in the wild. The species is what’s called “functionally extinct”— with most of the remaining 200 or so wolves in captivity. The Trump administration is proposing changes to the Endangered Species Act that conservationists worry, could end what little protection the Red Wolf has left.

Weezer, one of the rehabilitated Kemp's Ridley sea turtles, returns to the wild.
AnnMarie Welser / wfsu news

The Gulf Specimen Marine Lab released two adolescent Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles Thursday. For local marine biology icon Jack Rudloe, this turtle release was particularly meaningful.

Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park
Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park Facebook Page / Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park Facebook Page

Florida has 175 state parks, each with a rich history. But officials say many get overlooked. One Jefferson county park works to preserve its history while also attracting new visitors.  

Pexels

Mosquito populations on the East Coast are 2 to 3 times larger than normal, according to an estimate by The National Pest Management Association. 

Tim Donovan / FWC

When wildlife experts need help balancing an ecosystem, they sometimes call on snakes. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently released 20 eastern indigo snakes into the wild.

A wildfire in Franklin County burns more than 800 acres.
Franklin County Sheriffs Office / facebook

By the end of the week, all of the families displaced by last month’s fire in Eastpoint, Florida will be in housing.

Kaleigh Wright

A survey by the Food Marketing Institute says the U.S. sees an 18 percent increase in consumers choosing to purchase meat locally rather than from a supermarket. North Florida farms and butcher shops take thoughtful preparation and service when it comes to distributing meat in the local community. 

Courtesy Harbor Branch Oceanic Institute

Images of bright-green water caused by harmful algal blooms have taken center stage in ecological and political conversations in Florida. This week, the federal government approved more than $1.5 billion to help fund a reservoir that will take overflow from Lake Okeechobee elsewhere in an effort to mitigate the algae’s effects. Ryan Dailey recently spoke with Florida Atlantic University’s interim director of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Dr. Jim Sullivan, to talk algae and what the reservoir stands to do to help.

Blue Green Algae on St. Johns River, Satsuma, Putnam County, May 26, 2010
FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Flickr

On the heels of a toxic algae bloom spreading across South Florida, Bay County health officials are reminding residents and visitors to be careful in area waters through a health campaign.

Someone giving an oral presentation during the 2013 Lionfish Summit hosted by FWC in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Tim Donovan / FWC Flickr

Florida’s wildlife agency will be holding a lionfish summit in the Fall. The goal is to find more ways to get rid of the spiny invasive species plaguing state waters.

Pictured is a wetland area
Ryan Benk / WFSU-FM

Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection is applying to take over duties from the federal government related to protecting its wetlands. But some environmental advocates are hoping the agency will pump the breaks.

City crews will leave on Monday to help the Eastpoint community.
City of Tallahassee Twitter

City of Tallahassee crews are bringing equipment and supplies to help the Eastpoint community following the fire that burned more than 950 acres last month. 

A mountain of oyster shells is a feature of Apalachicola, where the prized bivalves are a local delicacy.   2015
Jason Tereska / WFSU News

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to keep a decades long legal fight over water use alive is boosting hopes in North Florida. The state and its northern neighbor Georgia have been locked in a three-decade long fight over how much water each should get from a shared system.

Ryan Dailey / WFSUNews

Coastal Franklin County’s small Eastpoint community is picking up the pieces after a wildfire ravaged about 820 acres of land, destroying 36 homes. But for the hundreds displaced, there are more question marks in the aftermath than there are answers.

FWC / Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee

Beginning July 1st, Florida’s state waters will be open for bay scallop harvest. This scalloping season will be twelve times as long as 2017’s, thanks to healthier scallops in the Gulf.

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

The people and businesses that depend on the Apalachicola Bay just got a break from the U.S. Supreme Court—keeping a long running lawsuit over water use alive.

A wildfire in Franklin County burns more than 800 acres.
Franklin County Sheriffs Office / facebook

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says a prescribed burn is the cause of a fire in Eastpoint that has destroyed more than 800 acres and burned more than 30 homes. 

Raquel Raclette / Unsplash

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is asking victims to be safe and patient as they respond to every call after a wildfire tore through the County Sunday. Hundreds of acres were set ablaze, 36 homes were destroyed, but no deaths have been reported. 

Josh O'Connor WSFWF

A weekend fire at Eastpoint has destroyed homes and displaced hundreds. Franklin County Sheriff Tony Smith calls the fire one of the "most intense" he's seen in his career.

A lionfish in Florida Bay
Robert Ellis / FWC Flickr

From “smart traps” to underwater drones, Florida’s wildlife agency hopes five organizations will spend thousands of dollars in grant funding to find new ways to further target lionfish. The spiny invasive species eat fish native to Florida, have no natural predators, and can lay thousands of eggs over a short period of time.

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