Environment

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.

FWC Asks The Public To Report Fish Kills

Jun 20, 2017
FWC Flickr

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants the public to report all fish kills this summer, when high temperatures and hurricanes threaten Florida’s marine and freshwater wildlife.

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

The Sabal Trail Pipeline is up and running, pumping natural gas some 515 miles from Alabama to Central Florida. But environmental concerns and legal challenges remain.

New Law Requires Public Notification For Pollution

Jun 15, 2017
The Nature Conservancy

A new law signed today requires public notification within 24 hours of pollution incidents. 

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

The Sabal Trail Pipeline is scheduled to start up this week, carrying natural gas from Alabama to Central Florida. Federal regulators approved the activation of the project earlier this summer. But environmentalists are worried about potential impacts to the state’s waterways.

Canoeing on the Peace River
Charles Noegel via Florida Memory

The Florida Cabinet is approving two significant land acquisitions through Florida Forever.  But state lawmakers refused to put more money in the program’s trust fund this year.

Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles Twitter

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has launched its Safe Summer Travel Campaign. Florida Highway Patrol Captain Jeffrey Bissainthe says motorists should take several safety precautions during this year’s above-normal hurricane season.

Hurricane season is here and you're probably hearing a lot of talk about maps; storm surge maps and perhaps even flood zone maps. Here are some clear differences to help you understand what they mean for you.

Let's start with storm surge maps. They help emergency managers make plans to protect the nearly 21 million people who call Florida home -- by predicting how high the water wall forced onshore by a storm might be and how far inland it will invade. That will also help you know when it's time to head for higher ground. 

Getty Images

With the start of Hurricane season upon us, the state’s Attorney General not only wants Floridians to be prepared, she also wants the public to watch out for scammers.

Elizaveta Litvak

A new study published by the journal Water Resources Research casts a troubling light on the American fetish for an emerald green lawn. 

Chris73 via wikimedia commons

Summer’s here and that means oyster season in Apalachicola Bay.

Black Skimmer with chicks
Jim Gray / Audubon of Florida

Environmental groups are encouraging Floridians to be careful of shorebirds when they head to the beach for the holiday weekend.  Nick Evans has more.

firefighter
Florida Forest Service

Officials with the Florida Forest Service say recent rains are not enough to tamp down the hundreds of wildfires raging across the state. Parts of the state are still in a drought.

(L-R) Sen. Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee), Sen. Oscar Braynon (D-Miami), Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) and Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart).
Nick Evans

Gov. Rick Scott has about 10 days to sign legislation appropriating money to counties hit by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A settlement deal gives the state about $2 billion over several years.

Tim Donovan / FWC's Flickr

This week is National Safe Boating Week, and with Florida wildlife officials expecting increased turnout on the water for the Memorial Day weekend, they’re hoping boaters will wear life jackets.

Apalachicola River
USDA

The Florida legislature directed funding toward water projects instead of land conservation this year. But environmental groups complain that the state has still not fully implemented the land conservation constitutional amendment passed in 2014.

Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) speaks to members of the Florida Board of Governors Tuesday, 6/21/16
Florida Channel

Florida Senate President Joe Negron said he appreciates Governor Rick Scott’s support for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee. But he’s concerned about Scott’s request to include $200 million to fix the Herbert Hoover dike. Negron said he doesn’t trust the federal government to reimburse the state for repairs to the federally-operated levee.

Center for Biological Diversity

417 potentially endangered species are going unprotected, according to a national environmental organization. The organization is suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

You might think you know what frogs sound like — until, that is, you hear the symphony of amphibians that fills the muggy night air at Nokuse Plantation, a nature preserve in the Florida Panhandle.

There, about 100 miles east of Pensacola, a man named M.C. Davis has done something extraordinary: He has bought up tens of thousands of acres in the Florida sandhills and turned them into a unique, private preserve.

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