Environment

State News
10:01 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Panel Pitches $200 Million Plans To Clean Up Lake Okeechobee System

green algae bloom in the St. Lucie River, August 2013
David Miller EarthJustice

A state legislative panel has come up with a multi-point plan for cleaning up Central Florida’s polluted water bodies. Issues in the Lake Okeechobee basin arose earlier in the summer as polluted water from the lake was released into surrounding systems.

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Environment
4:18 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Florida's 20-Year-Old Net Ban Still Has Anglers And State Regulators Fishing For A Solution

Mullet fisherman Keith Ward lets a small Mullet fish loose from his net.
R.Benk WFSU-News

For two decades commercial fishermen and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have battled over rules regulating the size of holes on fishing nets. Fishermen say smaller mesh decimates fish populations, while FWC officials say it’s the larger mesh that does the real harm. But, one scientist says both parties are guilty of telling fish stories.

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Environment
5:19 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Environmental Department To Focus On Water Quality, Park Upgrades

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection wants to focus on increasing water quality and upgrading state parks next year—if the Legislature grants a request for additional money.  The department also expects to sell $20 million worth of land as part of its 2014 spending plan.

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Environment
5:01 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Ruling Lets Mullet Fisherman Cast Larger Nets - For Now

For the first time in two decades, Keith Ward casts a net with mesh larger than two inches.
R.Benk WFSU-News

In order to prevent overharvesting, Florida voters in 1994 ratified a constitutional ban on what’s called a gill net, which catches fish by entangling their gills in the net’s mesh. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which was put in charge of creating the rules to implement the amendment, also stipulated that mullet fishermen could only use nets whose holes were no larger than 2-inches in size, prompting two decades of court battles. After a year of deliberating, Leon County Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford ruled in favor of commercial fishermen last week.

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Environment
6:31 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Congressional Leaders, Environmentalists Talk Impact Of Federal $8B Water Bill To Fla.

Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-Fl) making his remarks on the House floor, pointing to a bottle of polluted water from St. Lucie Estuary.

As Congress starts to work out some disparities between two slightly different water bills, Florida Congressmen and environmental groups are lauding the passage of the about $8 billion legislation as a victory. That’s because a portion of that money is slated for several Florida water projects, including Everglades restoration efforts.

When Florida Congressman Patrick Murphy recently spoke on the House floor in favor of the water bill, he brought with him a prop from Florida’s St. Lucie Estuary.

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