Craig Pittman

Craig Pittman

Craig Pittman is a native Floridian. In 30 years at the Tampa Bay Times, he won numerous state and national awards for his environmental reporting. He is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestseller Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, which won a gold medal from the Florida Book Awards. His latest, published in 2021, is The State You're In: Florida Men, Florida Women, and Other Wildlife. In 2020 the Florida Heritage Book Festival named him a Florida Literary Legend. Craig is co-host of the "Welcome to Florida" podcast. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and children.


This Florida chemical plant is the biggest greenhouse gas polluter in the state

By: - December 1, 2022

I have a confession to make. I’m oooooold. How old am I? I remember when Steve Martin was just a stand-up comic whose big schtick involved getting small. These days Martin is the star of a popular Hulu TV show about a trio of snarky amateur detectives. In movies, he’s played a well-meaning dope, a […]


Be thankful FL voters are willing to save environmental lands — why aren’t our politicians?

By: - November 24, 2022

Back when I was a kid in Pensacola, the church that my parents and I attended held services three times a week. We were there every time the doors were open: Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. I liked the Wednesday sessions best because every couple of months we’d have a “song service.” That […]


Sea turtles hatching on Florida beaches are feeling the heat from warming climate

By: - November 17, 2022

When anyone asks me what’s the coolest thing I’ve ever covered, I always tell them about the sea turtle: I once witnessed a loggerhead turtle crawl onto a Sarasota County beach in the dark of a new moon, dig a hole, and lay a bunch of eggs. That night, I was riding with a couple […]


Good news! You’re Florida’s new governor. Bad news: Now you have to save our environment

By: - November 10, 2022

Imagine you were just elected the governor of the third largest state in the U.S. You. Not the guy who, according to his recent ad, Jehovah created special on the eighth day. And not the guy who has been mistakenly called “Christ” yet couldn’t resurrect the Democratic Party in Florida. It’s all on you. And […]


CRC’s fate is on the ballot – for once Florida legislators want you to vote

By: - November 4, 2022

Right now, all the Florida newspapers and television stations are full of stories and ads urging you to vote. It’s your civic duty! Vote today! The political parties are after you to vote, too: From billboards to robocalls to text messages, you can’t get away from the drumbeat of go-vote-go-vote-go-vote. I’m surprised there aren’t any […]


Gubernatorial debate skipped key questions about Florida’s worsening environmental problems

By: - October 27, 2022

I watched the one and only Florida gubernatorial debate Monday night. I admit that I yelled at the TV set. No, I wasn’t mad at the two candidates, incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis and challenger Charlie Crist. They’re both politicians with years of experience, and so they both behaved exactly the way politicians do. If they […]


Bacteria outbreak after Ian tells a scary story about Florida’s broken sewage systems

By: - October 20, 2022

Halloween is once again looming over us like a dark shadow, bidding us to buy tons of tooth-rotting candy, dress up in weird outfits (sexy Bob Ross, anyone?), and decorate our houses with skeletons, ghosts, and monsters. It’s also a time for telling scary stories. Here’s one that should scare the bejabbers out of you: […]


Development on Florida’s barrier islands made Ian evacuation virtually impossible

By: - October 13, 2022

Jesus had some good advice for Florida developers: Don’t build a house on the sand. It won’t stand up when a storm hits. “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash,” the Son of God said in Matthew 7:27. But […]


Florida homeowners flooded by Ian don’t have to tell new buyers about the disaster’s damage

By: - October 6, 2022

Whenever a hurricane threatens to slam into someplace near me in Florida, there’s one thing I do before I start packing to evacuate: I call my mom in Pensacola. She’s a retired bookkeeper, not a meteorologist. But she’s been carefully plotting the path of hurricanes across the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico for more […]


Hurricane Ian proves politicians are trying to fool us if they’re tackling climate change

By: - September 29, 2022

Note: This commentary has been updated. Craig Pittman filed this column early Wednesday afternoon, before Ian made landfall. By the time you read this, we will know where Hurricane Ian made landfall, and how much destruction it caused. We’ll know how high its winds were and how much storm surge it pushed ashore. We will […]


New road through this Florida state forest is an idea going the wrong way

By: - September 22, 2022

Whenever I sing the praises of Florida, I always mention its award-winning state park system. Like the state itself, the parks system has features that are both impressive (from the soaring dunes of Topsail Hill to the depths of the Devil’s Millhopper) and quirky (mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs, Lu the Hippo at Homosassa etc.) […]


When it comes to Florida developers and water board chair, grease is the word

By: - September 15, 2022

I love music — as the O’Jays put it so well, “any type of music, as long as it’s grooving.” I’ve long been a fan of such big-voiced belters as Aretha Franklin and Linda Ronstadt. I’ve even tapped my toes to a few musicals, such as “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Chicago.” But there’s a […]