Author

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 five 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 2020, is Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther. The Florida Heritage Book Festival recently 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.

COMMENTARY

Pulte Homes destroys 22 FL tortoise burrows, pays a paltry penalty

By: - September 16, 2021

Say what you will about Florida (and many of you have), but we’ve sure got some unusual crimes here. A surprising number of them involve reptiles. You have probably heard about the guy who, in 2016, tossed an alligator through a Wendy’s drive-thru window in Royal Palm Beach. Last year, Sanford police recovered a five-foot […]

COMMENTARY

Rescuers race to save Florida’s corals while federal government plans more dredging

By: - September 9, 2021

About four months ago, I drove over to Orlando and saw something I’d never seen before, something guaranteed to produce a reaction of “Ooooo! Ahhhh!” It was sort of like seeing the fireworks at Disney World for the first time, only not nearly as loud. While Disney may be the quintessential Mickey Mouse operation, that […]

COMMENTARY

Phosphate pollution reports give Florida residents déjà vu

By: - September 2, 2021

One summer when I was in college, I worked at a Pensacola textbook warehouse. One of my co-workers was a funny guy named Jim. While we packed boxes of textbooks to ship all over the country, Jim would be cracking us up with one-liners, jokes and stories. Jim was a huge fan of Monty Python’s […]

COMMENTARY

When it comes to FL politicians and the environment, a myth is as good as a mile

By: - August 26, 2021

You may find this hard to believe, but Florida is full of mythical creatures. I don’t mean the fantastic critters you see at the theme parks – the talking mice, the flying carpet, the dancing candlesticks serving your dinner. No, I mean things like our version of the Yeti, the odiferous Skunk Ape. It supposedly […]

COMMENTARY

Raising the dam-nable road that ruined Florida’s Everglades

By: - August 19, 2021

Much like all the Florida men and women who drive on them — usually while yakking on their phones, fixing their makeup, and reloading their guns — Florida’s roads tend to have a, shall we say, “interesting” backstory. For instance, Interstate 4, the deadliest highway in the nation, is supposedly haunted by the ghosts of […]

COMMENTARY

Florida’s boondoggle bridge carries a curse for all who touch it

By: - August 12, 2021

For years, I have heard that the only constants in this life are death and taxes, but I suspect this is not true. I think there’s at least one other constant, at least in my life — the Garcon Point Bridge. I have been writing about this Panhandle boondoggle for more than 20 years. Every […]

COMMENTARY

It’s a sin what we’ve done to Florida’s seagrass

By: - August 5, 2021

The news reports around where I live in St. Petersburg have been greatly concerned with weights and measures recently. It’s an effort to quantify the horror of the ongoing red tide algae bloom by recounting the staggering amount of the sea life that has turned up dead: 500 tons! Three million pounds! 1,711 tons! And […]

COMMENTARY

Florida Wildlife Corridor subverted by a gold-medal Tallahassee Switcheroo

By: - July 29, 2021

I watched some of the opening Olympic ceremonies last week for one simple reason: I had read that Florida has more athletes in Tokyo right now than any state besides California. And they’re not just there to get away from the smell of the red tide fish kills, either. Floridians are competing in every sport […]

COMMENTARY

I think you will never see a FL county so hostile to a tree

By: - July 22, 2021

Hey, do you remember nostalgia? That longing for simpler, happier times can be a powerful force in American life, affecting the success of everything from “The Way We Were” to “Make America Great Again.” Nostalgia can evoke such powerful feelings that the guy who coined the term in 1688, Swiss physician Johannes Hofer, considered it […]

COMMENTARY

Down under FL’s Wakulla County, flirting with disaster with our biggest spring

By: - July 15, 2021

Ask any of my friends (yes, I do too have some!) and they will tell you I love music. Rock-bottom blues, jumping jazz, smooth soul, bouncy bluegrass — name a genre and I’ll name the songs I enjoy. You might say my theme song is the O’Jays’ “I Love Music.” Speaking of theme songs, I, […]

COMMENTARY

Move over, Florida panthers! Refuge wants to let in more people

By: - July 8, 2021

Sometimes I think Florida should hold a regular competition for the The Most Laughably Bad Idea of the Year. Some years, the competition would be pretty fierce because hey, let’s face it, it’s Florida. In others, the winner would be easy to pick. In 2011, for instance, no other competitor came close to the proposal […]

COMMENTARY

Florida’s air quality is great — just don’t inhale the algae bloom poison

By: - July 1, 2021

I’ve been married for more than a quarter century, so I am a little hazy about how the dating world works. But I recall a time — way back around the Mesozoic Era, I think — when you’d hear someone trying to convince a reluctant friend to go on a blind date by using language […]