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. 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.


Feds said manatees weren’t endangered — now they’re dying in droves

By: - March 18, 2021

Two months ago, everybody got pretty excited when a Citrus County boat captain snapped photos showing some prankster had scraped out five letters in the algae growing on a manatee’s back. The letters spelled out the name of a certain former president now residing in Palm Beach. Amid the widespread outrage, people suggested various punishments […]


Green Swamp’s sand miners seek special treatment after their slip-up

By: - March 11, 2021

A few years ago, I went camping with my kids’ Boy Scout troop in the Green Swamp. We pitched our tents on the bank of a sparkling creek, so far from civilization that getting a cell signal proved nearly impossible. It was glorious. You wouldn’t think such a natural place existed in Central Florida, aka […]


Banning big reptiles upsets a big FL industry. Let’s upset some others

By: - March 4, 2021

The Dry Tortugas are about as far away from Florida as you can get and still be in Florida — but they’ve got a very Florida problem. We’re talking about an island group 67 miles west of Key West, one that’s entirely occupied by a national park full of birds and lush plant life. You […]


Panthers are popular on FL license plates – but the cats themselves, not so much

By: - February 25, 2021

Have you ever seen a Florida panther? They’re sleek and secretive apex predators who slip around in the twilight and full dark seeking deer and hogs to eat. They tend to avoid humans at all times – in part because we seldom do them anything but harm. This is why there are waaaay more cars […]


FL lawmakers trying to squash Key West voters’ wishes, but forget one thing

By: - February 18, 2021

You hear a lot around Presidents’ Day and other patriotic holidays about how great democracy is and how important voting is. But in Florida, when a vote doesn’t go the way big corporations like, our Legislature is ever eager to squash the voters’ wishes. Sometimes, though, in their rush to crank up the steamroller for […]


New Gulf of Mexico whale species has same old problem: Us

By: - February 11, 2021

Nearly two years ago, I stood on the edge of an enormous hole in the sand at Fort DeSoto in St. Pete Beach, trying to remember to breathe through my mouth, not my nose. This was not a contest to build the world’s biggest sandcastle. It was more interesting than that. It was a scientific […]

algae bloom

DeSantis’ budget on algae blooms offers plenty of irony

By: - February 4, 2021

If you live in Florida, you will never suffer from an irony deficiency. Just look around you. We have real estate developments with names like “The Preserve” and “Wilderness” and “Cypress Trace,” built in places where nothing natural is preserved, there is no wilderness left, and you won’t find a trace of cypress anymore. Florida’s […]


Rick Scott now acknowledges climate change, but still won’t do anything about it

By: - January 28, 2021

The first time I met Rick Scott was a few months after he became governor of Florida. Back then, it sometimes seemed his vocabulary consisted entirely of one word: Jobs! He said “jobs” in answer to everything. How’s the weather today? “Jobs!” Do you think the Buccaneers will win Sunday? “Jobs!” What’s 2+2? “Jobs!” I […]


Killing FL barge canal 50 years ago offers lessons for stopping toll roads

By: - January 21, 2021

Seeing Richard Nixon’s name popping up in news coverage of the second Trump impeachment has made me so nostalgic for my teen years, I may break out in pimples all over again. The first news event I remember is the moon landing, but the first one I really paid attention to, back when I was […]

At Florida’s ‘BS Ranch,’ the sludge just keeps flowing

By: - January 14, 2021

Ever since my mom got me my first library card, I’ve been an avid reader. Like a lot of dedicated readers, I keep a running tally in my head of books with great titles — titles that are so intriguing they make you want to read the book regardless of the topic. My favorite title […]


FL sacrificed a river to get paper mill jobs. The deal really stunk.

By: - January 7, 2021

While my older son was going to college in Tallahassee, my wife and I and our younger son would routinely drive up to visit him via U.S. 19. It was a lovely trip on a quiet highway that cut through the small towns and piney woods of North Florida — except for one bad spot. […]


As FL manatees try to recuperate, we humans act like wild animals

By: - December 31, 2020

Last week, when the temperature dropped below 50 degrees in South Florida, the National Weather Service warned everyone in the Miami area to be on the lookout for falling iguanas. They’re cold-blooded, so when the mercury falls, they do too. Of course, everyone guffawed about that. Oh, how wacky we are in Florida! When the […]