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.


Good news-bad news on Florida manatee deaths this year

By: - April 6, 2023

My dad, an inveterate jokester, was a big fan of “good news-bad news” gags. One of his favorites was about two old codgers named Bill and Joe who were big baseball fans. As Bill lies on his deathbed, Joe makes him promise to find a way to tell him if there’s baseball in heaven. Sure […]


Florida CFO’s bungle shows his ‘ESG’ concern is three-letter B.S.

By: - March 30, 2023

Florida’s official state motto, adopted three years after the end of the Civil War, is “In God We Trust.” The part about “All Others Pay Cash,” is not stated, but implied. This old motto is clearly outdated. We need a new one that better represents the modern Florida. The obvious options are “Hold My Beer,” […]


Florida legislators keep us in the dark about allowing developers to light up the night

By: - March 23, 2023

Have you ever been to a place in Florida that was so dark that the sky seems crowded with stars? I have, and more than once. Probably the darkest campsite I’ve ever visited was at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park near Gainesville. The first night was cloudy and it was so dark it was like […]


How a destroyed eagle nest led Florida legislators to attack local pollution rules

By: - March 16, 2023

It’s been a while since I went on a tour of the Florida State Capitol, the esteemed winner of the Most Phallic Public Building in the World contest. So, you’ll have to forgive me if I am unable to tell you exactly where to find the Well of Nincompoopery. I can only assume its existence […]


Time-traveling developer plows forward with 1991-era Florida subdivision

By: - March 9, 2023

Where were you in 1991? I know where the U’s were: The U.S. was gearing up for the Gulf War. The USSR still existed but was about to dissolve. And U2 released what I think is their best album, “Achtung, Baby.” I was single but engaged to be married to a wonderful woman who shared […]


DEP drags its feet on halting pollution of Florida’s precious springs

By: - March 2, 2023

Florida, as I am fond of pointing out, is like no other place on earth. We get more lightning strikes here than the rest of the country. More sinkholes than the rest of the U.S., too. More shark bites than anywhere else in the world. If you get the impression that Florida’s trying to kill […]


Florida attorney general tries to make it easier to pave over wetlands

By: - February 23, 2023

Court cases can be quite entertaining. And I don’t just mean the fictional courtroom dramas on TV, ranging from “Perry Mason” to “LA Law” to “Law and Order: No Not That One, The Other One.” In the four years I spent covering criminal courts for Florida’s largest newspaper, I saw some amazing cases. I saw […]


In Hurston’s Florida hometown, development plans inspire a revolt

By: - February 16, 2023

Florida has inspired a lot of great writers, but which one would you say was the toughest? Was it Ernest Hemingway, who once punched out a poet in Key West? Or Carl Hiaasen, who was a hard-nosed investigative reporter before becoming the sharp satirist we all love to laugh along with? Or how about darkly […]


Proposed natural gas plant in FL Panhandle tried to sneak through approval process

By: - February 9, 2023

For years, whenever I had to drive through Port St. Joe on U.S. 98, I made sure to roll the windows up tight. Even when the air-conditioning had cut out on my old rattletrap car, I made certain there wasn’t the tiniest crack for the outside air to get in. That’s because this Panhandle town […]


Florida developers want to scare you into letting them have their way

By: - February 2, 2023

In case you hadn’t noticed the big mushroom cloud rising over Tallahassee, the state Legislature has begun gearing up for its next session in March. As usual, the legislators have already been dropping bombshells left and right. Mostly right. You’ve probably read about a few of the wackier bills that were filed by last week’s […]


This time in Florida, the Davids beat Goliath in an environmental battle

By: - January 26, 2023

Because Florida is such an unusual state, we have some unusual museums. There’s a surreal one in St. Petersburg dedicated to the surrealist art of Salvador Dali. One in Ocala features drag racing — the type with cars, not dressing up — run by champ “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. And one in Miami Beach is […]


Cost of turning old Florida tree farm into a discount store is too high

By: - January 19, 2023

Ask anyone to name the fruits we grow in Florida and they’ll say oranges, although citrus is in a steep decline these days. They miiiight also mention grapefruit. But we grow a lot of other fruit, too: apples, avocados, bananas, figs, guava, persimmons, mangoes, mulberries, papayas, and peaches. People hardly ever bring up pineapples, but […]