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.


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 […]


Turning Florida’s rural lands into urban sprawl is a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare

By: - September 8, 2022

Florida is home to a lot of imperiled species that are badly in need of protection. That includes the panther, of course, and the Key deer, the manatee, the gopher tortoise, and a whole lot more. To this very long list I’d add one more: our remaining rural residents. These are the folks who live […]


One way DeSantis can attack Charlie Crist on his stellar Florida environmental record

By: - September 1, 2022

To: Robert Watkins, Tampa Dear Mr. Watkins, Hi! I see that you’re the chairman of “Friends of Ron DeSantis” political action committee. I figured that means you’re the person who can advise the governor about how his reelection campaign is in peril. I have a warning, but I also have a suggestion for him on […]


Developers back out of Florida panther protection proposal

By: - August 25, 2022

August is usually the worst month to be in Florida. We’re wilting from the heat and humidity and watching the National Weather Service bulletins because it’s peak hurricane season. Fortunately, there’s one event this month that highlights what a wonderful place this is. I am referring, of course, to the Wausau Possum Festival in the […]


Touting more offshore drilling while vowing to protect Florida beaches is just silly

By: - August 18, 2022

When I was growing up in Pensacola, my parents took verrrrry different approaches to elections. My dad, a land surveyor, would attend political rallies, slap backs, and laugh at jokes, all to make contacts for his small business. I would beg him to take me along — not because I liked the rallies but because […]


If Florida Gov. DeSantis wants to oust officials, here’s a list

By: - August 11, 2022

You probably heard all the hoopla last week about Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis removing — excuse me, “suspending” with extreme prejudice — the outspoken Democratic prosecutor in Hillsborough County, Andrew Warren. He’s not quite fired but he’s on the verge. Usually when officeholders in Florida get pink-slipped by the governor, it’s because they’ve been charged […]


Florida’s python hunt promotes politician, fails to eliminate invading reptiles

By: - August 4, 2022

My kids frequently drag me to the theaters to see the latest superhero movie. As a result, I have discovered a fondness for what the comic book people call “origin stories.” You know, like how an illegal alien using a phony name became Superman. Or how Batman is just a rich orphan with anger issues […]


Florida’s next House Speaker is a fossil fuel fool who fears fixing the climate

By: - July 28, 2022

The 12-step people always say that the first step is admitting you have a problem, so here goes: Hi, I’m Craig, and I’m a civics nerd. As a kid, I fell under the magical spell of the Watergate hearings. Ever since, I’ve been fascinated by government stuff. The “I’m Just A Bill” song is my […]


Florida can’t move forward on pollution because of places like ‘Dead Shark Acres’

By: - July 21, 2022

Shark Week, aka “the Week the Discovery Channel Tries to Scare the Bejeezus Out of Its Viewers,” starts next week. Meanwhile the National Geographic Channel, trying to get a jump on the competition, has already launched “SharkFest,” calling it (brace yourself) “Must-Sea TV.” All these shark shows mean a lot to us here in Florida […]