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 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.

COMMENTARY

Florida boaters clobber rare whale and calf, but they avoid legal consequences

By: - June 16, 2022

There’s nothing like a good shipwreck story. The battle against the elements, the human drama, the deadly consequences — those elements make for some compelling telling. Doesn’t matter whether the story involves the doomed sailors of the USS Indianapolis, the desperate passengers of the SS Poseidon,or the fearless crew of the SS Minnow. Florida has […]

COMMENTARY

We should be turning our kids into fans of the Florida environment

By: - June 9, 2022

We expect so much from our teachers these days. I blame Harry Potter for this. Harry’s teachers at Hogwarts use wizardly magic to make things happen and never have to worry about running out of supplies. Clearly, we expect the same from the humans working in Florida schools, despite the distinct lack of sorting hats […]

COMMENTARY

By focusing only on ‘resilience,’ Florida’s governor ignores climate change’s deadly heat

By: - June 2, 2022

Florida tends to be a pretty lively place. Just look at all our crowded beaches, highways, stadia, hockey rinks, racetracks, bars, restaurants, casinos, and, sometimes, hospital ERs. You may be surprised to hear that we’ve also got lots of amazing dead spots too — in other words, graves. The most famous one is the Key […]

COMMENTARY

This Florida poaching problem seems almost un-bear-able

By: - May 26, 2022

June 1 marks the official start of hurricane season, or as I like to call it, “Mother Nature’s annual reminder that Florida is trying to kill us.” Hurricanes making landfall, shark bites, sinkholes, lightning strikes — we lead the nation in all of these deadly categories. Yet people keep flocking here like lemmings, trying to […]

COMMENTARY

FL’s Northern Turnpike Extension threatens to pave over historic Black community

By: - May 19, 2022

If you plan to visit the historic Central Florida community of Royal, I have two pieces of advice for you: 1) Don’t go there feeling hungry. There are no fast-food joints or other restaurants where you can order a Royal version of the Royale with Cheese. 2) You better hurry. Powerful people are plotting its […]

COMMENTARY

New algae blooms expose Florida Gov. DeSantis’ failure to fix pollution

By: - May 12, 2022

Have you noticed the Democratic candidates for governor — Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried, and Annette Taddeo — milling around like a bunch of lost children lately? While they vie for which one of them will get to take on the incumbent Republican governor, Ron “Let’s Give the Attorneys Millions” DeSantis, this fall, they look a […]

COMMENTARY
solar rooftop

With solar bill veto, Florida Gov. DeSantis slips into something more liberal

By: - May 5, 2022

The governor was trying to make a point about cartoons the other day when his memory got fogged by false nostalgia. That’s likely to happen when your sparring partner is a gigantic mouse. Gov. Ron DeSantis, while stumping for a fellow Republican in Nevada, claimed the evil animation cabal from Disney was slipping hidden messages […]

COMMENTARY

Petition drive seeks to give Florida residents a fundamental right to clean water

By: - April 28, 2022

Some people have accused me of being down on Florida because of all the bad stuff I write about — the shady politicians, greedy developers, and rapacious road-builders. You know, the usual suspects. Nothing could be further from the truth! I revel in opportunities to highlight the many ways Florida leads the nation. If I […]

COMMENTARY

Florida’s water-board appointments show Critical Race Theory is no theory

By: - April 21, 2022

When I need a good laugh, I check the latest news about Ron DeSantis. Our governor is a comic genius! Just look at his record and you’ll see what I mean. Early in the pandemic, when he was naming “essential businesses” that could remain open, he included professional wrestling. How I laughed about that, and […]

COMMENTARY

Plan for new Central Florida toll road would split Split Oak Forest, a treasured park

By: - April 14, 2022

Have you ever seen the movie “High Noon”? That 1952 flick is one of the best Westerns — the movies, that is, not the hotel chain. The images are unforgettable: A desperate Gary Cooper trying to round up a posse to help him take on four bad guys. The townspeople reluctant to fight for their […]

COMMENTARY

New Interstate 95 interchange hurts creek but benefits Florida governor’s buddy

By: - April 7, 2022

One of my favorite things to do in Florida is paddling. Not the kind that they used to give us kids in school. (I got one in the second grade and then my folks gave me another when I got home. I tried to take the punishment like a good soldier but guess which one […]

COMMENTARY

Florida senator helps developers get revenge on conservation boards

By: - March 31, 2022

Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. Sort of like gazpacho. Or ice cream. (Mmm, ice cream!) Instead of a cold dish, there’s some white-hot revenging going on in Tallahassee right now. It’s contained in a weird little bill that somehow passed both houses of the Legislature and is awaiting action by Gov. […]