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

Giant snails not too big a problem for Florida to solve — twice

By: - October 14, 2021

We Floridians have so much to be proud of. Our beaches often rank at or near the top in the world. Our state park system has won national awards four times. We’re definitely No. 1 in producing weird news every single day. There’s one thing where I kind of wish we were not leading the […]

COMMENTARY

Rodman opponents ready to gamble again that FL will finally free the Ocklawaha

By: - October 7, 2021

Do you play the lottery? I’ve been known to purchase a ticket or two when the payoff gets enough zeroes. The fact that I am still writing for a living should tell you how good I am at picking numbers. Once, I ducked into Publix to purchase a Powerball ticket and discovered a knot of […]

COMMENTARY

Gov. DeSantis pulls one road from the Everglades, but OKs putting in another

By: - September 30, 2021

“Submitted for your approval …” Man, I always loved that old TV show “The Twilight Zone.” First came the chilling theme music: Doo-doo-doo-dooo … Then Rod Serling would warn you that you’re entering “another dimension — a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both […]

COMMENTARY

Rare FL butterfly bounces back, offers lesson for saving other critters

By: - September 23, 2021

We could all use a little good news this week, so here’s the rare environmental story that will make you pump your fist and shout, “Yeah!” Earlier this month, during a visit to Gainesville, I took my kids to see the huge butterfly rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History. They were impressed. Everywhere […]

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 […]