red tide

Statewide survey: Most Floridians want more protection for the environment and more money to protect endangered species

BY: - August 3, 2021

With Florida’s population rising over a decade, most residents surveyed believe the state should do more to protect the environment from population growth and development, according to a statewide survey conducted by the University of South Florida. About 64 percent of the respondents felt that way, according to a sample of 600 Floridians questioned  in […]

COMMENTARY

Florida’s air quality is great — just don’t inhale the algae bloom poison

BY: - July 1, 2021

I’ve been married for more than a quarter century, so I am a little hazy about how the dating world works. But I recall a time — way back around the Mesozoic Era, I think — when you’d hear someone trying to convince a reluctant friend to go on a blind date by using language […]

COMMENTARY

Is FL facing another Summer of Slime? Thank Gov. DeSantis and do-nothing Legislature

BY: - April 29, 2021

Sometimes I wonder what it was like to be one of the early Spanish explorers of Florida, back when you could see it in all its swampy, bug-infested, gator-bellowing glory. I can’t help but wonder about their reaction the first time they noticed the waters of what we now call the Gulf of Mexico had […]

COMMENTARY
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 […]

COMMENTARY
algae bloom

This column stinks — and so does the way FL handles its poop

BY: - September 24, 2020

Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis held a big event at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, which is the only government facility in the nation where mermaids work as state employees. The governor wasn’t there to cavort with the ladies with prosthetic tails, though. He was there to pose for pictures with a giant-sized check, which […]

Source: Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Chief science officer defends water-quality bills that critics argue are deeply flawed

BY: - February 13, 2020

Florida Chief Science Officer Tom Frazer on Thursday defended his praise of water-quality legislation that environmentalists say is designed to fail and protects polluters. “I stand by my statement [published in the Sarasota Bradenton-Herald] that SB 712 is one of the most progressive and comprehensive pieces of legislation that we have seen in over a […]

Huh? Clean-water groups say chief science officer is missing the point

BY: - February 12, 2020

Clean-water organizations lobbying for strong legislation to clean up water pollution in Florida are calling upon the state’s chief science officer to “set the record straight” after he highly praised what they consider weak proposals advancing in the Legislature. They want sponsors of leading water-quality bills to add teeth and financial support and to close […]

algae bloom

Gov. DeSantis unveils water-quality website for the public; promised legislation still under wraps

BY: - November 5, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled a Florida water-quality website Tuesday to raise public awareness about water pollution, related health risks, and cleanup initiatives. It also raises awareness about DeSantis. The site, www.ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov,  includes water-quality status reports on troubled waters in Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie River, and the Caloosahatchee River and estuary, with more to come. […]

Politicians’ pledges to tackle red tide eco-disaster ends at the Legislature with… wait for it… another task force

BY: - April 30, 2019

Despite political promises on the campaign trail about solving the massive red tide outbreaks that littered Florida’s shores with dead sea creatures and scared away tourists last year, the state Legislature ended up passing a bill that sets up a task force to study the perennial problem. The bill specifically names the private Mote Marine […]

All that talk about solving Florida’s horrible algae outbreaks? Legislature comes up short so far

BY: - April 2, 2019

Florida made national news last year when nasty algae outbreaks fouled the coasts and sent dead sea creatures washing ashore. The environmental crisis was a campaign issue during the fall election, as pricey waterfront mansions suddenly overlooked green, stinking waterways and tourists fled beaches because of dead fish and harmful fumes. Politicians promised to attack […]

sunset picture

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis releases environmental platform

BY: - September 12, 2018

Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis released his environmental platform Wednesday, and long-time environmental leaders took a look and found it wanting. DeSantis comes out strongly on two issues near and dear to Florida environmentalists: He says he’s against fracking and offshore oil drilling along Florida’s coastline, saying in a statement: “Starting day one, DeSantis will […]