Florida

A state of water--Florida from space.

Florida legislators begin to address algae and water crisis

Florida is still reeling from a disastrous 2018 in which south Florida waterways suffered a double whammy of blue green algae and red tide. Meanwhile, here in the panhandle the powerful Hurricane Michael caused historic damage and highlighted continued weaknesses in our sewage infrastructure. Now, the Florida legislature has just convened, and we’re pushing for …

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Along the shores of Florida's St. Joseph Bay, where the Coastal Barrier Resources System helps to protect the area from unwise development while also saving taxpayer money.

A holiday gift from Washington: Good news for the Florida coast

A bit of bipartisanship snuck into the holiday season, and thousands of acres of dunes, seagrass beds, and other coastal habitat in Florida is all the better for it. On December 21, 2018, President Trump signed into law H.R. 5787 the Strengthening Coastal Communities Act of 2018. Out of 435 members of the House of …

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Woody goldenrod blooms along the dunes at Deer Lake State Park in the Florida panhandle. The area is part of the Coastal Barrier Resources System.

Common sense and bipartisanship work for the Gulf

The House of Representatives actually got something right. In an age of growing frustration at political divisions that create legislative gridlock, the House did something that most citizens say they want more of: They passed a bipartisan bill. Even better it’s one that’s good for our environment and the Gulf of Mexico. In this case, …

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Families enjoy a fall day at the beach on Santa Rosa Island at Pensacola Beach, FL.

If you can’t get to the Gulf, how can you care about the Gulf?

Imagine showing up for a day at the beach and being told that you’re on private property and have to leave. That’s what’s happening on Gulf beaches in the Florida panhandle, where the public’s ability to simply dip their toes into the waters of the Gulf is at risk. The flashpoint in all of this …

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Our cleanup crew and friends pause for a photo after tackling another mangled yard in Panama City, FL.

In the shadow of Hurricane Michael a day of helping others

As the sun is still rising into a warm fall day, I pile into a large pickup with four folks I met only five minutes before, prepared for a 12 hour day of hurricane relief work. Onboard is an architect, interior designer, audio-visual installer, and a nonprofit consultant. As the chatter begins, I’m pretty sure …

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Helping people, communities, and the environment after Hurricane Michael

As with all who are following the devastation from Hurricane Michael, I’m shocked and saddened by the destruction. Michael hit an area of the coast that I know and love, and it will be a long time before it is whole again. My first step after the storm was to contact as many friends and …

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Some Florida panhandle waterways continue to receive direct discharges of pollution, long after the Clean Water Act called for an end to the practice.

Cleaning-up our waterways 33 years overdue, but still not too late

1985 seems like a long time ago. For those who care about clean water which is pretty much everybody 1985 was a landmark year in the quest to restore our nation’s waterways. That was the year that the Clean Water Act set as a goal for eliminating all direct discharges to our rivers, lakes, bays, …

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Sewage: out of sight and mind…until it’s not

When the toilet flushes, we never expect to see it again. And we all know what I mean by “it.” Yet raw sewage is bubbling up in the streets from failing infrastructure in many Florida communities, putting public health and the environment at risk. Raw sewage can contain various disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and …

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Guest blog: The Caloosahatchee Conundrum

A message from Florida-Alabama coastal organizer Christian Wagley:In order to realize a healthy and restored Gulf, GRN relies on thousands of people and organizational partners in communities all along the Gulf coast. Our friends in Southwest Florida are experiencing another epic tragedy as massive flows of freshwater are being diverted down the Caloosahatchee River to …

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Protecting Florida’s seagrass

Gazing out at its usually calm waters, one would never know that Pensacola Bay is missing 90% of its seagrass the Bay’s single most important aquatic habitat. That’s why it’s vitally important that we protect the remaining seagrass. A recent Federal decision to rebuff plans to dredge some of the remaining seagrass for a deeper …

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