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Tampa Bay seagrass recovers; 40,000 acres most in 60 years listen

05/13/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Wednesday
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Tags: Tampa Bay, Tampa, St. Petersburg, seagrass, environment, water, fertilizer, fertilizer ordinance, pollution, oceans, SWFWMD, Tampa Bay Watch, WMNF News

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There are more acres of seagrass in the Tampa Bay estuary than any time in the last sixty years; the Southwest Florida Water Management District announced Wednesday that the bay now supports more than 40,000 acres of seagrass beds.

WMNF News interviewed Kris Kaufman, a senior environmental scientist with SWFWMD.

Kaufman said their study found a 16.3 percent increase in seagrass coverage in Tampa Bay from 2012 to 2014. She said seagrass recovery requires relatively clean water and congr...

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Water management district seeks input on minimum water flows and levels listen

10/01/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: SWFWMD, water, rivers, streams, lakes, ecology, environment

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To make sure the ecologies of the region’s freshwater rivers, lakes and wetlands stay in balance, the Southwest Florida Water Management District sets minimum flows and levels, then makes sure too much water isn’t taken out.

In a workshop Wednesday night, SWFWMD is asking for public input in setting those levels. Doug Leeper is their chief advisory environmental scientist.

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Three Florida springs could be getting additional protections listen

08/18/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: SWFWMD, springs, Crystal River, Rainbow River, Weeki Wachee, Gulf of Mexico, environment, rivers, water, Seán Kinane, WMNF News

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Three of the largest freshwater springs systems in our region could be getting more protection; the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is adding the Weeki Wachee, Chassahowitzka and Homosassa Rivers to a priority list.

The other two first-magnitude spring systems already on the SWIM program priority list are the Rainbow River and Crystal River / Kings Bay.

WMNF News' Seán Kinane interviewed Veronica Craw, springs manager with the Southwest Florida Water Management District ...

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Excessive flooding and climate change spur stormwater talks in Tampa listen

06/05/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: NOAA, stormwater, flooding, climate change, Tampa City Council, SWFWMD

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Tampa city council is taking a tough look at how to improve stormwater drainage. The move comes after heavy rainfall last month left people in parts of north Tampa stranded on flooded roads. One woman, Ingrid Smith, urged council to take immediate steps to improve.

“If you were trying to go North/South and you were between I-275 and Hillsborough River, you could not pass. Florida Avenue became totally impassable unless you had a big rig. Central Avenue became impassable. So did Highland ...

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Alafia River may be the answer for a thirsty region: Tampa Bay Water listen

02/20/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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The Alafia River in south Hillsborough County has been a source of water for the Tampa Bay region since 2003. It accounts for about one fifth of the supply. But Alison Adams, a senior manager for Tampa Bay Water, said more needs to be pumped from the river to meet rising consumption. Right now the utility is allowed to ...

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Hunters gain extra hunting days at two SWFWMD properties but not Cypress Creek listen

12/20/11 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Two pieces of public property will be opened up for hunters next year. Tuesday morning in Haines City the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) board approved staff recommendation to add hunting opportunities at the Lower Hillsborough Flood Detention Area and Green Swamp West in Pasco County.

But they voted against staff recom...

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Tampa Bay Water opposes hunting on Cypress Creek wellfield public land listen

12/20/11 Atecia Robinson
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Southwest Florida Water Management District’s proposal to allow hunting on some public land met opposition Monday from Tampa Bay Water. The board of directors of Tampa Bay Water opposed changes to SWFWMD’s land management plan that would allow hunting at the Cypress Creek wellfield.

Pinellas County Commissioner and Tampa Bay Water board member [Neil Bri...

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SWFWMD considers allowing hunting on some properties, but there's opposition listen

12/06/11 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The Southwest Florida Water Management District, or SWFWMD, is considering opening more of its public land for hunting. Recreational users like horseback riders and hikers are squaring off against the hunters to stop the plan from proceeding.

Opponents of increased hunting on three SWFWMD properties are staking much of their debate on the financial burden it could put on the agency. Those properties are [Cypress Creek Prese...

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Tampa Bay Water approves $162 million to fix regional reservoir listen

08/15/11 Josh Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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After years of planning and negotiation, Tampa Bay Water has finally approved a $162 million contract to fix the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir. Tampa Bay Water general manager Gerald Seeber said the plan will not only increase water storage capacity, but also help prepare for future drought. Now that the contract was approved, it will go to design and permitting over the next year.

When th...

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Tensions brewing about possibility of allowing hunting on some public lands listen

08/01/11 Atecia Robinson
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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There’s tension brewing about the possibility of allowing hunting on some public land. The South West Florida Water Management District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission gathered at the Hillsborough Community College in Plant City on Friday to hear petitions given by hunters, birdwatchers, all terrain riders and equestrians.

In a packed meeting hall, a range of citizens from hunters to horseback riders gave r...

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