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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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Fort DeSoto mega-cruise ship port buzz decried by environmental group listen

07/14/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: environment, mega ship, cruise ship, Sunshine Skyway, Fort DeSoto, birds, Egmont Key, Port Tampa Bay

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Some Tampa Bay officials want to figure out how to accommodate monstrous new mega-ships too big to call Port Tampa Bay home. But making that happen would be both costly and environmentally controversial. The latest idea being batted around is building a port near the coast of Fort DeSoto. But that idea is opposed by Barbara Howard, president of Friends of Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges.

Another $2 billion possibility is to replace the already massive Sunshine Skyway Bridge with an eve...

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Loggerhead sea turtles handed nearly 700 miles of critical habitat by feds listen

07/10/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Sea Turtles, Jaclyn Lopez, Center for Biological Diversity, Loggerhead, habitats, environment

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Loggerhead sea turtles will be better protected now after a landmark rule passed down by the feds. A legal settlement announced yesterday designates nearly 700 miles of beach and 300,000 square feet as "critical habitat."

The rule protecting Loggerhead habitats was the result of a 2013 lawsuit filed by several conservation groups.

Jaclyn Lopez is an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Southwest Florida drilling plan faces new bump in the road listen

06/24/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: drilling, Oil, compressed natural gas, environment, Fracking, Everglades, Mike Schwartz, South Florida Wildlands Association

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is requiring a drilling company to answer questions during a series of public meetings in Southwest Florida. The head of South Florida Wildlands Association, Matt Schwartz, weighs in on a drilling proposal near the Everglades in Collier County.

"One question I've asked from the beginning that never got answered is to show us an actual map of the lease area and lay that map over the public lands in the area. What I've seen is just kind of ...

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Charlie Crist says if elected he'll reconvene annual climate change summit listen

06/16/14 Samuel Johnson
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: Charlie Crist, Florida, Rick Scott, economy, The Everglades, Cuba, jobs, environment, marijuana, Space X, Elon Musk, education, Steve Kornell, Saint Petersburg, climate change

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If Charlie Crist is re-elected governor this year he says he will reconvene two environmental summits that were held at the beginning of his previous term as governor. One hundred or so Crist supporters were on hand Saturday to help launch a new St. Petersburg campaign office.

During his first two years as governor, Crist convened what were billed as annual summits on global climate change. But then, in his last two years as governor the [summits stopped without notice](https://www.wmnf.or...

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Here's why you should care about the health of the Gulf of Mexico listen

06/12/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Gulf of Mexico, environment, Florida, fishing, beaches, BP oil spill

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Most people look out at the sparkly blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico and figure it’s perfectly healthy. But Don Boesch, president of the University of Maryland’s center for environmental science says there are plenty of reasons to worry.

“For example, the whole water system in terms of the water that evaporates and comes back down in rain – it removes about 2/3 of the carbon dioxide that we produce excessively.”

A White House climate change report released earlier this year shows that...

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Proposed oil drilling project near Everglades gets green light listen

06/06/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: Golden Gate Estates, oil drilling, Matthew Schwartz, environment, Energy, fossil fuels, Everglades

Plans to drill for oil near the Everglades are moving forward. In a decision handed down Tuesday, a judge granted a permit to the Dan A. Hughes Company.

WMNF News spoke with Matthew Schwartz, president of the South Florida Wildlands Association and one of three complainants who sued to block the permit application based on environmental concerns.

The other complainants on the lawsuit were a Collier County resident who would be affected by the proposed oil well and the activist organiz...

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Tampa Bay environmental projects get $625,000 funding boost listen

06/03/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Tampa Bay Estuary Program, water, water quality, phosphorus, nutrient pollution, Holly Greening, environment, Steve Kornell

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Water and habitat restoration in Tampa Bay are getting a $625,000 boost this year. The Tampa Bay Estuary Program announced nine projects during a press conference at Clam Bayou in St. Petersburg Tuesday. Holly Greening, executive director for the program said despite continuing need for water quality improvements, Tampa Bay is the cleanest and clearest it’s been since the 1950s.

“We’ve got over 18 projects now that we’ve been able to fund over the last two years through the environmental ...

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EPA proposal could phase out coal-fired power plants by implementing CO2 emission regulations listen

06/02/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: environment, climate change, sea level rise, coal, TECO, Duke Energy, Sierra Club, EPA, Consumer Energy Alliance

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The Environmental Protection Agency rolled out a plan Monday to cut carbon emissions by almost 40% in Florida and 30% nationally in the next 16 years. The Clean Power Plan is part of President Barack Obama’s initiative to reduce pollution linked to climate change. A spokesperson for the Sierra Club, Jenna Garland, says the proposed rule is a longtime coming.

“We are already experiencing the effects of a destabilized climate and here in Florida with water quality issues, water availability...

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Proposed gas pipeline could threaten Tampa Bay water supply listen

05/19/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: EPA, Sabal Trail, Anita Stewart, SpectraBusters, environment, water, natural gas

A coalition of energy companies including Florida Power and Light wants to build a 460-mile long natural gas pipeline through Florida and two other states. But environmentalists are pushing back against the project they say could contaminate aquifers. Anita Stewart is a district supervisor for the Hillsborough County Soil and Water Conservation District. She’s worried about a section of the pipeline that could bisect parts of a preserved area in Sumter and Pasco counties.

“This pipeline i...

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